Head of The Class

The beige building on South Braeswood Boulevard looks run-down for the Meyerland section of Houston, which helps explain why the Hebrew academy formerly housed there left for better quarters. The interior offers little to improve that first impression. Painted in shades of light yellow and green, the narrow hallways, though lined with pennants from dozens of colleges, do not inspire. The library/computer lab is a dark, low-ceilinged room partly lit by a string of white Christmas lights.

About a Boy

Galveston, May 18, 2008

He stands at the lip of the bowl, which looks like a giant, empty swimming pool, and gazes at the brand-new concrete. He plops down his skateboard and sets his left foot on top of it, rolling it back and forth a few times near the edge. Except for his blue jeans, he’s wearing all black—shoes, T-shirt, cap—and looks like any other skinny ten-year-old, except for the hospital band on his right wrist.

The Case for Keenum

Coach Art Briles has an eye for talent. You don’t win four state high school championships without knowing how to spot a top-notch football player where others see just another kid. Following his first season as a college head coach at the University of Houston, Briles had his eye on the future. He had a star quarterback in Kevin Kolb who would guide his team through the next three seasons, but he also needed a successor.

Purple Haze

UPDATE: Jolly has since been given pretrial diversion, a form of probation, meaning the charge will be dismissed in a year if he doesn’t break the law and completes other requirements. He remains suspended for the upcoming season by the NFL for violating the leagues substance abuse policy.—August 3, 2010

The Outsider

UPDATE:The Department of Justice has dropped its investigation of former attorney general Alberto Gonzales regarding the firings of nine U.S. attorneys on political grounds.—July 22, 2010

Wild at Heart

My mother did not keep a tally, an internal registry, called Nature Quota or Things to Do Outside Each Day for the Betterment of My Children. Instead, paying attention to nature—and I think she would have defined the term “nature” as any and all living things beyond one’s self—was simply how she lived her life.

Heir Jordan

Given her astounding athletic accomplishments—as a senior at Texas Tech University, for instance, she broke Bill Walton’s record for the most points ever scored in a Division I NCAA basketball championship game—you might expect Sheryl Swoopes to be fashionably blasé about a four-year-old sneaker deal. But if you ask the Brownfield native what it was like when Nike told her the company wanted to name its new women’s basketball shoe Air Swoopes, she practically comes apart.

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