My Bio, the short version:
Early childhood educator/public health advocate/ Harvard College administrator/journalist. Unmarketable bachelor’s degree (Harvard, anthropology). Semi-marketable graduate degrees (Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania…). Rewarding career at the intersection of family, society, and schools (including frequent pop-culture diversions and long stint in parenting vortex). Forging a new path to connect all of the above.
I’ve spent many years — as a teacher, parent, preschool director, college administrator, and advocate for progressive schools – trying to understand the impact of cultural and political forces on young people. Wait, you’re not riveted? Could I interest you in my treatise on… fair trade pornography?
This is not a blog primarily about children, but I’m generally interested in the things that shape young lives. Things like politics, school boards, scientific findings , media, parents, religious institutions, and so on. You can find all of my work on children/young adults here at Growing Up. I write for TIME.com as a solo columnist and also have shared an occasional joint byline with my husband. I’ve published a few opinion pieces for CNN.com, the Financial Times, Boston Globe, Cognoscenti, and elsewhere, and you can read my sometime blog posts at the Huffington Post here. Here’s my take on child development, the importance of empathy, the politics of breast cancer, sex trafficking, why summer camp is a good thing, the death penalty, birth control, college binge drinking, my inexplicable Kristen Stewart crush, school shootings, and other topics here and here and here and here.
I’ve collected various credentials over the years, all somehow related to the wellbeing of small children, but in recent years I’ve moved a few notches up on the human development scale where I’m currently supporting the emotional and moral life of Harvard undergraduates. I live right on campus, and my job was once described as being mayor of a small town without a police force and comprised entirely of people lacking fully developed frontal lobes.
I try to cast a wide net with my thinking, but I always come back to certain themes: How do we balance collective and individual responsibilities? How do we live in a plural society without resorting to fist fights? How many more Sephora purchases can I make before my husband notices?
Spending an adult life with young people, as I’ve done, offers a weird mix of sublime and mundane. It’s impossible not to be moved by the freshness and honesty of their dreams. It’s equally impossible not to be overwhelmed by the workaday headaches of shepherding kids into some semblance of adulthood…
I could veer off on a tedious inner monologue right about now. But a little voice has been whispering in my ear for a few minutes, grabbing me at the legs and whining like a house cat: All the cutesy personal stuff you want to share? The coy musings about your peri-menopausal journey and how great it feels to have built a more mature relationship with your college sophomore son and how you spent last year’s Valentine’s day ordering Thai food for your ingrate kids? No one cares!
Thank you, inner voice. That’s very sound advice. But I do have some original(-ish) thoughts about contemporary life that I’d like to share. And I may sound like an Oscar reject but I’ve just always really wanted to write.
It always helps to imagine an audience, so please accept my sincerest thanks for stopping by.
My policy is to post a cross-section of comments, including negative feedback and plenty of ‘hater’ stuff. However, I sometimes limit comments that are very threatening or use misogynist, racist etc. language. (I’m okay with swearing.) You should not expect that every comment will be posted, or that I will include multiple ’rounds’ with an individual person. If this doesn’t satisfy you, much of my work can also be commented on at the sites where it was first published, such as TIME.com.
I like to listen to a range of voices and I appreciate feedback. However, this is my personal site that I curate in my own way, not a forum for open-ended online dialogue.
Thank you very much for visiting my blog.