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Showing posts from March, 2009
For me, one of the biggest differences between being a student of biology and a student of public health is the emotional exhaustion I now experience. Biology was a much more mentally demanding discipline- demanding memorization of countless organisms, structures, cell signalling pathways and the interactions between everything under the sun. Health Promotion, Education and Behavior places more strenuous demands on my heart than my mind. It also orders me to a careful reckoning of how my mind and heart are interacting- is my compassion for a particular situation leading me to jump to a solution, rather than deliberate over the best use of limited resources? How do I balance the urgency of life and death with the need to not be wasteful, to choose the best intervention?

This week I've been working on a short paper on the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, which has necessitated reading a vast quantity of UN "on the ground" reports. I sort of stumbled into this topic, having…

no more ghetto

Some days I really miss my Conservative Christian Ghetto. That place where no one admitted to smoking or drinking, divorce was unforgivable, people with same sex attraction were sick and twisted, and the goal of everything was to lead people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I'm not romanticizing that place. . . but everything made so much sense there. The black and whites of "never do anything that might possibly cause anyone to stumble," "love the sinner and viciously condemn the sin," and "you have a responsibility to share the Gospel with everyone you meet" are difficult to carry out, but simple in conception.

I don't know when I left it forever. It could have been the day a left-leaning Episcopalian priest's daughter became one of my best friends. Perhaps it was the day I enrolled in college as a biology major. Maybe it was the day the guy with whom I danced my last dance at senior prom hung himself.

Somewhere along the way I…

Stage Theory and the Movies

Somewhere, in my daily routine of prowling through news and blogs, I stumbled across the upcoming film A Powerful Noise. While I added it to my mental list (along with Milk and Slumdog Millionaire) I found myself annoyed by what feels like a glut of "activist movies" in recent years.

On one level, I feel guilty about that annoyance. My sister considers me an "Eco human rights nazi," and she's not without cause for that assumption (the organic tea in my cabinet, my canvas grocery bags, and personal boycott of Hershey, Nestle and M&M/Mars, for example) I have been thrilled and grateful that movies like Hotel Rwanda, Amazing Grace, and the three above are being made and watched. However, I'm perturbed that what I see happening is people watching these movies, having an extreme emotional reaction and then joining half a dozen facebook groups.

Then it clicked- stage theory. The bane of my existence this semester has been a class called "The Theoretical …