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News & Book Reviews — Page 30

Who does the dusting?

I love Joli’s comment to my earlier post that “if behind every great man is a woman, then behind every great woman is not a man who steps up to dust, but a housekeeper.” “Equality” in housekeeping has been, in my experience, an empty word. Just looking around me, if the woman doesn’t like toContinue reading “Who does the dusting?”

Domesticated men

I have been watching two men take over the domestic life of their families — my son and my husband.  My son has to take care of two children by himself for extended periods of time.  He irons their school clothes and makes their lunches at night, figures out methods of discipline, gets them toContinue reading “Domesticated men”

Writing and activism

Some people march in demonstrations, or knock on their neighbors’ doors, or serve in soup kitchens; I write. I believe I should use some part of my abilities for the good of a larger community, and why not use my best developed talent? My blog Linguistics in the Writing Classroom is read by about 450 peopleContinue reading “Writing and activism”

The Real World of Guns in the Classroom

I’ve imagined a gun in my classroom.  Maybe held by the depressed student, or by the belligerent one who thinks I have graded him unfairly. Because I teach freshman writing, and students write their own stories in my class, I know better than other professors just how unstable freshmen are. They’ve been thinking about collegeContinue reading “The Real World of Guns in the Classroom”

Husbands and crutches

I just hobbled to my desk, hugging two crutches under my left arm so I could carry a mug of hot tea in my right hand.  I broke tiny bones in my foot and this is what I am reduced to. Fifteen years ago I badly sprained my ankle and had to commute to theContinue reading “Husbands and crutches”

Commission a portrait?

Shall I commission a portrait? Who am I?  The Queen of England?   Meeting Mia, what she said.  I loved seeing her process, and it was fun. Meet my great great grandfather, Charles Gayler, a successful and famous playwright of the mid-18th century. He looks down on me at my desk, reminding me of aContinue reading “Commission a portrait?”

Stories from the nursing home

I have to stop writing about the nursing home. People don’t want to read about them. Do they? I can’t promise this will be my last story from the nursing home,  but I can’t resist. I have been visiting my aunt in a spacious, sunny, clean, pleasant, friendly place which would not, by the way,Continue reading “Stories from the nursing home”

Old love

Louis Begley had a lovely essay in the New York Times yesterday, on page 5 of the Sunday Review if you’re attached to the hard copy of the Times, called “Old Love” if you’re digital. He begins by remembering when he was 39 and wondering whether his beloved would still look beautiful to him when she had wrinkles and greyContinue reading “Old love”