So Saturday I thought I had food poisoning.
Sunday I thought I was recovering from food poisoning.
Monday I started to feel better so I started eating as if I no longer had food poisoning. But by Monday night the queasiness returned and I spent most of the night convincing myself not to puke again.
Tuesday I woke up nauseous and couldn’t really eat…and then again all day Wednesday (I actually almost puked a couple of times while teaching)…and into today.
And then around noon, I finally started to feel normal again. I stuck to my Saltine/chicken broth/applesauce lunch, and by the time I got home, I felt like I could really survive a semi-normal dinner.
I’m hungry again now, and my stomach doesn’t feel like it’s going to revolt on me, and I’m actually craving protein.
I don’t think I had food poisoning over the weekend–I think I actually had a virus. But I’m better now, and I’m grateful for that.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how important it is to find faces of people who represent what we fear or hate. Putting faces to our biases often gives us the opportunity to develop empathy and compassion. Since I wrote that post, the world seems to have fallen off its axis of humanity. We need more faces.
So I collected a couple of stories with faces.
Representative Mike Honda, who was raised in a Japanese internment camp.
An Omaha man’s story of leaving Syria–and why he left.
A reminder that we’ve been here before with a refugee crisis…and apparently we are behaving in quite a similar fashion as we did 75 years ago.
And if you’ve never read Mary Pipher’s marvelous book “The Middle of Everywhere,” you should. Compassion, empathy, perspective…it’s all there.
Since Friday’s Paris attacks and the ensuing xenophobia, my mind has been firmly fixed on my 2nd great-grandfather, Hyman Gindich. He fled religious persecution in 1906. He was Jewish. Russians weren’t too keen on Jews. He made it to the U.S. with his wife and seven children.
What would’ve happened to my entire family tree had Hyman’s family waited 30 years to make it to America? Would they have made it out of Europe? And even so, would they have been turned away at America’s doors?
I get the need for national security. I get that we live in a different time now than we did pre-World War II. I get that fear and misinformation is so much easier to glom on to than education and understanding.
Yet again, I find myself looking for faces, for people who have real stories of fear and unrest seeking the tiniest hope of peace. I hope when those people start arriving, I am able to help provide some peace.
- A sister who lives 1,000 miles away and doesn’t take no for an answer.
- A sister who lives 10 miles away and delivers chicken broth, saltines, Sprite, egg noodles, and bananas (and a fancy chocolate bar for later), after the other sister called her.
- Parents who brought me a gallon of ice (I really like ice when I’m sick) and sat and talked with me for a while.
- Food poisoning to take away all ability to care about the BYU-Mizzou game.
Pretty much sums up my weekend.
I’m writing this at 8:05 pm. I’ve been reading tweets about the attacks in Paris for a couple of hours now, and even though I’ve never been to France, I’ve felt an affinity for that country since junior high.
My heart is breaking.
Prior to hearing the news of the attacks, I was thinking of all the things I was grateful for: a BYU basketball game, a really cool piece of journalism the video yearbook staff did today, the upcoming jeans week at school, leftover takeout for dinner.
Three hours later, all those things seem so trivial.
Next week, I will teach a lesson that sets up a screening of the film Casablanca. I love this film–I never get tired of it. There is a scene where the patrons of Rick’s Cafe, in defiance of Germans singing the anthem of the Third Reich, sing “La Marseillaise.” There is a closeup of a woman singing, with a tear rolling down her cheek, and nearly every semester, in every class, students laugh at her emotion. Some years, I pause the movie and use it as a teaching moment about what a national anthem can mean to displaced citizens.
On Tuesday, prior to starting the film, I will take some time to discuss what it means to come together as citizens, irrelevant of geography, and try to explain why the French woman cries as she sings her national anthem.
I wish I didn’t have a timely event as a catalyst for that discussion. I wish I could guarantee I won’t weep when we get to that scene. But I’m grateful for these kinds of teaching moments, for the chance to share with students that sometimes being a citizen of the world is just as important as pledging allegiance to a country.
Nous sommes tous Parisiens.
Actual conversation I had with my sister Deanne today.
Me: So my insurance company has a strict age rule on colonoscopies, so it will cost $3000 for me to get one before I’m 50.
Her: What? Even though you’re high risk?
Me: Yeah. And I’m up to $2100 of a $3100 deductible for this year and my health savings account won’t have enough money for at least two years to cover a colonoscopy. So, if I get stage 4 colon cancer when I’m 47 and I die, will you sue Blue Cross for wrongful death?
Her: Yes. And then I’ll buy front row tickets to Hamilton in your honor.
Me: After I’m dead? You’ll go see Hamilton after I’m dead?
Her: Well I certainly can’t afford it before the lawsuit.
I’m grateful for funny people in my life. Keeps my mind off the more serious stuff, like, you know, getting colon cancer within the next 7 years.