Karen’s Blog

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Laojia: A Place to Call Home

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The autumn clematis smelled like vanilla and twined across the bare wood table. I’d clipped the white-flowered vines when I was picking the last of the tomatoes. They were perfect in the center of the table. Now the napkins – where were the green napkins?

I had taken the train up from New York that afternoon. It was just a kid who was coming, I knew that, but there are certain things that count. We had to have proper napkins, even if that meant digging them out of the basket of unfolded laundry that had lingered since I left the house.

The Chinese […]

Women’s Paths to Power

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An extract from the chapter “Leading from the Fringes: Women’s Paths to Political Power” by Karen Christensen, published in Women & Leadership: History, Theories, and Case Studies edited by George R. Goethals and Crystal A. Hoyt of the Jepson Leadership Academy, University of Richmond (Berkshire 2017). A link to the PDF of the full chapter is provided below.

A common English-language expression is that “behind every great man there’s a woman.” These women have been largely invisible, praised for their self-effacement and their tolerance of the sometimes less-than-admirable behavior of their great men. The British […]

Speaking out in Great Barrington isn’t so easy

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Update 2015-02-20: We did speak at the School Committee meeting (video here:http://wp.me/p5nwq0-2a), but decided to postpone the presentation to the Selectboard, in part because of weather and travel problems, but also because we were not put into the general agenda, as you can see below. The listing in the agenda gave only my name, rather than naming the group GB21, and merely listed “Karen Christensen, School District Issues” under Citizen Speak at the end of the meeting. I can speak at Citizen Speak any time. This was about quite a different matter, as you will read below: arequest or time on […]

Just don’t mention the War!

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Imagine Washington DC, a few days after the election in 2014. The Democratic Party has lost control of both houses of Congress. Harry Reid, the most senior Democratic congressman, can’t be reached. He has left town for a yoga retreat, no cellphones allowed at the ashram. President Obama won