Knoxville Culture » Midpoint by Stephanie Piper

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  • Old School Published 9/15/2010 at 9:44 a.m. 0 comments

    The world, I have heard it said, is roughly divided into two groups of people. Those who go to their class reunions. And those who don’t.

  • French Lessons Published 8/11/2010 at 10:07 a.m. 0 comments

    In the summer of my 18th year, I went to live in a part of Brittany called Nord Finistere. Finistere means “end of the earth,” and that seemed accurate to me.

  • What, Me Worry? Published 7/14/2010 at 10:33 a.m. 2 comments

    Are all the 30somethings out there drifting around on a pink cloud of insouciance? Maybe they just haven’t faced the facts. If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, runs a parody of the famous ...

  • Scent and Sensibility Published 6/16/2010 at 10:22 a.m. 0 comments

    I’m sitting on the front step jiggling a stroller and inhaling the scent of boxwood. It’s the quintessential Virginia scent for me, woodsy and dusty and heavy with memory. On this June afternoon in a small Virginia town, waiting for ...

  • Graduation Groupie Published 5/19/2010 at 8:16 a.m. 0 comments

    I’m a sucker for “Pomp and Circumstance.” It doesn’t matter if it’s played on a tinny piano or a world-class organ, it always seems to catch me by the throat. I hear those stately chords and reach for the Kleenex.

  • Facebook Reconsidered Published 4/14/2010 at 9:57 a.m. 3 comments

    Maybe I was wrong about Facebook. Well, sort of wrong. I’m not admitting total error here. I am just modifying my original opinion that FB is a giant waste of time disguised as a triumph of technology.

  • Seems Like Yesterday... Published 3/17/2010 at 10:41 a.m. 0 comments

    Here are words I never imagined myself saying: When you get to be my age.

  • Rest in Peace, J.D. Salinger Published 2/17/2010 at 11:16 a.m. 0 comments

    I first met Holden Caulfield at a speed reading class. He was lying there among a selection of 19th century novels and a few history text books, a battered paperback on a side table.

  • Adventures in Candyland: Remembering Long-Ago Loser Darlene Globe Published 1/13/2010 at 10:13 a.m. 0 comments

    There are those among you who breezed through the holidays on healthy snacks and uninterrupted exercise routines. Come January, you emerged triumphant from the seasonal gauntlet of temptation, facing the scale with jaunty confidence. To you I would simply say: ...

  • Struggling to Find the "True Spirit of Christmas" Published 12/15/2009 at 4:50 p.m. 0 comments

    o here we are again, deep in December and prey to all manner of seasonal hazards. Santa sweaters. Office parties. Shrinking bank balances. Credit card bills guaranteed to send Suze Orman into orbit. Canned carols. Fake snow. The nagging notion ...

  • Becoming What You Might Have Been Published 11/18/2009 at 10:20 a.m. 0 comments

    I have also never qualified to sit at the cool girls’ table. And now, here in the midst of my life review, I’ve decided that it’s time to come clean and acknowledge the long-suppressed denizen of libraries and old cemeteries, ...

  • A Chance Encounter Inspires Romantic Thoughts Published 9/30/2009 at 10:42 a.m. 0 comments

    I am thinking of a family vacation some years ago, rescued from sullen discontent by the poetry of a barnacle-covered giant and her offspring. Awash in nostalgia for my own childhood summers at Cape Cod, I had dragooned three teenaged ...

  • Force of Habit Published 9/2/2009 at 2:04 p.m. 0 comments

    I have seen her twice in one day, so it’s not my imagination: a nun in full habit, long skirt, looped rosary, veil blowing in the summer breeze. The only slightly anachronistic touch is the backpack slung over one shoulder. ...

  • Words are Deeds Published 8/5/2009 at 2:55 p.m. 0 comments

    Words are deeds, my father used to say. As someone whose livelihood depended on words, the quote from the philosopher Wittgenstein had special meaning for him. Words were the deeds of the writers whose books he acquired and edited. Words ...

  • The Grandparent’s Dictionary of Adverbs Published 7/8/2009 at 12:41 p.m. 0 comments

    It’s a voice I’ve heard somewhere before, repeating words that are vaguely familiar. Carefully. Slowly. Nicely. They are everyday words, faint admonitions usually associated with librarians, teachers, and camp counselors. Where does it come from, this vocabulary of caution, and ...