Teaching Teachers How to Teach

I remember the first time a teacher was wrong. I was in third grade and attending Sunday school classes at a local church. I was the only student in the class with a non-Catholic parent. (What what, Jewish dad!) This particular Sunday, our teacher was out sick and was replaced by the kindly older gentleman who ran the program. In discussing Jesus and how the cool thing about going to confession is that if you get hit by a bus right afterward (and haven’t masturbated yet), you go straight to heaven, this nice old man said that “the rabbis killed Jesus because they were jealous.” Continue reading

To Teach the Privileged or the Under-Privileged, That Is the Question”¦

I feel that in many ways, my life is a struggle between my nobler instincts of selflessness and altruism and being a lazy, selfish, bitch. This dilemma manifests itself in many ways: do I give my peanut-butter sandwich that was to be my breakfast to the homeless man who has built a cardboard lean-to next to my subway station? Should I be more proactive in my desire to volunteer as an escort for Planned Parenthood, or should I procrastinate and enjoy not being shot? Should I donate my too-small or unfashionable clothes to Goodwill, or keep them in hopes that I lose weight or that sparkly velvet dresses come back in style? Continue reading

Badass Ladies of History: Decca Mitford, Part 2

When we last left our heroes, Decca and Esmond were grieving the death of their infant daughter Julia. Months after their daughter’s death, the Romillys decided to emigrate to the United States. In loving Esmond, Decca lost her father, her closest sisters, many material comforts she was accustomed to, and suffered the death of a child. Would she be also willing to give up her home country? To Decca, if she was with Esmond, fighting “the good fight,” she was in the best home she would ever know.
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Badass Ladies in American Religious History: Coming to Jesus

Since the first Great Awakening in the mid-17th century, physical experience has been central to religious life in the United States. Before preachers like George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards roamed the countryside, religious experience was staid and intellectual. Before Whitefield and Edwards, the role of women in religious life was constrained. But after the revival culture sprung up, religious experience became ecstatic and physical and the Holy Spirit did not discriminate by gender. Continue reading

Badass Ladies of History: Decca Mitford (pt 1)

Young women today are spoiled for choice in role models. The philanthropic can look to Jane Addams or Ethel Kennedy, the civic-minded may find heroes in Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton (or perhaps Leslie Knope), and aspiring scientists can get into Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, or even Hedy Lamarr. And with every passing day, more and more exemplary women are making names for themselves and will no doubt inspire future generations of passionate and brilliant ladies.
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Campfire Tales

The reasons I hated the Sioux-Ute dance were sevenfold:

1. The music would be deafening and of the Lil’ Wayne and Jonas Brothers variety.
2. I would spend the evening policing the furtive grindings of 14-year-olds and the night patrolling the camp grounds for secret rendezvous.
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We Try It: The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps was the first Hitchcock thriller I ever saw. As part of my father’s epic plan to make me a cultured member of society (a plan that also included road-trip re-tellings of the plots to Guys and Dolls and Hello Dolly), he borrowed the classic thriller from our town library and sat my sister and I in front of the TV. Continue reading

A Sun-baked, Star-sanctioned Romance.

On the basketball court, a dewy lacquer coated our skin. The ball slapped between their palms and the floor. I was merely an observer. I followed the ball with my eyes, not my feet. Every bounce, every word, reverberated from the far wall of the empty gym, creating in our ears and in our minds a concurrent game, a second delayed. I envied their motions, their assuredness. Continue reading