Tag Archives: Worcester

No One Will be Free Until We All Are!

By Ingrid Newkirk

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Ingrid in India, making sure the working animals there are treated humanely. (Most aren’t.) PETA ADVOCATES FOR ANIMALS ON EVERY CONTINENT.

A BBC announcer recently got into trouble for using the phrase “nitty-gritty,” which some people believe harkens back to the detritus found on the floor of slave ships. Other linguistic scholars dismiss that as nonsense. Nevertheless, these days one has to tread carefully, as it’s not good enough to condemn racists: People who inadvertently cause offense must be called out, too. Fair enough.

Tracey Ullman’s “too woke to function” video pokes fun at this hypersensitivity. “Is water racist?” a horrified young man in a “woke” support group asks, only to be told that that kind of worrying can ruin any chance he has of relaxing and enjoying life.

I’m all for trying to make positive changes, but here’s something I don’t agree with. Some have said it is insensitive for PETA to mention the importance of the struggle for animal rights in the same breath as praising Martin Luther King Jr. To me, that’s as misplaced a concern as asking if water is racist.

Struggles for justice take many forms and King himself recognized that. He was even criticized by his own followers then, as PETA has been now, for involving himself in issues outside the Black civil rights movement. That doesn’t stop this animal rights group from serving vegan food at marches against racial injustice or passing the hat when a mosque or Black church is burned or its congregation attacked out of hatred. I believe, as did King, that injustice isn’t a single issue, and it is to King’s immense credit that he recognized the power of uniting the struggles against the many forms of injustice. Never being silent was his life’s work, and it is PETA’s obligation.

No one who knows PETA doubts that we oppose all exploitation, discrimination, needless violence, abuse and slaughter — all of it. Our job is to wake people up, shake people up and find creative ways to call for an overarching view, not slink into a corner and pretend that our movements are unrelated. Perhaps particularly when people are already upset with one form of injustice, that’s the time to convince, even challenge, them not to abandon those who are always on the margins.

Who you are may be important to you but should not exempt you from your role in the larger community of life. You don’t have to be Japanese to know internment camps were wrong, you don’t have to be a captive orca to protest captivity, men must fight sexism and racial injustice must be decried by people of every race. Each one of us is needed in the struggle for animal liberation, and we will not be whole human beings until we reject supremacism in all its ugly forms.

Atrocities are atrocities no matter the victim’s age, religion, identity, nationality, ethnicity, gender — or species. It is human supremacism to think that there is something sacrosanct about a woman’s experience of rape and that it’s not the same for a cow imprisoned on a dairy farm if a man shoves his hand deep inside her and inserts a long syringe. Aren’t her pain and fear just as real as a woman’s? If we turn a blind eye to heinous acts of abuse and killing that happen to those who don’t happen to be human, that is human supremacism.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke up not just for racial equality but also for women. And he also spoke up for white pacifists. Should he have shut up? If William Wilberforce, a privileged member of the landed gentry in England, had not fought to free slaves, to provide sanitation and alms for the poor of London and to stop the whipping of horses on public streets, immense suffering would have continued. Was it white savior complex, wealthy savior complex and human savior complex? No. It was because he recognized that it was all one struggle — for all the disenfranchised. Bless his big heart.

White, black, brown, yellow. Gay, straight, transgender. Muslim, Catholic, Hindu, Jew. Rat, pig, dog, human. In the end, the only relevant divide should be between those who want liberty and justice for all and those who want it only for the few they narrowly identify with.

Perhaps this year we will look deep inside ourselves and realize that what animals have, including their very lives, is theirs alone, not ours for the taking.

A Half Million Americans Dead

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and Guy

Today, February 22, 2021, we hit a milestone I thought I would never see: the COVID virus claimed its 500,000th victim in America: half a million Americans have succumbed to this pandemic since it hit our shores in February of last year.

President Biden marked the occasion with a moment of silence and some words of sympathy and encouragement to all those who have suffered the loss of one or more loved ones.
While the country mourns the continuing death toll, this administration is putting in great efforts to halt the progress of this malevolent virus. Our president and vice–president and their spouses continue to model the careful preventive behavior that will help keep many of us safe until the problems of the delivery of the approved vaccines is running more smoothly and effectively.

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❤💚💜💙💛

The race continues against this virus – as it mutates into various other forms, continuing to be a threat everywhere in the world.
Scientists and researchers in many nations have been working on effective vaccines, and it looks as though we may soon have several approved versions, which do not require 70-below-zero storage temperatures, and which may also not require a second shot to be fully effective.

As we get more and more people vaccinated, and as all the work continues at greater and greater speed, I am hopeful that soon we will have vaccines available pretty much on demand, at our local CVS, Walgreen’s, even at our supermarkets – just the way we now have our flu shots available.

But we are being constantly reminded that while we can now at last see relief on the horizon, it is much too soon to give up all precautions. There are still so many questions to be answered, and mother nature can not be rushed … So, I stil wear my double masks, wash my hands, keep my six-foot distance, and avoid crowds.

It is unfortunate that there are still those who try to profit from this pandemic, but it has been truly heart-warming to see how many citizens of all ages and backgrounds have stepped up, not only to thank those who have kept the various parts of our society going, but have gone well beyond the call of duty to give some comfort to those isolated by their illness.

I notice that many organizations have sprung up, giving all sorts of aid where needed. Most of us know enough about our neighbors to be able to see who needs food, warmth, funds to pay bills – and even when we ourselves are impacted by the effects of a teetering economy, having lost jobs when so many small businesses had to close down, many have shared what little they have left.

We are still the richest nation on earth, though our riches are very inequitably distributed. But I am hopeful now that we will regain our sense of fairness, realize that GREED is not good, and that by helping each other in these trying times, we can soon get to a point where all of us can survive comfortably – and contribute to our nation as well as we can.

🌷New from 💐Edith: “Purim is a sort of Jewish Mardi Gras …”

Purim: Fun and Games

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

We all need a time to “let our hair down,” relax and maybe temporarily obliterate the present. For millennia our various cultures have recognized that people want a sanctioned time to drink and be merry all together. So Christians have just celebrated Mardi Gras– this year a very subdued version – but usually a wild bacchanalia centered in New Orleans.

At about the same time, following the lunar calendar, Jews celebrate Purim.

I always loved the story of Esther, which, though not part of the five books of Moses, nevertheless captured our imagination: Sometime between 500 B.C. and 800 B.C. in ancient Persia, where many Jews lived scattered about the Kingdom, King Ahasuerus took as his second wife the young and beautiful Esther as his queen.

Apparently, he did not know she was Jewish. The King’s evil grand vizier, Haman, compelled the Jews to bow before him. Mordechai, Esther’s uncle, refused, and Haman set about having all Jews killed. When Mordechai heard of this, he pleaded with his niece Esther, the Queen, to get the king to rescind the order. Which he did – and had Haman executed instead.

That, without frills, is the basic story. It always appealed to me, as it is just one of the times a woman
saved her people (I grew up in France and knew all about Joan of Ark.)

Purim is a sort of Jewish Mardi Gras: It is a time when we are exhorted to free ourselves, just for that time, of our inhibitions … to drink and eat a lot, wear face masks, make noise and just “let go.”

Over the centuries the celebration has grown and resembles more and more the bacchanalias of other cultures. Naturally, there is a festive meal, and one of the favorite pastries is the famous “Hamantaschen,” the three-cornered cookie, originally containing poppy seed filling or prune filling. But now it is often available all year round, with various fruit jam fillings, such as apricot. The shape is said to originate from the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, or in another version, said to be Haman’s ears.

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Hamantaschen!💙 So tasty! photos submitted.

It is a relatively easy pastry to make – basically starting with a round pastry, putting the filling in the center, and pinching up the three sides. You can Google innumerable variations and try your hand at it, using whatever filling catches your fancy.

There are also many ideas for crafts for the children, teaching them to make a variety of noise makers or to create their own masks or costumes. The idea is to have costumes and masks and noisemakers for the evening festivities. There is also a tradition of booing and noisemaking during the service when the story of Esther is read. Whenever the name of Haman appears in the reading, everyone boos and rattles their noisemakers as loudly as possible.

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Noisemaker …

Just for that one eve, all decorum is thrown to the winds, and everyone behaves in a way opposite of the usual decorum! So, celebrate, drink some wine, make a joyful noise … and relax.

Rose’s Grace❤❤❤❤

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Grace

Photos of my first dog, Grace, a WARL rescue, back when the Woo animal rescue league had 10 kennels with 60-watt bulbs on wires hanging into them for light (before the big remodel) and dogs were “put down” after a week or so. I adopted Grace when the staffer told me: She’ll be put down at the end of the week if no one takes her.

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Rose and Grace!

❤GRACE WAS SO LOVABLE! She was found in Main South, on the streets. She was an older dog, 4+ years old. But she was a love bug: she JUST WANTED TO BE CLOSE TO ME and JUMPED UP TO LICK MY FACE about 10 times! … Never owning a dog, not yet realizing what a huge responsibility they are, my heart turned somersaults over Grace and I said with love and determination: I’LL TAKE HER!!!❤❤❤❤

🐶And so my love story with dogs began …

💙the pics: Grace looking pretty in pink (new collar). Gracie and me visiting my mom. More Grace … 25 years ago.

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❤❤❤

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– Rosalie Tirella

🇺🇸Leading in Texas! Go, AOC and Beto! America’s Future!🇺🇸

By Rosalie Tirella

The TEXAS catastrophe shows us all that Joe Biden is too old to be President of the United States.

Joe’s a good man, but he’s a shadow of what a vital, vibrant president needs to be! Now!

Joe Biden should be in Texas. Now!! On the ground! Looking at all the damage! Meeting all those poor people! Mourning with them. Giving them hope. Hands on! Brainstorming with all those recalcitrant Texas officials! People died! People froze to death … in their homes, by their cars. That little boy in the news, 11 years old, so cute in his jacket, running outside to play in the snow in his yard. Then going home…to freeze to death. An American tragedy.

Helping on the ground – like Beto O’Rourke and AOC have been doing. That is what Biden should have been doing. But he couldn’t. Too frail. Take away the cool aviator sun glasses, the tight blue jeans, the short jacket with the collar turned up thug-style and you have a fragile, frail old man with an immune system that’s pushing 80 years old. Reality can’t mesh with the public relations imagery. A facade.

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AOC: US congresswoman and future of the Democratic party.

AOC and BETO: They are YOUNG, STRONG beautiful … They saved, are saving, lives in Texas. They have been the real American political leaders during the Texas debacle. They waded into all that pain … AOC raised $3+ million for Texas Food banks and visited with the people, volunteered at the Texas food bank. To see her packing food boxes with the food bank volunteers was wonderful! BETO? All over the state! A fountain of energy and movement!

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El Paso resident Beto O’Rourke came within 3 percentage points of unseating US – Texas – Senator Ted Cruz last election cycle.

Beto led efforts to check on hundreds of thousands of Texas senior citizens. To make sure they were taken to warm shelters or to bring water and food, if they could stay in their homes. Beto saved lives!

Texas Senator Ted Crus was high tailing it to Cancun.

Cruz needs to be voted out of office.

Texas Gov Abbot = useless. Beto needs to run against Abbot – TO WIN office AND BE THE NEW GOVERNOR OF TEXAS. O’Rourke came within 3 percentage points of unseating the odious Cruz last election cycle … He ran for prez. Three times the charm, Mr. O’Rourke!

President Joe Biden sent $$millions of federal money and power generators to Texas, and he declared the state of Texas an EMERGENCY, eligible for even more federal assistance. Biden WAS good … But was he inspiring, charismatic, an American leader we’d follow to the hinterlands? Nope. At 78 and terrified of COVID and mixing with us hoi polloi, Joe is afraid of getting sick. Of dying in the age of the ever mutating corona virus. Let’s be honest. Biden only interacts with us Americans under very controlled, sanitized circumstances. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for these times.

Beto and AOC and other young American leaders MUST CONTINUE TO STEP UP AND LEAD AMERICA.

Beto and AOC: two young charismatic Democrats who are the Dems’ FUTURE. BEAUTIFUL TO LOOK AT and BRILLIANT. They’re at the FOREFRONT of the issues. They understand climate change and what we need to do as a country to turn things around. They have the health, strength and energy TO BE WITH US AMERICANS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Not hiding in their basements, hungry for the next nap.

My dream team: President Beto and Vice President Alexandria …

Their day – our day – will come!

⛄Missing Bernie⛄ … We almost made it!❄❤

By Chris Horton

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A Bernie for President supporter and volunteer – a cashier at Price Chopper supermarket, Worcester. photo submitted.

A year ago I was volunteer coordinator of We Want Bernie for President, Worcester – and we were winning! We were six weeks out from winning Worcester. Bernie had swept the first three primary contests, and we knew he was going to win the nomination. We were riding the wave of a popular political uprising against the rule of the billionaire class, fueled by the people’s anger over years of being robbed and swindled and denied the benefits of living in an advanced technological society.

We were going to beat the crap out of Donald Trump at the polls
in November.

FILE - In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)
FILE – In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)

We were on fire! In six weeks we would defeat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, her home state, ending her campaign. She had hoped to displace Bernie – or at least to derail our campaign – by peeling away the professionals, the intellectuals, the upper middle class. We settled that matter, right here in Worcester. She may have been a great voice against the banksters, but Bernie was our voice, the voice of the working people and the youth, the powerful voice of a great growing coalition, Black, brown and white … native born and immigrant, English and Spanish culture, united in a common cause.

A year ago Covid-19 was just a little cloud on the horizon, but the gnawing fear of another Trump win was already weakening our campaign, with almost half the voters at the doors too terrified of Trump to care about the issues.

Then, after Bernie solidly beat Joe Biden in their one-on-one
debate, exposing him as a liar about Social Security, the whole media establishment, the whole political establishment and the labor and civil rights establishments suddenly all agreed that the hapless and uninspiring Joe Biden had won, and was our last best hope for stopping Trump.

The final blow was COVID-19 shutting down our rallies and our door to door campaign.

With our press coverage nearly cut off, the negative ad campaigns going into high gear and our allies were begging Bernie to give up and support Biden, scarcely two months from now last year Bernie would have to yield.

In the end, faced with Donald Trump – an out-of-control would-be dictator and a genuine threat from an armed white-nationalist movement openly intending to force his reelection by fair means or
foul – many of them openly calling and preparing for a civil war – Bernie called on us to turn and fight them.

Not all of us could bring ourselves to just trust him and do it, but those
who did made all the difference.

I was honestly not that surprised, nor were the other veterans of the campaign of 2015 and 2016, those of us who had had the heart to try again. (Not all of us could!) What, we wonder, wouldn’t our billionaire class be willing to do to stop us next time?

And how many of us would have the heart to try yet again?

So here we are, seemingly back where we
started six years ago, but under the surface everything has changed. We, the regular people, have spoken out, we have felt our power and we have discovered each other. We have new language for what we know and believe. We’ve seen the little man behind the curtain and we’ve shouted that the Emperor has no clothes.

Worcester Homeless Children Need Your Help!⛄

⛄Upcoming Opportunities to Give Back⛄

Horizons for Homeless Children is working to improve the lives of homeless children and their families across Worcester. With new safety measures in place, they are back to bringing play opportunities to young children living in family homeless shelters.

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❄Due to the continued rise in rates of family homelessness, volunteers are needed more than ever. Horizons for Homeless Children currently seeks volunteers to support their Playspace Program, which hopes to serve over 1,375 children each week in local homeless shelters — including those in the Worcester area.

Each Playspace is supported by trained volunteers, called Playspace Activity Leaders (or “PALs”), who play with the homeless children residing in family shelters. Starting mid-March, volunteers will be returning to shelters’ outdoor play areas across the state to do socially-distanced games and activities with the children.

Horizons is offering New Volunteer Orientations online via Zoom on both Saturday, February 27, 9:30-11:30 AM and Tuesday, March 2nd, 6-8 PM. Individuals who are interested in signing up can do so at http://www.horizonschildren.org/playspace.

Each Playspace has two-hour volunteer shifts that occur throughout the week. For many children living in Worcester shelters, Playspace visits may be the only opportunity to listen to stories being read, create an artistic masterpiece, dress up as a superhero, play a musical instrument, and just have fun.

The children’s interactions with the PALs is key – the committed volunteers are what makes the program so healing. The uninterrupted attention from PALs fosters trust in the children and creates opportunities for parents to take a class, do some cooking, or even take a much-needed break for their own self-care.

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Volunteer this month!

“Our Playspace Program helps make sure that children can experience the joys of childhood, no matter where they live,” said Kate Barrand, President & CEO of Horizons for Homeless Children. “Critical developmental milestones happen at such a young age, and volunteers like those in the Worcester/Framingham area help ensure children living in shelters are given the opportunity to learn, play, and thrive. They are an incredible corps of people that help make this program possible for us and our shelter partners.”

Horizons for Homeless Children created the Playspace Program with the belief that play is essential to healthy childhood development, and every child has the right to play. To make healthy play possible for children living in shelters in Massachusetts, regional staff build and maintain developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed, “kid-friendly” spaces within the shelters. Horizons for Homeless Children then stocks these spaces with books, toys, games, and arts and crafts materials.

Outdoor play areas typically include some sort of large play structure and are meticulously inspected every year to ensure safety for all. Shelter outdoor spaces are also stocked with numerous versions of toys like balls and hula-hoops, and plenty of hand sanitizer. Horizons for Homeless Children wants all children, families, and volunteers to feel safe and comfortable while they attend outdoor shifts, and has restructured their program to reflect the current times.

Worcester is home to 8 beautiful outdoor Playspaces at which volunteers can support infants, toddlers, and school-aged children. During Playspace volunteer shifts, PALs lead play activities to help each child heal from the trauma of homelessness and gain the cognitive, physical, and social/emotional skills essential to future social and academic success. Last year, the Playspace Program supported 2,549 children in the Framingham/Worcester area; state-wide, the program supported almost 17,000 children. This year, the Playspace Program hopes to serve even more children and families.

To learn more about the Horizons’ Playspace Program, or to sign up for any of the upcoming trainings, please visit www.horizonschildren.org/playspace

It Was 57 to 43

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and Guy

The final vote was 57 to 43, to indict Donald Trump. But even such a great majority was not enough, as it would have taken 67 votes – one of those supermajorities requiring a two-thirds vote of all 100 senators.

Before the vote, Mitch McConnell advised his Republican minions
to “vote their conscience.” He then proceeded to vote for acquittal.

After the vote, he again addressed the Senate – this time at more length, and said that President Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the acts that formed the basis for the impeachment. He listed all the various unlawful behaviors , the violations of both civil and criminal law, and left no doubt that he knew that Trump was guilty of them all. But, he insisted, Trump has not gotten away with any of them YET (and he emphasized the “yet”) pointing out that we have both a functioning civil and criminal justice system, who will be waiting for him once out of office.

And so, while I am upset that we could not convince 10 more Senators to follow their consciences, there is still hope that the American judicial system will function.

While all of us breathed a sigh of relief when this vote was over, we all realize that the great damage done to all our systems is by no means repaired, and may well take years to undo: the Biden-Harris administration has a huge job before it, to clean up the Aegean stable of corruption left behind, and to replace it with people who will administer our laws fairly and for the benefit of all Americans.

Meanwhile, citizen Trump faces a myriad of legal problems: some go back to before he became President, and others date to the four years he was in office. Some are the result of personal misbehavior – like the many suits brought by the women who have accused him of various acts of sexual predation or harassment, or who were bribed or silenced , sometimes with ‘funds donated for other purposes; then of course there ae still all the legal questions about his tax returns, and his business practices.

At the moment many of us are watching the suits brought by District attorneys in Georgia, where he attempted to force the government to “find” just the right number of votes to allow him to defeat Joe Biden; and of course the District Court in N.Y. is also looking for him on various criminal charges. And then there are the many attempts to use the Justice department to prevent the publication of books by Amarosa, Michael Cohen, John Bolton, and Trump’s niece Mary Trump. All those books were revelations about various nefarious activities he engaged in, that were NOT part of his duties as President, but whose pursuit nevertheless were paid for by us, the taxpayers.

Most disturbing to me was his use of the Justice department as his personal legal team, and his threats and vengefulness against not only those who would not be totally and blindly loyal to him, but also against their families.

The entire January 6th event will be thoroughly investigated soon, by a commission composed of people well versed in law, history , and justice. And I am hopeful that at last the long-denied spot that rightfully should have gone to Garland will at last begin to undo the damage, as he becomes Biden’s attorney general.

It sometimes takes years to right the ship of state, but we are on the way.

Happy Valentine’s Day❤ from the Boss and us

By Rosalie Tirella

This Valentine’s Day I am making black bean soup …

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❤pics: R.T.

… and listening to one of the most romantic lps ever penned: GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, N.J., by one of America’s most romantic songwriters: Bruce Springsteen.

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I have stepped into this beautiful, torn, angel/waitress/guitar-slinging singer, motorbike-seaside world of longing and sprawling, outsized dreams that a bus driver’s son (Bruce!) dares to dream since I was 19 years old. I put the old lp on my old turntable and I am young again, romantic even! Bring on Valentine’s Day and “holy blood … and mud” … transport me to the Jersey shore of the Stone Pony bar with all the Italian American boys in their muscle shirts, combing their greased hair back in the Stone Pony’s men’s room. I see him … Bruce, scrawny and rough-hewn, playing and playing on that small stage, before his rapt audience. He’s singing the song he wrote for his waitress girlfriend and it makes me cry …Did he get her pregnant under the boardwalk, his Mary, his Queen of Arkansa? Will the couple start afresh in Mexico, this wisp of a man and worldly woman who loves him “so da*n easy”?

And, yeah, Bruce takes the bus into the City (NYC). For music. For love. For Spanish-Harlem adventure. And he sees the thugs and the kids and the cops and he brings his poetry to the crime scene. “Hey, man, did you see that?” he sings to us. Yes, Bruce, we did. We are trying to make sense of it all, too.

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At 60 years old, I love the wordy, wonderful carnival tilter world of a teenaged, scrawny scruffy Bruce Springsteen more than I love his later, more conventional, less verbose, less complex songs of his later lps. Give me ASBURY PARK, THUNDER ROAD and “Candy’s Room” off of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and I’m all set! Layer upon layer of lyrical acrobatics, the songs half spoken, half sung: boots and baseball cards, faded and torn wallpaper in Candy’s Room but she’s teaching him … “Spirits in the Night,” the open road, the closed life – the boy’s days still circumscribed by the working class thrift of his parents’ …

Who would want to be a saint in New York City? Not Bruce! Not me! “It’s so hard to be a saint when you’re just a boy on the streets”! Daring do-youth in a nutshell. Bruce was just a kid when he composed all of the songs on ASBURY PARK – in my opinion, masterpieces every one of them. He weighed less than a skinny Clarkie named Rosalie. A Rose who hung on his every word with her Clark University pals – about five of us, me, my then boyfriend, and his three best guy friends: from Baltimore, Vermont and Connecticut. I was the only girl in the room listening to the Boss because back then, even at Clark U, girls didn’t spend their week day nights listening to Springsteen, parsing his lyrics with the guys, growing solemn at the turn of a Springsteen phrase. They did their homework. Big mistake!… But my beau and the writer-guys respected my smarts and poetry enough to let me into their elite club at Wright Hall, third floor, blue hallway walls. I see it all now. I still remember their names! I am smiling at my handsome boyfriend’s amazing blue eyes, shiny black hair and cleft chin, “Dave”‘s long red hair and freckles enchant me, I love the short Justin and his barn coat and work boots he wore even in the spring and I will never forget the tall, good looking, sweet John who always kissed me on the mouth when our paths crossed on campus…My FIRST LOVES: Bruce Springsteen and these Clarkie boys! Valentine’s Day every day with these guys – walking jauntily to the cafeteria from the dorm, laughing loudly, so full of ourselves! Late night in Dave’s room, all of us typing our term papers on our portable typewriters. I was to get an Underwood at graduation, but at Clark I pecked out my pathetic prose on my pathetic ORANGE portable typewriter. No one snickered. It was never who had the most money (they all did) but who wrote the best essays, the fleetest poems.

We all wanted to be writers back then. Like our hero, Bruce Springsteen:
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I miss those days.

What’s getting me through the global pandemic …

Text and photos by Fatimah Daffaie

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Fatimah🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Soon we will mark a full year of Worcester Public School students not being in school in-person. As a senior at Doherty High School who’s been learning remotely like all my peers, it’s extremely upsetting to me to think about the fact that I have not seen my teachers and friends for a full year. Despite that fact, this pandemic has introduced to me other things to do, which in turn have helped me survive this global pandemic:

🌸Family

Having little sisters means there’s always something to do! My sisters are younger than I am: one is in elementary school and the other is still a baby. They are funny and fun to be around. At the beginning of the pandemic, my baby sister started to talk and walk. Now, almost a year later, my baby sister can walk and run all around the house! A week ago, she learned how to say my other sister’s name, Zahraa. She loves copying everything Zahraa does, which is so funny! I have been able to spend so much quality time with my family, which is so crucial to me during these times.

🌸Organization

I love having an organized house and room; it makes my life easier and easier for me to make decisions when finding things or choosing something to eat, wear or read! I have also learned so much about Marie Kondo, who is a well-known organizing consultant. I have learned from Marie Kondo about throwing away things that are not of use to me and do not mean anything to me, which is an inspiring message of only keeping the things that make us happy. It is also so satisfying for me to see everything organized and put together!

🌸Watching on-line lectures, reading, and trying out science experiments!

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Strawberries!❤

For example, I watched a talk by Dr. Gabor Mate, who is a family physician and has great knowledge on childhood trauma. His talk was called “When the Body Says No – Caring for Ourselves while Caring for Others.” I aspire to be in the medical field, and Dr. Mate’s teachings are crucial for my education in medicine – especially in childhood trauma. I am also reading Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech by Sally Smith Hughes.
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This book has made me more knowledgeable about vaccines and the history of biotechnology. I understand Covid 19 and the vaccines after reading this book. A few weeks ago, I did a DNA lab with strawberries. I used simple household materials like salt, dish soap, strawberries and rubbing alcohol. I took the DNA from the strawberries – the DNA looked like a cloud on top!

🌸Journaling and Writing

I have always loved journaling! I find it to be relaxing and a great way to reflect. I write about many things, but my favorite topics to write about are education, inequalities in the world, medicine and mental health. I learn best when I write about the things that I read, watch and even the things that I think about! Journaling is a way to understand how we feel and to think through ideas … seeing our thoughts and ideas on paper and being able to look at the progression and growth of our thoughts and feelings …

That said, I can’t wait to start hybrid learning next month! This is true for all our WPS students. A few days every week at Doherty will make me so happy!