Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dear Ijeawele

Dear Ijeawele

Adult parenting/feminism
"When a couple of years ago a friend of mine from childhood,
who'd grown into a brilliant, strong, kind woman, asked me to tell her
how to raise her baby girl a feminist, my first thought was that I did
not know.
It felt like too huge a task."
Following a dinner and dance in honor of the visiting African
Scholars at UMaine I arrived home totally elated. This excitement and
a heavily muggy ambiance meant sleep was going to elude me at least
awhile. I reached for my go to remedy, the next book in my stack. By
great good fortune in the guise of coincidence it happened to be
written by a Nigerian woman.
Luckily Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reconsidered and decided the
task was manageable. Her Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in
Fifteen suggestions packs a wealth of wisdom into a deceptively slim
volume: sixty-three pages in all.
Each suggestion covers one aspect of feminist daughter raising.
The language is straightforward and the concepts are bold. Adichie is
not a fan of what she considers Feminism Light. The tone, though,
conveys the intimacy of a woman speaking to a treasured friend. This
particular voice is both compelling and touching.
This is a wonderful book to give a new mother. It's a good read
for people who interact with young girls in any capacity. When I
volunteer in the library, for example, I make sure to compliment the
story hour set in non gender biased ways.
On a personal note, I had the most amazing birthday. I saw so many
dear friends and heard from others. My friend Liv treated me to Sweet
Frog frozen yogurt. Eugene took me to Dennys for supper and gave me a
musical card and money. I talked to all three of my children on the
phone. Today is sunny enough for me to hang all the laundry outside.
So it's an at home work day. Tomorrow I get to leave church after the
choir sings our anthem to go to a family picnic to celebrate my
birthday. Katie and Jacob will come all the way from Portland! That
will be so much fun!
A great big shout out to the friends and family members who make my
life such a happy one.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Irrisistible

Irrisistible

YA/adult nonfiction
"A like on Facebook and Instagram strikes one of those notes, as
does the reward of completing a World of Warcraft mission, or seeing
one of your tweets shared by hundreds of Twitter users. The people
who create and refine tech, games, and interactive experiences are
very good at what they do. They run thousands of tests with millions
of users to learn which tweaks work and which ones don't--which
background colors, fonts, and audio tones maximize engagement and
minimize frustration. As an experience evolves, it becomes an
irrisistible, weaponized version of the experience it once was. In
2004, Facebook was fun; in 2016, it's addictive."
Awhile back my kids got on Facebook. At least in my neck of the
woods there was disagreement about whether parents should get their
own accounts. I read of parents who did so to monitor their offspring
like hawks--making sure they couldn't pull anything off. I personally
knew a few who said, I have a right to and if they don't like it,
tough. I had no reason to suspect my kids of being Internet
miscreants. Also, even though I suspected I was missing out on
something, it didn't seem worth the bother. I am so glad. I was
having trouble with lonliness. With my kids growing up I was missing
all the fun we'd had together without adult companionship to take its
place. I was isolated in conservative suburbia. If I'd found kindred
spirits in the virtual world (instead of burying myself in books) I
might very well have become hooked rather than seeking real world
friends. More recently a friend made me a page. In the two or three
years since I've peeked twice or three times. The first time it was
like a shiny new toy under the tree due to novelty. The next time it
was meh. Quickly it felt like a time suck. I'd developed a vibrant
real world social life that made its offerings seem pale in comparison.
In his Irrisistible: The Rise Of Addictive Technology And The
Business Of Keeping Us Hooked, Adam Alter gives the science behind my
epiphany and a number of other really cool observations. He uses an
intriguing blend of history, research, and personal narrative that is,
I gotta warn you, irrisistible once you turn to the first page. It's
extremely enlightening.
The part of the book I found most intriguing was Alter's
refution of the theory that some people are predisposed to behavioral
addiction (an inability to give up obsessive behaviors rather than
substances like drugs) and the rest of us are safe. One of the cases
he cites involves Vietnam vets. Not surprisingly, although the
soldiers arrived clean, the homesickness, stress, and easy
availability and strength of heroin made for a lot of addicts. A lot
of people cried foul when a researcher discovered 95% of the soldier
addicts kicking the habit as opposed to 5% who develop it in America.
What was going on? They were completely leaving the places and
situational triggers that started their habits instead of going from
jail or rehab into the same neighborhoods and relationships. The
emphasis on circumstances explains why in that gap between the joy of
parenting and finding a new joie de vivre I was uniquely vulnerable.
It also explains why many of our friends, despite frustration with the
amount of time behavioral addictions take up and the best of
intentions, find it difficult or impossible to cut down.
The most alarming part of the book for me was the implications
for the barely out of the womb generation. It has been proven time
and time again that babies and toddlers need real world interaction
with significant others and concrete objects. Manufacturers are
devising ways to get even the littlest people hooked on electronics.
And a lot of moms and dads plunk them down in order to pursue their
own addictions. We already have lots of kids and teens who are unable
or afraid to negotiate nonvirtual interactions. What are we setting
ourselves up for?
We don't live in a world where we can totally not use the
Internet. Even some of the most basic jobs, for example, require on
line applications. But Alter ends the book with ways in which we can
protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dangers and even make
use of some positive aspects. Even if you're not concerned about
anyone in your life, Irresistible provides an in depth look into how
our society morphed into what it is today. I plan to check out
Alter's earlier book: Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces
That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave.
I use my iPod touch to communicate via email with friends
(deleting most of what I get unread), look up information, and read a
few on line periodicals. When Facebook reminds me of a friend's
birthday I email or phone. Every few months I consider logging in (or
is it on) and don't bother. Friends send me info by alternate
routes. I'm out of the loop with extended family on my husband's
side, but as long as my kids keep in touch by email and phone I can
live with that.
In a sense books are addictive for me. I get a real rush out of
finding good ones. I don't go anywhere, not even in an elevator,
without at least one. But they don't prevent me from having a very
full and purposeful life. If anything, they give me more to discuss
with other bibliophiles, not to mention this blog. Plus all this
reading helps with my own writing. So it's beneficial at this point.
On a personal note, today is my happy birthday day!!! Joey cat has
sung me Happy Birthday. I've already started celebrating with friends
and will continue at least a few days. This afternoon I'm going to
Sweet Frog (a frozen yogurt place) with a friend. Sunday will be a
family birthday picnic. You, too, can celebrate. Treat today as the
special treasure it is. Cherish the special moments you might
otherwise rush by. Be present to your real world friends, family, and
animal companions. Use my birthday as a reason to give yourself a
sweet treat (unless it would send you into a diabetic coma!). Please
take some time away from social media to see what's being featured on
Mother Nature's infinity wide screen.
A great big shout out to the people and sweet cat companion who do so
much to make my life such a happy one.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Only Road

The Only Road

Juvenile and up fiction
"The police in the village had called Miguel's death an
unfortunate accidente. Of course they would say that. Money meant
more than morals and justice to the force; whoever paid the most had
the power, and the Alphas could pay a lot. It also didn't help that
the police chief's drug habit funded many of the gang's operations.
Jaime removed his sketchbook from its perpetual nook underneath
his arm and pressed it against his head so he couldn't see, wouldn't
have to remember Miguel like that. Why Miguel? Why did being brave
had to end so badly? What was the point of being good if it turned
out bad?"
I started reading Alexandra Diaz's The Only Road after a family
picnic. Katie and her Jacob had come up for a wedding. The day after
they joined up with Amber and Brian and Eugene and me for a picnic at
Webster Park. The weather was perfect. It was a treasure to be with
two of my kids and their significant others. So the first chapters of
the book were almost too much to take. They brought me into a world
of parents and children being separated, maybe never to see each other
alive again.
Jaime's cousin Miguel was beatten to death for refusing a gang.
The Alphas attend the funeral. They send word that they expect Jaime
(12) and Miguel's sister, Angela, to join them in a week.
There is not enough money for the whole family to pay a coyote
to help them escape. Plus the journey from Guatemala to the United
States is much too arduous for a grandmother and new baby. Jaime and
Angela's parents have no choice. They must send them off on a lengthy
journey into the unknown full of dangers. Gangs rob, beat, and kill.
People lose limbs or life trying to board moving trains. There is no
guarantee of even water. People die of thirst in the desert.
Officials as well as gang members rape girls. And the feared la Migra
(immigration officials) have the power to return them to their place
of origin to start from the very beginning.
We're talking about youngsters already traumatized by the brutal
murder of a beloved family member.
What's worst is that, even though the characters are fictional,
the narrative is the lived experience of so many innocent families
every day.
The text is poignant and powerful. I do not recommend it for
more sensitive or anxious kids. I do recommend it for its target
demographic and well beyond. I wish I could make it required reading
for the Build A Wall crowd.
The people who face such dire dangers to just survive are as
deserving of better as we and our children are. We must not turn a
deaf ear to the plight.
How would you feel if this was your family?
On a personal note, this morning I went to a program on walkability in
communities. (This includes the ability to bike and use public
transport--anything but private cars). We discussed the many benefits
as well as all that must be done to achieve this laudable goal. This
kind of work must be consistent, persistent, and insistent all over
America. We've been too much a nation of fossil fuel guzzling,
parking lot requiring, out of shape car drivers since early car
companies bought up and shut down the trolley lines.
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated in, presented
at, and planned this very worthwhile event.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Fight Is Our Fight

This Fight Is Our Fight

Adult nonfiction
"People who hire lobbyists and wield a lot of political clout
are often the same people who can pay for the finest private
preschools and the most exclusive prep schools for their own
children. Some of them don't get terribly alarmed when there are
forty-two kids in a sixth grade class and tiles are falling off the
walls in the kids' bathrooms, because those things don't happen at the
schools their children attend. And even if millions of kids have
fewer and fewer opportunities, they know their kids will be guarnateed
plenty of opportunities--all the opportunities money can buy. For
some people, the problems faced by everyone else's children seem very
far away."
In the above quote, excerpted from her This Fight Is Our Fight:
The Battle to Save America's Middle Class, Elizabeth Warren is
alluding to education. But her main point applies equally well to
just about every aspect of American life these days. The people who
make the rules don't have to live with the consequences. The people
who opine that the minimum wage should not be raised aren't the ones
struggling to raise families on it. The crowd whining about welfare
cheats don't experience the desperation of the growing number of
Americans who live at a poverty level usually associated with third
world countries. Polluted drinking water does not seem all that
urgent to those who can enjoy clean or sip the priciest of bottled
water.
For all Donald Trump's claims that he's making America great
(whatever that means) again, Warren asserts that he's dragging this
hostage nation in the exact wrong direction. She brings us back to a
time when although not perfect, this nation came a lot closer to
liberty and justice for all. It was right after the Great Depression
and World War II. America invested in schools, infrastructure,
research, colleges, and people. My father was able to go back to
school on the GI bill. Unions protected nonmembers as well as
members. There wasn't the obscene gap between earnings of workers and
bosses. Between 1935 and 1980 70% of income growth went to the bottom
90%; between 1980 and 2015 virtually all went to the top 10 %.
Now we're at a point where:
"•Nearly one in four Americans can't pay their bills on time.
•Nearly half of Americans would not be able to cover an unexpected
expense of $400.
•A lower proportion of Americans own their homes than at any time in
the past half century--63.5 percent.
•The typical man working full-time earns less today than his
counterpart did in 1972.
•Nearly one-third of the country's adult population--76 million
Americans--describe themselves as either 'struggling to get by' or
'just getting by.'"
Something to be proud of? Warren and I don't think so.
My parents raised Harriet and me in a country where kids could
very well do better that their moms and dads. Today most parents hope
and pray their kids won't slide too far down.
So what happened? The rich got greedy and clever. They got
lobbyists to work overtime peddling influence. They learned how to
grease palms in increasingly costly elections. America went from one
vote, one voice to money talks. Unions and other protective agencies
were attacked and stripped of power. Corporations and their lobbyist
shills got laws changed to favor them and screw everyone else. Under
the current presidency these ugly trends are on an even faster track.
The good news is that most people want to go back to justice and
fairness.
"• More than 70 percent of the American people believe that students
should have a chance at a debt free education.
•Nearly three-quarters of Americans support expanding Social Security.
•Two-thirds of all Americans support raising the federal minimum wage.
•Three-quarters of Americans want the federal government to increase
spending on infrastructure."
The bad news is we're the 21st century David. Goliath (big
bidness and corporate bedfellows) isn't willing to give an inch. In
fact he wants to screw us even more. We've got to find that slingshot
(I am not alluding here to a physical slingshot or any other weapon)
and put it to good use. In the words of Warren:
"The danger is real, and the time is short. But we understand
what we can do. We can build an America that works for all of us. We
know how; we just need to do it.
Our country's future is not determined by some law of physics.
It's not determined by some preordained path. It's not even
determined by Donald Trump. Our country's future is up to us. We can
let the great American promise die or we can fight back. Me? I'm
fighting back.
This fight is our fight."
Amen!!!!!!!
If you have any doubts about this book's relevance scan three
issues of your local newspaper. I am betting you will find at least
one story showing how important it is. In just today's edition I
found: an editorial on Capital Hill Republicans working to prevent the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from protecting consumers from
getting scammed and cheated by banks, lenders, and credit card
companies, opinion pieces on the stupidity of believing in trickle-
down tax cuts and the weakness of the US climate pledges, and a front
page story on the plight of rural schools caught in the double whammy
of poverty and property tax based school funding:
"I think that's the fundamental paradox in Maine. When you have
economic decline, you have a tax base that's eroded, which increases
in poverty, in need for all families and residents. Not just for young
people. And the ability to then take on the burden of school funding,
and the increased need for schools to get funding, becomes really
challenging. Even while the population has greater and greater needs
that have to be met."
If you care at all for a nation with liberty and justice read
the book mand join the battle. Future generations will thank you for
this.
On a personal note, Elizabeth Warren would have really enjoyed our
Ending Violence Together event in Bangor yesterday. The weather was
perfect. We had a great turn out. People were really into the tables
and the message behind the songs and speeches. I gave the last
speech. It was my op ed that was in the Bangor Daily News Monday. I
so enjoyed making eye contact and feeling the love as I spoke. After I
ad libbed by having people light imaginary candles and join me in
singing This Little Light Of Mine. It was such a perfect experience!
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated.
Only 3 more days til my birthday!
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Dead Inside

The Dead Inside

YA/adult nonfiction
"The warehouse had a name: Straight, Incorporated. Straight
called itself a drug rehab for kids, but most of us had barely even
smoked weed. Take me, for example. In September, at age thirteen, I
smoked it for the first time. I tried it smoking again in October.
In November, I got locked up in Straight--for sixteen months. The
second we entered the building, we stopped being humans. Instead, we
were Straightlings."
Reading Cindy Etler's The Dead Inside: A True Story is like
discovering a twenty-first century addition to the scene of Dante's
Divine Comedy--a whole new ring of Hades created just for children.
Kids spent their days in a windowless warehouse like building being
made to parrot back useless information and attack one another. Meals
were water, balogna sandwiches, and a smelly substance. Nights were
spent on mattresses on floors in host homes where they were locked in
their rooms and under constant surveillance, even when they used the
toilet.
If adult prisoners of war were treated like this their nation of
origin would have NATO on speed dial. Something about cruel and
unusual punishment. Only these were kids locked away allegedly for
their own good. What the bloody Hell?
Of course we all know the ugly why. People were making money
off of misery. The kids were the collateral damage.
Etler had a serious problem in her home life. It had nothing to
do with drugs. She was afraid to be at home. Her mother's second
husband, Jacques, physically and sexually abused her. In one far from
lovely scene her mom just watched while he beat her. One night she
slept in a burned out building to stay away from him.
The scariest part of the book is the author's note at the end of
the book. It talks about when any program is shut down another
equally bad one springs up.
"While a renamed Straight lives on in Canada, equally
destructive programs are operating all over the United States. In
2007, the U.S. Government released a report in the 'troubled teen
industry.' The report states that, between 34 states, there were 1,503
reports of abuse or neglect of children by residential program staff.
Twenty-eight states reported one or more youth fatalities. The report
went on to say that these statistics 'understate the incidents of
maltreatment and death.' Program kids are good at keeping their mouths
shut."
And where is government in all this? Apparantly MIA. The
congressional bill that was introduced in 2015 "To require certain
standards and enforcement provisions to prevent child abuse and
neglect in residential programs" is still in limbo and estimated to
have a 2% chance of success.
On a personal note, much of my last few days has been centered on the
Red Cross. I volunteered Tuesday and donated and volunteered
Wednesday. Wilson Center was great. Russell made the baked potato
bar I'd asked for. We had a program on meditation.
I got my UMaine bill for the class I'm taking. $635 all waived
because I'm 65. I can even use the rec center for free. I sure plan
to. I don't see why this benefit isn't more publicized. Actually I
do. There's the assumption we'd be happier in senior college. Too
delicate to interact with people who aren't in "our" generation. No
demographic ghetto for me!
A great big shout out goes out to Lisa Morin, the Red Cross nurses, my
friend Russell, and my classmates.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Girlhood Interrupted

Girlhood Interrupted

Published research paper
Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood
should have you irate. You can find it on the Internet. It's 24
pages of very much need to know information. Previous research had
shown that black boys age ten and up were seen as older looking and,
therefore, more culpable than white peers. This study asks whether
black girls suffer from a similar disadvantage.
Originally in courts teens and children were treated like
miniature adults. Over time courts began to realize that they really
were different. Their reasoning powers have not completely
developed. They are easier to influence. They still, for the most
part, are not beyond hope of turning their lives around. For these
reasons accomodations such as prohibiting the death penalty in
juvenile court have been made.
To benefit from childhood accomodations, in life as well as
courts, a child must be recognized as a child. When I was growing up I
had one black classmate. Not only was she perceived as older, but
people believed that black girls of any age were more sexually
experienced and knowledgeable than white peers. She was being pawed
and propositioned while we were both earning Girl Scout merit badges.
Adultification was surely at work there. It's the term the report
uses to describe the more adult and less innocent perception society
holds in regard to black children.
"The assignment of more adult-like characteristics to the
expressions of young Black girls is a form of age compression. Along
this truncated age continuum, Black girls are likened more to adults
than to children and are treated as if they are willfully engaged in
behaviors typically expected of Black women. This compression...[has]
stripped black girls of their childhood freedoms [and] renders Black
girlhood interchangeable with Black womanhood."
Previous research had suggested that that adultification helps
account for black girls being treated more severely in schools and the
juvenile justice system than white peers. The research project that
was the topic of this paper showed that respondents perceived black
girls as young as five to be older in behavior and more acquainted
with adult topics like sex than white peers. It looks at implications
for their treatment in school, courts, and the foster care system.
I advise parents, teachers, social workers, and everyone else
who cares about juvenile justice to read Girlhood Interrupted. You
can get it free on whatever device you're reading this on. It's
reader friendly and short (with lots of graphs and other visuals), but
it packs a powerful punch and should have us all up in arms!
On a personal note, I had the most wonderful day imaginable Saturday.
I was in Portland with Katie, Jacob, and Archie cat. We had lunch and
went to a huge outdoor craft fair with Ann, Jacob's mom. She is an
artist and the cat's pajamas. I showed her my first two colored
pencil sketches and she actually liked them. I bought Eugene's
Christmas present. We went to Goodwill and found some bargains. Then
we had supper with Destiny who has been Katie's best friend 19 years.
Katie baked a really good peach pie. She gave me a very classy journal.
I am going to have to continue to lead an exciting life with a journal
like that.
Then yesterday my opinion piece came out in the Bangor Daily News. I
always love that!
A great big shout out goes out to Katie, Jacob, Archie, Anne, and
Destiny. You all rock! I'm lucky to have you in my life.
jules hathaway




Sent from my iPod

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stone Mirrors

Stone Mirrors

YA/adult poetry/herstory
"I need to go where no one knows what happened.
Edmonia looks out the window. She wishes she could
camoflauge herself like a white hare on snow,
a brown toad by a tree trunk. She opens a drawer
and grabs her pencils like a fistful of arrows.
She packs her spare dress, her sewing basket,
A mended comb, a nightgown; she doesn't have much else.
She says, I'll start again."
No exact date of when Edmonia's story starts. Clues point to
Civil War times. She's in a boarding school that takes in blacks and
scholarship students. But within its walls race and class divisions
are observed. One day two white girls are caught in an unchaperoned
coed sleigh ride. Back then it would have been a major scandal. They
promptly take sick, accusing Edmonia, who had helped them dress for
the excursion, of poisoning their tea.
Edmonia longs to be an artist. But cleaning white people's
houses seems to be a far more likely fate for a black girl running
away from her past.
In real life Edmonia became a sculptor whose work is now in
prestigious museums. Jeannie Atkins faced a formidable problem when
she decided to write about her. She found a novel way to meet the
challenge in her Stone Mirrors: the Sculptore and Silence of Edmonia
Lewis.
"The open questions about her life frustrate biographers, but
seem suited to verse, a form that delights in solid furniture and bric-
a-brac, but is also comfortable with mysteries and leaps through
time. Relying on both facts and gaps in history, I imagined my way
into a sense of what might have been, the way a sculptor of historical
figures starts with givens but creates her own vision."
Don't let this deceptively slim volume or its designation deter
you from giving it a try. In fact I would most recommend it to poets,
particularly ones like me who aspire to write novels in this form.
Dialogue feels natural yet blends perfectly with the book's overall
cadance. Take this scene when Edmonia's accuser, about to leave the
school, admits her wrongdoing in privacy:
"Helen doesn't step in, but stands wearing
a shawl and hat, her hands in her woolen muff,
all ready to go. Edmonia almosts shuts the door,
but Helen steps forward. She whispers,
I'm glad you said nothing, you won't ever,
will you? My father would kill me
if he knew everything that happened."
Self centered mean girls these days would say just about the same,
making sure victims won't spill the beans.
Description is a powerful combination of sparse (see first
quote) and lyrical language. My favorite part is:
"Every day is a new trial.
Edmonia's neck turns stiff from the stares
of students who sit behind her.
Words split in her ears, blur before her eyes.
She no longer needs crutches
as oak leaves grow to the size of squirrel paws,
the season to find a spot near the river
to fish with nets and spears
and plant squash and corn and beans."
By summer Edmonia walks without a limp. Who wouldn't empathize with
Edmonia's plight. And the details let you know she had to endure it
for quite awhile.
On a personal note, I am posting this review a day early because
tomorrow there will be no time. I'll be taking the bus to Portland to
spend the day with Katie, Jacob, and Archie cat. I've been looking
forward to this day for months! Whatever we do will be wonderful and
amazing.
A great big shout out goes out to Katie, Jacob, and Archie.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

YA/adult adult herstory
"James Thompson, a twenty-six-year-old cafeteria worker, made
his case in a letter to the Pittsburgh Courier: 'Being an American of
dark complexion, these questions flash through my mind:..."Is the kind
of America I know worth defending?"..."Will colored Americans suffer
still the indignities that have been heaped upon them in the past?"
These and other questions need answering: I want to know, and I
believe every colored American, who is thinking, wants to know.'
What are we fighting for? This was the question asked by many
African Americans in private and in public...They geared up to fight
for their country's future and for their own."
In the summer of 1943 Dorothy Vaughn applied for a laundry
worker job in the military. She was a college educated high school
teacher. The drop in prestige would be accompanied by a raise in
pay. She had four children for whom she wanted the best possible
education. Fortunately she also applied for a job at the Langley
Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, sure this was a pipe dream. Women
and blacks were limited to certain kinds of jobs. She was a black
woman.
Times were changing. The United States military needed more
capable planes right away. Such planes needed to be designed and
tested under a wide range of conditions. All this involved a lot of
math at a time when a lot of men were overseas fighting--therefore,
unavailable. Vaughn's application was in the right place at the right
time.
Proving she could handle the work at a time when a black or
woman had to be twice as good as a white male was only part of the
challenge Vaughn faced. Her workplace was smack dab in the Jim Crow
South where separate but equal was how things were. Bathrooms were
one real area of contention. (Sound familiar?)
Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures tells the stories of
Vaughn and three other pioneering women in her field: Mary Jackson,
Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. The narrative starts out in
World War II and continues right into the Soviet American space race.
This book is a must read for affecianados of herstory and future
aeronautical engineers.
I chose the young readers edition. Although it's entirely
accessible to its target demographic, it's complex and nuanced enough
for many in the adult adult crowd. I know I found it plenty
interesting and gained knowledge in a field I don't have a lot of
familiarity with.
On a personal note, I had a great Labor Day weekend. Saturday and
Sunday I finished renovating Joey's and my studio. It is now the most
magical, enchanting place cat or woman could occuppy. Just sitting
here fills me with joy and inspiration. Monday Eugene and I went on a
day long drive. We left no flea market, thrift shop, and yard sale
unexplored. I got some really cool stuff like a light up journal,
fancy pens, movies, clothes, and musical snow globes. My favorite buy
was bags of tiny (smaller than my pinky nail) perfect sea shells. We
got subs for lunch.
Community garden continues to go well. We had so many cucumbers I was
able to distribute some in my neighborhood.
And I presented a future op ed in my library writing class. I got
good editing suggestions.
A great big shout out goes out to the guys who still live with me:
Eugene and Joey cat. Also my community garden family and writing group.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Sunday, September 3, 2017

We Will Not Be Silent

We Will Not Be Silent

Juvenile nonfiction
"Sophie, perhaps the best writer in the family put it this way:
'I can never look at a limpid stream without at least dangling my feet
in it; in the same way, I cannot walk past a meadow in May...I lie in
the grass quite still, my knees raised, and am happy. Through the
blossoming branches of an apple tree I see the blue sky...when I turn
my head, it touches the rough trunk...I press my face to the tree's
dusky warm bark and think, 'My homeland,' and I am inexpressibly
grateful."
Sophie Scholl (21), Hans Scholl (24), and Cristoph Probst (23)
were beheaded by the Nazis for treason in 1943. The homeland Sophie
felt such deep love for had become a dark and dangerous place.
Probably only those capable of feeling such depths of love could put
their lives on the line as most people around them are paralyzed by
fear. Russell Freedman's We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose
Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolph Hitler (quoted above)
narrates a story of courage needed more now that probably ever before.
Adolph Hitler gained control of a defeated, destitute, and
demoralized nation. He convinced voters he was going to make Germany
great again. In fact Aryans were going to rule not just one nation,
but all of Europe. Those not swept away by his charisma were kept in
line by fear. The slightest criticism of the Fuhrer could result in a
death sentence.
The outlook was even bleaker for those deemed by Hitler to be
not fit to live. Jews were deprived of educations, ways of earning a
living, and even the most basic of rights. A horrific solution for
them and all others considered enemies of the Fuhrer or simply not
deserving of life (I.e., people with handicaps) was being
implemented. A large percentage of a generation was being sent to
their deaths in a ruthless war of conquest. I'm sure that to a lot of
decent Germans all seemed lost.
And then--
"In 1942, when World War II was in its third year, leaflets began to
appear mysteriously in mailboxes all over Nazi Germany. Someone would
open an envelope, pull out a leaflet, take one look, and glance around
nervously to make sure no one was watching. A person could not be too
careful. Anyone caught with a seditious leaflet was marked as an
enemy of the state and could land in a concentration camp or worse.
Neatly typed, run off on a mimeograph machine, those documents
were headed 'Leaflets of the White Rose.' They assailed the Nazi
'dictatorship of evil,' denounced Adolph Hitler as a liar and
blasphemer, and called on the German people to rise up and and
overthrow the Nazi regime.
Where were these inflamatory pamphlets coming from? Who was the
White Rose?..."
Well read the book and see!!! I highly recommend it, not only
to its target demographic, but to parents and grands and other adult
adults. Recall that those who don't learn from history are bound to
repeat it?
I found one quote in the book especially inspiring. German
Jewish poet Heinrich Heine (whose works were banned by Hitler) had
presciently said, "Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn
people." (That's going in my quotes collection). In a similar vein, I
can't help fearing that the increased tolerance for vicious hate
speech on the Internet is enabling an increased tolerance for hate
acts against vulnerable minorities.
Lest we get too smug in regard to 1930's Germany, recall that at
the Nurenberg trials Nazis cited the US Supreme Court's decision in
Buck vs Bell and the eugenics movement behind it as justification for
their racial cleansing programs.
On a personal note, today is Joey cat's adoption day. Fourteen years
ago we welcomed a sweet little kitten into our home. It was the first
day of school for my kids. After school they and their friends waited
excitedly for his arrival. Fourteen years of loving companionship! I
am also pleased that my last weeks gamble is paying off. Last Monday
I wrestled the old broken recliner and bureau out of the studio and
brought in two small bureaus Katie gave me. Which involved massive
furniture moving in other parts of the house. The endeavor had a now
or never feel to it. Things are nearly back to normal in the rest of
the house and the studio looks even more awesome.
Tomorrow when you celebrate Labor Day remember it's more than a three
day weekend or chance to fire up the grill. Let it remind you of how
far we have to go to achieve a fair deal for the American worker.
A great big shout goes out to sweet Joey and all the other treasured
animal companions who give us their precious unconditional love.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Thursday, August 31, 2017

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

Juvenile fiction
"After 'dinner,' I go in the living room, where my parents are
listening to the radio in silence. The reporter is interviewing some
of the families of the hostages. We'd been hoping they would all be
released before Thanksgiving. My mom keeps saying that she feels
especially sorry for the two women. My dad keeps saying he never
imagined that Iran would be the enemy of the world.
I wish we could just be like everyone else in Newport Beach,
worrying whether or not we're going to have time to buy all the gifts
on our Christmas list, wrap them, and bake cookies shaped like candy
canes. I'd gladly trade unemployment and dead hamsters for those
worries any day."
Zomorod Yousefzadeh, the protagonist of Firoozah Dumas' It Ain't
So Awful, Falafel, originally from Iran, moves with her parents to
Newport Beach, California just in time to start sixth grade. This
time she is going to fit in and not be the strange foreign kid. She's
even picked out an American name--Cindy--gleaned from the Brady Bunch,
a period tv show. (If you haven't seen it, don't bother).
Things seem to start out well. Cindy finds her classes easy.
She makes really good friends. She enjoys Girl Scouts and adores
sleep away camp.
But clouds are looming on the horizon. In Iran Ayatollah
Khomeini has ascended to power, taking revenge on anyone who could
possibly have been an ally to the Shah. Friends and even family
members could be in dire peril.
"It is the first time in my entire life that the shah is no
longer the ruler. I have a huge science test today, but I feel like
my brain has just frozen. I wish my dad could write a note: Please
excuse Cindy from the test today. Our country just had a revolution."
Then there's the hostage crisis. As the number of days the
Americans are held captive in Iran lengthens thngs start getting ugly
in the United States. There are hateful bumper stickers and an act so
vicious Cindy hides it from her disheartened parents.
Speaking of this semi autobiographical novel, Dumas says:
"I hope that reading this book will increase your interest in
history. I used to think that history was just about memorizing dates
of battles, but history is really stories about people and the battles
we fight within. It's about all the stuff you don't see on the
evening news. It's about hopes, dreams, and popular music. The life
you are living right now will someday be history.
How will you tell it?"
If that isn't a challenge, I don't know what is.
On a personal note, yesterday I tabled at the UMaine Student
Organization Fair all four hours for Wilson Center. We got lots of
interest. In the evening we had the first Wilson Center Wednesday
supper of the semester. We got a bunch of freshpeople who I hope will
become regulars.
A great big shout out goes out to my Wilson Center family.
jules hathaway



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Monday, August 28, 2017

My Sister Rosa

My Sister Rosa

YA fiction
"Rosa is a ticking bomb.
I don't think it matters what you call it: psychopathy,
sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder, evil, or the devil
within. What matters is how to prevent the bomb from exploding.
It would be a lot easier if the parentals believed Rosa is a
bomb. It would be even easier if she wasn't a bomb. I would give
anything for her not to be the way she is. Rosa ticks off everything
on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist except for promiscuity, driving too
fast, and other adult sins. Give her time."
For some reason I didn't read William March's The Bad Seed when
it came out...maybe because I turned three that year. I mastered
functional literacy but was still in the children's wing as far as
literary choices were concerned. I did see the movie, being something
like five when it came out. It and Hitchcock's The Birds were the
movies that terrified me the most from my formative years. Recall
those were the years before movies were age rated.
Lucky for horror story affecianados in the YA/adult adult
range, Justine Larbalestier was inspired to reread the book and
research state of the art intelligence on psychopathology. My Sister
Rosa (source of the above quote) is the impossible to put down result
of her inspiration.
Narrator Che and his family are en route to New York City when
readers first encounter them. His parents are embarking on a business
venture bankrolled by old friends. Che is anything but thrilled. On
the eve of his seventeenth birthday, he'd much rather be headed back
to his native Australia.
The family moves a lot. In each place Che writes a goal list.
The items always start off with keeping Rosa under control. Almost
from the beginning she's been like unlike other kids. Emotions and
responses to other human beings came slow for her. And then there was
her fascination with killing insects.
Che and Rosa's parents will accept that Rosa may be socially
awkward or developmentally delayed. But they won't go anywhere near
to believing they may have brought a full fledged sociopath into the
world. Rosa is smart, manipulative, beautiful, and very charismatic.
So far no being larger than a guinea pig has died. But in New
York Rosa is quick to set goals of her own and identify people who
might stand in the way of her getting what she wants.
For ten years Che has been in charge of protecting Rosa from the
world. Now he has to find a way to protect the world from her.
On a personal note, yesterday I decided I'd get a bunch of signatures
on my YOU ARE WELCOME HERE sign before I turn it into Multicultural
Center. I started with my 2 churches. It's looking good. My sign
and I were cited in a sermon on combatting racism as a good example.
Today is my first college class in 27 years. I am so ready. I am
also bogged down in a massive project of rearranging furniture so I
can move an old recliner and bureau out of the studio. Nothing a sane
person would do on the first day of school. The house has to not look
like a hurricane struck when Eugene comes home. Yikes!
A great big shout goes out to all who are going back to school today.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

Picture book
At this time in America's history when people seeking refuge
from perilous war torn nations is such a hot button issue, Richard and
Tanya Simon's Oskar and the Eight Blessings could not be more timely.
The year was 1938. In the wake of Kristallnacht (a violent mass
assault on Germany and Austria's Jews and their property) Oscar's
parents have sent him alone to America to join his Aunt Esther whom he
has never met. It's the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve.
0skar, hungry and ill clad for the cold, has quite a long trek
in a foreign land to get to an address written on paper. His last
words from his father were that people can be good and he must look
for the blessings. As he walks along the strangers he encounters show
the wisdom in his father's words.
These days a lot of haters and prejudiced people are striving to
keep war emperilled folks out of the United States. Oskar and the
Eight Blessings shows readers and families that we don't need to be
rich or influential to help the strangers in our midst. The smallest
of acts help to show that people can be good...
...even here and now.
On a personal note, I had an amazing Saturday!!! I started out at
community garden. We had a really big group of incoming UMaine
freshpeople to help us with some of our big chores like cover cropping
some beds for winter. I had my group to supervise. Then I did some
sign holding on College Ave. There were six of us and we got good
reactions. Then I went to a family dinner with Eugene, all my kids,
and two significant others. That was truly precious!!! Family
dinners are a wonderful tradition.
A great shout out goes out to our amazing student helpers (with best
wishes for wonderful UMaine stays), my fellow sign holders, and my
precious family.
jules hathaway


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

Juvenile biography
"Today libraries across America have thousands of books for
children. And thanks to the help of a little girl from Limerick,
Maine, who had ideas of her own, any child can choose a book from a
library shelf, curl up in a comfortable seat to look through it--and
then take it home to read."
The day I discovered Jan Pinborough's Miss Moore Thought
Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore created Libraries for Children at
the Orono Public Library story time was in full swing. Kids and
parents were singing enthusiastically about the itsy bitsy spider and
its water spout adventures. I was shelving in the spacious children's
wing, being careful not to bump into little people. Later the corner
puppet theater would become quite popular. I closed my eyes and found
it hard to imagine the library without our younger patrons.
Not that long ago, however, public libraries were adults only
affairs. Children weren't even allowed to enter them, never mind take
books out. Kids would forget to return the books. They'd get sticky
fingerprints all over them. Libraries remained hushed, age segregated
institutions...
...until Moore and a few visionary peers started changing
things. She wasn't just settling for child inclusion. She wanted no
less than whole sections of interesting juvenile literature with kid
sized furniture, live entertainment, and beautiful, fascinating
objects that could be touched.
In addition to running her own children's wing in New York,
Moore wrote book reviews to help peers discover good children's lit.
And her retirement was anything but.
Some of the most memorable hours of my childhood were spent in
the children's wing of the Beverly (Massachusetts) Public library
browsing and skimming. It was the reward for being good during
grocery shopping. When I had children of my own we took full
advantage of the children's programming of the Bangor and Orono Public
Libraries.
If you have similar memories you owe Miss Moore big time. Maybe
it's about time to learn a bit about the lady?
On a personal note, I've had an exciting couple of days. Thursday I
got to attend the Hasbrouk summer cookout. The Orono police and
firefighters grilled burgers and hot dogs and residents made sides and
dessert. That was some good eating!
That night I was at a sign making party. We were making signs for the
weekend which was students returning to or beginning at UMaine. They
were showing international students, LGBTQ students, and others who
experience prejudice and hate that UMaine wants them. We made some
good signs. I held mine on the bridge leading to UMaine for 5 hours
today. Traffic was crazy--literally thousands of vehicles. I got no
bad reactions--just good ones like waves, thumbs ups, peeps taking
pictures with smart phones...
A great big shout out goes out to the Orono fire and police
departments and my fellow sign makers and displayers.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Hidden Life of a Toad

The Hidden Life of a Toad

Juvenile nonfiction
"April sunshine warms a shallow pool. In the water, strings of
jelly twist over, under, around. What is this tangle of stuff? It
looks like a pile of spaghetti."
A number of years ago when my girls were young (Adam hadn't
arrived) and we were exploring the shallowest edges of a lake I caught
a very strange looking creature with a tadpole tail and strong looking
hind legs. Of course after I showed Amber and Katie I gently released
it.
Well in the Orono Public Library's children's wing I discovered
Doug Wechsler's The Hidden Life of a Toad. It's an album of the toad
growth cycle from the spaghetti like stage to propogating the
species. The pictures are amazingly up close and detailed. Some are
quIte lovely. And, yes, there was a legged tadpole just like the one
I saw all those years ago.
Did you know that in Philadelphia a road is closed for several
nights to allow toads to reach their breeding place without getting
squished? People are finally realizing what an important part of the
web of nature toads are. (My mom used to relocate them to her garden
where they served as very vigilant insect devourers). Readers can
learn ways they and their families can help make the world safer for
amphibians.
If The Hidden Life of a Toad isn't in your library I suggest
that you hop to suggest they acquire it. You'll be glad you did.
On a personal note, I got to spend yesterday with Joey writing and
cleaning. But my life is starting to speed up even before fall
semester starts. Tonight I have community garden. I'm hoping my new
promising recruits show up. (I promised to bring in white chocolate
craisin cookies so I'd better channel my inner Betty Crocker.) Then I
have the international student social. What does one wear to
gardening and a social? Hopefully I can get away with my favorite tie
dye capris and coral tee shirt.
A great big shout out goes out to my community garden crew and the
UMaine international students family.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Are You An Echo?

Are You An Echo?

Juvenile bilingual biography/poetry

"If I say, 'Let's play?'
you say, 'Let's play!'

If I say, 'Stupid!'
you say, 'Stupid!'

If I say, 'I don't want to play anymore,'
you say, 'I don't want to play anymore'.

And then, after awhile,
Becoming lonely

I say, 'Sorry."
You say, 'Sorry.'

Are you just an echo?
No, you are everyone."

The simple seeming poem above spurred over a million volunteers
to muster to help following a 2011 Japanese disaster: the one two
punch of an earthquake and tsunami that left over 200,000 people
homeless. It was a poem that had been saved from obscurity by a
writer's extreme tenacity. Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry Of
Misuzo Kaneko by David Jacobson et al tells the fascinating story of
the poem and its creator.
Misuzu was born in 1903 and grew up in a Japanese fishing
village. She was so imaginative she sometimes had difficulty telling
the difference between events she had experienced and ones she'd read
about. She was very fortunate early in life. Her mother managed a
book store. Unlike most Japanese girls of that time, she was able to
stay in school until the age of seventeen. As an adult she became a
popular children's poet.
She died tragically young.
Setsuo Yazaki grew up with a great fondness for a poem, Big
Catch. As an adult poet he embarked on a quest to find more about its
author. Fortunately he was tenacious. In 1982, after sixteen years
of searching, he tracked down her brother who had her diaries which
contained all her poems.
Decades later David Jacobson encountered some of Misuzu's
published work and was astounded that her poetry had not been
translated into English. Are You An Echo? is his beautiful
remediation of the situation. It combines her poems, beautifully
illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri, with the story of their creation and
rediscovery. It's a beautiful addition to multicultural literature.
It just goes to show, as I always say, if you have a library
card and make good use of it, you're never far from discovering
treasures.
Oh, yeah, you probably want to know how the poem inspired over a
million volunteers...
...read the book and see.
On a personal note, I am having a blissful weekend. Yesterday I
stayed to home to write and clean. I made incredible progress in my
studio. It's more beautiful and inspiring together. Today after
church Eugene and I went for a drive. We stopped at Mardens and
Brewer Goodwill. Eugene got clothes. I found the most incedible
Things Remembered musical snow globe in perfect shape!!! Eugene got
it for me. Joey cat is now the happy owner of nine new jingle balls
and a bigger new light up ball. In a few minutes I'm going to heat up
a frozen pizza which is a treat.
A great big shout out goes out to Eugene and our good Joey cat.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Friday, August 18, 2017

It

It

"The terror which would not end for another twenty-eight years--
if it ever did end--began, so far as I can know or tell, with a boat
made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with
rain."
Stephen King's It begins with one of the all time best opening
lines in the history of novel writing. The use of the everyday and
banal as a conduit to unspeakable evil is the spine chilling premise
around which the story is built. It is amazing that King can carry it
flawlessly for 1093 pages. Kudos to the master of horror! I take off
my backwards UMaine baseball cap to him.
It's the fall of 1957. A big time storm has just passed through
the town of Derry, Maine. The electricity is still out. Little
George Denbrough has a paper boat crafted by his big brother William
(Stuttering Bill) who is in bed getting over the flu. He's having a
great time chasing the boat through the swollen street streams. The
fun abruptly ends when the boat is sucked into a storm drain...from
which two yellow eyes peer out.
Of course that isn't going to end well. (The author's name
should be a big time clue). Little George's bloody body is found with
an arm missing. He's only the first. When kids start turning up
murdered and mutilated...well think how that would play out in your
neighborhood.
Only it isn't a one time gruesome chapter in the history of
Derry. Every twenty-seven years or so the town becomes a little
chamber of horrors. In addition to individual gruesome homicides
there are events like the explosion of an ironworks in which an Easter
egg hunt is being held.
Stuttering Bill and his group of bully beleaguered preteens must
somehow do battle with a supreme evil. Then as adults they are called
to a grizzly reunion. It is back...
This is a very powerful book that should probably not be read
home alone on a dark night unless being startled by every noise is
your cup of tea. Actually it might be best holding off on reading
until the next presidency. During a Trump reign it can be very easy
to imagine Pennywise the clown has left Derry for bigger digs. This
can lead to colorful nightmares. Trust me on this.
On a personal note, planning for the Ending Violence Together event in
September is going really well. There will be tabling and speeches
followed by a march around downtown Bangor. I think, given current
political conditions, we so need this chance to come together over
this topic.
I had an amazing dumpster find: a sturdy, soft book bag (you know who
can always use a book bag) covered with sparkly sequins. Everyone
notices it and is surprised to learn where it came from.
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow committee members. It's a
privilege to work with you. :-)
jules hathaway





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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Ethan I Was Before

The Ethan I Was Before

"I'm not lying when I say Mom and Dad don't have to worry about
me trying to run again.
Back in Boston, I ran because I wanted to find Kacey.
If I could find her, then I could make everything okay again.
But I know that I can't.
Because where Kacey has gone, I'll never be able to find her."
Ethan's family has moved from Boston to a small town in
Georgia. Ostensibly it's to help his grandfather who has been living
solo. Actually it's to give Ethan a chance for the fresh start his
parents and shrink believe he needs. He is seriously grieving the
loss of a mysterious girl named Kacey.
Things start out far from smoothly in the newly combined
household. Ethan's parents hover, fearful that he will run away as he
has done in the past or attempt something else dangerous. His brother
resents having to leave the place where his girlfriend and future seem
to lie. The newly met grandfather and his mom are always fighting.
Although on the surface it's about the renovations she wants to make
to his bachelor pad, Ethan senses something deeper simmering underneath.
Even the girl, Coralee, who befriends him seems to have at least
a little to hide. She never invites him to her home. Despite the
many stories she's told him about her past, how well does he really
know her?
And who is the mysterious spooky lady whom they first encounter
in a decripit, abandoned, supposedly haunted house?
In her debut novel, The Ethan I Was Before, Ali Standish has
crafted a perfectly paced spellbinder for juveniles. I certainly hope
we'll see a lot more stories from this talented newcomer.
On a personal note, last night we had a marvelous Orono Community
Garden night. It was sunny with a lovely breeze. We had melons to
snack on. Conversation was lively. The concert music was cool. Our
people were happy to get their veggies and we had some yummy ones to
take home. (I'll be able to serve Eugene really fresh beans!). And
once again we had so many cukes I was able to give them out to the
concert goers and make so many people happy!!! That's got to be one
of the most fun things in the whole world.
A great big shout out goes out to my Orono Community Garden family and
to the musicians who made our work so much more fun!
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Monday, August 14, 2017

You Throw Like A Girl

You Throw Like A Girl

Juvenile fiction
"It was the first day of summer vacation.
Mom called it the Summer of Girls.
My nine-month-old sister, Ava, called it, 'wah, wah, WAAAAAH!'
And I called it the Summer without Dad.
But the truth was, no matter what you called it, this summer was
going to stink."
Gabby, narrator of Rachel Alpine's You Throw Like A Girl, is en
route to her grandmother's house, an eight hour drive away, with her
mother snd baby sister. Her father has just departed on an overseas
deployment. She's promised to be strong so her mom won't be upset.
She's had to leave her friends and softball team.
Gabby and her father share a passion for baseball. She's
promised him she will join the softball team in her new town and pitch
their way to a championship. There's only one problem. Due to lack
of interest, there's no softball team that summer. Unless she wants
to sit it out she must assume a boy persona to play baseball.
Gabby has mistakenly signed up for the local beauty pageant,
much to the delight of her pageant winner mother who would love for
her to follow in her high heel steps. Coaching Gabby seems to take
her mind off her missing husband, so Gabby feels dropping out is a non
option.
But how can Gabby balance both identities in a really small
town? What will happen if her ruse is discovered?
On a personal note, yesterday after church Eugene invited me to go
shopping with him. I picked out a package of glitter gel pens and a
bag of Lindor truffles for me and a toy mouse for Joey. Eugene paid
for them and then got us subs for supper.
The new toy brought out the little scientist in Joey cat. When he
batted it and it lit up and made a noise he looked delighted. Then he
narrowed his eyes and tried again. And again. And again. From
different angles. Then he looked up at me very proud as if to say, "I
made that happen."
A great big shout out goes out to all who turned out in solidarity to
protest the violence at (and the whole concept of) the white supremacy
march.
jules hathaway


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fiery Vision

Fiery Vision

Juvenile biography
"[John] was one of the most controversial figures of his time,
and his name continues to provoke both anger and admiration, though he
was executed shortly after the raid.
Historians routinely use such words as 'fanatic' and 'murderer'
to describe him, but use no such words to describe the slave owners
and slavery supporters he fought. What is it about John Brown that
continues to arouse such passion, when the cause for which he gave his
life--the destruction of slavery--was achieved just a few years after
his death?"
Today, by looking at Fiery Vision: The Life and Death of John
Brown by Clinton Cox, we're going to complete a trilogy of historical
figures we didn't learn enough of in school. Like Eleanor Roosevelt
and Rosa Parks, John Brown was a much more complex and nuanced human
being than you'd learn from brief high school history mentions.
Cox doesn't deny that Brown and his followers, after a great
deal of planning, captured the Harpers Ferry armory. What he does is
put this action into historical context. Much like today, a lot of
violence was going on and government was on the side of the oppressors.
In 1859 slaves were considered property. White owners could do
whatever they wished, much as you can do what you want to with your
car or truck (as long as it doesn't involve vehicular man[sic]
slaughter). Beating to death or cutting off limbs were within the
owners' rights. Slaves had value ratings like your vehicle's blue
book value.
"The reporter said babies 'are esteemed worth to the master a
hundred dollars the day they are born, and to increase in value at the
rate of a hundred dollars a year till they are sixteen- or seventeen-
years-old, at which age they bring the best prices."
You put a monetary value on items you may sell. And sell the
planters did. Slave families were routinely torn apart, often with no
opportunity for bereaved families to even say goodbye. Imagine coming
home from work to learn that your children were sold and shipped to an
unknown location. You would probably never see them again.
Brown was a deeply religious man who was troubled by the way
fellow humans created in the image of God were treated. Additionally
the powers and principalities represented by the government were
coming down on the side of the oppressors. The fugitive slave act
mandated that residents of free states capture and return runaways.
And in the Dred Scott case:
"Chief Justice Roger Taney, a slave owner (as were four other
members of the Supreme Court) [reviewer's note: can you say conflict
of interest?], ruled that no black man, woman, or child could ever be
a citizen of the United States or have any rights 'which the white man
was bound to respect.' Taney also ruled that Congress had no power to
prohibit slavery anywhere in the country, thus outlawing the Missouri
compromise."
You know what they say about desperate times calling for
desperate measures. Read the book and you will realize that fanatic
and murderer apply a lot more aptly to society at that time than to
the man who tried to do what he could to change things.
On a personal note, today was the Veazie Town Wide Yard Sales. The
weather was not propitious, featuring clouds galore and light mist
with heavier rains imminent. This is probably why there weren't many
sales. But I found a few and was able to buy 9 DVDs, some jewelery, a
fancy pizza cutter, and a couple of adorable snowman wicker containers
perfect for my embroidery floss. I paid $1 for one that had a $34.99
tag on it.
I am trying to persuade myself that I'll get all I need to done by
fall semester. But it seems to be coming up so fast!
A great big shout out goes out to the hardy folks who didn't let the
weather get in the way of their having yard sales and my husband who
gave me money to spend at them.
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Friday, August 11, 2017

I just realized I forgot a shout out on the last review I posted. A great shout out goes out to my wonderful, loyal, and very intelligent cat Joey for his help in my breaking and entering adventure.

I just realized I forgot a shout out on the last review I posted. A
great shout out goes out to my wonderful, loyal, and very intelligent
cat Joey for his help in my breaking and entering adventure.


Sent from my iPod

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

YA biography
"Rosa Parks already knew, of course, that a court case would
turn her into even more of an outcast in white Montgomery. Although
unconcerned about her own physical safety, she also knew that any
public position she took would cause dire trouble for her husband: the
police would harass him, perhaps even frame him on some trumped-up
charge. Her mother's health, meanwhile, was frail: could she endure a
long-drawn-out trial? Rosa Parks fretted over those dilemmas, but in
her heart she never doubted what she had to do..."
In 1997 author and historian Douglas Brinkley took a group of
high school teachers and students on a civil rights tour. In the
course of that journey, he discovered that, despite her fame as the
mother of the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks had had no biography
written about her apart from "...a few illustrated children's books
spinning her life as a morality tale." This was indeed a serious gap
in the herstory records. Lucky for us he decided to put in the time
to write the missing book, combining interviews with Parks and
important people in her life with intensive archival research. Rosa
Parks, the product of his labor, is well worth reading.
I was four when Rosa Parks was arrested. During my childhood
civil rights were front line news, not history or even a done deal.
When my kids were in school Parks was an icon. Very few people didn't
know about her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.
But few knew much more. And I strongly agree with Brinkly that much
of the information put out there had decidedly simplified moralistic
overtones.
Brinkly gives us much more. There's the very real danger
southern blacks were in for the most innocuous acts (Recall how Emmitt
Till was brutally murdered for a whistle or comment directed to a
white woman and the murderers were acquitted by an all white jury?),
never mind challenging Jim Crowe laws.
There's Parks as a complex human reacting to unpredictable
unfolding events. As much as she respected Martin Luther King Jr.,
for example, she did not share his his belief in nonviolence as the
only way.
"...Rosa Parks's own philosophy came closer to the views of
playwright Lorraine Hansberry: 'Negroes must concern themselves with
every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active,
violent, and non-violent. They must harass, debate, petition...sit
in, sing hymns...and shoot from their windows when racists come
cruising through their communities.'"
There's the before and after in regard to that famous moment in
time. We meet Parks at her birth in Tuskegee, Alabama. As the last
chapter concludes a septegenarian Parks is embracing Nelson Mandela.
"Then the two brave old souls, their lives so distant yet their
dreams so close, fell into each other's arms, rocking back and forth
in a long, joyful embrace. And in that poignant, redemptive moment,
the enduring dignity of the undaunted afforded mankind rare proof of
its own progress."
On a personal note, this week's community garden was especially
special and memorable. As any of you who have planted veggies know,
sometimes they give a new meaning to the mandate: be fruitful and
multiply. We had distributed bags to all our people and were still
drowning (not literally) in cukes. Right beside us was the concert.
I volunteered to give the rest out to the audience. They were very
happy with their surprise.
Yesterday I had to break into my house. I'd switched backpacks and
forgotten my keys. A storm was on the way, with the potential of
raining in through the screens. Joey cat, from inside, started pawing
insistently at the studio screen. I touched it there and...ooh,
loose! In a New York minute I had it pried open and far from
gracefully scrambled through. The house stayed dry and I won't be
hearing "Did you remember your keys?" for the next few years.
Ever have an experience like that?
jules hathaway



Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Firebrand and the First Lady

The Firebrand and the First Lady

Adult biography
"Unwilling to sanction DAR [Daughters of the American
Revolution] policy by keeping quiet, on February 26, the First Lady
wrote to President General Mrs. Henry M. Robert Jr., 'I am in complete
disagreement with the attitude taken in refusing Constitution Hall to
a great artist [Marian Anderson]. You have set an example which seems
to me unfortunate, and I feel obliged to send in to you my
resignation. You had an opportunity to lead in an enlightened way and
it seems to me that your organization has failed.'...
Pauli Murray took note of ER's comments and actions. Still
roiled by the UNC decision and her inability to challenge it in court,
she aimed to see just how far the first lady was willing to go on the
question of social justice."
Most of my readers and I were not around for either Roosevelt
presidency. Probably what the majority of us know about Eleanor
Roosevelt is based on what little was said back in high school history
which is pathetically little. Any pictures textbooks contained showed
her as prim and sedate. Certainly they did not portray the woman who
resigned from Daughters of the American Revolution when they rejected
the talent of a world famous black contralto and, much to the the
consternation of the political and social elite, served the queen and
king of England hot dogs on a picnic. (The king liked them so much he
asked for seconds).
Probably most of us know even less (if anything) about Pauli
Murray. I was intrigued by a mention of her in a book I was reading
in May. Days later my library writing class teacher gave me an
article about her and said she thought we had s lot in common. (This
was, by the way, quite a compliment for this firebrand.). I decided
to learn more about her. Then in a true instance of library
serendipity I came eyeball to cover with Patricia Bell-Scott's The
Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli
Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice.
Murray was born in the segregated South in 1910. She lost both
parents quite early on: her mother when she was three and her father,
killed by a racist white, when she was thirteen. By high school she
had developed a thirst for learning and a passion for social justice.
Rather than attend an all black college, she moved to New York where
she worked her way through Hunter College. In her graduating class of
247 there were only four blacks. A year later, in 1934, ill and
fatigued, she was a resident of Camp Tera, a government refuge for
unemployed women in upstate New York.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established by Roosevelt's
husband to help the unemployed, was a stag operation. The people who
ran it had all kinds of excuses for excluding women: they could turn
to family for help; they were too catty for communal living; they
might be recruited to communism or homosexuality. Luckily Eleanor
persisted in getting a camp established for women who had, "been
neglected in comparison with others, and throughout this depression
have had the hardest time of all."
One day Roosevelt drove up to Camp Tera for one of her regular
visits. Murray and Roosevelt did not speak. In fact Murray was
accused of "disrespecting" Roosevelt. Four years later Murray,
angered by the racial inequality in America wrote to Roosevelt and her
husband. Roosevelt personally replied. This opening volley in their
correspondance would lead to an intimate, deeply personal long term
relationship.
The Firebrand and The First Lady gives an in depth understanding
of this friendship in 360 well researched pages. It also provides a
fascinating look at two complex, passionate women and the world in
which the lived, breathed, and had their being. Avid herstory
enthusiasts will find this book to an illuminating addition to
knowledge and understanding of the not so long ago past.
On a personal note, this firebrand had a very productive day
yesterday. My big achievement was the writing of an op ed piece on
why a certain group claiming to push for "sensible" immigration is
really the latest incarnation of scapegoating organizations preying on
people's fears. Murray would have been on board with it. Then I did
most of my report on what I've worked on and achieved so far. Another
document Murray would have approved.
To keep this firebrand fit and fighting I have to maintain a healthy
lifestyle. Yesterday I embarked on a two week baseline assessment by
listing all I eat, drink, sleep, and do for exercise and stress
prevention with no intervention. I can't very well change until I
know what I need to change.
A great shout goes out to all my fellow firebrands! May we be out,
about, and rocking the boat!
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Longevity Book

Longevity Book

Adult nonfiction
"What you will find in these pages is information and an
ideology that will help you find a new way of thinking about aging. I
don't want you to live in fear of aging, or beat yourself up about the
fact that your body is doing something totally natural. I want to
reframe the way that we, as women, talk about aging. I want to offer
a perspective that is healthier and more scientifically accurate than
the fear-and shame-based conversation that permeates our culture."
So what does a book on longevity have to do with a book on
redefining pretty for girls? EVERYTHING! Both are written for those
of us closer to the female end of the gender spectrum. Both encourage
the challenging and extinguishing of damaging and stereotypes. For
girls it is the equation of pretty and desirable with health
endangering thinness, almost impossible to achieve model looks, and
the acquisition of constantly changing (but always expensive) "in"
garments and accoutrements. For those who receive AARP brochures in
the mail there is a dual message. We can achieve secular salvation
(that focuses more on outward appearances than inward well being) by
the magic of surgery, dyes and cosmetics, toxin injections, and all
kinds of costly elixers; if we fail or refuse to do so we should fade
into obscurity, leaving the stage to those still hot enough to attract
the lustful male gaze.
These stereotypes are damaging and dangerous and all around us.
I think my readers are familiar with those directed towards girls and
younger women. I challenge you to examine the media directed to older
folks, especially the ads. I did and was quite dismayed. A lot
encourage women to invest in magic bullet hands of time turn backers.
Others seem designed for the grim reaper's waiting room. On what
planet do a group of card players get absolutely gleeful over the
chance to get life insurance and not have their deaths be a burden on
others?
In my most recent review I encouraged parents of girls and women
of all ages to invest in Strong Is The New Pretty. In this one I am
making a case for all CIS and trans women and gender nonconforming
folks from college student through nonegenarian and beyond to acquire
Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bark's Longevity Book.
Longevity Book addresses the many aspects of aging from cellular
to sociological. There are historical trends, some accompanied by
quite eye catching time lines. (Gotta love this 2015 entry in a brief
history of antiaging treatments: " A woman I'm the UK said that she
will quit smiling for forty years in an attempt to avoid getting
wrinkles. Other women laughed about this.") Topics like menopause,
still too often swept under the rug are addressed. There are no magic
bullets or one size fits all panaceas. Diaz and Bark acknowledge the
uniqueness of each individual's genetics and experiences in relation
to overall health and well being.
One of my favorite quotes in Longevity Book puts wrinkles and
grey hair in beautiful perspective. Think, for example, of how common
fatal childbirth fever fever was when doctors would go between
diseased corpses and women in labor without washing their hands. We
are reminded that longevity is a very recent blessing.
"The fact that we can grow old enough to look old, in droves, is
far from a failure. It happens to be the end product of arguably the
biggest success story in human history."
Different chapters center around different aspects of aging such
as stress management, brain building, and dealing with menopause. I
would advise reading the whole book rather than picking and choosing.
Each aspect makes much more sense within the wholistic perspective.
Likewise I would encourage even the more science phobic not to skip
over the more technical paragraphs. Reading in this way is like
building a house on a foundation of sand. Trust me on this.
In my mind the most valuable part of this book is its emphasis
on adapting life style change wherever on the life continuum you are.
My daughters can quite profitably take them up for a long term
investment; I am not so far along that I can't make a significant
difference.
"In fact, the best things we can do for ourselves as we grow
older also happen to be some of our favorite things to do. Eating
good food, developing our muscles, getting a good night's sleep,
loving other people, laughing, relaxing, finding joy in the world.
These are the actions and activities that make us interesting people,
curious people, strong people...
To us it sounds like a revelation. The best way to age well
isn't to worry about aging. It is to live well."
Hell, yeah!
You readers may have to put up with my reviews for quite
awhile. I read elsewhere that giving birth without help conceiving in
one's mid forties is the strongest marker for longevity. (Thanks,
Adam!) Longevity Book gives me another reason for hope.
"One study found that people who have a positive outlook about
aging live approximately 7.5 years longer than their glass-is-half-
empty peers."
Think how many books I can discover and share with you in 7.5
years!
On a personal note, I was so busy writing poetry in church I did not
catch Rev. Taylor's sermon. I barely managed to sit, stand, and sing
at all the right spots. :-) In my defense they are good poems. In
the afternoon I went for a ride with Eugene. I got 3 DVDs and a book
at a second hand store.
A great big shout out goes out to Eugene.
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fwd: Strong Is The New Pretty



Sent from my iPod

Begin forwarded message:

From: Julia Hathaway <beaniebabylover@gmail.com>
Date: August 4, 2017 9:51:38 AM EDT
To: "beaniebabylover.fireworks@blogger.com" <beaniebabylover.fireworks@blogger.com>
Subject: Strong Is The New Pretty

Strong Is The New Pretty

YA nonfiction
    "Do them a favor and remind these girls of their strength.  Remind each other of your strength.  Often.  Write it down if you need to:  the ways in which you are smart, the ways in which you are qualified, the ways in which you are strong.  Put them on your wall, say them out loud--internalize them.  Believe them.  Don't let your daughter, your niece, your sister, your cousin waste any precious time wishing she looked like anyone else--she looks and acts and sings and walks and talks and works and plays like herself."
    If there is one book that I feel should be in the home of every family who has a growing girl, it would be Kate T. Parker's Strong Is The New Pretty.  Every day our girls are bombarded with messages about aspirations from those who do not have their best interests at heart.  Being pretty has to do with being almost impossibly thin and achieving a degree of perfection even models (never mind soccor playing preteens or teens balancing school, extracurriculars, and jobs) need photo enhancement to achieve.  One has to have all the pricey and constantly changing garments and accoutrements.  (Shopito ergo sum; I shop; therefore I am?)  Messiness is a total taboo.  Strong Is The New Pretty is a powerful antidote to this bombardment.
    When she was seven (in 1983) Parker decided that her long hair was too much of a time suck.  Playing soccer was much more important in her life.  Fortunately her supportive parents didn't stand in the way of her getting it cut as short as her brothers'.  They empowered her to be her true self, even when that clashed with the dictates of the larger society.
    As a parent, Parker encourages her daughters to be their authentic selves. A professional photographer, she took lots of pictures of her girls and their friends.
    "...The more I shot, the more I began to notice that the strongest images, the ones that resonated the most with me, were the ones in which the girls were being 100 percent themselves.  When they were messy and funny and stubborn and joyful and in your face, I kept shooting.  I didn't ask them to smile or go put on a pretty dress.  I wanted to capture these girls as they were, and how they were is amazing.  I wanted to continue capturing them in just that way--not just for my sake, bit for theirs too."
    Lucky for us, her project expanded.  She travelled all over the country, capturing the words and images of a wide diversity of girls. Nearly 200 are beautifully portrayed in the book.  Among the youngsters you will be introduced to are:
*Emme (7) looking down through a leafy canopy
"We weren't supposed to climb this high, but the view is better up here.";
*wheelchair athlete Jordan (15)
"Strong is putting all your heart, mind, and effort into what you believe in.  Your beauty will shine from this.";
*Cello player Nora (11)
"Through music I have the ability to make others smile and even cry when I perform in a way that moves someone.";
*Grace (12)
"Cancer stole part of my leg, but not my joy.  I choose happiness.  Being happy is my superpower.";
*Ella (9) represented by a hand waving a star topped wand
"I am magic.";
And so many more.  Really drinking in the images and words is like falling in love again and again and again...
    Parker hopes that her book will inspire girls and women to be and take pride in their authentic selves rather that settling for society's expectations.
    "...I worry about what my girls and their friends are exposed to and how their opinions of their bodies and selves are being shaped by the Internet and TV and magazines.  I want these images to combat those negative voices that tell us we're not good enough or thin enough or whatever enough.  Because we are FAR MORE THAN ENOUGH!  (reviewer's emphasis) I wanted these girls to hear their own voices through these images, and to inspire them to use them and continue to use them.  Loudly."
    Amen to that!
    If you have a daughter buy this book and put it where she can turn to it for inspiration often.  If you are female (CIS or trans) or gender nonconforming/fluid buy this book and put it where you can turn to it often for inspiration.  Those messages don't go away; and for the over fifty set (of which I am a member) they take on a particularly lethal quality.
    In fact one of the projects I have put on my list is to do a similar book featuring grown women further along in the age continuum.  I know some amazing ones.  I've already started a list.  I love writing.  I love photography.  It's time to discover my inner photojournalist.  I plan to begin with the story of how I became a drag king at the age of 63.
On a personal note, my Thursday was incredible!  I started walking to Orono only to get a ride from a friend who is about to vaca in India.  I arrived in time to help weed in the children's garden before the library opened.  I shelf read and scored more books which you will love my reviews of.  I went to a frozen yogurt place in Bangor with one of my very best friends.  Don't you love to discover a new yummy eatery? I gave her the purple flower "weeds" which she finds beautiful.  I had an Ending Violence Together meeting.  I saw a picture that I believe will be made into a mural.  I'm in it wearing my blue butterfly wings.  Across the street from my home was a little girl in a stroller.  I gave her a rescued picture book with electronic sound effects.  The smile that lit up her face was priceless.  I had salad with local veggies for supper and read with Joey cat.  I love my life.
Oh, yeah, I finally discovered a way to read more books.  About time, right?  I can read and walk at the same time.  YAY!
A great big shout out goes out all who shared the amazing day with me!
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod

Strong Is The New Pretty

Strong Is The New Pretty

YA nonfiction
"Do them a favor and remind these girls of their strength.
Remind each other of your strength. Often. Write it down if you need
to: the ways in which you are smart, the ways in which you are
qualified, the ways in which you are strong. Put them on your wall,
say them out loud--internalize them. Believe them. Don't let your
daughter, your niece, your sister, your cousin waste any precious time
wishing she looked like anyone else--she looks and acts and sings and
walks and talks and works and plays like herself."
If there is one book that I feel should be in the home of every
family who has a growing girl, it would be Kate T. Parker's Strong Is
The New Pretty. Every day our girls are bombarded with messages about
aspirations from those who do not have their best interests at heart.
Being pretty has to do with being almost impossibly thin and achieving
a degree of perfection even models (never mind soccor playing preteens
or teens balancing school, extracurriculars, and jobs) need photo
enhancement to achieve. One has to have all the pricey and constantly
changing garments and accoutrements. (Shopito ergo sum; I shop;
therefore I am?) Messiness is a total taboo. Strong Is The New
Pretty is a powerful antidote to this bombardment.
When she was seven (in 1983) Parker decided that her long hair
was too much of a time suck. Playing soccer was much more important
in her life. Fortunately her supportive parents didn't stand in the
way of her getting it cut as short as her brothers'. They empowered
her to be her true self, even when that clashed with the dictates of
the larger society.
As a parent, Parker encourages her daughters to be their
authentic selves. A professional photographer, she took lots of
pictures of her girls and their friends.
"...The more I shot, the more I began to notice that the
strongest images, the ones that resonated the most with me, were the
ones in which the girls were being 100 percent themselves. When they
were messy and funny and stubborn and joyful and in your face, I kept
shooting. I didn't ask them to smile or go put on a pretty dress. I
wanted to capture these girls as they were, and how they were is
amazing. I wanted to continue capturing them in just that way--not
just for my sake, bit for theirs too."
Lucky for us, her project expanded. She travelled all over the
country, capturing the words and images of a wide diversity of girls.
Nearly 200 are beautifully portrayed in the book. Among the
youngsters you will be introduced to are:
*Emme (7) looking down through a leafy canopy
"We weren't supposed to climb this high, but the view is better up
here.";
*wheelchair athlete Jordan (15)
"Strong is putting all your heart, mind, and effort into what you
believe in. Your beauty will shine from this.";
*Cello player Nora (11)
"Through music I have the ability to make others smile and even cry
when I perform in a way that moves someone.";
*Grace (12)
"Cancer stole part of my leg, but not my joy. I choose happiness.
Being happy is my superpower.";
*Ella (9) represented by a hand waving a star topped wand
"I am magic.";
And so many more. Really drinking in the images and words is like
falling in love again and again and again...
Parker hopes that her book will inspire girls and women to be
and take pride in their authentic selves rather that settling for
society's expectations.
"...I worry about what my girls and their friends are exposed to
and how their opinions of their bodies and selves are being shaped by
the Internet and TV and magazines. I want these images to combat
those negative voices that tell us we're not good enough or thin
enough or whatever enough. Because we are FAR MORE THAN ENOUGH!
(reviewer's emphasis) I wanted these girls to hear their own voices
through these images, and to inspire them to use them and continue to
use them. Loudly."
Amen to that!
If you have a daughter buy this book and put it where she can
turn to it for inspiration often. If you are female (CIS or trans) or
gender nonconforming/fluid buy this book and put it where you can turn
to it often for inspiration. Those messages don't go away; and for
the over fifty set (of which I am a member) they take on a
particularly lethal quality.
In fact one of the projects I have put on my list is to do a
similar book featuring grown women further along in the age
continuum. I know some amazing ones. I've already started a list. I
love writing. I love photography. It's time to discover my inner
photojournalist. I plan to begin with the story of how I became a
drag king at the age of 63.
On a personal note, my Thursday was incredible! I started walking to
Orono only to get a ride from a friend who is about to vaca in India.
I arrived in time to help weed in the children's garden before the
library opened. I shelf read and scored more books which you will
love my reviews of. I went to a frozen yogurt place in Bangor with
one of my very best friends. Don't you love to discover a new yummy
eatery? I gave her the purple flower "weeds" which she finds
beautiful. I had an Ending Violence Together meeting. I saw a
picture that I believe will be made into a mural. I'm in it wearing
my blue butterfly wings. Across the street from my home was a little
girl in a stroller. I gave her a rescued picture book with electronic
sound effects. The smile that lit up her face was priceless. I had
salad with local veggies for supper and read with Joey cat. I love my
life.
Oh, yeah, I finally discovered a way to read more books. About time,
right? I can read and walk at the same time. YAY!
A great big shout out goes out all who shared the amazing day with me!
jules hathaway


Sent from my iPod