Stephanie Greene

Commentator

Stephanie Greene is a free-lance writer now living with her husband and sons on the family farm in Windham County.

We Vermonters give generously of our time. According to Volunteering in America, our small state ranks 12th in per capita volunteerism nationally, with 33.7% of us volunteering in our communities. Utah leads the charge with 44.6%.

Courtesy

At first glance, it makes fiscal - and even educational - sense to close Vermont’s smallest schools.

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV for short ) is a high school enrichment program that hosts residential workshops on VT college campuses in a variety of disciplines. Students can choose to attend institutes in the Arts, Engineering, Information Technology, Environmental Science and Technology, Mathematics, Asian Cultures, Current Issues and Youth Activism, and Entrepreneurship.

Greene: Toys

Dec 22, 2014

Last year I signed up to be a secret Santa for a needy child – but when presented with his wish list, I didn’t recognize any of the toys. They were all electronic and many were way beyond my budget. Feeling like a hopeless Luddite, I apologized to the organizer, who reassigned the boy. It was an uncomfortable experience.

My mother would put on lavish Thanksgiving feasts. Such was her idea of quality control that no one else was allowed to contribute so much as a lettuce leaf to the festivities.
 

Greene: Selfies

Nov 11, 2014

I took my first “selfie” recently, and then deleted it. I may look my best standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth –but it’s not an image I’m ready to share on the Internet.
 

To some, “selfies” are evidence of our runaway narcissism. Certainly, if an extra-terrestrial ever traveled our Cloud, she’d be baffled by the millions of hugging humans posing with motorcycles, children or oversized pumpkins.

We consult the Old Farmer’s Almanac. We examine the stripes on wooly caterpillars. We count thirty days after seeing the first migrating geese to pinpoint the first snowfall. This year, I’m adding the migration of mice indoors to the Signs of a Tough Winter to Come.
 

We’ve been hosting an Australian heavy metal band, King Parrot, off and on, for a few weeks. And it’s been quite an adventure.
 

In Aussie slang, Parrot is an obnoxious and loud person. King Parrot, therefore, is the most obnoxious. But offstage, our guests have been anything but. They’re thoughtful, kind, funny, wildly grateful for any meal I happen to pull together, hard working, intelligent and very charming guests. So we’ve been quizzing them about Australia.

Neither the town of Stratton nor the mountain were named for the Newfane Strattons, as fond rural legend would have it. But such is our affection for Catherine Stratton, that so many of us wanted it to be so. She was the gold standard of summer people. She loved, celebrated and contributed to Vermont in ways both large and small.
 

Lately, I’ve been visiting nursing homes. The residents in these facilities require round the clock skilled nursing care, involving complex medications and close medical monitoring.

A relatively new nursing home trend called the “culture change movement” seeks to address quality of life issues - and I’ve seen some progress. Activities directors try to schedule events that will benefit a broad range of people. But in my very unscientific survey of residents and elders, it appears to me that mental stimulation still takes a back seat to physical rehab and occupational therapy.

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