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Showing posts from March, 2008

I kid you not~

We're at the part in the social studies book where the thirteen colonies are forming, and Massachusetts Bay Colony, despite being formed by religious dissenters, allows no dissent among its residents.

Roger Williams was banished and has headed south to start a colony in present day Rhode Island with Anne Hutchison following on his heels. She has been speaking up as well, in Bible studies for women, later drawing in men.

The student book covers 100 years in four pages, so all the juicy details of Anne's "blasphemy" has been left out, but I paused at this part and opened a discussion about the way things were then-- Puritan women were subordinate to their husbands and were not to teach men, among other things.

The kids didn't seem indignant, or concerned, or in any way vested in the plight of Anne, or women in general in those days. But they were energized by a conversation about women and men today.

Ashley, an earnest student, and smart, raised her hand. It takes awhi…

Religion, race and politics . . .

I've thought deeply since I blogged the "Damn Mad" post where I swished my brushstroke of anger-- in response to another's rage-- and in the process I splattered Barack Obama and dripped on others by implication. The very act of doing so seems to have aroused equal passion in many, not a bad thing.

Anger festers, if not expressed. Like a dormant volcano, long-held anger catches us by surprise by its seemingly out of proportion explosion. Anyone who has been a recipient of an unexpected tirade can vouch for the "Where did that come from?" feeling. Rev. Wright's comments caught me blind.

Anger spawns anger; it elicits a defensive response, often expressed by an equal explosion of rage. Until the lava cools, neither side is capable of hearing the other, let alone understanding the anger's source. It's a chain reaction. Something lit Wright's fuse, and he lit mine.

Anger is a bi-product of hurt, misunderstanding. It's a cry of pain. A cry of s…

Damn mad!

Forty-three years since the Civil Rights Act which outlawed segregation passed, with a tacked on and much debated gender protection clause, America has a woman and a black man running against each other for a spot on the Democrat ticket for president.

Pride and progress swell American hearts and minds. We have put both the race and gender divide behind us. Or, maybe not.

It appears that while I was comfortable in my church listening to sermons about loving my fellow man no matter what his skin color, and while my parents were raising me to be colorblind, there were, and still are, black churches preaching a decidedly less gracious view of whites in the USA-- or the "US of KKK A" as Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, raved from his pulpit in a Chicago church whose motto is "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian."

I hesitate to discuss the issue, because I'm white. Whites, apparently, are held to a different version of what…

Silda's song~

"Stand by your man." Country singer Tammy Wynette crooned those words ages ago-- forty years, to be exact.

Feminists scorned the words, but Wynette said she meant that women overlook their husband's shortcomings in the name of love. Well, of course! That goes without saying.

Meanwhile a generation of women softly sang those words against the shoulders of young men, and no doubt felt them soak into their tender hearts as they danced in a darkened high school gymnasium.

Surely Silda Spitzer sang those words years ago. Today she's living them-- or acting them, anyway-- standing beside her husband, New York's governor Eliot Spitzer, as he apologizes for his involvement with prostitutes.

She looks like an automaton, eyes vacant, and not nearly deep enough to contain the hurt. Women see it. Women feel it. And women think: no way would I stand beside the podium while my husband issued his apology. Why should I? Why should I act supportive when I feel nothing of the sort?


Like an early spring~

I woke this morning with a reminder of the weekend. No, not a hangover-- a brightened spirit.

I spent the weekend "down the Cape" with two teacher friends.

It's the tail end of the off-season on The Cape: the quiet time prior to the surge of tourists and fair-weather residents who'll stream across the Cape Cod Canal after Memorial Day.

The three of us met on Saturday at Mashpee Commons, a shopping center with shops named, among other things: Illusions, Irresistibles, and Quintessentials.

It's well known among my friends that I'm not the quintessential shopper. They suffer no illusions that I will unearth my deeply buried shopper persona on these getaways, which always involve a trip to some irresistible store or other. We synchronize watches, set a meet-up time. They shop, and I wander in and out of stores to eventually settle in a bookstore until time's up. I have no problem with that.

Saturday, however, torrents of wind-whipped rain soaked us to the skin bef…

Grab the nearest book~

In blogland there are memes-- fun, but a little like a chain email. Fun is relative, and I hesitate to impose it on others who experience fun differently.

But this, from Josie, is easy, interesting, and-- for me, anyway-- fun!


1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more. 

2. Open it to page 123. 

3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down. 

4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

I just finished reading Susan Wicklund's The Common Secret for a review to be published in The Internet Review of Books March 15. I was tempted to pull from that. But I've moved on to The Best American Nonrequired Reading, an eclectic collection of essays and other bits that "defy classification" as the promo says. Good stuff, all, and I'm enjoying it.

Page 123 happens to be smack in the middle of a section where The Edge Foundation ( posed its 2006 question to scientists:

What is your dangerous idea?

Ray Kurzwell, inventor and technologist, expounds in "The…