Saturday, July 28, 2007

Umiranje in minljivost (Slabi zdravniki, 4. del)

Picasso

Ob nedavnem ponavljanju zgodovine, ko je v kratkem časovnem razdobju že drugi bolnik umrl na hodniku zdravstvene inštitucije, se vame še bolj globoko zareže nekaj, kar je zorelo zadnji dve leti. Nekako od smrti mojega starega očeta dalje. In potem preko srečanj z neozdravljivo bolnimi v Univerzitetnem kliničnem centru. In potem v pogovorih z zdravniki in kolegi.

Ljudi je strah minljivosti in umiranja. To je najbrž eden najgloblje zakopanih strahov, težko ga je izkoreniniti - prastrah. Eden mojih najstarejših spominov je strah pred smrtjo. Ko sem, stara okoli štiri leta, ležala v postelji, v temi in se bala zatisniti oči, ker sem se bala, da bom umrla. Skoraj do konca osnovne šole nisem mogla gledati vojaških filmov ali dokumentarcev, kjer so ljudje masovno umirali. Ponoči sem namreč te prizore iz filmov intenzivno podoživljala, imela popolnoma realistične nočne more, po katerih sem se zbujala povsem iz sebe - prestašena, pretresena, drhteča.

Ljudje se smrti bojijo prav paranoično; nepojasnljiv, grozav strah imajo pred smrtjo. Ponudite nekomu, da ga boste peljali v bolnico, da boste sedeli ob postelji bolnika, ki je le nekaj ur od smrti in ki nima sorodnikov, ne prijateljev, da bi mu pomagali ob slovesu s tega sveta. Prepričana sem, da nihče ne bi hotel biti prisoten. Vsi bi se izgovarjali, da to ni njihova naloga, da osebe niti ne poznajo. To so same prazne besede. Novorojenčka v svet pospremijo večinoma neznani obrazi babice, sester, zdravnikov. Seveda je biološko nujno, da je prisotna (vsaj) otrokova mama. Pri smrti pa ni tako. Mnogi svojci v zadnjih dnevih in urah naredijo vse, da bi umirajočega spravili v bolnico, dom za starejše občane, ... kamorkoli.

Paradoksalno pa je, da si velika večina ljudi želi umreti doma. Obkrožena z najbližjimi, na domači postelji, med znanimi zidovi. Brez bolnišničnega hrupa in večno prižganih luči, brez vsiljivih sester, neprijaznih sobolnikov. Želja umreti doma je zadnja od želja, ki jo ima umirajoči. In vse prevečkrat se - kljub možnosti, da bi vsaj en odrasel človek v zadnjih dnevih življenja ostajal doma z umirajočim in skrbel zanj - zgodi, da se takega človeka strpa v bolnico in potem čaka na odrešilen telefonski klic.

Tega si ne izmišljujem. Videla sem ljudi, ki so jih svojci pripeljali v bolnico - ker menda za umirajočega nihče ne more skrbeti - da bi tam umrli. Nekateri bolnice ne dočakajo. Umirajo v reševalnih avtomobilih, na hodnikih in v sprejemnih ambulantah. Lahko pa bi, če se svojci smrti ne bi bali in jo poskušali za vsako ceno prestaviti na poznejši čas - umrli doma. Dostojno in med znanimi obrazi. Nihče od svojcev se ne vpraša, kakšno eksistencialno in čustveno stisko doživlja umirajoči ob definitivnem soočenju s svojo minljivostjo, ob skorajšnjem slovesu od tega sveta. Nihče ne razmišlja, ali umirajočemu svojcu dela krivico, da ga v zadnjih dnevih in v hudih bolečinah prevaža po Sloveniji in išče prostor, kamor bi ga lahko oddali v skrb.

Videla sem ljudi, ki so ob novici, da ima njihov svojec neozdravljivo, napredujočo bolezen možganov, ki bo v nekaj letih zagotovo privedla do smrti, svojega človeka pustili v bolnici in se niso vrnili ponj, niti se niso oglašali na telefonske klice. Tako je bolnišnici preostalo, da za bolnika uredi sprejem v dom za starejše občane. Ni potrebno dodajati, da je tak bolnik zasedal prostor v bolnici in onemogočal, da bi sprejeli nove bolnike, ki so bolj potrebni bolnišnične obravnave kot nekdo, ki smo mu že postavili diagnozo.

V naši družbi in razširjeni miselnosti je smrt nekaj nedobrodošlega. Cenimo mladost, energijo, vitalnost, lepoto, preziramo pa starost, urujenost, minljivost. V sodobnem času je smrt postala sinonim za šibkost, poraženost. In zato se minevanju poskušamo izogibati na vse možne načine, od katerih je najbolj razširjena plastična kirurgija.

Minevanje na sploh je koncept, s katerim se ljudje nočejo sprijazniti. Da mladost mine, da mine lepota, da otroci odrastejo, da mine čas za to ali ono. Z dosežki znanosti si poskušamo vračati občutek, da še zmoremo, da še nismo za odpis, čeprav nam moči pojenjajo. In smrt je ultimativni poraz, zato bi jo radi odlagali kar se da dolgo.

Ker se celotnega življenja lotevamo z odlašanjem soočanja z minljivostjo, smrt ponavadi pride prezgodaj in nanjo nismo pripavljeni. Zato umirajočega vodimo od zdravnika do zdravnika do bioenergetika in zdravilca, ki naj bi nam pomagali doseči tisto, kar vemo, da je nemogoče: nesmrtnost. Kajti rodimo se z eno samo gotovostjo: nekoč bomo umrli. In v celotnem življenju je ves čas resnična in gotova le ena stvar: smrt. Iz tega vidika je skoraj smešno, da smo dandanašnji ljudje tako slabo pripravljeni sprejeti minljivost. Oči zatiskamo do zadnjega trenutka in ko je soočenje s smrtjo svojca preveč blizu, da bi si lahko lagali, nas prevzame paničen strah, zato poskušamo smrt bližnjega preložiti na pleča nekoga drugega. Samo, da se ne zgodi pred našimi očmi - da ni pri nas doma. Kot da je smrt nekaj demoničnega, nekaj kar prostor za vekomaj zaznamuje.

Pogrešam ljudi, ki bi se zmogli usesti ob posteljo umirajočega, mu nežno brisati čelo, imeti svojo roko v njegovi in ga s prijaznimi besedami bodriti. Občudujem ljudi, ki se odločijo, da bodo svojcu omogočili smrt doma, da bodo žrtvovali en mesec dopusta za to, da bodo nekomu lahko izpolnili zadnjo željo. Občudujem ljudi, ki ne projecirajo svojih strahov in želja na druge, pač pa se s svojcem odkrito pogovorijo o morebitni smrti - česa jih se strah, kaj doživljajo ob občutenju človekove minljivosti. Ki si upajo na glas vprašati: "Kako si želiš umreti?" in ki imajo pogum, da te želje uresničijo.

Kajti prvoosebna prisotnost pri procesu umiranja, aktivno preživljanje bolnikovih zadnjih trenutkov na tem svetu je eden najtrdnejših porokov, da si po smrti ne bomo očitali, da smo naredili premalo in zaradi tega poskušali iskati "krivca" za smrt. Prisotnost ob umirajočem, ko se ta poslavlja od življenja v tostranstvu je lahko čarobna. To je eden redkih trenutkov, ko ni več prostora za pretvarjanje in igro, ko so na programu le resnično pomembne stvari; tiste, ki so bistvo nekega človeka.

Včasih so bližnji in daljnji sorodniki bedeli ob umirajočem in tudi nekaj ur po smrti. Danes pa namesto pravega stika s smrtjo med zdravniki, zdaravniškim osebjem in povsem polnimi bolnišničnimi kapacitetami iščemo povode za sproščanje naše žalosti in frustracij.

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posted by Nadezhda | 14:28 | 11 comments | links to this post

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dearest...

...if there's a single thing in my life I am beyond thankful for, then that thing was getting to know you.

How on Earth did that "no strings attached" mIRC friendship manage to develop thus far I don't know. It was work on my and your part, it was adapting as much as is possible to the needs of the other without breaking your own boundaries. It was talking, laughing, hugging, kissing, a bit of quarrelling and lots of love and understanding.

You're perhaps the first and maybe the only person who loves me just as I am and in whose presence I don't feel pressurized to be any different than who I really am. Very early on I felt I could trust you, talk to you earnestly, I felt you'd understand; - that there was no human condition you'd be unable to understand or at least tolerate. Very early on I fell for you and eventually we did come together although (because of my past) I was convinced that any relationship of mine was doomed to failure.

You are a very warm, positive, laughing person, whose goodness is just so much bigger than life. You're probably the only person who can appreciate the scope of my words when I say our relationship made me want to have children, to have a family and to be in a lasting relationship. You were the person all these years ago for whom I was ready to risk being hurt (emotionally), for whom I had the smallest hope and a love bigger than I would admit even to myself. You were the one for whom I felt ready to risk - going out and showing you how I felt.

Retrospectively, I didn't know what I was going to get in return for my bravery and openness. Again - it wasn't just luck, it was work on my and your side, for which I am enormously grateful. Hardly any relationship can last without pruning and watering the plant. You did not always insist on having the last word, you didn't want to break me. You adapted and accepted me and that has meant and still does more than I could say. For the most part of my life I've been given examples of what I should and could be, yet hardly anyone took the time to see who I am. You did.

I've seen you hurt, I've seen you down and the fact that you were brave enough to share those fragile moments with me is a testament to how much you trust me. And you know full well that I'd never betray you.

You've been with me through the good and through the bad and always, always had faith in me, even when I didn't have faith in myself. You supported, encouraged and loved me - and demanded nothing in return. Your selfless love and trust have been among the most valuable and enriching experiences in my life.

I remember thinking (when we started dating) that I'd be happy if we lasted 2 months. You said you wanted at least a year long relationship. Now we've been together for five whole years. The time it takes some people to get together, get married, have children and get divorced. But we're still as happy as could be. And if I may say so - I think I love you more now than I did previously. Instead of the love diminishing, it increases. I've been blessed in more than one way by having you in my life. I've become a different, a happier person. You did not save me, I saved myself - but your presence made me want to be happier, different.

I am no prophet, but I think we have a very bright future ahead of us. I am incredibly happy with you, I love you completely. It is bliss beyond imaginable.

Happy anniversary.

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posted by Nadezhda | 21:57 | 2 comments | links to this post

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Call me a die-hard Potter fan?


So after many complications we're finally in London. When we arrived at the ariport the car suddenly broke down and the person who drove us to the airport had problems getting back home. But at least, I thought, we were at the airport early enough. But a real shock awaited us when we got to the hotel. The receptionist said we hadn't booked a room, which we had as we also had a booking confirmation. I thought I was about to faint. Luckily he had a double room free. How on Earth we managed to recieve a booking confirmation by the hotel's manager (who is currently conviniently on vacation in Portugal) I don't know.

Another shock awaited us when we tried to unlock the room designated to us - there were people inside. Turns out the receptionist only made a mistake and we now have a room and we won't even have to switch rooms at any point.

Only when we got back to the hotel in the evening and saw the "no vacancies" sign put up did we realize just how lucky we were. No reservation and we got a room anyway.

Today we went to pick up the tickets to the Podcasting event and we're sitting in the Front area. But when we arrived at the bookshop we were stunned to see people already queuing for the release of Deathly Hallows. There are about 40 of them there right now and judging by the newspaper articles they've been there for two days. And now dare call me a real Potter fan.

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posted by Nadezhda | 23:40 | 15 comments | links to this post

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling


New book, lots more of curious little details and as always, if you haven't read the books - be wary of SPOILERS.

  1. The Loovegoods (Luna and her Dad) obviously live near Ron.
  2. Mundungus Fletcher is again casually mentioned and I cannot resist feeling he's going to be important to book seven.
  3. In the Sorting Hat's song Hufflepuf is mentioned as coming from a valley- could this have any connection to the location of Hufflepuf's Horcrux and/or the dragon from the Deluxe Cover Art?
  4. Do the spells Mr. Ollivander performs with each wand have a meaning? (Fleur - flowers, Cedric - a stream of silver smoke rings, Krum - birds and Harry - a fountain of wine).
  5. How come Sirius knew Bertha Jorkins? Was is that she walked on him kissing a girl behind the Herbology greenhouses?
  6. A bezoar is again mentioned as an antidote for most poisons. Note that a bezoar saves Ron's life in HBP.
  7. Krum seems really nice from what Hermione said of him - seems like Hermione is taking a leaf out of Dumbledore's book here - making friends rather than enemies.
  8. There's just got to be a subplot involving giants. Hagrid's mother is prominently mentioned in GoF and his brother is introduced in OotP and Grawp starts talking by the end of HBP. This has got to be important.
  9. I have a problem with the underage drinking and heavy drinking that goes on in the series in general. Butterbeer definitely has some alcohol in it and I am not too happy seeing Butterbeer drank as though it was pumpkin juice. Also, the amount of heavy drinkers in the series is quite high. I would undersand that Rowling tries to be frank about adults drinking heavily, but I have an issue with her making it seem that drinking an alcoholic beverage on a daily basis is acceptable in children.
  10. The memories Harry visits in the Pensieve look very much like the memory Harry visited in Riddle's Diary, but they're not Horcruxes like the Diary.
  11. In the memory from the Pensieve we find out that Voldemort has a spy from the Department of Mysteries. This implies that Voldemort knows much more about that place than Harry does. Also, will this knowledge give Voldemort advantage in the final battle between him and Harry?
  12. We find out Snape was a Death Eater, but two books later we still don't know why Dumbledore is convinced Snape isn't a danger.
  13. Also, the real Moody could be a mentor to Harry in DH, as he was one of the best Aurors in his time.
  14. Was Ludo Bagman a naive fool or a real spy for Voldemort? Because of his Quidditch career people are less willing to believe him to posses any bad character traits. This again shows prejudice and favouritism.
  15. Dumbledore says that Harry and Voldemort are connected by the curse that failed. If the curse failed, then Harry cannot be a Horcrux or could he?
  16. Voldemort will establish an army of creatures whom all fear. What are these? Inferi?
  17. Voldemort having taken Harry's blood now has Lily's protection, but will this also expire on Harry's 17th birthday?
  18. Voldemort now seems to know how Harry was protected by Dumbledore. But will this knowledge give him an advantage over Harry?
  19. Many people have claimed that the final battle won't involve wands, because Harry's and Voldemort's wands cannot duel. That is true, however Voldemort can put a hex or curse on Harry and their wands function normally as long as they don't duel.

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posted by Nadezhda | 13:24 | 0 comments | links to this post

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling


SPOILERS - proceed at your own risk!

Now, Prisoner is a very fine book indeed. Full of longing and reminiscing, a beautiful nostalgic feeling. It's a story about true friends and people that give the wrong impressions. I've also always been fond of the comparison between Lupin and a person infected wit HIV.
Not many questions bothered me while reading this book, but here they are anyway.

  1. Why is Dubledore so disturbed by the presence of Dementors? Admittedly, no one likes these foul creatures, but D seems more disturbed by their presence than other teachers. Does he have bad memories that come alive when Dementors are near?
  2. Trelawney is a funny character. She's portrayed as an old fraud, but if you keep an eye on her "predictions" a lot of them come true. All of her predictions regarding the Grim are true - Harry has been seeing a giant black dog all over the place. If you disregard the theatrical manner, could Trelawney's predictions about Harry's imminent death also be true?
  3. What fascinates me about Dumbledore is that he considers every person - whether he is a werewolf or a paranoid ex-Auror his ally. Dumbledore realizes the potential: of you're nice to people and give them second chances, these people will be nice to you in return. In HP vocabulary this creates a certain bond between D and the other person and thus the person becomes an ally with the Order.
  4. What's up with Snape, though? Is an old trick the Marauders played on him the real reason why he's still so full of hatred towards Sirius, James and Remus? Or is it like some suggest that he was romantically interested in Lily, but James got the girl?
  5. For a man so intelligent, Snape doesn't want to use logic this time around. Why is he still so bitter towards Sirius? School grudge or something else?
  6. Why does it seem to me that Snape tries very hard to get Harry expelled? Call me naive, but does he presume Harry will be safer in Privet drive, because of the protection Dumbledore placed on that house?
  7. Considering the significant role Lupin played in giving Harry private lessons, is he the possible mentor for Harry in DH?
  8. Dumledore tells Harry that "the time may well come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life". What will become of that?

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posted by Nadezhda | 11:54 | 0 comments | links to this post

Monday, July 16, 2007

Progress for progress' sake

Less than two weeks ago I donated blood again. And afterwards I wasn't quite myself for a while. Then last week I decided it's nearly time to resurrect my genial plan an went for a run. Oh my! The suffering! The road didn't seem to want to move anywhere, even the grannies with crutches were faster than I was. My heart was pounding like there was no tomorrow and when I reached sound 185 heart beats per minute I had to stop jogging and start walking. Luckily, I'm not so much out of practice. But the fact that I donated nearly half a liter of blood a while ago takes its toll.

Today, less than a week later, after having skipped practice on Friday, because I was too lazy and on Sunday, because I was stranded at a family get-together, I finally went running again. I ran about 2 km non stop (a big improvement from last week), and walked about half a kilometer to warm myself up. After a while the legs, the arms and breathing synchronised and running became much more fun. Actually in retrospect it was great and if I don't have cramps in my legs tomorrow, I just might go again.

And here's a little plea for help - if you fit the description, please donate blood. To cover the current needs, every day at least 350 people in Slovenia have to donate blood. It's a very small sacrifice on your side, but can be life-saving for the one in need of your help. Decide to help today.

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posted by Nadezhda | 21:53 | 4 comments | links to this post

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling


And it's time to continue with ramblings about the Potter series. Again, please be warned, that the text below contains plenty of spoilers (from all books in the series) and you would be well advised to stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled.

The plot of this book is very well designed - Rowling weaves in little details: the rules of Duelling, which become important in GoF, Polyjuice Potion gets a lot of prime time and all this becomes significant two books later.

  1. I think Mundungus Fletcher will be of importance in DH, because I think he stole the real locket Horcrux from Grimmauld Place. And here, all the way back in CoS, he's already mentioned.
  2. Just a random observation, but I had so much fun reading the passages with Gilderoy Lockhart. What a character!
  3. This might not be of supreme importance, but what is the connection between Filch and Mrs. Norris, the cat? There have been claims that the cat is an animagus, so is this true?
  4. Of note: Hermione's specialty seem to be blue waterproof fires. I couldn't help but think that would come mightily handy if by chance Inferi show up in DH.
  5. A few warlocks are mentioned in the series. Warlock is a derogatory term for a male wizard, but is often used for a traitor (of the craft). Will Muggles finally realize they're not alone?
  6. Rowling was recently reported as saying that her books are deeply moral. And CoS is a champion in that respect, because this is the book in which people are judged solely on what they were born and not on what they chose to become. Magic or no magic, the prejudice seems to permeate the worlds of some people. Also, Gilderoy Lockhart being the living proof, people would rather believe that an attractive person was good and more able than an unattractive one. Lockhart's whole life depended on that (and a few well placed Memory Charms I should add).
  7. McGonagall acts as headmistress in CoS for a brief period, when Dumbledore is forced to leave his position. Based on this, I believe she will take up the post of headmistress in DH, too.
  8. There's a peculiar little detail - the chamber is called the Chamber of Secrets (secrets in Plural!), so I'm wondering if there are more secrets to be revealed. Tom Riddle explains in CoS and HBP that he had discovered the Chamber by his fifth year. In his sixth year he started wearing Gaunt's Ring and shortly thereafter I think he made his first Horcrux. Would it be unreasonable to expect he hid it in Slytherin's specially hidden chamber? Remember that only very few people could open the Chamber (Parseltongue) and come out of it unscathed, because the Basilisk would probably kill them lest they're Slytherin's descendants or pure blood wizards.
  9. The more I think of it, the more impossible it seems to me that Dumbledore didn't know about the Chamber or what was in it. Remember that he was at Hogwarts when Myrtle died and that she returned as a ghost to haunt her classmate Olive Hornby. I'm sure Dumbledore knew which girl died and that she came back as a ghost. The only possibility I see here is that Dumbledore doesn't speak Parseltongue so he wouldn't be able to access the Chamber.
  10. This is also the book in which we find out Dumbledore used to be a Transfiguration teacher before he became Headmaster. We haven't seen him transform anything, but there is the possibility of him being an Animagus - a bumblebee, since dumbledore is an old name for a bumblebee. Also recall that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without an Invisibility Cloak and what better way to make himself "invisible" than to turn into a tiny animal. It would be just the thing Dumbledore would do - since most people don't pay attention to details, this would be a wonderful disguise for him. Also remember, that in GoF Rita Skeeter plays a similar trick and that there might be another reason why her story about being an illegal Animagus is in the book. Am I seeing too much?
  11. Also, another interesting bit of information on Voldemort. Even at a young age, Voldemort's biggest fault was that he underestimated his enemies (like thinking the Sorting Hat and a Phoenix couldn't help Harry in any respect.) This (along with a fondness for ceremony) are in my opinion his biggest faults and the possible cause of his downfall.
  12. It is mentioned with regard to Voldemort that he underwent many dangerous magical transformations. Again plural! Did he attempt anything else besides splitting his soul several times?

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posted by Nadezhda | 12:36 | 0 comments | links to this post

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling


It's now less than ten days 'till the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and just by the way, boyfriend and I will be attending the live podcast I was talking about - only because of my cunning and entrepreneurial spirit, thankyouverymuch) and I'm well into my re-read of the series. So in these last remaining days I'll publish my thoughts on each of the books and the questions that remain in my mind after reading the series again. The type of questions that I would like to have answered by the time I finish reading Deathly Hallows. I'll write a bit of my theories for the last book and answer questions about Draco and McGonagall.

SPOILERS AHEAD - please do not proceed if you haven't read all the books from the HP series published so far.

  1. Where did Dumbledore get his scar of London Underground? Is it possibly a remnant of his defeat of Grindelwald? Is the fact that both Harry and Dumbledore have scars significant?
  2. Can Hagrid Apparate? I suppose not, because he borrowed Sirius' motorbike and remember that Hagrid said in a later book that there's no broom strong enough to hold him. AND Hagrid claims he flew to the island on which he first met Harry. Is it then a far-fetched conclusion that he probably flew on Sirius' motorbike?
  3. When Harry gets to Hogwarts with the boats and across the lake, he lands in an underground harbour. Could this be significant in a possible future attack on Hogwarts?
  4. Fun fact of the day: there are 142 staircases at Hogwarts.
  5. In the first speech Dumbledore has upon Harry's arrival to Hogwarts, he says Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak. Harry remembers these words at the end of HBP. Are they significant and what do they mean in the context (bear in mind these are actual words)?
  6. We find out right at the beginning Snape wanted the DADA job. Why would Voldemort have wanted him to get the job if he knew Snape was only going to last a year (the job is jinxed) and why would Snape finally accept the position of Potions teacher? And besides, the subject is Defence Against the Dark Arts - what if (pardon my naivete) Snape really only wanted to teach defence, not actual Dark Arts? (Most of the Dark Arts are forbidden by law anyway.)
  7. Snape says in his first lesson that he can teach how to bottle fame, brew glory and stopper death. Was the latter the reason Voldemort wanted Snape among the Death Eaters?
  8. JKR establishes very early that (according to Harry!) Snape hates Harry. All this might be because of a feud between James and Snape. But it also severs another purpose - Snape is able to keep his cover by pretending to hate Harry and continue his work as a double spy. Besides Snape treats everyone apart from Slytherins badly and there is no proof that he treats Harry worse than the others.
  9. Hermione knows what the 12 uses of the dragon's blood are. Will this come in useful in DH - taking into account that the trio flies on a dragon?
  10. Dumbledore is also famous for his defeat of Grindelwald. What was that all about?
  11. As far as I can recall, it is not Dumbledore's habit to come to Quidditch matches, yet he comes to watch Gryffindor's second match. Could that be a sign D has his suspicions about Quirell or merely a sign that the takes the safety of his students seriously?
  12. Could the fact that Voldemort drinks Unicorn's blood and that it is known that "you will have but a half life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips" have any bearing on how the final showdown between V and Harry is resolved?
  13. Ronan, the centaur, says: "Always the innocent are the first victims." This is a huge foreshadowing as Cedric - basically an innocent bystander - dies in GoF.
  14. The centaurs dish out more of their wisdom by saying Mars is bright tonight, The Forrest hides many secrets and (says Firenze) The Forest isn't safe at this time - especially for you [Harry]. Seeing in OotP that Firenze is friendly with Dumbledore, is it possible that the centaurs told D whom they saw lurking in the Forrest? And what are the other secrets (plural!) the Forrest contains?
  15. In this and in several of the following books, Snape seems to make it his priority to get Harry expelled from Hogwarts. What if - and I may be totally off - Snape tries to get Harry go live with the Dursleys, where he is most safe?
  16. Towards the end Harry says: "[...] I'll have to go back to the Dursleys and wait for Voldemort to find me there. It's only dying a bit later than I would have done, because I'm never going over to the Dark side." Is this a huge foreshadowing foretelling V's attack on Harry which takes place in Privet Drive? Possibly even Harry's death?
  17. Some people have suggested that the order of the tasks and the teachers that have set them foretells the main events of each of the books. Let's review: Fluffy (Hargrid), Devil's Snare (Sprout), flying keys (Flitwick), giant chessboard (McGonagall), troll (Quirell), potions (Snape), Mirror of Erised (Dumbledore). Any ideas?
  18. In the end Dumbledore says to Harry: "[...] not being truly alive, he [Voldemort] cannot be killed." Is this true or is this a false statement, because in CoS, Dumbledore meets the first of V's Horcruxes.
  19. And again from Dumbledore: "to have been loved so deeply, even thought the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection for ever." Is this lasting protection Harry's ability to love or something else?
Apart from the burning questions listed above, this is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, light, a bit naive, where most of the story revolves around House points, Quidditch and the mystery of the Philosopher's Stone. And as I mentioned above - Snape is being made the bad guy, but purely so because Harry is subjective. Fred and George tell the first-years that Snape is foul and likes to take points off anybody who isn't Slytherin. I don't think Harry is being treated far worse than anybody else. And keeping Snape unpleasant, mean and awful creates lots of tension in the plot and keeps the story interesting.

There's is a bit of back story and quite a few foreshadowings, but nothing major. That's why you want to read the next novel.

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posted by Nadezhda | 14:39 | 2 comments | links to this post

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sebičnost ali Slabi zdravniki, 3. del

Lastnost, ki me pri ljudeh iz dneva v dan bolj preseneča, je sebičnost. Mnogo ljudi se obnaša, kot da bodo jutri nehali peči bel kruh (čeprav je polnozrnat bolj zdrav) in se je zato danes potrebno do konca in še čez grebsti, gristi in opletati, da le dobimo svoj kos - in to četudi smo že siti in nam praktično nič ne manjka.

Seveda je miselnost, da je treba v prvi vrsti misliti nase, danes zelo popularna; postala je življenjski stil. In do neke mere se strinjam. Človek, ki ni srečen in ni poskrbel zase, težko skrbi za druge. In ravno ta drugi korak - opustiti egocentričnost in pomagati še tistim, ki v življenju niso prilezli tako daleč kot mi sami - je nekaj, kar naredi čedalje manj ljudi. In se izgovarjajo, da zanje ni skrbel nihče drug in da so sami odgovorni za svoj uspeh. In da nimajo časa. In da nima smisla skrbeti za druge - sploh če za svojo pomoč ne dobijo protiusluge.

Hkrati pa po moji presoji skoraj ni dejanja, ki bi človeka lahko bolj osrečilo kot dajanje drugim. Brez pričakovaja povračila. Dajanje z zavestjo, da imamo sami dovolj, da smo sami srečni. Da nas več materialnega ne bo nujno bolj osrečilo. In da bi radi tudi drugim pomagali do sreče. Mene nič ne osreči bolj, kot če lahko komu drugemu narišem nasmešek na obraz. In tako dajanje niti ne terja nujno materialnega ali finančnega davka.

Zdravstvo je eno od področij, kjer sta složnost in razumevanje drugih nujna. In kjer sebičnost in egocentričnost ne bi smela imeti prostora za širjenje. Zdravstvene potrebe so namreč skoraj neskončne. Ko smo življenjsko ogroženi, si želimo le, da bi preživeli. Ko preživimo, si želimo, da bi dobro okrevali. Ko dobro okrevamo, si želimo, da bi si s fizioterapijo ali drugimi vrstami rehabilitacije vrnili prejšnje moči. In ko smo spet zdravi in celi, si želimo, da bi nam izrezali tudi sumljivo materino znamenje, predpisali očala z ustrezno dipotrijo ali raje kar leče, opravili preventivni pregled debelega črevesja, ženskam predpisali zdravila za lažje preživljenje klimakterija. In ko imamo skoraj vse urejeno, se zazremo v ogledalo in si zaželimo, da bi nam kirurško odpravili gubice, nam povečali prsi ali izsesali odvečno maščevje. Menim, da skoraj ni stopnje, na kateri človek ne bi imel zdravstvenih potreb. Jasno pa je, da je veliko bolj nujno poskrbeti za nekoga, ki je neposredno življenjsko ogrožen kot izvesti liposukcijo.

Tukaj pa se zatakne. Namreč tudi v zdravstveni obravnavi vsak gleda le nase. Egocentičnost mišljenja je nepopisna. Zakaj sem JAZ moral čakati tako dolgo, zakaj MENE niste sprejeli prej, zakaj JAZ ne morem takoj dobiti postelje v bolnici, zakaj sem JAZ naročen šele čez pol leta, zakaj... Vsak bi bil rad prvi, sprejet brez čakalne dobe, v njaboljše opremljene sobe z ustežljivimi sestrami in najboljšo postrežbo in oskrbo. In to vse za minimalno zavarovalniško premijo.

Relativno zdravi ljudje ne razumejo ali nočejo razumeti, da so v vsakem trenutku v zdravstveni obravnavi ljudje, ki imajo večje težave kot oni sami, ki so nemočni. In da je zdravnikova naloga, da jih obravnava prednostno, jim omogoči tudi, da preskočijo vrsto. Zdravnikova naloga je, da zagovarja zdravstvene interese teh ljudi, ker so sami preveč nemočni in šibki, da bi lahko čakali.

Druga težava, ki jo (morda nekoliko posplošeno) imenujem "sebičnost" pa je, da ljudje ne razumejo ali nočejo razumeti "koncepta vreče". Vsako leto se s prispevki za obvezno in dodatno zdravstveno zavarovanje s cekini napolni malha. In ta mora celo leto prednostno obravnavati neposredno življenjsko ogrožene, nato pa po padajoči stopnji ogroženosti oz. nujnosti zdravstvenega postopka še ostale zavarovance. Bistvo čakalne vrste, ki na moje veliko začudenje marsikomu ni jasno, ni v tem, da na denar pogoltni zdravnik zasluži več, ker vam proti plačilu ponudi takojšnjo obravnavo, ampak v tem, da je količina denarja, ki ga zavarovalnica dodeli neki zadravstveni ustanovi za točno določen poseg, omejena. Tako iz količine denarja osebje preračuna, koliko npr. pregledov lahko opravijo dnevno in koliko torej letno, da bodo izpolnili kvoto, ki jim jo določi in plača zavarovalnica. Redko se zgodi, da ustanova opravi več posegov, kot jih dobi plačanih, pa jim zavarovalnica konec leta povrne denar še za presežek. Zdravstvene ustanove so namreč zaradi nepridobitne dejavnosti že tako ali tako bolj nagnjene k rdečim številkam in si zavestnega siljenja v rdeče območje ne morejo privoščiti. Četudi bi bilo edino humano to, da pomagamo čim več ljudem kot le moremo.

Če bi zdravnik rad delal več, kot mu omogoča zavarovalnica, mu je omogočena možnost pridobivanja koncesije. Ko dela samoplačniško, lahko sprejme kolikor bolnikov želi in zmore, ker ni odvisen od kvot. Tak zdravnik je celo stimuliran, da dela več, ker gre presežek naravnost v njegov žep.

Zaradi omejene količine denarja, ki jo letno lahko namenimo vsem bolnikom, je včasih - pretresljivo, a resnično - zdravnikova naloga, da utemeljuje stroške zdravljenja. Da zavarovalnici utemelji, zakaj je uporabil dražje zdravilo ali predpisal dodatne preiskave, čeprav niso odkrile ničesar novega. Nikoli ne bom pozabila tišine, ki je nastala v predavalnici, ko nam je profesor povedal, da so odkrili vrhunsko zdravilo za zdravljenje neke virusne bolezni, ampak da tega zdravila v Sloveniji ne uporabljamo, ker je predrago. Ker ne utemeljimo visokih stroškov zdravljenja.Do takrat si nihče od nas ni mislil, da nas bo pri zdravljenju skrbel tudi finančni vidik. Študenti medicine smo se prvič iz oči v oči srečali s stisko, ki jo doživlja zdravnik, ko ve, da obstaja prvovrstno zdravilo za nekega bolnika, ampak mu ga ne more ponuditi, ker bi s tem preveč denarja potrošil za enega bolnika. Z isto vsoto pa bi dobro lahko storil več ljudem. In z isto količino denarja storiti dobro več ljudem, je trenutno tisto, k čemur stremimo. Zato si blagajna ne more privoščiti ne zgrešenih in ne predragih nakupov.

V vsakdanjem življenju se ljudje še kako - morda preveč intenzivno - zavedajo, da so nekatere stvari omejene. In se prerivajo pred trgovinami noč pred velikim znižanjem, grebejo za poceni pralne stroje ob odprtju trgovine in podobno. Ko pride do zdravstva, pa ljudje ne razumejo ali nočejo razumeti, da so dobrine omejene. In da na določene postopke čaka še veliko ljudi, ki so v enakem položaju kot oni sami, če ne še slabšem. In vso svojo nejevoljo na hrbet obesijo zdravniku kot da je ta sam kriv, da obstajajo čakalne vrste.

Ljudje, ki imajo zdravstvene težave, so močno čustveno obremenjeni in prestrašeni. To lahko razumem. Ne razumem pa sebičnega, egoističnega odnosa, ki ga gojijo številni ljudje, ki ne upoštevajo, da v sistemu niso edini in ne razumejo, da za sistem kot tak niso krivi zdravniki, ampak država. Prevzaprav pa sploh ne gre za krivdo. Gre za to, da ljudje gledajo čedalje bolj samo nase, ker mislijo, da tako prav. Zanima me, kakšen bi bil zdravstveni sistem, če bi tudi zdravstveni delavci - torej ne le zdravniki - gledali samo nase.

Če bi sama zaslužila toliko denarja, da bi morala plačevati najvišji prispevek za zdravstveno zavarovanje, bi to storila brez pritoževanja. Ker se tistemu, ki ima veliko, tak izdatek nikjer ne bo poznal. Tistemu, ki ima malo, pa bo morda rešil življenje. Žal poznam čedalje manj ljudi, ki bi tako razmišljali. Bog ne daj, da bi kdaj tisti, ki ima veliko, tudi veliko prispeval revnejšim.

Še dobro, da ločimo med materialno in duševno bogatimi.

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posted by Nadezhda | 15:00 | 4 comments | links to this post

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Help needed

As some books are cheaper there and the selection is definitely bigger than in Ljubljana, I plan on doing a bit of book shopping in London. I would like you, dear readers, to write a few suggestions - books you enjoyed reading (and why?) - particularly books that are hard to come by in Ljubljana. I'm mainly interested in fiction, but open to something else too, especially if it's well written.

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posted by Nadezhda | 10:50 | 14 comments | links to this post

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

When all doors close, a window opens

I applied for the Midnight Signing that JK Rowling will be doing in London's Natural History Museum in the wee hours of 21st July, but I wasn't selected to attend. Even before that boyfriend and I reserved our copies of the final Harry book at a London bookshop.

And now I find out that my favourite HP podcast are going to have a big Release Night Live Podcast right at the bookshop where we'll be. Lucky coincidence? I think not. :)

I've already sent out a couple of e-mails trying to get tickets for the event, but so far all apart from one of my e-mails got returned straight away. But the last e-mail did seem to get through. Fingers crossed.

P.S The hotel we booked has Internet access and I might be able to post a few short posts from London.

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posted by Nadezhda | 15:32 | 5 comments | links to this post

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Elizabeth, The Golden Age

I'm fascinated by the new trailer for Elizabeth. Judging from what I can see, it's going to be a smashing film. September cannot come too soon! And I can only wish that Blanchett's performance is powerful enough to re-claim her the Oscar she was stripped of in 1998 (Gwyneth Paltrow won then).

The new trailer


The old trailer

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posted by Nadezhda | 13:02 | 7 comments | links to this post