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Leigh Newman (186 posts)
For one principal, however, a man who'd spent 16 years shepherding kids in tough South Philadelphia through grades 5 through 12, the budget choice was a call to action. Rather than lay off his music teachers, he walked right out the door.
The 62-year-old Angelo Milicia sacrificed his $180,000 job and long-term health benefits running the Girard Academic Music Program school in order to divert those same funds into his music curriculum. By retiring early and letting his assistant take over, Milicia prevented two of his music teachers from being laid off, both of whom were essential to the school's arts mandate which requires that all students participate in choir and take three music theory classes a week.
The budget cuts "would have been devastating to that program," Milicia told the Philadelphia Daily News. (Note to all other principals out there: Research by the U.S. Department of Education has found that students who reported consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years showed significantly higher levels of math proficiency by grade 12.)
One of his graduating students told the paper, "Here's a man who makes a sacrifice for the students that he loves. You can't get any better than that." We agree. Read the full article...with tissues.
Flag Day is today: How to make Cristina Ferrare's Stars and Stripes cake
Tomorrow's lunar eclipse: How to see it (even though it isn't visible from the United States)
The beach life: How to make yourself a flattering, fashionable coverup
Alice's bucket list: How to help a dying girl visit Cadbury (read: chocolate) World
My dog Leonard was the smelliest dog on the earth. People used to walk into my house, sniff and then attempt to subtly breath through their mouths in order to avoid overtly holding their noses and offending us. One time at a dinner party, I was introduced to a woman who happened to be French.
"Oh," she said. "I know you. Vous etes la femme avec le grand chien qui pue." Translation: You're the lady with the big dog who stinks.
When I entered him into the Great American Mutt Show (a dog show especially for mixed breeds), the judges immediately kicked us out of the ring. I was outraged, so was Leonard. He broke free, hopped back into the ring and trotted around the circle, solo, until hustled away.
Imagine my delight when the American Kennel Club last week announced the official recognition of three new dog breeds: the American English coonhound, the Finnish Lapphund and the Cesky terrier (say those names three times fast).
According to the AKC website, American English coonhounds (at left) are "affectionate dogs that ... make great companions for active owners."
My dog Leonard was the smelliest dog on the earth. People used to walk into my house, sniff, and then attempt to subtly breath through their mouths, in order to avoid overtly holding their noses and offending us. One time at a dinner party, I was introduced to a woman who happened French. “Oh,” she said. “I know you. Vous etes la femme avec le grand chien qui pue.”
Translation: You’re the lady with the big dog who stinks.
Equally troubling was his appearance. Leonard had a mangy, mud-colored coat that lay plastered to his skeletal body even when dry. His ears were crooked, his teeth splayed at upsetting angles. When I entered him into the Great American Mutt Show—a dog show especially for mixed breeds—the judges immediately kicked us out of the ring. I was outraged, so was Leonard. He broke free, hoped back in the ring, and trotted around the circle, solo, until hustled away.
Imagine my delight when The American Kennel Club last week announced the official recognition of three new dog breeds: the American English Coonhound, the Finnish Lapphund, and the Cesky Terrier (say those names 3 times fast).
According to the AKC website, American English Coonhounds are “affectionate dogs that...make great companions for active owners.”
Today, the insightful and inspiring Patchett steps off the page to explain to Life Lift about her personal struggle with a little old two-letter, one-syllable word. How exactly do we know when to (politely) say no—not just in our work or other commitments but also with the people we love? Patchett's answer to that very question is a tad surprising. Hint: It involves a piece of pocked, gray stone, a gift from Elizabeth Gilbert and various kitchen appliances.
Read the full article here
Photo: Melissa Ann Pinney
When it comes to listening to the issues of the people we care about, we so often try to say the right thing and end up saying the wrong thing. Or we worry that we're going to say the wrong thing, and say nothing (my specialty). But those days are now at an end. I'm just going to slap a magnet on everybody in the world, regardless of whether I know what his or her problems are:
A friend of mine recently handed me one of these. I hugged him so hard his head went wobbly. Then I said, "Can you give me nine more?"
"It's a magnet," he said. "How many refrigerators do you have?"
I said, "I'm at a point where I need to stick these puppies up even places they don't actually stick."
Back at home, with the help of Scotch tape, I posted them in every place in my house where I need the Invisible God of Encouragement to tell me that I wasn't alone and that I could, if I reached deep, keep going. Yes, I could make some kind of gluey pasta dinner (forgot to defrost the chicken) while hard-boiling eggs for tomorrow's lunch (husband ate the lunch meat) while sitting on hold with computer support (screen went black) while watching my 5-year-old try to dry his sopping wet sneakers (failed to buy a backup pair even though his school has a tennis-shoes-only policy) with a tiny plastic fan that is supposed to blow bubbles out of his bubble-making water gun.
Twenty years ago this month, Thelma & Louise entered the public imagination—two ladies on the run in a beat-up, now-iconic Thunderbird. Looking back, Thelma & Louise, in that it redefined who women were supposed to be. Gee, the film showed us, women can drink and smoke and drive fast and end up in the predicament usually reserved for heroic, handsome cowboys—boxed in a canyon with no way out.
In 1991, there was much debate over whether or not the film was sexist, if the male characters were cookie-cutter, if the film was trying to say that all men messed up all women, all the time. Even then, as a teenager, I thought that seemed a little dopey. Nobody thought that male outlaw movies were anti-police.
Then again, I was growing up with single mother who worked 10 hours a day. We needed Thelma and Louise. We needed to be Thelma and Louisa—peeling out of our driveway in order to make it to school on time (for once), sloshing a mug of Mom's instant coffee all over our legs.
With the advent of DVDs, the director Ridley Scott was able to showcase another ending for the movie. Instead of Thelma and Louise holding hands, soaring gloriously off into the thin, blue air of the unknown, a helicopter descends, and Harvey Keitel rushes to the edge of the canyon to look down at the destroyed car—and women—below. He then picks up a Polaroid that fell out of the Thunderbird, a picture of the two outlaws at the beginning of their trip, made up and dressed up and smiling.
This brings up so many icky questions. For example, how did the photograph happen to flutter back so conveniently? Why are "happier times" in the movies signified by women wearing a fresh, glossy coating of lipstick? More to the point, Dana Steven's insightful essay in Slate concludes that "ending with the horrified Keitel at the cliff's edge would have made Thelma & Louise into a head-shaking reflection on the terrible fate society visits on women." Further she adds, "choosing to end instead with the heroines' shining-eyed farewell, followed by the freeze-frame of that eternally buoyant car, allows Thelma & Louise to dwell forever at that odd moment in movie history when women won the right to be just as crazy as men."
Meandering around on YouTube, I found several alternate alternate endings to Scott's choice that users had created. After the jump, see what one adds onto the newly released Keitel-helicopter finale...
Stress is something Joan Borysenko knows something about. She's a Harvard-trained biologist and author of the new book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive. For 10 nonstop years, she juggled completing her clinical research, running a working farm (yes, that meant feeding chickens), raising two kids, writing a book and running 25 miles a week. In her two free minutes each evening, she secretly smoked cigarettes behind a tree in her front yard. Then came the back pain. After that, a scary feeling that she was sleepwalking through her life, immune even to her kids' excitement about riding their new pony through the woods.
She, the stress expert, was at the point of nonfunction.
Borysenko was a perfect example of how trying to do more than you can do for too long can result in a host of problems: emotional exhaustion (say, feeling numb inside when you know you'd normally feel happy or sad), recurring physical effects (back pain, constant colds, headaches) and a sense of spiritual emptiness that leaves you isolated from others.
This state can look a lot like depression. In fact, it might be easier to think of yourself as depressed; you can seek treatment from a doctor for that. Recent research, however, has found that although both result in a loss of motivation and pleasure, if you're burnt out, you can usually reclaim your everyday happiness—from taking great delight in a piece of crispy morning bacon to enjoying your hours at work or as a parent—once you make some fundamental changes. So the question is, How fried are you and what do you need to do about it? Go answer these questions to find out.
Last night, Anthony Weiner admitted to and apologized for sending lewd pictures of himself to women over the Internet. He asked forgiveness from his wife, his family and the reporters he had originally "misled."
Standing in front of news cameras in a packed ballroom of reporters is one way to say sorry. But considering the magnitude of the situation, Weiner might consider visiting ShameBeGone.com—a site that asks "Are you in shame spiral?" and promises to dig you out by writing humble-pie emails to those you've hurt, let down or embarrassed.
"We handle end-of-relationship fall-out," claims the site. "Missed connections ... best friend's ex-boyfriends, family members, low-grade stalkers, people who owe you money, people to whom you owe money—almost anything and anyone." All you have to do is tell them about "a situation that you just can't deal with;" then you suggest what you think is a fair payment to them for fixing it and await the response. If the site accepts, its editor will provide you with a reconciliatory email to forward to the parties you offended.
Clearly, for Weiner this would be an expensive proposition. He'd have to pay for an email to every person in New York State whom he represents, not to mention the young high-school kids of America who aspired to, one day, be like him. Also women. Everywhere.
Here's the rub: Let's say ShameBeGone.com were magically engineered to achieve what it promises—even in big, ugly, impossible situations like this. Would I really want to Weiner's shame to be gone? There's a small, ungenerous, even unkind part of me that wants him to stew in his shame.
And, sigh, another part of me that knows that shame is too ugly to heap on anyone, that shame only causes more shame due to the cycle of guilt that inevitably occurs.
So what I really want is a magical site that will not take anything away from Weiner, but instead instill him with something else: remorse, responsibility and a way to find the real man inside.
Because infidelity is excruciating. Ask any real woman, including one our favorites, Wynonna Judd.