by ROSEMARIE BINGHAM '18
In Mrs. Porter’s Contemporary Issues in Women’s Health class, students are assigned to choose a nonfiction book about a topic that both interests them and relates to women’s health. After reading, students complete a writing assignment of what they learned. Below are selections of the assignment.
1. Cancer is a Bitch by Gail Konop Baker Do you know someone who currently has or has had cancer? Do you know how the cancer diagnosis affects both an individual and their family? Whether or not you answered yes to these questions, try Gail Konop Baker's Cancer is a Bitch. This is a fantastic nonfiction book told from the perspective of Gail Baker, a wife and mother who tells her story of living with cancer. The narrator explains her struggles and the impact cancer it has on her personal life, including friendships and relationships and family members. Though this book is nearly 300 pages, it is a fast read, and makes you want to find out what happens next. I would recommend this book to anyone, as the book describes scenarios that one may not have experienced within her own life but can be useful to reference when with another individual who is experiencing a similar situation at the time.
2. Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd As adolescents, young girls are at a crucial point in their lives where they need to be supported and nurtured. However, of the 32 million people stripped of their innocence each year through sex trafficking, 80% are women and children. In Girls Like Us, Rachel Lloyd describes in harrowing detail her own personal story about being trafficked into prostitution. After recovering from years of addiction and abuse, Lloyd started her own nonprofit in New York City, called GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services), which provides support and therapy for victims of prostitution and trafficking. Human trafficking is not just an epidemic in third world countries, but is a current problem in our own community.
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey Tina Fey's autobiography Bossypants is a book any girl with a sense of humor would love. She hilariously tells her story from when she was a young girl confused about womanhood to her years of success on Saturday Night Live. Included are stories about how she handled being a woman in power, and what she learned about raising a daughter. It is an easy read and her humor makes you feel like you're watching a sitcom.
4. Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly Have you ever felt that in spite having a great life filled with friends, family, and possessions, you feel emotionally disconnected and unhappy? Author Matthew Kelly’s book Resisting Happiness revolves around the central idea that we, as humans, actually resent happiness and push it away rather than embracing it. Kelly's novel gives the reader insight as to what is preventing us from being our best selves and how we can change our lives for the better. Resisting Happiness is a necessary read for those of any age, especially those who are maturing into adult life. For me, Kelly’s novel breathed a fresh, new sense of desire to make change in my life and figure out how to do it. Kelly’s novel was very reflective and religious, and I was able to take his words and apply them to my own life. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to those who wish for a brighter and exciting future.
If the topics discussed in these novels interest you, please consider taking Ms. Porter’s Contemporary Issues in Women’s Health class. You will learn a great deal about current issues in health and will participate in a “passion project” of your choice in the end of the class. Happy reading!