The tribute to Mike Rose keeps pouring in, so I will continue to post them.You can read previous tributes Rebecca Weaver and Harvey J Graff.-John Warner

Commemorate Mike Rose by continuing his work
By Elaine Maimon

August 16, 2021

The world of 2021 is too strange. We read life-changing news on social media, and we review the memories of saved email files.

On Monday, August 15th, when I browsed Facebook, I saw a note from the rhetoric/composer Kelly Ritter saying: “Among his many other valuable observations of the so-called basic writer, Mike Rose has a famous assertion that’students float to the goal you set. May we keep this reminder in our collective pockets forever.” I wonder why Kelly used the past tense and replied: ” Mike Ross is wise and inspiring.” Then I scrolled further and found that the past tense was correct. I was shocked.

How can this be? Mike and I were still sending emails on August 3rd-less than two weeks ago.I emailed Mike to thank him for his inspiration back to school Already stipulated I just published an article about adults re-entering higher education.

Mike responded with his perpetual affirmation, enthusiasm and generosity. He extended cordial greetings to my husband Mort and my daughter Gillian. She discovered Mike’s work in graduate school and became a fan of him.

On my 2010 holiday card, I told Mike that Gillian had completed her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Mike emailed: “Hey Gillian, yell on diss!”

On New Year’s Eve in 2012, after Mike read a note about Gillian’s continued admiration on my holiday card, he wrote: “Tell Gillian that she has good taste! (And she’s a sweetheart, say good to my stuff Words.” Mike also sent me a copy of the inscription back to school, The inscription reads as follows: “To Elaine-a deep respect and endless admiration for what you have done for so many people for a long time. Your friend, Mike.” Come back to you immediately, Mike.

Mike and I have been good friends across geography and time for decades. Mike’s 1989 book, Living on the border: America’s ill-prepared struggles and achievements, For those of us who were committed to inclusive education when we were young, it changed the rules of the game. This book tells Mike’s own story that class barriers almost prevented him from receiving an education until a responsive teacher recognized his talents. Living on the border It is now a classic. If you haven’t read it yet, please read it now. If you have read it many years ago, please read it again now, when we recognize the advantages of deprived students.

Over the years, Mike and I have met and interacted at academic conferences. This is how he knew my husband and daughter. Zoom may be suitable for listening to keynote speeches, but nothing can replace the friendship and friendship developed in the corridors and cocktail lounges of conference hotels. Any administrator reading this article who wants to save money after the pandemic by restricting travel, please reconsider. E-mail communication can maintain colleagues and friendships, but personal contact is the foundation.

In an email exchange with Mike in August 2021, I shared with him our big family news-published by our son Allen Dangerous Twilight: Appalachian’s liquidation.

Mike replied, “Well, I was very impressed. When I wrote “Possible Life”, I spent two weeks in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky, and that short time made me feel like this in this terrible book by Vance. The richness of the area violated.”

Mike once again brought life experience to the insights in his book. He told me that he is writing his latest book in depth, and I hope this book will be partially published.

Under the signature of Mike’s most recent email, he inserted the following:

I have some new books:

Ideas at work: Value the intelligence of American workers.10th Anniversary Edition

Why choose a school: Restoring education for all of us-revisions and extensions

Back to school: why everyone should get a second education opportunity–It is now in paperback

Public education under siege, A collection edited with Michael Katz-now in paperback

Visit my website www.mikerosebooks.com And blog www.mikerosebooks.blogspot.com

Last blog post: “The Desk: A short memoir about the power of imagination and language”

I look forward to reading everything on this list. This is the greatness of writer friends, they really live in their own works.

I hope everyone reading this article will do something to commemorate Mike next week to realize his legacy:

  • Find strength and talent in students who have been denied their rights
  • Encourage adults with certain credits but no degree to return to school
  • Encourage a so-called basic writer to write
  • Learn from people outside the academic circle
  • Show sincere kindness to colleagues

In Jewish tradition, we say: “May his memory be a blessing.” Mike, thank you for your blessing to everyone who knows you.


Elaine Maimon, PhD, author Leading academic change: vision, strategy, transformation. She is an outstanding researcher of the Intercurricular Writing Association. Follow Elaine Maimon on Twitter.


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