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Longtime Burlington, Vt. Mayor Miro Weinberger will not seek re-election

Reflections

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-663397.mp3

Albany, NY – Sometimes the best places to learn are outside of our comfort zones - whether that's taking on a new job or going to an unfamiliar place. So let's start our walk down memory lane with a story about travel.

It's one thing to read books and see photographs of women from other parts of the world - and another to actually live among them. Human rights worker Paula lived for several weeks on Israel's West Bank as a volunteer for the International Women's Peace Service. She expected the women to be extremely repressed - but she found that wasn't always the case. Paula requested that we only use her first name, since she worries about being barred from entering Israel after living in Palestine.

Essayist Angela Doody also stepped outside of her comfort zone this year - but unlike Paula, she never left her hometown. Doody went back to school to get her teaching certificate last year. This fall she entered the FRONT of the classroom for the first time - and she was a wee bit nervous.

Doody sought change - but all too often, it's imposed on us. Former public relations executive Joan Ball successfully navigated her way into a high-powered career. But when her personal life started requiring more attention, she re-evaluated her priorities.

Writer Laura Didyk has a case of what you might call wanderlust. She calls California the closest thing to home...but she's thinking of adopting a new one.

People derive a sense of identity from place - but also from the way they look. And two 51% contributors tackled the question of fashion this year. First, let's hear from ballerina-turned biochemist Sarah Cross. A graduate student at the University of California Los Angeles, Cross has decided that she can be a scientist with a dancer's flair.

For another view on style, we turn to Jessica Herman. You might as well call Herman the the accidental fashion writer. The 25-year-old journalist has always had a certain flair for style, but she never intended to write about it. Yet, that's exactly what she's doing these days in Chicago. But she wants to keep the same perspective on clothes that she's always had.

We've reached our final essay of the show...this one aired on a show about chocolate. And so we turned to essayist and chocolate connoisseur Jeanne Hunter for a unique perspective on the treat. She loves her Cadbury chocolates... and Cadbury chocolates have shown her some love in return.