For the first time in four years I am actually genuinely excited about this year’s keynote speaker at our annual global health symposium.

Unfortunately, for a school centered around, and focused on, international health our administrators have consistently shown us that they are both outdated and clueless as to what that means. I have not yet found the words to describe how incredibly frustrating that is. Last year’s speaker was painful - and offensive - if I had to pick one word to describe him it would be patriarchal.

I probably wouldn’t have even gone, but I wanted to support my peers, who often make up for what those “in charge” obliviously lack - plus I was selected to be one of the speakers myself. I am a student and I will be the very first to admit that I still have SO MUCH to learn. About everything. But I couldn’t sit down and let a bunch of wrinkly old men ruin my education and so, rather than getting pointlessly angry, I decided a while ago that I would take it into my own hands. If they wouldn’t give me the guidance I was looking for, I would find it my own damn self. And thus I found myself standing nervously behind a podium looking out over a sea of students and administrators.

I gave a talk on refugee medicine specifically focusing on several case reports to highlight the neglected public health and humanitarian issue of tuberculosis in unrecognized refugee populations within the state of Israel.

The keynote speaker gave the speech equivalent to those vomit-inducing photos of big white hands holding little black babies.   

but not this year!

I’m not speaking this year. Not because I don’t have anything to say; I have lots to say. But because it’s someone else’s turn and because this year there isn’t as big of a void that needs filling. This year we have a keynote speaker who embodies the title educator. Robert Huish is one of the most dynamic, inspiring, challenging, intelligent, thought provoking, lecturer’s I have ever met or heard and I could not be more excited that he’s flying back across the globe to visit us again this spring. 

I don’t recall how old I was, elementary school, but in the later years of it, 3rd, maybe 4th grade. I also don’t recall if it was his birthday or father’s day, the two aren’t so far from each other on the calendar. I always liked doing “dad” things with my pop. I was the tomboy between my sister and I. She always had her nose in a book, he and I played catch. I never had much of an arm, but I learned to keep my eye on the ball and found a deep satisfaction in the leather thud of ball falling squarely into mitt, my small hands quickly grasping to keep it from popping out again. When he would be working on some carpentry project for his restaurant, my sister and I would sit in the sawdust and glue and nail little scraps of wood together, positive we were building masterpieces.
I guess I probably got the idea from Hollywood, or maybe it was after one of his too-early attempts at teaching me to sail, the two of us on a small craft in the middle of Lake Merritt, me only able to concentrate for 5 minutes at a time, but I decided that a homemade toy sailboat was the perfect gift for a father from his daughter. The only thing was, I didn’t know how to build one, and the only person I could think of who would, was, of course, my dad. So I enlisted his help, and together we built a little wooden boat. I don’t even remember if we ever set it afloat, but I remember how lovingly I sanded the edges smooth from the cuts he’d made with his table saw. I remember I painted the base white with a thin blue stripe all the way around. I sewed a little canvas sail, and while I still didn’t understand the physical mechanisms that made a sailboat sail, it certainly looked the part. I apologized, for making him help me build his present. I felt like it was less-than, and it wasn’t until years later that I believed what he had told me when he’d said that building it with me was the best part of the gift.

I don’t recall how old I was, elementary school, but in the later years of it, 3rd, maybe 4th grade. I also don’t recall if it was his birthday or father’s day, the two aren’t so far from each other on the calendar. I always liked doing “dad” things with my pop. I was the tomboy between my sister and I. She always had her nose in a book, he and I played catch. I never had much of an arm, but I learned to keep my eye on the ball and found a deep satisfaction in the leather thud of ball falling squarely into mitt, my small hands quickly grasping to keep it from popping out again. When he would be working on some carpentry project for his restaurant, my sister and I would sit in the sawdust and glue and nail little scraps of wood together, positive we were building masterpieces.

I guess I probably got the idea from Hollywood, or maybe it was after one of his too-early attempts at teaching me to sail, the two of us on a small craft in the middle of Lake Merritt, me only able to concentrate for 5 minutes at a time, but I decided that a homemade toy sailboat was the perfect gift for a father from his daughter. The only thing was, I didn’t know how to build one, and the only person I could think of who would, was, of course, my dad. So I enlisted his help, and together we built a little wooden boat. I don’t even remember if we ever set it afloat, but I remember how lovingly I sanded the edges smooth from the cuts he’d made with his table saw. I remember I painted the base white with a thin blue stripe all the way around. I sewed a little canvas sail, and while I still didn’t understand the physical mechanisms that made a sailboat sail, it certainly looked the part. I apologized, for making him help me build his present. I felt like it was less-than, and it wasn’t until years later that I believed what he had told me when he’d said that building it with me was the best part of the gift.

(via randomitus)

81 notes

We all curate;
it’s the nature of the beast. 
But I like open windows, 
and fresh breezes that fill my lungs,
and open doors, 
that let in the sun. 
I don’t like worrying,
or holding tight for fear of slipping. 
I like holding tight because in that moment,
I can’t think of anything that could possibly be better. 
I believe in genuine.
And honest. 
To oneself most of all. 

We all curate;

it’s the nature of the beast. 

But I like open windows, 

and fresh breezes that fill my lungs,

and open doors, 

that let in the sun. 

I don’t like worrying,

or holding tight for fear of slipping. 

I like holding tight because in that moment,

I can’t think of anything that could possibly be better. 

I believe in genuine.

And honest. 

To oneself most of all. 

(via elistarlight)

Dear the internet,

The Tens and I just did science and discovered that the toilet water spinning opposite directions in different hemispheres thing is real

mind blown,

Julia

I started writing about anger. 
Earlier today I got angry.
The fire in my belly angry at the fact that I’m even angry kind of angry. 
Sometimes I get angry, I wish I didn’t, I wish I could be one of those perfectly zen yogis who just breathes out negativity and breathes in peace, a window, easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl, but I’m not. I’m just a regular girl, and sometimes, even as I strive for peace and balance, sometimes I get tripped up, and sometimes I get angry. 
Someone advised me to own my anger. To feel it. Fully. 
And then to release it. 
I was still working on the feeling it part, dreading the releasing, because I’m bad at letting go, even of anger. 
But then I got a phone call from someone I haven’t talked to in far too long who told me something so happy I barely even noticed as the anger just melted away. 
The fire that had been burning through my hands as I clung to it just disappeared into smoke as the enormity of my smile spread from my face out to the ends of my hair and down to the tips of my toes. 
I am so grateful for the amazing people in my life. People who remind me that the things and people who make me angry aren’t even worth the calories spent on typing out the letters; a n g r y. People who remind me that there is so much more, that life is beautiful, and that love is real. So incredibly grateful. 

I started writing about anger. 

Earlier today I got angry.

The fire in my belly angry at the fact that I’m even angry kind of angry. 

Sometimes I get angry, I wish I didn’t, I wish I could be one of those perfectly zen yogis who just breathes out negativity and breathes in peace, a window, easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl, but I’m not. I’m just a regular girl, and sometimes, even as I strive for peace and balance, sometimes I get tripped up, and sometimes I get angry. 

Someone advised me to own my anger. To feel it. Fully. 

And then to release it. 

I was still working on the feeling it part, dreading the releasing, because I’m bad at letting go, even of anger. 

But then I got a phone call from someone I haven’t talked to in far too long who told me something so happy I barely even noticed as the anger just melted away. 

The fire that had been burning through my hands as I clung to it just disappeared into smoke as the enormity of my smile spread from my face out to the ends of my hair and down to the tips of my toes. 

I am so grateful for the amazing people in my life. People who remind me that the things and people who make me angry aren’t even worth the calories spent on typing out the letters; a n g r y. People who remind me that there is so much more, that life is beautiful, and that love is real. So incredibly grateful. 

I took this photo the other day, yesterday I think, and when I took it I thought; 
Your honesty is refreshing. 
And even though it is, refreshing, something about that thought, spelled out that way, wasn’t just right, and so, I let it go, to float in the ether of thoughts and emotions in the back of my head and heart and at the bottom of my lungs, the part I can only reach when I take a really deep chest-expanding breath in, and I went about my day, and night and the next day. Until now. When I realized what I meant. I meant;
Your honesty is liberating. 

I took this photo the other day, yesterday I think, and when I took it I thought; 

Your honesty is refreshing. 

And even though it is, refreshing, something about that thought, spelled out that way, wasn’t just right, and so, I let it go, to float in the ether of thoughts and emotions in the back of my head and heart and at the bottom of my lungs, the part I can only reach when I take a really deep chest-expanding breath in, and I went about my day, and night and the next day. Until now. When I realized what I meant. I meant;

Your honesty is liberating. 

15 notes

Today I wrote a love letter to myself

With a camera and my body.

Sometimes it feels good to remember the beauty within my own skin.

To let myself feel the warmth from within my own chest. 

11 notes

(theoppositeofmaybe)
Love can be hard to define sometimes. I think that’s part of what I love about love. The twists and turns and thrills and chills and enduring warmth. Sometimes, when I’m defining love in a forever sort of way, I have to admit that really, really really, I’ve only been in love, in that kind of love, once. One time. One man. And while we talk again now, and part of my heart, will always, always, always, be his, we don’t belong to each other any more. I had that love and I lost it. Twas better. I suppose.
But sometimes I don’t define love in a forever sort of way. Sometimes I define love as that magic that movies are made for to try to capture. The kind that sweeps you off your feet. The kind you get lost in; accidently on purpose. Sometimes it lasts only a moment. Sometimes a week. Sometimes it defies time and space and pops up now and again. If I’m defining love that way I’ve fallen in love a hundred, no, hundreds of times.
There was that week in Spain, just before med school; everything was hot and sweaty and full of potential and anticipation. We drank beer out of cans and dangled our feet in the water of a fountain in a park in the middle of the city. As the sun went down we moved to the grass and a frisbee flew around the group. Do you want to do airplane he asked? I did. I hovered above him, fingers entwined, eyes locking & unlocking in tentative attraction, we tumbled and laughed in the grass. I didn’t realize until days later that he was interested in more than just the bottoms of his feet on my hips. I usually don’t believe these sorts of things are anywhere but in my own imagination, at least not right away. I should learn to trust my instincts; my brain is smart enough, but I’m pretty sure my heart is smarter. Did you know they have coin operated condom machines on the streets of Madrid? It really is a romantic city.

(theoppositeofmaybe)

Love can be hard to define sometimes. I think that’s part of what I love about love. The twists and turns and thrills and chills and enduring warmth. Sometimes, when I’m defining love in a forever sort of way, I have to admit that really, really really, I’ve only been in love, in that kind of love, once. One time. One man. And while we talk again now, and part of my heart, will always, always, always, be his, we don’t belong to each other any more. I had that love and I lost it. Twas better. I suppose.

But sometimes I don’t define love in a forever sort of way. Sometimes I define love as that magic that movies are made for to try to capture. The kind that sweeps you off your feet. The kind you get lost in; accidently on purpose. Sometimes it lasts only a moment. Sometimes a week. Sometimes it defies time and space and pops up now and again. If I’m defining love that way I’ve fallen in love a hundred, no, hundreds of times.

There was that week in Spain, just before med school; everything was hot and sweaty and full of potential and anticipation. We drank beer out of cans and dangled our feet in the water of a fountain in a park in the middle of the city. As the sun went down we moved to the grass and a frisbee flew around the group. Do you want to do airplane he asked? I did. I hovered above him, fingers entwined, eyes locking & unlocking in tentative attraction, we tumbled and laughed in the grass. I didn’t realize until days later that he was interested in more than just the bottoms of his feet on my hips. I usually don’t believe these sorts of things are anywhere but in my own imagination, at least not right away. I should learn to trust my instincts; my brain is smart enough, but I’m pretty sure my heart is smarter. Did you know they have coin operated condom machines on the streets of Madrid? It really is a romantic city.

(Source: weheartit.com, via hennnypotter)

434 notes

jamesnord:

The Adirondacks are almost offensively beautiful (more)

I had a busy, sweaty, lovely - at times weird, weekend.
I saw an absolutely spectacular performance as part of the NY Fringe festival, danced, danced, and danced some more, and was reminded that there are some people that, no matter how long I go between seeing them, and no matter where in the world I do see them, will always have the effect of making me feel at home. 
I demonstrated how utterly horrendous I am at karaoke but also that no matter how insecure and idiotic I feel (and probably look) I am still capable of plastering on a smile and shaking my ass until the smile is real. 
I discovered that a simple cotton little black dress attracts all kinds of sweet, endearing, and mostly awkward, attention. 
I saw family I haven’t seen in years and felt so simultaneously connected and disconnected I wasn’t sure what to do other than stuff my face with delicious food, smile, and hug everyone incessantly. 
Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, and since I’m working in the PICU, I stayed home - or rather - went shopping for some much needed essentials and a few non-essentials. 
Today I got sent home at 10am and spent the rest of the day either napping or sorting out obnoxious IT disasters. 
Really all I want to do is to go into the woods, thus the photo, surrounded by trees in a little cabin or a tent. But I guess, for now, a run by the river will suffice. 
This has been a post. 

jamesnord:

The Adirondacks are almost offensively beautiful (more)

I had a busy, sweaty, lovely - at times weird, weekend.

I saw an absolutely spectacular performance as part of the NY Fringe festival, danced, danced, and danced some more, and was reminded that there are some people that, no matter how long I go between seeing them, and no matter where in the world I do see them, will always have the effect of making me feel at home. 

I demonstrated how utterly horrendous I am at karaoke but also that no matter how insecure and idiotic I feel (and probably look) I am still capable of plastering on a smile and shaking my ass until the smile is real. 

I discovered that a simple cotton little black dress attracts all kinds of sweet, endearing, and mostly awkward, attention. 

I saw family I haven’t seen in years and felt so simultaneously connected and disconnected I wasn’t sure what to do other than stuff my face with delicious food, smile, and hug everyone incessantly. 

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, and since I’m working in the PICU, I stayed home - or rather - went shopping for some much needed essentials and a few non-essentials. 

Today I got sent home at 10am and spent the rest of the day either napping or sorting out obnoxious IT disasters. 

Really all I want to do is to go into the woods, thus the photo, surrounded by trees in a little cabin or a tent. But I guess, for now, a run by the river will suffice. 

This has been a post. 

6,205 notes

"You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again."

Azar Nafisi (via)

when i first saw this quote i thought, ‘yes, this. i understand this.’

but reading it again just now i’m realizing that, yes, i still understand this thought, this feeling, but it no longer speaks to me in the same way. i’ll miss the people and place, for sure, always, but the person i am…i won’t miss her because i am her, and i will be her, and even as i’ll never be exactly this way ever again, i will continue to be me, continue to strive to be my best version of me, and that, that is enough. i am enough. 

(Source: paradoxicalsentiments, via thatkindofwoman)

30,262 notes