August was such a wonderful month!! It started out canoeing with my YW family in Canada and back to back wedding weekends celebrating love and marriage and booty shaking. I spent the first half of August in the States and the second half here in the DR which is a pretty fair representation of my life – always half here, half there. This month I said goodbye to yet another cat and decided to take a break from being a pet parent. Losing two cats in less than a year will cause even the most crazed cat lady to take a break. This month I set up shop in my very own classroom and started the school year off right with 35 precious first graders. We’re two weeks in and already getting into the swing of things. My two year anniversary with San Pedro was celebrated this August, as was my first year anniversary with WordPress. Cheers all around. On the 20th of this month I launched my new monthly newsletter (of the missionary update from the field order). This month I finished my first Book Challenge and started a second! It was a good, full, happy month. Here are some more highlights.
do you have to be pro-choice to be feminist? at Defeating the Dragons – “If you want to do all you can to reduce the abortion rate through education, through access to effective contraception, through pursuing policies that will help working mothers keep their jobs (like subsidized day care, either through employers or government-sponsored programs), if you believe that life outside of the womb is just as important as life inside of it, then hell yes. [You are a feminist.]”
Robin Williams and Joy Worth Fighting For by Mary Hooke – “The moment he took his life, the depression won, and that is tragic (so so tragic)… but in all of the other moments– the moments that he chose life, and humor and love and joy– HE won.”
11 Things White People Should Stop Saying to Black People Immediately at Identities.Mic – “White people will never fully understand how racism impacts the everyday lives of black people and people of color.”
Tales From the Blogosphere at Homecoming Magazine – “You can make it all the way home just doing the next right thing, one thing at a time.” – G
“There’s something really healing in knowing you’re not alone.” – SB
Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt at Momastery – “Today I shall keep my perspectacles super-glued to my face and feel insanely GRATEFUL instead of LACKING and I will look at my home and my people and my body and say: THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.”
Dear White Mom: at BonBon Break – “I need to know that you are not merely worried about this most tragic of worst case scenarios befalling my son; I need to know that you are out there changing the ethos that puts it in place. That you see this as something that unites us as mothers, friends and human beings.”
35 Men Show Us What Real Men’s Activists Look Like at Identities.Mic
MY MOST POPULAR POST //
MOVIES & TV SHOWS //
Elysium on DVD – My love of movies definitely comes from my parents. They always have something new and interesting to watch. Before I left earlier this month I watched this dystopian future flick starring a Spanish speaking Matt Damon. I definitely enjoyed it, definitely got into it, definitely sobbed at the end. Oh, Matt Damon as tough, self-sacrificing Max. While I enjoyed it, I felt it was a little unsatisfying. I think the relationship between Max and Frey could’ve/should’ve been developed more to make his actions carry more weight. I also didn’t have a tight hold on the whole Spider/Government situation. I think the governmental sabotage as unnecessary or at least, uninteresting. If you like stories about dystopian futures (which I do) and Matt Damon (which I do!) then I’d definitely recommend this guy.
House Season 8 on Netflix – I finally buckled down and finished out House. When I was watching it in real time I just couldn’t handle how crazy he went. I mean he drove his car into Cuddy’s house. It wasn’t cute and I wasn’t feeling it. I was afraid that this downward spiral continued and while I certainly don’t mind House’s crazy, it’s not the only thing I enjoy about the show. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I pushed through and Season 8 returned to the normal diagnostics stuff. Plus the series finale was super interesting.
Orphan Black Season 1 on Netflix – All of my favorite shows were introduced to me by my mom so it’s no surprise that I’m loving Orphan Black. She was talking about it all summer – how cool it is that this one actress plays all these clones, how interesting the story is, blah blah. And she was right! She under-sold the thing! I’m hooked and on the hunt for Season 2. If I had to say something negative about the show, I would say there is almost too much going on with the Neolutionsits and the Detectives and Paul (who I love) and the monitors and Kira. It’s not too much, but almost.
A VIDEO //
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion – A timely back to school TED talk. “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
I’m making slow progress on my Book Challenge. Some of the books I chose just don’t move quite as quickly as those on the Children’s Chapter Book List. Like Theodore Dreiser’s 800+ page An American Tragedy, for example, which I am currently half-way into. But I have made some progress! These are the books I read this month for my new challenge (which started about two weeks ago):
The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle – I think my next Book Challenge should be to read all of Madeleine L’Engle’s books. She writes so beautifully and yet so deeply. And intrigue and mystery this time! I love thinking about our friends the O’Keefes on that wonderful beach and I love thinking about Adam being brave enough to make his own decisions. I always learn new things when I read L’Engle’s books and I feel that her characters (at least the good guys) possess this kind of quiet, intelligent beauty and strength that is simply wonderful to experience.
Animal Farm by George Orwell – Animal Farm started out a nice, triumphant tale. How quickly everything changed for the worse! I am sad to say I believe I would’ve been sucked in myself, having for some reason liked Napoleon more at the start than Snowball. I found the small commentary on the usefulness of education very interesting. Most of the animals had no interest in learning for themselves and were content to regurgitate what they had been told (like the sheep). How dangerous a mindset! Of course, the animals were happier not knowing how they had been tricked and manipulated but if all the animals knew how to read and remembered the original commandments, perhaps they could’ve banded together to overthrow Napoleon.
WORDS OF WISDOM //
“I would insist to you that I AM beautiful and I’m becoming more beautiful every day. Beautiful means “full of beauty.” Since I am almost forty now – God, I love saying that – I finally know what beauty is. To me, beauty is the beach near my house, puttering around my kitchen, the laughter of a good friend, my dogs’ stinky fur, Amma’s inability to say the letter R, Tish’s sensitive heart, Chase’s darkening summer skin against his ultra white teeth, Craig playing hide and seek by himself, the steeple of my beloved church, a hot chai tea, and the banyan trees in my front yard.
Today I will FILL UP WITH THIS BEAUTY. I will SEE this beauty and really NOTICE IT and smell it and hear it and roll around in it and soak it all up. I will allow all of this beauty to become a part of me- to BECOME ME- and by the end of the day I will be so freaking beautiful from the inside out that folks will stop and stare, probably.
If you do not feel beautiful then FILL UP, Precious Sister.”
Bring it on, September. I am armed well with summer memories, a decent base tan (hooray for living in the Caribbean), a few nights of girl talk, a classroom full of smarties, and a craving for cooler weather. We welcome you, September!