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The Drum

genre: essay genre: essay

CATHERINE ELCIK What The Doctor Taught Me


When family crises buffeted author Catherine Elcik with grief and stress, she found solace in the unlikeliest of places: Doctor Who. Or perhaps not so unlikely. For from this television program about time-shifting and agelessness and loss and endurance, Elcik learned powerful lessons about coping with the thieveries of illness and death. In this beautiful essay, Elcik offers wisdom to all of us--Whovians or not. (16:40)

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MELANIE SENN The Art of Drumming Badly


To hear Melanie Senn tell it, she is not a good drummer. But what matters more than her musical and percussive talent is her skill in telling the story of how she took to the drums--at first as a way to connect to her musician husband, and then as a way to experience delight. In "The Art of Drumming Badly," Senn shares her joy in learning something new and in learning not to care about inhibitions and expectations. (11:17)

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JANE HAMILTON Finding Forgiveness in a Ziploc Bag


Travel is supposed to be so broadening, in the words of Sinclair Lewis. But anyone embarking on a Thanksgiving-motivated journey knows that travel can be aggravating, maddening, and bewildering too. In an essay first audio-published in The Drum in July 2013, Jane Hamilton recounts a trip with her husband when the combined forces of the TSA and a Ziploc bag threatened to undo them. (11:04)

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STEVE MACONE Who's Walking Who


There are those who prepare for Thanksgiving weeks in advance. And there are those, like Steve Macone, who do their shopping the day before this major American holiday. His essay "Who's Walking Who," first audio-published in our October 2011 issue, finds Macone at the Somerville, Massachusetts Market Basket on Thanksgiving Wednesday. Hilarity--and insight--ensue. (1:17)

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In this expanded version of her Dispatch piece from our September issue, Kyla Hanington writes of a road trip across Canada with her husband and children. As she moves eastward with her family, Hanington is driven by hope and curiosity, wondering if their eventual destination of Saskatchewan will yield what she seeks. "Saskatchewan" was recorded in Dispatch style, with ambient noise. (8:39)

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ALISON MCGHEE Dispatch: Dummerston


From a clearing in southern Vermont, Alison McGhee talks about the invention of a life, summoned from an idea and fashioned from the woods, the river rocks, and in the tiny house that rises up on the land. (4:45)

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