January 26, 2007
Re "Wanna be happy? Expect the worst," Opinion, Jan. 20 I take issue with Meghan Daum's thesis on expectation, hope and negativity. As I see it, both expectation and hope are based on what is known; in other words, the past. Negativity is also based on old assumptions and experience. Why not live with faith in oneself, in the ability to handle whatever life has to offer? Contentment is based on this. Unhappiness comes about not only by unrealistic expectations but from lacking a full sense of one's own capacities and limitations.
June 9, 2004 |
Does conscience have any currency in contemporary American politics? The signs may not look encouraging in an election year that will again break fundraising records.
May 24, 2004
Re "The Lobotomized Weasel School of Writing," Commentary, May 20: I vehemently disagree with Crispin Sartwell's characterization of the five-paragraph essay as "hoo-ha." While he explains that writing "ought to nurture and give shape to thought," he fails to understand that this essay format allows for the organization of thought, thus allowing for coherent shape. Writing an essay is much like giving a presentation to an audience. The presenter needs to clearly and simply introduce the subject or argument, then enumerate and develop subtopics that provide supporting information.
May 1, 2003 |
'Tis spring in Southern California, and along with the blooming of the jacaranda come the MFA shows -- exhibitions of work by master of fine arts graduates from area universities. Because this region boasts some of American's top institutions for advanced studies in studio arts, the work can be surprisingly good. And because the work is by students, it also can risk being quirkier and more experimental than commercial gallery or museum fare.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2003 |
Kevlar vest, used: $130. Monthly satellite phone rental: $185. Anthrax vaccination: $570. Airfare to Kuwait: $1,300. The chance for a college newspaper reporter to be "embedded" with an Army unit and cover a potential war in Iraq: priceless. Last fall, Ronald Paul Larson was covering features, lectures and sports for Cal State Fullerton's Daily Titan.
November 11, 2001 |
My daughter has announced a new goal for this school year, and it has nothing to do with homework or grades. "I'll bet," she said, "before the year ends, I'll have a day when there's a substitute in every class." She chuckles at the thought of six periods of videos and games and word search puzzles; a day when class cutups rule a string of befuddled substitutes. "I feel bad for them," she says, recounting the story of a sub reduced to tears by an unruly class. "But I feel bad for us, too.
July 10, 2001 |
Few student films are as polished or as profound as "One Day Crossing," the Holocaust drama of a Jewish woman in Hungary who poses as a Christian to protect her family. That is probably why it earned an Oscar nomination this year for best live-action short.
June 7, 2001
Regarding "Dickinson May Have Had Bipolar Traits" (May 16): John F. McDermott speculates that Emily Dickinson (arguably America's greatest poet) "had a bipolar trait" and that "along with that came a new kind of thinking." To consider such a thing, one would have to pre-assume that creativity and imagination are the result of some other cause. They are not. It is possible to create something that is pure imagination just as it is possible to be kind and honest for no reason other than kindness and honesty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2001 |
Like many graduate students, Chris Brown believes he was underpaid, overworked and not respected. Brown, though, made a federal case out of it. For nearly two years, the former materials engineering graduate student at UC Santa Barbara has waged a quixotic battle against the university, insisting on his right to lambaste university officials and professors in the pages of his master's thesis.