Philadelphia Metropolis

February 2012 Archives

Catholic Schools: A Leap of Faith

It's one thing to be a faith-based organization. It's another thing to take the leap of faith Archbishop Charles Chaput executed over the last two weeks on the future of Catholic education. It was the equivalent of an Acapulco cliff dive. Confronted with a Blue Ribbon Commission report that called for severe contraction of Catholic education in the region, Chaput headed in another direction. Two weeks ago, he overturned the Commission's recommendation to close 48 grade schools in the archdiocese, deciding instead to keep many of them open. In Philadelphia alone, where 19 grade schools were due to close, the list was cut to 11 (Comments)

Sen. Rick Santantrum

It's ironic how personal traits that are liabilities one minute can become assets the next.  Speaking for myself, I have a sharp tongue.  And I'm fairly quick at using it.  It took me years to train myself not to... (Comments)

The DePaul Catholic School

In 2003, the DePaul Catholic School was on the verge of closing because of declining enrollment. Today, it is a success story and was named as one of the 13 new Mission Schools in Philadelphia by the archdiocese. Here is a story about the school turned around. (Comments)

My Mother & The Help

By Sandra Swanson» As the cast/ and crew of The Help recently stepped on stage to accept their SAG awards, I was reminded of the night I went to see this film with my mother. It was a weeknight and we were the only two people in the theater. We took turns taking photos of our tiny bodies in that huge, empty room, laughing and amazed that we might be the only two people in our entire zip code that wanted to see the 8:20 showing of The Help. Click, FLASH! goes our camera. Soon a little woman shuffled in. She sat a few rows ahead of us. She was alone and dressed in black. It took us a moment to figure out that she was a nun. Mom, who has always been afraid of being the only person in a large space, seemed instantly comforted by her arrival...and by the fact that she was a nun. Soon, the door opened and more (Comments)

Learning to Live with Death

By Kiersten Ball» I am a physician assistant in a hospital in Philadelphia. A little over a year ago, during my residency, I was scheduled to work in the intensive care unit on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I will remember the experience for a long time. It is a story about death. On the 31st, the unit was full as usual and it seemed like another normal day in the ICU. We had patients on ventilators, patients doing better and getting ready to move to the floor, and a few patients on what we call CMO. It stands for comfort measures only. It's often a relief when a patient's family makes the tough decision to put their loved one on CMO. CMO means we stop all antibiotics, drugs that maintain blood pressure, and other life sustaining treatments. We just provide pain medication, oxygen (Comments)

A New Day for Catholic Schools

It sounded like the death knell for Catholic education in Philadelphia. Last month, a Blue Ribbons Committee, originally appointed by Cardinal Justin Rigali, issued a report recommending the closing or consolidation of dozens of Catholic schools in the region. Philadelphia was particularly hard hit, with the commission calling for the closing of 19 grade schools and two high schools. Then a wonderful thing happened. (Comments)

The Kindness of Strangers

I hate the sight of the Philadelphia Inquirer becoming the Blanche DuBois of American newspapers, alluring only to the gentlemen callers who are kind to her because they are drawn to her faded beauty. They prefer to see her as... (Comments)

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Is there such a thing as a happy conundrum?  If there is, Mayor Nutter is enjoying one as you read these words. The latest Pew poll is out and it shows that, in general, Philadelphians are miserable about the economy,... (Comments)

A Little Romantic Music

By Elizabeth McGinley» Married 23 years, my poor husband and I are terrible at capital-R Romance. The trouble started even before marriage, when having dated for 7 months, Rich and I talked about celebrating our first Valentine's Day together. "Let me make the plans," I suggested, "Where is written that the guy has to do all the planning?" I felt like a modern woman, enlightened--and totally in the dark about where to start. Even though I lived in the suburbs at the time, most of our dates were spent in Center City. But wouldn't most downtown restaurants be awfully crowded--and clichéd-- on Valentine's Day? Hearing of my dilemma, an older co-worker dropped a flyer on my desk--a local country club was opening its doors (Comments)

Catholic School Crisis

The tears have been shed, the anger has abated somewhat, but the pain remains over the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's decision last month to shutter several dozen Catholic schools in the region at the end of this school year. But, there are crucial questions -- still unanswered -- about the large and small aspects of the plan. In this special report, we examine in depth those questions and concerns. (Comments)

Lizzie Borden took an axe...

Tom Corbett is the Lizzie Borden of higher education in Pennsylvania. Last year, the governor gave the state-owned and -related universities 40 whacks by proposing cuts of 33 to 50 percent to their state aid, though legislature peeled those cuts... (Comments)

A Day in the Life

By S. Trinh» Wake up, catch the bus to the train, the train to the subway, the subway to school. Emerge from underground, wince at the sunlight, stagger to the library before it is 7 A.M. I take a nap in one of the really comfortable chairs for half an hour, then I stagger to class before anyone takes my preferred seat (the third chair in the third row on the left side of the classroom). I take out a Metro that I've hopefully gotten on my way into class; if not, I do sketches of my hand. My teacher walks in 10 minutes late, flips on the projector, and yells, not lectures us, about databases and their relationships. Today, we learned about anomalies. He tells us something vague about our final project, and sends us on our way. (Comments)

Ending the Death Spiral

Ten years ago, when cracks first began to appear in the facades of American's great metropolitan newspapers, it seemed to me that there were two ways the papers could go in terms of editorial direction. One path was to... (Comments)

A Managerie of Men

By Leslie Cottle» This weekend my girlfriends were approached by a 20-something man claiming that Philadelphia girls just weren't making the cut compared to the usual "Southern Belles" he was used to. He even defined Southern Belle for my friends. Southern Belle (noun)- A girl born and raised in the South. Southern cooking, Southern accent, and Southern "old money". The kind of girl everyone dreams to be or meet. Proper, educated, has etiquette, says, "Yes, sir" and "Yes, mam" and means it. Since I grew up in Virginia and moved to Philadelphia as a teen -- with my "Southern Belle" roots intact - I understand the guy's point of view. But, here is my question: Does he know what kind of men roam around Philadelphia? (Comments)

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