The Chapel Hill Herald: Columnists

Jan. 30, 2014 @ 06:29 AM

’A writer’s truest reward is simply to continue’

If you were Hillsborough’s Allan Gurganus, you would probably want to kick back and rest a little bit after touring around the country visiting book stores and book groups to talk about the new book, “Local Souls.”
The three novellas in the book have gained glowing critical attention across the country.
Reviewer Jamie Quatro wrote in The New York Times, “It’s been 12 years since Gurganus last published a full-length work -- but if there remains any doubt of his literary greatness, his fifth book, ‘Local Souls,’ should put it to rest forever." 


Jan. 26, 2014 @ 01:10 PM

Finding a new approach

“How can a year that ends in ’13 possibly go well?” said a colleague after I’d crabbed about various and sundry muck-ups and a painful shoulder that was threatening to freeze up. In addition, I suffered from the negative effect of having eaten and drunk with abandon over the holidays and was rapidly reaching that itchy feeling inside that makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Thankfully, as if one of the Fates heard my misery, I fell into a string of happy coincidences. 


Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Survival guide for the electrically challenged

So, it’s 10 o’clock at night, and, unusually late for me, I’m getting ready for bed. (Mostly, I’m asleep by 10, not because I’m old and exhausted from teaching children all day, but because ... well ... fine, I’m old and exhausted from teaching children all day. But last Friday night I tried desperately to pretend I’m young and have the energy of, say, a 50-year-old, so I stayed up all the way to 10 o’clock!)  

 

Jan. 18, 2014 @ 04:19 PM

A contempt of court case

In 2011, Bibian Nwanguma, hereafter called BN, was charged with trespass in Durham County District Court. She was found guilty, and appealed the decision to superior court.

On Aug. 21, 2012, her case was scheduled in superior court. She appeared in the morning with her attorney. After the morning session, Judge Abraham Jones directed her to appear back in court at 2:30 p.m.

 

Jan. 18, 2014 @ 11:47 AM

So, what is the content of 'our' character?

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

What an amazingly wonderful sentence, not to mention an aspiration, a goal, a dream. I wish I could have met the man who wrote that sentence, and that whole speech. I wish I could have gotten to know him, to sit down with him and talk for hours, to probe the intellect and innate wisdom of the man who could put himself out there, in danger, on the front lines of a fight that had to be fought, just as the Revolution, the Civil War and our World Wars had to be fought. 


Jan. 11, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

Listening for the softer voices

Both my son and daughter inherited my husband’s introvert genes and, to be honest, I’ve long guessed I might have a stash of my own. While I thrive on presenting, I get tired quickly in the bustle of the world, am uncomfortable at big parties and lost when it comes to cocktail party conversations. Listening to Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” (Random House, 9 CDs, 10.5 hours) clarified and confirmed my feelings.


Jan. 11, 2014 @ 08:54 AM

In yoga as in life, key step is showing up

It wasn't a New Year's intention but a new morning inspiration that got me back into yoga class last week.  I've written this column about yoga before, but despite all the endorsements I've given it in the past, I had let busy-ness and stress overtake me, and I had stopped going.


Jan. 11, 2014 @ 05:33 AM

Just PLEASE don’t take away my lobster!

So, the world’s going in the tank, apparently.  Well, not the whole world, just our particular country. And particularly my specific corner of our country, I’m sure, because that’s just typical ... not that your corner is automatically better, but I’ll bet it is, simply because it’s not MY corner.

 

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 09:46 AM

The climate change war may already be over

What if the climate change war was over and no one noticed? Lobbyists, scientists and the general public all think it will rage long and hot but maybe not.


Jan. 04, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

This year, I am resolved not to resolve

I’d like to wish everyone near and far a Happy New Year! I am so excited to begin 2014, which is going to be a banner year for me. How do I know? Because at the beginning of 2013 -- and every year before that since I was around 4 -- I made numerous New Year’s resolutions. And by the end of January -- every year since I was around 4 -- those resolutions were toast. 


Jan. 04, 2014 @ 08:29 AM

A little dog named Dewey

Whether we are in splendid health or are seriously ill, our lives have moments of delight.  Here is a story that will illustrate that fact.


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 09:52 AM

Celebrating year-end with books

My childhood holiday memories are a collision — gifts spreading across the living room floor, an alcohol-inspired parental fight, my mother playing Christmas carols on the piano, scarfing one too many of those powdered-sugar nut balls. 


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 09:01 AM

A jump on tomorrow: Pondering generational transformation

Every organization with workers representing more than two generations deals with tensions between the old and the young, the inexperienced and the veterans, the energized and the exhausted, between new thinking and a stick-with-what's-always-worked-well mindset.


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 08:29 AM

Pondering the values behind the things we do

Christmas 2013 has come and gone and the New Year is poised to enter our reality.  Every year people ask, “Are you ready for the holidays?” I ponder that question and the things we do to “get ready.”  Why do we do them, and what are their consequences?  What is the meaning behind our actions?


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 06:07 AM

Father, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Bubbles

Well, it’s finally over. The holiday chaos  …the Christmas rush … the wrapping and unwrapping, the ooohing over the hideous sweater, the aaahing over Aunt Betty’s inedible gelatin salad (and, can I just ask -- jello, or salad? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!) The cookies are gone, the tree is a shadow of its former self, and you’re wishing Jimmy Stewart would just go ahead and jump off the bridge already. (And, of course, you’ve gained a little holiday weight and are now the size of a Toyota Highlander.)