14 April 2009

you're a skylark with your head up in the clouds.

I recently read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Call me heartless, but I
really liked it. Maybe it's because I've spent the last 18 months as
a spectacle, but I really identified with the notion that "not a
single second of my life belongs to anyone else." And I don't think
she's arguing for "selfishness" in the sense of overtly hurting others
in the pursuit of your own happiness. Her point isn't that you
shouldn't care about or help others. It's that you should do
something because it make you happy, because you're good at it,
because you want to - not because others will be impressed with the
selflessness or nobility of the act (and honestly, isn't that more
selfish than not caring what others think of you?). If others are
helped along the way, that's great. But live for yourself.
"Selfishness" in the sense that you shouldn't sacrifice your own
happiness for the admiration of others. I also read David Sedaris' Me
Talk Pretty One Day and almost soiled myself, especially during the
story mentioning the town of Mojo, Ethiopia. Small world.

On that note, it's been a rough week. My CSW herb garden imploded on
Friday when the women realized that the grant would be used to start
the business, not distributed as cash to the group. They're not
interested in starting a new business, they just wanted money. I'm
trying to recruit a group of people with HIV so it doesn't have to be
a complete wash, especially since Bekelech, the woman who initially
proposed the idea, is doing this for free and I want to encourage
volunteerism in all forms here. Ran into a similar problem with a
group of high school teachers who want to start a program to help
female students with extra tutoring (75% of female university students
flunk out in their first year), but only if they can be paid. The
program entails an extra hour or two per week of specialized classes,
meaning each teacher would have to donate an hour of their time. No
one's interested without payment. That night, a power surge fried my
computer power cord. All in all, not my best 24 hours.

But life is looking up - Easter was a delicious feast of lasagna,
hummus, and apple crisp (perhaps not Easter-y, but American/British,
and that was the point), where I tried eggnog for the first time
(without contracting salmonella, which is impressive). I'm now
wondering where it's been all my life. The HS teachers are
developing a way to make the tutorial program sustainable - some sort
of income generation done by the students to pay the teachers since
volunteering is so distasteful to everyone. They do have a point - if
it's not free, students are more likely to take it seriously. Trying
to look on the sunny side...

Photos of Zecharias, my newest family member!

(see last post)
-Man deodorant (sheer roll-on)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. Hope you are doing well.