“When I’ve been thinking about why clothing is weirdly so revealing, I think about being in my 20s, when I used to go to a lot of nude hot springs in Northern California. You would hang out with all these people in these hot springs all day long. You’d meet people naked, and you’d talk to them all day. It was strangely very comfortable; there was nothing awkward about it. What was awkward was to see people in their clothes after you’d been with them naked. Somehow, these people were revealing so much more about themselves by having clothes on. Suddenly you start to categorize them. You’re learning more about their identities, or at least how they want to present themselves to the world, and that tells you so much more about people than just their naked bodies.”— I spoke with Heidi Julavits about her new project, “Women in Clothes,” with Leanne Shapton and Sheila Heti.
When I was researching this piece about the Philly public school crisis, I asked Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the school district, what would happen if a child experienced a medical emergency on a day when there was no nurse present at his or her school. He said that in that situation, “the first thing to do is call 911 with a nurse or without a nurse — nurses are not there to handle that kind of emergency.”
But what if teachers — who by the way are not required to have advanced medical training! — do not recognize a medical emergency when they see it? That’s what appears to have happened recently when a child complained to her teacher that she was feeling ill. There was no nurse on the premises. The child died.
“It’s… important that wealthy people understand that they would do better with a smaller share of a rapidly growing economy than a large share of one that is growing painfully slowly. This is not a matter of taking money out of their pockets and giving to the middle-class and poor. It’s not a matter of redistribution. Everybody can do better.”— I talked to former labor secretary Robert Reich for Interview.
“We have no full-time nurse, so instead we were given a ‘first aid kit.’ [It was] a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and it had a box of tissues, a thing of hand sanitizer, like five Band-Aids, and a printout of what to do in the event of a bloody nose.”—I wrote a thing about the Philly public school crisis for The Awl.
“I went to my bishop to talk about masturbation when I was 16. At our first couple of meetings, I didn’t even drop the word masturbation. I think during the third or fourth meeting the bishop was like, “Just to clarify, we’re talking about masturbation, right?” [laughs] Because I was so ashamed. I felt really bad for being 16 and for having these thoughts. I was just reading Jane Austen fan fiction and stuff! And—I die of shame—I was into these steamy romance novels. I felt like I finally understood sex. I had learned about sex before, but until I read my first romance novel, at my [non-Mormon] great aunt’s house, I didn’t really understand why people bothered. [laughs] After reading that novel I was like, “Oh! I get it!””— I interviewed a very smart and cool 23-year old about being a young woman who is also a Mormon and a feminist.
“Do I get any credit at all for refraining saying what I wanted to say in my last email? (which is, when I was at your age and in your situation, I had a baby, which solved everything!) I am just saying…”—ANONYMOUS