Childhood Crushes – II: Jennifer O’Neill In ‘Summer Of 42’

I wasn’t alone in wishing I was Hermie. Many teenage boys–American or otherwise-had the same thoughts on seeing¬†Summer of 42, the cinematic adaptation of Herman Raucher‘s memoirish coming-of-age novel, a movie that made me laugh very, very hard during its screening and then left me silent and devastated as I walked back to my boardingContinue reading “Childhood Crushes – II: Jennifer O’Neill In ‘Summer Of 42’”

On Being A Bully

In the long list of personal moral failures for which I will have to atone, participating in schoolyard and dormitory bullying–even if only briefly, and in attenuated fashion–must rank among the very worst. The only exculpation I can offer in my defense is that I was young, but all bullies in school are; I’m afraidContinue reading “On Being A Bully”

On Being Advised To Not Take A ‘Girl’s Role’

Shortly after I began attending a boarding school in the ninth grade, I was approached by our ‘senior master’ and asked if: a) I could ‘act’ and b) if so, was I interested in trying out for the annual school play. I had done some acting in school and youth club plays in the sixthContinue reading “On Being Advised To Not Take A ‘Girl’s Role’”

On Bad Memories And Moving On

A few weeks ago, while stumbling around on Facebook, I found an old ‘acquaintance’ of mine: a man who, over thirty years ago, went to the same boarding school as I did. I poked around further; his page was not guarded by his privacy settings from snoops like me. On it, I found a groupContinue reading “On Bad Memories And Moving On”

A Memorable Brawl, A Template For Fantasies Of Resistance

Despite a personal history that showcases an active interest–participatory, not just spectatorial–in the pugilistic arts of boxing, I’ve not been able to bring myself to become a fan of ‘mixed martial arts’ or ‘UFC’ or what have you. But that does not mean I cannot appreciate the skills of the martial arts. I did, afterContinue reading “A Memorable Brawl, A Template For Fantasies Of Resistance”

Prisons And Boarding Schools: The Informer Phenomenon

I’ve made note here, on this blog, on some interesting similarities between prisons and boarding schools: the discipline, the regulation of time, the uniforms, the social dynamics. Yet another similarity may be found in the ubiquity of informers: moles, spies, double-agents, leakers, snitches–call them what you will–conduits for the passage for information to administrative andContinue reading “Prisons And Boarding Schools: The Informer Phenomenon”

‘Orange Is The New Black’ And Boarding Schools

As I make my way through the second season of Orange Is The New Black, Netflix’s original series based on Piper Kerman‘s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison about her experiences at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison, I’m struck again by how much of the prison experience remindsContinue reading “‘Orange Is The New Black’ And Boarding Schools”

Flirting With Perfection: Spelling It Out

We often dream of perfection, but we rarely, if ever, achieve it. There was one exceedingly minor business, in one all too brief period, ¬†in which I did attain such heights: my spelling prowess in my early school grades. I do not know if I ever attained the competency levels of those who excel atContinue reading “Flirting With Perfection: Spelling It Out”

A Long, Hot, Sickened Journey

The worst of the heat might have receded from New York City but that’s not going to deter me from churning out another hot weather-related blog post. On this occasion, about a time when a combination of heat and a mysterious ailment combined to induce in me a misery that has, thankfully, not been rivaledContinue reading “A Long, Hot, Sickened Journey”

Reading ‘Roots’ in Sickbay

My reading of Alex Haley‘s Roots was feverish. Literally and figuratively, I suppose, for not only did I finish it in a little over two days, but I did so while running a body temperature above 98.4 F. The circumstances of my reading–the location, my physical condition–played no insignificant part in my reaction to theContinue reading “Reading ‘Roots’ in Sickbay”