A White Girl and the “N” Word

When I was in elementary school in 1970's Brooklyn, NY (maybe third grade?) a kid (who was white) told me I had “n*gger lips.”  It felt weird, because I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or not, but I kind of knew something wasn’t right about it.  Honestly, I don’t remember how I responded.  Maybe I looked confused or maybe I tried to be cool about it.  I was seven or eight.  I was also kinda socially awkward and, frankly, just happy to be getting some attention from a peer - that much I do reme … [Read more...]

A Jewish Kid in Catholic School? Nothing But Nachas.*

My son Nicky loves baseball. He’s really, really good at it.Despite the looooong list of Jews who made it big in baseball, we were shocked to learn our town was not overflowing with Jewish schools that have viable baseball programs. My husband’s old Catholic school, however, (“The Hall”) has a very well-respected baseball program. So does another Catholic school nearer to us (“The Mount”). Mark Teixeira is a hometown boy who went to The Mount. We forgive his playing for the Yankees.Nicky … [Read more...]

Ballerinas on the Moon

In honor of Thank A Teacher Day:  the following is a slightly edited version of a post I wrote for Catonsville Patch over a year ago.    You can read the original version here.The lilting, closing notes to Brahms’ Waltz in A Flat Major still rang in the air.  (We had an actual pianist playing an actual grand piano in the studio when I took ballet.)  We would have just completed our rond de jambe exercises at the bar, and we would be waiting.  Silence.  We’d stand like statues in our closi … [Read more...]


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