Classroom teacher by day, professor by night. My daytime classroom is everything I rail against at night. Every day I walk into a maelstrom; a middle school classroom. We have many precious and euphoric learning moments in a matrix of confusion. Picture an atom with electrons careening around a nucleus. Students can appear impetuous but they are really just doing what electrons do in the universe of elements, careening around in their orbits. Whether in urban or suburban settings, I have been stunned by the limited implementation of workable, logical ways for kids to spend the day. The phrase "no-brainer" is apt and also ironic because all the current brain research points to rich activities that are not found in schools very often. I am prohibited from accomplishing "best practice". These essays underscore the many ironies that manifest themselves every day in many American school settings from the most privileged to the most troubled city schools. Quietly tormented by the simplicity of solving so many issues, the essays mirror the same simplicity in brevity and frankness without pretension. The brevity of the essays is a metaphor for how purely direct most of the answers are to our academic catastrophes.. Exacerbating those frustrations is my night job, training teachers in graduate school at my local university. There, I walk the walk formulating paths to content-rich curricula. My career has held a profound dichotomy. Among a variety of experiences, my angle is through the lens of two worlds. I founded what I consider to be a sincerely authentic school for children, then gave it up 15 years later because I could not attract diversity. Confidently daring myself to a formidable challenge, I looked for a demanding school in a 15 mile radius of my house. The connections are as interesting as the contrasts. I have waded through so many books on the problems in education with saccharine vagaries and ridiculous jargon that miss the simple points in exponential ways. It's time to emerge from a dark tragedy where the solutions are not difficult.