Why Some Benefit and Others Suffer

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“We’ll go around the table,” he says, “and I’d like you to tell me why you’re here.” My fellow interns cite their reasons as having relatives in law and politics, and a passion for politics or a political ideology or a commitment to advance a specific public policy. Then the circle reaches me. I think of Rosie, of the money I tuck away to send her every month, of how I’ll never give up trying to rescue her. Then I share my reason for why I’m pursuing this career. “Politics is the allocation of resources,” I tell Professor Chartock. “I want to know who allocates the resources and why some people benefit from them while others suffer.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Truth Will End It

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I remember a verse I once spotted that Julia had highlighted in her Bible: The truth will set you free. I’ve never been able to forget those words. Even when it hurts, it’s more empowering to know the truth than to stay blind to it. Once I know the truth—and once Paul knows the truth—I’ll be finished. In my life I’ve found that you can’t let something go until it’s really over and it’s never really over until you learn the truth.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Pity and Sympathy

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Pity and sympathy were such a waste. I’d been held in the hand of God. Her light was cast on everything now. I saw beauty everywhere, felt beauty everywhere. I was happier and more alive than I had ever been.

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

From the Introduction:We invite you to join us at the Shame Prom—a place where we wear our ugly dresses, then shed them. Where we parade our shame in public, dance it around on our arm, and take awkward pictures with it. But afterward, we’re not going to roll around in the backseat making out with it. This time, we’re breaking up with Shame and driving off into the sunset, stronger in knowing that we are connected at the deepest, most human level. So put on your tiaras, people. Let’s get this party started.”

Foster Kid Education

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The only thing that will get you out of your situation is to stay in school, Regina. I remember Ms. Van Dover’s words, so I perform well on Mrs. Young’s tests and participate not like my life depends on it, but because my life depends on it. I keep to myself during free time so that none of my classmates will ever ask to come to my house. When Mrs. Young sees me reading at recess, she gives me work sheets to practice long division and encourages me to take a stab at the challenge questions in our science books. The more work I have, the safer I feel.”

“I know you’re a foster kid,” Mr. Kelly says after class one day, “but don’t believe what anyone else tells you. There is a way out of your situation: It’s through continuing your education past high school.” Then they both co-opt my guidance counselor to get in on the cause. I feel torn for Camille’s sake. She also wants to go to college, but her senior class guidance counselor told her at the beginning of the year not to bother trying to get into the Fashion Institute of Technology, her dream school. “Concentrate on getting married and having babies,” her counselor told her.”

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Shame and Human Drama

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I sometimes wonder if shame is the ultimate human drama, a kind of inner theater offering neither intermissions nor emergency exits. It can arrive from an exterior force, making us feel debased and defenseless, or emanate from within, when we know we have done something unethical, illegal, or mean-spirited.

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

From the Introduction:We invite you to join us at the Shame Prom—a place where we wear our ugly dresses, then shed them. Where we parade our shame in public, dance it around on our arm, and take awkward pictures with it. But afterward, we’re not going to roll around in the backseat making out with it. This time, we’re breaking up with Shame and driving off into the sunset, stronger in knowing that we are connected at the deepest, most human level. So put on your tiaras, people. Let’s get this party started.”

Life and Bad Decisions

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Doing unrectifiable, stupid things is universal and shouldn’t stop one from moving forward in life.

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

From the Introduction:We invite you to join us at the Shame Prom—a place where we wear our ugly dresses, then shed them. Where we parade our shame in public, dance it around on our arm, and take awkward pictures with it. But afterward, we’re not going to roll around in the backseat making out with it. This time, we’re breaking up with Shame and driving off into the sunset, stronger in knowing that we are connected at the deepest, most human level. So put on your tiaras, people. Let’s get this party started.”

Grandma’s Cabin

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Clara. I have always loved her name. There is a crisp elegance about it, and yet a softness, too. And that is exactly what she was likeTo us, however, she was always “Grogey,” the name with which my older sister Nancy christened her as a toddler.

Little did I know, looking back now more than a half century later, what our cherished time together at the cabin would mean to me. Through her quiet manner and simple acts of love, Clara instilled in me the wonder of wild birdsong, the thrill of independence, the gift of trust, the joy of simplicity, the imagination that is born of solitude, and the calm that comes with routine.

Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts by Marnie O. Mamminga

Vulnerability Costs

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“When you’re a kid with no one to protect you, everything comes with a price.”

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Horton hears a Heil

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“These cartoons rail against isolationism, racism, and antisemitism with a conviction and fervor lacking in most other American editorial pages of the period. These are virtually the only editorial cartoons outside the communist and black press that decried the military’s Jim Crow policies and Charles Lindbergh’s antisemitism. Dr. Seuss said that he “had no great causes or interest in social issues until Hitler,” and explained that “PM was against people who pushed other people around. I liked that.””

“…rescued from the newsprint where they moldered unseen for over half a century, the cartoons let us know what happens when Horton Hears a Heil.”

-Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Richard H. Minear, Dr. Seuss

 

The Best Goodbyes

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Perhaps that is the best way to leave the woods: to never have to knowingly say good-bye to the lake and forest forever.

Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts by Marnie O. Mamminga