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Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition

Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
Nov 28, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I was working at Strawbridge and Clothier in the Men’s shoe department.  This was a branch in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ, a short commute to Philadelphia.  I was a student at Rutger’s University in Camden, still a theater major, though I would finish with a degree in English.  Paul Puccio, an English major at another college, who worked in Men’s Furnishings, introduced me to the music of Stephen Sondheim.  I was 18 years old.  He was enamored with Follies and Alexis Smith.  He invited me over to his home where I listened to his original Broadway cast album with Paul narrating to a neophyte. I was changed for life.  

Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition

Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition
Oct 24, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I find it incredibly annoying when I’m upset about a person, place, or thing, I’m on a rant, and the individual listening responds by telling me I should be grateful.  It feels like a dismissal of my complaint, valid or not, and a recommendation that I pivot to a “soft music inserted here” blissful moment when I see how lovely life is and how wrong I was to find the awful in this grand world we inhabit.  

Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition

Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition
Jul 25, 2021 by Janet Zinn
When I was in the fifth grade, our teacher, Mrs. Hannah, introduced the idea for a swap lunch.  The concept was that mothers (it was 1970) were to create a brown bag lunch, and they would be swapped for a lunch with another student.  We picked names out of a hat.  As there was an odd number of children in the class, Mrs. Hannah was going to provide a lunch as well.  I can’t remember who was the recipient of my mother’s lunch.  But I do recall being mortified.  It included a tuna salad sandwich on Pepperidge Farm white bread and an apple for dessert.  Not a winning combination.  

No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition

No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
May 30, 2021 by Janet Zinn
We’re at the end of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.  That doesn’t mean we can ditch the care we require for our mental well-being.  Perhaps now more than ever we must hone in on our emotional welfare.  As we face many more options than what had been available just a month ago, I find that I am oversaturated with hopes, desires and hesitation.  Listening to my intuition is key, but the noise of opening up, facing all we can do, what we “should do,” along with what we’d like to keep from our time in the pandemic, can feel dizzying.  I face many choices, while I proceed at a low speed.  

A Six-Year Old State of Mind

A Six-Year Old State of Mind
Sep 04, 2015 by Janet Zinn
When I entered the first grade at Stafford Elementary there were too many students for the two classrooms. I was assigned to an extra class, which was temporarily located in the southeast corner of the all-purpose auditorium, the exact location where they display the book sale in the Spring. The teacher, a mean spirited woman, whose name escapes me, derived her sense of power by placing me in the corner.



I would laugh uncontrollably with Robin Reed, a beautiful, tall girl with large green eyes. We would just look at each other and start laughing. However, my laugh, for reasons unknown to me would set off the teacher. And, I alone would have to sit in the corner, having been shamed...