Read. Watch. Listen. with Jasmine Ball

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Jasmine Ball is an Administrative Coordinator in the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Student Experience).

Today, she takes her turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

Read.

Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It, by Richard V. Reeves. This book caught my eye because, as someone interested in issues of social justice, I was curious to see what policies the author would recommend to make social mobility more equitable. I didn’t expect I would end up examining my own actions, especially as a parent with a desire to provide opportunities for my child that weren’t available to me. I realized that at a certain point we have to recognize that it is unjust and anti-meritocratic for parents to give their children advantages that preclude access for equally (or more) deserving children. We cannot pull up the ladder behind us, even if it means our own children might miss out.

Watch.

Fleabag. Starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Adapted from her hit play by the same name, this BBC/Amazon series manages to be bitingly funny while following a character who is unwilling to examine her anguish after the loss of a loved-one. She is somehow both despicable and sympathetic, and the trailer doesn’t do the show justice. I’m a sucker for stories centering on a maladjusted protagonist navigating unsatisfactory interpersonal relationships – all with a sense of humour – so this series was a pleasure to stumble upon. It is pretty lewd, though, so let that be a warning if you prefer more wholesome television.

Listen.

Mortified podcast. This podcast is an excellent way to enliven a tedious weekly chore. It’s basically an open-mic night where people share their angst-ridden teenage journal entries. Even though many of the stories venture into the realm of the extraordinary (listen to Episode 119: Everyone’s a Critic for a good belly laugh and a delightful reveal), I find the near universality of the readers’ hormone-driven emotional responses, along with the coping mechanism of putting pen to paper, to be reassuringly relatable. Listening to this podcast, you can’t help but laugh at your own melodramatic youth.

*   *   *

If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.