Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Unwounded Soldiers

Jose Narosky wrote, "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” This Memorial Day, perhaps we should consider not only the fallen and those who still serve, but those who have come home suffering. Journalists covering the war have written about those who come home with afflictions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to lost limbs; from suicidal tendencies to an inability to re-acclimate to the "peaceful" world: today's soldiers face a new sort of war and new kinds of suffering.

Back in The Civil War, Clara Barton (founder of the Red Cross), suggested that those who were not soldiers should be prepared to minister to soldiers. Of herself, she wrote, "I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them."

Perhaps in light of the new ways of warfare, we will find new ways to honor those who give of themselves.

More ideas can be found at this Memorial Day site.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Isn't that what Charles M. Schultz contended? And he's right, because today when I endured a photo session in the yard, garbed in graduation finery, I was distracted by the sight of my playful dog. He loves the fact that it's not so hot anymore, and the grass is cool enough for him to romp in. And romp he did, like any self-respecting beagle(Snoopy included).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reflection for A Hot Day

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf."

--Rabindranath Tagore

(photo: my father's pond).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Innocence Project

This week's TIME Magazine profiles Barry Scheck's involvement with The Innocence Project, which is controversial despite its success rate: 254 post-conviction exonerations through DNA testing.

The article claims that Scheck's efforts on behalf of incarcerated people who were found guilty have contributed to the rise of "The Innocence Agenda," but that not all people are happy about it. Scheck is often perceived as either a threat or a nuisance.

But Scheck points out that while DNA is basically infallible, all other forms of evidence are NOT incontrovertible. It's ironic that the idea of innocence could in itself become a debate in the legal system. Isn't everyone fighting for the same thing? To exonerate the innocent? Scheck's project seems to have exposed some ironies within the labrynthine court system--not everyone is in it to prove innocence.

On the website, The Innocence Project offers ways that the average citizen can get involved to help those who are imprisoned for crimes they never committed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Research Routine

I'm grading research paper rough drafts this month, so my blogs will most likely be short and sweet (and it explains why I haven't posted in two weeks). Each year I'm convinced I can get through them quickly and efficiently, but each year I am inundated with notecards, outlines, VERY rough drafts, and a slight headache right between the eyes.

I am learning, however, some interesting things about Ibsen's Nora Helmer and her quest for independence; Hermann Hesse's fascination with Eastern religion in the writing of Siddhartha; Fate as a driving force in Oedipus Rex; and why both Camus' Meursault and Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov create their OWN alienation. :)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Lovely Underwood

I saw this lovely old typewriter in the window of a newspaper office in South Haven, Michigan. I'd never give up my current level of technology, but there's something in me that longs for the old equipment--look how beautiful it is! And very well-preserved. Look at that sleek blue electric number. That takes me back to typing class, circa 1982.

The problem would be the parts--ribbons, correction tape. Once I hear those old terms I remember why I was so willing to give up my typewriter in the first place.

But sometimes I miss the click, click, click, and the deep punch of the return carriage.