All Posts By

Dana VanderLugt

Essay

Being Seen

I remember the day so clearly. I left a staff meeting during which our district announced plans to cut $2 million from our budget after the State of Michigan made sweeping cuts to schools. The meeting outlined the particulars: eliminating…
Essay

Intentional

By Dana VanderLugt inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective: done on purpose; deliberate. Synonyms: calculated, conscious, intended, purposeful I talk to my writing students about audience all the time -- “Know your audience,” I tell them, “Your tone, your style, your voice depends on your…
Essay

Turn

by Dana Vander Lugt I’m a sucker for all things nostalgic -- old photo albums, worn notes or ticket stubs. I can’t resist the “On this Day” Facebook pictures that pop up, showing me my posts and memories from this…
Essay

Saving up Stories

By Dana VanderLugt My grandpa passed away last winter. One of the things I miss most is saving up stories for him. My family still gathers around grandma’s table every Sunday, and most weeks my husband, kids, and I are…
Essay

Hidden Hope

by Dana VanderLugt During the summer, my schedule permits me to take a walk nearly every morning, just after sunrise. I pop in headphones, tune into a podcast, and head for my favorite path. Quiet neighborhood sidewalks open into a paved…
Essay

Middle

by Dana VanderLugt Definition: (Adjective) At an equal distance from the extremities of something Synonyms: Center or Midst, suggesting that a person or thing is closely surrounded or encompassed on all sides, especially by that which is thick or dense;…
Essay

Vinegar

by Dana VanderLugt In her recent book, Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist describes a metaphor for prayer -- a bottle of salad dressing, the vinegar resting on top, oil at the bottom. When you pray, she writes, “pour out the…