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Ways to Connect

Cat with rodent.
David Merrigan / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/daveograve

When I first met my future husband, he asked me to go for a walk.

"Sure," I said.

"I’ll go get the kittens," he said.

'We're All In Lockdown': Lessons From Northampton, Mass.

Jun 15, 2018
Anabel Rosero, left, walks with her daughter Anaisha Feliciano, 12, after Anaisha had been released from a lockdown at JFK Middle School in Northampton, Thursday.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

When a man with two guns was spotted on a Northampton, Massachusetts, middle school campus, the police responded perfectly. No one was hurt. Best-case scenario, right?

What Philip Roth Has To Tell Us About Anti-Semitism

Jun 13, 2018
South Carolina passed a law to counter anti-Semitism on college campuses, following a violent white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville. Pictured, rally participants prepare to enter Emancipation Park on August 12, 2017.
Anthony Crider / Creative Commons / flickr.com/people/16086041@N00

I know it might seem confusing. Why wouldn’t Jews support a law that combats anti-Semitism? Wouldn’t that be like gay people opposing a law against homophobia, or people of color rejecting a law against racism?

Oakland Raiders teammates kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland.
Keith Allison / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/keithallison

Add “being seen to have an opinion” to the things black people are no longer entitled to do.

Which Kanye Is It That Thinks Slavery Was A Choice?

May 23, 2018
Kanye West performing in 2011.
Rodrigo Ferrari / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/rodrigoferrari

“That’s just Kanye being Kanye.”

That’s what we said when he ran up on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to say Beyoncé deserved it.

Jamil Ragland tutors writing at Capitol Community College in Hartford.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

I was helping a student recently with a paper she was writing. It was on the poem "Ballad of Birmingham," about the 1963 church bombing. 

Tools for repair.
falconp4 / Creative Commons

I recently retired, and have done what many new old fogeys do: I finished a long-term project, renewed my gym membership and — yes — cleaned closets. I also did something I never expected. I reached out to an estranged friend.

Susan Johnson in Camden,  Maine on top of Mt. Megunticook.
Thomas Thompson / Courtesy of Susan Johnson

I began hiking regularly with a friend and her chubby dog eight years ago. The friend worked a 9-to-5 job, so neither she nor her dog got much exercise. But on Saturday afternoons we would hike.

An app transforms the unsmiling face of Robert Chipkin into several other images, including a forced smile.
Upper left: Josh Sowalsky / Courtesy Robert Chipkin / FaceApp

"Why does he look so constipated? Everyone else looks so happy except for Mr. Constipated," my family invariably asked when looking at pictures of me in family albums.

Confessions Of A Reticent Abortionist

Apr 5, 2018
Graffiti.
Edson Chilundo / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/edson_ac

Most mornings, there's an elderly man in front of my office holding a sign that says: "Thou shall not murder."

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