The Bachelor Finale: Loving on a Prayer

Bachelor

My husband and I tuned into last night’s finale of the Bachelor (yes, he watches; yes, it’s for me) after I found myself strangely invested in a show I normally do not watch. I tuned in midway through the season because I wanted a Monday-night show to watch. I soon found myself pleased that so many of the women in the house seemed friendly with each other and that Bachelor Sean seemed seriously committed to his personal integrity and treating all of the women with kindness and grace. In spite of … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Dr.-Seuss

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. It’s that dismissal of children, that nostalgic lens for regarding childhood as a state free from the weight of real fears or anxieties, that bothers me.March 2nd marked the 109th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth (he died in 1991); this past weekend, readers all over the country celebrated with “Read across America,” an event that honors the beloved children’ … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Bedtime Stories, Morphine, and the Peace of God

bedtime story

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Bedtime battles also make me think of the ways we resist what is good for us, as earthly children and as children of God.I started reading Maria Tatar’s Enchanted Hunters for a scholarly project. The book ended up not quite relating to my research trajectory, but I kept reading anyway, mostly because I have LOTS of time on my hand for tangents. Tatar’s work ex … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Institutionalized Parenting

daycare

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.It may not be that parents feel omnipotent; it may be that too many feel isolated from the support of the institutions that were originally designed to help them.It’s been two weeks since I read Emily Matchar’s “How Parenting Became a DIY Project” in The Atlantic, and the article still bothers me. Matchar discusses the recent pendulum swing in parenting toward … [Read more...]

Two Sacred Loves: The Complementary Clash of Lent and Valentine’s Day

20130211.en.valent

Whether we choose to celebrate Lent, Valentine’s Day, or both, it is our love that makes us who we are.This morning, my husband wished me a Happy Lincoln’s Birthday. That’s only the first of the holiday greetings this week, as today is also Mardi Gras, followed by Ash Wednesday and then Valentine’s Day on Thursday. The juxtaposition of the start of Lent and the celebration of Valentine’s Day got me thinking a lot this week about how it seems like a contrast, the stark sacrifice and solemnity … [Read more...]

Introverts, Unite! Stop Calling Us Shy!

classroom

I immediately clicked on Jessica Lahey's article "Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School" because I am both a teacher and an introvert. As far as the headline goes, I agree with Lahey's argument as well as her premise—that the outside world demands dialogue and discussion, and educators who coddle children and never require them to speak ultimately do the children a disservice.However, I take issue with many of the claims Lahey uses to support that overall argument. For i … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Problem of Inheritances

Downton Abbey Estate

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I can by no means guarantee a financial bequest...but I possess spiritual gifts from a God whose abundance is infinite. I missed Sunday night’s new episode of Downton Abbey—not because of watching the Super Bowl but because of being in bed with what is probably consumption. I can tell because I’ve read a lot of nineteenth century novels, and my life is at a partic … [Read more...]

Israeli Eugenics: Forced Birth Control for Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants

Syringe

The Independent's Alistair Dawber reports that “Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.” Many of the immigrant women were given shots of Depo-Provera to control the population due to a fear expressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “that illegal immigrants from Africa ‘threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state.’ ”Compulsory birth control is not the same as … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and the Oldest Profession

ethel

  Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.These depictions are fictional but historically accurate, and they raise disturbing questions about parenthood in the present.  I am finally current on two of my favorite shows: Mad Men and Downton Abbey. After a long wait in the library queue, my husband and I did a week-long marathon of Mad Men to finish season 5 and sent it back into circulation for the n … [Read more...]

American Girl Dolls: Created In Whose Image?

american-girls

Ilona Szwarc's new series of photographs titled "American Girls" features girls posing with their customized versions of the popular American Girl dolls. The portraits emphasize the integration of the dolls into the girls' everyday lives, play, and respective spaces. These dolls, made by Mattel, offer a host of personalization options in addition to the historically themed dolls that make the brand seem overtly educational. Girls can customize their dolls' looks, a feature emphasized in Szwarc’s … [Read more...]


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