Live Long and Prosper (And you did, Leonard Nimoy)

This might age me but among my earlier memories was watching the original Star Trek series with my dad.

When they were new.

The producers thought we would swoon over Captain Kirk and I’m sure some of us did but Mr. Spock was my first crush.

The brain is, after all, the largest sex organ we have.

Leonard Nimoy famously wrote a book called “I am not Spock,” followed by another book called “I am Spock.” By that time, I had a couple of babies and didn’t have time to actually read the books but I think I get the jist of what he was saying. There is a distinction between an actor and the character he or she is playing and a good actor lives in fear of being typecast into a single archetype character but, in another sense, Nimoy was given a lot of artistic freedom to develop Spock into the complex, conflicted outsider making insightful observations of human behavior and I, for one, thank him for bringing Mr. Spock into existence and allowing him to slowly and intelligently get in touch with his humanity over the lifetime we saw him at his station on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

When I die, I want Amazing Grace played at my memorial, preferably with bagpipes.

I have been to a couple of memorials that featured this the most recent was Dr. Woodruff’s memorial. Dr. Woodruff was a well-loved and respected  Biology professor that helped me and served as a mentor in my undergrad and graduate career at West Chester University. I teared up and remembered the end of Star Trek 2, The Wrath of Khan.  Someone told me that that was Dr. Woodruff’s intention.  It will be mine as well.

=/\= Peace and Long Life, Mr. Spock



Emma, love, and faith the size of a mustard seed

For the past week or so, everyone that is kind enough to tolerate the sound of my voice has been hearing about little Emma and her need for prayer because she has been fighting for her life  as she battles a nasty virus. Although the doctors started sounding pessimistic about her recovery, Emma’s family never stopped believing their little girl could pull through this crisis. There are at least two things that give them strength to live such extraordinary faith; they are keenly aware that God can do anything and  their little girl fights like a Klingon warrior.

What fuels Emma’s fight?

Love, she is surrounded by the most amazing and sublime love and one more thing, she is loved for who she is and for whose she is not for anything she does.

I am still learning this lesson.

I am honored to be numbered among this family’s friends.

I ask anyone reading this to pray for Emma.

They can feel our prayers.

This week, we were at our small group meeting and one of the worship songs was the Revelation Song that is a beautiful song with a wealth of imagery. Color, for example, is “living color.” When I think of color being alive, the color is green because it is water and carbon dioxide, both  blue with the sun, which is yellow, providing the energy. When a seed is germinated, it is a little one lobed or 2 lobed leaf called a cotyleden.  This reminded me of the mustard seed which is very small. The Bible verse says that if we have a little bit of faith like that of a mustard seed, we can move mountains.

It doesn’t say you will every time but you can because nothing is impossible with God.


Whistler, Day 1 037I work about 25 hours per week as a professional tutor at the local community college.

Although I don’t like the idle times waiting for students to get help in Biology or Anatomy and Physiology, I do enjoy tutoring students. Because I’m working with students on an individual basis, I get to hear about their stories which are generally amazing but I won’t share them without  written permission.

Two Thursdays ago, I was at the main campus and was given a Chemistry lab notebook that contained the worked out problems for basic Chemistry. Because I was between students, I decided to brush up on my Chemistry because I was being asked to help the Chem. students when the Chem. tutor was gone (which was most of the time I was present.) I thumbed through the notebook and found a problem that I wasn’t quite sure how to solve but was something I had mastered when I took Chemistry.

I covered the worked out solution but before I could get started, a student walked in asking for help with Chemistry.

I told him the Chemistry tutor had left for the day and I was but a humble Biology tutor but, with my limitations in mind, I was glad to help  him  if I was able to help.

He took a book out of his backpack. The very same lab book that I had been given a few moments earlier!

He opened it and turned the pages to the very same problem that I was about to work on! In fact, I told him to go over to the desk and look at the page and the problem that was covered with a sheet of paper.

We were both amazed.

I suggested he work out the  problem with the solution and I would help him if he got stuck.

A half hour later, he closed the book  and handed it to me with a “thank you.”

I asked him if he understood how to solve that type of problem and he said that he understood the problem and could do that type of problem and said, “God wanted me to know how to do this.”

I agree with him.

I have been telling this story ever since it happened.

The following Thursday was relatively busy and the same student stopped by and borrowed the same lab notebook. Later, he was distressed because the problem he needed help with wasn’t in the book.

“Somebody tore the page out!” “How could they do that!”

And, finally, he looked at me and asks  me if I remember him.

As though I could forget him.

“Of course I remember you,” was my reply.

Perhaps it was better for him to work that week’s problem on his own but I will be honored to help guide him in the right direction if it is within the scope of this humble Biology tutor.



The Upside Down World

On a clear late summer night, the woman sat on the edge of a field outside of town to watch the moon rise. In another age, she would have been known as a seer among her people. But times have changed and there’s no demand for seers anymore. Instead, she spends her days performing the dull, essential tasks that modern life demands of us all.

She has sought out a place as far from the city’s light pollution as she can get to, but she knows that what she sees is a shadow of what was there when she was a child, far from any city, watching the heavens traverse the sky above her.

When she was young, she had found it a spooky to think that the beauty of a heavenly parade took place night after night long before there was any human present to appreciate it. And it would continue after humanity was gone…

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Secrets (the good kind)

The following are a few secrets to keep things flowing in the right direction.

1) Be as nice as your circumstances permit.

This seems obvious until you darken the door of Wegmans on a Saturday and see how many people think being a bitch is a competitive sport.

2) Leave a generous tip.

If you ever waited tables, you know why.  If you haven’t, well, you’re full of privilege and should realize as much.

Regardless, it will improve your karma.

3) Treat the person at the front of the office (receptionist, secretary, personal assistant, whatever they call her)  with the same respect you give the guy in the big office.

She can either get you into the big office or escorted to the parking lot.

4) Number three applies to the cleaning lady.

To a privileged white male, she fades into the background and they feel free to talk among themselves freely. Occasionally, this information is good to have and you might just have the right bit of information at just the  perfect time.

There is a saying that you will be judged by how you treat people that stand little chance of ever being of help to you.

I agree in principle but you never know when karma is at work although, paradoxically, it should never be your motive or everything is cancelled out.

john pavlovitz

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