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Author Archives: Matthew Arnold Stern

Opening night jitters

Nervous? Of course! And I won’t even be on stage. Tuesday is opening night for the play I wrote for my daughter’s middle school.

Just grieve

What is the appropriate response to a tragedy like Virginia Tech? I tried to write a bit of punditry about how something like this could have been prevented, but I then felt uncomfortable about it. Don’t we have enough flapping jaws on cable news and talk radio who are using this tragedy to promote their …

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“And so it goes”

Kurt Vonnegut was the novelist who got me excited about being a writer. Until I read Vonnegut, all of literature I studied in school were from classical writers who were long since dead: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Melville, Dickens, and Hemingway. Then, in my AP English class in high school, we read Slaughterhouse-Five. The book astounded me. …

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Clothes really do make the person

Whenever I participate in a speech contest, I learn something new and valuable. This was the case with last night’s Division F Speech Contest. When I started this speech contest season, I decided to try an experiment. I decided to speak without a suit. I have worn suits at every contest since my first one …

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Crossing the language barrier

At my job, I spent a lot of time communicating with our development team in Vietnam. I’ve learned several things about international communications: Communicate face-to-face whenever possible. We had a group of engineers from Vietnam visit our office in the United States for several weeks. We got to know each other as people, learn about …

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