What To Do in 5773
Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year
This new year as we try to make the world a better place for working families, their kids and their kids’ educators, I want to take a minute to take a deep breath—no, not yoga; just a deep breath—to get some perspective on life and be grateful for the relationships/bonds I have in my life.
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University
This past year I read nightly with a 5-year-old. His teachers taught him how to read; I taught him to love it. Every night we read for 15 minutes, the time the school requested. He’d set the timer. Soon he was setting it for 18, then 20, and then 22 minutes. At first we followed reading with a reward: a game of Angry Birds or iPad baseball. Eventually we forgot that and just read. And a few days ago this first-grader was placed in the advanced reading group with second-graders. This coming year, we’ll work on writing. I won’t worry much about spelling, penmanship, or grammar—that’s for his teachers. We are going to let his imagination rip. Some of his stories, I assume, will be fiction or as he says, “things that didn’t happen, like Charlotte’s Web,” and some will concern things that did happen “like dinosaurs, volcanoes, or Chumash.”
If he loves writing as much as reading, I will have had a very good year.
Jonathan Goldstein, frequent contributor, This American Life
In my early 20s, I was in a spoken-word band. I performed a piece about a pirate trying to steal my penis, and another about defecating out a racing horse on a first date. That kind of thing.
My best friend Howard was the drummer, and just before our first actual show, standing there on stage about to start, I turned to him and said, off mic, “I love you, man” to which Howard replied, “What’re you, Prince?”
That cured me of the spontaneous I-love-you’s for a good many years, but it’s something I miss and would like to re-instate because, as awkward as it can be to say such a thing, having someone die and never getting to say it at all is worse.
I need to start slipping them in somehow, like insurance. At the end of phone conversations might be a safe bet.
“I love you.”
But it’ll be too late. I’ll have already hung up, and they won’t be able to do a thing about it.
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