Sanitation in India

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children with Malnutrition, by Gardiner Harris, in Monday's New York Times, discusses something that has been puzzling health and sanitation experts for a while: why are so many children in India with improved food quality and quantity not thriving?  Why are patterns of growth stunting so persistent? If this emerging hypothesis is correct, then it would seem the clue to the disturbingly high rates of stunting is sanitation, not food.  The large percentage of the population in India who defecate in the open may be the cause; the theory is that the bacterial…

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College Campus Assaults – Call for Comments

An article in today's New York Times, Reporting Rape and Wishing She Hadn't, is one of many recent print and online pieces addressing campus rapes and sexual assaults.  These incidents are both disturbing and yet not at all surprising – the tea leaves have all been in place for a very long time. Our forthcoming play, “Spoiled,” explores masculine self-images behind gender violence in the USA and India. In preparation, I would love to get comments on this topic. For example: Why do some men come to see these type of assaults as acceptable? What really are the cultural influences shaping young…

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Walter Dean Myers 1937-2014

  Thank you  Walter Dean Myers. You are a godsend to a teacher. All those reluctant readers? All those boys who couldn't find ANYTHING they wanted to read? All those topics - war, families, race - that needed a good shared book to get the conversation started?  I knew I could always find something in your voluminous portfolio that would fit. I have used Fallen Angels repeatedly - always with success - and then been able to offer Sunrise Over Fallujah right behind it.  I've been able to offer up books on sports figures, history, ballet, teen pregnancy, jazz, the Old Testament, cowboys, Somali…

  • Post category:EducationMusings
  • Reading time:3 mins read
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Lady Pockets

Satire Any Feminist Will Love If you haven't found Lady Pockets, yet, look it up.  It's the brainchild of Philadelphia-based costume designer and writer Katherine Fritz, clearly a woman with a sense of humor.  If you're a reader of women's magazines - or even a supermarket aisle browser - you'll get her take. Any woman who can find even a vein of humor in the frightening Hobby Lobby decision is okay in my book, and the fact that she works the obsessive adult arts and crafts movement into a recent post doesn't hurt either. I mean, really, "Get the Look" posts…

  • Post category:MusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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Are Women in India Safer Today?

Here's the question: after the wave of publicity following the Delhi rape of December 2012, and actions by the government in response, how's it going?  Do women feel safer?  Might they actually BE safer? Thanks to the fantastic work of ICRW - the International Center for Research on Women - we may soon know. In 2012, an ICRW survey asked about public safety in Delhi. The results found that 90% of women and girls had experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Ninety percent?  Did you catch that right?  In my book, that's pretty close to everyone.  That should…

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Banish the Colourful Classroom?

Thank you Jan Hoffman and Carnegie Mellon University.  Well, thank you and shame on you at the same time.  In the New York Times yesterday, Jan Hoffman wrote on a Carnegie Mellon study looking at effects on children's learning and concentration of the heavily adorned classroom walls that are the staple of traditional elementary schools throughout the USA. Not surprising to any Montessorian, the study found that children performed better in rooms with relatively unadorned walls.  They noted that the proliferation of posters and borders and commercial materials, presumably designed to be cheery and inspirational, actually may be a distraction,…

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Birthday Celebrations: Charity

How about adopting this birthday tradition? Birthdays are a big deal in many parts of India.  Some widely respected traditions include wearing new clothes, blessing parents, feeding others birthday cake - often including some messy frosting face smearing - and, in some offices, taking the day off work. But another practice I especially like is to give to charity.  Many people donate to a charity on this special day, especially by giving clothing or food to an orphanage or perhaps hosting a meal at a shelter home. It is both a blessing for the person celebrating the birthday as well…

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Shop for a Cause: Kamalini

Kamalini's spring Mela is coming up!  Kamalini works to empower underprivileged young women by providing basic education, useful skills, and confidence-boosting activities through two centers in Delhi and numerous outreach programs.   This Mela features women's and children's clothes donated by El Corte Ingles, a large Spanish department store. Shop for bargains and help Kamalini at the same time.

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Alpha Montessori Roof Garden Blooms!

The roof garden is blossoming!  Actually, more than blossoming - it's producing real food, smack in the middle of a smashed-in urban labyrinth, a wasteland for nature. Alpha Montessori - one of my favorite places - was last year's recipient of the AWA Glimpses of Asia photo exhibit and fundraiser.  The proceeds went to take their abandoned, unsafe, and pretty well dysfunctional rooftop and turn it into a garden. The goal was to have some space where children - and adults - could enjoy outdoor time, experience nature, and learn about botany. I'm happy to say all the work has paid…

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The Catalyst Conference

Attending The Catalyst Conference Wednesday and Thursday this week: Addressing Sexual Violence in India: Transforming Attitudes, Changing Behaviours. Five key issues will be addressed: Men's Attitudes Toward Women in India Access to Education Economic Opportunities Arts and Media The Law and How it is Implemented Read more about the conference or apply to attend here.

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