August 2009


Oh Baby!

Despite all the official statistics announcing an alarming decrease in the birthrate, Weimar seems to be full of parents pushing baby carriages around. I can think of four friends in my German context with young children or children on the way.

And since I’ve been in nostalgia mode of late, it reminded me of a class I once took—and not one at the University of Wyoming.

The summer after finishing my undergraduate degree at UW, I took a course at the University of Colorado, Denver. I took it to see if I compared well with students at places other that UW—and I was happy with the answer, even if I found the class a bit quirky.

I don’t recall all the details, but I believe the class was Political Psychology, and it met in the evenings. There was a lot to like about the class—it was taught in my favorite Socratic-in-the-round style with an enjoyable group of people.

Each week was a different topic—I remember that one of the books we had to read was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”—which now is one of my favorite books.

The topic and related readings for each week was announced on the course syllabus—and I remember that one week we had no readings—and consequently I’d paid scant attention to it until I arrived in the classroom a few minutes before class started.

Now as a part of my scant attention, I remembered reading the phrase, “hospital birth video.” After rearranging the chairs into a circle, I turned to the woman sitting next to me and made some offhand comment about hospital birth videos—I wondered aloud how often the videos are rotated.

Honestly, I could not imagine how awkward it would be for somebody to walk into a classroom, have the teacher start the birth video, and the person look up to see their very pregnant mother about to give birth. It would be uncomfortable at best.

So after making my observation, I pulled out my notebook, the one with the syllabus at the front, and opened it up, rereading the information for that evening’s class when I realized that I had made a mistake.

So often in life the first time I read something and read what I want to read and not what it actually reads.

It didn’t say “Hospital Birth Video”, it said, “Home Birth Video.”

Which gave me about 5 seconds of processing time before I turned my head to see the professor walking in with his wife and two young children.

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