WDCSA Newsletter – July 2021

This month’s newsletter is available for download in PDF format.

Events Calendar

  • Jul 11 • Washington DC Book Club Discussion
  • Jul 12 • Baltimore Book Club Discussion

WDCSA Covid-19 Update

WDCSA will be utilizing the months of June and July to begin working with alumni in the area to plan small in-person alumni events. We hope to begin offering these events in the late summer.

We are excited about the opportunity to  begin meeting again in person; however, the health and safety of our alumni is of the utmost importance. As a result, we will ensure that all events align with local and national guidelines.

If you are interested in planning in person or hybrid events, please contact Patricia Arty, patriciaarty@alumni.stanford.edu.

Stanford in the News

  • Stanford University’s 130th Commencement weekend, June 12-13, 2021, occurred in two parts. Saturday’s Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony featured a speech by physician and author Atul Gawande and Sunday’s Senior Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony featured actor, writer and producer Issa Rae. Gawande spoke about the fantastical unpredictability of post-commencement life and advised the graduates to embrace whatever opportunities came their way. “In your formative years, you don’t know – you can’t know – what will ultimately matter to you; what will grab you by the shoulders and awaken you and stay with you,” said Gawande. “So you have to be open to trying stuff – to saying yes.” Rae reminisced about her own Stanford graduation and time on the Farm and described how friends, classmates and administrators had supported her creative journey. “Build and tap into your community,” she advised the graduates.
  • Stanford Health Care increased its annual donations to the community last fiscal year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. From Sept. 1, 2019, to Aug. 31, 2020, the health system gave $861 million, 79% more than the previous fiscal year. Much of the extra support went toward helping patients hospitalized with COVID-19, residents who struggled during business closures, and health care workers who needed housing and care for family members.

WDCSA Book Club Corner

Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Sunday, July 11, 5 pm

The June book is Amnesty: A Novel, by Aravind Adiga.

This novel shows the conflicts felt by Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself.  One morning, Danny learns a female house-cleaning client of his has been murdered. Danny is confronted with a choice: come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported, or say nothing, and let justice go undone.

Location information will be sent one week prior to the event.  Attendees are also asked to bring a pot-luck food contribution.        

Questions/RSVP:  Don Bieniewicz, MS ’75, at donbien@erols.com.

Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Monday, July 12, 7:30 pm
Google Meet:  Everyone will be emailed a link to join the meeting a few minutes before.

Exercised by Daniel Lieberman is a fact filled, myth busting book focused on the bane of many folks’ existence: exercise.  Lieberman targets three myths.  (1) It’s normal to exercise.  While humans did evolve to move, exercise is different because it’s done for health and not survival.  (2) Running is bad for the knees.  While knee injuries are indeed the most common form of damage to runners, much of that damage could be avoided through proper running technique and foot gear.  The corollary myth that running causes osteoarthritis has been soundly refuted by numerous large scientific studies.  (3) It’s normal to exercise less as we age.  Actually, we evolved to be active as we age.  And this exercise invokes repair mechanisms which counter the effects of aging.  For example, the Harvard Alumni Study found that older alumni who exercised had a 50% lower mortality rate than their sedentary classmates.  Overall, this book provides an insightful and scientific perspective on some of the myths and truths inherent in the ever popular field of exercise.

The September 13th selection is Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney.

Questions/RSVP:  Helene Myers, Ph.D., P’14, at cedarhouse@comcast.net