Archive for the ‘perspective’ Category

DAMMIT! I missed day one!

I signed up for the WordCount Blogathon again this year.

Then promptly missed day one. Officially I lose. That will make the rest of the month sooo much more manageable.

Why did I sign up, knowing how many things I have going on? Because last year I loved the camaraderie and the satisfaction of writing every single day. Of sharing my voice and my perspective and driving myself to think, express and communicate.  I love writing.

And what obstacles will I face in blogging daily for the month of May?

First and foremost, I can’t keep my eyes open half the time these days. I’m 7 weeks pregnant. I’ve intentionally chosen not to call this “tired” – though sometimes I call it The Tired, because it deserves a title. I’ve been opting to call it, to myself, My Drowsy Serenity. More on My Drowsy Serenity later.

I’m also transitioning to new tasks at work – from managing our various event-based fundraising (marathons, biking tours, fundraising dinners, etc, put on by donors across the country to support cancer research) to our corporate relationships (companies who support cancer research through their corporate giving or marketing budgets). And at the moment, I’m doing both jobs, and will soon be training our new events person, once he or she is hired.

I’m also planning on taking a couple of classes during the summer term at the community college where I’ve been working on the long-put-off goal of getting my degree. I took calculus and physical geography last semester. I think, all things considered, the summer session might be devoted to something like art appreciation.

As a result of My Drowsy Serenity, I have found new ways to show compassion for myself. Naps, morning meditation, and a slower walk to work are a few. Add: not beating myself up for failing the blogathon goal on the first day. As they say in New Orleans, it is what it is. And here I am, posting on day two because It’s What I Can Do.

There are more things in my life with capital letters in my life right now.


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As part of the Reverb10 writing project, I answer, sort-of,  today’s prompt: What (or whom) did you let go of this year?

With both my hands full,

I let fall what cannot fit.

I will come back soon.


This has been such a year of picking up new things. There is so much I want to hold and have and do with these hands of mine (mind of mine, heart of mine).  Each thing I pick up enlarges my capacity, but I am not without limits. I cannot do it all and I will not live forever. Try as I might, some things must fall from my hands. But they’re not gone.  They’re at my feet and one day I will scoop some of them up again and other things will fall.  I am a juggler, hands full, air full, floor full of colorful balls in slow motion.

By LucaP, Flickr Creative Commons

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If E.T. is kind of a farmer, Drew Barrymore is me, asking how much for a pound of onions.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the school at the top of my list for future ag-econ studies) wrote up this little piece on “food tiers” describing in easily understandable terms the various sources of foodstuffs in terms of the relationship of consumer to producer. Tier Zero is me and my balcony tomatoes; Tier One is me chatting up the onion farmer while he weighs my onions at the farmer’s market; Tier Two is me ordering my veggies each week from South Mountain Creamery; Tier 3 is me shopping at Whole Foods, or choosing the organic line of Giant’s products via my Peapod shopping; Tier 4 is the food my shelf whose origins I cannot account for, or the ingredients in other food I’ve purchased that come from anonymous fields of corn or soy, or out-of-season fruit from Panama or Chile. It’s an interesting (and quick to read article) who’s main point is that, as Tier 1 values gain ground among consumers, Tier 2 is a key focus of the action, and both Tiers 1 and 3 will play vital roles in making a Tier 2 experience more widely and effectively available.

What “tier” is your most typical shopping experience?

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I am weary of commemorating this day.

I am sickened by the exploitation of it by those pandering to constituents (religious or political). I am sad for the ghosts of the dead, who are lumped into a single grim spectre by the media (“those who lost their lives”) and their families, each different and affected in different ways, are one more mass (“those who lost a loved one”) to be resurrected annually to keep the emotions fresh. We pick at the scab, lest it heal, and we lose our appetite for war and fear. (more…)

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I will need to take the ACT. I thought I could get out of it  – Evergreen State College did not require test scores for it’s adult student applicants. I never took it, so I don’t have any scores.

But now that I’ve revised some of my goals and am aiming a little higher in terms of the quality and rigor of the school I want to attend and the specific major I intend to pursue, I’m looking at more demanding schools, and will have to take the ACT. I am sure to get an embarrassing score, and what’s more, because I’ve got an  inescapable commitment on the only test date in October, I have to wait until December to take the exam, meaning I cannot apply by any of the “early action” dates for the four schools I’m aiming at. And whatever score I get is what I get… no second try for getting into Fall 2011.

I’m apprehensive.

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If you think choosing the best food for yourself and your family is tough, try being poor. Put aside any thoughts you might have in your head about why the poor are poor and all the things you think they should be doing to better their situation, and just think for a minute about the day to day reality of getting food on your table if you live where most poor people live.

You will probably picture yourself in a city, on a block identical to the blocks around it, in apartment housing, a project or a single family home in need of repairs. There has not been a grocery store in your neighborhood in twenty years or more – the stores followed those with money when they moved to the suburbs in the 1970s. What you’ve got are liquor stores and corner stores, each stocked about as well as a suburban gas station might be with a few quarts of milk, some lunch meat and a selection of canned items and breakfast cereals, and an aisle of candy as long as the food aisle. Within a few blocks is a bus stop, but it’s not a line where a bus comes by every ten minutes, it comes once an hour. You are not likely to have a car, but maybe someone you know does. When it comes time to buy groceries, you can ride the bus (or more likely a couple of buses) to a real grocery store, or ride the metro, but either way, you can only buy what you can carry back yourself. All together, the trip may take you 3 or 4 hours. And you’re lucky to have brought back food for a week. And because American food policy rewards the overproduction of corn, the affordable things you can bring home are killing you, and the fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive to buy enough to keep your family full for a week. (more…)

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