One thing that I’m trying to do more of is to take advantage of cultural opportunities going on in the city. I think in general, St. Louis gets a bad rap from just about everybody and I find that usually that negative impression comes from just not doing enough or taking the time to find out what’s going on. Given the size of St. Louis, we have a pretty wide variety of theatre (musical, black box, rep, opera), a growing food scene, and a lot of one-off events throughout the year- you just have to know where to look! I’ll be sharing more local out and abouts each week.
Because St. Louis is actually split between city and county, we have the city library system and the county library system. Regardless of where you live, residents are able to get cards to both (which was not always the case!) and access community courses, book clubs, and speaker series. This week Dr. Danielle Ofri visited to give a speech and a Q & A regarding her most recent book, “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear.” This is her fifth book on the American Healthcare System (in which I work) and discusses communication and technological failures that doctors and patients are experiencing. She suggests, despite popular opinion, that 1) patients prioritize a list of issues for their appointments to stay organized and 2) that physicians should let their patients get everything out and stop interrupting. Popular medical opinion says that physicians should steer conversations lest patients ramble. Given that the average appointment is set for less than fifteen minutes, this would seem like the productive thing to do. However, she found that most patients get all issues on the table in less than four minutes- most in less than one! – and in letting them air their bodily grievances, it offers a fuller picture and allows the physician to come up with a more coherent game plan. She also suggests that physicians, in order to practice active listening, repeat concerns back to patients in order to minimize mistakes and develop patient trust. Though all of this is very much easier said than done, quite a few physicians, nurse practitioners, and med students were present and all seemed eager to really revamp patient-physician relationships.
Speakers are brought in throughout the month at numerous branch locations so I’m really looking forward to popping in for lectures in the future. One that I already have marked is Blanche Wiesen Cook’s “Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939-1962.”
We bought a family pass to the Missouri Botanical Gardens this year which gets us access to the Missouri Botanical Gardens (azaleas and rhododendrons will be blooming soon!), The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, and The Shaw Nature Reserve. Blue Morpho butterflies only hatch for one month every year so I trekked out to Chesterfield to catch them in action. The Butterfly house is really wonderful in February and March- a little tropical, humid oasis for parched winter skin. Every time I’ve gone, I always see people reading and chatting- I wish it were closer so I could stop by more often just to read and have butterflies flit by!
The main Missouri Botanical Garden has finally incorporated one of my main loves into its weekend routine: brunch! They have seasonal weekend brunch in the pavilion overlooking a large water fountain in spring followed by jazz at night in the summer and I am so looking forward to it.
This Valentine’s was pretty low-key and spontaneous. We took a stroll through the Central West End, bought a box of truffles at Bissenger’s and then caught Hidden Figures at the Chase Park Plaza. It was just really nice to walk around and chat before seeing a movie about some badass ladies taking a sledge hammer to Jim Crow. I love a good movie that sparks conversation afterwards and this one really gets the ball rolling.
I’m not sure he meant for this song to be romantic, but it is to me.
“When everyone is talking at the very same time I can still hear your voice, my love.”