Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

 About a year ago, I read about Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the Southern United States. There is a movie about her, which I couldn’t source, but I remember thinking what a fantastic story it would be to read.

Recently, I had the opportunity to read just such a story, except this one is set in a high school, and is fictional (but historically accurate).

Lies We Tell Ourselves is the story of ten black students who are the first to attend a top-notch all-white school in Virginia. It starts on their first day at the new school, being taunted and spat at and not at all very well-protected by their police escort. Continue reading “Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley”

Positive Hospital: Public is not the Devil

During my second year, I almost lost my thumb due to an unfortunate oatmeal incident (yes, really). Because I have medical aid, my friends rushed me to the nearest private hospital, a fifteen minute drive. Upon arrival, the hospital would not accept my completely legit medical aid number: they insisted on having the card. Which I had forgotten. They refused to tend to my wound unless I paid upfront.

Eventually my wound was taken care of. I was lucky not to have any apparent nerve damage, because I definitely could not pay for microsurgery up front, and medical aid clearance would take a while. Only later, when I had my sutures and pain killers, did I wonder why I had not simply walked across to the training hospital: a ten minute walk, a two minute drive. Why didn’t I? Because it is a public hospital, that’s why.

My recent post about public hospitals was factually accurate, but may have lacked some context to new readers. I hope to provide some of that here.86e6e-medicalmondaybutton Continue reading “Positive Hospital: Public is not the Devil”

Mind the Gap: Protest State of Mind

17 September was the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street – the beginning of a movement.

I find celebrating the anniversary of a protest weird. I live in South Africa. We have protests practically every day. In the Struggle against Apartheid, opposition movements encouraged citizens to “make this country ungovernable”. And though Apartheid fell, the mindset stuck.

Continue reading “Mind the Gap: Protest State of Mind”

TTT: Books to Movies

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is a little counter-intuitive for me. My first love was, and will always be, books. I always watch movies based on books, but I am more often than not disappointed. It’s great that non-readers get to enjoy these stories too, but often they don’t get the deeper meaning of the characters or the storyline. But it is an honour for the author, so here goes my top ten books I’d like to see made into a movie.

Continue reading “TTT: Books to Movies”

Doctors: Guardians of Human Rights

Today is Human Rights Day in South Africa, in memory of the Sharpeville Massacre and the many other human rights violations in this country’s history.

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee reported that “[h]ealth practitioners […] have a unique responsibility in society, as healers, to understand and alleviate causes of human suffering, and to promote health.” This being the larger, holistic sense of health.

Continue reading “Doctors: Guardians of Human Rights”