Go to m.barnard.edu for the Mobile Barnard web app or download it from the App Store or Google Play.

president

Watch interview on Korea's biggest television broadcasting network.

Joins 11-member Board of Distinguished Leaders in Business, Government and Academia

Project ALS presents “Food and Mood:  Cultural and Clinical Perspectives,” a discussion featuring President Debora Spar and Courtney Martin ’02, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.

Spar and Shapiro heed calls to the classroom.

The contrast could not have been starker. On one day in August two glossy magazines showed up in my mailbox. One, the Barnard Magazine, showed three beautiful young women, elegantly dressed and beaming, holding champagne glasses and enjoying the festivities around their fifth reunion. The other, TIME, depicted a once equally beautiful woman, looking out from her head shawl and into the camera, revealing nothing. Her nose had been cut clean off—punishment by the Taliban, the article explained, for having fled her abusive in-laws. The woman, Aisha, was 18.

One of the more disconcerting parts of growing older, I’ve discovered, is watching the subtle change in who remembers your birthday. When I was growing up, my father would herald the occasion by marching into my room in the morning with a yellow rose he had picked from the garden. My mother would follow behind with balloons and presents. That was nice. More recently, though, the most regular celebrants have been my dentist’s office (Happy Birthday! Time for your annual cleaning!) and, sadly, my insurance agent (Happy Birthday! Time for—what? Another tick up the actuarial charts??) This year, my daughter inaugurated the day by throwing up in the kitchen sink and then, somewhat sheepishly, wishing me well. At least she remembered.

Everything in Dubai is tall, it seems, and everyone is from somewhere else. The man who greeted me at the airport was from Bosnia. The cabdriver was Sri Lankan; the hotel clerk, Nigerian. (Yes, I am one of those annoying travelers who ask a lot of questions.) Like the buildings that tower over what was recently desert, the people of Dubai appear almost to have dropped from the sky, hailing from across the planet and now mixed randomly, picturesquely, in this tiny crossroads by the sea.

In our part of the world, December is a time for ritual and celebration; for Christmas trees and Hanukkah lights, eggnog, carols, and an avalanche of holiday cards. In my house it is also, and primarily, a time of cookies—of Toll House cookies with walnuts for my husband and without them for my older son, of a chocolate-chip loaf for my mother and fat sugar cookies for my younger son, and of Russian teacakes for my daughter, who likes the fact that they come from where she does. Every year, my family chides me for getting so worked up about the baking. “It’s okay,” my mother pledges cheerfully on the phone, “you don’t really need to make so many cookies.” “It’s okay,” my husband promises, as he sees me starting to panic, “we can buy the cookies instead.” But then the lobbying begins, quiet and insistent. Don’t skimp on the Toll House, younger son urges, because last year there weren’t enough. Don’t forget the teacakes, my daughter says, because we have to have something from Russia.

Presiden't page

Pages

Subscribe to president