Monday, October 06, 2014

Trigger warnings

The student plenary voted to ask faculty to consider placing trigger warnings on class materials and syllabi.  I know from painful experience, how distracting triggers are when they appear, and how difficult they can be to avoid.  And I know that I've brought up examples in class that trod on painful ground for students, a risk I take in electing to teach chemistry within a context, not as a sterile set of numbers.

On Sunday — which would have been Tom's 58th birthday — I opened up the Sunday paper to find this spadea.1  I was riveted by the red balloon.  The aneurysm which killed him would have been at least as large at the balloon in the illustration, it still strikes me an unimaginable that we could not have known something of that size was inside of him.  It's odd, too,  to think about Tom at 58, older than our parents were when he died, twice the age I was when he died.  Does it make sense to think about someone being dead for more than half their life?

Probably not.

But it may explain today's funk, and last night's uneasy dreams.

1.  I love that there is word for these foldover sheets on newspapers.


  1. Oh my dear Michelle... <3

  2. Just saw this.

    I so often think of what my friend Lisa said: You think you will not survive another minute, and then one day you look around and it's been years.

    Love to you.

  3. each culture has taboos and ours are shifting. soon old texts where women are disparaged won't be neutral anymore and will call for trigger warning. at least one can hope.