Yale can help its students avoid burnout

December 4, 2006
In my last column, I examined how in college, pressure to achieve, win and build a career increasingly eclipses time to think, wonder and build character, affecting us students at the age when we need that time the most. Hard work is a good thing. The problem comes when stress so wears us down as »

Hard work need not overwhelm college life

October 30, 2006
The proverbs of Yale’s past are eerily disconnected from the Yale of the present. “The thing that we call living isn’t gold or fame at all,” reads glinting script over the fireplace in Branford’s Mendell Room. “It is laughter and contentment and the struggle for a goal … [and] the shaping of a soul.” When »

Ditching EA doesn’t fix the real issues

October 16, 2006
In 1979, archaeologists in Crete discovered a teenager’s skeleton, sacrificed about four millennia ago, limbs bound up like a bull’s. One wonders what future generations will make of how today’s America binds its teenagers — its youngest adults, or perhaps its oldest children — not physically, but intellectually. Our age is the age of stretching. »

Yale should open dialogue on new colleges

October 11, 2006
Yale’s new residential colleges are like a rumored baseball trade: There is still no official word, but every soft sign suggests a decision is all but made. As early as 2004, the Yale Daily News quoted President Levin as saying that “for some time” he had considered adding two or four new colleges, mourning how »

New year is about acknowledging fallibility

October 2, 2006
Yom Kippur is as old as the Bible and as modern as apologizing to our friends. On this “Day of Atonement,” Jews repent for mean words, grudges and other acts of “causeless hatred” — the ones we all commit, though we strive not to. Judaism asks that we seek forgiveness first from those we have »

Spoon-fed indignation mars protest music

September 26, 2006
When I heard Neil Young’s new protest album, “Living with War,” I had a creeping suspicion: This art is not good art. From so venerable a folk rocker, I did not expect disappointment. The music’s mediocrity would have reflected badly on Young alone — except “Living With War” is a cultural touchstone. Amid the hawkish »

Contentious debates must remain civil

September 11, 2006
An opinion piece in Friday’s News accused me of a “racist worldview.” I was singled out by name. Opening up the morning’s paper, I discovered this personal attack on me, printed for all the campus to see (“Whoops! Israel killed 1,110 Lebanese people,” 9/8). The authors of Friday’s piece critiqued my recent column on the »

Conflicting clash styles fuel Mideast war

September 6, 2006
I knew Israel was in real trouble this summer when I read in The New York Times that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on television: “You Zionists. … Now you know whom you’re fighting with.” What is this, the Wild West? But he continued, “You are fighting the sons of Muhammad and Ali.” In one »

Disney’s ‘Pooh’ choice echoes political truth

April 11, 2006
In Disney’s new Winnie the Pooh television show, “My Friends Tigger and Pooh,” set to debut next year, Christopher Robin will be replaced with a six-year-old, “tomboyish” girl. Pooh Bear might not be the first place you would look for a broad societal malady, but a change this drastic signals one — not for girls »

Voters must lessen reliance on party affiliations

March 22, 2006
A liberal friend of mine once said to me, “Joe Lieberman’s not a bad guy. My problem with him is that he’s just not a Democrat.” If enough liberals agree with my friend, Lieberman (D-Conn.) will face an uphill climb as he runs for re-election to the U.S. Senate. But if Lieberman loses because voters »

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January 31, 2006
It has been about a week since the Palestinian Authority elections handed a surprise victory to Hamas, the terrorist group that swears to destroy Israel and that killed the bulk of the 1,000-plus Israelis, mostly civilians in cafes and buses, during the Second Intifada. Now we are left with the onerous task of deciphering what »

Terrorism, slapstick humor make strange cinematic bedfellows

January 11, 2006
You know it’s been a bad couple of years for members of the U.S. intelligence community when Steve Carell signs on to play one of their ilk. As endearingly dim-witted weatherman Brick Tamlin in 2004’s “Anchorman,” Carell stole the show, letting loose bizarre weather reports (he refers to Iowa as the Middle East) and inadvertently »