Category Archive: better conversations

Hands Around Lake Merritt

Was election night as bad as it gets, or is the worst still to come? That sick feeling of disappointment, of alienation from your nation, of watching a big part of my demographic… Continue reading

Trump won. What now? Dear god, what now?

What do you do when your country elects a racist, misogynist, morally bankrupt unsuccessful businessman as president and national humiliation? Well. I don’t know about you, but I had ice cream and wine… Continue reading

Hillary headquarters SF on the eve of the election

I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, this was the San Francisco headquarters for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, not some cluster of cubicles behind a crossroads gas station. It was three floors of bustling… Continue reading

I think I’ll go call Florida

I have a friend who’s been phone banking for Hillary. No one’s seen her for weeks. This weekend she’ll be frantically making last-minute calls to swing states to pull for her candidate, and… Continue reading

Gratitude for refugees

Eritrea, Myanmar, Iraq, Senegal, Afghanistan, Syria. It’s not my Travel List (well, that too) it’s a sampling of my students. Refugees all, they came from backgrounds I cannot imagine, experiences I want to… Continue reading

Happy International Day of the Girl, Trump notwithstanding

Daesh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, the Taliban, all these despicable groups afflicting our species are obsessed with suppressing and oppressing women and women’s rights. They’re disturbing to learn about, but… Continue reading

A Parisian response to fear

What do you do when terrorists want you to be afraid? To be closed off, fearful of strangers, and angry? To stay locked in your house, suspicious of others, scared of crowds and… Continue reading

I guess I’m just ambitious

I don’t mean to be ungrateful. I appreciate it. Every time. I really do. But I guess I’m just… I’m more ambitious than that.   I’m not sure when we changed over. Was… Continue reading

The Secret to Europe

The smell of fresh baked bread. Is there anything on earth so glorious as that smell on a Paris morning? It was Friday and the perfectly round fruit-topped tarts were glistening with sugar… Continue reading

No closer to comprehending support for Donald Trump

Let’s call them Brad and Linda. I met them a little while back, found them generally likeable people, some good jokes, some less-lovely behaviors, but we got along. They live in Texas, have… Continue reading