Etcetera - 08/19/11

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This goes out to our area's aspiring young writers: Veterans of Foreign Wars is offering a $30,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C., as the top national prize in its annual essay contest.

It begins at the local level, where VFW Post 992 & Ladies Auxiliary members are sponsoring the contests for third- through 12-graders.

"Is There Pride in Serving in Our Military?" is the theme for the Voice of Democracy contest for ninth-12th grades. Writers in sixth through eighth grades can compete in the Patriot's Pen contest and address the question "Are You Proud of Your Country?" Finally, third- through fifth-graders can expound on the question "What is an American?" for the youth essay.

Each time these contestants write on such topics helps them acquire the knowledge and experience to tackle the Voice of Democracy essays that offer the top prize. Past national winners got their experience from entering the youth essays and Patriot's Pen, according to Linda McBride, local essay contest chairwoman..

All students are urged to enter these contests, Linda said, which feature nice awards on the local and district levels, too.

Entry forms for the various contests are available at locals schools and online at www.vfw.org or www.vfwladiesaux.org . For more details, contact Linda at 525-0617 or the Ladies Auxiliary president at 526-5598.

Anne Fadiman's "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures," is the Walla Walla Reads selection this fall at the Walla Walla Public Library.

Courtesy of multiple copies of the book donated to the Library by Whitman College, readers can check one out to prepare for Fadiman's visit with the community of readers.

She will look at the struggles of a Hmong refugee family from Laos and their interactions with the California health care system in caring for their epileptic daughter.

Issues of cultural difference, communication, ethics, and medical anthropology leave readers debating the right thing to do.

Fadiman will discuss her book and the writing life at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Library, 238 E. Alder St.

Whitman selected the title as its 2011 Summer Read.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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