Scarlet Letters, Waking Up, and Social Engineering

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

illu_237 “Don’t Worry. It’s just a fake baby.”

A version of this essay also appears today in the Gray Matters section of The Houston Chronicle, 5 February 2015.  You can read it here:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Fake-babies-won-t-stop-kids-from-getting-pregnant-6064367.php?t=e86c7a4a6479b87a02&cmpid=twitter-premium

This essay was also published on 23 December 2013 in The Imaginative Conservative.

I have a friend, let’s call her Tancy, since that is her name, and she has a child attending school in Magnolia, Texas.  Now I cannot think of a more idyllic name for a Texas town, and it is absolutely beautiful and tree laden, but apparently small towns have their problems too.

They have rejected Rousseau and have public schools.

Anyway, her child has the following assignment: she can either carry a fake baby around for a few weeks, thus experiencing the perils of parenthood (it is hard to replicate the joys of parenthood with a fake baby), or, she can write a three page…

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“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”: Lance Armstrong and the Art of Apology

Doni M. Wilson:

A version of this essay appears today, 4 February 2015, in the Gray Matters online section of the Houston Chronicle….Armstrong is in the news again, and it isn’t for cycling….http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Say-you-re-sorry-Lance-6060167.php?t=c8b995f26f79b87a02&cmpid=twitter-premium#/0

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

Lance+ArmstrongLance Armstrong had something to say this weekend:  he is really, really sorry.

But as he was confessing to Oprah Winfrey, the secular priestess of wayward celebrities, I couldn’t help but wonder for what exactly he was apologizing.  It wasn’t the doping itself:  he admitted to Ms. Winfrey that at the time he didn’t ever feel that he was doing anything wrong….that doping was so entrenched in the cycling world, it was just part of “pumping up the tires” and “filling up the water bottles.”  Really?  Because those other things don’t result in one being stripped of seven Tour de France titles as well as an Olympic medal.  Come now, Lance, are we really to take the predictable adolescent response of “everybody does it” as the rationale for years of fabrication in an intricate machine of doping, lying, bullying, and suing?

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Pride and Prejudice: Five Reasons to Celebrate

Doni M. Wilson:

This essay was run today in the Houston Chronicle online in the Gray Matters section. Here is the link to that version:http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Five-reasons-to-celebrate-Pride-and-Prejudice-6041425.php?t=9d6399fdf3&cmpid=twitter-premium via @HoustonChron

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

Our Dear Jane Our Dear Jane

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Any objections?

As the evening wanes, I cannot help but note that today was the anniversary of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice (hey, students, that’s right, I said beloved), which was published in 1813 by Thomas Egerton of London.  The novel did not even have Austen’s name on it:  it was remarked to be “By the Author of ‘Sense and Sensibility.'”

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Remembering the Challenger Seven

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

The essay also appears in The Federalist.

Image

It is 63 degrees in Houston in January, and we head to Challenger Seven Memorial Park for my son’s orienteering event, part of his seventh grade leadership development course. We are in Webster, not far from NASA. The sun is bright, and you can still see last night’s pale moon hanging in the blue sky. There are no clouds, but you can see the wind blowing things around, and I can feel Christopher’s excitement. It is a little competition: You are supposed to explore unfamiliar terrain with only a map. You are supposed to move fast, competing with the clock. It is a race against time.

I leave him with his group of boys and Captain Troutt, and I start walking around. I pass the trees with the moss hanging down, making my way to where the canoes can glide down Clear…

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