Mary Vander Goot

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Mary VanderGoot is a Psychologist, author, and teacher. She considers the Great Lakes region a great place to live except when it snows.

Recent Essays

To Bail or not to Bail

  Recently David Brooks posted a New York Times op-ed lamenting an increase in “bailing,” which he defines as “flaking” on social commitments. The title...

Mr. Sillypants Goes to Washington

In a folder of papers at my desk there are reminders of things to do sometime, although they aren’t urgent. Waiting to be filed...

A Place Called Home – Even When You’re Young

Since posting "A Place Called Home" we have learned of the passing of Otto Warmbier. Just as home is the place where absence is...

On Father’s Day (With an Apostrophe)

Grand Rapids, MI Father’s Day is around the corner. I had to look up the term to see if it has an apostrophe. It does,...

Some Thoughts on Leonard Cohen – Going Home

Grand Rapids, MI Leonard Cohen has done his last show, composed his last song, and breathed his last breath. When the news popped up on...

The Silly Season is Here Again

Elections are here, but manure-spreading is nothing new.

Saving Church for Adults

Grand Rapids, MI Recently, in a posting entitled “A Culture of Millstones,” Katharine Dalton has lamented the too-colorful language her children are exposed to in church...

Not Hurting Anybody

At the film festival in Cannes this past summer and at the Toronto film festival in the fall, Nick Cassavetes brought to the screen...

Dear Friends . . . or Maybe Not!

Several times lately I’ve opened my email and found notices about people who want to friend me, but I don’t think that means they...

The Right to Lie

If you must lie, measure it against your own self-interest and make sure it is legal, and if at all possible try not to do it under oath.

Ethnic Bingo

In Bingo-land it is not appropriate to talk about yourself until you have found some shared link. In general it is more acceptable to talk about who you are (your social fabric) than what you do (your claim to fame).

A Tip of the Hat to Courtesy

Grand Rapids, MI. Strange things happen in the checkout lane. The elderly man at the head of the line was pausing to look at...