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America Has Been Failing Mothers for a Long Time. The Pandemic Made It Clear What Needs to Happen

In 1974, humorist Erma Bombeck published a syndicated newspaper column that looms over the lives of American mothers whether they’ve read it or not. In “When God Created Mothers,” Bombeck describes God making a mother with the help of an angel. “She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 movable parts … all replaceable,” God tells the angel. “Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

My mother, who homeschooled eight children, saw that column as a mark of her valor. Not only did it hang on our wall at home, I grew up hearing it quoted in church sermons on Mother’s Day.

But once I became a mother, I came to hate that column. I think Erma Bombeck did

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‘Clear as mud’ housing refund plans irk college students

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When Laura Comino opened the housing email from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in June, she knew she had to take action.

At the direction of the state’s public university system, UNCG asked her to sign a housing contract addendum acknowledging that she might not get a refund if the school kicks her out of her dorm in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An online petition Comino circulated days later collected nearly 40,000 signatures from people demanding that all 16 UNC System colleges offer prorated refunds and return deposits if the virus closes dorms.

“People got so incredibly upset thinking this would affect all of us, and there’s a possibility where it still might,” Comino said.

With classes scheduled to begin in August, the possibility of no refunds has left students and administrators alike with questions. Comino and the dean of her

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