For generations, cash was the way Americans paid for things. But in the age of debit cards, credit cards, Venmo, and Bit Coin, cash is becoming less and less necessary for most of us. We explore why that is, and who is still using cash in this new economy.
The Overlooked Importance of College Professors
School is back in session, and around the country, high school students are hunting for colleges while college students are starting new course loads. We talk to Georgetown professor Jacques Berlinerblau about how the professorial system is breaking down, and ways to make the system work best for you.
Thousands of pregnant women pass through our prison system each year. What happens to these ladies when they need the most medical care? We talk with Carolyn Sufrin who describes her experience as an OBGYN for California prison inmates in her book Jailcare: Finding the safety net for women behind bars.
Incarcerated Americans are entitled to proper health care, and Sufrin says that for the most part, they receive any treatment that they need. This “special right” to a kind of health care that is unavailable to many law-abiding citizens raises some controversial questions. Are some inmates purposely committing crimes to get access to the care they need? Sufrin says that while most prisoners do not want to end up in prison, sometimes they desire the stability of prison life to escape their lives on the outside. For pregnant women who live in troubling situations, even a prison cell might be more ideal than the alternative.
Sufrin also talks about the inhumane treatment of pregnant women prisoners that she has witnessed many times during her career, noting that sometimes they are forced to give birth in their jail cells, and those who wear shackles must keep them on through childbirth. Sufrin wants to raise awareness of these serious problems to encourage us to re-evaluate how these women should be treated and to advocate on their behalf.
Carolyn Sufrin, medical anthropologist, former OB/GYN at San Francisco Jail, and author of Jailcare: Finding the safety net for women behind bars
Currently, about forty percent of marriages end in divorce. Partners typically go through tedious amounts of negotiation over the division of their assets and property, and eventually decide on a fair agreement. Unfortunately, couples with children must also choose the terms of custody, including which parent the children will live with, how often the children will see the other parent, which parent makes health decisions, and more.
Karen Bonnell, Co-parent Coach and author, shares two major child-related decisions that must be made before or during the divorce process. The first is where and with whom the kids will spend holidays, birthdays, and school breaks. Bonnell suggests that for the first few years after separating, families celebrate events together with both parents, giving children time to adjust to the new situation. The second major decision is how parents will handle new relationships. Bonnell recommends that parents try to introduce any new partners as friends first, to allowing time for kids to adjust to a new parental figure.
Although co-parenting may be daunting or seem like a giant headache, Bonnell says that the biggest priorities should be the health and safety of the children, and that it is a good idea to involve a neutral third party in the toughest decisions. While divorices are difficult and stressful, good planning will benefit the entire family. Studies show that children raised by separated parents often become good leaders and are able to manage many different situations well. Bonnell reminds parents that the best thing we can do for our children is to remind them that they are loved and they are not to blame for their parents’ divorce.
Karen Bonnell, Co-parent Coach, author of The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising well-adjusted, resilient and resourceful kids in a two-home family from little ones to young adults.
After working for years as an OB/GYN for inmates at San Francisco Jail, author Carolyn Sufrin wanted to tell the story of the women she helped. She talks about what health care for pregnant women in jails and prisons looks like, and the changes she hopes to see in the system.
The Struggles of Co-Parenting and Tips on Overcoming Them
Separations and divorces are common in the U.S., and out of those split-ups come children living in two households. We talk to a co-parenting specialist about how the parents’ behavior, ability to compromise, and desire to put the child’s needs above their own, can lead to successful parenting and well-adjusted, happy kids.
Many of us have glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, when the idea of having to appear in front of a large group seems daunting or even impossible. Larry Ventis, Professor of psychology at the College of William and Mary, says, “Fear of public speaking has its roots in what the audience is thinking about the speaker. There may be different reasons for different people because fears aren’t one kind of thing. But, I think, basically, people are concerned about how others react to them, evaluate them, what they think of them, that sort of thing. Fear of public speaking is kind of a reflection of social anxiety and social fear.” Many teachers who are just beginning their careers may feel nervous because they aren’t confident that they know all of the answers, or will be able to anticipate the needs of their students. Bosses may be worried that their employees won’t understand them or be interested in what they have to say. Ventis says that confidence and experience are highly beneficial, and understanding the root cause of fear helps us to overcome it.
Michael Port, author and speaking coach, suggests treating a public speaking scenario like a performance. Preparation and practice helps a great deal, as does memorization. When you know everything that you’re going to say, you won’t feel as rushed or hesitant. Port offers lots of advice, including a reminder to not to discredit our work by saying something like, “If you take one thing away from my speech, let it be this…” because that tells the audience that their time was just wasted. Although public speaking may be intimidating, it can be managed overtime with practice.
Larry Ventis, professor of psychology at the College of William & Mary
Michael Port, speaking coach, author of the book, Steal the Show: From speeches to job interviews to deal-closing pitches, how to guarantee a standing ovation for all the performances in your life
The world of botany is a deep and elaborate one. Many plants that we are familiar with today have hidden uses and secrets that our ancestors knew well. Author Michael Largo has spent a great deal of time examining and studying plants to learn more about them and their uses. One plant that he finds particularly interesting is absinthe, which was vilified in history as a hallucinogen. Made out of the wormwood plant, it is very bitter and Harper’s Magazine even dubbed it “The Green Fairy” in 1879. Largo shares that absinthe was actually one of the reasons for Prohibition, because it was said to be ruining many minds. Artists who lived and worked around the turn of the century were inspired by the drink, and Van Gogh painted the famous TheStarry Night while under its influence.
Another notable specimen is the Yew plant, an evergreen bush with bright red berries. The wood of the plant stem was widely-used by ancient Celts for divining rods, and William Tell used a longbow made from Yew when he shot an apple off of his son’s head in the legendary folktale. This plant is found all over the United States today, largely in residential areas, despite it having poisonous berries. Largo says that the plant, often eaten by animals, developed the poison as a defense mechanism. Other plants such as the Amazonian Water Lily and the Suchona Tree have medicinal uses that have been used for centuries, and many more can be found in Largo’s book titled The Big, Bad Book of Botany: The world’s most fascinating flora.
Michael Largo, author of the book, The Big, Bad Book of Botany: The world’s most fascinating flora