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The YWYS Blog

Here is where we'll share whatever catches our fancy, as long as we think you will find it informative or entertaining.

July 8, 2019

John Gummere was born in Swarthmore,  Pennsylvania in 1901. He was educated at the William Penn Charter School (my husband's alma mater), Haverford College, and the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a Ph.D. in Indo-European languages. He devoted his life to educati...

February 22, 2019

My favorite book of its type is 2011's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winner and leader in behavioral economics. 

In it, Kahneman describes the two different ways our brains form thoughts:

  • System 1 operates automatically and quickly, wi...

February 12, 2019

Please enjoy this excerpt from "Butts on the Bar Stool," a dialogue-driven novel written by our friend Ree Miller. To read more, go to https://www.amazon.com/Butts-Bar-Stool-Ree-Miller/dp/1540744299

“I haven’t seen Long Haul for a little while,” bar patron Joanna asks b...

November 6, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “E,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997. 

Edelweiss. A white flower found high in the Alps (and perhaps best known to Americans through the song of the s...

October 25, 2018

When Lisa and I present our "Preserving Life Stories" workshop, we encourage participants to create a six-word memoir---it's fun, takes very little time, and produces an often entertaining  "nutshell" view of  how the writer perceives their life. 

The concept...

September 14, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “D,”  from Word and Phrase Origins, a delightful book published in 1997. 

Dear. Dear is  related to the word dearth,  meaning scarcity. Over the years, dear  came to mean expensive, beca...

August 20, 2018

In the late 1990s,  the New Yorker serialized Stephen King’s memoir about writing (appropriately titled “On Writing”). The series was wildly popular, and was published in book form in  2000, going on to sell more than 500,000 copies.

In this space, we will periodic...

July 19, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “C,”  from Word and Phrase Origins, a book given to me (and a most thoughtful gift it was) shortly after its 1997 publication.

Cannoli. Reflecting its shape, this crisp Italian pastry filled with sweet...

July 10, 2018

The 2014 documentary Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, available on Netflix and for purchase on Amazon, follows social worker Dan Cohen as he uses music to unlock memory in nursing-home patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  

In many parts of the film, we see how th...

June 18, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “B,”  from Word and Phrase Origins, a book given to me (and a most thoughtful gift it was) shortly after its 1997 publication.

Bat out of hell. As everyone knows, moving like a bat out of hell  means g...

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February 13, 2020