Spoiled Children of Divorce

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Jane Goodall
March 27, 2008, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Exemplary Children of Divorce, Uncategorized

In my post on Dian Fossey I announced that Fossey was the only Child of Divorce among “Leakey’s Angel’s.” I apologise, I was wrong. Jane Goodall, who works with Chimpanzees is also a Child of Divorce. So far, I still am finding that the third angel, Birute Galdikas is not from Divorce.  But it’s beginning to look like Children of Divorce do gravitate towards strong relationships with animals and nature.

Goodall’s parents divorced after World War II when Jane was 12 years old.  She says that his gift of a stuffed monkey when she was 1 year old was the beginning of her lifelong passion of working with the Chimpanzees. After the Divorce, Jane moved with her Mother to Bournemouth. Goodall has no siblings.  She’s has been married twice. The first marriage ended in Divorce. Her second husband passed away in 1980.

Goodall has worked with the Chimpanzees in Tanzania for 45 years.  She is founded of the Jane Goodall Institute.

Final Installment – Intellectuals / Exemplary Children – E.O. Wilson

I went through the rest of the Guardian’s Top 100 Intellectuals of 2005 list. This was a pretty interesting section of the list as it contained Intellectuals with all kinds of ideas about the modern Family “situation,”especially social factors & economic factors. I didn’t read anything much in depth but it seemed that mostly the Intellectuals think that the broken homes are not a good sign for society. I didn’t read any who seemed to have creative ideas about the positive impact of such a huge population in society and how it can possibly morph into a new type of better society. So far, it’s only morphed into a billion dollar pharmaceutical and psychotherapy business.

I found one more Child of Divorce on the List, E.O. Wilson. He’s sometimes thought of as being the “Father of the Environmental Movement” to balance out Rachel Carson’s role as Mother. Wilson’s scientific philosophies and researches seem concerned overall with Synthesis, using scientific thought as a unifying element in the world, sounds like some real Child of D. dreamwork… but what do I know.

Wilson began as an entomologist and developed philosophies about human behavior from years of studying the social life of ants. He’s the guy who discovered that pheromones work as a basis for chemical communication in ants. Wilson strongly promotes the idea of “Sociobiology” which says that biology/genes are responsible for all social behavior. This has gotten him into much debate with others who feel that social and environmental influences also play a part. At any rate, it’s interesting to study a Child of Divorce taking part in the Nature v. Nurture debate.

E.O. Wilson was born in Alabama in 1929. His parents divorced when he was 7 years old and he spent the rest of his childhood moving around a lot with his Father and StepMother. The same year his parents divorced Wilson damaged one eye in a fishing accident. He had been interested in Nature studies very early on and the reduced eyesight caused him to concentrate on studying insects.

Wilson was raised in a religious environment and experienced being Born Again when he was in his teens. He since then drifted away from his religious roots but is looking for ways to unify the Creationists with the Scientists. I can’t find any information about Wilson’s Mother. He’s written an autobiography called Naturalist. There’s an excellent article about him online in Seed Magazine which says that his Father was an alcoholic who committed suicide when Wilson was 21 years old (http://seedmagazine.com/news/2006/10/the_synthesizer.php).

Wilson decided to be an entomologist when he was 16 and began to collect all the Ants of Alabama. He went on to college in Alabama and then to Harvard where he received a Ph.D. He taught at Harvard for his entire career. He’s had the same assistant for 40 years.

Wilson is married and has a daughter.

Wilson has written a lot of books which explain his different interests and has received 2 Pulitzer Prizes along with many other honors and awards.

Here’s a link to a link of E.O. Wilson giving a speech at TEDBlog, an Intellectual FunFest where the greatest minds are allowed to give an 18 minute speech about whatever they wish. Wilson received one of their grand prizes so was maybe given a bit longer to expound.

Actually, TEDBlog is where I need to search for my Exemplaries from now on.


Happy Easter Bunny Cam
March 23, 2008, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Happy Easter!

Here’s a link to a Bunny Cam.  Very Cute.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey is considered one of Louis “Leakey’s Angels.” Louis Leakey was a famous Archaeologist who encouraged 3 women to work with primates in order to understand their behaviors. These women include Jane Goodall who works with Chimpanzees and Birute Galdikas who works with Orangutans and Dian Fossey who worked with Gorillas. Of these women it’s Dian Fossey who was the Child of Divorce. (I have since realized that Jane Goodall is from Divorce as well and have added a post for her).  Although these women seem to have an innate understanding of animals that few possess it would be understandable that Children of Divorce would turn to animals to compensate for the simple, unconditional love and understanding that’s lacking in their own lives. Unfortunately, pets are often considered too much of a burden in single parent households.

Fossey was born in San Francisco, California in 1932. I’m not sure about this but I think her parents divorced when she was around 4 years old. Her Mother remarried a year later when Dian was five. Fossey was emotionally closest to her Father but he was a sailor in the Navy and left after the Divorce. She wasn’t close to her Mother or Step-Father, a building contractor who made her eat in the kitchen with the servants. She loved animals but wasn’t allowed to have any after her one Goldfish died. Opposing her Step-Father’s wishes that she go to secretarial school, Fossey first went to school to become a Veterinarian but switched to Occupational Therapy. She worked at a Hospital for a while and eventually met Louis Leakey who helped her to go on to earn a Ph.d. in Zoology at Cambridge University and to work with the Gorillas.

Fossey had a complicated love life and was considered an eccentric personality by some. She seems to have been caught up by all kinds of political problems with the Tourist Industry and with Poachers in Africa. She was murdered on Dec. 26, 1985 in Rwanda. No one knows for sure who her murder may have been. Fossey left her estate to a fund to protect the Gorillas but her Mother contested the will and won.

Dian Fossey was the 1st human to have friendly contact with a gorilla and the first to study the Mountain Gorillas long term. Her autobiography Gorillas in the Mist was made into a movie. Farley Mowat wrote a book about her called Virunga: The Passion of Dian Fossey in which he explores reasons for her death.

From Wikipedia:

Dian Fossey is interred at a site in Rwanda that she herself had constructed for her dead gorilla friends. She believed that all beings had the same rights and that they needed to be treated with the same respect as humans. She was buried in the gorilla graveyard next to Digit, who was killed and beheaded in 1978, and near many gorillas killed by poachers.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Lance Armstrong

I’ve avoided talking about Professional Athletes from Divorced Families.  I don’t know for certain but assume that there are a lot from Divorced Families.  If things at home are a little bit difficult to be around it seems that Sports would be an easy way to focus on something positive for very talented children with a lot of discipline and drive.  “Go out and play!” is the Single Parent’s fighting song, lol, just get the Hell out of my overburdened way.  Society, at least American Society, also encourages Sports and provides nice pay offs.  So I’ll start looking at the Success Stories from Sports now, although I realize I still have one more bout with the Intellectuals’ list.

Superstar Cyclist Lance Armstrong has been open about his childhood so I’ll start with him.  Armstrong has broken the Tour de France record by winning the race 7 times in a row from 1999 to 2005.  And he did this after surviving a serious bout with Testicular Cancer that had spread to his Brain & Lungs at Age 25.  Everything in his life seems to have worked in extreme patterns starting with his childhood.  His Mother has been married and divorced 4 times.

Armstrong’s Father left his Mother when Lance was 2 years old.  Within a year his Mother had remarried and Armstrong was adopted by his Step-Father.  I don’t have the information about how long this household lasted and don’t know about Armstrong’s other 2 Step-Fathers.  The Wikipedia article says that Armstrong refuses to meet his real Father and that his Step-Father is “deceitful.”

I’ve never read it, but the title of Armstrong’s book, It’s Not About the Bike, pretty much explains a person who is able to transcend through multiple layers of challenges with super human talents.  Truly amazing.

Armstrong is divorced himself and has 3 children (May 8, 1998 – Sept. 2003).  His relationship with the singer Sheryl Crow was very public but ended just before she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer (Autumn 2003 – Feb. 2006).

Armstrong has retired from professional cycling but has continued to give his time to work with Cancer patients through the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  He also participates in Marathons which he says are more difficult than the Tour de France.

Nixzmary Brown’s Step Father Found Guilty
March 19, 2008, 12:27 am
Filed under: Bad Step-Parent Stories, Mentally Ill parents, Nutrition

A Step Father in New York was convicted for the murder of his 7 year old stepdaughter, Nixzmary Brown.  The little girl was repeatedly abused and tortured.  She weighed 36 pounds and was finally killed for having stolen some yogurt from the refrigerator.  Nixzmary’s Mother did nothing to help. The Mother was seeing a psychiatrist so mental illness has been acknowledged.

Here’s a link to a site where somebody wrote about the case from Nixzmary’s point of view.  It’s absolutely heart breaking:  http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/1-14-2006-86384.asp.

4th or 5th Installment – Male Intellectuals
March 18, 2008, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, I’ve plowed through some more names on the 100 Top Intellectuals of the World from the Guardian (2005). Have made it up to the S’s.  These international names probably all start with X, Y, & Z but I’m hoping that this is close to the end of the list.

Lots of dismal childhoods, some unbelievably quaint and simple childhoods and sometimes absolutely no mention of the childhood. Have to admit that sometimes what these guys are thinking about is so far removed from childhood that I can see how it might have slipped out of their biographies. The guys who are concerned with poverty and children’s issues on this list but don’t seem to have grown up in divorce. Of course, many are Divorced themselves, that comes with Success. Often they comment about divorce as a social phenomenon. One guy said something like “Not that’s there’s anything wrong with divorce, but…” Chicken. (Maybe I’m just making that up, I didn’t notate which guy said it.)

Here’s what I found from the list “Lessie” through “Soroush.” I didn’t pull out any truly “clean” divorce stories.

Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru, Novelist & Politician.

Parents divorced before he was born because his Father fell in love with a German. Llosa moved with his Mother to his Grandparents’ farm in Bolivia when he was a year old. They moved back to Peru when his Grandfather was given a Government job. He met his Father in 1946 and his parents got back together. Then they sent him to Military School when he was 14.

Interesting comment about Llosa’s trademark technique: “Use of alternating dialogue to portray realities that are separated by space & time, and the use of verb tense to move his narrative back & forth in time.” So, two voices going at once, two directions as well. What can I say? Child of D. But here, of course, his parents got back together, something that’s on many Child of D’s wish lists. My Father’s parents got back together and made each other’s lives Hell for 30 more years so even these stories don’t always have a happy ending.

Llosa has two half brothers from his Father’s 2d wife. He’s married and divorce and remarried with 3 children. He gave Gabriel Garcia Marquez a black eye, some people say over something having to do with his (Llosa’s) wife.

Kishore Mahbubani – Singapore, Diplomat & Author

I have no idea if he’s from a divorced family but his father was a drinker and a gambler who went to Jail so Mahbubani’s Mother lived for much of his childhood as a single mother to 4 children.

Orhan Pamuk – Turkey, Novelist

I’m also not sure if there was Divorce as the word isn’t used. Pamuk’s family seems to have dissolved as his Country did during his childhood and his parents didn’t get along. He’s written a memoir Istanbul about a deep sense of spiritual loss that is somehow “life affirming as it is negating.” Hmmm, sounds complicated, very far off from the Divorce Courts of Modern Childhood. I read that Pamuk lived with his Mother from age 22-30 as he was starting out with his writing. There’s no mention of his Father. But, come to think of it, there was something about his Father and a Suitcase…