Maryland: A History

by eea | Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:00 AM

In William Faulkner’s well-known aphorism “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Faulkner’s understanding of history forcefully applies to the story of Maryland during the Civil War. If we had forgotten his point, the recent controversy over the future of Baltimore’s Confederate monuments sharply reminds us of the immediacy of the Civil War and the various ways it is remembered in the 21 st century.

As I set out to write my chapter for Maryland: A History, I was animated by a desire to tell the story of the Maryland’s Civil War fairly and factually so that one of the most riveting events in our state history would be remembered by a new millennial generation in ways that limit the excesses of the past. In my view, having lost the war, the state’s southern sympathizers promptly turned their attention to winning the war in the history books. In this they were successful. The collective memory of the past as imposed by former Confederates and southern sympathizers created a collective memory that emerged as a powerful social tool useful in the establishment of white supremacy by the end of the 19 th...Read More

The Importance of Conversation to End-of-Life Care in Dementia

by eea | Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

"There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet."—William Frederick Halsey, Jr.

Making decisions for another person at the end of their life is indeed a significant challenge. The challenge is even more poignant when the person has lost their voice to the progression of dementia. As a geriatrician specializing in end-of-life care in dementia, most of the people I encounter in my work lament that they would gladly make these decisions for themselves. Yet, it is unbearable to make similar arrangements for their mother, father, or spouse when they don’t entirely know what their family member would choose.

After learning that they have a range of care options from which to choose, and being introduced to the natural course of dementia (understanding that dementia is, in fact, a terminal disease), many family members feel the burden of decision-making lifted, or, at least, diminished. Taking the time to pause, imagine, and discuss what their family member may have chosen for themselves may at first seem challenging, but ultimately provides the decision maker with a sense of comfort. Leaning into the tough conversations is a first step toward managing the tough...Read More

Five Lessons in College Planning

by eea | Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 3:23 AM

Dear Parents,

As we walked to our car with our first-born in arms on an icy Minnesota morning in November 1996, nothing could have been further from my wife’s or my mind than college. We were more interested in answering “now what?” than thinking forward eighteen years. During those early days and years, fuzzy pajamas demanded more attention than a fuzzy, seemingly far-off future. We quickly learned that there is no precise definition of parenting or parenthood. Like all parents, we learned in real-time, mostly through trial and error. Three more children and years later, my wife and I have learned much about parenting – and about ourselves – though we still have not discovered either an owner’s manual or a magic eight-ball that conjures all the right answers.

In fall 2015, we sent the first of our four children off to college, an odyssey that will not end until spring 2027. We’ll have at least one child in college over that entire period, and two in college from fall 2018 to spring 2022. That timeline, which I typically choose to describe casually, almost always draws a gasp. What were we thinking?

I have spent nearly my...Read More

The Evolving Conception of PTSD

by eea | Monday, September 17, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Perhaps more than any other diagnostic category, PTSD is a vehicle for showing major historical changes in conceptions of mental illness. Examining the social evolution of PTSD provides an especially good way of showing how valuations of psychiatric diagnoses sharply change in different historical periods. Diagnoses of mental illness have typically been associated with negative consequences such as stigma, fear, shame, and guilt. In contrast, the conception of PTSD as being rooted in some external source can potentially cast blame and responsibility on an outer entity and so diminish the sufferer’s own accountability. Doing so brings issues of responsibility, blame, liability, and secondary gains into particularly sharp focus.

PTSD only became a consequential form of mental illness when trauma victims could hold a specific party responsible for providing damages. In the nineteenth century, “railway spine” brought to the fore issues of compensation that have persisted throughout the history of PTSD. Several decades later, conceptions of “shell-shock” emerged during World War I that led to vigorous debates over whether afflicted soldiers were cowards who were afraid of carrying out their duties or victims of overwhelming amounts of fear with which they were unable to cope. The evolution of PTSD thus...Read More

A Window into the Study of Birds

by eea | Friday, September 14, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Ornithology represents the efforts of a diverse team of editors and chapter authors who span a wide range of expertise and career stages. Our goal was to provide material written by leading experts in each subject area who would provide the latest information on research and applications in ornithology. Our team of chapter authors includes scientists from six different countries, all of whom frequently engage with students, teach and/or have taught ornithology, and have active research programs.

While the textbook is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, it is also written to be useful for professionals who are experts in one or a few subject areas (e.g., ecology and behavior) and who want to expand the breadth of their knowledge (e.g., anatomy and physiology).

Each chapter integrates both historical and contemporary perspectives so that readers can appreciate how our understanding of each subject area has developed over time. We emphasize how the diversity of ornithological research reflects not only innovation in methodological approaches and tools, but also maturation of our ideas and the guiding paradigms that shape how we frame questions and interpret data. Our intent is that each chapter will help...Read More