Last week, the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the Research Triangle Park, Linda Birnbaum, and her husband, David, had a special reason to attend opening night of the PlayMakers production of William Shakespeare’s “Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.”
Brittany Maynard did exactly what she promised to do. She caused a national debate about physician-assisted suicide. A few months ago she told journalists that she planned to end her life November 1; and did exactly that. She did so by swallowing lethal drugs allowed under an Oregon law allowing terminally ill people to choose when to die. She was 29 years old.
In preparation for the humongous amount of food I will consume during Thanksgiving -- which includes my birthday a few days before and the leftovers for a few days afterward -- I’ve started exercising right after I get up in the morning. Well, right after I brush my teeth and make my bed. And, I don’t actually do the actual exercises, per se, I just sort of ... uh ... watch them on TV. But that is the first step, as any personal trainer will tell you. I mean, everyone knows that the path to recovery ... or thinness ... begins by admitting you have a problem, and I’m able to announce proudly now that I have always had a problem with exercise, so I’m trying to do something about it, GET OFF MY BACK!
I was living in North Carolina when I first heard of Clyde Edgerton, but the news of his novel, “Raney,” came to me via my hometown in Arkansas. A childhood friend had written me (pre-email days) about a book she had fallen in love with. “I think the author lives near you,” my friend wrote.
So, yesterday I broke down in tears, and I am totally not making this up. Didn’t plan it -- simply a spontaneous eruption. Granted, being mostly Italian, my tears are not shocking news, but still, this was not due to the typical causes: loved ones injured, lost shoes, brownies burned, wounded soldiers returning from overseas, puppy mills, wishing I could eat the burned brownies (shouldn’t the process of burning them burn out the calories? Just saying...).
Recently I taught a professional development class for teachers that yielded fascinating discussions about books that best serve learning disabled students.
A strange thing happened during the first week of August 2014. The Martin seat on the NC Court of Appeals was vacated. The election will be in the November general election. On the morning of Aug. 1, no candidate had filed for that seat.
Just read another “news release” on the Ebola crisis in the United States ... boy, those are six words you never thought you’d say -- “Ebola crisis in the United States.” And, I’m no genius, but this didn’t have to happen, did it? I mean, here’s what essentially occurred:
Everyone’s back in school now, including me. No, not as in TAKING classes to BECOME, say, a doctor, but as in TEACHING classes so that I can afford to GO to the doctor. I’m very excited to return to the classroom, though, especially to teaching middle and high school students, because I am totally out of the loop on what’s cool nowadays ... for example, it’s probably not cool to say “nowadays”.
As school begins, I always think of how my children as teenagers, gave up reading for pleasure because of coursework demands. Many of the books they were assigned were existential reads that they cared little about and didn’t care to discuss. I’ve been remembering this often as I’ve listened to some incredible new YA audios, many of which would engage adults as well.
We just returned from a much-needed weekend away and, as always, a house-sitter took care of things here. “Things” needing care are primarily animals, and they can be demanding -- requiring detailed instructions and a bit of finesse to keep some in and others out.
She was born five years ago today. She had lots of silky brown hair, tea-rosey cheeks, 10 fingers, 10 toes, tiny cherry lips, and a hefty set of lungs. She had her own ideas about things from the moment she was in the world, and she believed everyone needed to hear them immediately ... strongly ... loudly. She refused to open her eyes for quite a while, squeezing them shut throughout her howling disapproval as she was being weighed, cleaned and measured. In fact, the only thing that began to soothe that angry tirade was ... her grandmother’s voice.
I had a speaking engagement last week, before a group of wonderful, kind people...plus the men were hot. The topic of the meeting this month was Child Safety. I thought they were kidding. I’m a humor writer, I reminded them. Yes!, they answered delightedly...Funny!...about child safety.
Chapel Hill people live in the shadow of one of the world’s great universities, a place packed with faculty, staff, and students who are filled with knowledge and are enthusiastic about sharing it.
If you grew up in Hillsborough and spent some childhood time in the woods and down by the creeks, you might have spied an unusual child practicing preaching to any flora or fauna that would lend an ear.