Eating Bull …. {Great Reads}

front cover of Eating Bull by Dr. Carrie RubinI admit (as I did to author and fellow blogger, Dr. Carrie Rubin), I’m not a fiction reader. However, on the rare occasion that I take the time to find a good story and I’m hooked, I want to share it!

So, here goes….

How often do we reach for quick, convenient food? We take that right turn into the drive-thru or order the pizza, hot and fresh, delivered in a few short minutes. Easy, right?

But deadly, too? Maybe.

Carrie Rubin’s page-turning thriller suggests so.

At once – Eating Bull is educational, entertaining, factual, foreboding, grisly, and a wake-up call – taking the reader into the tangled lives of Jeremy, an obese, shy, and lonely teenager; Sue, a tough public health nurse who wants to make a difference; and Darwin, a serial killer whose acts defy our sensibilities, all while giving us a glimpse into the food industry.

While we meet a few other key characters, including Jeremy’s mom, Carrie skillfully moves the reader between the three main characters as each chapter unfolds, helping us feel and understand multiple perspectives. Hang on! We’re picking up speed toward the final chapters!

As often happens, I found myself challenged to keep the characters and details straight as the story began, often rereading a page or two to be clear on the details. So many well-written details! By mid-book, finding my pace, I settled in, fully involved with the characters, not wanting to put the book down. Until it came to Darwin.

Hyper-focused, warped, and grisly, Darwin takes the reader into a world hard to imagine; Carrie Rubin leaves no detail unaddressed. I struggled reading the Darwin chapters, wanting to fast-forward, skip the details, and hope the story would make sense when I got to the next chapter. Don’t sell yourself short! Read every word!

As the final chapters unfold, you may find yourself trying to figure out who the serial killer is (entertaining) while also reflecting on your own food and lifestyle choices (educational, informative).

Educational, entertaining, factual, foreboding, grisly, and a wake-up call, Eating Bull peels back the layers of fat in both the food industry and the lives of those impacted by it.

Well done, Dr. Carrie Rubin!  Highly recommend.

Rusty Butt….

It’s Friday and my brain has been buzzing all week… with all sorts of things. Wanted to share one this morning, before I head out the door for the ‘day gig.’   🙂

I say that with affection… I love what I do!

cover of book, Eating Bull
credit: amazon/CarrieRubin

I recently finished reading fellow blogger, medical doctor, and author Carrie Rubin’s novel, Eating Bull. It, along with a post she recently shared, along with my own food and image issues, have all been on my mind. I look forward to sharing my review of her book (highly recommend) with a little of my own story (real life) thrown in for perspective.

Until then, though, thought I’d throw a little humor out into the world for a fun Friday… a result of one of those times when I stood beside the fridge and looked at all those magnets – ‘listening’ for the words, to see what was coming out that day. (think: ouija board!)

Here’s what it was…

funny poem about needing to exercise
credit: RobinLKStudios

😉

Have a fantastic Friday!

Tell Us About Yourself: Sending an Introvert Into a Tailspin

Freaked out at the thought of having to introduce yourself to strangers?

 

Quiet Book Cover
Source: http://bit.ly/1wZT1oc

Several months ago I blogged about my BIG discovery {here}, after reading Susan Cain’s, Quiet: The Power of Introverts, last December.  What a great read!  In it, she discusses introverts in our society and society’s response to them.  She writes, “The bias against introversion leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”

 

 

 

You can see her TED Talk here:

If you’re an introvert, you know she’s singing the gospel… Now, if everyone would just get quiet and listen….!! Right?

What was particularly enlightening to me ~ other than discovering I’m really an introvert camouflaged in an extrovert’s body ~ (light bulb moment!) was to learn why my instructional style is so challenging for some of my students…. You know, the ones who are also introverts, but not masquerading as an extrovert.

These guys and gals take quiet and attentive (qualities a teacher appreciates) to a much higher level, often edging closer to a referral for what appears to be open defiance because they will refuse to participate than have to talk with peers (and/or me).  Yes, it happens!  Maybe you were one of those kids? Maybe you’re raising one?  If so, might be helpful to give your kiddos’ teachers a little insight.  *Not taught in teacher-school.

Turns out, my collaborative classroom approach overwhelms introverted kiddos ~ as probably happens in many classrooms (fellow teacher-types, take note from this slow learner!).  This was a HUGE a-ha! moment for me… during my 20th year in the classroom.  As I read her book, I found myself saying, “That explains a LOT!”

When I reflected on how some of my classes are markedly different from others, it occurred to me:

Those classes that require me to cajole students to talk to one another and/or me {and they still refuse} are the classes in which introverts rule.  They are silently in control! 

When classes resumed after winter vacation last January, I was ready! Armed with this epiphany, I greeted my 2nd period class and told them what I finally understood. Poor kids.  They were visibly relieved. It was as if you could hear them whispering, “Finally, she gets us! Took her long enough!”  😉

HUGE difference between first and second semesters, as I gave my students latitude in how they would interact with their peers (and me), balancing the need to teach effective collaboration skills with giving students a ‘comfortable, safe’ learning environment that worked for everyone.

Electronic communication turned out to be a helpful way to get introverted students to interact.  Much has been written about the interface, including this article for Time by Cain. I have seen it first-hand, having students who didn’t utter a word for an entire semester, become involved in peer and student/teacher discussions when they could interact behind the safety of a keyboard.  Win-win!

Things were much calmer for me, too.  It was nice to have one class a day in which the kids weren’t swinging from the rafters a quiet disposition was expected and appreciated by my students. I didn’t have to be ‘on stage’ to get my point across.  Now if I could just get my other classes to try out this calmer, more focused presence….  Bliss, it would be pure bliss.

I’m kidding. It would be boring as all get-out!

*Interesting side note:  My ‘introverted’ class has been period 2 for three years running. Entirely different groups of kids from year to year, yet it’s consistently 2nd period.  Wonder why?   I smell an action research project lurking in the shadows…. 

Fast-forward eleven months.

Last week, I read a blog post from doc-turned-author Carrie Rubin {here} about her own embarrassing moment with introversion, and her advice for those of us who develop trainings or meetings for others.  As a presenter/PD facilitator/instructional literacy coach, I hadn’t ever considered how introverts might feel in my sessions. But once again, it sure explained a LOT about some participants’ sudden trips to the restroom or to ‘take a call’ when introductions begin.

According to Carrie, introverts are terrified to hear “Tell us about yourself…”  Wow!  This was an eye-opener for me… but makes perfect sense.  Now, when I’m plan sessions, I’ll remember to give participants a heads-up with plenty of ‘think time’ ~ to collect their thoughts and plan their words. Thanks, Carrie!

How about you?

Introvert? Extrovert?

Incognito??

Raising one (or two, or three ….)???