Sunday, October 25, 2015

Potash Hill Fall 2015

Some notes from the fall 2015 issue of the Marlboro College alumni magazine:
  • Politics professor Meg Mott is teaching an intensive this semester which looks at addiction from the perspective of politics, economics, culture, race, and communication.  The course considers how addition is presented in public debate, and how else it could be looked at.  Meg Mott says, "The questions being posed in the current debate tend to ignore the larger structural reasons for drug use: in a town with no jobs, selling drugs is far more lucrative than panhandling.  In a nation with reduced social services, using drugs dulls the pain of losing custody of one's child, not getting a callback on a job interview, or having to wait through the winter for a Section 8 voucher."
  • Alumnus Randy George and his wife own Red Hen Baking Company.  They were recognized by President Obama as one of 12 Champions of Change because they offer good pay and benefits to their workers.  Randy says, "There is actually a self-serving side to it too.  I want to sleep and take days off knowing that the people who are working for us at those times are experienced at what they do and truly care about doing the best job they can.  You're not going to find people like that if you just pay them the bare minimum."
  • Alumnus Scott Williams was elected state attorney in Vermont's Washington County.  He says that "responding to crime as a public health issue is, in the long run, a more effective approach than the traditional law enforcement model."
  • Alumnus David Skeele is working on "an iambic pentameter political thriller/rock musical."

Friday, October 16, 2015

Aging and decline

 Getting older means my health problems will only get worse.  Getting older means the health problems of those around me will only get worse.  Getting older means more and more of my loved ones will die.

I'm already failing to help my family members the way that I should.  Their needs will only grow greater, so my failure will also grow greater.  I don't have it in me to give what they need.

I don't have it in me to take of myself even.  And I will only grow sicker.

There's one person I can talk to.  Having a friend gives me a sense of stability and sanity.  He is older and sicker than I am.  He does not plan to outlive me.  What will I do without him?

I hear of people with such scary health problems.  How will I cope when I encounter such problems?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Take care of your body

My mother told me, "When I was younger, about 40, I told myself 'take care of your body and it will take care of you.'  Now I don't have to tell myself that.  Now my body always reminds me it needs to be taken care of."

Saturday, October 3, 2015


People might expect that I would identify with empathic types like Deanna Troi, or with brainy bookworms like Hermione Granger, but I don't identify with them at all.  I identify with warrior types, like Xena.  It seems silly because I'm a pacifist.  It seems silly because I'm a clumsy, fat,  middle aged person with chronic fatigue and chronic cough.  But I don't have to turn away from it.  I can embrace the fact I feel within me a courage and idealism that I see in warrior types.  I can embrace life and fight for my cause, just as the warrior heroines do. 

Friday, October 2, 2015


Humans get so worked up.  I guess they don't know how to solve violence, poverty, and racism, so they get all worked up over little things, things it's easy to have an opinion on. 

It wears me, seeing the way humans lash at each other in the media, whether it's politicians making statements, or ordinary people conversing over the internet.

And it wears me, being around humans.  In person, they are not so cruel as they are in the media, but still, they are so earnest and fervent about silly stuff. 

At last I go home.  It's the weekend.  I do have to go out Sunday, but I can spend Friday evening and all day Saturday here in my refuge, my place of quiet peace.  I can curl up with a blanket and a book.  I can listen to beautiful music and sip hot beverages.