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Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Grace Of Great Things

Reclaiming The Sacred In Knowing, Teaching, And Learning

Community goes far beyond our face-to-face relationship with each other as human beings. In education especially, community connects us with what Rilke called “the grace of great things.” We are, in reality, in community with the genes and ecosystems of biology, the great questions of philosophy and theology, the archetypes of literature, the artifacts of anthropology, the materials of engineering, the logic of systems and management, the shapes and colors of art, the patterns of history, the elusive idea of justice under the law — we are in community with all these great things. Great teaching is about knowing and feeling that community, and then drawing your students into it.

The Sun Interview

Without A Country

Pramila Jayapal On The Problems Immigrants Face

The debate isn’t just about passion; it’s about policies that make sense for this country, are in keeping with our values, and are good for our economy. I don’t want somebody to agree with me because they’re taking pity on an immigrant. I want them to see that immigration reform is the right thing to do.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Cristinaland

About ten years ago Cristina was studying to become a dentist when she got flattened by a drunk driver while crossing a busy street in Zacatecas, Mexico. Her head hit the pavement, and she was knocked unconscious. She spent a month in bed with a fractured pelvis and much longer learning to walk again, but eventually she resumed her studies.

The Sun Interview

Against The Current

Barry Lopez On Writing About Nature And The Nature Of Writing

I’ve become acutely aware of the political danger the country is in. The champions of material wealth, the acolytes of technology, and the religious extremists are so loud, so bellicose, so uncompromising. Who will rein them in? Who’s not afraid to criticize their notions of “progress”?

The Sun Interview

The Long Goodbye

Katy Butler On How Modern Medicine Decreases Our Chance Of A Good Death

It’s an interesting philosophical conundrum: Which self do we honor? The fully capable, legally responsible person I am right now, who says I don’t want any artificial barrier preventing the natural death that might await me? Or the less-aware self that I might become at a later date, who might say, “No, no. Keep me alive”?

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Inventory

On Reading The Papers Of Richard M. Stites, Esq., At The Georgia Historical Society In Savannah

I spread out your charts, your ledgers, your bug-eaten accounts, the ones cataloged and filed in acid-free folders. The room where I sit, Mr. Stites, is not far from the room where you yourself must have sat, sweat-stained, surrounded by your law books, sleeves rolled up, face sopping wet, bent over your volumes. Adding, subtracting, calculating, measuring, devising. Not far from where your slaves stood in pens waiting to be sold.

The Sun Interview

Hooked

Maia Szalavitz Debunks Myths About Addiction

As I said, maintenance treatment cuts the death rate for opioid addiction in half, which is better than any other method that’s been studied. If you went to a cancer center and weren’t even offered the treatment that reduced your risk of death the most, you would have grounds for a malpractice case. Yet most residential addiction-treatment centers do not offer maintenance treatment and, in fact, oppose it, saying it’s not “real” recovery.

The Sun Interview

Between Two Worlds

Malidoma Somé On Rites Of Passage

There are certain experiences that, once you become privy to them, shatter so many things you have learned. When a shaman in my village takes me to a cave, opens a portal to another world, and walks there and back again, I have to ask myself, “What kind of technology is this?” When this same shaman lifts himself off the ground — that is to say, levitates — I have to wonder, “What kind of technology is that?” When another shaman is capable of walking on water, I have to wonder, “What is the technology that enables him to float?” And so on and so on. But modern science has grown so grandiose that it is unwilling to break out of its narrow thinking to explore alternatives that might better serve human consciousness and the world.