Hetty Startup

working to enrich place-based learning; public historian

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Daybreak on the rise — call to worship for Genesis 32

Gifts in Open Hands

From Dee Ledger of Maryland, US, comes this amazing call to worship which speaks to next Sunday’s Hebrew Bible text for the Revised Common Lectionary.

Call to Worship — Daybreak on the Rise based on Genesis: 32:22-31

Leader: We are sent as family.
Sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, mammas and pappas, the wanted and unwanted…

Men: Sent across the scorching desert, the churning river,
the quiet chasm of despair, the gaps of want
and need
and desire.

Leader: We are daybreak on the rise!

Women: After angels two-steppin’ rungs vertical and horizontal.

Leader: After God shoutin’ promises of real estate, real protection, and real freedom

Men: Even stone pillows grow soft with yearning and naming,
witnessing and being,
singing about some forgotten awe.

ALL: Daybreak on the rise, my people! Daybreak on the rise!

Leader: Jacob found an angel in his tattered pocket.

Men: That angel just won’t keep still…

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Academic assholes and the circle of niceness

The Thesis Whisperer

Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade in my case, but you get the picture).

Some time ago ago Rachael started calling us ‘The B Team’ because we were all appointed on a level B in the Australian university pay-scale system (academic Level B is not quite shit kicker entry level academia – that’s level A just in case you were wondering – but it’s pretty close). I always go home feeling a warm glow of collegiality after a B team talk, convinced that being an academic is the best job in the entire world. Rachael reckons that this positive glow is a result of the ‘circle of niceness’ we create just by being…

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Review of Adriana Páramo’s My Mother’s Funeral

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Debbie Hagan

paramo_mothersfuneral_hpMother is gone. One day I’ll pick up the phone and hear one of my sisters saying these words. Mom’s eighty-one now, and though she’s in relatively good health—survived two bouts of cancer—I know her life can’t go on forever. Mother tries to prepare me. She discusses her bank accounts, goes through her list of keepsakes, and asks me to help her order a tombstone.

I’m stoic. Every time I lift this veil, gaze at what life will be like after Mother, I see darkness.

So Adriana Páramo’s memoir, My Mother’s Funeral,  not only goes to a place I’m reluctant to go, but opens with the dreaded call.  “I collapsed in slow motion,” she writes about hearing the news. “My body trickled down a wall until my chin touched my knees. I thought about Mom’s face, but couldn’t see it. I could see her eyes but not…

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Suggested Events for July 12th-18th, 2014

Hilltown Families

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.


“Hilltown Families is my go to spot for what is going on for kids and families around the valley. I always check it for ideas of what to do with the kids on the weekends, during school vacations and summertime.” – Adelle F. (Greenfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local…

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The Art of Losing, the Art of Holding: Karen Skolfield’s Frost in the Low Areas


by Athena Kildegaard


Karen Skolfield calls winning the PEN NE award for her first book of poems, Frost in the Low Areas, “big news.” For a mother of two small children, a teacher, and the owner of one goat—in short, a very busy woman—writing a book of poetry is big enough, but garnering such an award is news of some magnitude. Skolfield grew up in Pennsylvania, joined the military, and received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she now teaches technical writing to budding engineers.

If there’s a guidinFrost in the low areas Karen Skolfieldg spirit behind Skolfield’s attentive book, it would be Elizabeth Bishop. First, because Skolfield is curious about the world around her, scooping up the news; second, because she is a poet of restraint; and finally, Bishop’s beloved poem “One Art,” like a bell just struck, reverberates through the book.

Richard Blanco, who readers will…

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What lies beneath: new discoveries about the Jericho skull

British Museum blog

Alexandra Fletcher, curator, British Museum

It’s always a problem for museum curators to find ways of learning more about the objects in their care without damaging them. For human remains, it’s even more complicated because there are additional questions of care and respect for the dead that have to be carefully considered before any research can be done. However, by studying their remains we can find out an enormous amount about the people of the past; about their health, their diet and about the religious practices they carried out.

The Jericho skull shown with face forwards. The eyes are made from shell. The Jericho skull shown with face forwards. The eyes are made from shell.

The so-called Jericho skull is among the oldest human remains in the British Museum collection. Thought to be between 8,500 and 9,300 years old, it is one of seven Neolithic plastered human skulls found together by Kathleen Kenyon during excavations at Jericho in 1953. The site is…

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