While photographing the defunct Bethlehem Steel Mill in Pennsylvania, I experienced my father’s powerful presence. He spent his work life in the iron and steel industry, sacrificing his health and spirit. But he also had pride in participating in a world larger than our family. This book of Bethlehem Steel Mill photographs contains an introductory […]

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Audrey Stanley and Karen Sinsheimer: The Readiness is All By Don Rothman If we’re lucky, when we look back three decades, we see not only our immature selves. We also catch a glimpse of our future and find inspiration to achieve it. Shakespeare’s most famous university student may have been thinking about this. “If it […]

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What Is Retirement Like? A Small Search for Analogies

May 21, 2011

Of course, everyone asks, “What are you going to do now?” when I tell them I’m retiring in June. At first, I waited until they asked, out of curiosity or the recognition of how long I’d been around, my gray hair, blotchy skin. But now, I start the conversation with retirement, as though I’d learned […]

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The Second Coming: Orgasm after Prostate Surgery

May 21, 2011

Orgasms started for me in dreams.

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Retirement: Getting to Know You

May 21, 2011

What if my brain is really changing because I’ve retired? No, it’s not Alzheimer’s or senility I fear. The opposite is happening, in fact. I’m smarter now.

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Retirement and Some Laws of Physics

May 21, 2011

Whoever said that we can be in only one place at a time had both his physics and his understanding of humanity all wrong.

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Perhaps even this you will remember with pleasure…

May 21, 2011

I admit it. For a variety of grandiose reasons, the word “radical” provided some small comfort when, a year ago, I underwent a radical prostatectomy. Rather than scaring me, “radical” provided a way to guide my journey into the unknown with a familiar compass. My surgery took me to my roots, and I may have […]

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On Seeing Othello Before Undergoing Prostate Surgery

May 21, 2011

If not a commonplace, it doesn’t surprise anyone when I say that having recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer I am more focused on my mortality than ever before. But it may be harder for others to understand how my experience of a familiar Shakespeare tragedy, in this case Othello, has been transformed by the […]

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Starting With Last Words

May 21, 2011

Everyone who wonders wonders if illness brings insight or even wisdom. On first glance, we think so. People’s dying words are memorable not only because they are followed by silence, but also because we hear them as spoken on a journey across an implacable border that we will eventually cross ourselves. We hear—indeed, we listen—with […]

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Socrates and the Internet

May 13, 2011

Prompted by my children’s repeated criticism that our dial-up modem was too slow, I recently installed a dsl line. While their visits are now infrequent, their complaints, “Too slow!”  “What are you waiting for?” directed as much to me as to the computer, echoed and reechoed in our study. When I gave in, it felt […]

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