Episode 76: Once a month


Today’s segments include: drafting, fully drafted, lit review, five favorite things, and noteworthy. Pull out your knitting and let’s knit together!

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Must Stash Yarns Perfect Sock colorway Dark Side of the Moon on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

Newton socks by Cookie A in Hazel Knits artisan colorway Braeburn on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular. SKA November Flora challenge.

Solfar socks by Cookie A in Plucky Knitter primo colorway Vintage Ice Box on size 1/2.25mm hiya hiya sharp circular. SKA December “S” challenge.

Fully Drafted:

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Fibernymph dyeworks bounce colorway Soft Kitty on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

Lit Review: What I’ve Read, What I’m Reading, and What’s up next!

What I’ve Read:
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
This book has quickly risen as one of my top ten books of all time. The basic premise is that a flu strain has wiped out most of human life on earth. The book takes place both before and after the plague, and not in chronological order, yet the story was never really confusing to me. The book’s central storyline focuses on a traveling troupe of Shakespeare performers in the post-apocalyptic world. I won’t tell you much more about the story, but has many qualities I love in a book–literary references (Shakespeare and also a graphic novel series called Station Eleven), knitting references (scattered throughout, several characters knit), post-apocalyptic disease scenarios (unlike Walking Dead, this is a post-apocalyptic world that I could survive in)–all combined with absolutely beautiful writing.

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
I will just discuss the first essay–“The Empathy Exams”

This essay evoked a lot of feeling in me. I like that it is a combination of essay genres–a definition essay defining empathy, and a lyric essay–fragmented, broken, as Jamison’s experiences of being an actor, writer, and patient evoke. I relate to this fragmented experience of medicine. I’ve felt this way before. I’ve written about this before.

The behavior of doctors never seems to satisfy the needs we have as patients. We want them to be mechanical in a way–perfect–so they don’t mess up our medical care. And we want them to be empathetic, to care about how we feel, to make us feel listened to and valued as human beings. We want them to objectify us, and we hate when they objectify us. I know that feeling.

Jamison uses language carefully here, and thus successfully evokes a lot of feeling in her readers. Even though I have not had the exact medical experiences she has had, I feel what she feels as she feels it in this essay. She defines empathy meticulously, and seemingly concludes that empathy is not exactly what she wants as a patient. She wants something more than that, someone to feel what she feels as she feels it, so she doesn’t have to feel it alone. Ultimately, the conclusion of this essay is that she is alone in her pain and in her physical body, but that she isn’t alone in her life. Dave (her lover) makes the choice to be with her, and both of their hearts are beating. That’s probably the miracle of the thing.

I like the ending, I like the way she uses this script of the patient to describe herself in real life. I like the whole essay actually. I find myself wondering after one read if I understand empathy more by reading–putting myself in the writer’s situation? I think the acts of reading and writing must be empathetic in nature. As an English professor, I like that thought very much.

What I’m Reading:
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien on audio (for book club)
Walking Dead Volumes 19-22 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn on paper
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness on kindle

What’s up next:
Red Rising by Pierce Brown on audio (I’m hoping for our Christmas drive)
A slew of graphic novels for over the break–Shoplifter, Seconds, Saga
The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore for my postal book club
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness on kindle

Five Favorite Things:

1. Into the Whirled fiber
2. yarn bomb with knitting club
3. Hearthstone gnomes vs goblins expansion
4. New board games from BGG con: Dead of Winter, Concordia, Caverna, and Alchemists
5. Alana and BGG con!


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November drawing

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