I’ve been working on a medical humanities project. Some Duluthians are part of it, including local author Avesa Rockwell.
“As I child I could run out the backdoor and leap over tumbleweeds and sagebrush like a jackrabbit. By the time I reached tenth grade my body lost its buoyancy, and the open spaces around my house and in my mind were being leveled, fenced off, and cul-de-saced. I felt trapped by the prefabricated structures of school and its social hierarchies.”
Growing up, I disliked my name. It’s a 1970’s-era “J name” — like Jennifer, Jessica, Julie, and Jason. It was partly inspired by the Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred in Halloween in 1978, the year I was born.
Since Jamie is often a boy’s name, I got Boys’ Life magazine ads and Boy Scout fliers in the mail. On the first day of 7th grade, my homeroom teacher met me with an “oh!,” and said he was surprised I was a girl. These things greatly offended younger me.
My mother chose a cute, trendy name for a critical, contrarian child. I could only see the contradictions in Jamie the name: an androgynous name for a feminine girl; a plain name that has four or more different spellings; a common name that people misread as Janice and mishear as Janie.
My middle name was no better in my opinion. It is my mother’s maiden name, a last name. I would have liked a “real” middle name like Jamie Lynn or Jamie Lee, like Ms. Curtis.
This week, Esther Piszczek talks about her journey from attorney and doodler to artist and teacher. Be sure to check out the beautiful documentary produced by Lola Visuals toward the end of the post to see in real-time how she makes her intricate artwork.
EP: I am a pattern artist specializing in the Zentangle® method of pattern drawing. The Zentangle method, created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts in Massachusetts, uses a .01 Sakura micron pen and pencil shading on a 3.5 x 3.5 inch paper tile to create intricate, beautiful, non-representational art. The method is contemplative and founded on the principle that there are no mistakes, only opportunities to create something unexpected.
I’ve been working on a medical humanities project. Some Duluthians are part of it, including poet Zomi Bloom.
“After the endoscopy … while living in limbo, every attempt to eat led to unbearable burning and the inevitable blowing up of the balloon on my right side. I drifted in and out of waking dream‐state such that dreams became nightmares and shifted back into dreams of fantastic sweetness.”
It was 25 years ago today — January 16, 1994 — when Duluth’s iconic Chinese Lantern restaurant was destroyed by fire. The video clip above is from the Asian Flavors documentary co-produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television in 2013. The full 28-minute documentary is below.