Our differences are our greatest strengths

A group of students here at UMM have arranged for several photographers to work with members of the growing Latino community in West Central Minnesota. I was paired up with Paul Cortes, who wished to be photographed with his girlfriend Keni Zenner. They chose the text for their signs, and we worked together to identify a number of different locations around the UMM campus; they particularly wanted to shoot in the greenhouse since that’s where they had their first date.

Outside the Welcome Center
Inside the Welcome Center
In the greenhouse (B&W)
In the greenhouse (color)

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Value vs. worth (again)

WeatherGrrrl is today starting down the difficult road of recovering from knee replacement surgery. Being modern folk, we’d counted on wireless in the hospital to allow Netflix to be a key mental narcotic, helping keep her mind off the pain that unavoidably comes of having bones reshaped with saws, ligaments removed, and various other tissue pushed around and annoyed.

Turns out that this hospital is really quite wonderful. The staff have been splendid and caring, she has a very nice room to herself, and they have treated me as a real part of the process and not just a mildly annoying guy in the way.

So, really wonderful. Except that the guest wireless doesn’t seem to reach her room. It’s great in the lobby. It’s great here in this family room. But her hospital room appears to eat radio signals, as neither wifi or cell seem to penetrate that space reliably.

As a result I suggested that we buy a film or similar for the iPad to help make up for the Netflix shortfall, and came here to the family room to download Thor as a bit of distracting popcorn.

And it was $20.

Which gave me pause.

Which in turn really made me annoyed with myself.

So far today I’ve spent that much on meals. We’ll certainly spend that much on gas back and forth for this procedure. It’s a fraction of our minuscule share of the huge bill this will rack up. (We are very grateful for the University’s excellent health care plan.) Or we could compare this to the cost of Thomas’s tuition at Hampshire. Or my soda pop habit at the office. Or money I lose under the bed.

JOCP!!! What was I thinking? Why did I even remotely care? If this film gives her even an hour of distracted relief from the mending and tearing going on in her leg it’s totally worth it! And, I’m quite sure it will do more than that.

I realize that there’s a lot of privilege assumed in this, and that there are people for whom that $20 would be a genuine concern. (& way too many for whom an operation like this would be out of reach.)

But that’s not us.

And I just spend the best $20 I’m likely to spend in a very long time.

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