Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday Thirteen ~ my current interests

1.  Here's Milton reading in the lobby yesterday.  I took a large-print Readers' Digest to leave on the table in the lobby, and he reached for it.  We both like to read the jokes and cartoons.  "Get caught reading" month is about to end today, so I snapped his photo.

2.  Some of us have too many interests to keep up with.  Besides blogging, I attend meetings and read books and discuss issues with friends.  Here are some of them, starting with books:

3.  I'm interested in racism, much in the news right now.  Yesterday, I posted about Katie Ganshert's 2018 novel No One Ever Asked.  Loss of accreditation meant black students were integrated into a nearby white school.

4.  Jodi Picoult’s 2016 novel Small Great Things also explores racial prejudice.  I read today that a teacher asked Jodi if she could donate a few books so the teacher could use this book to teach her students.  Jodi sent the request to the publisher, and they sent books to the teacher.  The story is no longer online, but it reminded me I had read the book in October 2016 and rated it a 10 of 10.
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience.  During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient.  The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child.  The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery.  Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
5.  I'm interested in the #MeToo movement and how many women can say, "Me, too."  When I attended a recent panel discussion, I counted 31 of us in the room.  Only nine were men, but every one of them (except the silent young man who accompanied a woman on the panel) spoke up, some repeatedly.  One was a last-minute replacement for a woman who was supposed to be on the panel and couldn't be there.  I noticed the men would jump into the conversation without waiting for the moderator (a woman) to call on them, while women were raising their hands and waiting to be called on.  Fewer than half the women spoke at all.  Finally, I'd had enough.  I waited patiently, with my hand up, until the moderator called on me.  When I started talking about women needing to have a voice and men doing the talking about #MeToo, a man near me interrupted me (!!!).  So I stood up and continued to talk ABOVE him.  We women had come to discuss the #MeToo situation, not to have it "man-splained" to us, though I didn't use that word.  A woman came up to me afterwards to thank me for speaking up.

6.  I got three more library books today.
  • Don't Tell Me You Are Afraid ~ by Giuseppe Catozzella, translated by Anne Milano Appel, 2014 (translation 2016), fiction ~ what a Somali woman would do to be able to compete in the Olympics.
  • When Breath Becomes Air ~ by Paul Kalanithi, 2016, memoir ~ a young doctor is dying of lung cancer.
  • In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History ~ by Mitch Landrieu, 2018, history ~ racism again, and taking down Confederate monuments.
7.  Last Friday, Donna and I went to hear Jon Meacham talk about his latest book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.  I snapped this as he returned her book after signing it.  A second later she told him I'm also from Chattanooga (his hometown, too), and he turned to smile at me.  We don't know each other, but I knew of him.

8.  Tomorrow evening, Donna and I will be attending a seminar called Building a Bigger Table with John Pavlovitz.
How can we extend unconditional welcome and acceptance in a world increasingly marked by bigotry, fear, and exclusion?  How can we create spiritual communities that are big enough for everyone?  What is the path forward in days that seem more hostile to diversity?
On Saturday morning, his class will be Rebounding from Compassion Fatigue.
To be compassionate is to bleed, to feel deeply for the damage around you and to be moved to respond.  This is a beautiful and invaluable instinct, but it is costly, too.  There is a toll the trauma of the world takes on us when we seek to step into that dangerous space and to work for healing and justice.  In days when so much need is at our doorsteps and on our news feeds, how do we attend to it all without becoming overwhelmed and consumed by it?  How do we avoid becoming martyrs of our own hearts?
Pavlovitz is the author of the 2017 book A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community.  I also keep up with his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said.

9.  I have already quoted from Barbara Ehrenreich's excellent 2018 book Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, which I rated 9 of 10.  (Click here to read those three quotes.)  My friend Joylynn posted a link to an article about the book:  "Why I'm Giving Up On Preventive Care."

10.  As I left my doctor's office after an appointment, I was asked to sign papers saying I'd pay for the test my doctor was referring me to, if Medicare didn't.  I asked how much, was told $455, and refused to sign the papers.  I didn't want the test in the first place and never followed up.  (So I don't know if Medicare would have paid or not.)  Now my online MyChart says I'm "overdue" for that test, but there's no compelling reason for me to NEED the test.  She had told me the test could show a problem "up to 20 years early."  I pointed out that I'm almost 80 and don't expect to LIVE another 20 more years!

11.  The Crown Center for Senior Living, where I live, has a new promo video.  How many people do you recognize?

12.  The video ends with this:
"Crown Center, a place where people are personally invited, made to feel welcome, enjoy the company of others, and expand their minds.  We hope to see you here soon."
13.  I think I've already been doing what today's suggestion on the Meaningful May calendar says:
"What do you want to change in the world?  Do something today."

The only rule for Thursday Thirteen is to write about 13 things. The New Thursday 13 is hosted by Country Dew @ Blue Country Magic and Colleen @ Loose Leaf Notes. If you want to read lists by other people or play along yourself, here's the linky for this week.

1 comment:

colleen said...

Hi Bonnie! So good to see you on the TT circuit. I'm going to check out that book you mention about killing ourselves to stay alive. My sister Kathy loved Jody P. but I'm not into novels so much. I've been reading a series of memoirs of writers and musicians. Reading Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. It's like reading how someone gives their gift, struggles and all , set in the background of my generation and the music I loved and It's well written. Rod Stewart's was good too. I couldn't get through Neil Young's and only read Stephen Tyler's for the local references. He lived near me.

Oh, Me Too.