Author Archives: annecwoodlen

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2

Black Girls and White Women (Part III)

A couple weeks ago, a new aide and the director of her agency sat in my living room for the first time and the director said the aide and I “needed to learn each other.” I agreed, but didn’t have … Continue reading

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Dr. W.C. Elliott: The Idiot du jour

So I am sitting in a treatment room in the Nephrology Clinic at Upstate Medical Center when Dr. W. Clayton Elliott walks in and introduces himself. He is a late-middle-aged man who used to be known as Dr. William C. … Continue reading

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Black Girls and White Women (Part II)

Black girls, like everybody else, want esteem and authority. They are unprepared to do anything else, so they work as aides and I think they are ashamed of it. Couple that with their eagerness to tell the rest of the … Continue reading

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Black Girls and White Women (Part I)

I only know one other person who is getting Medicaid home health aides and she is just as outraged as I am at how we get treated. She concurs with everything I say about aides being arrogant and bossy, and … Continue reading

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Home Aide, Homeopathy and Immunology (Part II)

Continuation to On the bus, I pull out the most recent lab reports. I have been using homeopathic remedies for exactly three months, so how’s it working? There is no significant change in the blood work; the urinalysis results … Continue reading

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Richard Gottlieb: In Conclusion (Part II)

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Posted in activism, Fraud, Power, Powerlessness, Sex, Values | Tagged | Leave a comment