From cradle to grave, through history

first_imgThis is the latest installment in the Gazette’s summer series showcasing recent books by Harvard authors.It took a while for Jill Lepore to realize she was writing a full-blown book about the ways Americans view the stages of life.The evidence accumulated slowly: piles of notes and primary sources, essays she’d written here and there for The New Yorker on topics such as breast pumps and cryogenic freezing — even old board games of life, a newfound fascination.“I didn’t set out to write a book about life and death,” says Lepore, David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History. Then, with the arrival of a $6,000 overdue notice from Widener Library, came her expensive epiphany — the seemingly disparate books she’d been turning to in her research weren’t, actually. (Luckily, most of the fine was later forgiven.)“I realized, Oh, I guess everything I’m writing is related,” she recalls. “There’s a theme here.”That theme became “The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death,” in which Lepore shows, with equal parts wit and wisdom, that anxieties about how to define stages of life have plagued Americans from the outset.“That’s me trying to talk down my own anxiety,” she says with a laugh. “I find a lot of comfort in realizing that very few problems are actually new.”What is new, she argues, is how politicized matters of life and death have become. Lepore, no stranger to controversial topics in her work as a staff writer for The New Yorker, says she wanted to offer some historical context in the debate over issues like abortion and the right to die.“It’s not that there’s not a lot at stake or that these issues are not morally troubling,” she says. “It’s that the terms of the debate have been made to seem both timeless and two-sided. This is the problem with mapping really complicated moral questions onto a two-party political system, in which every issue has only two sides. Either it’s right or it’s wrong, it’s good or it’s evil, it’s murder or it’s freedom.“The party system is probably the worst possible place to work these ideas out,” she says.“The Mansion of Happiness” — a journey through American cultural history, stuffed with perfectly selected anecdotes, historical coincidences, and a colorful cast of dreamers, visionaries, and hucksters  — offers a respite from partisan rhetoric.In Lepore’s hands, the smallest cultural artifacts become entry points for meditations on existential questions. Take those board games: The book draws its title from a popular 19th-century game of life that instructed its players in how to be morally upright. (“The Mansion of Happiness is not fun to play. But it is funny,” she says of the game’s heavy-handed punishments for Sabbath-breaking and other wrongdoings.) In comparing the Mansion of Happiness with Milton Bradley’s 1860 Checkered Game of Life, with its emphasis on productivity, and with the latest iteration of Bradley’s game, which gives its players no set goals at all, Lepore shows how our ideas of what it means to live a good life have changed.Indeed, she argues, much like the games, our idea of the life cycle has evolved, with a linear path, start to finish, replacing a circular process. That idea, which has been articulated by other scholars of modernity, had a profoundly personal resonance for Lepore, whose best friend died of cancer within hours of Lepore delivering her first child. (“It’ll be like the baby and I will be waving at each other, passing along the existential highway,” she recalls her friend saying.)“I think that, looking back, questions about life and death have been on my mind since that moment,” Lepore says. “I’m sure that I thought a lot about the relationship between birth and death before then, but, from that moment on, I didn’t think about it while sitting in a quiet room in a library, staring out the window and musing, Emersonian. I thought about it while changing diapers and crying over someone I would never see again and who never got to hold this baby.”Writing “Mansion,” a hybrid of more traditional scholarship and magazine writing, was a change of pace from her normal work, Lepore says. She’ll follow it up with a book of essays in October, “The Story of America: Essays on Origins,” a collection of New Yorker pieces exploring American democracy’s long-standing relationship with the printed word. Next year she’ll publish a biography of Jane Franklin, Benjamin’s sister, a project she began in 2008. It’s natural to wonder where she finds the energy, let alone the inspiration, for such prolific output.“Before I worked for The New Yorker, I just wrote a ton of stuff and stuffed it in a drawer,” she says. “I write all the time; I always have. It’s just what I do. I am never not writing.”But even for a self-described “maniacally efficient person,” the juggling act of a scholar-journalist — not to mention Harvard professor and mother of three boys — isn’t as easy as she makes it look.“I don’t actually know how to do all those things at once,” she says. “I’ve had to stagger them.” It helps that she finds writing for a general audience just as gratifying as publishing for her academic peers.“I’m not really sold on the distinction between writing for the academy and writing for the public,” she says. “Some kinds of writing can be both. Some kinds of writing should be both.”To read an excerpt from “The Mansion of Happiness” (Random House), click here.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s starts financial literacy program

first_imgThis year, the Saint Mary’s financial aid office implemented a financial literacy program called $avvy to help students learn more about personal finance.Selvin Quire, assistant director of financial aid, said the financial aid office decided to start the $avvy program last year. “We found that students want to learn more about personal finance but had obstacles that prevented access to this information, such as a limited number of available courses or space within students’ schedules,” Quire said. “$avvy is … intended to make resources available to all students without those limits.”Students will learn the basics of different financial literacy topics and ways to apply it to their own personal expenses and financial concerns, Quire said. He said the program is run through a variety of activities and that there will be presentations, guest speakers, tabling events, question and answer sessions, demonstrations and interactive activities, as well as providing free access to financial tools through an online resource called CashCourse, which features courses, quizzes and interactive worksheets. $avvy features a theme for each month, including budgeting, credit, saving, investing and financial aid, Quire said. There will be events every month, along with CashCourse assignments that are completely voluntary and do not take up too much time, Quire said. “Though we do not require a minimum score for completion, a student’s quiz or test results will give them an idea of what they know about the topics,” Quire said. “The assignments are self-paced, so students can work through the assignments comfortably and as many times as they please.”Quire said the program is still changing and adapting to fit the needs of students. “Since this is the program’s first year, we do not have a typical seminar or workshop format yet,” Quire said. “We plan on delivering the information in a variety of ways to keep the program engaging. We hope to expand to more interactive events, such as scavenger hunts, as well as collaborate with other departments and groups on campus.”Quire said the program is beneficial to the Saint Mary’s community by enhancing the learning experience outside of the classroom.“Personal finance management is something that everyone encounters on a daily basis,” Quire said. “Students will have the opportunity to build these practical skills now and prepare themselves for life after college.”Tags: $avvy, Financial Aid Office, Financial Literacy, saint mary’slast_img read more

F-M ice hockey goes 1-1 on Albany trip; CBA/J-D blanked by Clinton

first_imgBen Hammond and Spencer Sansenbury each earned two assists, with Denton, Colin Debejian and Jason Tedeschi getting one assist apiece.Shen nearly matched the Hornets’ pace, but trailing by one in the third period, the Plainsmen couldn’t get a shot past Jake Johnston, the F-M goalie finishing the night with 26 saves.Now the Hornets had a chance to sweep the weekend when it went up against Saratoga Springs a day later. Off to a 1-3 start, the Fayetteville-Manlius ice hockey team sought to build some confidence through its trip to the Albany area in the weekend before the holiday break.Up against Shenendehowa last Friday night, the Hornets fought hard and defeated the Plainsmen 4-3, combining a potent attack with some clutch defensive play.All of the goals were secored in the first two periods. F-M saw John Manzi convert twice, helped by goals from Jackson Denton and Will Duncanson. This was not as successful, though as the Blue Streaks prevailed 4-1, bolting out to a 4-0 lead through two periods before Denton scored in the third period, assisted by Sasenbury. In goal, Johnston recorded 20 saves.This leaves F-M at 2-4 overall heading into another set of back-to-back games the following weekend in the Clinton Tournament.As for CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt, it had its own game at Clinton Arena last Friday, but the Brothers were unable to get on the board in a 3-0 defeat to the Warriors.Under attack most of the way, CBA/J-D goaltender Manuel Pineda made 38 saves. Yet he allowed two goals to Ethan Carr and another to Corbin Melie as all of the Brothers’ 18 shots were stopped by Dan Frank.Just like F-M, the Brothers plays twice on the last weekend of 2019, taking on Albany CBA and then having a game against Canisius, from Buffalo.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story center_img Tags: CBA/J-DF-Mice hockeylast_img read more

Confident Eagles Ready for Libyan Knights in Sfax

first_imgDuro IkhazuagbeSuper Eagles Franco-German Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has so much to prove this evening as his wards take on Libya’s Mediterranean Knights at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax, Tunisia beginning at 7:00pm Nigerian time.Last Saturday at the Nest of Champions in Uyo, Eagles took the Libyans to the cleaners, firing four un-replied goals into their net to put Nigeria’s qualification for the AFCON 2019 in Cameroon back on track. Although the team appeared not convincing at the start, most especially with the many missed opportunities that characterised the early part of the game. Odion Ighalo, former Watford forward now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League with Changchun Yatai made the difference, grabbing a hat trick with Samuel Kalu adding another late one to help move up Nigeria to second spot in Group E – a point behind leaders South Africa. A win in Sfax this evening will not only guarantee smooth passage to the AFCON 2019 for the three-time champions but would have also wiped away the tears of missing the last two editions of the African top competition.On arrival in Sfax straight from Uyo yesterday, Eagles stormed the main-bowl of the Stade Taïeb Mhiri to have a feel of the turf where they are hopping to complete the job they started in the Akwa Ibom capital.Stand-in Captain, Ahmed Musa, reiterated the resolve of the Super Eagles not to leave the North African city without bagging all the three points at stake. “We are here for the maximum points. Nigerians will not settle for anything less,” observed the Saudi Arabia based winger.The Max Air aircraft that took off from Uyo only had a stop-over in Kano to refuel before touching down at the Sfax Airport at 4pm Tunisia time (same as Nigeria).The players and team officials immediately headed to their Zeitouna Hotel abode for a short rest before the official training session.Leader of delegation Seyi Akinwunmi drummed in the players’ ears as they trained the expectations back home.“We have come here determined to pick the three points at stake and make the road much smoother for us towards Cameroon 2019. The players did a great job in Uyo on Saturday and all they need is step up a gear here and amass another three points.“We have confidence in the players that we have here, as well as the technical crew, and we believe they will do the job.”Nigeria lie second on the Group E table with six points, one less than leaders South Africa, ahead of today’s Match-day 4 battles. South Africa is also away, to Seychelles in Mahe Island this evening.Match officials for the encounter in Sfax are already in town for the game with Botswanan official Joshua Bondo as the referee.TODAYMalawi vs CameroonMadagascar vs E’GuineaComoros vs MoroccoSudan vs SenegalNamibia vs MozambiqueBotswana vs B’FasoZimbabwe vs RD CongoC. Afri, Rep Vs Cote d’IvoireBurundi vs MaliRwanda vs GuineaBenin vs AlgeriaNiger vs TunisiaGambia vs TogoTanzania vs Cape VerdeSeychelles vs S’AfricaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Ganapati Malta opens ‘Ganalogics’ Bucharest tech-hub

first_img Related Articles Superbet doubles down on Lucky7’s challenger investment  July 27, 2020 Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Submit Share EveryMatrix promotes Samoil Dolejan to lead next phase of MoneyMatrix growth May 21, 2020 Mitsuya Fujimoto,Industry high-definition games developer Ganapati Malta has announced that it has set-up a tech-hub office in Bucharest Romania under its development arm Ganalogics SRL, which was registered as a business earlier this year.The Bucharest hub will support the ongoing development projects of the firm’s lead tech office in Tallin Estonia, which Ganapati management has has doubled in size in the past year.The games’ developer undertakes its investment in the Bucharest tech scene, as the company looks to drive up demand for its unique ‘Japanese-styled’ games in the coming months.Mitsuya Fujimoto, CEO of Ganapati Malta and COO of Ganapati Plc holding company, commented on the update: “We are delighted and excited to welcome our new teams in Europe as part of our global network. This move to Bucharest and expansion of the Tallinn studio were part of our immediate plan to strengthen our own branded game productions in Europe which would enable us to provide a wider range of content to our customers.”Further to its announcement, Ganapati management has confirmed that its Ganalogics SRL division will be led by Richard Hogg as Director.“We are delighted to be in Bucharest, having identified it as a tech hub of the future,” said Hogg. “The talent we have been able to attract thus far will enable us to create even more great games for Ganapati Malta. Estonia continues to grow and having this additional resource in Romania will ensure our games are delivered in a timely fashion to our clients.” Share StumbleUponlast_img read more