Talkback for Fall 2018
I enjoy finding and connecting bits of information discovered serendipitously that bring enlightenment just as the researchers were enlightened about Broborg glass by chance conversations and discussions. “Fires Burned, Cauldrons Bubble” [Spring 2018] reminded me of a fairy tale, “Princess on a Glass Mountain.” Knowing that fairy tales and storytelling are often embellished verbal histories based on a fact (a particular time, place, person or event), I researched it. The Norwegians, Swedes, and Poles have versions: a glass mountain, princess, and golden apples growing on top. Perhaps the Swedish Vikings carried the tale to Poland as the Swedish Vikings usually traveled … » More …
We make so many assumptions about gender expression and identity, and sexual orientation, that it’s sometimes a shock to realize that ideas about them have changed over time. Take pink and blue.
Pink is for girls, blue is for boys—except when it wasn’t. A Ladies’ Home Journal article from 1918 clearly states that “the generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”
A decade later, Time magazine repeated the … » More …
Nella Ludlow comes home
Nella Ludlow knew who she really was from an early age. “As I got older, I thought, I just can’t do this anymore,” she says. So she came out as a transgender woman.
After earning a degree in math and physical sciences at Washington State University, the 1982 graduate joined the Air Force. There she trained as a fighter pilot, worked in military intelligence, and earned a doctorate in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, and did post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University.
She retired at the end of the Cold War and entered the business world at the height of the dot com … » More …
Nature or nurture? It seemed so simple a debate when I was younger and first learning biology. DNA and genes determined some of our traits, and the rest came from family, society, and other external factors.
There was certainly debate about the extent of what we could learn versus what we inherit as hard-coded genetic information. Well, that discussion is a lot more complicated now, as recent empirical research and discoveries show offspring can inherit traits developed by parents’ environment and experiences. Basically, what’s passed on to kids is not just in the genetic code.
One way that happens is through epigenetics, where heritable … » More …
Finding identity and expression at WSU
Bob Dlugosh says that he and his roommate, Al, “were always chumming around Pullman together.” Best friends, Bob figured Al for straight, but he liked the guy so much he didn’t let it bother him. Bob did wonder if Al knew he was gay. In 1968, “gay” felt like a brand new word. So it probably wasn’t the one used on the sign Al and Bob found tacked to their Stephenson Hall door: “Bob and Al are gay.”
But that’s what Robert Dlugosh ’71 recalls decades later. The noun was probably something from the much crueler vernacular of the day: They were being called faggots, … » More …