Thursday, February 4, 2016

Journal Three - Omar Shehadeh

     Holding On is definitely a very interesting book. I feel like if some random guy made a dinosaur amusement park with his life savings it would have at least became a twitter meme, spanning across the entirety of social media or at least some information that the media would have reported on, even if not covering that much of the story, at least talking about this incredibly interesting man and his story. This book continues to surprise me with stories such as Donald Bean's dinosaur park or Robert Shield's never ending journal. Each one of the stories covers someone who is a genius, or a trend setter in their own rights and I love learning about all of these people. One of the weaknesses I find with Holding On is that i'm often times wanting to learn even more about all of the people Isay is writing about. If some of the stories gave more of a background and not just brief glimpses at these truly unique people then I feel as though it would make the book a much stronger read for myself.
     The strategy I have been using the most to read more actively in Holding On has been to simply write notes down in a separate piece of paper about everything that I find to be extra interesting or that would hold importance to the overall message or theme of the story.

     Tommie Bass has definitely been the story to intrigue me the most throughout this book so far. I think one of the biggest themes with this story is that anyone can be a expert in their own right, whether they are an average joe or doctor with a degree from one of the most prestigious medical schools. From the short glimpse into Tommie Bass's life I feel as though we share the same type of morals as one another. If a child were coming to me in need, I would do whatever it is I could to help them and not think a second of a reward for doing it and I find this trait in Tommie to be truly admirable. Tommie definetely has incredible morals but this man is also a genius in his own right often times out witting the town doctor in his past to save lives when the doctor himself, with the medical degree, could do nothing. I find this incredibly interesting as I am a pre-med student and I feel as though natural remedies should definetely be a subject taught more in schools. Hell, if a self proclaimed hill-billy is saving lives where a doctor would condemn them to death, obviously there is a flaw in the educational system for doctors that is being overlooked. Tommie Bass's picture really helps set this idea of a simple, ordinary man who is saving lives and very well educated in his own right on medicinal herbs. Looking more closely at the picture for Tommie Bass, I notice his desk in the background and the area around him is extremely cluttered. It probably means this man keeps himself very busy or maybe he possibly commits himself to research to discover more herbs or their affects on humans. "We don't claim to be a doctor. Don't have no doctor's license," This language sticks out to me heavily as it just shows how Tommie is this simple man, not very highly educated grammatically and more than likely in school what soever, talking about himself in second person the majority of the time, yet he is incredibly smart when it comes to medicinal herbs and healing ailments which is a very deep contrast that most people would never expect from, from a man like this. I noticed that Isay definitely made it a point to contrast this man with real doctors and I think he did so excellently.  This simple man is really in his own rights holding his ground with educated doctors and I think it speaks volumes about his character.


  1. I've also really enjoyed Holding On. It's just an easy, interesting read, and I am glad to see that I am not the only person who has liked it. Mr. Bean was quite the character who surprised me too.
    I think I may start talking notes on another piece of paper too. It just feels odd writing in the book, but I think I'll try to stick with it for the class.
    Also, Bass seemed like such a unique man. I just got this vibe of him being like an alchemist that you'd read about in Shakespeare or in a fantasy book. Men like him just don't exist now-a-days.

  2. I think that is a very noble cause, I admire anyone who can make it in such a difficult field. I thought about medical myself, I am a nurses assistant from tri-rivers and doing that alone showed me that I was not fit for a hospital. I also like that you payed that close of attention to the picture and I would agree he does look like he is a busy man even in his old years. I guess you never get to old to stop helping people.

  3. Tommie Bass was a profile that I too found an interest in. Just as you said, he was an expert in his own right and did not claim to be a doctor. The section describing his interaction with doctors investigating his herbal remedies seems to be ridiculed by the researchers. This could be that Bass was offended and took their criticism as insult or the doctors were unfriendly in their analysis of his herbs.


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