January 28, 2019 · 1:38 pm
I have an OBGYN exam coming up, and a deck of 836 flashcards to study for it. I review a few cards at a time during small breaks during rotations, and try to spend a couple hours every day reviewing them when I get home.
In between the cards about pregnancy and childbirth, I come across the cards for ovarian carcinoma. I read about ascites, hypercoagulability, exploratory laparotomy, and CA-125. I can’t help thinking these are very inelegant bookmarks for the story of ovarian cancer. They don’t capture the anticipation leading up to diagnostic testing, or the frustration and disappointment when results are inconclusive. They don’t explain how to make decisions about rehab and hospice care.
These flashcards are important. One day, I’ll use this knowledge to help other families understand diagnoses and treatment options. But for all their value, they never told me much about my grandmother. After all, storytelling is not their job. It’s mine. Read More →
September 15, 2018 · 4:07 pm
I’m so excited to share that the book my father and I have been working on for the last 8+ years has been published! This is a book about growing in faith and humility and learning to see others the way God sees them. It begins with my father’s struggle in school as a small boy in northern Pennsylvania, through his call to missions and the ups and downs of trying to follow that call, and ends as our family prepares to leave Kenya in 2001, after living in Maasailand for 10 years.
What I find most moving about this story, is how each experience my father shares opens his eyes to a new worldview that leaves him a different and better man. Thank you, Daddy, for your openness and vulnerability in sharing your story.
July 2, 2018 · 12:01 pm
I’m grateful for the many people and organizations that are working tirelessly to reunite separated families, and I’m grateful for President Trump’s executive order, which, though imperfect, was necessary.
Thanks to Poets Reading The News for sharing my poem, The Blood We Share. Read More →
January 15, 2018 · 12:45 pm
“Today in school we learned about Martin Luther King Jr., and how he came up with the idea that white people and black people could be together.”
This is Nati’s takeaway from a week or so of activities centered around MLK. I am happy that he’s learning about Martin Luther King Jr., but he seems to have come away with the idea that MLK single-handedly abolished discrimination based on race. Read More →
November 23, 2017 · 10:49 pm
I’m thankful to Shutterfly for sending me an email last week with pictures from 7 years ago. I’ve had a computer or two crash since then and thought I had lost most of the pictures of that fall. Read More →
October 19, 2017 · 7:30 am
“If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
When I was 6 years old, the local teacher exposed himself to me and asked me to show him my private parts. I didn’t deserve it.
When I was 8 years old, a group of schoolboys chased me into an empty classroom where their leader thrust his pelvis at me repeatedly and laughed as I perched precariously on top of one of the crumbling walls, cowering like a treed cat. I didn’t like it.
Read More →
September 27, 2017 · 8:00 am
In December of 2015, Yohannes and I went to Puerto Rico so I could interview for medical school. I had already been accepted to the school I attend now, in Pennsylvania, but I really wanted to study in Puerto Rico for the following reasons:
1. I would get to improve my Spanish
2. The kids (and Yohannes) would get to learn Spanish
3. It’s warm Read More →
August 14, 2017 · 8:31 pm
Yes, I hear you.
No need to shout.
I know you thought that you had lost your voice
Or that we had all gone deaf
When you stood on your soap box preaching
And no one stopped to say, “Amen,”
Like they used to.
Read More →
August 12, 2017 · 11:23 pm
We come upon this conversation often – once or twice for each of the many half-finished coloring books hiding in all corners of the house. Once or twice for each broken or lost crayon. Lily colors her pictures with shades of purple, green, and orange. She colors little girls and princesses and fairies with hair that is sometimes red or brown or yellow.
But then she comes to the skin, and she asks me to help her find the peach crayon. My heart catches in my chest as I help her look through the box. I see the peach crayon in the corner, but I pull out a brown one instead. “How about this one?” I ask.
Read More →
February 7, 2017 · 9:13 am
“I am still surprised when people talk about my children’s brown skin in a way that is categorical instead of descriptive. It seems unimaginable that this flesh of my flesh could be in some category that separates them from me, or in any category other than that of ‘Beautiful Human Life.'”
I adapted this article from a piece I wrote after the death of Michael Brown. Read the rest at The Mennonite.