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Linda Flanagan
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Linda Flanagan is a freelance writer, researcher, and editor, specializing in national security issues. Most recently she was Executive Editor for the HELP Commission, a federal body mandated to produce recommendations to reform foreign assistance. Before that, she worked on the design and development of a graduate seminar on business and national security at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Ms. Flanagan also has produced case studies for the Defense Department’s Commission on Roles and Missions, and has provided editorial guidance to senior national security fellows at Harvard University. Ms. Flanagan was a national security analyst at the National Security Program, Harvard University, where she wrote case studies on defense and foreign relations She coaches high school cross country, and is a competitive long-distance runner. Ms. Flanagan lives in Summit, N.J. with her husband Robert and three children.

Entries by Linda Flanagan

The Mysterious Makings of a Winning Team

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 12:30 AM

What makes for a championship team?

If you think you'll find the answer from the athletes themselves, you'll likely be disappointed. It's the rare athlete who can articulate why he triumphed in any given game, or explain what drove him to defeat. After Rafael Nadal won his...

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College Admissions: All Over But the Waiting

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 4:28 PM

The emotional phases of college admissions, not unlike Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief, come in a predictable pattern: excitement, depression/anxiety, anger, disillusionment, and relief. "Closure" occurs for most of us when the deposit check is in the mail, and all the flotsam from the ordeal has been tossed --...

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Misery Never Felt So Rewarding

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 10:33 AM

Attention childless persons: If you're thinking of having kids, and are looking for an accurate assessment of the experience, disregard the holiday cards you may have received that portray merry families in various stages of triumph. Instead, read Jennifer Senior's book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox...

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Hey, High School Senior: Dartmouth Wants YOU!

(5) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 11:42 AM

"Jeffrey, you deserve a one-of-a-kind college experience."

"Jeffrey, what will you do after Dartmouth?"

"Jeffrey, simple acts can have extraordinary results."

For six weeks starting in the middle of August, the office of admissions at Dartmouth College sent email messages like this to my son Jeff, a...

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Forget About Controlling Your Thighs, and Other Wisdom from Debora Spar's Wonder Women

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 2:41 PM

The damn pumpkins are out again. And the mums, skeletons and hay bales, too. Whenever a third-rate holiday approaches that showcases a woman's domestic and mothering skills, I feel my usual sense of inadequacy and regret. Not once during my children's young lives did I create a Halloween costume out...

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Never Throw a Frozen Turkey Out a Car Window, and Other Essential Tips for My College-Bound Daughter

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 6:27 PM

Like many parents saying goodbye to their college-bound offspring, I'm struggling a bit. "I think I missed the memo," one friend wrote after depositing her daughter at Columbia. "Dropping off your firstborn on their first day of college leaves you with a hole in your heart." Another compared her son...

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Don't Be Nice

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 11:20 AM

"Just be nice," advised the superintendent of schools to the crowd assembled at my niece's graduation from Millburn High School last week. Static muffled his voice, and the microphone periodically shorted out like an old stereo speaker. It was a sweltering early summer evening, and spectators spread across...

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The (High School) Graduate

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 10:05 AM

My daughter graduated from high school on Sunday. She put on the school's graduation uniform, marched up when her name was called, shook hands with the head of school, and accepted the 8.5" by 11" scroll, tied with a green ribbon, which signified the official end of her high school...

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Boston Stronger

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2013 | 3:59 PM

As a runner, former Boston resident and frequent marathon attendee, I observed the mayhem in New England this week with special horror. The pressure-cooker bombs, which may have been packed with nails and ball bearings, seem to have been timed to explode when a high concentration of runners...

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There's No Rejecting the College Admissions Game

(5) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 4:03 PM

Like most parents of high school seniors, we've been waiting all week to hear the news from the colleges our daughter applied to. We beseech thee, college admissions officers, to see the bright side in our eldest child, to find beauty in her imperfections, to regard the blemishes on her...

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Get Off the Couch, and Other Lessons from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 10:03 AM

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue arrived last week in the mail, and there was Kate Upton, smiling distractedly, mouth open. She must have been cold, posing on a boat next to a glacier in Antarctica, and wearing nothing under her (unzipped) white ski jacket but a tiny bikini bottom. Her...

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Keep Your Arms, but Raise Your Voice

(2) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 10:52 AM

It's fun to hate Washington, especially now. Between the inter-party cursing, purity pledges, and occasional weeping fits, our elected leaders, horns locked, manage to find a way to do not much of anything. And why should they? Having gerrymandered their way to job security, many in...

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We Binged on the Massacre, Let's Not Waste the Outrage

(2) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 3:28 PM

Another shooting.

Those of us at a comfortable distance from the disaster follow the story, obsessively. We cry when we think of those children, when we consider the shattered parents, and all the ruined lives. For a few days, many of us will shake our fists at the gun...

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On Turning 50 And Remembering There's No Prize For The Most Beautiful Corpse

(95) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 7:24 AM

I turned 50 last week. My younger friends smiled sympathetically and offered hugs, as if I'd just received a cancer diagnosis. Older ones grinned conspiratorially, as if I'd suddenly succumbed to their evil charms and crossed over to the dark side.

When a kind friend of the same age leaned...

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6 Life Lessons From Sandy

(2) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 8:38 AM

With the power back on at last, after eight days of generator-induced quasi-civilization, it's time to consider the lessons we might learn from this debacle. And I don't mean lessons of the get-a-generator-in-advance, prune-that-wobbly-tree variety. I'm referring to life skills and states of mind that our collective Sandy experience might...

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Character Is Destiny in How Children Succeed

(3) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 5:24 PM

After my father died a month ago, I spent hours immersing myself in his life's work in order to write an accurate obituary and eulogy. This process reminded me of all he accomplished -- as an entrepreneur, pilot, farmer, and civic leader -- and all he preached about character and...

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Fighting the Transformation From Mellow Summer Mom to School-Year Shrew, With Help From Madeline Levine

(3) Comments | Posted September 12, 2012 | 2:36 PM

School began again for my three teenagers last week and already dread interrupts my enjoyment of the long, quiet days. Don't get me wrong: I can bear parting with them each morning. What haunts me is the certainty that another school year will bring out the anxious suburban mother in...

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Turning a Blind Eye to Underage Drinking

(8) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 10:21 AM

Teenage drinking and mild recreational drug use are a part of the social fabric in Summit, New Jersey, where I live. Like many wealthy east coast suburbs populated with competitive and high-achieving families, my town teems with parents who run around enhancing their children's college options and stressed-out kids who...

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The Secret Ingredient of the Juice Cleanse: Nausea

(4) Comments | Posted March 29, 2012 | 3:52 PM

It's juice cleanse day for my daughter, Julie, and me. We decided weeks ago, after too many days of too much garbage, that we'd try a cleanse. Many friends had experimented with them, and a store in town packaged the juices, promising just the right blend of fruits, vegetables and...

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Appreciating James Q. Wilson

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 1:23 PM

James Q. Wilson died early Friday morning at a hospital in Boston. The public policy intellectual who published a staggering number of books and articles on all manner of issues, including crime, politics, character and marriage, was 80.

Wilson was not a household name, but in the scholarly world...

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