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Marriage and the City?

Posted by Kara Miller, Culture Club June 9, 2010 01:23 PM

Most of my favorite movies end with declarations – implicit or explicit – of love: Sleepless in Seattle, Much Ado About Nothing, Robin Hood (with Errol Flynn), An Affair To Remember.

But what happens after the credits roll, the theme song fades, and the lights come up?

Nothing good, apparently. Or at least nothing that Hollywood seems to care much about.

Indeed, the critical furor surrounding the movie Sex and the City 2 feels emblematic of our current pop-culture take on marriage, an institution often depicted as entrapping rather than enriching. The movie’s characters, Roger Ebert wrote, “are flyweight bubbleheads” who sometimes “make my skin crawl.”


Column: Phoebe Prince, Bullying, and Me

Posted by Kara Miller, Culture Club April 9, 2010 09:22 AM


Phoebe Prince. (AP Photo)
Phoebe Prince killed herself on January 14. Today is April 12, and her name is still in the news, both locally and nationally. Why?

Partially, of course, it's because District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel has charged six teenagers in the case, all of whom were arraigned last week.

But there’s another – more wide-reaching – story here. A story not about violent, over-the-top bullying (the kind Prince endured) but about ordinary, run-of-the-mill bullying. Not so violent that any crime is committed. Not so horrific that school officials are clued in. But so ubiquitous that almost everyone has seen it or been targeted by it.


Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff March 18, 2010 05:46 PM

(Originally published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 9, 2010)

SAT scores aren’t everything. But they can tell some fascinating stories.

Take 1,623, for instance. That’s the average score of Asian-Americans, a group that Daniel Golden - editor at large of Bloomberg News and author of “The Price of Admission’’ - has labeled “The New Jews.’’ After all, much like Jews a century ago, Asian-Americans tend to earn good grades and high scores. And now they too face serious discrimination in the college admissions process.

Notably, 1,623 - out of a possible 2,400 - not only separates Asians from other minorities (Hispanics and blacks average 1,364 and 1,276 on the SAT, respectively). The score also puts them ahead of Caucasians, who average 1,581. And the consequences of this are stark.


My lazy American students

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff March 18, 2010 05:16 PM

(Originally published Dec. 21, 2009 in The Boston Globe)

It was the kind of student conference I hate.

“I’ll do better,’’ my student told me, leaning forward in his chair. “I know I’ve gotten behind this semester, but I’m going to turn things around. Would it be OK if I finished all my uncompleted work by Monday?’’

I sat silent for a moment. “Yes. But it’s important that you catch up completely this weekend, so that you’re not just perpetually behind.’’

A few weeks later, I would conduct a nearly identical conversation with two other students. And, again, there would be no tangible result: No make-up papers. No change in effort. No improvement in time management.


About the author

Kara Miller is an Assistant Professor of English, specializing in journalism, at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. She also serves as a guest panelist on WGBH-TV's “Beat the Press” and contributes to 89.7 FM WGBH (NPR). More »

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