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On Disappointment

Tuesday January 27, 2015

I ran out of the main building, and burst into tears as I reached the stairwell of my dorm.  I sat there crying, afraid someone would find me, and hoping that someone would find me and ask me what was wrong. No one ever did find me and I swallowed my disappointment.  I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. 


I had found out that I had not gotten a part in my friend’s dance recital and all my friends had gotten parts.  I was in tenth grade at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.  Now that I have a thirteen year old, memories from my adolescence are coming back to me and that is the one that sticks in my mind the most.  I think it was in that moment that I unconsciously decided to go long and hard in academics.  I was good at academics.  I got good grades, which stoked my ego.  But I stopped trying to do anything risky, anything that would involve disappointment or failure.

Written by Caroline

On Tattoos

Monday April 28, 2014

At my son's nursery school end of year celebration, in Greenwich, Connecticut, I noticed that not an inconsiderable number of the parents were sporting tattoos, and some of them went beyond discrete hearts and angels but were covering large body parts like shoulders and forearms. I also couldn't help noticing that quite a few of my children's camp instructors at our country club had tattoos on various parts of their bodies. Whereas I had previously thought of tattoos as something for veterans, prison inmates and bikers, now I feel like I am seeing them everywhere. Tattoos have gone mainstream. According to a Pew Research Poll done in 2010, the current generation of young adults (called the "Millenials") adoption of tattoos has been unprecedented in history. Almost four in ten persons 18 to 40 across America had at least one tattoo.

Written by Caroline

On Travel Sports

Friday November 8, 2013

Nowadays it seems that participation in travel sports is almost ubiquitous among a certain group of parents and children in high income communities.  Everyone is driving their children to practices and games seven days a week.  Moreover, many of these travel sports seem to require participation for most of the year, if not all year long.  Children go to hockey camp in the summer.  Children play indoor soccer leagues during the winter.  The concept of seasonal sports in the travel sports world seems to have all but disappeared.

Written by Caroline

On the Mayflower

Monday December 16, 2013

On November 21, 1620, the Mayflower Ship, carrying around 150 persons on board, including 102 passengers, dropped anchor at the tip of Cape Cod after a long and wretched voyage from England. Before disembarking any passengers, the settlers wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact.  Over the next few winter months, over half of the passengers and crew who stayed on board died from what was described as a “general sickness” of coughs, colds and fever.  Finally in March of 1621, the 53 remaining passengers (known to us as “Pilgrims”) built a permanent settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The event that Americans think of as the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the 53 Pilgrims and 90 members of the native tribes after their first harvest in the New World in 1621.

Written by Caroline

On Dress Codes

Monday October 7, 2013

There are dress codes everywhere you go. Some are definite and published, like the dress code at our children's day school, where the principal rule is collared shirts and no jeans, or at our club, which has a similar ban on jeans and t-shirts. Others are implied, such as wearing Sunday Best to church, or dressing up for dinner at a friend's house. Sometimes dress codes are imprecise but are nonetheless widely understood, such as business casual. Men can wear a bottom down shirt, khakis, a belt and loafers and they are suitably dressed. Women have more choice but certainly low-cut blouses or skirts that are too short would strain most people's sense of what business casual should mean. This is all to say that dress codes, explicit or implicit, are a fact of life.

Written by Caroline

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