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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: September 27, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00

1951

I was a freshman at CCNY (City College of New York). I had just graduated from high school and was 16-and-a-half years old. Honestly, I was not very worldly and my education was vastly underwhelming in both social aspects and in the knowledge department. However, I had been accepted to this great learning academy and I was determined to do my best.

Lunchtime at CCNY turned out to be an experience I had to conquer. I took my brown bag lunch that my mother had prepared for me, with its obvious oil stain on the outside. I was about to enter the lunchroom at the college.

 

Editorial: Too Cool For Old-Fashioned School

Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00
For this week’s issue, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Nikhil Goyal, Syosset High School senior and educational reformer; I was tempted there to write “budding educational reformer,” but given the fact that he’s already written a book and speaks to experts in all realms of education on a daily basis, I think it’s safe to say he’s already there.

When we spoke over the phone, he had just gotten off the plane on the West Coast, presumably for one of his many speaking engagements. I tried to imagine myself in his position at that age, and found I couldn’t do it; even as a “good” student, at 17 years of age, I was still concerned with deciding who I wanted to be when I grew up. It would never have occurred to me, as it obviously did to Nikhil, that I didn’t have to reach a certain age before getting started on anything.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: September 20, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

The Family Dinner

“They’re coming—they’re coming.”

The grandchildren are about to make their annual invasion of the old family homestead. Get everything that is breakable out of sight and definitely out of reach of the diminutive bandits. The favorite toys are brought up from the basement to distract and divert them.

 

Letter: Third Party Politics

Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

(Editor’s note: The following is a response to Karen Gellender’s column, “The Opposite Of Voting.”)

I too have been finding it’s much easier this year to identify the candidates I don’t like than to pick one that I do like. So, I’m thinking about “third party” candidates, but worried that a vote for a third party is a vote thrown away. But here’s how I convinced myself that voting for a third party candidate is an okay thing to do: Unless you live in one of the “swing” states (like Michigan) that the polls say can go either way, then voting for a major party candidate, who isn’t the favorite in your state, is pretty much a thrown away vote anyhow. By voting instead for a suitable third party candidate, you at least convey the message to the major parties that the candidates they provided were not attractive to you.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: September 14, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 14 September 2012 09:28

Awakening

I lived the first 27 years of my life in the Bronx. I am proud of my many years and experiences that I enjoyed in that much-maligned borough.

I attended Yankee Stadium for both football and baseball games. My public school, P.S. 50, my junior high school P.S. 98 (Herman Ridder) and James Monroe High School all provided happy and memorable experiences. I also went to the Bronx Zoo many, many times. It was always enlightening to learn about nature and the animals of our world. The steamy streets of asphalt and concrete did not convey much information in that area.

 

Letter: The Truth About Medicare

Friday, 14 September 2012 09:23

(Editor’s Note: The writer of this letter is Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.)

Listening to both parties’ conventions, one has to wonder whose plan is actually bad for seniors. The simple answer is the Republicans, but the more complete and thorough answer is the Democrats. Here is the truth about both plans.

The Republican plan (or the Ryan plan) would replace the current system with one in which seniors are given a voucher to buy private health insurance.  However, as health care costs rise, the vouchers would not rise with them, creating a ‘gap’ that would have to be filled by the senior. Over time the gap could become so significant that many seniors wouldn’t be able to afford covering it.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: September 6, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

Mel and Elaine

When I was growing up, Golden Anniversaries—50 years of wedded bliss—were quite rare. Nowadays, they seem to come about almost every weekend. Is it because people are living longer, or because marriage is a better way to spend a lifetime? I am not sure.

Lorraine and I introduced Mel (my close friend) to Elaine (Lorraine’s college sorority sister) in 1961. Last week, we attended their 50th anniversary party in Annandale, Virginia. Tempus fugit.

 

A Bird’s Eye View: September 6. 2012

Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

What I See in Birds

When I look at birds I see more than just winged, feathered creatures. I sometimes catch a glimpse of their infinite beauty. It started in the early ’90s when I was looking at some terns on a cloudy Cape Cod beach. Later, perusing a bird identification chart, I began to marvel at the realization that small changes in the color of feathers on similar sized birds in the same bird family sometimes meant there were different species. And there were so many different kinds of birds! I was bedazzled.

One morning a few years ago, I was on a Florida peninsula near a tidal lagoon. There I spent 40 unforgettable minutes watching a reddish egret. The bird had once been hunted to near extinction in the U.S. by the early 20th century. It had almost been eternity’s bird. I was surrounded by bone-white sands, mangroves, some tall bare ash colored trees, a number of which were lying on the ground with their enormous root systems exposed. This landscape served as a theatrical set, enhancing the bird’s beauty.

 

Editorial: Helping Variety Child Learning Center

Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 31 August 2012 09:11

Variety Child Learning Center in Syosset has been there for a long time. I remember my elementary school Hebrew School class taking a trip there to play with the kids 20 years ago (and yes, I am dating myself with that.) So even though I never really knew anyone who attended there, I still have fond memories of the place. But even if I had never been there, it would be impossible to deny the importance of the school to Syosset and the surrounding communities.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: August 31, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 31 August 2012 09:06

Isaac

As Tropical Storm Isaac heads for the United States I am interested in the name, Isaac. I was fortunate to have met all four of my grandparents. Both grandfathers were named Isaac and both were born in Poland.

They were not at all similar in their business lives, but both were very religious and well-versed in the Torah. Isaac, after all, was the son of Abraham, destined to be sacrificed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Only the sight of a goat by Abraham saved his life.

 

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