Showing posts from July, 2012

Dolphin Parenting

Dolphin and baby (Photo credit: WIlly Volk ) Ever since Yale professor, Amy Chua rocked the parenting world with her book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" (Penguin Press, 2011), I have heard bits and piece about this authoritarian, adamant doggedness for perfection in academics.  At first, I had no frame of reference.  I had never met parents who are so strict on their insistence that their children make perfect grades and excel in everything that the children were suffering from stress-related illnesses.   Don't get me wrong, when I was raising my kids there were parents who pushed their kids to excel, but not so much in academics.  Mostly, the push was for being a star in whatever sport the child played.  A few wanted their child to be the star of the concert/play/orchestra, but that was it.   Recently, I have come face-to-face with tiger parenting.  My first reaction was, "Oh my goodness, don't you realize what you are doing to this child?" M


  Our Home - The Enchanted Cottage Edict from our homeowner's insurance company:  "The inspection revealed the current condition of the property (our home) and the insurance company decided to non-renew your coverage." These are the words that jumped out at me from an inspection of my home - the Enchanted Cottage - that my homeowners insurance company did recently as part of a "new protocol."  Like so many other evaluations being made in the world today, this one is not based on facts or logic. The person who took the pictures of our home did not prepare the report.  That was done by some unseen person, somewhere in the insurance world, who did not take into consideration that Roger and I have been struggling to keep up with things after his two major operations and  my being unemployed for two years.   In addition, the report doesn't mention that we are/have been working on the house, little by little. There is no mention of the fact th

Celebrating the Fourth

Today, for the first time in my life, I witnessed the swearing in of new citizens of the United States of America.  Fifty people from 30 countries stood before their families, friends, teachers and strangers to swear their allegiance to the US.   Local Boy Scouts presented the flag.  We all pledged allegiance, led by two new Americans, both of whom had become citizens earlier this year.  Evelyn Harris of Sweet Honey in the Rock , sang America the Beautiful, The Star-spangled Banner and My Country 'Tis of Thee with a grace and power in her voice that brought many assembled to tears. The Honorable Michael Ponsor, US District Judge presided over the ceremonies.  His words to the new Americans touched me.  He encouraged them to continue growing as Americans, to vote, a responsibility we all should take seriously, and not to abandon their native cultures, but to incorporate them into their day-to-day lives as new Americans. For me, this was a wonderful way to celebrate

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World

This past week, I had the honor of previewing a  new documentary - Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World - narrated by Susan Sarandon which will be broadcast nationally on PBS Friday, July 6th at 9 PM EST .  What struck me, immediately, was the beauty of the works of art being discussed, not to mention that these works of art span 14 centuries through nine countries.  Intense blues transported me into the heavens, as intricate patterns caught my eye, reminding me of the geometry of lace. Every design, from a simple flower to an elaborate scene had meaning and symbolism. As a viewer, I felt as if I was on a journey into the past, watching as ancestors from another time and place created art and architecture that not only served a purpose, but also reminded those using the items or entering the buildings of their connection to the Almighty.  I was captivated by how the Islamic artisans of the past skillfully incorporated Holy texts along with the name of God into their