HAPPY BIRTHDAY THELMA   Leave a comment

My sister — Thelma Gustafson Wyland — always admitted she was like a little girl when her birthday came around, loving the attention and the feeling she was special. If she were still alive she’d be celebrating her 99th. As it was, she made it to 94. So this is my way of honoring her in memory on her special day.

Posted March 28, 2021 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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STARTING WITH GOODREADS I’M WORKING ON MY SOCIAL NETWORK CONNECTIONS   2 comments

Here’s the description of myself that I have posted on Goodreads

I have traversed, largely overlapping, from psychology professor to private practitioner to author. Most recently I spent the time in COVID quarantine completing two books. “My Father’s House: Remembering My Swedish American Family” is the result of years of research, writing, and editing. It’s published over my maiden name, Mona Gustafson — Swedish, you know. The cover on the book is a photo of the house, but the book contains so much more. The interaction between an American Family and the developments, crises, and victories of American history between 1910 and and 1976 — the year of my father’s death. A brief postscript lets the reader know what’s happened to the major characters up to publication time, including me, my marriage, two children, and grandchildren.

Mona Gustafson Affinito — my usual author name — is the creator and editor of “This Sucks!: I Want to Live,” by Nick Spooner, his Facebook entries from the time he was diagnosed with a brain tumor to “This Sucks!” — the last entry before his much-too-early death. Not so much a sad story as the revelation of his strength and humanity as he struggles with accepting impending death while facing the issues of daily living . My purpose in producing this short little book was to honor the person who constructed a clever, giving, and caring man out of a life of severe difficulties and challenges.

Both books are published by Calumet Wisdom Editions and available at amazon or from your local bookseller.

Posted March 14, 2021 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

My Small Reparations Contribution   6 comments

These days I prefer short messages — abstracts rather than long detailed essays, so I’ll try to say this as simply as possible. If people still think they have no responsibility for the system that has pressed people of color down, then they haven’t taken the time to examine history — or even realize how we have been living it. I confess I didn’t “get” it when I was part of a very large class of Master’s candidates at Boston University in 1951-52 where the size was made up mostly of men there on the GI bill — white men, because black vets were denied access to the advantages. That’s just one small piece in a history of red-lining, lynching, destruction of successful black communities … . Okay. I said I’d keep it simple. So here’s the simple statement. I do believe people of color deserve reparations for the factors that have prevented their gathering family wealth. And I’ll look for ways to support systemic change in that direction.

But right now I want to do something in my individual small way of supporting what has carried me through my life — academia. Realizing that black colleges don’t get the large endowments that support traditional white colleges I’ve decided to donate to the United Negro College Fund the same [very small] contribution I make to my own Connecticut College. Maybe if other people were to support my move with their own small contributions we could make it into something worth while. So here’s the address:

United Negro College Fund

1805 7th Street NW

Washington, DC 20001

800-331-2244

United Negro College Fund Home Page

 

 

 

Posted February 22, 2021 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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WHY DIDN’T THE DEMOCRATS GO ALL THE WAY?   6 comments

What I don’t understand. If the Democrats (whoever they were) were so clever as to magically manipulate so many voting machines in some mysterious way despite all the approved oversight by both parties and legal opinions that the election was fair, why didn’t they go all the way to supply Biden/Harris with a strong House and Senate?

Posted February 8, 2021 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

NICK SPOONER’S POSTHUMOUS BOOK   Leave a comment

I just posted the following on Nick Spooner’s Facebook page.

Remembering Nick Spooner. Gone too soon, he should have been a writer. But now see his posthumously published book based on his own words as presented on Facebook. Look on amazon.com for “This Sucks! I Want to Live” by Nick Spooner. Or order it from your local bookstore. https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Sucks-I-Want-Live/dp/1950743357/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=This+sucks%21+I+want+to+live&qid=1610220075&s=books&sr=1-1

EVOKING MEMORIES OF MY OWN UPBRINGING   3 comments

I enjoyed reading this book aloud with my friend whose vision is limited by Macular degeneration. It evoked many memories of my own upbringing as I recognized similar personalities in my family, bringing back happy and sad events and circumstances. Doesn’t every family have them! 

I appreciated Mona’s on-going descriptions of what was taking place in world events starting with WW !, immigration, the Great Depression (I heard a lot about that from my own grandparents and parents!), re-building the Nation, Pearl Harbor, WW II, The Korean Conflict, crystal sets, radio, air flights, etc During the reading of this book I found myself looking back at so many past memories of my life and being grateful for the wonderful, loving family into which I was born.

I wondered whether the author’s selection of psychology as her life career reflected her upbringing and family’s trials and tribulations? It was so sad and frustrating to see Jennie’s decline even as we witnessed her husband’s sustained adoration and love of his wife during these difficult times.

This was not a particularly uplifting book but an honest and comprehensive description of a loving, ambitious and talented immigrant who conquered the many challenges presented him in order to become the successful, respected and loved man that he was. His love for God, his community and his family is evident.

Congratulations to Mona for publication of this story that has obviously been a “work in progress” for many years. It is a wonderful and complete tale of “My Father’s House.” As for the author’s style, I enjoyed reading the minute details and highly descriptive passages. Some readers, however, might not appreciate this style.

This review can be found on my web site

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A NORWEGIAN REVIEW OF “MY FATHER’S HOUSE.”   4 comments

This review can also be found on my web site forgivenessoptions.com

I see this as a block buster movie

At the end of the book, I thought that if Metro Golden Meyer hooked this, it would be a block buster. The characters are lovingly and distinctly portrayed with all their strengths and foibles, and their development through times of war, depression and into the seventies. I grew fond of  Father Carl – born in 1880 and emigrating from Sweden  1910.

For this Norwegian reviewer it was overwhelming to try to remember all the names of the characters – but still I found myself  reading in bed at 04 am, wondering about how Jennie and the family would cope with her “sensibilities” – I will not tell  the readers how that went. Among the clear descriptions of life in these times,It was such a clear and loving tale of how too much consideration can devastate a persons life. “Let’s not borrow trouble” was the fathers adage, it seems the family adapted it too – as we humans do, with grave consequences.

 Mona’s professorate  in Psychology and her interventions created a strong and dramatic change in the family –  the last chapters were a great eye-opener of what happens when the cat in the sac gets out – and the fresh new air pours in.

4 stars – reflecting the bit overwhelming number of names and relationships.

I feel well fed after reading it.

Leelah Saachi

And grateful;

Writer

I SEE THIS AS A BLOCK BLUSTER MOVIEAt the end of the book, I thought that if Metro Golden Meyer hooked this, it would be a block buster. The characters are lovingly and distinctly portrayed with all their strengths and foibles, and their development through times of war, depression and into the seventies. I grew fond of  Father Carl – born in 1880 and emigrating from Sweden  1910as a block buster movie

LOST REVIEWS FOR “MY FATHER’S HOUSE?”   1 comment

At last count of reviews of “My Father’s House” I found five more “ratings” than there are reviews on amazon.com. Somehow I doubt that five people would have bothered to rate without writing a review. Knowing that the accepting/rejecting algorythms operate in mysterious ways, I suspect some of the lonely “ratings” went with reviews that never got published. I know of one person who tried three times to get hers posted. The third time was the magic. But she was never notified that her first two had not been accepted. Obviously I treasure any reviews, so here’s my question. Did any of you write one that you don’t see posted? If so, I’d be most happy if you would keep trying

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I think my next book’s title will be “I am a dinosaur.”   2 comments

I just finished writing a review for Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race.” Here it is.

Having read a plethora of books as a member of our “BLM Ally” group I didn’t expect another one could add much. But I was wrong. It was probably the chapters organization that made the difference, but I left it with my heart hurting and my mind brimming. And there were the specific lists – almost “to-do” — that helped as we search for actions we can take while we are confined by COVID-19 restrictions. No matter what reading you have already worked through you’ll find help presented here in an attractive writing style.

So what does that have to do with dinosaurs? Me — and my career.

In the process of writing — and editing a zillion times — My Father’s House, I have come to appreciate that I did lead a privileged life. I confess, I didn’t know it. I was too busy living it. I do remember being upset in High School when I read about Senator Bilbo, though, described in Wikipedia as “a filibusterer whose name was synonymous with white supremacy.” I wish I had saved the essay I wrote.

But that doesn’t make me a dinosaur. It’s my career that did that. I spent years teaching developmental and personality psychology. Now I’d have to rewrite the syllabus, realizing that it was all about white, probably Northern European folks. And the psychology of women? Not only did it not even include women of the top 1%, it also wasn’t about women of any color other than pale white.

Okay, that’s all you get. I’ll save the rest for later. But I hope you get the gist.

No, I don’t feel guilty. Just more aware and motivated.

 

The saying on the wall   Leave a comment

My niece and I were remembering my father’s house last evening when she recalled a saying that hung on the wall in the foyer. I don’t remember it on the wall, but I do remember the saying — so characteristic of my mother and so appropriate for these times.


There’s so much bad in the best of us
And so much good in the worst of us
That it ill behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us.

The thought for the day

Posted October 21, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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