Friday, December 10, 2010

Rising to the Occasion

I didn't rise to the occasion as one of my colleagues suggested I do when I told her about my anxiety around wearing the mask during my leadership seminars. I didn't hold my head up high, either. I sat in the back of the room, silenced, tears of rage dripping down onto my neck. My emotions got the better of me (another cliche), and I silently fumed at the ridiculousness  of the policy. I thought about how much I despise the western medical world sometimes. I thought about how stupid it is for me to do so much in the medical world, especially given the extraordinary circumstances in which I live. I thought about exiting -- the whole thing. Retiring from this work, burying myself in my own family, in my own community, reading and writing.

I didn't rise to the occasion because on some level I actually don't believe in the occasion.

I'm sick of it. And now I have a mask that symbolically and literally shuts me up.


  1. Damn it. Sympathetic tears of rage in my eyes.
    I hope you don't quit. This seems so perfect in many ways. But I'm sure you are the best judge of that.

  2. Do you have anyone there to talk to? Anyone you can feel comfortable with? I can feel your misery from here and my heart is breaking for you.

  3. oh, Elizabeth.

    I am not one to look to for help in this. I get disgruntled and cynical about most things.

  4. I don't know, I think you look kinda cute ...

    Learn, teach, participate, and try to figure out how to use the experience.

    Hey, let us know how the TSA reacts to the mask!

  5. It IS a ridiculous policy, and I'm seething about it. Sending a big hug your way...

  6. I would have been sitting next to you with my own mask trying to get you to chuckle - because just reading this makes me a little teary.
    I would feel exactly the same way: marginalized and teary.

    I am so sorry you had to go through this. I am glad you have a blog for an outlet. xo

  7. So is the mask to protect you, or your vaccinated classmates? Classmates who are presumably protected by their vaccinations.

    For the record, I am pro vaccination though. I get vaccinated as a nurse, as a caregiver of an elderly woman (my mother) and a caregiver of Katie. Katie gets vaccinated because one winter she was sick for eleven weeks. After that we started get her flu shots and she almost never gets sick, thank goodness.

  8. Please help me out here. The rest have been vaccinated against some kind of pestilence or another, so one must assume that they are safe from any form of said pestilence.

    Are you then wearing a mask to protect yourself? Why? This is as confusing as my adopted grandbaby being denied a prize because he was supposed to read 3 books during the summer and he read 20. When Lori told me I nearly flew to Maryland myself to have a tête-à-tête with those people.

    I am sorry, I still don't understand the mask affair. Do you?
    Whatever you do, don't quit. Beat them at their own game. Have them put in writing the reason for the mask. Then we make it go viral and let's see where that goes. I mean it. I know you know that.

    Hang in there girl,

  9. Be proud of your mask. It stands for something you believe in.

  10. I'm sorry you have been made to feel like this. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that you would have to wear it in order to participate. I think it is a testament to your willingness to do ANYTHING -- to sacrifice your dignity -- to help Sophie. There is no nobler cause than that.

  11. As my 13 yr old would say, "that is so lame!" ...and... "what a bunch of hypocrites!"

  12. This reminds me of something that would happen to us in elementary school - singled out and marked for being different - and it is supposed to be for the good of others?
    The damage to your feelings makes me mad. You deserve to be held in great compassion and respect, for you are giving of yourself, and have taken your stand for all of the best reasons that you know. I suppose we must assume that "they" have done the same? But I don't like to think of you weeping silently into your mask in the back of the room. That's not what this "occasion" was about. I'm afraid I don't see "rising" as having anything to do with this "occasion." I'd better stop here and just say that I'm sending love and support to you for being YOU.

  13. Somehow I wish (this is from someone who is not anti-vax but has good reasons that one of my kids does not have any) that I could come along to one of the classes with you as a visitor, wearing an entire outfit composed of masks. One on each kneecap, elbow, and definitely one over each breast, perhaps with a few sequins. I would pretend I didn't know I was wearing the masks and behave well and ask a few intelligent questions during the time.
    One can dream.
    It's so wrong because this is the time when they could be learning from you, and instead, because of a detail of the very situation that has partly made you an articulate advocate, they must cover your mouth? It's wrong.

  14. I think I'd have angry tears, too...

  15. Nothing like having a physical symbol of your beliefs! I wish it were more dignified, though, like a pink ribbon pin or something. Maybe we can design one!



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