National Vietnam War Veterans Day recognizes veterans who served in the US military during the Vietnam War – observed annually March 29.
It’s one thing to return to a place for the sake of your own memories, quite another to go there on the pretext of someone else’s, to walk through their shadows and rekindle their nightmares. As a member of the subsequent generation, the Vietnam War is not a living memory for me, much like the East-West divide and Berlin Wall are not so much defining moments in cultural identity for today’s German teenagers as they are fodder for museum exhibits and high school history exams. Even as someone raised in part by a Vietnam War veteran, somehow, the war was something that just simply was, a small, if persistent, shadow in the background of our lives.Continue reading Honoring Vietnam War Veterans – Jenna Spain Hurley→
LATEBREAKINGNEWS: The college admissions scandal, in which 50 people including celebrities have been indicted for scheming to get the children of rich and privileged parents into top schools. It involves parents who, prosecutors allege, bribed and cheated their kids’ way into prestigious universities.
A mother’s remorse: My daughter received multiple mailings from Stanford, Harvard, Yale and other prestigious schools based on her high SAT scores as a 10th grader. Her dream was to apply to Stanford. She decided to focus on academics and her musical instrument, and practiced hours each day in order to achieve a skill level high enough to be accepted via auditions into the most competitive youth orchestra in the entire southeast United States. She focused on volunteer work with a group providing music enrichment to under-privileged children and started attending a state school as a dual-enrollment student when she was a senior in high school. Her academics were stellar, and her final SAT scores were exceptional (good enough to earn her the same scholarship that valedictorians get in our state). She was contacted for interviews at Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton, as well as several other prestigious schools but she was devastated to receive rejections from those schools that had given her some hope. As a parent, I am angry! We spent so much time and energy on her applications and extra activities. We are just a middle-class family, but it was an amazing idea to dream that our daughter could get accepted to one of these schools. Seeing the news yesterday made me sick to my stomach. All the hard work that my daughter did was never going to be enough to overcome the privilege that those kids are born with. I tried as hard as I could as a parent to try to level the playing field for her but it turns out it is much more unequal than I ever could have imagined. – A white mom, March 13, 2019
Sadie Hawkins Day! I didn’t know anything about it. The vibrations though with which the name permeates our culture and whatever the holiday celebrates have always seemed a wee bit strange and but also lighthearted. It is celebrated on November 13th and since today is November 13th I feel oddly compelled to inform myself of the wisdom or lack of wisdom passed on by this “Holiday.” It would appear to be a very American holiday, but the Scots and my Irish ancestors might argue with that since they celebrate something comparable on February 29th called of course “Leap Year.” But that is another story!
The Sadie Hawkins Story
The American story is that Al Capp, a famous and brilliant cartoon artist of the last century,3 depicted in his daily cartoon, Lil Abner, the trials and tribulations of a hillbilly town called Dogpatch. The most powerful and the richest man in Dogpatch was named Hezekiah Hawkins who had a daughter named Sadie and at the advanced age of 35 she had not married. Sadie was also “the homeliest gal in all them hills” and her father was scared that she would spend her life at home as a spinster, a terrible and humiliating fate for any woman in Dogpatch.
How Silatech created 600 jobs for women in Somalia … An update on International Women’s Day, a day that recognizes the social, cultural, and economic achievements of women. Once celebrated in only a few countries where women fought for equality, the event has now spread to all groups, countries, and organizations everywhere.
In Lahore, Pakistan, NPR followed the women in their first-ever march for equal rights on International Women’s Day. Hundreds of women came together for the same reason, giving women a proper education so they can obtain successful careers. Journalist Haleema Shah spoke with one of the thousands of women there who defined freedom as, “the ability to own a business and the understanding that such endeavors should not be considered avenues to indecency.” Women’s social standing is changing with the help of a new program created by the regional social organization in Qatar, called Silatech.
March is Women’s History Month. I had that in mind when I started writing on the significance of that recognition. That is until I came across an eye opening piece, “The boys are not right,” in the February 21 issue of The New York Times by Michael Black. He wrote it in part in response to the recent shootings in Florida where 17 students lost their lives. The shooter –as is the case with the majority of mass shootings in America – was a young man.
Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.
I didn’t know Morgan Spurlock. Never heard of him.
Until one recent Wednesday night. You see, several friends knew that I was toying with the idea of publishing something new in response to the recent explosion of sexual harassment/assault charges emerging almost daily against high profile men. And before the ink is dry on this piece more allegations are probably forthcoming.
But before I get to Spurlock’s “confession,” here’s a feedback request I sent out recently to a number of people, male and female, whose views I greatly value: