Freelance Writer focused on parenting, art, architecture, design, and the trades. Higher ed Content.

Shaye J.D. Cohen publishes new Mishnah translation

Shaye J.D. Cohen works in an office with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on all four walls. Volumes in English, Hebrew, and Aramaic are piled on every available and makeshift surface. Most of the texts are bound in leather, with pages as translucent as onion skins. The speckled pattern of the wool sweater Cohen wears is so similar to the stacks that he appears in near-camouflage at his desk. Cohen, the Nathan Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy in the Department of Near Eastern...

Bringing movement into the classroom and academics into the gym

It’s highly unusual for MIT students to be encouraged to throw one another to the floor, but that’s exactly what was happening during a lab that met in the Wrestling Room at the duPont Athletic Center at MIT in November. After learning some basic judo moves and pairing off, students were instructed to shift their body weight and apply force all the way from their feet to their hands. “Your goal is to take your opponent down without hurting them,” explained Jennifer Light...

The Creator: Marlon Forrester, BFA '08 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Marlon Forrester is sitting at a long table in the SMFA library where he used to study as an undergraduate. When he leans in to answer a question, he pulls the sunglasses off his face and really connects. His presence is as electric as the fast-paced games of sidewalk chess he likes to play in the Fenway outside Blick Art Materials, setting down bags of supplies and risking parking tickets to claim checkmate. “As artists, we’re all giving birth to something,” he believes. And at the...

Invest in Workers to Invest in the Future

As a child, Chike Aguh’s mother, an immigrant from rural Nigeria, cut dress fabric for minimum wage at a shop outside New York City. “My parents came to America because they saw an economy where their kids would not have it as hard as they did,” says Aguh, A05. “The America that they came to was built by the American worker.” Because of his own family’s success, it became Aguh’s personal mission to help others rise, too. He has worked as a second-grade teacher, a lecturer at Columbia University

Untangling a Mingo Beach Myth

“As a historian, I always tell my students that one of our greatest responsibilities is to correct the myths of the past because without accurate knowledge of history, the present is chaotic and the future is unclear,” said Elizabeth Matelski, Associate Professor of History. And when it comes to Endicott’s past, arguably the greatest myth is that of Robin Mingo, namesake of Mingo Beach, one of the College’s three picturesque shorelines. A lesser-known, troubling truth is waiting some

Hacking for Diversity and Representation

In 2020, Dina Deitsch, director and chief curator of Tufts University Art Galleries, led a public art audit that took a hard look at the overwhelming dominance across Tufts’ campuses of art by—and depicting—white males. From that analysis (conducted as part of the Tufts as an Anti-Racist Institution initiative), she and the Public Art working group concluded that while the university’s imagery wasn’t overtly racist, it was exclusionary because as it did not include any people of color. Deitsch

When Losing a Pregnancy Leads to Losing Friends

As the mother of a gregarious 5-year-old boy, I experience parenthood in all its wonder and burnout. I’ve also had four miscarriages, which I continue to grieve. Those losses have led to others: I’ve let go of close relationships with friends who got pregnant with their first, and then second, and then third babies. At times, I’ve found their joy too painful to watch. When people casually post their ultrasound photos on Instagram, I shut my eyes and breathe through flashbacks of my own devastat

You’re Allowed to Complain About Your Kids, Even After Infertility

I clamped my hands over my ears as the obstetrician cranked up the volume on the ultrasound machine. After three pregnancy losses, I was convinced that we’d be met only with static. “I think you’re going to want to hear this,” the doctor said. And there was the unmistakable drumming of my son’s heart. At that moment, I promised myself that I would always be grateful for this baby, and for my body that found a way to grow with him. And yet, when it’s 4:58 a.m. and I’m awakened by him bellowing for potato chips and cartoons, parenting can feel tedious, lonely and exhausting.

Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Charming Summer Home Is Revived for a Young Boston Family

Isabella Stewart Gardner was the original Boston patron of the arts. Occupying a Venetian Gothic Revival building defined by its dramatic palazzo courtyard, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is still the beating heart of the city’s art scene, even nearly a century after its founder’s death. In 1884, Gardner and her husband, Jack, inherited their country home, Green Hill, in Brookline, Massachusetts, and began using it as a pastoral summer retreat. Images: Michael J. Lee.

Perspective | Why visualizing images is so important for young readers, and how to foster the skill

I try to explain that my brain lifts off in flight. With “Firekeeper’s Daughter,” I become an avatar of the main character, Daunis Fontaine, an 18-year-old Ojibwe woman, sprinting through the damp reservation woods in Michigan, chest heaving, trying to bust up a local drug ring. It feels so real, and I am so focused on trying to understand and respect her world, which is so unlike mine, that when I am interrupted mid-paragraph, it takes me seconds to land back on the couch, into my 41-year-old m

Is job sharing the solution to our flexible work problems?

The nine-to-five in-person American workday is rigid, arbitrary, and increasingly outdated. Yet, if an employee wants to trim their hours to part time they often risk losing opportunities for advancement, getting caught in a slippery slope of pulling far more than 20 hours a week in exchange for more flexibility but less pay. And for women who are parents, they frequently end up getting slapped with the “mommy track,” label and taken less seriously by colleagues who relentlessly value a 60-hour

What Does a Good Paid Parental-Leave Policy Look Like?

Working as designers at a real estate company, Brittney Hart and Justin Capuco felt pressured to take just two weeks of paid leave when their twins arrived. They remember the time as one hard, delirious blur. Having since gone on to found their own firm, Husband Wife, they now have the flexibility to be home in the evenings, when their preschool-aged kids are still awake, says Capuco. If you’re pregnant, adopting, fostering, going through surrogacy, or managing someone who is about to welcome a

Bribery, rewards and other ways to motivate your kids without feeling guilty

There’s a difference between rewards and bribes, but it’s subtle. Bribes are offered in desperation to get a child to cooperate in a difficult, often unplanned situation — as a kind of prepayment for compliance. Rewards are considered in advance, given upon completion of a task, and structured to motivate. For Ferdaws Seraj, a mom of two in Fairfax, Va., the toughest part of parenting after an intense workday followed by the dinner-prep grind is not giving in to the kids’ nagging or crying.

Serene Garden Sanctuary on Nantucket

Shaped privet hedges meet untamed swathes of periwinkle hydrangeas and layer upon layer of herbaceous plantings that sway in the Atlantic salt breeze. Greenwich, Connecticut–based landscape designer James Doyle and his team at James Doyle Design Associates have cultivated a Nantucket sanctuary here on the island’s bluffs. The clients had very specific needs and wants because they spend a lot of time on the island from mid-summer into the fall. The large family gatherings that they host form the

This Women-Owned Stone Supplier Does Things Differently

Four times a year, sisters Agnes and Beata Pisalska, the owners of BAS Stone in Long Island City, New York, methodically walk through dusty quarries for 12 hours a day for a week in the Tuscan province of Massa-Carrara, hunting for treasure in their matching black Prada eyeglasses. “We’ll spot a block through the rubble,” says Agnes. “No one wants it.” Beata joins in with a laugh, “And then we’re like, what is back in that corner?” Following their gut instincts, the BAS sisters make their selec

Neglecting Yourself Doesn’t Make You a Better Mother

For Ms. Herold, that can be a therapy session by telephone or even plopping her son in front of a screen for a break. But her needs are always hidden out of sight, she realized recently. When her son is awake, she’s reading him books, washing dishes or working remotely — not stretching out on the couch with a novel. “He needs to see me reading just for me,” she said. Before my neighborhood sandbox in Brookline, Mass., became a potential infection zone, I learned fast that pulling up with the st

When Nobody Wants to Be in Your Pod

Pre-pandemic, barely anyone knew about our personal health, and we liked it that way. In particular, Isaac, who is now 4 and an only child, had no idea. We aren’t sure if my husband’s condition is hereditary and doctors don’t know how to test for it, and all of that didn’t feel right to share with a preschooler. Now, before we so much as go to the park for a masked play date, we have to disclose these health issues, so that other parents know how serious it is that we all keep safe when we see

These Photo Albums Offer a Rare Glimpse of 19th-Century Boston’s Black Community

With a quiet, unflinching confidence, Virginia L. Molyneaux Hewlett Douglass posed for the photographer, one slender hand rustling the pleats of her fine silk dress. Although portraits were trendy and accessible in the 1860s when hers was shot, hand-colored photographs were a luxury, and this one is saturated with shades of emerald and lilac, underlining Virginia’s wealth and high social standing as the wife of Frederick Douglass, Jr., son of the celebrated abolitionist. Her name is handwritten
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