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The Financial Sort (Shabana ’97):

Whenever I meet with new parents, the first thing they want to talk to me about is how to save for college. There isn’t a better example of how having children changes your outlook on life towards putting another person’s needs before your own, because I have to point out to many of these parents that they first need to take care of themselves by saving for emergencies and retirement. Paying for college has become exorbitantly expensive, but you can find money through loans, scholarships, grants and work-study. These options don’t exist for funding your own retirement and paying living expenses if you get sick or lose your job. … You can’t depend on your job to take care of you now that pensions and plush benefit packages are becoming a thing of the past, assuming you’re healthy enough to work and can even find a job. Don’t get me wrong—saving for your children to be able to attend college is an important part of financial planning, as long as you’ve saved for your own needs as well.

creative/process/landscape (Lares ’07):

Radio Nutrition (Donna ’73):

Is sugar a drug?  If you struggle with the temptations of the box of doughnuts in the break room or a bag of Snickers in your pantry, you might think so.  Sometimes it’s hard to resist sweets, although there are some people who could care less about sweet tastes (they’re more likely to love salty snacks like chips).  Recently a researcher suggested sugar sales should be regulated, like alcohol.  Forget about whether this is even feasible (it’s not).  Is sugar a drug?

Laugh and Plaster (Julie ’03):

We definitely need to get an aftermarket thermometer for our oven.  I haven’t had a single recipe cook within the stated time since we moved in.  Hasn’t stopped me from baking, as you can see here.  My parents promise me it’s easy to adjust the temperature on the oven, but I’m nervous.  I don’t like messing with gas-powered appliances.  You should have seen us trying to flush our water heater last week…we had to watch ~5 online tutorials before feeling confident enough to do it.

Oceanwire (Cathryn ’88):

scissors, glue & paper happiness (Katie ’08):

To commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the fire I experienced one year ago, I wanted to remind everyone out there on the world-wide web to please check or replace the batteries in your smoke alarm, buy that fire-ladder you have ignored at Home Depot and invest in some type of insurance… because even if you are careful and cautious, you never know what the world has in store for you (or your belongings or pets or piece of mind ). To be honest, you never know what the world has in store for your neighbor either!

As I reflect back on this past year I find it quite emotional with a range of feelings from scared and angry to thankful and appreciative. Everything gone in the blink of an eye… but a lot gained over the course of a year, too. During this time of year I can only hope that I will not turn on the TV or read an article and hear of the suffering brought upon families from those frigid winter flames.

Adventures of a Post-Doc in Haifa (Molly ’05):

Well, I think that I have have fallen in love with baklava!  There’s an amazing shop in the arab quarter (Wadi Nisnas) here in Haifa that sells amazing baklava in a ton of different varieties.  So tonight I plan on relaxing, staying warm and dry in my apartment and eating lots of baklava.

Look for the Good Project (Anne ’05):

Freya Wolf: Awakening, Alpine Aerie, & Life on Purpose (Lisa ’92):

I did it.  I deactivated my Facebook account.  I hovered over the deactivate button a few times in the past but never could pull the trigger.  I could easily rationalize many reasons to stay.

* Reconnecting with old friends.
* Filtering a more personalized news feed filled with interesting writers, thinkers and researchers.
* Cheering new and old friends in their artistic, athletic, health, and world saving efforts.
* Witnessing in words and pictures the thriving lives of so many old friends or family.
* Supporting those when tragedy or misfortune strikes.
* Sharing in birthdays and special moments.
* Modeling vulnerability and honesty (or so I’ve been told).
* Participating in live discussions of current events.
* Stretching my own lingual muscles to express ideas in a concise way.

That last excuse was probably the one that kept me glued to the white and blue screen the most.  I enjoyed wordsmithing pithy zingers, comical family dramas and dead pan criticism of broader social, economic and political idiocy.  I reasoned that I was honing my craft, my particular communication tool of choice.  And in truth, I have explored, learned and grown from the experimental mind meld with other people’s laptops. (Read more here.)

Nothing Original Here (Deborah ’85):

Not long after Troy Davis was executed following a controversial decision this past September, I sat down and had a conversation with Shari Silberstein, the Executive Director of Equal Justice USA. I confess that I walked into the interview with a number of preconceptions about her and the organization. I assumed that they were a typical leftist group, fighting an uphill battle against a conservative, right wing pro-death-penalty lobby. What I found instead was a thoughtful approach to re-framing the entire discussion about crime and punishment, one that included reforming the criminal justice system with an eye towards providing services to victims and their families, as well as more fair and equitable treatment for those accused of committing what we currently term capital crimes.

more like a word theme, really (Elizabeth ’05):

Today, the 8th Day of Christmas, many Christian churches celebrate the circumcision of Baby Jesus. I was telling my friend Shoshana that I’d agreed to preach on this Sunday. Being Jewish, she talked about circumcision as covenant and various other covenant moments in the Old Testament. I said that while “circumcision” is a catchy hook into talking about the day, the Gospel reading is mostly about Simeon and Anna’s songs of praise — and that the other assigned readings for the day follow this praise theme. She said she would still talk about covenant.


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