Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Family

High School Math in Middle School

In September, my granddaughter Rhiannon (then 13) made an aggressive and courageous mathematical decision. Coming off acing ninth-grade Algebra 1 the previous year, she convinced her middle school to let her double up in math: her eighth grade schedule would include both Algebra 2 and Geometry. Her mother (my daughter Emily) was concerned about the workload; […]

Tree of Life

My daughter Abigail wrote this today. *     *     *     *     * I root myself to the ground. I will not give in to fear. Last night my thirteen-year-old attended his first confirmation class, during which they discussed the murders in Pittsburgh. “There are people who really, really hate Jews, Mom. It […]

Where to Go in a Time Machine?

It’s a paradoxical question. My oldest child, a clever and passionate woman, answered it this way: I’d want to find out how Joan of Arc knew what she did. Because if anyone looks like a time traveler in history, she does. I’d love to see the Beatles in 1963, the Grateful Dead in 1968, and Star […]

A Posthumous Woman

After nearly 20 years of non-involvement in filmmaking, last month I enthusiastically un-retired and worked (really worked!) on A Posthumous Woman, starring Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette. Written/directed by my son, Zachary, and his fiancée, Magdalena Zyzak, and filmed at a remote location in the mountains above Silicon Valley, it is 

Guns, Evil, and Insanity

After the Newtown tragedy, Connecticut’s Gov. Dan Malloy said, “Evil visited this community today.” But Adam Lanza was not evil. He was insane. Beyond this obvious assertion, I have nothing special or unique to add. But two women do. One is my daughter, Julia Quinn, a wise and caring individual. The other is Liza Long, […]

Motivating Your Children

Posted on the refrigerator. ‘Nuff sed. – – – – – – – – – –

Hurray for Boredom!

When I was child, a protestation that I was bored or had nothing to do always got the same response from my father. “Go bang your head against the wall.” The absurdity of his suggestion was meant to reflect back to me the absurdity of my complaint. He was really saying, “Think harder, son. There […]

Two Lives in a Small Town

The following, in Shonnie Brown’s “Neighbors” column, appeared in The Healdsburg Tribune, our local weekly, on February 9, 2012. [Most of the images were not in the original.] *     *     *     *     * Ann, born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, has the dubious distinction of attending high school with both Dick and Lynne Cheney and […]

Ruth Lilly Fellowships in Poetry — 2011

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and “an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture,” has announced the five recipients of Ruth Lilly Fellowships for 2011. My son, Theodore Zachary Cotler, was one of the winners. Quoting from the Poetry Foundations’s website: The editors of Poetry magazine selected […]

Shoe Polish and History…Repeating

A guest post by my oldest child, Emily. *     *     *     *     * I had this memory of my father. I was very young, and he was shining shoes. I well-remembered the smell, and the mess, and how careful he was with the polish in the little tubs. Everything was kept in a shoebox, and […]