Brian Kirkpatrick

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The Walk Up Cemetery Ridge

The private-school league’s middle-school basketball playoffs were home games for Prep.  Prep is the town’s most expensive private school, and their gym is beautiful: spacious, air conditioned, the wall by the entrance made of plastic so the new, impressive weight

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The Mulberry Graveyard

Spain is a country with strong regional identities.  The central government recognizes four official languages: Spanish, Galician, Basque, and Catalan.  The people in the “periphery” of Spain may refer to Spanish as Castilian, to distinguish it from their own

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FARC Meets the Junior League

Saturday afternoon, my sister-in-law, Carolina, called from Bogotá.  She asked me how we were doing—repeatedly, the way her mother does—then she asked to speak to my wife.  My wife wasn’t home, so Carolina asked me to have her call, since

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The Machine in the Sacred Wood

The applicant for our research fellowship was a likeable physician who spoke with passion about the mind-brain problem.  My professional world is overrun by people who believe that, if we just do enough imaging studies, in which a subject works

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Truth and Reconciliation

On the day my Brazilian student gave me the kind of reverent statements about Nelson Mandela that I would expect of such a fierce socialist, he also gave me an interesting history lesson.  He reminded me of the coup that

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The Town I’ve Never Seen

I shouldn’t have been surprised; I’d heard similar stories from my wife.  But the more dramatic stories had always involved someone I didn’t know.  This was a seven-year-old girl giving an eyewitness account at the dinner table.  

“The guerrillas came

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Catholic Charity

I heard the latest twist in the story at the end of our two hours of teaching English at the Catholic mission.  We volunteers taught the Latin American students—six simultaneous classes at different levels—in one big, noisy room.  The noise

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A Message for Boys

The steamy morning reminded the congregation that Baltimore is on the shore and was once considered part of the South. The heat and the elderly substitute for the vacationing rector made the service informal and cozy, but if I had

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Condescension Slides South

I’d forgotten that a Barnes and Noble bookstore had opened in the old department store building. As I walked back to my car in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, I remembered what I’d seen in the other bookstore closer to

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The Road to Brussels

I should have been prepared. My Brazilian student had already expressed his admiration for Fidel Castro and the glories of the Cuban healthcare system. Still, his next comment nearly made me swerve off the road as we drove back from

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Letter From Maryland Liberty and License

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun gave a wonderful example of how the media view traditional Christianity. Under the headline “Vatican Orders Activists’ Silence,” the Sun presented the latest installment in a local saga that is beginning to rival

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Learning to Speak in Opar

When I was ten, I fell into the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. With him, I fled the dinosaurs of Pellucidar in the center of the earth; in the company of the anthropoid apes, I sought the fabled jewels of

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The Tribe Above Madrid

The sun was low as the luxurious chartered bus labored up the steep dirt track to the wedding reception in the hills above Madrid. We walked up the last of the slope from the buses to the lawn in front