Education

Stories related to teaching on all levels, from pre-K through college.

At age 87, author Marvin Kalb has had a great many interesting years. He was NPR's Moscow bureau chief, a diplomatic correspondent for CBS and NBC, and the host of Meet the Press. He's also the author of several books, and his latest, The Year I Was Peter The Great, is a memoir of one especially interesting year: 1956.

It’s hard to fight for a cause if it can’t be discussed above a whisper. But a growing number of activists are speaking out loud in favor of what’s being called menstrual equity.

On any given day, more than 800 million girls and women around the world are menstruating. And for many of them, in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s a problem — sometimes with life-or-death consequences.

Ellen Stern's biography of theatrical caricaturist Al Hirschfeld reads more like a gossipy 300-page article in New York magazine (where Stern has worked) than the biography of record suggested by the definite article modifying its subtitle. And in fact, Hirschfeld: The Biography grew out of Stern's juicy interview for a 1987 GQ magazine profile of the artist.

Podcaster Marc Maron has brought celebrity after celebrity through his front door in Los Angeles. In 2009, the grizzled, once-washed-up comedian launched a podcast called WTF, and it became wildly popular — many people say Maron has defined what an interview podcast can be.

He tapes most of his conversations in his cramped garage, where, in a bit of a role reversal, NPR interviewed him.

I saw Practical Magic the film when I was 14, a little while before I read Practical Magic the book. I loved both, talked passionately about how very different they were from each other, how glad I was that I'd seen the film first so as to appreciate it on its own terms. The film gave me women loving and fighting with and for each other, in a house and garden (and kitchen) to spend the rest of my life lusting after; the book gave me poetry, the names of flowers, and generations of Owens sisters.

More than a month after Hurricane Harvey and historic flooding ravaged south Texas, a new construction training center is opening in Houston — and the timing couldn't be better.

"It was just sort of a matter of weird circumstances," says Linda Head, associate vice chancellor of workforce education at Lone Star College. The public community college system is set to formally open its long-planned Construction and Skilled Trades Technology Center on Oct. 30.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today is a holiday - Columbus Day. Observing Columbus Day used to be a pretty simple, jolly business.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS")

FATS WALLER: (Singing) Mr. Christopher Columbus sailed the sea without a compass.

It's a commonplace these days to say that real life has become so unpredictable that it outstrips anything anyone could dream up in fiction. I think I'm guilty of having made that banal observation a few times.

But that was before I read The Obama Inheritance, a collection of 15 stories so sly, fresh and Bizarro World witty, they reaffirm the resiliency of the artistic imagination.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The recess bell rings at the Akha elementary school in Mosul and children come thundering out of the classroom. It's the first day of school.

An ordinary scene, except it hasn't happened for three years in this city. Iraqi forces drove ISIS fighters out of Mosul earlier this year in a battle that destroyed huge parts of the northern city, including hundreds of schools.

"None of us went to school when ISIS was here — we stayed at home," says Ali, who is in sixth grade. "It feels good to be back."

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