CULTURE

Countryside Revisited

Listen up, suburbanites and city dwellers. You are not the only game in town. There’s a vast tract of land you never think about, that just might hold the key to the next stage of human evolution. While we tend to look to New York, Silicon Valley, or Washington, DC, rural areas also give rise to experimentation and innovation.

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Coming Home to the V.A.

In the early years of the Iraq War, female veterans slowly trickled in. They, too, were thrust into the general patient pool. Sometimes we had fifty-seven male residents and three females on the same floor. Of course, the women complained that they were “hit on.” And they were scared—because their doors had no locks. The open-door policy had been in place for decades, to ensure staff access to all rooms in case of emergency.
Women have served in all of America’s wars, but the Veterans Administration did not serve them until the 1980s

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Teaching Ethics During the Intifada

Lindsey Cook was twenty-four when she went to Ramallah, six miles north of Jerusalem, to teach fifth through nine grade at a Quaker girls’ school in 1987. Her students would soon be caught up in the Intifada or Palestinian uprising. Her classroom became a second home for young girls searching for both a personal and a national identity.

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The Soul of Washington

As the nation absorbs gripping accounts from lawmakers who sheltered within the U.S. Capitol during the riot, and from the Capitol Police—a lingering trauma remains. If there is a redemptive dimension to this tragedy, it may be that it has brought home the city’s significance in our collective American story.

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Metamorphosis

Maria Sibylla Merian could not resist the lure of Suriname. In 1699, together with her daughter, Dorothea, she began a great adventure—at the age of 52. It was, by all accounts, a perilous voyage. After staying in the burgeoning capital of Paramaribo, along with two Black slaves and two indigenous guides, they ventured into the rainforest and were dazzled by the incredible richness and intense colors of the flora and fauna.

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Armenia as a State of Mind

You know, your great grandmother was a slave.” A week ago my mother shared this piece of our family history. Old Yaya, was one of the millions of Armenians who were either sold into slavery, beaten or starved to death during the ethnic cleansing program of the Ottoman Empire.

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Sheltering in Place on Rhodes

Slowly, the story our lives emerged. We’d each left home at a young age to escape a convention—she left a village in Sweden for a Greek adventure, and I left a small southern town to pursue my writing in New York. She was raised with two brothers and I have three siblings that I speak with almost daily. We were close to our grown children, but neither of us had a man in our lives. Two years ago, she’d lost her husband, Vangelis, and I was long divorced. Here we were two independent women in their 70s, wondering about our final acts.

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Rising Seas and Falling Stars

There’s a jarring sense that we are living in apocalyptic times, and we hope and pray that all the turmoil—social, political, economic, and ecological—will somehow lead to a last minute save or revelation.

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A Monument that Works for All

When Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, Daniel Chester French, and their fellow commissioners chose Henry Bacon’s Greek temple design for the Lincoln Memorial in 1913, the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, led by an associate a Frank Lloyd Wright, threw a fit.

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