Influencing Education Policy

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Rural School and Community Trust is offering interested people the chance take part in preparing a set of position papers on national rural education policy. The papers have been drafted over the past year by rural education activists from across the country.  For the next two months, the Rural Trust [...]

John Updike’s “Couples”

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson When I moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts, more than 40 years ago, I was stunned to discover that John Updike was my neighbor. I was a slightly published writer of fiction and poetry; he was my literary god. More than what he wrote, it was the way he wrote, his command of [...]

A New Culture at the Dept. of Education

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson By now you know I believe that an organization’s culture flows from the top — be it the US of A, where the top would be a man named Obama; a labor union, where some at the top are patriarchal and suspicious, others are egalitarian and collaborative (I’ve experienced both); or [...]

Delicious Subversion

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Near the end of Sunday’s “We Are One” inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, Pete Seeger did something that could have gotten him arrested back in the 1950s. Today, in the Age of Obama, it’s not even slightly dangerous.  But to those of us who were sentient in the ’50s and [...]

Speed Matters — A Time to Act

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Communication Workers of America’s Speed Matters campaign is asking help in persuading the Obama administration to include funding for rural broadband in the economic stimulus package. Please go here and read what they have to say.  If you agree, please sign the petition. Now is the time to act.

How Was It For You?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Was it as good for you as it was for me? I’m lucky.  People pay me to write about this stuff, so I got to spend the whole day watching the inauguration on TV. How much did you get to see? Did the event live up to your expectations?  Did President [...]

In Case You Missed It, Part 3 of 3

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., delivered the benediction at the inaugural ceremony. Below is a transcription of his address, provided by CQ Transcriptwire: God of our weary years, god of our silent tears, thou, who has brought us thus far [...]

In Case You Missed It, part 2 of 3

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The following is a transcript of the inaugural poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander, as provided by CQ transcriptions. Praise song for the day. Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. [...]

In Case You Missed It, part 1 of 3

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson REMARKS OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA Inaugural Address, Tuesday, January 20, 2009 Washington, D.C. My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.  I thank President Bush for his service to our [...]

Watching the Inauguration

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson 11:30am (ET)I still can’t believe this. I’m watching Bush 43 walk out of the Capitol to perform his last (thank god) official function, greeting the incoming President. He looks stunned, or perhaps sedated. Michelle is wearing something yellow with a textured pattern and a gorgeous silver collar/necklace.  She could have shown [...]