The Phone Call

I can remember sitting in a college class devoted to the study of Shakespeare. For weeks, we read the numbered sonnets, dissecting every image and metaphor crammed into each fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter. When we finished, the professor calmly closed his textbook and said in his matter-of-fact way, “Basically, Shakespeare wrote these as a study of time.” I’m not sure why I remembered that so many years later, but it serves as a reminder that time certainly is of universal importance, particularly if you wonder if yours is limited….Or if you have to wait for something. I certainly have come to understand how the medical establishment works. The best doctors have the heaviest


For much of my life, I was in a classroom. First, I was a student and then a teacher, so the word “test” makes me sit up straight and pay attention. I do so love to make that A, to get the gold star glued to the top of my paper. And the PET scan that I had today is the ultimate high-stakes test, the SAT of healthcare. Last year, I failed. So yeah, I was nervous. In fact, I had a bad case of “scanxiety.” Trust me, it is a word, whispered among those of us who share this kind of a diagnosis. I’m thinking that I could probably glow in the dark after the many times I have gone to lie on the various tables, my body slowly fed through the tube that examines my insides, recording the images for all

Mr. Google Isn't Always my Friend

I am about to date myself here, but I am willing to do it to prove a point. I grew up in a simpler time, well before the techno beast took its place front and center in our lives, before a multitude of information was readily displayed with a simple keystroke. I am old enough to remember when a mouse was something you trapped with a bit of cheese, an unwelcomed intruder that made us jump on chairs and shriek with fear. The connotation of the word has been influenced by its more prevalent use, like surfing, which is no longer just done on a board in the water. And call me old fashioned, but I like milk with my cookies. Let’s face it: the world has changed and so have we. Yes, I know, it is co

The $100 Lesson

The ancient Greeks believed that their gods whiled away the hours by watching the lives of mere mortals on earth. And occasionally, just on a whim, a particular deity would travel down from Mount Olympus and knock on the door of some poor unsuspecting human. The idea was to pose a challenge. How would the stranger be received? Would the visitor meet with kindness and hospitality or distain and disregard? Often, consequences or rewards rested in the outcome, which made folks pay close attention, as they listened to shared stories of meetings with celestial beings. Of course, these myths were designed to teach compassion for one’s fellow man. And I sometimes wonder if we, too, are given simil

The Baby Picture

I used to tell my students that they should keep a photo of themselves as a baby displayed on their nightstand, dresser, or other prominent place. The statement always managed to garner some strange looks, which, in my case, wasn’t unusual. But once I went on to explain my reasoning, most of them understood. And agreed. You see, it is virtually impossible to look at the sweet, angelic face of an infant and feel anything other than happy thoughts. There is no denying that a baby is precious. We are overwhelmed by the need to entertain and delight the child, and, certainly, to provide comfort, a sense of security. Would we ever consider uttering harsh words or criticism as we interacted with

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