Growing Up

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Dale Easley


Rather than preach to the reader about the virtues of valuing education and stable two-parent homes or the harm of psychological abuse or the bad decisions that many of the poor make, I relate a story. The tradition of using illustrative stories is an ancient one, a way of educating that Jesus himself adopted—most of us are more likely to understand forgiveness through hearing The Prodigal Son than by being preached to about our shortcomings. A central lesson of creative writing instruction is, "Show. Don’t tell." In this essay, I depict people and events that shaped me during my formative years in rural North Carolina.

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Author Biography

Dale Easley, University of Dubuque

Dale Easley is a Professor of Environmental Science at UD, which he joined in 2005 after 15 years at the University of New Orleans. He has been a volunteer math teacher in Kenya, a volunteer math teacher in Kenya, a volunteer working on water wells in Haiti, and a Fulbright Fellow in Qatar.