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Jerry Lanson
Jerry Lanson teaches journalism at Emerson College in Boston. He is a former deputy city editor and acting city editor for the San Jose Mercury News. Before coming to Emerson as the department’s first journalism chair in 1999, he taught journalism at NYU, Boston University and Syracuse University. His latest book Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves: Telling Stories in an Age of Blogging, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2011.

Entries by Jerry Lanson

A Philosophical Return to Aix-en-Provence

(4) Comments | Posted May 16, 2015 | 11:31 AM


I've never much cared for eating out alone, even when I tuck a book under my arm to take with me. But tonight I rather enjoyed it. And I was in no hurry to leave Bistrot des Philosophes, a restaurant my...

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There's No More Margin for Errors in U.S. Ebola Response

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 10:17 AM

President Obama has cleared his schedule for a second consecutive day to focus on the United States' response to Ebola, NPR reports. Thank goodness, because the government's response to date has had as many holes as Swiss cheese.

In a front-page article today, The New York Times' Kevin Sacks writes...

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Obama Should Appoint a Surgeon General Right Now

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 10:50 AM

Congress is in recess. The American public is freaking out about Ebola. Sen. John McCain is leading a growing cadre of Republicans calling for an "Ebola czar."

So what's wrong with this picture? CBS News got it right when it wrote, "As calls for Ebola 'czar' grow, where's...

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A Second Take at Parenting After Years on Our Own

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 9:25 AM

LEXINGTON, Mass. -- Mornings have gotten a lot livelier in the Lanson household this fall.

My day starts with exercises and free-dancing with 7-year-old Devon, usually to Steve Songs' "Marvelous Day" CD.

From there it is time for breakfast, with "MISS Devon," the fifth-grade teacher of
my twin sister...

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When Did America Get So Weird?

(2) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 6:54 PM

After living the first six months of 2014 in Provence, France, my wife, Kathy, and I figured we'd face some minor cultural readjustments coming home to Boston. Coffee mild enough so that it didn't grow hair on my chest, for example, or showers, with four walls instead of three, that...

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A Lasting Lessons Across Cultures: Community Counts

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 10:03 AM


It's hard -- perhaps impossible -- to wrap six months overseas in a neat bow.

This I promise: I won't bore you with "Five Ways to Find Friends in France" or "Six Ways to Be Smarter in Learning the Language of Love." Living...

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Exploring the Wine Country of Beaujolais

(1) Comments | Posted June 8, 2014 | 7:44 PM


It felt like we'd landed in the magic kingdom.

It's always special to arrive someplace you've never been, without a lot of expectation, and to discover you really like it. But when that someplace turns out to be a roughly 30- by...

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15 Top Tips in Aix-en-Provence

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 10:42 AM

Visiting Aix-en-Provence, France, for a few days? A few weeks? Longer?

My wife, Kathy, and I have spent the first five months of 2014 in the city, trying our hand at slow lane travel before we leave on a month-long journey around eastern France. Here are our favorite...

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Life on the Set of Aix-en-Provence

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 3:45 PM


For nearly five months now, my wife, Kathy, and I have lived on a most remarkable movie set, a place of music and laughter, outdoor life and ancient buildings, cobblestone streets and old-fashioned lights, suspended from metal stanchions. In a dozen days, the...

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Tasting French Bread With a Talented Provence Baker

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 11:47 AM


Benoit Fradette is a master baker, arguably the best in this Provençal city.

He starts his workday shortly after 2 a.m. so that he can make bread with a minimal amount of yeast (meaning it rises more slowly) and the maximum amount of...

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Medieval Fortresses of Provence: One for the Masses, One in the Wild

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:24 PM


The fortress and village of Les Baux-de-Provence need no introduction from this blogger. The 11th century citadel is a magnet for tourists in Provence, with more than 1.5 million visitors each year. You'll find multiple pages on...

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12 Tips on Getting Around Provence by Car

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 4:52 PM

Driving around the Provence countryside can be a harrowing experience or a whole lot of fun. It can be expensive or really reasonable. Both pleasure and cost depend on how well you plan and how you approach each day.

That, in any case, is what my wife, Kathy, and I...

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Going to Paris? Here Are Three Exhibits You'll Want to See

(5) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 11:46 AM

Psst. Please, people. Art in Paris neither starts at the Mona Lisa nor ends in the Louvre.

We returned recently from a week there during which we visited three remarkable exhibits that will remain on display at least through the first week of June and, in the case of two,...

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When You Order at Fanny's, Don't Forget le Fondant Au Chocolat

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 10:37 AM


Some French chefs study at schools like Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. For others, cooking is a family affair.

Fanny Jehanno falls into this second group. She's the owner, chef, welcoming committee and, quite possibly, chief bottle washer at Fanny's Bistro Gourmand, a...

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Planning That Visit to Provence? Look Beyond the Guidebooks

(3) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 5:06 PM


Don't get me wrong: I love to plan ahead when I travel.

I'll sit for hours in bookstores, flipping through guidebook pages in search of interesting places or suggestions. When we do hit the road, I'm sure to have a Rough Guide, Rick...

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Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage, One Bike Route at a Time

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 10:33 AM


Al quit his job as a big equipment mechanic for Caterpillar in Calgary, Canada. Yoly managed a year's leave from her job teaching. Their 24-year-old son promised to look after things, including their 10-year-old golden retriever Xela.

And off they went...

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Oo-la-la! A New Look in French Toilets?

(3) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 9:46 PM

MENERBES, France -- We have seen the future promise of the French toilet, and it lives in this gracious hillside village.

Beside the tourist office. Two doors from the bakery. Next to a park, le Jardin Jean Moulin. Across from a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. And behind a...

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12 Tips on How to Spend 6 Months in France Without Going Broke

(5) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 12:13 PM

From the start, the math didn't add up.

My wife, Kathy, and I were headed to France for a half year. I'd be on a paid sabbatical, but Kathy was retiring, and we weren't ready to tap her Social Security. Even with our house rented at a discount, complete with...

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Idiosyncracies of the French Shower

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 9:34 AM

This I can say: French shower engineering has progressed significantly since the first time my wife Kathy and I visited Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. It just isn't quite there yet.

That first visit came on our honeymoon in the late summer of 1971. We arrived in the city's...

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Why Does Congress Think It's OK for Working Americans to Go Hungry?

(61) Comments | Posted November 9, 2013 | 5:21 PM

The Dow closed the week at a record high. And all those billionaires? They're barely even an exclusive club anymore, what with 442 in the U.S. in 2012 and almost a thousand more than that globally, a jump of 200 in a single year, Forbes data shows.


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