Lindsay and I go to Brown University’s Watson Institute

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Okay, this was last week?  Two weeks ago?  I seriously am having problems remembering where and when  I have been.  And I love writing, but often leave out a blog posting because I do not have any pictures.  Picture, the death of me!!!

But, I wanted to let you all know that after being on the road for two solid weeks  (LA, Northern Virginia Community College, New York City, Phoenix NCECA, Tuscon….), and no, I CANNOT travel without TEN BOOKS, Art Supplies, running shoes, extra coats, eight shirts and five pairs of pants (even though I invariably wear the same things over and over), then the  pillow and vitamins…so bogged down with this Ginormous suitcase and then another, that I wrenched my back.   I could not bend at the waist nor turn to look behind me.  So, I told Lindsay I just could not make the Brown screening….I could  hardly hoist myself into a car, much less drive it.

But, Kerthy saved the day, by proposing that I take the train to Providence.  Then, I was going to take a train back at 6 AM to attend Beaver Country Day (more about that later!! an absolutely awesome day with Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers who watched parts of the film and talked about how busy they were–their schedules are amazingly filled with horseback riding, lacrosse, piano and school work till ten or eleven at night… and also their parents are busy.  I heard a lot of disappointment and frustration and YES, happiness from these kids).

But, my sweet husband suggested I make it a little easier on myself by having a car pick me up at Brown and drive me directly to Beaver Country Day.  An enormous relief.

It is always the getting from place to place that slays me.  Standing in front of a crowd and talking–no problem!  I feel at ease and in the right place.  I never am nervous.  But, oh, the logistics of planes and packing and finding my way–I break out into a sweat with just the thought of driving to an unknown destination.

Thank heavens I have all this help!! Paula Kirk who both travels with me and organizes so many of those flights; my sisters–who have just left me here to write while they visit this Island;  my husband–patient and forebearing despite not always knowing where I am;  Lindsay and Kerthy–always scheming to get me to each awesome locale.  I am so grateful….Thank you.

Anyway, back to the back.  It hurt.  Rolling over in bed was and still is a trial. However,  I could walk.  I could stand.  I could talk.  I could not turn around, bend over or pick up anything.  I am just NOW beginning to be able to tie my shoes.

So, I thought about cancelling my trip to Brown.  But, they were expecting us and Lindsay had arranged it.  I thought I could make it.

Ok, so we went to Brown.  And I am so happy we did!

Professor James Der Derian, who is with the Watson Institute, had arranged to bring WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? The screening was very well attended–despite great weather–we are really running into the sun with these screenings!

The questions were thoughtful and interesting.  As many men as women attended–which always warms my heart.  I truly feel that the only way to change this lack of gender parity–in the arts as well as every other aspect of LIFE–is to talk to both halves of the human race!

I also loved the fact that The Watson Institute focuses on International Relations.  A more typical offering would be Programs and Films having to do with Security Strategies,  Poverty, Peacekeeping or War.  So here we were with our film about women and the arts.  Yet, what could be more central to each of those abovementioned issues than Gender Parity?

So many studies in the last few years have begun to tease apart the links between women’s status  and Poverty.  One that I cited earlier on this blog was by Professor Valerie Hudson  that explored the correlation between a nation’s “peaceability” and the status of women.  Guess what?  The higher the status of women, the more peaceful the nation.  And what about the Expression of women?  How do we know about the good the bad and the ugly in womens’ lives unless they have a way to speak up?  Art is the way.

We need to hear about women’s lives–their struggles to feed and care for their families, their children, their villages.  We need to learn from these women–to see how they negotiate differences, to settle disputes, to share scarce resources.  We need their stories.  We need their music.  We need their caring.

So, thanks James, thanks The Watson Institute and thanks Lindsay!  It was a lovely day in a fine town as well as a powerful forum for the film.

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One Response to “Lindsay and I go to Brown University’s Watson Institute”

  1. It was wonderful for me to go back to the Watson with Pam and the film. Thanks James Der Derian for hosting us. Best, Lindsay

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