Posts Tagged ‘Harvard

23
Feb
13

2.23.13 … If we wanted applause, we would have joined the circus …

Lent, kith/kin, Cat – kitchen kitsch,
Rev. Pen Peery, First Presbyterian-Charlotte,  liturgical
stoles, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks
:

photo

When my in-laws sold their beach home
a few years back, one of the “things” I wanted was this silly
statue which was on the entrance hall table next to the guest book.
 It served as a great place to park keys … for a week … A
few years ago, I moved him from my entrance hall table to the
kitchen island and started seasonally decorating him.  Since I
am learning about celebrating  Lent, I took a stab at him for
Lent.  Pen Peery wrote an article in my church’s newsletter
about the meaning of the stoles worn by the ministers … et voila!
 And yes he is holding a finger labyrinth … Cat supports my
Lenten “practice.” I hope no one takes offense …

    Argo (2012),
quotes
:  The Oscars are this weekend and I have
now seen two nominated films: Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
 I liked both.  But my guess is that Argo will win …
universal appeal.

 O’Donnell: If we wanted
applause, we would have joined the circus. via Argo (2012) –
Memorable quotes
.

Argo,
Oscar predictions, Nate Silver, Five Thirty Eight,
NYTimes.com
:  And Nate Silver agrees …

“Argo” has won the top awards given out by
Hollywood directors, producers, actors, writers and editors, all of
whom will also vote for the Oscars. It also won the Bafta (British
Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for Best Picture, whose
membership has significant overlap with the Academy. “Zero Dark
Thirty” may have won slightly more critical acclaim, but the
critics do not vote for the Oscars; the insiders do. And there has
been absolute consensus for “Argo” among the insiders. It would be
an enormous upset if it were to lose. (“Lincoln,” once considered
the front-runner, has been nominated for almost every best picture
award but won none of them. Counting on a comeback would be a bit
like expecting Rudolph W. Giuliani to have resurrected his campaign
in Florida in 2008 after finishing in sixth place everywhere else.)
via Oscar
Predictions, Election-Style –
NYTimes.com
.

Oscars,
MarketWatch
:  Interesting …

A Best Picture win at the Academy Awards is
practically the best advertising a movie can get, experts say,
especially if the studio’s pre-ceremony marketing push is taken
into account. In fact, even a nomination can be worth its weight in
gold. The average winning movie was made on a $17 million budget
and earned $82.5 million at the box office, according to market
research company IBISWorld, and more than half of the winners’ box
office sales occurred after the Best Picture nomination. (The Oscar
statuette itself is gold-plated and worth about $500, according to
Go Banking Rates, a financial services website.) via 10
things the Oscars won’t say –
MarketWatch
.

Becoming
Odyssa, Jennifer Pharr Davis,  the Appalachian
Trail:
 What a treat … could I have done this
at 21 … could i do it now?

With every step she takes, Jennifer
transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of
the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her
thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity,
and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend
on other people to help her in times of need.

via Becoming
Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail: Jennifer Pharr
Davis: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
.

 
  shrimp and Grits, bacon,  Garden
and Gun,  The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen
:
Shrimp and grits + bacon … a marriage made in heaven.

4 oz. slab bacon, cut into large dice
via Shrimp
and Grits Recipe | Garden and Gun
.

Between
digressions on such subjects as the shrimping industry, the 1950
cookbook Charleston Receipts, and even foraging on the streets of
downtown Charleston, the brothers present recipes inspired by Holy
City culinarians past and present. Dishes range from clever
inventions (Frogmore Soup, a chowdery take on the iconic
seafood-and-vegetable boil) to venerable standbys (Hoppin’ John).
And they tackle shrimp and grits with tomato-and-bacon gusto. Their
version of the Lowcountry breakfast staple blends the fortified old
with the best of the streamlined new for a rich stew of ingredients
that still showcases the delicate flavor of fresh shrimp.
via email :
Webview : A Fresh Take on Shrimp and
Grits
.

Chicago,
southern, Garden and Gun
: when  moved to
Chicago in 1999, I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of my
neighbors in Wilmette.  I said numerous times that Southerners
needed to take lessons on “southern hospitality” from Chicagoans.

“You can adopt the city and it doesn’t mind,”
says my friend Jack Davis, a part-time resident who was once the
metropolitan editor of the Chicago Tribune. I know what he
means—for all the tony clubs and the highfalutin landmarks (the Art
Institute, the University of Chicago, the tallest building in the
Western world), there’s an openness and accessibility about the
place that mirrors the plan laid out by Daniel Burnham in 1909.
Burnham gave the city glorious parks and wide boulevards; he
imagined Michigan Avenue as the Champs-Elysées of the Midwest and
he succeeded. He also made it possible to see everything without
craning upward. The skyscraper was invented in Chicago, but it’s
not a remotely vertical place. Not only is Chicago arguably the
most architecturally significant city in America, it’s also the
most architecturally literate. The average citizen knows who Frank
Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe were; he
or she might run into Helmut Jahn at Blackbird. Two of the most
important architectural prizes in the world originate in Chicago,
the Pritzker prize (for modernism) and the Richard H. Driehaus
Prize (for classicism). The citizens are proud of their buildings,
they love their theater troupes and companies (Second City,
Steppenwolf, Lookingglass), they hang out at Millennium Park and
the twenty-four public beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.
They dine in some of the finest restaurants in the world (including
nineteen with Michelin stars), but they’ve also canonized the
Chicago Dog with its sui generis (and seriously delicious) toppings
including sport peppers and an electric-green relish. … If Nora
introduced me to Chicago, I got to know it with Frances. She took
me to lunch at the Women’s Athletic Club, a Beaux Arts landmark
that’s the oldest club of its kind in the country, and arranged a
book signing at another of her clubs, the Casino, housed in a
one-story art-deco building just behind the John Hancock building,
the air rights to which must be worth a fortune. We ate at her
neighborhood Gibsons steakhouse, went to Gene & Georgetti’s
on festive occasions, and lunched—a lot—at her favorite, RL. Over
the years, I grew to love the city’s overlapping neighborhoods and
its uniquely American glamour (one of the sexiest nights of my life
involved not much more than speeding down Lake Shore Drive in a
fast car) almost as much as she did. There is a hole now in the
landscape where Frances used to be, but Chicago will forever remain
my kind of town. via Chicago’s
Southern Soul | Garden and Gun
.

college, Harvard, nap rooms, CU,  Siesta, power
naps, psychiatry, problem-solving skills
:

Harvard’s own research shows the benefits of
power naps. Robert Stickgold, associate professor of psychiatry,
said in the Harvard Health Letter that napping can improve people’s
problem-solving skills. A November 2009 issue of the Harvard Health
Letter recommended 20- to 30-minute naps and endorsed the idea of
having an ideal spot to rest: “You don’t want to waste a lot of
time getting to sleep. Reducing light and noise helps most people
nod off faster. Cool temperatures are helpful, too.” The University
of Colorado-Boulder started its own nap center in 2009 called
“Siesta,” the Daily Camera reported. Some students say they notice
that libraries are doubling as mega nap rooms. “I see, every so
often, people fall asleep in the library, and it’s sort of
inconvenient,” Harvard senior Sam Singer told NBC Boston affiliate
WHDH on Thursday. “And if you live far away from the yard you live
far away from places where your classes might be to go back in the
middle of the day. I know people often talk about taking a nap.”
The University of Texas and the University of California-Davis both
created their own nap maps to plot the best spots to snooze on
campus. Hou told the Globe she plans to create her own nap map
until a siesta center is set up on campus. We can’t say we disagree
with Hou’s idea. We have nap rooms here at The Huffington Post, and
they’re often overbooked. via Harvard
Nap Room Under Consideration After Student’s Petition Finds
Support
.

grilled-cheese
cheesewich, BA Daily, bonappetit.com
: all cheese …

all-grilled-cheese-body2.jpgKOOKERY

Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese
Cheese Cheese via A
Grilled-Cheese Cheesewich, But With Cheese Instead of Bread: BA
Daily: bonappetit.com
.

09
Oct
11

10.9.2011 … road trip continues … fall leaves … NH … road signs … Dartmouth … VT … roads closed due to Irene damage … Middlebury … MA … Stewart’s … MOOSE ALERT!

road trip: Day 2 …

NH, Dartmouth College Mixed message at NH State Liquor Store Rest Area.

.

Dartmouth College …

Dartmouth College has forged a singular identity. A member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth is a small, student-centered, undergraduate and graduate College, with three leading professional schools – Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. It is known for its commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. Dartmouth also awards degrees through the doctorate in 17 Arts and Sciences graduate programs and the professional schools.

via Dartmouth College.

At Dartmouth, people are forging close connections. Intense involvement in athletics, service, and other activities fosters collaboration and camaraderie. Our students enjoy personal contact with faculty both in and out of the classroom. Undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct original research and work one-on-one with faculty who are at the leading edge of their fields. This unique level of personal interaction and the opportunity to create new knowledge is a signature of our graduate and professional programs as well.

All of this takes place in an ideal environment for learning. Located on the Connecticut River and surrounded by the White Mountains, our campus offers the most beautiful natural scenery in the Ivy League. But our reach extends far beyond Hanover. With two-thirds of Dartmouth students taking part in our 60 foreign–study and exchange programs, the world is our campus. Our intimate setting encourages focus. Programs in Hanover and abroad encourage a global perspective. It’s a powerful combination.

via Dartmouth – About Dartmouth.

Our take … unique charm, great library, beautiful campus, park integrates university and town, unusual quarter system requiring summer after sophomore year, great professors, students love the school and nice small town sith a few fun restaurants, great international programs … Mollys Restaurant & Bar …

VT, Middlebury  College:  After a very difficult drive from Dartmouth to Middlebury  College due to road closings from Irene damage…

We expect our graduates to be thoughtful and ethical leaders able to meet the challenges of informed citizenship both in their communities and as world citizens. They should be independent thinkers, committed to service, with the courage to follow their convictions and to accept responsibility for their actions. They should be skilled in the use of language, and in the analysis of evidence, in whatever context it may present itself. They should be physically active, mentally disciplined, and motivated to continue learning. Most important, they should be both grounded in an understanding of the Western intellectual tradition that has shaped this College, and educated so as to comprehend and appreciate cultures, ideas, societies, traditions, and values that may be less immediately familiar to them.

via About Middlebury | Middlebury.

Our Take … literally, in the middle of no where … beautiful granite buildings, “meet me at the dog” story,  the current artwork at the museum, students reserved … but pleasant.

MA: More Irene related road closings as we try to get to US 22 to head down near Williams … Note: There must be 50 Stewart’s Ice Cream and Convenience Marts on US 22.

We stayed Great Barrington MA in the Berkshires.  Oh, and I like my moose alert!

Overall a great road trip so far!

Steve Jobs:  last days … what’s important.

Late last night, long hours after the news broke that he was gone, my thoughts returned to those grass stains on his shoes back in June. I realize only now why they caught my eye. Those grass stained sneakers were the product of limited time, well spent. And so the story I’ve told myself is this:

I like to think that in the run-up to his final keynote, Steve made time for a long, peaceful walk. Somewhere beautiful, where there are no footpaths and the grass grows thick. Hand-in-hand with his wife and family, the sun warm on their backs, smiles on their faces, love in their hearts, at peace with their fate.

via Daring Fireball: Universe Dented, Grass Underfoot.

Steven Pinker, Better Angels of Our Nature, coincidences:  While touring Yale with our great guide Katie she mentioned a master’s tea with Steven Pinker and what a great experience that was.  I knew I had recently heard the name … and it was in connect ion with his new book Better Angels of Our Nature  that I realized this man must have amazing breadth of knowlege ( “To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement”)

“The Better Angels of Our Nature” is a supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement. Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline. But what of the future? Our improved understanding of violence, of which Pinker’s book is an example, can be a valuable tool to maintain peace and reduce crime, but other factors are in play. Pinker is an optimist, but he knows that there is no guarantee that the trends he has documented will continue.

via Book Review Podcast: Steven Pinker’s ‘Better Angels of Our Nature’ – NYTimes.com.

Occupy Wall Street: Surprise, surprise … OWS  chafes its neighbors.

Panini and Company Cafe normally sells sandwiches to tourists in Lower Manhattan and the residents nearby, but in recent days its owner, Stacey Tzortzatos, has also become something of a restroom monitor. Protesters from Occupy Wall Street, who are encamped in a nearby park, have been tromping in by the scores, and not because they are hungry.

The protesters are getting more attention and expanding outside New York. What are they doing right, and what are they missing?

Stacey Tzortzatos of Panini and Company Cafe secures the key to the bathroom, which had been a favorite of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street.

Ms. Tzortzatos’s tolerance for the newcomers finally vanished when the sink was broken and fell to the floor. She installed a $200 lock on the bathroom to thwart nonpaying customers, angering the protesters.

“I’m looked at as the enemy of the people,” she said.

The anticorporate participants in Occupy Wall Street, which began three weeks ago, say they have no intention of leaving soon. The protest has been building in size, with sister demonstrations erupting in other cities, and politicians, labor leaders and celebrities adding their support. But for many neighborhood businesses, the protest’s end cannot come soon enough. In interviews, business owners said they were especially annoyed that the organizers of the grass-roots movement neglected to include portable toilets in their plan to bring down Wall Street.

Residents, too, say they are losing patience.

Mothers have grown weary of navigating strollers through the maze of barricades that have sprouted along the streets. Toddlers have been roused from sleep just after bedtime by chanting and pounding drums.

Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless. “It’s been three weeks now,” Ms. Amato said. “Enough is enough.”

via Occupy Wall Street Begins to Chafe Its Neighbors – NYTimes.com.

Apple, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook:  Interesting analysis of Apple’s two types of products: unicorns v. wheels

The first type of product is the most familiar and is exemplified by Steve Jobs: Apple makes magical products that shape entire industries and modify social structures in significant ways. These are the bold strokes that combine technology with design in a way that’s almost artistic: Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. When they were introduced, these products were new and exciting and no one quite knew where those products were going to take us (Apple included). That’s what people want to see when they go to Apple events: Steve Jobs holding up a rainbow-hued unicorn that you can purchase for your very own.

The second type of product is less noticed and perhaps is best exemplified by Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook: identify products and services that work, continually refine them, innovate at the margins (the addition of Siri to the iPhone 4S is a good example of this), build interconnecting ecosystems around them, and put processes and infrastructure in place to produce ever more of these items at lower cost and higher profit. The wheel has been invented; now we’ll perfect it. This is where Apple is at with the iPhone now, a conceptually solved problem: people know what they are, what they’re used for, and Apple’s gonna knuckle down and crank out ever better/faster/smarter versions of them in the future. Many of Apple’s current products are like this, better than they have ever been, more popular than they have ever been, but there’s nothing magical about them anymore: iPhone 4S, iPod, OS X, iMacs, Macbooks, etc.

The exciting thing about this second type of product, for investors and consumers alike, is Apple is now expert at capturing their lightning in a bottle. ‘Twas not always so…Apple wasn’t able to properly capitalize on the success of the Macintosh and it almost killed the company. What Tim Cook ultimately held up at Apple’s event yesterday is a promise: there won’t be a return to the Apple of the 1990s, when the mighty Macintosh devolved into a flaky, slow, and (adding insult to injury) expensive klunker and they couldn’t decide on a future direction for their operating system (remember Copland?). There will be an iPhone 5 in the future and it will be better than the iPhone 4S in significant & meaningful ways but it will also *just work*. And while that might be a bit boring to Apple event watchers, this interconnected web of products is the thing that makes the continued development of the new and magical products possible.

via Unicorns and wheels: Apple’s two types of products.

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry:  So technocratic or good old boy with low intellect …

Mitt Romney is running for President as the candidate best equipped to repair the U.S. economy. Romney’s pitch is that turning around the economy isn’t so different from turning around businesses, as he did at Bain Capital, or turning around the failing 2002 winter Olympics. As the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, the man is a technocrat, and his appeal is that he has the smarts to solve big economic and organizational problems. It’s true that voters don’t always fall for technocrats. But for now, this is the approach Romney is banking on.

The flip side of Romney’s argument is that his chief rival, Texas governor Rick Perry, lacks the managerial chops–and, yes, the brains–to do the job. Case in point: Check out the mock Perry economic plan that the Romney campaign has released. Its cover image features a goofy-looking Perry firing a six-shooter in the air beside a pair of cowboy boots, the image of a parochial Texan. Most of the document’s interior pages are blank. Others feature derisive quotes about Perry’s debate performances, including Peggy Noonan describing the Texan as a “buffoon,” and a few quotes from Perry’s own mouth that are, shall we say, short of Churchillian. (“I’ll take out, probably a sharpie, and sign my name to an Executive Order that will wipe out as much of Obamacare as I can.”)

The Romney campaign would surely like me to point out here that they have released ta detailed 59-point economic plan, whereas Perry has delivered just one broad domestic policy speech.  Of course, detail is only worth so much in a campaign. Barack Obama’s 2008 health care plan, remember, excluded an individual insurance mandate. But the larger point could be a damaging one. It’s true that George W. Bush survived teasing about his intellect during the 2000 campaign. But America was at a much calmer and happier point back then (sigh), and people seemed as concerned with character as they did with competence. Al Gore the technocrat lost out to the man who promised to restore honor and dignity to the Oval Office. This primary season, Romney is hoping that a technocrat can beat a strong personality.

via The Flipside of Romney’s Technocratic Campaign: Impugning Perry’s Intellect | Swampland | TIME.com.

Bones, Season 7 spoilers, Season 6 bloopers:  Enjoy!

All told, save for a slightly (OK, very) obvious murder suspect, it’s a perfect season opener that is sure to please fans who fretted the show would skip right past any “relationshippy” moments between B&B. Now hold tight, Nov. 3 will be here soon enough.

via Bones: 7 Scoopy Bits From Season 7’s Premiere – TVLine.

Bones season 6 bloopers – YouTube.

Harvard,  World’s Best Schools, list:  Sorry, Harvard. 😦

Harvard has toppled off its lofty perch. On Thursday, Times Higher Education (THE) published its annual list of the world’s best colleges, and there’s a new frontrunner in the game. California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, snagged the top spot, beating the Harvard Crimson in a geeky, intellectual Ph.D. face-off.

Relegated to second place, Harvard actually shares the spot with Stanford. The rest of the list is mainly dominated by other U.S. and British institutions, with only two appearances from other countries in the top 20 (namely, Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology and Canada’s University of Toronto).

It is the first time in eight years that Harvard isn’t numero uno, but hey, there’s always next year.

The world’s top 10 universities:

California Institute of Technology

Harvard University / Stanford University

University of Oxford

Princeton University

University of Cambridge

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Imperial College

University of Chicago

University of California, Berkeley

via Harvard Is No Longer the World’s Best School — On One List, at Least – TIME NewsFeed.

All Hallows’ Eve,  All Souls’ Day, Halloween, history:  Love this history … thank you  Wonders & Marvels.

Dusk which falls early, cooler winds which rise, dry leaves rustling around old gravestones. This last day of October, known as All Saints’ Eve or All Hallows’ Eve (now called Halloween), was a somber season, marking the very ending of the warmth of the earth and the long entry into a cold winter. Its ancient customs are a haunted mixture of Christian and pagan.

Originally celebrated in the middle of lovely May, All Hallows’ Eve was only moved to its present drearier date about eight hundred years ago.

It was a religious eve. In some parts of Europe, bells rang out at dusk for departed souls and people lit candles on graveyard tombs and left them burning all night in the darkness and solitude of the cemetery. In rural Brittany, four men would go from farmhouse to farmhouse ringing bells, asking prayers for departed souls. According to Polish custom, ghosts haunted empty churches at midnight. People would courteously leave windows and doors open the next day in case a ghost wished to come in.

All Hallows’ Eve is derived from the Celtic Night of the Dead. The Celtic people divided the year by four major holidays. The festival observed at this time was called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween); the Celts believed that this night, the souls of those who had died this past year were traveling their lonely way to the other world, and thus, for those few hours, division between this mortal world and the world to come all but vanished. Ghosts could walk the world and did.

In medieval England, on the 2nd of November (All Soul’s Day), children and the poor went “a-souling,” going from door to door to beg for a special little cake, marked with a Cross, called a soul cake. Each cake eaten would free a soul from Purgatory which, if you look at any medieval church painting, was a pretty terrible place. Turnips were also carved into lanterns as a way of remembering the dead. Soul cakes were left in graveyards to feed the dead and prevent any mischief they might be contemplating.

But why were the dead seen as malevolent? Perhaps because they so envied the living who were sitting home by their fires drinking warm ale? Was this the beginning of Gothic horror tales, stories of vampires and the dead arisen?

What do you think?

via All Hallows’ Eve and All Souls’ Day | Wonders & Marvels.

15
Sep
11

9.15.2011 … still waiting for fall …

college life, expectations, privacy, Harvard:  I’m impressed … things that were once assumed are now expressed.  To some extent we have come full circle … with the added concept of freedom of expression  and privacy rights.  Still I think for many students having this “understood” as an expectation is appropriate.

When the members of the class of 2015 arrived at Harvard College this fall, they encountered a novel bit of moral education. Their dorm proctors — the grad students who live with freshmen to provide guidance and enforce discipline — invited each student to sign a pledge developed by the Freshman Dean’s Office. It reads, in full:

“At Commencement, the Dean of Harvard College announces to the President, Fellows, and Overseers that ‘each degree candidate stands ready to advance knowledge, to promote understanding, and to serve society.’ That message serves as a kind of moral compass for the education Harvard College imparts. In the classroom, in extracurricular endeavors, and in the Yard and Houses, students are expected to act with integrity, respect, and industry, and to sustain a community characterized by inclusiveness and civility.

“As we begin at Harvard, we commit to upholding the values of the College and to making the entryway and Yard a place where all can thrive and where the exercise of kindness holds a place on par with intellectual attainment.”

The original plan was to post the pledge in each dorm entryway, along with the names and signatures of the students living there. Although signing was supposed to be voluntary, any dissent would have been obvious.

The posting constituted “an act of public shaming,” Harry R. Lewis, a computer science professor and former dean of Harvard College, wrote in a blog post condemning the pledge. Some students signed because they felt they had to — a completely predictable, yet somehow unforeseen, result that Tom Dingman, the dean of freshmen, says is “against the spirit of the pledge.” The signatures will no longer be posted.

Yet what the Harvard Crimson dubs the “freshman kindness pledge” remains in place. The vast majority of freshmen, and the college itself, have formally declared that “the exercise of kindness” is “on par with intellectual attainment.” Both parts of that equation are odd, and they are odd in ways that suggest something has gone awry at Harvard.

via Harvard Pledge Values ‘Kindness’ Over Learning: Virginia Postrel – Bloomberg.

women in literature, “bitches”: “Margaret Mitchell did for bitchery what Edgar Allan Poe did for murder — she made it respectable.”

In Shakespeare’s comedy, a shrew is known by her “impatient humour,” a “chattering tongue,” “scolding” and “waspish,” bandying “word for word and frown for frown.” She is “froward, peevish, sullen, sour,” and “not obedient to [her husband’s] honest will.” In the end, of course, the shrew is tamed. She places her hand below her husband’s foot.

On the literary level it would be a long time before women, in Gershon Legman’s phrase, carried the war into the camp of the enemy. In his foul-mouthed study of censorship Love and Death, Legman frankly calls the shrew, the “spirited” woman, by a different name:

The bitch has been here before. She was never gone. But, for our generation, first in Gone With the Wind in 1936 was she made a heroine. Margaret Mitchell did for bitchery what Edgar Allan Poe did for murder — she made it respectable.

David Plante suggested a less inflammatory term. His 1983 memoir of Jean Rhys, Germaine Greer, and Sonia Brownell Orwell was called Difficult Women. Whether a woman or man is doing the calling makes a difference. But given her literary pedigree, the not-so-nice woman (whatever she ends up being called) ought to be fair game for male authors as well as female.

via Wicked (or, at Least, Difficult) Women in Literature « Commentary Magazine.

professions, pastoral care:  Ministers are professionals … goes back to the original definition of the word.

The truth is that I couldn’t tell her where I’d been doing Monday without possibly breaking a confidence.  I had been in court with someone about a very sensitive issue and it was too small a congregation and too small a town to say much about that.  Anybody could have easily guessed who was in court and why.  No, I couldn’t check my messages.  I was a character witness and needed to stay in the courtroom all day.  And no I didn’t go by the church building to check messages after court because I was exhausted and went straight home to bed.

These kinds of things – private pastoral things – happen all the time if you are a good pastor.  But the problem is that most people do not see us in courtrooms or offices or jail cells.  And if they don’t see us working, they may not believe we are working.

I once knew a church volunteer who expected me to be in the church building when she was in the church building.  Otherwise, I must not be working.  Many good pastors actually work the most hours out in the world – in hospitals and coffee shops and homes.  Nobody follows us around and watches what we do.  We only work with an audience on Sunday mornings or when we teach classes and lead meetings.

Sometimes we can’t even tell people what we did on a given day.  And – just like a new parent whose day flies by without much obvious accomplishment after a mountain of small tasks were achieved – there are some days in a clergyperson’s life when administrivia wins.  No sermon was written.  No visits were made.  But, by golly, 30 e-mails were answered and two monthly reports were written and the mail was sorted.

In my current job, I hear parishioners who share that their pastors “don’t do anything.“  That’s possible.  But it’s also possible that their pastor could be sitting with a mentally ill person in the hospital or driving a homeless family to the shelter in the next town.  Sometimes pastors do things that most parishioners can’t even know about.

And this is why it’s lovely to send your pastor a token of your appreciation when he or she retires or moves on.  (See yesterday’s post.)

via What Exactly Do You Do All Day? | achurchforstarvingartists.

Casey Anthony, criminal acts, consequences:  I never have understood exactly how this works.

Casey Anthony must pay almost $100,000 in law enforcement costs for investigating the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, a Florida judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Belvin Perry’s ruling on Thursday was less than the $500,000 that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in Orlando were seeking, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

Perry said the costs should only cover the period when detectives were investigating a missing person and not the homicide investigation, which is a sum of $97, 676.

Anthony was acquitted in July of murdering Caylee, but she was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to authorities. She told officers a baby sitter had kidnapped the toddler. Although, later authorities learned the baby sitter never existed.

Anthony, 25, must pay the Florida Department of Law Enforcement $61,505. 12; the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation $10,283.90; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office $25,837.96. She also has to pay $50 to the state of Florida for the cost of prosecuting the misdemeanor convictions.

According to the order, Anthony may have to pay more money to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Perry asked to receive more detailed expense reports from the agency by 4 p.m. Monday.

Anthony is currently serving probation at an undisclosed location in Florida for unrelated check fraud charges. She is being hidden for her safety since she received death threats after her acquittal.

via Casey Anthony ordered to pay $97k to state of Florida – Crimesider – CBS News.

politics, democrats v. republicans, American Jobs Act, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R), uncivil acts, President Obama:  Jerk …

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is no fan of President Obama’s “American Jobs Act,” but he does, apparently, think the name is pretty catchy.

The Texas lawmaker introduced his own jobs bill on Wednesday, and he gave it the exact same name as the president’s bill. Gohmert says his bill will create jobs simply by taking the corporate tax rate to zero.

“After waiting to see what the president would actually put into legislative language, and then waiting to see if anybody would actually introduce the president’s bill in the House, today I took the initiative and introduced the ‘American Jobs Act of 2011,'” Gohmert said in a statement. “It is a very simple bill, which will eliminate the corporate tax which serves as a tariff that our American companies pay on goods they produce here in America.”

Mr. Obama’s bill was introduced in the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a day earlier.

While Gohmert’s bill may steal a bit of the spotlight from Mr. Obama’s “American Jobs Act,” it can’t steal the actual name — there are no House rules prohibiting two different bills from sharing a name. Bills typically have a long, formal name and a short, informal name — two different pieces of legislation may share either. It would just be confusing.

Gohmert argues his version of the “American Jobs Act” is better, for one thing, because it’s simpler — it clocks in at two pages, versus 155 pages for Mr. Obama’s bill. On top of that, he says it will be more effective, instantly making America “a safe haven for businesses resulting in an explosion in revenue increases.”

via Two “American Jobs Act” bills — GOP lawmaker swipes Obama’s bill name – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

education, international living, extreme schooling, cultural barriers, language barriers, parenting:  I loved this article … the agony of the parents and the determination to finish what was started.  And success in the end!

My three children once were among the coddled offspring of Park Slope, Brooklyn. But when I became a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, my wife and I decided that we wanted to immerse them in life abroad. No international schools where the instruction is in English. Ours would go to a local one, with real Russians. When we told friends in Brooklyn of our plans, they tended to say things like, Wow, you’re so brave. But we knew what they were really thinking: What are you, crazy? It was bad enough that we were abandoning beloved Park Slope, with its brownstones and organic coffee bars, for a country still often seen in the American imagination as callous and forbidding. To throw our kids into a Russian school — that seemed like child abuse.

Most foreign correspondents, like expatriates in general, place their children in international schools. Yet it seemed to us like an inspiring idea. After all, children supposedly pick up language quickly. So what if mine did not speak a word of Russian and could not find Russia on a map. They were clever and resilient. They would adapt, become fluent and penetrate Russia — land of Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky, the Bolshoi Ballet and the Hermitage Museum — in ways all but impossible for foreigners.

But the fantasy of creating bilingual prodigies immediately collided with reality. My children — Danya (fifth grade), Arden (third grade) and Emmett (kindergarten) — were among the first foreigners to attend Novaya Gumanitarnaya Shkola, the New Humanitarian School. All instruction was in Russian. No translators, no hand-holding. And so on that morning, as on so many days that autumn of 2007, I feared that I was subjecting them to a cross-cultural experiment that would scar them forever.

And then, after five years in Russia, it was time to return to Brooklyn.

Danya, now nearly 14, was ambivalent about leaving, drawn toward being a teenager in New York City. But Arden and Emmett would have gladly stayed. “I feel like I’m tugged in two ways, and I have no idea what to do,” Arden told me last spring. “That’s the one problem with living abroad. You end up getting those weird feelings like, Oh, I can’t leave; I can’t stay.”

On the kids’ final day, Bogin called an assembly to wish them goodbye. He started praising them for all they had overcome but then stopped. This, too, would not be just a lecture.

“What would we not have had if these three had not been here?” he asked. “How did they enrich our school?”

“Theater!” someone shouted back.

“The school newspaper!”

“Great friendships!”

A chant began. “Spa-si-bo! Spa-si-bo!” (“Thank you!”)

Some teachers and children had tears in their eyes.

I went onstage to express my deep appreciation but was too choked up to speak. Suddenly, Arden strode forward and took the microphone. In confident and flawless Russian, she thanked the school for all of us.

via My Family’s Experiment in Extreme Schooling – NYTimes.com.

Goddard College, unconventional learning, alternate learning:  Another success story …

Someone like Rod Crossman, at his stage in life and with his professional success, doesn’t often seek a way to reinvent himself. Yet Mr. Crossman—a painter, an assistant professor, and an artist in residence at Indiana Wesleyan University—felt that he was merely churning out pretty work to hang on gallery walls, increasingly feeling a schism between where his career had taken him and where his passion was telling him to go.

“My art practice had become marooned in the place where it was not connected to the world,” he says. “There were issues that my students were facing, and I didn’t think I had the tools to help them navigate those problems. Some of the issues they were facing were just the challenges of the world that we live in.” He wanted an interdisciplinary M.F.A. to reinvigorate his work at Indiana Wesleyan, where he has taught for 30 years.

He found a tiny college in rural Vermont that has blown itself up and emerged anew time and again: Goddard College. The birthplace of some important academic innovations, it has long bucked traditional notions of higher education and, like many experimental colleges, flirted with financial ruin. Its latest transformation may be its most remarkable: Reaching a nadir in its financial health in the early 2000s, it did what many colleges would consider unthinkable. The college shut down its storied, core residential program and adopted its low-residency adult program as its sole campus offering. It has since re-emerged with 10-year accreditation, the highest number of students in decades, money to spend on refurbishing its campus, a new campus in Port Townsend, Wash., and plans to expand its programs to other cities across the country. One administrator put the college’s turnaround in perspective: Today, Goddard is getting a $2-million loan to build a biomass plant, but 10 years ago the college couldn’t have gotten a car loan.

Innovation is the buzzword of higher education these days. People talk about leveraging technology and scaling up, about treating faculty members like hired guns, and about adopting industrial models to bring down costs and ramp up “production.” All of it in a bid to offer more college degrees—more cheaply, more quickly, and some worry, of a lower quality.

None of that is happening here. Goddard faculty members, who do not have tenure but are unionized, seem fiercely devoted to the college. Students say their open-ended studies are among the most rigorous they have ever experienced. And Goddard’s president, Barbara Vacarr, is downright heretical when asked how higher education can scale up and give more Americans college degrees.

via Goddard College’s Unconventional Path to Survival – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Marine Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor, President Obama, White House, Beer with the President, media distortions, journalism:  “It would be nice to be able to post a photo of the president having a beer with a Marine without being beseiged with snark. #GrowUp,” … Media went too far on this one.  Kudos to Dakota Meyer.

 

When White House staff contacted him to arrange the ceremony, Meyer asked if he could have a beer with Obama, and the president invited him to the White House on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Carney posted a picture on his Twitter account of Obama and Meyer, both in shirtsleeves and ties, sitting at a metal patio table, each with a clear glass mug of ale. Several members of the White House press corps then “re-tweeted” the picture, which was taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza. Among them were Jake Tapper of ABC News, who has more than 138,000 Twitter followers, and Ed Henry of Fox News, who has more than 35,000.

Many of the followers chimed in, with most offering praise for the photo and the president’s hospitality. But some others apparently offered more cynical comments about the event being a staged photo-op for Obama.

It didn’t take long for the usually combative White House reporters to stick up for the embattled president on this one.

“It would be nice to be able to post a photo of the president having a beer with a Marine without being beseiged with snark. #GrowUp,” Tapper later wrote on his account.

Henry wrote: “Come on folks, just because WH released a photo of President’s beer w/Dakota Meyer doesn’t mean its ‘just a photo-op’”

Then he added: “Surely you can disagree with President on issues, if that’s how you feel, but still appreciate him recognizing uncommon valor by a Marine”

via Obama has beer with Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, sparking debate between critics, reporters – 44 – The Washington Post.





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