Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren!

Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren for fighting the good fight and for alerting us to the poison pills in the $1.1 trillion spending bill dubbed the cromnibus bill.Maybe it is the best bill possible, and as many Democrats claim, anything passed by the new Republican Congress would be far worse. Yes it contains funding for the Affordable Care Act in what will be a critical year for the future of Obamacare. This is could be the year when ACA becomes an integral part of the safety net with a growing constituency who will fight to expand it ....more

I finally saw Fruitvale Station

I finally saw Fruitvale Station, a documentary about the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old who was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer named in Oakland early on New Year’s Day, 2009. The film came out around the time of the killing of Trayvon Martin and I felt I just could not take it. Since then we’ve had the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley ....more

My bulbs are still not in the ground!

My garden on November 30, 2014.My bulbs are still not in the ground! Wednesday’s snowfall really set me back. While the snow has disappeared in most of the city, it is still hanging on in my Mt ....more

November is the cruelest month

What a difference a week makes! All my beautiful leaves are on the ground and my trees are "bare ruined choirs.” The poet was wrong—November is the cruelest month. Winter is getting harder for me with each passing year ....more

The Glorious Fall of 2014

This has been a glorious Fall. And although it’s kind of wild and unkempt, my Fall garden has never been more beautiful. For some reason, the reds seem more intense than usual and the golds more luminous ....more

Why were Democratic candidates were running away from the President and his record??

During the past few months, I was increasingly upset by the way Democratic candidates were running away from the President and his record. President Obama has a record to be proud of—-principally passage of the Affordable Car Act. See Paul Krugman’s assessment of the Obama presidency here I was stunned that Alison Lonergan (Democratic candidate for the senate in Kentucky) refused to say whether or not she had voted tor Obama ....more

10th anniversary of the Women’s Advocacy and Outreach Center at Community College of Philadelphia

I was very happy to be invited to give the keynote address at the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Advocacy and Outreach Center at Community College of Philadelphia. I was one of the faculty involved in the establishment of the Center, served on the Advisory Board until I retired, and over the years participated in many collaborative programs with Claudia Curry, the Director of the Women’s Center. The highpoint of my professional life was the development of the Introduction to Women’s Studies Course and then the Women’s Studies/Gender Studies degree and certificate programs.CCP is to be congratulated for continuing to support the Women’s Center; many community colleges facing hard times closed their Women’s Centers ....more

Elena Ferrante’s Novels

Elena Ferrante’s novels get better and better. To date three novels have been published in the series often referred to as the Neapolitan novels. The novels work on many levels: an exploration of the social and economic divisions in Italy; the extent to which class and gender constrain women’s lives, the difficulty of ever erasing the imprint of one’s background, the complexities of women’s’ friendships over time ....more

In love with Elena Ferrante: Part three,Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Elena Ferrante’s novels get better and better. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third volume in what will apparently be a four volume series, continues the story of the complicated friendship between two young women, Elena Greco and Lina Carlo who grew up in an impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood in the 1950’s. Thanks to her families (albeit reluctant) agreement to pay school fees, Elena is now a college graduate and Lina, denied those opportunities, is working in a sausage factory ....more

In love with Elena Ferrante: Part two,The Story of a New Name

The Story of a New Name,the second of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels begins with Lila Cerullo trapped in a loveless marriage and Elena Greco grimly determined to use education as her route out of her impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood. Elena is haunted by the fear of becoming her mother: “Would my mother truly emerge from me, with her limping gait, as my destiny?” The women of the neighborhood bore the scars of multiple pregnancies, back-breaking labor and domestic violence. They were silent with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them ....more