The Gospel According to Wendell Berry, on Screen

The Gospel According to Wendell Berry, on Screen


The Story of Me

This is a portion of a current writing prompt for our write for your life group.

I was born on February 18th, 1962 to Bill and Betty Nieman.  I was born with multiple minor birth defects, which the doctors could not give names,but which had an unseen impact on my life.

I am a graduate of South Sioux City Public Library,  Wayne State College, and North American Baptist Seminary (now Sioux Falls University Seminary).

The ability to write and present humorous poetry made a positive impact on my college days and in seminary.

Visited “Do Space”

I was part of a group of librarians who toured the Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska.

Our primary mission was to learn about some of the cutting-edge technologies that could be used in libraries in our area.  Do Space is a futuristic model of what libraries could be.  They have 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, 56 computer stations, teen spaces, spaces for younger children, meeting rooms.

While the technology is exciting, the thing that caught my attention was the way in which Do Space is governed and funded.  They are a nonprofit that is funded by some large donors that provided the capital to get it going.  They received no city or county funding, so it has no entanglements with those governing agencies.  They do not charge for the use of the facility generally speaking.  There are no fees, except for those of printing, or using the meeting rooms.

While this library is significantly different that of most public libraries, we could learn something from the way the project is funded.  Thoughts abound and they are dangerous, especially for those of us who work in public libraries.  I am all for public funding of libraries, but what could we do if we totally reimagine the library and the way it is funded.

I don’t have definite ideas formulated, but the trip made my mind pop with potential ideas.  I will write more about these later.

Doggone, Dog’s Back, Now a Cheese Pizza’s Gone

Today has been a whale of a day.

I slept until seven, when I needed to get up at six.  The wind was blowing like crazy.  It pulled the door out of the latch and slammed it against the wrought iron banister on the front steps.  Setting the dogs on a barking jag.

My work day began quietly until sometime after eleven.

An inebriated man walked up to the front desk and began engaging me in conversation while I was checking out another  patron’s items.

May I help you, I asked?

I want to get logged onto a computer, but you look like you are busy right now.

I will help you as soon as I am finished.

While I was logging our gentleman onto a computer, my cell rang my wife’s ring tone.

I called her back.  She was in tears.

Duke’s gone.  He ran off with our new dog Chief.

I comforted her and told her I would call Animal Control.

I went on lunch and called  Animal Control and gave them a description of the dog and my cell number and they said they would look into it.

I called my wife back to let her know they were looking.

As soon as I hung up a call comes in from a local animal control car.  They asked where I lived and proceeded to tell me that a dog fitting my description  was spotted.  He gave me the address and said he would scout around to see what he could find.

I called my wife to tell who where the dog had been seen.

I had five minutes to read before my lunch time was over.

Before I could get into my book,  my wife called to say that she had picked up Duke.

When I walked into the library, I saw a police officer walking out te front door with the inebriated man that I put on the computer.  I found out that he went tot he computer desk and went to sleep, snoring loudly.  One of the librarians tried to wake him but was unsuccessful so she called the nonemergency line to get the police to take him out of the library.

Then I found out that the internet was down throughout the city which complicated man of our normal operating activities.

I did some work to prepare for the next writer’s group meeting.  Then some genealogy searches that did not require a computer.

When we came back online looked as some sports books by an author a patron had suggested.

Then my four o’clock meeting showed up at three-thirty.  We met for twenty minutes and planned a May program.

I got back to my desk totally distracted because the day had had no rhythm and I had no momentum with an hour to go.  We made some plans about an Earth Day display and a display for Cowboy Poetry Week.

I then got a call about the date for a program in June that I had not finished finalizing with the presenter.  I cleaned up my desk (a little) and went home at five.

We decided to order in when I got home.  My wife wanted some cheese bread and I wanted a medium cheese pizza.  When I rang the store I asked about any specials.  They said $5 for a medium one topping pizza, you buy two pizzas.

I don’t need two cheese pizzas I thought.  How much is one cheese pizza?


Rubbing my head, I said two cheese pizzas, bread sticks, yada, yada.  I gave her my card number.

Your card was denied, she said.

I’m not rich, but I knew there was money in the account.  I’m going to read it again just in case I made a mistake.

Oh, it worked this time.

My wife looked at me and said you didn’t misspeak the first time.

We continued to blow off steam until the order came.  I put one pizza in the refrigerator and took the other into the living room with me  I knew this was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.

Can i turn the show on, my wife asked.  We have been power watching The Good Wife.

Oh yes please I said. I’m so sick of our life, I want to escape for a while.

We watched and ate and drank and the next thing I know, that medium pizza had disappeared.    And I couldn’t even blame it on Duke or Chief.

What can I say?  Some people are addicted to alcohol or drugs, but I’m a sucker for hot bubbly cheese.

Mini Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Balram Halwai tells the story of his rise as a successful entrepreneur in In India.  He begins as one of the lower casts and gets a job as a driver for a wealthy man.  As he ages he finds a way to get out from under his master’s control and become a business owner of a taxi service in his own right.  The book looks at the complex psychology of a man who does what he has to do to rise in the turbulent world of modern India.   The novel, while being general fiction, contains elements of suspense fiction that will leave the reader on the edge of his seat.  The novel is also a commentary on the rise of China and India as the new economic dynamos of the world.  It also serves as a commentary on the tendency of democratic government, specifically the government of india to fall prey to corruption.