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Girl Rising (PG-13): An Impetus for Social Entrepreneurship

Last week my students in 7th and 8th grade Girls’ Leadership Club hosted their second annual movie night, raising awareness surrounding modern women’s issues around the globe with their presentation of Girl Rising. I am always so proud of these girls, whether they’re hosting a summer children’s camp in rural Costa Rica or spending their Friday night […]

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Flight Behavior: A Beautiful Butterfly Trapped in the Wrong Place

Last year on New Year’s Eve- my birthday- Shane and I were in Angangueo, in Michoacan, Mexico. Our Mexico road trip just so happened to coincide with the yearly migration of the monarch butterflies. It’s hard to notice them at first, but in this next picture you’ll see that the dark shapes on the trees […]

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A role model for America’s youth

In the wake of all the Miley Cyrus fallout, it’s heartening to be able remind ourselves that there are still actually vibrant role models out there for America’s children. (I won’t even post a link to the Miley Cyrus incident, seeing as I don’t want to subject you to how depressing it was.) Last weekend […]

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Baghdad Without a Map

I finally read Baghdad Without a Map, by Pulitzer prize winning writer Tony Horwitz. The foreign correspondent for Wall Street journal and The New Yorker writer has a keen sense of humor. His account of years spent collecting stories in the middle east reminds me of similar hilarious descriptions in books like Bad Lands, by […]

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Naiveté, Passivity, Laziness: America’s Modern Food Crisis

I love reading about food. As a runner and yogini, I know that what I put into my body makes a huge difference. The way I fuel my body is the difference between being happy, productive and active, versus watching TV feeling sapped. After reading Jonathan Saffran Foer’s Eating Animals a few years ago, the graphic […]

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Women, Sex-Trafficking, Development Work, and the Sciences: Four perspective-altering titles for our “modern” culture

The past few books I’ve read have completely served to alter my perspective and open my eyes to a lot of the harsh realities of life in the 21st century. The following titles shed light on the fact that our new century is not as forward-thinking as we presume it to be. Half the world’s […]

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Exceptional children… need exceptional teachers

Recently Menlo School assigned Wonder by R.J. Palacio to all students, staff and teachers as our summer reading assignment. In Wonder, we read about August Pullman, a boy who must navigate his way through the complicated world of middle school while struggling with the ramifications of Treacher-Collins Syndrome, a cranio-facial deformity. Initially the book appears […]

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Salman Rushdie: The Jaguar Smile

I never was able to finish Rushdie’s famed Satanic Verses due to the fact that it simply wouldn’t end, but recently while on a service trip in Nicaragua with my students, I opted for his much shorter The Jaguar Smile. In this 1987 work, Rushdie illustrates Nicaragua the way he experiences it during the Sandinista […]

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YouTube video Rustic Pathways Dominican Republic

Recently the Rustic Pathways northern California salesperson came to my school to drop off brochures / view books for all the students. As he helped me transport the heavy boxes, he finally said, you look so familiar, but I don’t know from where. After brainstorming, he remembered that he had recently seen the above video […]

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John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy of Dunces

My favorite book of all time was published posthumously after Toole’s suicide. Most readers report that they find the protagonist’s escapades exasperating; at a recent book club, one of the girls voiced that she found him irredeemable. I, on the other hand, find endless enchantment in all of his antics, as Ignatius J. Reilly’s daily […]

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