What Alanis Morissette Taught Me about Life

By Karen Petree


June 13 marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, and like many a thirtyish year-old woman, I know I wouldn’t have made it through without the rock star my mother used to say sounded like a yodeling hippie.   But Alanis taught us it was okay to be angry, information that got a lot of us through our teenage angst.

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Women Playing Soccer

By Karen Petree

The USWNT takes on Canada in a friendly in Frisco, Texas January 31, 2014. Photo by Karen Petree
The USWNT takes on Canada in a friendly in Frisco, Texas January 31, 2014. Photo by Karen Petree

I’ve been stockpiling patriotism for four years waiting for this moment.  The Women’s World Cup opens tonight for the U.S. against Australia.  We’re hours away.

Obviously, the World Cup starting is a huge deal for me.  I write this as I’m sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for my mother to have a procedure.  On the TV, now default in every doctor’s office in the country, the ladies of The View are talking about juicers or something.  I can’t understand what they are saying, but it would appear that everyone is really, really, really psyched about these juicer things.  I don’t identify with those women.  Perhaps I should.  I mean we all have vaginas or something, I presume.  But I never wanted to be those women.  I wanted to be Mia Hamm.  I wanted to be Mia even though I didn’t know the first thing about soccer or how to play it.  I wanted to rip my jersey off and spin it in triumph like Brandi Chastain even though the only fantasies playing through my mind at the time were of stealing home in a dust cloud of glory.

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Law Will Let Texas Teachers Use Deadly Force against Students

By Karen Petree


classroomA newly introduced Texas law would allow teachers to kill their students.

Texas Republican state representative Dan Flynn submitted HB 868, The Teacher Protection Act, to the state legislature on January 22.  “An educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of students of the school that employs the educator if, under the circumstances as the educator reasonably believes them to be, the educator would be justified under Section 9.31, 9.32 or 9.33, Penal Code, in using force of deadly force, as applicable, in defense of the educator or students.”

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Just Looking

By Karen Petree

2048px-Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06bHe’s not looking at me directly, as if he’s too afraid. But I don’t want him to. I stare at him apprehensively where he’s frozen for 1/100th of a second in 1943.

Though there are a lot of people in the group of Jews being evacuated from the Warsaw Ghetto, the boy is the main subject. He is a bit separated from the group, many of whom seem terrified but caught up in the action of moving. His hands are held in the air as if he were playing the bad guy in a child’s cops-and-robbers game. But his expression is one of dark fear most Americans are unaccustomed to seeing on the face of a child.

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Auschwitz I

In June 2014, I travelled to New York, Germany and Poland as a FASPE journalism fellow.  The Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) is a fellowship program of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York that takes young professionals in journalism, law, medicine, seminary and business to important Holocaust sites in Germany and Poland where they discuss professional ethics under the lens of the Holocaust, looking particularly at how members of their respective professions contributed to the Nazi atrocities through blatant complicity or passive inaction, and how those lessons resonate with ethical issues they face in their professions today. These photos were taken at Auschwitz I concentration camp in Poland.

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