In high school it was a great surprise for me to discover that the United States is overwhelmingly protestant. Living in Cajun country, I had simply assumed that most of the country was Roman Catholic. There are so many fascinating quirks and oddities that living in a ‘foreign’ culture offers. There are the differences of … [Read more…]
Teachers are heroes. So why don’t we trust them more? Teacher Supplies I was in an office supply store the other day, looking at educational products. I stood in front of the stickers – the modern version of what were the coveted foil stars when I was a kid – and considered the wide variety, … [Read more…]
If you live in Acadiana, you should check out a current-events talk show on KRVS, ‘Bayou to Beltway‘. The host, Pearson Cross, was the Department Head of Political Science here at the University for some years, and if you keep up with Louisiana politics you have seen him quoted in papers nationwide. He has become … [Read more…]
I remember one of my med school classmates, a woman who told us about how she knew when she was very young that she would be a doctor when she grew up. She had no doubt about that. “What I couldn’t figure out,” she explained, “was how I was going to become a man.” It … [Read more…]
In one of the recent presidential debates, a panelist asked Ben Carson what he would do about ‘grey’ drugs, life-saving medicines that have recently seen astronomical price inflation. My ears perked up. For some time I have wondered about how we might resolve the tension, and where the balance point lies, between the considerations of … [Read more…]
We think that prejudice, in and of itself, is a problem. But we, all of us, are constantly prejudiced about what is going on in the world around us, not just about people but about business, technology, and government. If we were not ‘prejudiced’, if we did not expect certain patterns, we could not function.
The real problem is that when our initial impression – our prejudice – becomes our only impression. The problem isn’t prejudice; the problem is closed-mindedness.
It would be hard to think of a more conservative culture than the military. There are strict rules, rigid protocols, and inflexible generic clothes. In addition, there is a prescribed, if unwritten, code for personal behavior that approaches the robotic, and is often a lampoon of conservative stereotypes: brusque, business-only, stoic, humorless, and unemotional. Perhaps … [Read more…]
A couple of the best teachers I ever had were not very good teachers. Let me explain. The first was a high school math teacher that I had for two years. One of my best friends was in her classes with me, let’s say his name was Picard. She would hand back our exams and … [Read more…]
Americans have a complicated relationship with drugs. We get our prescriptions filled at ‘the drugstore’ but what we take home is medicine, not drugs. Likewise we have a War on Drugs, but no War on Medicine or War on Pharmaceuticals (although there is war brewing between the public and the pharmaceutical industry.) The US currently … [Read more…]