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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Causes, Again

I’ve been reading How Dysfunctional Families Spur Mental Disorders: A Balanced Approach to Resolve Problems and Reconcile Relationships by Dr. David M. Allen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Allen asserts that drug companies and the rise of managed care have helped nurture the “brain disease” model for […]


I’ve just finished a new memoir, Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl, by Stacy Pershall, who’s been diagnosed with both bipolar and borderline personality disorders. It’s a harrowing account of self harm and suicide attempts, miserable depressions, bullying, anorexia and bulimia, drinking, and drug use. At the same time, Pershall has […]

Phonemic Awareness, Etc.

One of my favorite writers, James Herndon, wrote this in How to Survive in Your Native Land (1971): “What stops you [from reading] is people teaching you skills and calling those skills ‘reading,’ which they are not, and giving you no time to actually read in the school without interruption.” It always seems to me […]

Stigma Redux

I just finished reading Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel Water for Elephants. It’s an enjoyable read, and she did an impressive amount of research. It’s fun and dumb. Thinking over the ending, I was reminded of my redemptive violence post. Since the novel’s closing scene appears at the very beginning of the book (and is repeated […]

Half the Deed

I fixed the zippers on three pairs of pants yesterday, which had previously been held up by safety pins. (Possibly too much information, I know.) For months, I had contemplated picking up a zipper repair kit at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I recalled that my mom used to have such kits, but I didn’t know if they […]