Art and Detecting Come Together

A recent article in The New York Times caught my eye. It was about Amy E. Herman, an expert in visual perception, who has written a book titled Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life. She teaches medical students, business executives, and those who work in local and federal law enforcement how to use […]

Siddhartha's River and Our River

One of the best things about tutoring an inquisitive ninth grader in the humanities – literature and history, writing and global studies – is that I have the opportunity to revisit stories I have read in the distant past, when I was a different person. Doesn’t the passage of time change us at least […]

Vinnie Ream's Lincoln Statue

Note from Pamela: When Malena, with whom I have the pleasure of exploring all subjects related to the humanities, and I were delving into the years after the American Civil War, we read a marvelous picture book about a young girl who met President Abraham Lincoln and ended up sculpting his bust. Her name was […]

Everyone's Lincoln

Note from Pamela: This guest post is by Malena Ani, the 9th grade student with whom I have the pleasure twice a week to explore all topics related to the humanities. This is the second of three posts about sculptors who had the chance to demonstrate their love for Abraham Lincoln in statues they created. […]

1 of 200+ Abraham Lincolns


Note from Pamela: Did you know that there are over 200 statues of Abraham Lincoln in the United States? (Only four are on the west coast.) Malena, who I tutor in history and the humanities (literature, philosophy, art) fell in love with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ statue of Lincoln. So…I suggested she research the story […]

Medicine Cabinets are Revealing Places

At Foyle’s Bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London, we discover a humorous collection of travel guides.

The titles begin with The Xenophobe’s Guide to… and end with the name of a country. We thought The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Americans especially funny (and quite accurate) and bought two copies. One section in the book […]

The Power and Pleasure of Introverts

If solitude is an important key to creativity,

then we might all want to develop a taste for it.

We’d want to teach our kids to work independently.

We’d want to give employees plenty of privacy and autonomy.

Yet increasingly we […]

Inspired by Words and Notes

A lovely essay titled “Piano Lessons” appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Mother’s Day.

I was fascinated by the way in which Professor Greene’s essay intertwined music and the beauty of words, revealing the similarities between playing the piano and writing, two of my passions. Music and literature share rhythm, composition, and story, so […]

The Proof is in the Croissants

You might have figured out from earlier posts that I thoroughly enjoy reading Donna Leon’s mystery novel series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. Set in Venice, Italy, reading the books sends me on a trip to an exotic and interesting place, with a guide I trust. Guido Brunetti is married to Paola, who I enjoy […]

Are You Doing Too Much Homework?

“Race to Nowhere” is a powerful documentary that has brought to light the negative and frightening consequences of high-pressure schools, where numerous hours of homework, stringent (and not necessarily illuminating) AP courses, and high GPAs are the ultimate goal. The film continues to be screened around the country stirring up conversation and […]