Drinking the Kool-Aid

On a recent trip to the grocery store my daughter spotted a colorful Kool-Aid display, strategically placed at the eye level of a five-year old.  I generally resist her demands to buy  everything she sees at the store but the product placement professionals are much better at this game than I am. In any case, […]

The Secret to Happiness…and Good Grades

  Awhile back I was listening to the Ted Radio Hour.  The guest was a Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert, an expert on happiness.  He wrote a widely-read book, Stumbling On Happiness, and was describing a common experience he has after people find out about his research.  They want him to tell them the secret to […]

What is the Purpose of a College Education?

Here is a statement lifted from the Harvard University website which beautifully captures the larger goal of a college education — and not just for those lucky enough to go to Harvard. It has since been removed from the site but it remains a forceful and articulate defense of the liberal arts and a vision […]

The Overprotected Kid

I’ve recommended this article repeatedly over the last six months — most recently today to my Introductory Sociology class.  So, I’m taking that as a sign that I should spread the word more widely. The piece is from The Atlantic and covers a range of issues related to contemporary norms of hovering over our children […]

The Wilds Of Education

The Wilds of Education by Frank Bruni  – New York Times.  September 28, 2014 “There’s too much caution in too many schools” Here is a thought-provoking essay that asks questions about the true purpose of education.

Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

Labor Dazed

On Labor Day I took my daughter to the parade.  It’s an event full of meaning but for her it was mainly about the candy. She was not disappointed.  In a scene resembling feeding time at the barnyard candy was thrown like chicken feed from passing floats.  Children scurried, pecked at the ground, pushed and […]

This is How Power Works: A Primer and Illustration

To my students who are inspiring me, Summarizing power in 1000 words is nearly impossible; to apply this analysis in the same 1000 words is a fantasy. But, my students are engaged in social change and don’t have time for long-winded academic treatments; they need understanding that will be helpful to them right now.   Thus, […]