Eight years ago, at the age of 35, Philip Simmons was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig disease. The disease is degenerative, with no cure. Simmons has lived longer with the disease than most. He written a new collection of essays, Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life (Homefarm Books). Simmons is a professor of English at Lake Forest College in Illinois.