Thursday, October 29, 2015

(There's something always inherently irritating about someone saying they have to dig their way out of something they chose to do that is not necessarily serving anybody else and doesn't sound like the opposite of being spoiled.)
Very nice idea in yesterday's nytimes parenting blog. The author (Ron Lieber) published a book this year that looks good, too: The Opposite of Spoiled. Many books on my list for when I dig out of my experiments in post-structuralist ecocriticsm. Any others -- send them my way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For your first child, did you play lullabies all the time? And with the second one it's like -- Did you brush your teeth? Do you have a blanket? Okay, goodnight.

I used to play a different version of this one for Wally all the time, on a CD called Daddies Sing Goodnight I think. Many nights I'd sit in the quiet room while he fell asleep.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

For the people who wonder why I never answer my cell phone, this is one reason (though admittedly, not the only one).

"Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us."


"This is our moment to acknowledge the unintended consequences of the technologies to which we are vulnerable, but also to respect the resilience that has always been ours. We have time to make corrections and remember who we are — creatures of history, of deep psychology, of complex relationships, of conversations, artless, risky and face to face."

from Stop Googling. Let's Talk by Sherry Turkle, in the Times' Sunday Review, September 26

Sunday, October 4, 2015


"Many today challenge the government's role and right in the education of our children...We must affirm our faith in the wisdom of our people and in the belief that they can be trusted to establish a system of training in cooperation with the government. The present deliberate efforts by certain segments of society to belittle, harass, and weaken our public school system must be resisted. A varied system of education, directed by groups closely knit, can weaken and destroy the vitality of our people and bring the American system of free public education tottering, thus destroying our most cherished institution and threatening democracy itself.

The insight, courage, and labors of Horace Mann, a century ago, give us fortitude to engage our opponents in battle and to continue the fight for the children of all the people. Apparently this fight can never be won—it must be fought and partially won by each generation." 

—Maurice J. Thomas, 1953