Tag Archives: essay

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this Wednesday? News about the royal baby (ARCHIE!!!) has definitely kept me good and distracted this morning, lol. Anyone else? So happy for Harry and Meghan…and for me, because I love those crazy royals! Haha. But now I’ve gotta snap out of it, buckle down, and get some dang work done! We’re off to Kentucky at week’s end. Hope your middle of the week is proving more productive than mine, but to distract you…

6 surprising things about the royal baby.

[Related: Purebred corgis or NOTHING.]

The magic of estate sales.

Why the world’s best mathematicians are hoarding chalk.

The snake-charming life and tragic death of Grace Olive Wiley.

Menstrual products in the Science Museum’s collection.

How a ‘Brady Bunch’ episode on measles is fueling campaigns against vaccines.

Springtime means I’m brainstorming ways to decorate the great outdoors!

[Related: A Rustic, Boho-Inspired Balcony]

Why women candidates are ruled unelectable so quickly.

Feeling called to purchase some warm weather jammies.

Mike Rosmann left seminary to become a clinical psychologist for farmers.

How to read more books in the golden age of content.

The ‘Baby Dolls’ of New Orleans.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Our Favorite Music Festival and For the Love of BOOKS!

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On Believing and Being Believed

A few weeks ago, I posted a story in my mid-week round-up. It’s the first story in Carmen Maria Machado’s book Her Body and Other Parties, and it’s called The Husband Stitch. The story is Machado’s adaptation of the “the girl with the green ribbon,” a spooky story you may be familiar with (and still terrified by) thanks to Alvin Schwartz’s In a Dark, Dark Room.

Have you read it yet? You should.

(I’ll wait.)

Now you should go read Jane Dykema’s essay, “What I Don’t Tell My Students About ‘The Husband Stitch'” found HERE. Dykema explores the ways in which Machado’s story brings up questions about who we believe and why.

From the essay:

“Of all the stories I know about mothers, this is the most real,” Machado’s narrator begins, and goes on to tell a story of a mother and daughter traveling to Paris. The mother falls ill and the doctor sends the daughter to get medicine, a task which takes so long, a meandering cab ride, the doctor’s wife making pills out of powder, that when the daughter returns to the hotel she finds her mother gone, the walls of their room a different color, a hotel clerk who doesn’t remember them. Then the narrator says there are many endings to this story, one in which the daughter persists, stakes out the hotel and starts an affair with a laundryman in order to finally discover the truth: that her mother died from a highly contagious disease and in order to prevent widespread panic, the doctor, cab driver, his wife, and the hotel employees conspired to erase any trace of the mother and daughter’s existence there. Another ending to the story is that the daughter lives the rest of her life believing she’s crazy, “that she invented her mother and her life with her mother in her own diseased mind. The daughter stumbles from hotel to hotel, confused and grieving, though for whom she cannot say.” I would tell you the moral, the narrator says, but I think you already know.

We are taught to value simple, elegant truths. In science, philosophy, theology, and politics, we apply Occam’s razor, the idea that between competing hypotheses, the simplest one is the right one. That the daughter is crazy is a much simpler explanation than that a whole cast of characters conspired to hide her mother’s death and erase their existence, simpler than the introduction of a contagious disease, simpler than the construction and remodeling done to the room. And yet —

Dykema notes that when teaching the story, a woman will confess she cried while reading it and when asked why, she’ll reply she doesn’t know. I didn’t cry when I read The Husband Stitch, but I did when reading Dykema’s essay. Why? Because right now, we urgently need discussions about believing and being believed. Her words resonated and I hope you’ll read them…and then start a discussion of your own.

In class, I don’t say to my students, “Do you feel it, too? Or can you imagine it? The perils of living in a world made by a different gender? The justified and unjustified mistrust? The near-constant experience of being disbelieved, of learning to question your own sanity? How much more it hurts to be let down by ‘one of the good ones?’”

Instead, Dykema discusses the narrative tools her students can apply to their own writing. But outside the writing classroom — I’m ready to start asking.

Have you read a short story or article lately which sparked an important conversation? Would love to hear! 

(Image above is an illustration by Dirk Zimmer from In a Dark, Dark Room, a book which still haunts me to this day.)

mid-week round-up

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!! Did you BBQ? Pop fireworks? Sing patriotic songs while you packed for upcoming travel?! *raises hand for that last one* I’m on my way to Kentucky today! I’ll be hanging out with my Mom for the next couple days and I can’t wait. (I have an embarrassingly long list of food you can only get in Lexington that I want to consume during my short visit.) Hope everyone’s day is peachy and here are a few links for your amusement…

Central Americans, scared of what’s happening in the U.S., stay put.

The U.S. already has a high quality, universal childcare program — in the military.

The problem with writing about Florida.

9 fun activities that also happen to be exercise.

Related: Ballin’ on a Budget — Ditch the Gym Membership

Monthly art projects sent to your door!

35 cheap recipes that will help you stick to your budget.

Related: How to Eat on a Shoestring Budget

Um, a 40 of ROSÉ? Yes, please!

Make the bread, buy the butter.

Ghostwriting for social media stars is the secret new Millennial It-career.

Long absent from discussions about employment, the retail workforce is taking matters into their own hands.

How to think about Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show.

Q&A: WTF is gut health? 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions and TV Recommendation: Westworld.

mid-week round-up

yarn-rainbow

Back from Louisiana and back for another mid-week round-up. What has everyone been up to? While our trip to Lafayette was book-ended with sadness (we found out Chet’s grandfather passed away while we were en route and attended his funeral on Monday); visiting with family, eating amazing Cajun food, and sitting in the sun for a couple afternoons at a music festival were just what we needed. Now we’re strapping in for a quick week with plenty to do. But before productivity takes over, here are a dozen links to enjoy…

Add this Apple Cider Sangria to your autumnal drink rotation.

A DIY centerpiece for maximum Halloween ambiance.

The racist and sexist history of keeping birth control side effects secret.

Breaking down an effective Sunday meal prep.

A fast-food journey from Hamburger University to celebrity-filled Hollywood parties.

Remembering when Melrose Place became a conceptual art project.

This book looks fascinating.

Arguing is easy; persuasion is hard.

How to walk around the world without leaving New York.

Actually, many inner cities are doing great.

A fascinating experiment in gender mainstreaming.

The opposite of a muse.

mid-week round-up

peach flower

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 

Enjoy the links…

The best explanation of Uber ratings. 

How did Chris McCandless die? 

RuPaul’s RuTine. 

Congrats William & Kate!

Espresso in space could have strong scientific impacts.

This essay is a heart-wrenching reminder of the emotional power of food.

Oh, NBD…just pictures of ragdoll cats.

I think I need to adopt this little guy!

Lessons in emergency eating.

I’m totally a #4 but now I’m looking to become a #6.

The comment section on this post was enlightening to explore.

Style sudoku would be a great resource for summer packing.

And click over to THIS POST and enter to win my FREE GIVEAWAY! 

mid-week round-up

garage door

What’s up, buttercups? My mom and I went to visit my grandma this past weekend, and this week at work it’s all about Thanksgiving promotion. Not gonna lie, I’m getting a little sick of thinking about turkeys and pies. : ) Oh, and winter has returned! Usually, with the turning of the seasons I feel a gripping sense of nostalgia for a day or two. As the days turned to Fall, my friends and I agreed that it happens to all of us! The only sound explanation I could settle on was that, without any recent recollections involving the current climate, your mind turns to years past as a way to make sense of the new season. The result, a flood of memories and melancholy. However, the recent snow and drop in temperature didn’t pull me into that place. I think because my eyes are cast ahead, in the best of ways. But perhaps, it’s just because winter arrived too brusquely and it’s taken us all by surprise. In any case, stay warm out there and here are some links for your Wednesday…

What’s in my Bag: Reporting on Ebola Edition

Give the gift of food this season. Donate to your local food pantry.

My mom is the coolest!

Tonight Show Family Feud

Adoption is beautiful.

Pack up the car and take a day trip in Kentucky.

Artists attempting to breathe new life into a mostly vacant neighborhood in Columbus.

Has anyone seen this movie? I’d love to see it!

I hope to one day have a similar weekly ritual.

I’ve been feeling called to Paris lately.

Is the narrative that smart kids “get out” of their small towns insulting to those who choose to stay? Does grooming kids to leave merely perpetuate the problems inherent in the area they are trying to escape? Read this interesting piece about rural return.

Trolling Dr. Oz is my favorite genre of trolling.

And finally–a beautiful essay on Gordon Lightfoot and why we choose to listen to the music we do. (Spoiler alert: it’s written by my brother.)