This is the last Friday before school starts up again. I'm in the midst of so many projects that I wanted to have done before school began. Alas. How is your back to school time going?
Two years ago: Wild and Precious (Spiritual Uprising Blog)
What I read this week:
When You’re a Catholic Who Doesn’t Have It Together (Riparians at the Gate): I really appreciate this article. I think it's really easy to judge people in the Church (and even easier to judge yourself).
Still Separate, Still Unequal: White Catholics and the perduring sin of racism (America): Every time there is a shooting of a black man that makes the news, I see all of my (mostly white, some not) Catholic friends post about how the guy deserved it. As Catholics, we need to work on this.
25 Samples Of Perfect Penmanship That Are Totally On Point (Huffington Post): Some of these make me want to just sit and practice my penmanship.
5 Reasons Why You Should Start Using Fountain Pens (When In Manila): I'm not going to lie, being back at school means more writing, which means more using my pens, and this is what I'm most excited about.
Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):
Jane Austen Films and Onion Headlines: A Perfect Match (Flavorwire): My favorite? "Woman A Leading Authority on What Shouldn't be in Poor People's Grocery Carts." Lady Catherine would be that person if she were alive today (and, you know, real).
There is no Secret to Writing About People who do not Look Like You (Literary Hub): This article is interesting and engages a problem evident in the book world. I love the last two paragraphs, excerpted here: "When a story does harm by presenting a limited view of a group of people, then the author’s craft has failed them in some crucial way. It isn’t that every character belonging to every marginalized group must be perfect and without conflict. It isn’t that an author must present an example every kind of person. Rather, it’s because you present only one side to that person’s life, a side that has often been fabricated and perpetuated by the larger public. It’s because your character doesn’t ring true, has none of the mess that makes a person real on the page. A writer’s work begins and ends with empathy. Without it, there can be no writing, at least not good writing, and if the author cannot enter into the lives of those unlike himself, then he must, I think, hold the work about himself up for closer scrutiny. The distance between the self and the other is never as great as we imagine it to be—the two are often twinned, and it’s this relationship that empathy reveals. The best writing, the writing most alive with possibilities, is the writing that at once familiarizes and estranges; it’s writing that divorces us from our same-old contexts and shifts our thinking about ourselves and the world around us." As a scholar of literature that is not from my own culture, I recognize the difficulties in writing about people who do not look like you. I think that this article is really helpful in engaging this.
Life in General:
- You're Not Responsible for Other People's Feelings (Introvert, Dear): Oh my gosh, this is so me: "I was stunned, and speechless. That was allowed? I could ask other people to modify something because it was causing me a problem? Rationally, I understood this concept. But emotionally, it felt like my entire world had shifted." I struggle to speak up for myself. I also appreciate the author's affirmation of communicating via writing. It is SO hard for me to do in person confrontations. I think so slowly that I can't process one thing before the person I'm talking to has moved onto the next. It makes it easy to be taken advantage of.
Why I won’t buy a Fitbit (The Art of the Simple): While I love my fitbit, I really enjoyed this reflection from Art of the Simple. I think we are too numbers based these days.
Why Representation Matters (Edutopia): I think it's really easy for people to roll their eyes when they hear about groups of persons being underrepresented. I know that as a kid, I struggled to find female characters to relate with. This article is really good for addressing the problem with potential answers.
Environmentalism, Farming, Food, Health, and Nutrition:
- Don't you dare teach my daughter to fear the forest (Woman Running with Wolves): I love this: "If the time ever comes when my daughter should feel that life has worn her down, I will show her that in the soul-forest, there is always life teeming under the surface. Like an owl stalking a mouse in the moonlight, some part of her somewhere is always awake and bustling peacefully in the silence; alert, watching, waiting.So, don't you dare teach my daughter to fear the forest. You know those stories that speak of the wolf in the wood? I will teach my daughter that she is the wolf – free, primal, and connected to the moon." I never thought about how the stories about kids getting attacked in the woods teach us to fear the forest. I'm so glad it didn't work on me.
These 5 Museums Put the “Culture” in “Agriculture” (Modern Farmer): I would love to visit some of these.
Academia, Education, and Teaching:
Creating an Ecology of Wonder (Edutopia): I don't think it's any secret that I love being a teacher. Even though things like this are harder to accomplish at the University level, I consider my vocation to be no less creative than that of a kindergarten teacher. I love this quote: "Our job as educators is to make our primary resource -- wonder -- the essential learning incentive and outcome. This precious resource of wonder will feed our students, and in turn, our students will enrich their communities when they graduate with future public projects, businesses, cultural opportunities, and the exchange of ideas that in turn will foster wonder and curiosity for future generations. Our students and communities will pass on wonder in much the same way oxygen, water, and nutrients cycle through a well-balanced ecosystem." I think this is a great way to put the job of an educator.
With Dartmouth professor's push, NH veterans finding that 'Homer gets it. Homer knows' (New Hampshire Union Leader): I love this article. Sometimes the Classics seem so far away for my students. They feel like what happened in Ancient Greece cannot possibly impact them. But reading Homer helps us to realize that more than anything, the human is human. The same pains we experience today were experienced then. That gives a certain amount of humanity to suffering, doesn't it?
When satan steals your motherhood (Letters from the Nest): I have to admit that I know some people might not trust parenthood posts that I share, given that I'm not a mom. But, I love this post and I think all my mom friends should read it. I'm like this with other things, and I can only imagine that I would be like this as a mother. It's so easy to lose the joy of the thing that you "must" do (that really, you have chosen to do) and to let that joy be stolen in exchange for anger, frustration, and self deprecation.