Weekly Meanderings, 19 October 2019

Weekly Meanderings, 19 October 2019 October 19, 2019

What a grand way to kick off this week’s meanderings, with a link to a post about books and hoarding.

You’re a book hoarder if…

“It’s not hoarding if it’s books.” This is a popular saying among bibliophiles with various versions like the above circulating as memes on social media. I’m not so sure if that’s always true. From comments I read, there are a number of us who are book hoarders. Notice that I include myself here. You know you are a book hoarder if:

  • You cannot leave a bookstore without a book, or ten, even if you have stacks at home to read.
  • You would have live at least fifty years longer than most mortals live (and retain your sight) to read all your books.
  • You almost feel a part of yourself is being amputated when you get rid of a book even if you know you will not read, or read again the book in question.
  • You have books everywhere, not just on your shelves–in stacks on the floor, on tables, on furniture, in every room, perhaps in closets.

Of course if this habit is compromising your safety by blocking exit doors, or your marriage, or your finances, or your children’s welfare, then it is a serious business and you really do need to get help. What once may have been a healthy love of books is no longer.

For most of us it is not nearly so bad. There are so many good things about reading. It cultivates emotional sensitivity and compassion. At its best, it holds forth virtues to which we aspire. It entertains. It enlarges our vision of the world. It helps form and guide our spiritual journeys. And sometimes, with a hot beverage and a well-made chair, it is one of the most comfortable moments of many of our days.

Her door remains open.

We live and work today in era defined by multiple ongoing and overlapping crises. Paul opened my eyes to the ravages of the opioid epidemic, but other students of mine have struggled with mental health problems, gender-based violence, domestic abuse, vulnerable immigration status, poverty, hunger, homelessness, and enduring and systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia. Institutions of higher education have found many creative and effective ways to respond to the needs of students, and I’m grateful for that.

But colleges and universities must also acknowledge the work that professors do, recognizing that we not only research, write, and teach, but also serve as trusted adults to whom students turn when they’re in trouble. Faculty are often on the front lines of these crises—a fact that the work culture of academia tends to downplay.

The reality is that many professors do a tremendous amount of this type of invisible labor—especially those of us who, like me, are young, female, and people of color. The work of mentoring and caring falls disproportionately on our shoulders. Rather than seeing this labor as a burden, though, I embrace these responsibilities with a sense of mission, purpose, gratitude, and joy. Especially for those of us who come to the professoriate from the margins, we feel a deep responsibility to serve our students, perhaps because we recognize ourselves in our students.

For these reasons I feel uncomfortable with the constant advice I’ve received to close my door and focus solely on my research and my writing. Boundaries are important, yes, and publications matter. But my greatest priority is to be present for the people around me, especially in moments of suffering, whether I expected these people to show up at my office or not.

An act of compassion and generosity:

(CNN)One man in Jupiter, Florida, decided that he could make a difference in his town by paying off the lunch debt for every child in the system. It all started with a Facebook post.

Angie Vyas-Knight, administrator of the “Jupiter Mamas” Facebook group, told CNN she was disgusted by national news stories about children who couldn’t afford to buy lunch at school. She asked the Palm Beach county school board for her district’s stats.
To spread awareness, she shared the list of nine schools’ outstanding lunch debt of $944.34.
Weeks later, the list made its way to Jupiter real estate agent Andrew Levy.
Levy decided he wanted to do something about the list, and paid the balance for all 400 kids in full. He knew that the kids in debt would go without eating or simply get a cheese sandwich.
“I thought that’s crazy. Food is something you shouldn’t have to think about. Children shouldn’t learn hungry,” Levy told CNN affiliate WPEC.
But he isn’t stopping there.

ST. PETERSBURG — LaToya Reedy always dreamed of being a homeowner but it seemed unattainable.

As a single mother to her 18-year-old son, AnTrez Reedy worked hard as a certified nursing assistant to provide a stable lifestyle for him, but the unpredictability of renting kept her living paycheck to paycheck.

“I got tired of paying the high rent,” she said, “and with renting it goes up every month.”

The constant increases in rent forced Reedy and her son to move into a tight, overcrowded living space with her mother. For two years they shared one room with her mother and rotated sleeping on the bed, and shared one bathroom with five family members in the household.

But on Tuesday morning her dream came true.

Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties and its partnership with furniture company Aaron’s, healthcare provider Cigna, and former Buccaneer Warrick Dunn’s nonprofit, Warrick Dunn Charities, Reedy and her son received a fully-furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

Habitat for Humanity bought an empty lot at 918 43rd St. S near Childs Park and built the home, which spans nearly 2,000 square feet, while Aaron’s donated $10,000 toward furniture, appliances, and interior design, and Cigna donated $10,000 towards down payment assistance and groceries.

Anthony Rendon — great story:

If you’re a baseball fan, then you know the Washington Nationals are headed to the World Series. One of the team’s players who helped the Nats get to the series for the first time is third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Rendon, 29, a Christian, posted the best stats of his seven-year-career almost across the board in 2019, according to the website Sports Spectrum. The third baseman ended the regular season with 34 home runs, 126 RBIs and a .319 batting average, which were all career-highs.  He was the game’s RBI leader and was also named to the All-Star team.

However, Rendon says he’s not chasing media attention or fans’ attention for his defensive prowess on the diamond or the number of runners he can drive in with a bat.

In a video posted to Instagram last year, the Houston, Texas native told Houston First Baptist Church Pastor Gregg Matte that he wanted to be known as “a Christian baseball player.”

“I want to be known as a Christian baseball player and I’m still trying to grow into that,” Rendon told Matte. “But in the end, I want to be more Christian than baseball player.”

“If I just try to stay in the Word and try to surround myself with good people and have good community, I think that will just guide me on that path,” Rendon explained.

Yet one more:

After hearing a story about an Atlanta boy paralyzed by a gunshot wound, Shaquille O’Neal knew he wanted to help.

According to WXIA-TV, Shaq heard 12-year-old Isaiah Payton had been recovering at a hospital since Aug. 17 after being shot at a high school football game. Payton could not return home because the family’s one-bedroom apartment was not accessible for people with disabilities. The former NBA star found the family a house and said he’ll help furnish it and pay its rent for the next year.

“I reached out to the family because I wanted to see the son,” Shaq told WXIA-TV. “I’m going to pay her rent for the year and I’m going to give her some furniture and it’s sad because her son is paralyzed from the chest down and no mother should have to go to that.”

Rob Lynch, Papa John’s CEO, and Jeff Smith, the company’s chairman of the board, are also providing donations.

In August, Payton and Damean Spear, 15, were struck by gunfire when leaving a high school football game. Spear was wounded but later released from the hospital. A stray bullet hit Payton in the spine, causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down.

Atlanta police arrested a 15-year-old boy on Wednesday in connection with the shooting. He is being charged with aggravated assault, according to WXIA-TV.

(Meredith) — An Indiana church helped pay off $7.8 million in medical debt for nearly 6,000 families across the state.

Northview Church teamed up with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based organization, and leveraged more than $40,000 in donations to wipe out the unpaid medical bills.

RIP Medical Debt negotiates with hospitals, doctors and even investors to purchase debt at pennies on the dollar.

“The debt is then paid off forever, with no adverse consequences to those who benefit,” Northview said in a statement.

The church, which has seven campuses in Indiana, initially raised $20,000 to wipe out $2 million in medical debt for 2,500 families. After Northview announced the debt elimination plan in June, other churches decided to join the cause.

The donations more than doubled and helped Northview erase $7.8 million in medical debt for 5,940 families who live in 10 Indiana communities. Those communities include Indianapolis, Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Flora, Kokomo, Lafayette, northern Putnam County, Peru, and Westfield.

“This is a great example of churches meeting people’s needs in practical ways, as a demonstration of God’s love,” said Steve Poe, Northview’s senior pastor.

ADHD, but not so much in France, why?

The French do not recognize ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) rejecting the idea that medicines that are usually prescribed for the condition are at all helpful.

These two very different cultures have different ADHD levels in children, in America the rate is 19 percent, and in France, it’s .5% – a half of a percent. For that half percent, the treatment includes no chemical or medicine whatsoever, opting for older fashioned methods.French children are subjected to much less sugar and additive-laden foods. Sugary cereals, fast food and fizzy drinks are consumed in much less volume than in the U.S, they are not shown the same advert driven television programs and lead an altogether more simple life.

In 1998, Dr. Edward C. Hamlyn of the Royal College of General Practitioners said, “ADHD is fraud intended to justify starting children on a life of drug addiction”. One of the founding fathers of ADHD as a medical psychiatric disorder, Leon Eisenberg, confessed on his deathbed in 2009 at the age of 87, “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.” The evidence is overwhelming that the ‘treatment’ for this ‘condition’ is a fraud.

Cognitive therapy was traded in for drugs a long time ago. Doctors are urged to write prescriptions as the government and BigPharma are in it together….

BREZE, Bosnia (Reuters) – Zorica Rebernik has spent her life in red and plans to stay that way — even after she dies.

After four decades dressing in the color from head to toe, the 67-year-old Bosnian has had tombstones made for herself and husband Zoran — whom she married wearing a red gown — from a special red granite imported from India.

The retired schoolteacher lives in a red house, where she and Zoran eat from red plates, drink from red glasses and sleep in red bedding. Even her hair is dyed red.

“When I turned 18 or 19 there came a sudden, strong urge to wear red,” Rebernik told Reuters. “There must not be a single dot of any other color on my home decorations or clothes.”

Wearing shades like scarlet and vermillion gives her “the feeling of strength and power”.

Rebernik’s obsession with the color has made her a local celebrity in her hometown of Breze, close to Tuzla in northern Bosnia.

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