Columns

Do children hold the key to improved accessibility?

Growing up, I loved the library’s summer reading program. I’ve always been a bookworm, so logging hours of reading and being rewarded for my hobby was a highly satisfying endeavor. My favorite prizes were, of course, new books. Last year, I was thrilled to learn that this program from…

When a nod to life’s most important work happens years later

My late mother, an accomplished pianist named JoAnn Derden, used to perform double-piano concerts with her sister, who insisted that the music — intricate, demanding classics — be memorized. Mom begrudgingly obliged. When those stressful days ended, Mom enjoyed improvising and playing two-piano music with me…

Saying goodbye to my great-uncle Richard, an ‘Old Hero’

Content warning: This column deals with the topics of death and suicidal ideation.  “The first dead body you see should not be someone you love,” advises funeral director Poppy Mardall in journalist Hayley Campbell’s 2022 book “All the Living and the Dead.” Campbell’s book provides remarkable insight…

My mom showed me how to advocate for myself

In the 1995 drama “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” the film’s titular protagonist confronts a boardroom of school administrators during a pivotal third-act scene. Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss), a longtime high school music teacher, refuses to back down when his superiors declare their intention to eliminate the school’s music…