July 4, 2016 |
Here I was - mid-December 2013 - climbing up one of Nicaragua's tallest volcanoes. It was about 7 o'clock in the morning, and I was already a few hundred meters and a few hours into the climb. I took a minute to catch my breath and look around me - I was surrounded by black, volcanic gravel, and I was standing on a 70-degree incline. I knew that I had a few more hours to go before reaching the top. Even though it was December, I was covered head to toe with sweat. The temperatures were continuing to rise and would reach their peak of a simmering 100 degrees in just a few hours.
May 2, 2016 |
THE ANNOUNCEMENT by former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D, Pa.) that he would marry again Saturday at age 90, this time to a man 50 years his junior, hit the Web like another naked Kim Kardashian selfie. As someone who once interviewed Wofford, I was as shocked as anyone. The news didn't break the Internet, but the venerable Democrat, who worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped start the Peace Corps, got people talking. His relationship challenges traditional notions of heterosexuality and of love.
September 2, 2015 |
From the column archives. Question: I've spent most of my life working toward a certain career. Now, in my senior year of college, with acceptance to my grad school of choice and employment for when I graduate, I'm thinking about going a very different route. With grad school, I'm basically locked in for 15 years. If I don't take this offer now, it's unlikely I'll get it again. Plus, everyone knows. That shouldn't matter, but I'm afraid of disappointing those around me, and myself.
August 21, 2015 |
KAY DEMING didn't fit too well in the conservative atmosphere of Louisiana when she was growing up. She was just a bit too liberal for the South. But instead of moving north, she took off for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, moved by the "winds of change," as her family put it. Kay spent two years in the Peace Corps in Barrio Simon Bolivar in Santo Domingo, where she taught English and helped open a neighborhood health clinic. Kay Deming Graham, as she became after marrying Jeffrey Graham in 1977, was a labor organizer whose emphasis was always on education and health care.
June 8, 2015
THE WHITE HOUSE recently recognized Julia Hillengas as a "Champion for Change. " The 29-year-old go-getter runs a little-known city program called PowerCorpsPHL that enrolls at-risk young people from mostly poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods and puts them to work on environmental projects - either for the city Water Department or for Parks and Recreation. With a $3 million budget, it's a small program that strives to make big changes in the lives of 18-to-26-year-olds by giving them a career path.
April 14, 2015 |
Since his death in 1993, there's been no diminished awe where Frank Zappa is concerned. An absurd, sarcastic humorist and a genre-jumping composer whose output included avant-garde classicism, psychedelia, progressive jazz, doo-wop, musique concrète, and heavy metal, the thing that made him most magical - from a purely instrumental standpoint - was his dexterous, adventurous guitar playing. Tense, dissonant riffs with shifting time signatures or speedy, clearly plucked, note-bending solos - either way, Zappa stung and swung.
March 11, 2015 |
The money ran out, and Zach Meeink lost his anchor. Build On, a national nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, has abruptly ended the program it operated successfully in several city high schools for 13 years. Officials with the organization say they could not raise enough cash to sustain the Philadelphia after-school program, which they described as among their strongest in the country. Build On students identify problems they see in their communities, then volunteer to repair them, helping children, the elderly, and the homeless.
January 14, 2015 |
If you're an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps alumnus, the City of Philadelphia is looking to hire you. Starting this month, Philadelphia will award up to 5 points on its 100-point civil service exam for alumni of national service programs AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. Mayor Nutter made the announcement along with Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service, a federal agency which oversees AmeriCorps. "These individuals, through their service, create critical thinking skills, demonstrate leadership qualities, responsibility and they become the kind of invaluable workers that any employer would want," Nutter said.
July 11, 2014 |
Tom Kessinger, 73, of Annapolis, Md., a former president of Haverford College who imbued campus life with his own Quaker roots and values, died Friday, July 4, at Anne Arundel Medical Center there. The college announced his death on its website, saying Dr. Kessinger had fallen two weeks ago and injured his head while playing tennis. Dr. Kessinger became the school's 11th president in 1988 and stayed until 1996. Under his tenure, Founders Hall and other buildings on the Main Line campus received renovation.
July 4, 2014 |
Jack Lutz, 92, of Mount Laurel, an educator in the Philadelphia area and abroad, died Sunday, June 29, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of a subdural hematoma. Dr. Lutz taught in Philadelphia public schools, then joined the Plymouth Whitemarsh School District as principal of three elementary schools. When Plymouth Whitemarsh expanded to become the Colonial School District, he was named assistant superintendent for curriculum. As the Philadelphia suburbs grew, he oversaw the design and construction of new schools, and for 10 years, recruited and hired teachers.