Entries by Alan Godwin

February 1, 2019

Dear Drama Observers, There are a handful of educators who will never be erased from the hard drive of my memory. One was Miss Parnell, my fifth-grade teacher. I have two recollections of her I’ll never forget. The first occurred on a Friday afternoon in November of 1963. I was in the sixth grade and […]

January 25, 2019

Dear Drama Observers, I’ve become very intrigued of late with a concept called “motivated reasoning.” In his book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, notes: “Psychologists now have file cabinets full of findings on “motivated reasoning,” showing the many tricks people use to reach the […]

January 18, 2019

Dear Drama Observers, I sometimes miss our family dog, Shadow. Shadow was a lovable mutt, but he was also—there’s simply no other way to put this—stupid. Now, I think my expectations of a dog’s intelligence are fairly realistic. For instance, I never thought Shadow would join a book club, solve quadratic equations, or provide a […]

January 11, 2019

Dear Drama Observers, Last week, I wrote about gaslighting which is a particularly pernicious form of lying. I wanted to stay with that theme and considered entitling this week’s letter, “The Truth About Lies and Why We Believe Them.” The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized I’d already said what I […]

January 4, 2019

Dear Drama Observers, “A little learning,” wrote 18th-century English poet, Alexander Pope, “is a dangerous thing.” I’ve often been guilty of misquoting Pope as having said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” I guess that reflects my little learning. But the point is the same: When one’s grasp of knowledge is insufficient, it’s application […]

December 21, 2018

Dear Holiday Drama Observers, I’ve mentioned before—many times, actually—that dramas are fun to watch, but miserable when you’re in them. This time of year, my wife and I love to watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As you’re probably aware, there are numerous cinematic renditions, but my hands down favorite is the one made […]

December 14, 2018

Dear Holiday Drama Observers, People have always asked me if my business—the shrink business, that is—slows down around the holidays. Actually, something closer to the opposite is true. If the holiday feelings of some of my clients could be put to music, they might come out sounding less like “Jingle Bells” and more like the […]

December 7, 2018

“Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, D.C. are not troubled by heavy traffic.” Former Senator, Alan Simpson George H.W. Bush funeral service Dear Drama Observers, I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard the word “humility” mentioned more times than usual this week. One of those times has been in the […]

November 30, 2018

Dear Drama Observers, Two weeks ago, I talked about the distinctions between those who insult and those who persuade in the first of a 3-part series. This will be the second of those three. But first, let me tell you a story. I worked at large university a while back and about once or twice […]

November 23, 2018

Dear Holiday Drama Observers, Last week, I wrote about the distinctions between those who insult and those who persuade. That was Part 1 of a three-part series. I’ll get back to that next week, but I thought I’d interrupt the flow a bit a piece I wrote last year about holiday dramas—this now being the […]