Friday, June 12, 2009

Tale of an Army Nurse afflicted with a debiliating disease

The Butcher's Daughter: The Story of an Army Nurse with ALS The Butcher's Daughter: The Story of an Army Nurse with ALS by Sandra Lesher Stuban

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
An Ivy-League educated person in tip-top shape notices that she begins having difficulties climbing stairs. Little did she know that this would causer her life to change radically, as it was the beginning of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Stuban does a marvelous job at telling her life as a highly energetic, focused nurse in the army driven to high standards and community improvement, referring often to her country morals from growing up in Elizabethville, PA. While her narrative is tough to read at times as she retells losing one ability after another, Stuban will inspire you not to pity her and others with ALS, but instead to live each day to the fullest and contribute to your own community. Stuben recounts the difficulties transitioning from a caregiver to a patient in a new community and in a chaotic healthcare system. This is required reading since we never know if we, or a loved one, may be diagnosed with a debilitating illness like Stuben.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sad week for Argentina

On March 31, 2009, Raúl Alfonsín died (82) years old. He was the first democratically elected president of Argentina after the series of devastating military dictatorships that ravaged Argentina for decades. This is a sad week for Argentina and South America because Alfonsín represented in many ways hope for the future of South America in a post-dictator world. Alfonsín is lauded for bringing many people to justice that committed various crimes during the military dictatorships in Argentina. He was highly criticized during the time because he brought many of his own political party (los radicales) to justice.

Sadly Aflonsín stepped down in result of rapid inflation and defaulting on foreign loans. But the contributions that this president made with negotiating and mitigating human rights violations in Argentina cannot go unremembered. In the US we have heard little about this important leader's death, which is sad since this man was a stalwart support of justice, equality and the virtues of Human Rights.

See the NYTimes Article Below:
New York Times Article

Friday, March 13, 2009

Book Review - Deep Economy

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Deep Economy will force you to reevaluate your purchasing patterns and (hopefully) your consumer behavior. He illustrates that the current economic model most nations are using may end up with many more losers than winners. While the world is growing at an enormous rate, we are consuming at an enormous rate. He illustrates how unsustainable this is for the US and the arsenal of countries on the verge of becoming developed.

In exchange, he offers a new way of looking at economics. He develops a model through a local community in place of a growth model. In the first chapter, he shows how our food system could be altered in order to be more sustainable and to build community at the same time. Later he extends this model to other issues pressing our future on the earth: energy production, transportation, etc.

From my perspective growing up on a farm, everything McKibben makes sense: Buy local, and all of the money goes to the farmers in the community and at the same time, food is the freshest. Live within your means in a way that is in concert with the environment. Over consumption doesn't equal happiness, but family, community, and relationships will lead to lasting happiness.

I appreciate that his ideas are not radical nor ideological. McKibben reinforced his ideas with common sense alternatives to our typical consumerism in the United States. I think that you would be inspired after reading this book, and realize how much control we do have to shape the world. Reading this after my recent travels to Nicaragua inspires me to start my professional life living within my means; Central America more than many places shows us the consequences of United States decisions. I will definitely try to thwart off all of the pressures for hyper-consumerism.

My friend recommended this book to me last year and I decided I should pick it up and read it before McKibben comes to my campus in April. The book surely did not disappoint, and I'm excited to see his talk in April.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Day!

My parents and grandma visited me at Gettysburg. I thought I'd share the photo with my friends and family!

Follow my adventures from 1/3-1/13 in León Nicaragua. Visit our blog: