Recently at the grad school where I teach, I attended a prospective-student event in which the faculty introduced ourselves by including not where we got our Ph.D.s, but by something much more important: our favorite cartoon characters. The first words out of my mouth were “Wonder Woman,” whose history veiled in mystery Smithsonian Magazine disclosed in their November 2014 issue. I’ve read some great stories in comics, and I received my Ph.D. in no small part due to them. One-third of my comps related to literature. So I reviewed major plots and characters for my oral exams by borrowing and reading Classic Comics (a
Recently, I moved into a new office, and one of the facilities employees sent to secure my pictures to newly painted walls had trouble figuring out the math. In fact, we ended up putting his task in math-problem terms: If a wall is eight feet long and the book case takes up three feet, what is the center of the remaining area? And . . . you need to hang three paintings equal distances horizontally from each other in the center of that space. They are each 18 inches high. If the floor-to-ceiling measurement is eight feet and the lowest painting is three feet off
“I love you, you love me….” These lyrics played in my head for years as I worked with one of my clients, the then music producer for Barney and Friends. (Please don’t hold this against me.) I served both as his publicist and as the “studio mom” who booked kid singers for rehearsals and entertained them during breaks. And if I discovered one thing during that gig, it was this: I needed to revise my stereotypical view of home-schooled kids. Maybe some youngsters end up socially inept due to lack of interpersonal contact from learning at home, but I sure didn’t meet any of them.