Take My Word

Printed: 9/12/08 The misguided idea that public dollars are limitless was on full display in the recent state Legislative Audit Council review of cell phone use among state employees. The prevailing attitude was adolescent: Dad’s paying, so the sky’s the limit. Two flagrant misuses stand out – for their audacity, and because they originated in […]

Take My Word

Printed: 9/12/08 Since January 2007, South Carolina school districts have been required by law to track, limit and punish school bullying in all its permutations, including cyberbullying, the trendy term for electronic harassment by cell phone or computer. This isn’t an overreaction. Bullying is a serious problem in the public school culture, which extends far […]

Take My Word

Printed: 9/7/07 “Mom,” my second son asked a couple of weeks ago at the height of the August heat wave, “if you stood under the hole in the ozone layer, would you burn up?” Were he a whole lot younger, this question would have alarmed me, as I would have felt duty bound to appear […]

Take My Word

Printed: 8/3/07 My husband sent out a blanket email to his coworkers last week that said, “Please, NO SPOILERS! We are reading the seventh and final book aloud as a family and I don’t want to know what happens. Just a week, and we’ll be done. Thanks.” The “Harry Potter” in the tagline was redundant. […]

Take My Word

Printed: 6/6/08 I’m an avid quote collector, and ran across a couple the other day that relate so strikingly to the Furman presidential visit I had to share them before the associated furor fades entirely from memory. The first, from Winston Churchill, scarcely shows its age: “Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a […]

Take My Word

Printed: 5/23/08 Faculty protests about presidential speeches don’t normally bring drag queens to mind. But I couldn’t help thinking of the Kinsey Sicks when I first heard about the Furman faculty angst over President Bush taking the podium at the university’s graduation ceremonies next week. The Kinsey Sicks, you remember, are the San Francisco “beauty […]

Take My Word

Printed: 9/1/06 I’m a big believer in time travel. Not the kind where you’re whisked back 300 years in a time machine and risk transcendental catastrophe if you change the past. I’m talking about when you experience, as an adult, something you did so often as a child that you’re transported backward into memories so […]

Take My Word

Printed: 7/7/06 The late anthropologist Margaret Mead once said that “fathers are a biological necessity but a social accident.”     She died in 1978, but the woman was a prophet when it came to reading the culture. She could have been describing the 2006 viewpoint, except that 21st century science is busily rushing to eliminate […]

Hear that roar?

Printed: 9.12.08 In line at the drugstore the other day, I wondered what it would be like to be Sarah Palin: Tabloid Sensation. Her face dominated the magazine rack beside the register, dwarfed only by the headlines: “Babies, Lies and Scandal!,” “New Embarrassing Surprises!” “Baby Not Sarah’s!” I hadn’t heard that last one. Apparently the […]

Take My Word

Printed: 1/2/09 Janus, the Roman god after whom January is named, personified change, transitions and beginnings in Roman minds. Consequently, he had two faces gazing in opposite directions, so he could look backward and forward in equal measure. Which defines, of course, what we all do at the beginning of a new year; what all […]

Take My Word

Printed: 11/07/08 I voted for John McCain, but I watched with tears streaming as Barack Obama walked out on that Chicago stage Tuesday night. Tears as Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a Freedom Rider beaten by white Alabama mobs in 1961, gave interview after interview with a dazed joy on his face. Tears as the […]

My sister’s calling

When I read the other day about people going into teaching as an easy backup plan in a bad economy, I could just hear my art-teacher sister’s comeback: Try a week at the local high school first and see if you last.

Golfgate

The agreement to take money from School District 7 has split an already dysfunctional Country Club of Spartanburg so much so that a group of members offered to pay the money themselves to quell the community firestorm. But the club’s board wants to see how the district’s public meetings work out before taking any action. […]