Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reader's Sampler

Some women desire other women's flawless skin, or long legs, or skinny waistline. I think my main desire is to have the brain of a well-read woman. In my alternate universe, where I am independently wealthy and I have loads of free time, I am going to be an avid reader, and it's going to make me smart. I actually enjoy reading in a big way, but when given the option, usually I'm out the door spending time with friends, and the books are still sitting on the shelves.

But here are a few short readings I've come across in the past few weeks that I have enjoyed, in no particular order.

My friend Angela sent me this great blog post about women and stereotypes, and how unhelpful they can be when women should (if we want to be seen as equal and capable contributors to society) be esteemed as valuable, level-headed and rational, instead of crazy, emotional and dramatic.

I have also read this New York Times article, about a Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, and how parents whose livelihood is based 100% in technology are opting to send their kids to the Waldorf School. The Waldorf School typically gets into computers and other gadgets late in the educational spectrum, and it was interesting to read about learning philosophies and why these ebay and google parents are opting to send their kids to "non-wired" schools. (Bonus: I grew up in a Waldorf School, so if you know me and have always wondered why I'm a little... peculiar... this may be an "ah-haaa" moment for you :-)

And how about that Diane Rehm show that I listened to ages ago, but that keeps coming to mind because it left such an impression on me? It's called "Vaccines and Autism: A Story of Medicine, Science and Fear", and it is an excellent show, with excellent guests. There was one chapter of my life when I was like, "vaccinations are such a controversial issue, so I won't put out my opinion because I don't want to appear judgmental" but I'm coming into my own as an advocate for public health so I think I'm over that now. If people's private decisions only affected themselves I wouldn't care less, but this is becoming a public health issue and I think we all need some reminders that the Vaccination and Autism link was researched, written and published based on untruth. I find it rather devastating and unnecessary that lately, children have been dying from diseases I thought were eradicated in the middle ages. Listening to this show is a great way to expand your knowledge while cleaning your house.

Last night as I was cleaning the kitchen I re-listened to this talk from General Conference about using our time wisely, and I liked it all over again. Most church speakers tell stories to illustrate their points, and I noticed that this talk lacks some of that personal note, but it's just so full of truth! It inspired me to get going on a few important projects.

And finally, in my Book Club this month we were assigned a few spooky short-stories, and one of my favorites so far has been The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Have you ever read the original story? It gets spooky towards the end, but the conclusion is great! Sometimes you just need to settle down with the classics...

So, that is just a sampler of a few things I've come across lately that I have enjoyed reading. We're taking a trip for the Christmas holiday and I'm actually thinking about a few books to stuff into my luggage. Any suggestions?


Rebecca said...

Loved this post Metta and can't wait to dig in to the links you listed. After being on a self imposed literary drought (too much to do) I've felt absolutely starved for good literature. But I have recently made an effort to make time for things that are "uplifting, praise worthy and of good report" and have fed my soul with a few awesome books recently. Thanks for giving me some new material ... ;)

Jennifer Long said...

Just a quick thanks. I love how you mix the spiritual (General Conference talk) and the (well, some might call either less spiritual or intellectual) NPR broadcast, and as always you say the perfect things that I absolutely need to hear right now. Thanks for being a great friend and an even better example to me Metta!!!!

Unknown said...

How I wish I could have come to bookclub tonight with all of you well-read women.

That is what I want to be, too, someday. Well-read and eloquent like you, Metta.

jojo said...

Your paragraph about women and stereotypes reminded me of a recent blog post from a friend of mine... ( Pretty funny. And if you're up for a very poignant, sad WW2 read, try 'Things we couldn't say' Diet Eman. It is so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for your wonderful posts!