I didn't acutally realize it was arbor day until about thirty minutes ago. I'm glad, though, because I really love trees and I've had a really crappy week. But I'm continuing to learn to be grateful for the good stuff and enjoy the abundance of blessings given to me. I'm practicing counting blessings, so I'll share a few of this week's good parts with you.
Last weekend, I met up with my close friends, the Cases, for a walk around the canals by the library in Valley Ranch. It was the best way to spend a Saturday morning and I felt so loved, walking around with two of my best friends and their beautiful son. Sunday was equally wonderful with Mass said by my favorite priest, sitting next to my favorite people, hugs from my mentor, and followed by lunch with the Cases and the Mechs. After that, I helped Christina and Christopher unpack some of their mom's stuff in her new condo (mostly, I just tried to entertain them).
This week, I have gotten to spend time with good friends. I am especially grateful for Cole, Tim, Heidi, Virginia, Claire, and Andrew, though that is only a small number of the good friends that I get to see every day in my PhD program. They remind me that one difficult person does not spoil the experience of the whole and they help me to keep perspective. Who knew that after all that time in intentional community, a graduate program at a public university would offer the best community I could ask for (excepting, as always, the SPs)? We have had a full week as we are preparing our own papers for finals as well as grading mountains of our students' work.
Lastly, I had a moment of excitement yesterday when I got home and found a package from an online friend from Denmark including these beautiful pencils:
I am now the proud owner of three PBWs, two Viking 400s, an Edelweiss HB, a Tombow Mono 100, and the teeniest, tiniest, cutest little pencil you've ever seen (Viking Micro).
What I read this week:
- On Netflixing (Woman of Integrity): As one of my friends on facebook said about this article, "Shit just got real." It might seem weird that this is under the "Popery" section, but I think that it's important to connect this with what the author says about Netflix addiction causing us to sin by omission. I guess I'm going to have to take a break from my M*A*S*H* marathons and swooning over Hawkeye Pierce.
Tearing the veil: a contemporary catholic practice and its complicated history (Suspended in Her Jar): I find the modern move towards ancient veiling to be problematic and here this author cites many of my reasons for concern.
The Rome Conference on Nonviolence: A Turning Point in History (Common Dreams): I'm not sure if this will actually come to fruition, but the Church is definitely considering a new take on Just War theory.
Giving thanks to the ash trees on Arbor Day (Sisters of Providence): Everything my friend, Dawn, writes is good. This is no exception.
When Feelings and Faith Disagree (Revive Our Hearts): It's hard to have faith sometimes, but I appreciate Kelly's openness and honesty. "Why should I have to walk in faith? Because I'm a Christian, that's why. And a Christian walks by faith, not by sight." Read the rest.
In El Salvador, Romero legacy fuses with the Francis effect (Crux Now): I need to read the pastoral letter they are referring to, but this is a great article!
- Pseudoscience in the Witness Box (Slate): This is important for the way that "pseudo-science" has been used to forge evidence.
From loyal Catholic to outspoken advocate for equal marriage (The Star): I would be interested to read his book.
Unconscious Racism is Still Racism, And Asian American Writers Have Had Enough (XO Jane): I have encountered a lot of people lately who don't actually know what "racism" means. I appreciate this author's explanation and her exploration of racism against Asian-Americans today. "To begin with, there seems to be some serious confusion about what racism actually is and is not. In Critical Race Theory, racism is defined as prejudice plus power, the combination of which creates a system that privileges whiteness and by extension, native speakers of English in the United States. This is why “reverse racism” simply doesn’t exist, because even in situations of discrimination against whites by people of color, prejudice without power doesn’t constitute racism. Likewise, intention and consciousness are irrelevant in the assessment of whether or not something is racist." Give the article a read.
Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):
- Teacher solves mystery of Jane Austen book (Boston Globe): What a find! This is every English teacher's dream!!
Movies and TV:
Stephen Colbert mixed up his Doctors and David Tennant handled it wonderfully (Radio Times): This is brilliant, both the first video and the conversation about Shakespeare.
Hidden cellphone feature keeps track of your every move (Fox): I almost never share anything from FOX News, but apparently this is a real thing.
Life in General:
A Granny Witch’s Cookbook (Appalachian Ink): I think I share Anna Weiss's writing every time she publishes something new on her blog. I love the way she uses words and the way that those words intertwine so closely with the words I heard growing up. I have to be honest, reading this article, I envy her relationship with her granny. "But as Granny said, where God walks once, the Devil rounds twice. There are vipers lying in wait of you amidst the plentiful saving weeds, and more than one mountain sister has fallen casualty to the snare of a rattler or copperhead or a handsome man ready to strike. Look for snake spit on the clover and never reach blindly into an inviting bough of cloying raspberry or a plentiful display of chicory or romance. There’s much worse than poison ivy to be found up in these woods." Check out her blog for more!
Academia, Education, and Teaching:
- How to Get Tenure (If You’re a Woman) (Foreign Policy): This is an important article for women who work in academia. We are treated differently and have more work that is expected of us. I think this article is helpful in laying out some (though not all) of the difficulties and helping map out responses to get to where you need to be.
Environmentalism, Farming, Food, Health, and Nutrition:
At Chernobyl And Fukushima, Radioactivity Has Seriously Harmed Wildlife (IFL Science): I've always been fascinated by Chernobyl.
- This is why all American mothers are crazy (Aleteia): A tongue-in-cheek, thought provoking read.
Huge New Study Reveals The Impact Of Spanking On Children (IFL Science): I continue to withhold an opinion on this, but I read the articles.