Simone Biles. As I’m starting to draft this post on Tuesday night, this is the best thing I’ve read concerning Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the team final. (The Tl;dr of it is that people are horrified 25 years after the fact regarding Bela Karolyi ordering Kerri Strug to “shake it off” and vault again on her broken ankle.)
Katie Ledecky. She may not have won gold in all her events in Rio, but she had the fastest split time of every swimmer competing in the 4×200 relay. She was also swimming the 1500m race faster than some of the men at the US Swimming training camp in Hawaii, so I’m not remotely surprised that she won it.
I can’t wait to see her in the 800m freestyle final tomorrow.
Divided loyalties. There’s an Irish gymnast that is a medal contender on the pommel horse as well as an American who is also in the event final. Do I go with the ancestral homeland or the USA? Decisions, decisions!
Dispatch from a doctor. My friend Katie is a pro-life Catholic hospitalist (adding the adjectives in case people might listen better with them), and she posted the following message:
For those who aren’t aware, a “hospitalist” is a doctor who takes care of you IN THE HOSPITAL. (The red spot on her forehead is from the faceshield she wears in addition to her mask when she walks into a patient’s room.) In other words, she’s seeing scary cases coming into the hospital again. Listen to Katie. Vax up!
Break-through cases. For those who are going to cite the fact that there are still people who are vaccinated that get COVID, here’s the difference between someone who is vaccinated and someone who is unvaccinated:
“Children, Go Where I Send Thee”. I usually post a song on the church Facebook page on Sunday mornings that has something to do with the readings or Fr. Paul’s sermon. This particular song happened to be the one I posted last Sunday.
Residential school take #2. This is all hitting me hard because I used to judge speech meets in north-central Montana, and one of the teams was from Browning High School. Browning is located on the Blackfeet reservation. Most of the students are Native-American as are the coaches. The reservation looks like the ghetto of a major U.S. city because of the poverty there. It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of crime, alcohol and drug use, and poverty there given what the government has done to many Native-American tribes. The high school is beautiful, however, and the kids were amazing competitors. We got to know some of the kids and the coaches in the 3 years we judged speech meets, and I got to judge two of them AT the high school. Their team fed everyone (judges, kids, and parents) an amazing lunch (Indian tacos and blueberries), and they stocked the judges room with every kind of snack food and soda imaginable. For the awards ceremony, they had a cultural program aspect. I’m really bummed that I missed the hoop dancers one year, and they’d have an elder from the tribe doing an honor song every year. Miss Heart Butte (in her special tribal dress) would hand out the awards.
When I hear about the mass graves at the residential schools, it’s these speech and debate kids that I am envisioning. Many members of the tribe were sent away to Chemawa Indian School in Oregon among others, and I only found out about it while reading the obits in the Great Falls Tribune few months ago. While Chemawa isn’t a horrible place (at least today), I’m really wondering if some of the blight I saw on the Blackfeet reservation is due to the abuse done in some residential schools that tribal members attended.
Residential school take #3. Something that I think is meaningful was the Calgary City Council going to the Treaty 7 First Nations and asking them the city should do. The Treaty 7 leaders told them to make Canada Day an occasion to actually *TALK* about what happened so that there could be an ability to move on together as a nation. The fireworks went ahead at night, but they were in honor of the lost children instead of celebrating Canada’s confederation.
My friend Dave posted a picture of his family on Canada Day, and I was heartened to see that the flag was at half-staff per Justin Trudeau’s instructions.
One of the things I’m going to be doing is learning more about the issue in the USA as well as learning more about the tribes in my area. My church is actually reaching out to one of them to get to know them, so that is going to be part of it for me.
Heat wave. We survived the weekend where we had temperatures of 104F. We thankfully have air-conditioning, and we used all the tricks we know from not having A/C in my childhood home. We are pretty lucky because a lot of homes don’t have it, and people were having severe problems with it as a result. I think the HVAC industry is going to be jumping for a few months…
Progress. On Tuesday, I managed to tell my depression to take a flying leap, and I got my desk cleaned off as well as a corner of my room decluttered. I feel proud of myself even though it’s kind of pathetic.