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Russell Frank

Russell Frank worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State in 1998. He roots for the Yankees, plays blues guitar and harmonica (badly), bikes and hikes for physical exercise and does The New York Times crossword puzzle for mental exercise. He is, by academic training, a folklorist (Ph.D., UPenn), which means, when you strip away all the academic jargon, that he loves a good story. He is the author of "Newslore: Contemporary Folklore on the Internet." His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.

Articles by Russell Frank

Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
Column
Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
4 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As a parent I’m quite sure that my children learned more from my everyday comportment in the face of life’s challenges and absurdities than they did from any overt lessons I tried to articulate. The same may be true of my students. [Read More]
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
Column
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I vented my disenchantment with the current month to a friend, who had a ready explanation. “August,” he said, “is like one long Sunday night.” A young friend in New York considered this formulation, and elaborated on it: “June is Friday,” she said, “July is Saturday and August is Sund [Read More]
Just Hop on the Bus, Russ
Column
Just Hop on the Bus, Russ
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When Megabus rolled into State College five years ago, one heard thrilling tales of passengers who bought tickets for a dollar. Financial genius that I am, I encouraged my city-dwelling daughter to look at the calendar and snag tickets for any weekend when she might want to come home. [Read More]
Today’s Breakfast Special: Scam and Eggs
Column
Today’s Breakfast Special: Scam and Eggs
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My son, she informed me, had been in a dune buggy accident in the Dominican Republic. Specifically, he had hit a couple of pedestrians while driving the dune buggy, fled the scene of the accident and was now in jail. Two thousand dollars would get him out by the weekend. [Read More]
Greetings from 'Alabama'
Column
Greetings from 'Alabama'
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I came away thinking that I live in a strange land. State College is no hotbed of liberalism, but it is surely an exception to Clinton crony James Carville's famous formulation that "Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Alabama in the middle." [Read More]
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
Column
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
"Penn State uniforms have long been described as 'vanilla,'" said Creamery manager Tom Palchak, "but in light of the proposed uniform changes we think even vanilla might be too intense. An ice cream that truly reflected the spirit of our football program would have no taste whatsoever." [Read More]
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
Column
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Just the other day she held up a tangle of thin wires she found in the shed. "What are these?" she asked. "Old guitar strings," I said. "I thought they might be useful for something." She couldn't imagine what they could be useful for. Truth be told, neither could I. [Read More]
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
Column
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Having sat idle for several weeks, our car was deader than downtown State College between Arts Fest and move-in weekend. Then there was the pile of unpaid bills, the mirror that had leaped off the bathroom wall as if it had lost all sense of purpose without anyone gazing into it. [Read More]
Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
Column
Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One of the first things I noticed about Irina Zborovskaya was the back of her cell phone protector. It looks like a piece of a matzo. Irina's phone tells us something important about life in Ukraine's third-largest city: Odessa's Jews are not afraid to be Jewish. [Read More]
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
Column
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Benmayor first learned of many of his father's death camp experiences from a newspaper story written decades after the end of the war. Like many survivors, his father hadn't wanted to talk about what he had endured until he realized late in life that if he didn't remember, the world would forget. [Read More]
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