ArchiveSeptember 2021

A New York Miscellany


I left New York exactly fifty years ago and have only been an occasional visitor since. I lived in Brooklyn for my first 21 years and later returned for another three year stay in my fifth year of marriage. I recognize how great and how unique the city is, but I’ve never harbored the slightest desire to live there again. Soon after we returned to NY from our years in Mississippi in 1968, we read...

Curriculum Wars


I’m reaching back into the past today to recount a largely forgotten battle about school curriculum that has troubling parallels to today’s controversies about the teaching of what has been inaccurately labeled “Critical Race Theory.”       In 1972 a colleague and I suddenly found ourselves in charge of a fifth and sixth grade classroom in a four-room school in...

Trying to make sense of suicide


What does it take for a person to decide to commit suicide? What psychic pain is so unbearable that only death can liberate you from it, can lead you to discount the way your act leaves permanent scars on the people you love and who love you? My clinical psychology training leaves me no closer to answering these unanswerable questions than any man or woman on the street. In graduate school, one...

Remembering and forgetting: Thoughts for the new Year


Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is almost upon us. It comes at a ridiculously early date this year, Labor Day evening to be exact. I’ve always been astonished by the way in which the time for celebrating Ramadan fluctuates, sometimes appearing in completely different seasons from one year to the next. The Jewish and Muslim calendars are both lunar, which accounts for the variation. The Jewish...

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