I recently returned to school, part-time.
Unlike my earlier dalliances with school, I am deeply passionate about what I’m now studying. Instead of slogging through the motions for the degree at the end, then, I now wake up on Monday mornings ecstatic at the prospect of being able to explore the new week’s content.
(While sitting around reading is illuminating and I do a bunch of that, engaging with others on the material is partly how it truly gets “in the bones” for me. Chatting with professors and classmates, I am able to move away from abstract understandings and instead link up everything I’m learning with real life. It’s lovely, and inspiring!)
And yet: I come to my now-formal studies of public health with certain … perspectives. As much as being informed by all I read, these perspectives are borne from my own lived experiences with poverty and the various violences, both structural and interpersonal, with which they are correlated.
So when I began reading chapter 2 of the intro text for one of my courses, I felt a gut-level antagonism to its focus: Continue reading “because: evidence.”
A few weeks ago, I wrote about concerns with Karens,
as well as concerns with my own use of the word “Karens” (noun) instead of karen-ing (verb).
I’ve been thinking about karen-ing a lot the last week or two:
What does it mean to karen?
Who is most likely, based on societal structures today,
to feel empowered to karen in public?
Do I karen? If so,
How do I adjust my life in ways that help me
While the process of discovery as I’ve experienced it isn’t as linear as the nature of English and blogging may make it sound, the process really did begin with one question above all:
“What does it mean to karen?” What’s the definition as I’d write it?
To come to that definition, I had to first answer a different question:
Apart from the fact they’d been perpetrated by white women, what did all the acts of karening I’d witnessed on social media have in common?
In each case, a white woman felt subjectively threatened by the skin color and/or non-aggressive acts of a Black person, and then acted out that sense of threat in ways that increased possibility of harm to the Black person.
Thanks to author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, I had words for what was happening in these moments of karening: Continue reading “to karen (1)”
You know that nightmare
where you have to take a Calculus final
even though you didn’t realize you were signed up for Calculus,
and didn’t attend a single class?
I had something like that, last night …
except, appropriately, it was about face masks.
I was perusing earrings in cozy, dimly lit second-hand collectives in San Francisco. I’d just found a beautiful pair of enormous red, yellow, and green earrings when I looked up and realized:
There were dozens of people in my vicinity, and no one was wearing a face mask! Not even me!
Panicked, I dropped the earrings and fled.
Then, I’m sitting on a bus, as I did so many times in both childhood and law school. Continue reading “the illusion of health”
Today, I am grieving.
I am thinking of a paper published on January 26, 2020,
and my heart aches to see the chasm between what is now …
and what could have been.
On April 4, 2020, I wrote briefly about “invisible histories,” a concept to which author Nassim Nicholas Taleb introduced me. Continue reading “lost lives, lost histories”
On February 28, I was delighted to vote in person for the first time ever. I wrote about that here.
By then, I already had enough information to know this was Not A Good Idea.
The signal just wasn’t on my mind.
About a week before I voted, I was talking with a fellow fan of author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I asked if she followed him on Twitter. I explained I’d stopped scrolling through his tweets several weeks back, but that he remained my favorite author and tweep. Continue reading “A bandana the right direction”
A few years ago, my husband introduced me to author Neil Postman. I developed what my sister calls an “academic crush” on Postman, special ordering and reading almost every book he wrote.
Postman taught me many things, foremost among them that “perspective” should most accurately be considered a verb. Since reading Postman, I have aimed to perspective better, and cherished those teachers–local and global–who help me improve my perspectiving skills.
(WordPress’s spellcheck, not having read Postman, informs me “perspectiving” is not a valid word. Little does it know … !)
In late 2017, I checked out Antifragile from my local library and promptly academically crushed on its author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. While Postman introduced me to some of the currently underappreciated wisdom of the ancients who paved the way for us, Taleb got irreverently explicit about it. Continue reading “On Perspectiving Crushes & True Belonging”