Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
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Archive for March, 2010


by Jen Burke Anderson (Woodhull Alumna)

Originially posted to shareable.net on  March 17, 2010

An intimate moment in the San Francisco restaurant Pantarei. All photos by Jen Burke Anderson.

Ah, North Beach—San Francisco birthplace of the Beats. Historical hotspot of American intellectual counterculture. Home of jaunty staircase alleyways, Barbary Coast burlesques, walk-up crash pads, radical bookstores, postwar-era Italian cafes crammed with wool-capped characters and unwashed poets, and…

Television. Everywhere. Widescreens, flat-screens, retina-scorching digital screens large enough to hold up the walls in some places. Screens showing you food you’re about to eat (or, strangely enough, have just eaten). Walk into that neighborhood bistro, that old-school bar, and four, five, six flat-screens could give you a blinding welcome.

So, what’s with all the television in the restaurants here, and in more and more restaurants across the country? After a day spent staring at glowing rectangles – at our workstations, our laptops, at our iPhones – do we really need more adrenaline-pumping, jump-cutting media excitement as we savor a meal, take in a novel atmosphere, and try to reconnect with friends?


Category : Living | Media | News | Blog

by Molly Castelloe Fong, Ph.D (Woodhull Alumna)

Originally posted to Psychology Today on March 15th, 2010

Do you feel self-conscious eating in public? Do you deliberate endlessly about what to order at a restaurant?

Does a sloppy plate of spaghetti send you into spasms of self-consciousness?

For many women eating is an excruciating public performance.

March is Women’s History Month and I’m ruminating on that most loaded of symbolic acts, eating, and the various roles food plays in our lives.

Women, in particular, are bombarded with advertisements, products and programs that encourage us to shed lbs. The Biggest Loser, the reality weight-loss show, is a worldwide hit currently in its 9th season, airing in over 90 countries.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Culture | Living | News | Blog

Written by Woodhull Alum, Charlotte Fishman.  As posted in Today’s Workplace on March 16, 2010.

Is it legal to fire a front desk clerk for not being “pretty enough”? Not in Iowa. Last Monday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a trial judge’s decision and ordered Lewis v. Heartland Inns of America to trial.

Brenna Lewis was a front desk clerk at Heartland Inns in Ankeny, Iowa. She was promoted to the day shift, sight unseen, after enthusiastic recommendation from previous managers. Once on the job, Lewis’ loose-fitting clothing and unisex appearance caused Director of Operations Barbara Cullinan to express reservations about whether she was a “good fit.”

Lewis wore short hair, no makeup and sported an “Ellen DeGeneres look.” She was “tomboyish,” friendly, and well-liked by customers. Cullinan preferred a pretty “Midwestern girl look” on the day shift. She fired the manager who refused to reassign Lewis and demanded that Lewis undergo a videotaped “second” interview to keep her job. A distraught Lewis objected to the second interview, questioning whether it was lawful to require one just because of her appearance. Three days later she was fired.


Category : Careers | Community Member Projects and Updates | News | Blog

Written by Woodhull Alum, Leighann Lord.  As posted in her blog, http://leighannlord.blogspot.com on February 24, 2010.

Entertaining the troops in the Middle East back in 2002 during Operation Enduring Freedom was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Spending 30 days on bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia was alternately thrilling and exhausting. I assumed I’d never do it again. But alas, my wanderlust got the better of me and – thanks to Armed Forces Entertainment – off I went to Iraq: Five comics, nine bases, 10 days. Amazing!

Hands down, military audiences are some of the best I’ve ever performed for. Given the stressful environment and dangerous jobs they do, the soldiers are highly appreciative of the brief respite they get from visiting entertainers. We are treated like gold. continue

Category : Careers | Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog

Written by Woodhull Alum, Brianne Kraus.  As posted in www.HuffingtonPost.com on March 4, 2010.

If anyone had asked me a year ago if I would have any interest in speaking with a pacifistic, vegetarian, professor from Arizona who believes that TV “turns your brain to pudding” I would have balked.

What would a woman like that have in common with a 30-year-old conservative-leaning, college dropout, stay at home mom of an 9, 6 and 3 yr old in upstate New York who roasts marshmallows on her lawn and watches Sponge Bob while her husband is hunting. continue

Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog

As written by Woodhull Alum, Tara Sophia Mohr.

Something remarkable happened to me this year: I started loving everyone. Everyone. The hundreds of people I know and the billions I don’t.

I’m not sure exactly when I began loving everybody, but I do know when I first realized it: I was writing a short bio for my website. I composed a sentence or two about my work and family–the usual stuff. And then what I really wanted to say popped into my mind: My heart is full of love for you. continue

Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog

Written by Margot Magowan, Woodhull Co-founder, Woodhull Board President and Woodhull Faculty.  As published in the SF Gate on March 1, 2010.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and he’s being honored worldwide as one of the best kid lit author-illustrators of all time.

Dr. Seuss is super talented and creative. He dreamed up an incredible array of funny, poignant characters who say wise and hilarious things. His rhyming style revolutionized kid lit– Seuss’s made up words and poetry make perfect sense even though they don’t.

But there’s a big problem in Seuss’s stories. The girls are missing. They’re so invisible that going into Seussworld becomes creepy, like being transported to a dystopia where females don’t matter at all. continue

Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Culture | Living | Blog

Written by Woodhull Alum, Beverly Wettenstein, as posted in www.HuffingtonPost.com on March 1, 2010.

New York Post Food Feature headline on February 7 read: “‘Taste Duds’ Top city chefs divulge the foods that make their stomach churn.”

In response, here is my Letter to New York Post:

All seven “top city chefs” featured were male.
Food for thought: Please consider including top female chefs for future stories.
Thank you.
The headline should read “Taste Studs.”

Beverly Wettenstein continue

Category : Careers | Community Member Projects and Updates | Culture | Living | Blog

Written by Alexandria Stevens, Woodhull Alumna in her book Power Tools: Ideas You Can Use to Disassemble Fear

In every word you say and every deed you consummate, you have the choice to uplift or destroy.

In the end, each second of your life will have imprinted its value upon the world! So…have you elevated just one life, even if it was in the smallest way?  Is it possible you may have touched a life, added beauty or given a moment’s relief without knowing it?  Has one life breathed easier because you were there and did something kind?  Have you achieved more peace and happiness in your own mind? Then you are a success and your life has as much meaning as that of the greatest philosophers and saints.  Thank you for that moment of goodness and triumph over negativity. That moment couldn’t have happened without your presence in this world. continue

Category : Living | Blog

By Woodhull Alum, Tara Sophia Mohr

Recently, I’ve been canceling a lot of things from my calendar. Just canceling. It feels quite rebellious.

My life, like yours, is fully of projects, work, family, errands, all kinds of lovely people, closet organizing aspirations….I could go on and on.  I filled up the calendar with all that good stuff and found myself feeling bummed out by it, anxious and resentful. I wanted white space – not a zoo of text- on the calendar page. continue

Category : Living | Blog
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