What I’ve Been Reading: October 10-16

Screenshot of article “Why Amy Coney Barrett Might Surprise Everyone” with image of Judge Barrett in a mask.

Like I hope many of you did, I listened to the hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. While I dislike the lack of ethical leadership and hypocritical movement in the Senate right now, I did find some odd comfort in this article from The Atlantic by T. M. Luhrmann, most noted for “When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God” (Knopf, 2012). The article, “Why Amy Coney Barrett Might Surprise Everyone,” argues that her religious background and her trust in God could be an asset on the Court rather than something that might be seen as detrimental.

Of course, none of us can speak on the subject because her seat on the highest court of the land is still…hypothetical.

Screenshot of article “Earth’s New Gilded Age” with image of an exhausted man wiping sweat off his face with a water bottle in his hand.

Climate change, argued under the term “anthropocene” in many academic circles, being the point at which humans have affected Earth more than Earth has affected humans, is an existential threat of massive proportions—even as large as the Earth itself. The reason it is so huge, though, is not just the scope of environmental disasters; it is the effect climate change will have on every other aspect of our lives: economic, political, psychological, familial, religious, etc. Again from The Atlantic, “Earth’s New Gilded Era” by Vann R. Newkirk II links climate change explicitly to poverty and wealth and the clashes of class to come.

Cover image for article “The United States of Dolly Parton” with a headshot of Dolly Parton, with rather large hair, smiling.

I think my new favorite Dolly Parton quote is “I’ve got the hair for it, it’s huge, and they could always use more boobs in the race,” said when she was asked to comment on her personal politics. In “The United States of Dolly Parton,” Lauren Michele Jackson, writing in the New Yorker, connects Parton’s life to the broader swaths of cultural change that she’s lived through, from waves of feminism to rural poverty, while also portraying Parton as who she is: someone who rose out of that poverty and graces the world with her charity.

Cover to book “The Pomodoro Technique: The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work” with a tomato kitchen timer.

I love learning new ways to organize and use my time wisely. Just ask Missionary Adam—chapter 8 was probably my favorite in “Preach My Gospel” and I still use many principles found there today. I came across the pomodoro technique rather accidentally. I saw someone post on Twitter bout an app called “Focus To-Do.” My current to-do apps weren’t working quite as well as they did when I was in school, so I downloaded it. The app tracks pomodoros (literally “tomatoes” in Italian), which led me to hunt down what that mean. Pomodoro is a technique that separates tasks into 25-minute time limits (a “pomodoro,” named after the old tomato kitchen timer) with 5-minute breaks after each pomodoro. While I have to still adapt the technique to my own schedule and quirks, it’s great to have it in my toolbox of organization and completion. The book explains how to do the technique as an individual and within a team.

Until next time, pomodoro.