Category Archives: Family

June 2, 2011, 3:07 pm

As The Department Turns: What Causes Conflict, Drama And Other Energy Sapping Dynamics

Things can explode when you least expect it!

 This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education features a blog post by David Perlmutter entitled “It’s Not Your Fault.”  Aimed mostly at helping assistant professors and graduate students understand how they might have unintentionally become the target of a senior person’s anger or jealousy, Perlmutter explores six factors that might cause unwelcome behaviors by senior people.  While it is sometimes the case that a younger person’s actions might have provoked the incident or ongoing dynamic, it is also likely that it didn’t. The project of figuring out what went wrong can be just as agonizing for a younger person as the reprisals and criticisms themselves. 

As Perlmutter notes wisely, “sometimes the quickest relief comes from merely figuring out that a single tussle or a longstanding feud is not your fault but rather originates in the minds,…

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July 11, 2010, 9:18 pm

Extra! Extra! It’s Not Only Healthy To Be Born To A Lesbian Couple, It’s Better than Healthy

In case you have been living under a rock, the big news this week in Gaylesboland is that a federal judge in Massachusetts (otherwise known as the San Francisco of the East) has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the right of the states to regulate marriage. The second biggest news is that the children of lesbian couples are not only as successful as the children of straight people — they are more successful! Whatever that means. According to Time magazine, a longitudinal study out of UC-San Francisco, published in the journal Pediatrics,

found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored…

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June 20, 2010, 8:53 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Fathers’ Day Edition

The new social media has made Father’s Day an even odder event than it ever was when it was only about neckties, Lacoste tennis shirts and greeting cards. Facebook and Twitter are alive with paeans to fathers past and present: dead fathers are assured that they will never be forgotten, husband-fathers that they are truly appreciated. The Radical household does not engage this, as we have no fathers (“Down with the patriarchy!”): the last one crossed over into the Great Beyond over a decade ago.

So imagine my surprise when I opened the New York Times, turned to an article about end of life decisions and instantly burst into racking, inconsolable tears over someone else’s father. In “What Broke My Father’s Heart” Katy Butler details the role played by fee for service medicine in ripping every shred of dignity and peace from her parents’ final years. An ill-informed decision to put in…

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March 8, 2009, 6:02 pm

Notes From Central Florida: Alligators and Angels Abound

Yesterday we made the long drive from St. Augustine to Dade City, with a quick stop at Blue Springs State Park. The major event of the day was the loss, and rediscovery, of my brand new iPhone. This is what happened.

We went to Blue Springs, a warm spring that flows into the St. John’s River, to see the manatees. And if I had my iPhone with me now you would see the manatees too. But more about that later. The manatees, delicate, bumbling and endangered creatures that look a bit like swimming elephants, migrate into a variety of warm springs around Florida in the winter and early spring to breed and to warm up a bit. It’s like manatee spring break. At any rate, there were five that we saw, all on the youngish side; there was also an outstanding sample of a blue-gray alligator mississippiensis sitting on the far bank. A park volunteer who was doing a gar census near where we were (a…

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March 21, 2008, 1:02 pm

Notes on the End of Spring Break

Spring break is almost over: in fact, you could say it is over, since around mid-afternoon, various beloved family members descend on our normally secluded life. So, much as I would like to write something fun for everyone today, I have to take a stab at doing some of the things I have left until the last minute. Although I am pleased to say I have accomplished much over break (in addition to screwing up my right knee, so that until I got a lovely shot of cortisone under my patella I spent several days on a cane imagining myself lurching aggressively around Zenith for the rest of my career, like an academic version of Dr. House.) An yet, there are a number of items that remain on my list.

Like grading my midterm exams. Some things never change, eh? Even though I am at a stage in life where I have a grader to help me I still can’t pull myself together to finish. Only my compulsive …

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December 8, 2007, 5:11 pm

In Case You’ve Ever Wondered: the Radical Testifies on Gay Marriage

I wrote this essay back in September, at the request of the Zenith student newspaper, which had posed the question of whether I thought gay marriage would ever be legal. Since I am trying to fulfill several long standing writing commitments this weekend, I offer you this turgid little polemic, only slightly edited, in place of a new post. It will, in fact, be new to you — unless you are a member of the Zenith community; or my attorney, who is working on the gay marriage legislation in our state; or one of the many queer intellectuals who have written about marriage and whose thoughts I have inevitably learned from/cribbed from here.

It also seems like a timely essay to re-print, given yesterday’s decision by the Rhode Island State Supreme Court that Margaret Chambers and Cassandra Ormiston, having married in Fall River, Massachusetts, may not divorce in Rhode Island, where they live …

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June 4, 2007, 1:58 pm

One Thing Leads to Another: Blogging Dilemmas and the Sopranos Upcoming Finale

OK. So I was adding a final comment to the previous post, in which a Zenith student has raised some interesting issues about sexual identity and classroom dynamics in the Hallowed Halls, a conversation enriched by several contributions from Gayprof and Adjunct Whore. And as I was doing it, I was having the conflicted feelings I always experience when I end up writing in response to an issue that is specifically about students and life at Zenith. I can only express the attraction-revulsion dilemma this way: remember when Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, I believe in Godfather III, (having mistakenly thought he has taken the business entirely legit and cut his own ties with organized crime) snarls: “The family. Every time you think you have gotten away they reach out and suck you back in again.” Godfather purists will forgive me, I hope, for having the quote, and possibly even the…

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