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Thursday, June 9, 2005

Humanity in the news.

Three recent articles in the Boston Globe stepped away from the political conflict and crime that typically drive things into print and instead offered truly poignant glimpses into the heartache and wonder of real life:

  • "Death on a Plane" by Patti M. Marxsen (5.28.05) gently and evocatively describes what it was like to witness another person's death in the midst of a trans-Atlantic flight:

    I was in Row 27, seated next to a retired businessman returning from a golfing holiday in Spain. We sipped our cocktails as dinner service was suspended. In Row 26, a cool kid in a T-shirt and jeans played computer games. A quiet man in a yarmulke came up from the back of the plane, curious at the prolonged disturbance. Everywhere people were turning off their headsets, folding magazines, growing silent with anticipation as the doctor tried and tried to save a life.

  • "My Journey Into Darkness" by political columnist Thomas Oliphant (6.5.05) describes his own near-death experience from a ruptured brain aneurysm. It's eloquent and suffused with wonder. I'm glad to see him back.

  • Finally, "Gift of College Proves a Boon and a Burden" by Maria Sacchetti and Tracy Jan (5.29.05) follows up on a multimillionaire's promise back in 1991 to pay for the college educations of every second-grader in a very poor elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even with the diligent counseling of a Lesley University administrator who kept track of all 69 kids, however, only four of them graduated this spring from a four-year college. The article tells the kids' stories providing daunting illustrations of the challenges that face lower-class families in America today. I found it utterly compelling.

    Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 9 June 2005 at 5:59 PM

    Previous: 'Suffer the children' indeed.
    Next: It's Friday: Time for Middle English cooking!

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