Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the University of Chicago Lab High School (1966)…Part Two…by Robert M. Katzman

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy failing Algebra, and the

University of Chicago Lab High School in 1966.

by Robert M. Katzman © January 31, 2018 

Part Two

So Paul and I met twice a week for months in that small room in the library with two wooden chairs and a wooden table. I told him about how the newsstand was progressing and what I was learning, and the difficulties of learning to manage a one-armed, one-legged 69-year-old employee, born in 1896, who as it turned out was the original owner of where my newsstand was now, except his was there in 1916. This became sessions of stories about stories.

I had no identity as a writer, never considered that as any kind of career for myself and wasn’t writing down any of what I told Paul when we met, or his stories either. Like two pre-biblical Israelites carrying on a kind of oral tradition of expecting the next generations to preserve unwritten history. But we were both telling each other stories. I wasn’t expecting anything from him, but I was glad he seemed interested in this kid talking about whatever I was talking about. But when we were telling stories, we weren’t talking about algebra, so that was good.

(Read on …)

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the University of Chicago Lab High School (1966…Part One…by Robert M. Katzman

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the

University of Chicago Lab High School (1966)

by Robert M. Katzman © January 30, 2018   Part One 

Classic gritty Chicago tale about a high school math tutor and a student from very different worlds leading to a fifty-year warm friendship, which only death could end.

In September 1964, after failing a pre-freshman admittance required Algebra course during the summer at the University of Chicago Laboratory School High School, or U-High, in Hyde Park, I also subsequently failed my first year taking Freshman Algebra, too.

Somewhere among my less treasured memories is an old shoebox, and within it, besides my four different draft card classifications between 1968 and 1974, is a small rectangular piece of paper with the handwritten letter “F” placed squarely in the center of it. It meant I had to take the detested algebra class for yet a third time.

U-High’s very efficient system for helping students who seemed likely to embarrass and undermine the school’s gleaming reputation in the future assigned me a math tutor who would meet with me in the library in a private room every Tuesday and Thursday. The first week of my second year there as a sophomore in September 1966, I met Paul Moulton. I was sixteen, born in 1950, and he was forty-six, born in 1920.

(Read on …)

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem (part 12)…by Robert M. Katzman

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem

by Robert M Katzman © December 4, 2017


I tilted my head to the Western Wall

Trying to summon the words

Conjuring up Fate to listen to me

Surrendering to that which can’t be seen

But nevertheless



Why do you keep doing this?

You keep taking so many away

No one left to call and say:

Do you remember this perilous time?

(Read on …)

Vad Yashem: Killing a Million Children (part 6)…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Children,Depression and Hope,Israel,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage! — Bob at 3:26 pm on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vad Yashem

Killing a Million Children

(part 6)

by Robert M. Katzman © November 7, 2017


I didn’t want to come here

I’ve been here before

I know what’s awaiting me

So much older now

I need to feel it again

The jolt of horror

To remind myself

I am still here

We are still here

(Read on …)

Stand Up and Face the Evil…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Black/White relationships,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage!,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 7:09 am on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

©  August 16, 2017


There is a dark drama

A building of pressure

A sense of impending change

A feeling of molten human eruption

A trembling of the ground under all of our feet


(Read on …)

An unknown June 11th Bonnie Chelin and Joyce Katzman story…by Robert M. Katzman

By Robert M. Katzman, Copyright June 11, 2017:

This is a kind of a melancholy story, honestly, but not what you might be thinking.

What follows is a true but and unknown Bonnie/Joyce story, in which the villain, I truly regret…was me.

My beautiful older sister, Bonnie Sue, who, as she endlessly instructed me,was 2 years, 6 months and 8 days older than me, and who died today in 2010 at 62. Since she was born in the same year as Israel, when Bonnie turned 13, so did Israel-a unique country/human Bar Mitzvah–whose government issued a large special framed document to any boy or girl who requested it. Bonnie’s hung on the wall above her bed. It was in Hebrew, in full color and to those of us who understood the historical sequence of events, deeply movie. Even I at eleven years understood that.

Their lives shall not be forgotten while I still breathe. Their names kept alive. Bonnie and Joyce mattered to many people.

(Read on …)

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