Stage Right’s “The Secret Garden”: Performing with My Talented Daughter

This weekend has been magical. Friday night my daughter opened as Mary Lennox in Stage Right’s professional production of “The Secret Garden.” Two other talented girls share the role. Carolyn has learned a lot from them during rehearsals, studying what the other Marys are really good at, and displaying her own strengths. The Marys have been scrupulously fair about who got to run each scene during rehearsals. I played the…


Stage Right’s production of ‘Secret Garden’ is heart-tugging show

In the Stage Right production, the role of Mary is triple-cast with each of the three girls, Grace Rusnica of Irwin and Julia Boyle and Carolyn Jerz of Greensburg, acting in one performance this weekend. Carolyn Jerz, a home-schooled 11-year-old student, shares stage time in “The Secret Garden” with her father, Dennis Jerz, who portrays Ben Weatherstaff, the head gardener. It’s not the first time she has been in productions…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

My Anti-Linkbait Pledge: Cynical Overhyping vs. Simply Being Online

When I find something interesting that an online friend has shared via a linkbait site, I hereby pledge that I will link to the origin of the story, rather than a third-party site that republishes it without commentary. The people who share and like and respond to Upworthy and similar linkbait websites are just responding to content that they like, and they’re sharing it online because, well, that’s what people…


Dear 11yo Daughter

You are growing up smart, talented, determined, and beautiful. (And mercurial. And obstreperous.) For a little while longer, please keep thinking that problems like these are so important, because I know I can fix them so easily.

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Star Trek: “Wink Of An Eye”/”The Empath”

Amusing, if cynical, reaction to some of my favorite third-season episodes. (I suggested that my sister name her dog “Gem,” after the name McCoy gives to “The Empath,” and through high school and college I wished for the ability to speed myself up to meet deadlines, so it’s a bit of a challenge for me to see these episodes as mediocre, even though I acknowledge they are not the best…


7 ways for teachers to beat the Sunday blues

Tell yourself, I am rejecting these thoughts about school because they’re not productive. I’m choosing to replace them with the thought that when Monday morning comes, I can trust myself to know what to do, so I don’t need to think about it right now. Then distract yourself by doing something more enjoyable, and dismiss any thoughts about school that continue to arise. It takes awhile to discipline your mind…