Recreating A Tribal Childhood

Growing up in the 70s in Brooklyn, I experienced the modern nuclear family model. My exposure to my relatives was limited to occasional visits, brief moments of co-existence and sharing with my cousins that I treasured. For my mother, being away from the extended family meant living without their support. This meant that anytime I was too sick for school, or she was too sick to get out of bed, or my sister had to be rushed to the hospital, my working father was the only family member available to help. Sometimes they hired babysitters, other times they took us to work with them or they stayed home with us. Luckily my mother was eventually able to connect with a few other moms on the block, who were all in similar nuclear family units, and they supported each other as parents whenever possible. The children of those neighbors were like cousins to us. We grew up playing together for many years and sharing each other’s household cultures.

Just a generation before me, my parents experienced totally opposite family models. My mother’s Midwestern family was large, but definitely nuclear. Parenting responsibilities were often held by nannies, so there was almost no need to look outside of the home for parental support. My father’s Greek immigrant home was the opposite – three sisters and their families living in one apartment building in the Bronx, in a neighborhood filled with extended family and fellow countrymen who were accustomed to helping each other get through hard times. This traditional community system stemmed from the Greek people’s desire to improve their chances of survival by working together and living interdependently … Read More >>



Health Lessons From Hollywood -- Episode 77

POSTPONED. Remembering Nick Gonzales, MD (1948-2015)

Yes, we want to be healthy. Once we stop nodding at the basic platitudes -- sound sleep, regular exercise, smart nutrition --  however, we're left wrestling with the brutal realities of living in the real world:

  • It's hard to be healthy. I'm not smart enough to reconcile so much conflicting information. Do whole grains promote health or cause inflammation?
  • I'm too busy to be healthy. Who has time for this? I run out of day before the end of my job and family obligations.
  • It's stressful to be healthy. When I have free time, I want to chill out. I do not want to research about health.
  • It's bad for my social and family life to be healthy. People think I'm weird or they feel implicitly criticized by my actions. My family wants to fire me.
  • It's not enough to be healthy. I want to look good. What happens when the thing that's healthy conflicts with the thing that makes me look and feel my best?

We page through women's magazines and wonder about the airbrushed images that stare back. These women are flawless but looking like that can't be healthy. Gel manicures, make up, and highlights? Laxatives? Is there an oasis of sanity in Hollywood... a health maven and wellness guru who really knows her sh*t? Because we have questions … Read More >>


Compulsory Education: Is This the Only Option for Our Youth? -- Episode 76

Carla Atherton interviews Matt Hern, lecturer, writer, historian, about lifelong learning, self-directed learning, deschooling, and compulsory education – tune in for an inspiring discussion about how we can better unleash our children’s minds and inspire them in their learning …Read More >>