Statement of Pauline Meglino, Aesthetic Realism Consultant & School Secretary, NYC Department of Education
The crock of lies about Aesthetic Realism, cooked up by some people with malicious intent, is revolting, and I want people to know they’re the furthest thing from what I and many, many others know this education to be!
On the attempt to besmirch Mr. Siegel’s integrity: Despicable! I’m a woman who was very angry at men, very suspicious of them, and who had concluded that I’d had enough pain from them and would be much better off avoiding them. By no means was I or am I a pushover. I had the honor to study in classes with Eli Siegel and be understood by him and am qualified to say: his understanding of and respect for women was unmatched—as it was for every person. For Bluejay and any conveniently “anonymous” coward to suggest anything other about him is a malicious lie. Plain and simple.
For instance, Mr. Siegel articulated and explained deeply something we women have suffered about but have not understood. His remarkable essay The Everlasting Dilemma of a Girl begins:
Girls have always found it hard to know what they should be liked for. Of course, they have wanted to be liked for how they looked; but suppose they couldn’t feel that how they looked was the same as what they really were? Then there was something missing; and there were incompleteness and pain.
This respect and comprehension by a man is what Mr. Siegel had all the time and is what I met in classes he taught. Always. It’s a reason why I and other people trusted him, and he rightly deserved my and people’s utmost respect and, yes, gratitude!
Now, to the lie that people give up their identity and ability to think with an open mind. Huh? What hogwash! My Aesthetic Realism education has included studying literature, poetry, current events, economics, history, the self, parenting, marriage, and more. My mind is much broader and sharper than it had been. And I’m so much more an individual: my self-expression is deeper, fuller, and my life has so much in it, including work at a city agency, friends, marriage, and motherhood. This brings me to another lie.
On Mali’s lie about people being discouraged from/not allowed to go to college. Absurd! As a parent and an Aesthetic Realism consultant, I’m in a position to say, that’s utter and complete nonsense. Our son not only attended college, graduating with honors, but he also went on to law school, graduated a year ago (2007), and is now a practicing attorney. He has told us many times he’s grateful for our encouragement. (And by the way, he does not study Aesthetic Realism.) For anyone to claim anything other than that Aesthetic Realism is for a person’s full and complete education is a sick fabrication and they know it! Just this past Mother’s Day our son gave me a card in which he said, “You have encouraged me at every turn.” That is the true story.