On a typical afternoon, I drop off my eight-year-old daughter and her best friend at ballet lessons and return home to meet my five-year-old son's friend for a "play date." Their mothers and I appear to have everything in common. We all order our children's clothes from the same upscale retailer, an elegant purveyor of classic clothing with styles evoking sheltered and civilized Edwardian childhoods. We love to cook and entertain. We have inherited furniture and china that we display in traditional homes. We attempt to keep our children away from the influences of television and computers.
We should all become fast friends, yet my greatest hope is that Jennifer and Claire never happen to meet in my driveway. Jennifer is CEO of the local Planned Parenthood facility; Claire is a protester there, a devoutly Catholic mother of six. They stand on opposite sides in the war over abortion, and this is never far from my mind.
Three Baylor University graduates -- Robert Hill, Shingo Kihira and Caleb Simone -- were recently named the 2011 recipients of the F. Ray Wilson II Award for Best Thesis, honoring undergraduate thesis writers in Baylor's Honors Program.
The Wilson Award honors the life of the beloved Baylor professor of biology and Master Teacher, who directed 37 honors theses during more than 30 years of teaching at the university. Each year, the award recognizes the outstanding theses in the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. The winners are invited to return to campus to deliver remarks to Honors Program graduates of the following year.