What Is Pride, Anyway?

We are now at the 50th Anniversary of the gay rights movement, which exploded into the public eye on June 28, 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar and was frequented by lesbians and gay men, drag queens and transgendered people. The NYC police engaged in a systematic program of harrassment of the gay bars of the time by raiding the bars and randomly arresting people attending there. On that historic day 50 years ago, many of these citizens fought back, drove the police into protective hiding and did considerable property damage. In a sense, the gay community finally rose up in rage at being constantly harrassed and not allowed to live their lives as they saw fit. Within a year, pride demonstrations had spread from coast to coast. Within another year, gay student organizations sprang up at colleges across the country. The subject of gay liberation was constantly in the press and other media.

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Bad Trip

Jym describes his somewhat limited experience with cannabis.

Fifty years ago I was in the second year of my doctoral program in philosophy of education at Indiana University. This was something of an achievement for me, considering that I had left one good job in 1961, backed out of a mathematics masters from Ohio State in 1963, languished at my parents’ home for a year, graduated from OSU in 1966 with a masters in philosophy of education, and then had spent another year, 66-67, studying philosophy at OSU. This wasn’t exactly going nowhere fast, but it was very close to going somewhere very slow.

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On Remarkable Mathematicians: Goro Shimura is Dead

I read in today’s New York Times this obituary: Goro Shimura, 89, Mathematician With Broad Impact, Is Dead. The man is justifiably famous. As the article notes, Shimura was “a mathematician whose insights provided the foundation for the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem and led to tools widely used in modern cryptography.” Upon reading this, I was immediately plunged into a sea of memories, for I once had a friend who spent hours daily reflecting on that one-time diamond of mathematical pursuit, Fermat’s Last Theorem.

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How an Ethics Course Changed My Life

When I was an undergraduate at Marietta College, I was fortunate to take several philosophy courses with Elizabeth Steiner Maccia. Her classrooms were overflowing with students eager to learn this esoteric subject from her, and her reputation was well-established when my fellow classmate and mathematics student, Jim Murtha, said “You ought to get a course from Liz Maccia; she’s good.” I think it is fair to say that Elizabeth Maccia’s course on Ethics changed my life.

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A Mother’s Day Tale

arthurVictorine Dorval Munier Andris was the grandmother that I never met. My own mother, Ella Lorene Sullivan Andris fortunately planted and kept alive in my mind the memory of “Torienne.” I don’t know too much about her, but story telling and genealogical excavation have allowed me to reconstruct some of the story of her life. One thing is clear to me, though. If it weren’t for Grandmother Andris, I wouldn’t be here.

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Realizations at the Return Counter

I have this pair of pants that has been a pain in the butt. I went to JCPenny at West County Mall a couple of years ago, because who can resist 60% off on all items? I was seduced by a pair of pants there. I tried them on, and I’ve never looked better in a pair of pants. The price was $27.98. So we went home together, my pants and me.

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Charity in the Checkout Line

So I’m once again in line at Walgreens. I’ve got an arms and hands load of products, and I  have walked off and forgot my cloth shopping bags again. At the front of the line is a very tall thirty-something white guy with a nice build in shorts and a tee shirt. He’s buying some deodorant and a magazine. Behind him is a sixtyish African American woman, white hair, slightly bent over from the years, flowered house dress. She’s got a cart full of products. She’s talking to the cashier, Laverne, whom I’ve encountered before, also African American about fiftyish. You just know that Laverne has never met a stranger. She gives each person in turn her best service and an occasional flash of wit. Directly in front of me in line is a small, young, attractive woman with long blond hair in high heels, a handful of small products in her right hand and a clutch purse in the other. And the five of us are doing the commercial line dance with poise and patience.

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