Thank god Breast Cancer Awareness Month is almost over.

There. I’ve said it: the unspeakable, the cynical, the curmudgeonly. It feels like a betrayal of my gender and of all of the truly well-meaning and kind hearted folks who have swathed themselves in pink, run in 5ks, donated… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 14, 2013 3:47PM

Angelina's Choice

When I woke up this morning, the internet was ablaze with kudos to Angelina Jolie for her NYT op ed piece about her decision to have prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. The cheers were loud and immediate. And they made me really, really uncomfortable.

Before I get too far, I will say this unequivocally… Read full post »

Monday night, just minutes after the final Presidential debate, (aptly summed up by one of my friends as a “word salad of talking points”), a well-known conservative loudmouth tweeted that she was glad Romney went easy on “the retard.” I won’t mention the loudmouth&rsquo… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 29, 2012 6:08PM

Ann Romney May Love Me, but I don't Love Her

I spent three hours last night watching the Republican National Convention. Given that I already know whom I’m going to vote for in the general election and given that we all know modern “nominating” conventions are just marathons of pandering and self-congratulation (on the incumbe… Read full post »





Almost everyone who knows me has heard the story of how my husband and I met.  The response to the polite inquiry at a cocktail party invariably leads to a longer story. The Reader’s Digest version:  Yes, we’ve known each other since we were twRead full post »

JUNE 18, 2012 10:06AM

The Power of Personal Narrative

Early each term, I let my students in on a little secret: some of the writing tasks assigned in college are about as far from any real-world application as can be. Most often in the real world, one person writes for an audience of many -- whether it’s a novel, aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 24, 2012 10:14PM

Felons Need not Apply: Work Study and Second Chances


My college prides itself on the motto, “Find a need and endeavor to meet it.”  We all proudly embrace the notion that everyone deserves a college eduation, and we can provide it.  I’ve written many times about the obstacles to that optimistic view: about death&/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 30, 2012 2:59PM

The War on Teaching Wages On in Higher Ed

A week or so ago, while slurping watery soup from a styrofoam cup and taking a twenty-minute break from grading the fifty portfolios on my desk, I came across an article in the Washington Post titled “Do College Professors Work Hard Enough?” by David Levy. The author’s answer to tha… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 28, 2012 4:15PM

If Trayvon were White

I know a seventeen-year-old boy who stays at his dad’s house sometimes.  He’s a good kid, but like all kids his age, he can be impulsive and a little stupid. He loves to play Xbox, he’s good to his siblings, and he loves his mother. His grades fluctuate -- sometimes aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 23, 2012 7:57PM

Geraldo Blames the Parents

I’m late to the conversation about Trayvon Martin. Or rather, I’m late committing to writing the conversation that’s been going on in my house and in the media and in my head for weeks. Last weekend, I read Leonard Pitts’ column to my husband at the breakfast table and choked/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 29, 2012 8:40PM

Davy Jones' Autograph



I was four years old when I fell in love with Davy Jones.  He had been around for a few years by then (the Monkees were born the same year I was), but that’s when I discovered him.


Afternoons, while my sisters were at school, my mother playedRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2012 8:23AM

When "Traditional Values" had a Party, and Love Showed Up


I went to my first sit-in yesterday.  I had no idea when I headed off to campus that I’d spend part of my afternoon sitting crosslegged on the floor of the college library with my back to someone who was explaining to the assembled… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 22, 2012 1:55PM

When Bootstraps Aren't Enough: the Metrics of Success


My little rustbelt city has been hit hard by the recession.  When I started teaching community college in the early aughts, very few of my full-time students were over 25.  Now, there are displaced workers in every section of every class I teach.  Many of them haven’t setRead full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2012 3:04PM

Chaos Theory, February Style



February is always hard for me.  I don’t like the gloom, or the cold, or the grayness.  But usually, I’m able to surrender to it and tough it out. 

Maybe this particular February is even harder precisely because it doesn’t feel likeRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2012 3:06PM

Komen's Disingenuous Reversal is Not Enough

Reversal or no, I just keep getting more and more angry at the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 

I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with Pink October.  My sister was diagnosed in that month, and not an hour after receiving her phone call, while doing my grocery shopping and trying… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2011 9:01AM

Looking for Jesus


Christmas is not a religious holiday for me; it’s a sentimental one.  Funny, then, that the only two items of holiday paraphernalia in my home that have anything other than decorative significance are an Angel for my tree, and a tiny, three-piece Nativity scene.


The angel wasRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 10, 2011 5:38PM

15 Things Middle Aged Women Love to do on Facebook

Last week, a smart and funny 20 something blogger wrote a list of 15 Things White Girls Love to do on Facebook.  Herewith, an homage to her list, amended for the 40-something crowd:

Fifteen Things Middle-Aged Women Love to do on Facebook 

1.  Post lines from John Hughes movies orRead full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2011 12:50PM

The Tragedy and Pathos of JoePa

I have been trying all morning not to write the rant that has been percolating in my head ever since yesterday afternoon.  That wasn’t the first time I’d heard of the Penn State tragedy (and it is one, by every definition) but that was when, for whatever reason, it crashed through… Read full post »

OCTOBER 5, 2011 8:07PM

Eating the Apple: RIP, Steve Jobs



Did you ever have a crush on a guy who was just too good looking to be trusted?  One who was just a little too conscious of his looks?  One who possessed an effortless cool that probably required quite bit of effort?  And yet, you couldn’t help but

Read full post »

Pat Robertson actually said something that made sense this week.  He of the 9/11-was-God’s-punishment-against-a-city-populated-by-homosexuals-and-abortionists, he of the Haitians-got-what-they-deserved-for-making-a-pact-with-the-devil proclamations, actually admitted that a certain questio… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 6, 2011 4:23PM

Ready or Not, There she Goes

It is a worn out story at my house: the one where I confess to the crying jag that occurred when my first child was three days old.  My husband came in the room and asked, “Are we happy?”


It was hard for him to know during those first fewRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 16, 2011 9:27PM

Meeting my Dad

My dad is a big, serious guy.  Or at least he was when I was growing up.  He worked for almost forty years at the same corporation.  I hadn’t the vaguest idea what he did at work, only that when the company said, “Go,” we went:  from the Midwest to theRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 16, 2011 11:17AM

My Bloomsday Confession: I've never read Ulysses

It’s June 16th.  If you were not an English major, are not a lover of all things Irish, or if you don’t listen to NPR, perhaps this date means nothing to you, but to lit nerds everywhere, it’s the day we celebrate James Joyce, his greatest novel, Ulysses, and the day/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 13, 2011 11:03AM

I love my job, especially when I'm not doing it.

Over the past several years, I’ve developed a small ritual during finals week at the  community college where I teach.  I go to the bookstore on Monday, the day the paper avalanche starts in earnest, and pick up my Josten’s packet -- black robe, mortarboard with tassel, and MastRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 18, 2011 7:43AM

The Uneasy Sisterhood of "Bridesmaids"


Credit: Free photos from
Like the rest of the world, I went to see Bridesmaids last weekend.  I loved it.  It was smart, funny, well-acted and surprisingly moving.  Yes, I read the reviews ahead of time to make sure I wouldn’t be wasting my eight d/Read full post »