Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sick and Tired

With this horrible flu season busting everyone's chops -- not to mention the formidible plethora of colds, the myriad of other viral disorders and a healthy (unhealthy?) dose of the usual amounts of work and stress -- it is no surprise that people are dropping like flies -- into bed.  Or not.

For those of you who take nature's gentle hints (fevers, body aches, swollen sinuses, dizzying exhaustion) as permission to crawl beneath the sheets, even in the daylight -- I applaud you.  I honor you.  And I hope to be more like you in the future.  For the rest of you -- pay attention!

Too often, we (and I include myself in that reference) think we cannot be spared, that our work will never be done or our missions accomplished if we take even a second off to restore and repair our ailing, tired selves.  We must march forward, trudge onward, and fight the good fight.  Our bodies simply must cooperate with our agendas -- the agendas, of course, being written in stone with blood (or in some other such permanent manner).  That way of thinking, of course, couldn't be further from the truth.  While we all probably logically agree that the sick and the tired need rest and should, therefore, make an immediate beeline to bed, it's a lot harder to impose such logic upon ourselves.  We're really not that sick, not too tired, to stop the clock and . . . egads, waste some precious time.

But, of course, we should and we must.  I love reading the scenes in 19th-century novels where someone catches a cold and every one rushes that person to bed to sip broth and tea and drowse away several days or a week.  What luxury!  What good sense!  What a luminous goal! 

Even if you don't spend a whole week in bed everytime you sneeze, please remember that it is okay to stop and rest for the afternoon, for the weekend, or even for a longish lunch.  All of you who are sick and tired of being sick and tired . . . take to your beds -- if even for a nap -- and let nature help restore you to balance and good health.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is, without doubt, a leader in every sense of the word.  His numerous speeches are loaded with inspiration.  Here, I've compiled but a few of this civil rights leader's most memorable lines.  Which are your favorites?

1.  “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

2.  "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

3.  "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

4.  "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education."

 5.  "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

6.  "We must accept finite disappoint, but never lose infinite hope."

7.  "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

8.  "The time is always right to do what is right."

9.  "We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."

10.  "Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.  It is a sword that heals."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NBCC Lifetime Achievement Award

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, circa 1970s
I couldn’t be happier that Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, two leaders of the feminist movement, have been named winners of the 2013 lifetime achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle. Their twelve books, especially The Madwoman in the Attic (1979) and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women (1985) have been broadly read and taught, and have changed the face of literary criticism and influenced generations of students and scholars. I’ve personally used both books extensively in my women’s literature and Women’s Studies courses, and am grateful for the work these two women have put into their scholarship.

The two friends met in the early 1970s when they were teaching English at Indiana University. They designed a new course together on literature by women and went on to collaborate on a dozen books, working by phone and through the mail after Gilbert went to teach at the University of California at Davis. Gilbert’s and Gubar’s voices have long spearheaded feminist literary criticism and Women’s Studies, and they richly deserve this award, which will be presented Feb. 28 in New York. Here, here, Gilbert and Gubar – enjoy your well-deserved accolades!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Gender Wage Gap

Many thanks to the wondrous Kayla Evans and the website for sharing this infographic about the gender wage gap and why it continues to be an issue worth addressing -- NOW! Feast your eyes on the data and so-easy-to-understand graphics to get a better feel for the gritty reality of the gender wage gap.  Grrrrrr.  Now what do you think?

Gender Wage Gap Infographic