Photo: Conch blower, Four Seasons Hotel, Hualalai, Big Island, Hawaii

Advice to a New Teacher: The largest hunting dinosaurs ate sharks. Be neither dinosaur nor shark. The average length of a Best Picture is two hours and twenty minutes; you have sixty minutes fewer.

A salmon cannon fires 40 fish a minute. Ardently avoid velocity and weaponry.

Elephants can differentiate male from female voices. You have small ears; you must listen harder. Czech deer still avoid the Iron Curtain; think about the rules you set. The release of a track by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson was delayed 30 years. Be patient; the job is glacial.

*One of my favorite sites for avoiding writers’ block is: This is the BBC’s compilation of “10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week.” I pick a title and then use the random facts I find to assemble into a coherent message. This could be done with any source of trivia.

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