As we slide from spring to summer in this scary season of uncertainty, I find myself thinking a lot about Horticultural Time. As a society, we are very used to living by Clock Time: the agreed upon measurements that break up our days, our weeks, our months.
We know this is our third month of social isolation, we know we have to be at that Zoom meeting at 3pm, that on Monday it will be June, and that if we stay up past a certain hour it’ll make tomorrow morning tough. These are all important things to know. These are facts based on Clock Time.
Every year, I try to find my “word of the year”. It is a ritual that helps me to maintain focus, build resiliency, and find my path forward. In years past, my words have included: intention, curiosity, boundaries, and balance. Each of these words have become so incorporated into my being, my practice, and my perspective that every decision I make is rooted in these concepts.
As a writing major in college (with a minor in being an idiot) I Googled many things about grammar, but there was one brain-buster I often went back to: What’s the difference between “affect” and “effect”? Thanks to this Grammar Girl article I finally overcame my idiocy and mastered what I eventually came to understand, is a simple difference .
Every semester I hold a special class for my students. It’s special because it’s not about business, it’s about life. It’s about taking a moment to talk about something more important than management, accounting, marketing, logistics, and ethics, it’s a class about them. I teach in the college of business where I spend the majority of my classes teaching my kids the language of commerce and how to create a venture from nothing more than an idea. One day each semester I devote entirely to them. I metaphorically hold a mirror up to them and ask them to gaze into it deeply and study the person on the other side of the glass.
Reese, a 17 year old female high school student, came out to her friends and family as bisexual a couple of years ago. Most of her family told her it was “just a phase” and now her friends ask her, “Are you sure you’re bisexual?” and “Are you still bisexual, you haven’t dated any girls?” These questions may seem innocent and inquisitive, but they dismiss Reese’s feelings and her friends are essentially telling her that doesn’t know herself. These questions and comments are microaggressions, intentional or unintentional insults, slights and/or derogatory questions and comments at target marginalized groups of people; in this case LGBTQ people.
The #MeToo campaign, Women’s Marches and the current news cycles are flooded with women pushing back on the patriarchy and controls placed on women. Women’s bodies are being controlled, not wholly by themselves, but by pharmaceutical companies, doctors, the media, and insurance companies. What is considered normal and natural during menstruation is determined by the family care doctor, OBGYN, or fertility specialist who learns about medications to treat symptoms defined as problems by the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies then go on to promote these drugs — life enhancers — in the media and through a focused campaign to get the medical community to prescribe them. Little did the American public realize that menstruation has become a multi-billion dollar a year business.