Winner Linda Nichols Joseph Award- 2021
Winner Thomas Matthew Magness Graduate Memorial Fund -2022
Exciting news to share KLAA 830AM on your radio dial Tammy Trujillo of Community Cares interviewed me about my podcast The Last Thing I Wi...
Winner Linda Nichols Joseph Award- 2021
Winner Thomas Matthew Magness Graduate Memorial Fund -2022
Edited by Natalie M. Dorfeld
Copy edited by Karen P. Peirce. Designed by Mike Palmquist.
This edited collection, the first in the Practices & Possibilities series to be published in its Voices from the Field section, offers a rich set of narratives by writing instructors who are serving or have worked in contingent positions. Intended for anyone considering a career in the humanities, The Invisible Professor seeks to reach individuals in three phases of their careers: those thinking of entering the profession, those knee-deep in it and looking for ways to improve conditions, and those who have vacated academic positions for more humane alternative tracks.
As academia comes to a crossroads, with a disheartening shift towards a more disposable business model, multiple solutions are desperately needed. Faculty members in contingent positions are the new faculty majority on college campuses, and they are most likely the first professors students will meet. They deserve respect and a livable wage.
Love these Professors who are fabulous teachers and scholars and dear friends!!
My colleague Professor Mary Marca, MFA (from CSUN) publishes much of her wonderful work --short stories that she publishes quite often--enough to make me jealous on her website Mary McCann Marca, Writer
along with her blog musings the link is on her website. I am recommending this as a wonderful read!
I published this poem back in 1991---how little I knew that much of it would remain so relevant in my life-still.
Thank you Bombshelter Press and Jack Grapes for your classes and your wisdom so long ago.
Spending a couple summers together at University of Cumbria- Lancaster, Julie Staun, and I shared rooms in the residence halls at University Cumbria - Lancaster with fellow students [some much younger than ourselves]. We enjoyed attending classes together, shopping for meals together, grabbing tea before and after class together. All the while forging ahead to obtain our PhD's while away from home, she from Denmark [albeit Julie was born in the UK], myself from Los Angeles.
Julie was awarded her doctorate at the age of 76 (mine came at the age of 63). Julie just became an Honorary Fellow at the Univ of Cumbria in recognition of her lifelong service in the field Occupational Health. This after being awarded an OBE in 2015.
So proud of this brilliant woman and loved sharing some/many glasses of wine together on those long nights of study on campus on chilly Lancaster, Lancashire nights.
Watch her give her acceptance speech at 52 minutes in on the above link of the graduation ceremony. If she had lived here in Hollywood she would be running a movie studio and doing it with a passion and power as her life of service in the field of occupational health nursing all over the world shows. Love this woman! A force to be reckoned with.
Dracarys Baby this gal is on fire!
It was with much joy that I was invited to share in CSUN Honors Student, Janice Hill (currently in our MA in English program) receiving her University Academic Honors medallion at the CSUN yesterday 5/14/2022. Janice was my student for three semesters and was always an amazing achiever! Excellence was the only thing that she accepted and she truly earned this award of magna cum laude. BRAVO Janice and well done. It was also a pleasure to meet your parents.
CSUN HONORS CONVOCATION:
Honors Convocation is designed to celebrate a select group of students on the basis of Scholastic or Personal Achievement. Honorees will have received an email invitation as well as a physical invitation which will arrive by US postal around the same time. The ceremony typically lasts about an hour where students are awarded with an Honors Convocation Medallion.
My 11-Year-Old Patient Was Pregnant. Here's What I Want You To Know About Being 'Pro-Life.'
"Our medical assistant came to me, panicked, and handed me a positive test. ... 'Run it again,' I sputtered — to buy some time and gather my wits and hope by some miracle it would produce a different result."
Read in HuffPost: https://apple.news/AUklB3OB9T_ad2wY0PxI7Rw
One morning this past December, I woke up early to listen to judges with lifetime appointments question lawyers in a process that may ultimately rob people of their reproductive freedom. And week after week since then, I continue to hear judges and lawyers and politicians speak on issues they have no business speaking on ― as far away from people and their real lives as voices from another planet.
During these moments, I think of a little girl in an exam room I met many years ago.
She was my patient. She was 11.
We will call her Sophia.
She was quiet and soft-spoken — a par-for-the-course, awkward adolescent who was uncomfortable interacting with an adult. She answered my questions with one-word responses and didn’t quite know where to look.
When I left the room, I heard the booming voice in my head of an ER doctor who had trained me: “Don’t be the ass who doesn’t order the pregnancy test.” This was one of her clinical teaching pearls: Many young docs will order the blood tests, the ultrasound, the CT scans, but skip the most obvious, most basic test and spend tens of thousands of dollars to work up a patient when the “diagnosis” is actually pregnancy.
Hence, don’t be the ass who doesn’t order the pregnancy test. So I ordered it.
A few minutes later, our medical assistant came to me, panicked, and handed me a positive test. “Run it again,” I asked her, agape. She ran it again. Positive. “Run it again,” I sputtered — to buy some time and gather my wits and hope by some miracle it would produce a different result. Positive.
She was my patient. She was 11. She was pregnant.
I sat Sophia’s mom down in another room and quietly explained to her that the pregnancy test came back positive.
She didn’t understand.
I had to repeat myself multiple times in various ways for her to comprehend that Sophia was pregnant. Shock, tears, a cellphone call. Soon a breathless dad showed up, followed by a somber family priest, and then the cops. I remember the adults weeping in a prayer circle in a separate room and the feeling of watching a nightmare unfold, and I had to remind myself that, sometimes, the job is bearing witness to the worst day of someone’s life.
I tried in vain to coax the truth of what happened out of Sophia, sitting next to her with a large anatomy atlas flipped open in my lap. She said nothing. I was thankful there was a female police officer that was among the throng at the clinic. It was this officer, when permitted to speak with Sophia, who discovered the identity of the family member that did this awful, unspeakable thing to her. And when the cops left to arrest that relative, they headed to church, because the perpetrator was at choir practice.
I recall my focus ― my clear understanding that my only job was to ensure that I was there to protect my patient. That whatever happened, my job was to make sure that at every moment, Sophia was centered, and her mental and physical health were the priority. To make sure that she could find her way, in the midst of this trauma and unspeakable crime, and that her precious life was protected.
And part of that included a pregnancy termination. We would make certain she had access to it and was able to get it immediately.
There was no question that Sophia’s life mattered and it mattering meant that she would not be forced to give birth at age 11.
And she wasn’t.
I think about Sophia all the time, especially these days. I think about all the Sophias in clinics like mine, as abortion protections are struck down in state after state ― protections falling like wicked dominoes. I think about the words “except in cases of the life of the mother.” The choice made that evening of the awful revelation was for the life of the mother. A mother that should have never been and thankfully wasn’t.
And though it might be easier to build consensus around abortion access for an 11-year-old raped by a family member, the truth is that nobody, anywhere, under any circumstance or in any situation should be forced to give birth. Forced birth should never be a reality.
Sophia is in her 20s now. I wonder how she has healed, how she has processed that trauma. Did she get to go to college? Has she been able to trust an intimate partner? Has she been pregnant on her own terms at the time of her choosing? Does she have a child? I can see her wide face and her soft smile in my mind’s eye and I know now, just as I knew then, that the decision to terminate Sophia’s pregnancy, supported by the ones who loved her the most, was a pro-life decision.
One of the things my mind conjures up from that horrible day is the feeling that the clinic was crowded. There was Sophia, her mom, then her dad and the priest, and later the cops. There was the crying and the praying and the disbelieving and the believing. I remember how small Sophia looked. Her small face and her small hands and her small hips and how this big, awful thing could happen to someone so small took the wind out of the place.
I remember how tiny that clinic room felt. There was no room for politicians signing evil bills flanked by child props as old as Sophia, no room for Supreme Court justices who claim to value life while wondering aloud how pregnancy can be an undue burden. No room for those extraneous, unnecessary, useless others in that most intimate of spaces. Our clinic rooms will always be too small for anybody but providers and our patients.
And we will fight for this sacred space, fight for it to be free of cynical politicians and their divisive games. They have never been invited in and we are not about to sit back or stand by while they force their way in.
Note: Names and specific details have been changed to protect the privacy and safety of individuals mentioned in this essay.
Dipti S. Barot is a primary care doctor and freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow her on Twitter at @diptisbarot.
auntlute We love seeing the reach Borderlands/La Frontera has had in the world! Linda Rader Overman cited Gloria Anzaldúa's work in their thesis. Have you used any Aunt Lute books in your work? Let us know! We'd love to share.
love seeing the reach Borderlands/La Frontera has had in the world!
Linda Rader Overman cited Gloria Anzaldúa's work in their thesis. Have
you used any Aunt Lute books in your work? Let us know! We'd love to
Linda Overman also shared some words on Anzaldua's influence in her work:
"Watching Gloria Anzaldua speak to a large audience of many hundreds at California State University, Northridge cemented the value of her brilliant Borderlands/La Frontera for me. This must have been around 1999/2000 or 2001 (I am not certain) but I was riveted by the power of this tiny woman. She spoke with such authority about una herida abierta, that wound that exists of being caught between two cultures.
I felt a similar wound that day--as I am Mexican on my mother's side and Caucasian on my dad's side. Similar to the conflict of physical and psychological borders Anzaldua spoke of with its furious features of hatred and anger --drove my parents to divorce as they were never able to straddle either.
The power of that wound drove me to complete my first Master's thesis Weaving the Fabric of Myself with a similar fury. Anzaldua talked about the work she was endeavoring to weave into her own PhD work as I recall. She showed slides of her imagery expounding on this work. She apologized about not being a great artist as the images looked like little stick figures. That did not matter however. Her impact gave me the incentive to weave my thesis with a collection of threads that made up the entire fabric of my life as the geography of Anzaldua's life cemented the strength of her own hybrid existence. I am forever grateful."
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