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Marion Franck

The baby train doesn’t have a stop on campus

When it comes to babies, the “rules” of the job market for young female academics are clear. Don’t have a baby. If you do have a baby and manage to get a job interview, don’t mention the baby. Don’t mention your husband or partner. Don’t mention your second child, if you have one. Don’t have […]

January 22, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Led by my palate into violating my principles

This is the story of a love affair, my love affair, a passion that I admit embarrasses me. What was so special? Why did I get so attached? It was the firmness, the sweetness, the hint of spice. But, like every romance, it wasn’t perfect. The first serving, before I got to the honey oat […]

January 15, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Trains, planes, automobiles? Bring ’em on

When I was young and single, I made several international trips, traveling cheaply, getting as close to the ordinary life of the people as possible, soaking in every new or funky experience. I chose countries where I could speak the language and I always stayed as long as I could. I even dreamed of living […]

January 08, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Not diet or exercise: I’ll try a new resolution this year

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. This column has been slightly edited since it first appeared in 2006. If I tell you exactly what I’m doing at this moment, it will sound perfectly normal to you. I’m making coffee. I’m looking at my router, which has been having problems lately. I’m checking […]

January 01, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

How does a crazy idea become a family tradition?

Charity appeals are relentless during the holidays, especially with the tax-year ending a week from now. Every nonprofit that has my email address is writing to me, usually more than once. Some send snail mail, too, often with appeals that are poignant and beautifully written. For my husband, communication to and from charities is more […]

December 25, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

By their bookshelves shall ye know them

Writers in the New Yorker Magazine have recently explored the topic of home libraries. Their question is, “How much can you learn about a person from the books he or she keeps?” When it comes to literary figures, this is an important line of inquiry, but it’s also interesting to ask about ordinary people—or yourself. […]

December 18, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

As we age, how much do we want to know?

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, my family members and I, older generation and younger generation, were discussing a disturbing recent incident where I had a memory lapse. After several minutes, we found ourselves with a pressing question and no clear answer. “Write a column about it!” someone urged. “Ask other people what they would […]

December 11, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Longtime local activist publishes her life story

Recently I met someone who is the kind of activist I admire and sometimes wish I were. How did she get to be the person she is? In her heyday, which lasted decades, Joan Callaway of Davis made things happen. She created institutions, particularly in the area of mental health, that put Davis on the […]

December 04, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Here is one of the many reasons why I love kids

Editor’s note: Marion is taking the week off. This column first ran in 2004. It was intermission at the Vets’ Memorial Theatre where Davis High School students were performing the musical, “Oklahoma.” Intermission was short and the line in the ladies room was long, mostly high school girls, with a sprinkling of moms among them. […]

November 27, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The curious case of the missing bird

My husband is our Thanksgiving chef and the family that gathers to enjoy his meal now numbers in the mid-20s. When our oven could no longer hold a turkey large enough to feed everyone, he started buying two turkeys and cooking one outdoors. This allows him to strut his stuff. One turkey is conventional; the […]

November 20, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Work in progress: For what should I give thanks?

With Thanksgiving approaching, I’m thinking about what I should be thankful for. Three separate moments from the weekend give me clues. Like verses of a song, they come together to form a theme. The main event of the weekend is the arrival of our son, 26, from Minneapolis for a conference in San Francisco. My […]

November 13, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Time for this column to be judged against its peers

For years I entered the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper contest with nary a nibble. First, I’d get a note from a Davis Enterprise editor asking me to choose three columns to submit. Many months later, I’d read a brief announcement that someone else had won. One year, I got a notice that I […]

November 06, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Is the assertive response always right?

There was an uncomfortable moment between my daughter and me at the airport a couple of weeks ago. We both knew she might be taking a long flight with a crying baby. Trying to avoid that scenario, we stumbled into an experience that was unforeseen. My daughter, her 4-month-old baby and I were in Terminal […]

October 30, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Perplexing details surface as I explore a theme

Sergeant Curtis G. Culin III survived World War II but lost a leg. He became a salesman in New York, married and died in 1963, 1965 or 1981. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and mentioned in a speech by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961. On the Web, the only recent references are […]

October 23, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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