Remembering RBG and applying her quote to banning corporal punishment of children

Great quotes of RBG
The great Supreme Court judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died this weekend. Today I came across many of her powerfully inspiring quotes. One that struck me was, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Anyone who has worked for social change knows this is true. It is hard to change hearts and minds. Social change happens incrementally, reached when you have changed most opponents’ minds and worn them out. Having worked for decades to end corporal punishment of children, I have heard people say, “So, get it banned. Get a big-time Senator to sponsor a bill and it will be done.” Alice Miller, the renowned Polish-born psychologist, writer, and researcher, suggested I get Teddy Kennedy to sponsor a bill in the U.S. Senate. It does not happen that way in our society. Getting endurable change means working through legislatures and courts securing consensus. Today, in a world where 128 countries ban school corporal punishment, the U.S. has banned it in 31 states. We are lagging behind protecting children. I helped get a ban in Ohio schools in 2009, an effort that took over 20 years. Along the road, we had stinging defeats and a few savored successes. Almost every education organization in Ohio opposed our efforts and we needed to get incremental restrictions on its use through more than a dozen bills before our opponents gave up. Ohio children can go to school without having an educator say, “Bend over and take your whacks.” One step at a time has led to a law that has not been challenged. Most young Ohio teachers are shocked that educators once struck children with boards.

Classes at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, OH

A wonderful place to create art

Enjoying a beautiful spring

I am missing my classes at the Cultural Arts Center which have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a wonderful place to learn about, imagine and create art.  We are lucky to have a beautiful old downtown building where we can take inexpensive art classes taught by excellent instructors.   I’ve always enjoyed and collected art but never took formal training in it. When I retired I decided to learn to paint so I could create my own art.   My most interesting class at the Cultural Arts Center has been human figure drawing/painting which I have taken for five years.  I work intensely with charcoal, acrylic, or oil for almost three hours to capture the form and spirit of a live model.  My instructor and fellow students give me feedback that helps me improve my skills.  At the end of the class, I am completely relaxed and so happy to have created my own special piece of art.  It’s never too late to start to learn about and create art, whether it is painting, jewelry, ceramics, or sculpture. 


A 1950’s photo of the dairy farm where I grew up in Northwestern Wisconsin. I am writing about growing up on this farm in the mid-20th century with one-room schools, hard work for children and adults and lots of simple outdoor entertainment for kids. I couldn’t wait to leave but now look back with nostalgia.

REMEMBERING ROSIE….upcoming book

It seems like the world is grinding to a halt with the advent of Covid-19. We are fearful, sheltered, and worried about family.  I am thankful for the time it gives me to write and paint.

I am writing a book about growing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm in the 1950’s, a world before television and cell phones, a sheltered world of home, community and church.

Here is my “elevator speech” about REMEMBERING ROSIE:

A ten-year old Wisconsin farm girl watches her favorite cow Rosie being loaded on a truck and taken to slaughter. She vows never to be a farmer or a farmer’s wife. She is a fourth generation of German pioneer settlers in North Central Wisconsin. Despite having an often-idyllic childhood, by the 1950s, the country’s post-war optimism fed teenage Block’s hope of going to college to escape her barricaded and often small-minded world of farm, small community, and church.

Block’s quest of going to college is not encouraged by her family and teachers and there is no money to help her. She is the oldest of five children and feels she must lead the way. Take a trip through the good, bad, and ugly of dairy farm living in the 1950s as the author looks back with nostalgia on the childhood she wished to escape.