Monday, June 30, 2008

We have summer reading! Again! As BH, who is in math grad school (taking classes like "topological algebra" and "partial semi-differential hand-waving") said when I told her: "Buh?"

Last year's summer reading was on The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a rather sad story of cultural clashes. It frustrated me no end, which I suppose was the point. We were supposed to discuss in small group but never actually got around to it, so my understanding of cultural competence, $60k later, is not really much better than what it was around this time last year. (I do, however, have a much better understanding of rotation of the gut, for what it's worth. Everyone has situs inversus.)

This year's summer reading is Mountain Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder's biography of Paul Farmer. I'm holding off judgment until I actually receive it (could be a while, given the Fourth of July shipping delays), but it should be an interesting read, if nothing else. I'd like to do international work eventually, and Dr. Farmer's kind of a Big Deal in the global health arena. It is gratifying to see that idealism can actually work.


G said...

How are you liking it? I picked it up randomly earlier this year and finished about one-third before I had to return it to the library. I found it compelling but uncomfortable since I'm probably one of those people that lives in a 1st World alternate reality where poor and suffering people don't exist.

The Scrivener said...

I like it, though it's been pushed aside in favor of The Cider House Rules. Good call on the "first world alternate reality," though -- I think we all live there, sometimes.