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Midwest Matters November 28th, 2022
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Jul

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Join Us for the Discussion of the book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman.

Posted by on July 13th, 2022 Posted in: NNLM Book Discussion
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You are invited to join us for the second NNLM Book Discussion. From August 1 until October 31, we will read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.

When three-month-old Lia Lee arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia’s parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run “Quiet War” in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia’s pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication. Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness and healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia’s doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg–the spirit catches you and you fall down–and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

After acquiring the book in your preferred format, you can join us any time between August 1 until October 31 to participate.

NNLM Book Discussion offers librarians and library staff interested in better understanding health issues faced by people in the communities that they serve an opportunity to explore topics with other professionals and earn Continuing Education Credit.

Participants can complete the book and earn CE credit on their schedule. A new book is selected each quarter. Participants can acquire the book in their performed format and have three months to complete the requirements.

Requirements to earn CE.

  1. Complete the book in your preferred format
  2. Log into the Moodle
  3. Explore the related resources
  4. Do ONE of the following
    1. Answer the required discussion question in Moodle
    2. Attend one of the two live discussion sessions and participate (Sep 14, 1:00 PM ET or Oct 20, 1:00 pm ET)

It is not necessary to engage in Moodle discussions for all three months, although you are welcome to do so.

Objectives:

  • To increase library staff awareness and understanding of health issues faced by individuals and communities
  • Explore health resources from NLM, NIH, and other organizations related to the topic

Register here

Code of Conduct NNLM is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. As such, we expect respectful interactions with instructors and learners. Read the full Code of Conduct here

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Image of the author ABOUT Bobbi Newman
Bobbi Newman (MLIS, MA) is the Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist for NNLM R6 at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Fostering Wellness in the Workplace: A Guide for Libraries. She developed the popular NNLM course “Wellness in the Library Workplace.” Bobbi is a mindfulness student and a member of Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Let’s Move in Libraries. She divides her time between her dog, reading fantasy and nonfiction, playing video games, crafting, kayaking, biking, and gardening.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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