Just around the river bend20160330171641

Just around the river bend

There have been a couple notable times in my life when I felt the sheer terror of not having a future. It’s the sensation of staring into a black abyss instead of seeing a well-defined path before me. Over a recent family vacation I was again struck by deep fear for my future, and until [&hell...
Loss and gain in the balance20160329072452

Loss and gain in the balance

Dear Dad, Can you believe it’s been two years since your death? In that weird way time has of warping our sense of its passing, it seems an eternity, but also just like yesterday. I can still feel your hand in mine and hear your labored breathing, as if it were only moments ago that […]...
#emergingleader Maurice gets into NYU!20140501145543

#emergingleader Maurice gets into NYU!

Carrying so much sadness today, so I am especially thankful for good news. An email from Maurice letting me know that he got into NYU put a great big smile on my face. Here he is at the Centre for Social Innovation. He looks right at home!  Maurice, you wrote me such a moving thank […]...
Sentimentally, it isn’t a big deal, but legally it is20140128090554

Sentimentally, it isn’t a big deal, but legally it is

Happy 21st birthday, @beYOUtifulBrian! I know you aren’t much for celebrating, but today I am grateful for your presence in my life. I’ll never forget the day we met, when you told me you liked my website and agreed to be my first youth advisor. Your twenty-first birthday really snuck u...
Every woman should travel/live abroad alone20131017070015

Every woman should travel/live abroad alone

[For Autumn, on her current adventure] I’m in the middle of Jennifer Egan’s debut novel, The Invisible Circus, which is about an 18 year-old girl who takes off for Europe to search for the place her sister died. The account of her coming of age has gotten me reminiscing about my travel...
It’s kind of like Hair Club for Men20130823074322

It’s kind of like Hair Club for Men

Two friends now have mentioned they thought of me while reading Jill Lepore’s latest New Yorker piece. The news brings a wistful smile to my face because in my past life I wanted to grow up to be Jill Lepore. She is the rare scholar who builds bridges effortlessly between history and lite...
Anatomy of a workshop activity20130726171144

Anatomy of a workshop activity

I’d planned on blogging about what I gleaned from yesterday’s annual New Yorkers for Children Vocational Conference for Youth in Foster Care, but today a couple different folks have asked me about my approach to engaging youth in the classroom, so I thought it would be helpful to write i...
Rites of passage in Goats20130321125432

Rites of passage in Goats

Goats (2012) is the film adaptation of Mark Jude Poirier’s debut novel. It’s a quirky coming of age tale that involves a 15-year old boy leaving home—although “home” for Ellis isn’t a safe and idyllic Shire, but a chaotic, dysfunctional family comprising his irrespon...
Write the dissertation20130308101416

Write the dissertation

Lacking a passion project was the very worst condition to be in as a graduate student. At first it’s liberating to be able to explore different concepts and areas of study. It’s like a dream for the intellectually curious. But soon the process of trying on and discarding topics gets wear...
How’d you know?20130131165315

How’d you know?

Just a little over halfway through Lars and the Real Girl (2007), the titular character approaches his older brother, Gus, and engages him in a discussion about rites of passages. In the absence of any coming of age ceremonies, how did Gus know that he’d become a man? Gus stumbles over his ...
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