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Donovan Wheeler

Wheeler proudly teaches AP Literature and AP Language to some bright and lovably obnoxious kids in a small college town. He is the senior editor for the craft beer website Indiana on Tap and writes to ISU's STATE Magazine. Since putting in a pool he can now dive in head first (with goggles), and he has mostly stopped throwing golf clubs, but he still hates to fly.

My Relationship with Air Travel

I was 35 years old when I stepped onto an airplane for the first time.  When I tell people that, about half of them pop their eyes in disbelief.  The other half shrug their shoulders and say something to the effect of, “Yeah…I get that.”  I’ve been a rural Hoosier …

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Falling Victim to the Artful Dodger

Maybe if the thieves hadn’t pick-pocketed Wendi’s purse, my feelings about London would be different.  The fact remains, however, that they did.  London, consequently, proved a rotten place to visit. It happened in that literal “blink of an eye.”  Standing near the Wellington Arch in London’s Hyde Park, my fiancée, …

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The Roadie Awards – Best of the Decade

Hey folks,   Donovan, here. I started National Road Magazine five years ago this month. I sat in the former Swizzle Stick Bar in Greencastle, listening to War Radio on a quiet, winter “First Friday,” when I turned to my fiancee, Wendi, and told her I was going to write …

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Heartbreak at Abbey Road

Standing at Abbey Road does create a slight connection to that moment fifty years ago, but it also demonstrates Time’s power to wall us off from history. Ten years ago, I signed onto Beatlemania.  I was 40 at the time browsing the aisles at a nearby Best Buy when I …

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Three Seconds in Sweden: What I Learned About Race

I have always considered myself a tolerant, open-minded progressive.  Life in the United States perpetuated that myth, allowing me to remain ignorant of my biases, especially those regarding race.  But my first day in Sweden ripped that illusion to shreds. It happened in the span of three seconds.  Standing in …

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How the Ed-Reformers Blew It: Four Massive Screw-Ups

After arguing for decades that “schools should be run like businesses” Indiana’s education reformers simply swapped out one bureaucracy for a vastly more complex substitute.  They failed.  They blew it. Now, they’re getting you mad at me, so that you won’t turn your pitchforks on them. It was the grand …

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Vignettes: The Flatland Harmony Experiment

copy by Donovan Wheeler featured image by Amanda Cannon Photography The Flatland Harmony Experiment is one of the first bands I should have written about when I launched this site almost five years ago.  Why they never were will remain a “head-scratcher” for a long time.  At the local and …

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The Myths of Swedish Socialism

I can’t tell you what’s different between a visit to a Swedish or American doctor.  I can tell you, however, that when I hear Americans use the word “socialism” to describe places like Sweden, they’re getting it wrong.  Both sides are getting it wrong. For me the problem is always …

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Why Trains are Better than Cars

In Sweden, I saw the kind of train and rail system we would probably have here in Indiana had we not dismantled it in order to sell cars and build Interstate highways.  It’s a choice with a far-reaching impact, one that often keeps me home rather than traveling around the …

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