All posts by James Tatum Gale

James Tatum Gale

About James Tatum Gale

I have been a teacher in Maine schools for twelve years, and a writer and musician since childhood. I acquired a Master's degree in Teaching from USM, and a Certificate in Math Leadership from UMF. My undergraduate degree is in Philosophy with a concentration in Comparative Religion from the University of Maine (1994). I live with my wife, Erin, and my dog, Sally, in Bowdoinham.

About those yard signs

During my daily run through the rural community where I live, I’ve noticed a sudden influx of political yard signs, as well as flags bearing political campaign slogans, almost entirely of one political persuasion and in support of a single political candidate. In any given election year I am a proponent of political action and […]

Let go of shame

Three weeks into the Solitary Spring of 2020, after the unpredictable lows of social distancing and the unexpected exhaustion of distance learning have set in, some unsettling trends are taking hold. I can understand on some levels what is happening. Robert Sapolsky’s book about human behavior, Behave, describes what he calls an “Us vs. Them” […]

I am feeling powerless.

It is beginning to feel like things in my country are out of control, and I am feeling powerless to change it. I will vote my conscience every election day, don’t get me wrong. I will vote, and I will encourage others to vote, and I will be passionate about it. But it is not […]

Easter is so not the most religious American holiday

Nothing portrays a culture’s religious traditions better than the people, places and things of that culture. This time of year we celebrate the once rebirth-themed religious holiday with pastel candy eggs, marshmallow birds and chocolate bunnies. Some say Easter is our culture’s most religious holiday, but I don’t think that is true. I once devoted […]

When one of us is wrong

I hate disagreeing with people, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way. Really, a disagreement ought to be kind of exciting, like a mystery. As in, we have two different perspectives here, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this. Let’s more closely examine the evidence, or even search […]

Detritus on the playing field

Public education is in the news again. I teach in a public school. It has not been an easy run, but it is always an adventure. Teaching is complex, challenging, at times frustrating, at times tragic. There are great triumphs and there are dizzying setbacks. We feel good about what we do, but we’ve each […]

The case for going fast

“I tried that once,” some of my friends have said about cross-country skiing, my absolute favorite outdoor recreational activity beyond all others, “but I didn’t like it.” Sadly, this most misunderstood sport is often dismissed due to errant reasoning. “If I’m going to put on skis, I prefer to actually ski down hills,” or, “I […]

At the whim of a beast

Elizabeth Kolbert writes in this week’s New Yorker about nations’ continuing and worsening habit of pretending to care about climate change amidst mounting, blinding evidence that the planet is in greater and more imminent danger than previously thought. It’s my biggest beef with both apathetic voters who increasingly claim they “hate politics” and politicians who […]