social ostracism

That Part of College That No One Talks About: My Warning To Incoming Freshmen

A beloved younger cousin of mine started his freshman year of college last August. At his graduation party the prior summer, his parents had set out a poster board with a handful of metallic Sharpies so that we could each sign our names, a congratulatory note, and a bit of advice we had for him.

Some of the advice was humorous, like the quips about not eating yellow snow, and that his younger sister was planning to take over his room once he moved out of their house. Other blurbs encouraged him to look up from the computer screen every now and again, and to remember to attend classes in between the never-ending kegger parties. Although I wrote a sentence or two on his card, I waited to offer him my deeper, more meaningful advice later that night, after our other cousins had fallen asleep. (more…)

Circumcising Baby Boys: To Cut or Not To Cut

Last night, I asked my mom why she and my dad decided to circumcise my brother when he was born. She replied that she’d left the decision entirely up to my dad, and, apparently, part of my dad’s rationale was that he didn’t want him to stand out from the crowd and be subjected to ridicule in the locker room in gym class. (In retrospect, it’s ironic now that my brother killed himself as a result of other social ostracism.)

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