The Index: 9/25-10/5

Is the hour of day that I get around to posting this update on Sundays inching ever-later as the weeks go on? Yes. Have I successfully updated thrice now, though? Also YES. I am probably too proud of myself for sticking to the absolute tiniest writing commitment in the world, but I take my wins where I can get them.

Albert Einstein to Franklin D. Roosevelt – August 2, 1934 (letter)

This is the first time I’ve read this letter penned by Einstein to FDR regarding the potential for nuclear bombs. Scientists are critical to national defense, and in being so are willing participants in the military-industrial complex. This makes that fact crystalline. How can scientists help but go where the funding is in an era where basic research is still undervalued and academic jobs are increasingly difficult to come by?

Guidelines on Reading Philosophy by Jim Pryor (article)

Guess who is STILL struggling with the philosophy course she’s in? Hint: it’s me. I feel like I don’t know how to read. The first sentence of this article, “It will be difficult for you to make sense of some of the articles we’ll be reading,” sums up my life at present. I understand all of these words individually…

Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (letter)

This is probably the third time I’ve read the letter in its entirety. Still striking. Still required reading for everyone. Duh. (I wish this duh could be genuine, but I am disappointed to report that no one has every required me to read it for any purpose. American education system, do better.)

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice for the extension of justice?”

Medusa with the Head of Perseus by torrin a. greathouse (poem)

I failed in my commitment to wait until Sunday to read any of the poems in the October 2019 issue of POETRY. Inability to resist a torrin a. greathouse poem is not the worst moral failing to have, though, so I’m not too upset. This poem made me feel things; I love and hate when poems do that. Mostly, I try not to make audible sounds while reading in public, but, you know. Sometimes you just have to mmph at a poem.

Rural America in Urban Society: Changing Spatial and Social Boundaries by Daniel Lichter & David Brown (article)

Apparently people have a lot of different stereotypes about rural people! Who knew!? This article explores how increased communication and movement of people between urban and rural areas, plus the incorporation of rural areas into towns, requires us to question the boundaries we create (or imagine) between urban/rural populations while also providing a critique of the most commonly held stereotypes of rural America.

Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation by Thomas Erren and Philip Bourne (article)

I am presenting at my first international conference (and second ever real conference) in November! Which is great… except designing an effective poster is hard. I definitely lived and learned from the last one (too much text!), and aspire to do better this time. Now commencing Googling stuff.

Writing for Social Justice by Maggie Sokolik (book)

This workbook provides exercises and journal prompts for founding a practice in writing for social justice across four principle genres- personal writing, community writing, national writing, and global writing. Getting something out of the book requires wrestling with its big ideas independently; it is not a workbook which holds your hand. This is appropriate, though, because the pursuit of social justice, and especially writing for social justice, mandates thinking and feeling for yourself. Without personal connection and conviction, without the necessary heart and desire to do-for-yourself, it is impossible to contribute something new and meaningful to the conversation. This was book 1/5 off my October 2019 Reading List.

Featured image by Julia Joppien on Unsplash .

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