Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing/Giving Back/Nursing

This week I had the pleasure of combing three of my loves; writing, giving back, and nursing.

At the end of April I helped organize a medical provider’s team to participate in a 5K to raise money for ovarian cancer awareness. The team fund-raised over $1600, and we also raised community awareness.

Side note: it was a LOT of fun even though I felt like I would die at the end. A small hill at the finish line of a 5K is just plain cruel!

I was asked to write an article highlighting the success of the team, and it was published in Mayo’s nursing journal. Kind of fun to see all my “worlds” come together in one little project!

My sister and me...can you guess if this is pre or post 5k? (be kind! haha)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dr. James Levine's True Story Behind "The Blue Notebook"

This past Saturday I had the privilege of volunteering at the “Breaking the Chains of Modern Day Slavery” event as part of my role as a community educator. During this event I was able to hear Dr. James Levine, author of the riveting novel “The Blue Notebook”, talk about modern day sexual slavery in India.

Dr. Levine’s book chronicles the life of Batuk, a teenager who is trapped in the notorious street cages of Mumbai. Batuk’s journey is heartbreaking and impossible to stop thinking about once you’ve finished the book. It is certainly a call to action—it definitely was for me.

I’d read Dr. Levine’s book a few years ago—in fact, it was one of the books that inspired me to become a human rights advocate. After I finished the last page, I quickly googled Dr. Levine, completely intrigued by this story and wondering what his personal inspiration was behind his novel. I was surprised and delighted to see that we worked for the same company, so I emailed him and he graciously answered my questions.

I’ll be honest—Dr. Levine was nothing like what I expected when I met saw him speak in person. First of all he is British, which is kind of hilariously unsettling when the voice you’ve assigned to someone completely doesn’t match at all what you’ve imagined. Secondly, Dr. Levine is not dark and broody like I’d pictured from his book, but quite humorous and hopeful in his delivery of his experiences. If you get the chance to meet Dr. Levine or hear him speak about “The Blue Notebook”, take it. You won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately because I was manning a booth for Mission21, I didn’t get a chance to speak to Dr. Levine or get my book signed. But I’m confident our paths will meet again!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meeting Mary Roach at "Rochester Reads"

Mary Roach was May's "Rochester Reads" (a community building 'book club' for the city) for her work "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void." She was as great in person as her voice comes across in her books--funny, informative, and very personable!

I chatted with Mary briefly about "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers," which is one of my favorite reads this year. As a nurse, I found this book especially compelling. The body is absolutely amazing--but just a pile of water and skin when it really comes down to it.  It's truly the person inside that matters--not the shell we all present to the world. You can read my goodreads review here if you're interested!

"Death. It doesn't have to be boring."

(My signed copy of "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex")

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

John Steinbeck

“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.” 

“I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.” 

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.” 

“To be alive at all is to have scars. ” 

“As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” 

“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tim O'Brien

“What sticks to memory, often, are those odd little fragments that have no beginning and no end...” 

“That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.” 

“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness.” 

“And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It's about sunlight. It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It's about love and memory. It's about sorrow. It's about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.” 

“("I love you," someone says, and instantly we begin to wonder - "Well, how much?" - and when the answer comes - "With my whole heart" - we then wonder about the wholeness of a fickle heart.) Our lovers, our husbands, our wives, our fathers, our gods - they are all beyond us.” 

For each day to have a new and different sun...

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” 
- Into the Wild by John Krakauer (Journal by Christopher McCandless)