This week I got a flu shot

From what I hear, it's flu season. This year I got a flu shot and getting the shot wasn't all that bad. That's a big statement coming from a girl who, on many occassions, has been told by nurses, "you need to relax."

In 7th grade, a new requirement was passed by the state health department: all kids entering middle school had to have their MMR shots renewed and for convenience, a health clinic would come to the school and provide the shots. I remember bringing the note home to mom, while she read it I asked, "Does this mean I have to get a shot?" "Looks like it, she replied." I hadn't set foot in a doctors' office since kindergarten and my memories about that visit weren't so good.

I went with my older brother to our pediatrician's office. He had to get shots to play high school football, I had to get them to enter kindergarten. "Don't worry," he assured me, "it doesn't even hurt. I'll get my shots first and you can watch me, it will be painless." I believed him and eagerly watched as the nurse rubbed his arm with alcohol and placed the needle in his deltoid. He calmly said, "Gee, that doesn't even hurt. In fact, that feels good." But his face did not match his words and he winced as the nurse pushed in the shot stopper. If my tough older brother winced, how could I handle such a thing? I was terrified and at that moment I began to cry. Through many tears, the nurse managed to get the shot done. I left the office with a puffy, sad, face, but luckily, I thought, I'll never had to do that horrifying thing again.

But now I was in 7th grade, and I did have to do it again. I walked up to the nurses station, hands trembling, heart thumping. The stress was really killing me. I pulled up my sleeve and winced prematurely. The nurse grabbed my wrist, "We can't give you a shot if you don't relax." My friends were in line behind me, everyone was watching, they all knew my fear. So I suck it up and got the shot. It wasn't all that bad.

So when I got the flu shot for this season, I told myself it wouldn't be all that bad. I told myself it wouldn't even hurt. Heck, it might even feel good to know I was lessening the risks of getting the flu this season. I pulled up my sleeve and winced as the nurse pushed in the shot stopper. The nurse didn't even have to tell me to relax.


Signage II

About a year ago, I posted a witty statement that was published on a church marquee near my house. Now it's that time again. Time to share another one of this marquee's statements. I must admit, I look forward to driving past the place, just to catch a glimpse of the message. Here's this week's:

What's missing?

You've got to be quick to be on this marquee committee.


Man's Search for Meaning: A Review

What's this book about anyway? Right? If we haven't read the book, we've certainly heard about it. Is it religious? Is is like a Doctor Phil book written in the 1940s? Can I get through the 150+ pages without falling asleep?

Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who survived the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. Before he entered the camp, his work on logotherapy had already begun. While in the camp, his research for logotherapy continued. And when he was freed, he shared his theory of logotherapy with the psychologic community. In short, logotherapy is man's search for meaning. Frankl argues that when individuals find meaning in their lives their tendency toward certain negative behaviors can be alleviated if not cured. He gives several examples of how, within and without concentration camps, this finding of a purpose serves as the means to survival. While he concedes that a finding of a meaning is not a "cure all", he has found that it is a "cure many" and that finding a meaning makes life for an individual better.

One of my favorite paragraphs speaks of love. He explains that while in the camp, he would often have conversations with his wife in his head. What would she say? How would her face appear in reaction to an answer? What kind of questions would she have? During the course of this imaginary conversation, he'd finish a hard day of work with cold, swelling feet, hardly noticing the horrible situation he was really in. He states:
"...my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminious than the sun which was beginning to rise...A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire...The salvation of man is through love and in love."

Is love like that for you? I hope.


The Joy Luck Club Book Review

I've heard that this book was "really good" for several years, but only just got around to reading it. While I found it to be good, I wouldn't say really good. Yes, the story telling was superb as the cultural divide between mothers (who had lived in China and immigrated to the United States) and their daughters (who had grown up Chinese-American) was explicated. However, I couldn't help but be disappointed in the lives of the daughters in the stories. While the mothers battled through massive trials and great humility, the daughters tended to be a little mean-spirited and their adult lives were filled with empty accomplishments and incomplete goals. This book certainly does provide intriguing stories, interesting cultural observations, and a poignant ending. I guess I just wish there was more of a hope or happiness mixed among it all.


I tried to read Pride & Prejudice

But when I tried, I found that it was so similar to the movies I've seen, I couldn't go on. I'm one of those people who, if I already know the story, I can't read the book. I also can't read books more than once, even if I forget them, because as soon as I get into the book, my memory tends to work again and I remember everything. I'll give P&P another try, maybe I just need a bit more time between seeing the movie and trying to read the book. Is there a Jane Austen movie that hasn't been made into a movie? If so, this would be the book for me!