Absolutely Fearless: my life story!

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15 years ago today
In the middle of a bright, warm September day
They had to take me away to the hospital
To see what was going on with me
They ran so many tests and they were all very stressed
I was completely terrified
So I hid and I wept and cried
And frankly I wondered
No one knew what was to come
No one knew where it all came from
From such a happy child to frighteningly sick
My diagnosis was something I never heard of
So I thought wow, I’m so lucky let’s go home
Boy was I wrong as can be
I didn’t know the challenges in front of me

The time began to tick
They told me that there was no way I could finish school no way!
But I was certainly no darn fool
My mom pushed the high school hard and then they pushed back
My mom was a Rock star like J.J. Watt and she got the sack
I went in there with positive spirit
And it’s alive in this poem
Can you hear it?
I finished high school, finished so incredibly strong
Held my head extremely high, not a thing could be wrong

Then community college came along
I always knew I wanted to write
So I took that dream and I held it so tight I clutched that dream with all my might
And one night in 2010 I began to have real joy again
I wrote for the school paper and with utter glee
The words and phrases they just came to me: epiphany
Movie Reviews were my thing
God, I could really make the page sing
I’m in clubs like ecology and making friends
But that’s not how my story ends

In 2013 I discovered my saving grace – Shimer college
I decided that was my new dream
The pages on the table literally gleamed
The sun a ray of light casting hope on the page
As I took that pamphlet that my remarkable teacher had
I thought cool, now I’m going to MY school
A school of insight, bliss, and love
A school that was high above
Anything I could ever foresee
And then wonderful things happened to me
There was pain and suffering still
But I made it because I said I will

I made wonderful friends and learned things I couldn’t fathom
My studies were my love and joy
My friends were abundant and present
My classes were quite demanding
Their gift to me from my teachers :their complete understanding
I went on a spectrum of studies
And I had some grief and strive
But I had more in me and had the time of my life
Orange Horse and Solidarity
(Because everyone has seen the phoenix fly)
Two school events
Relished by me
After Aristotle, Darwin, Copernicus, Lerner and so much more it came
After Priestley, Dante, Shakespeare, Bell Hooks, and Woolf
After Gödel, Einstein, Virgil, Kant, and Augustine
After Humanities 3 and wondering deeply about my faith
After Fem Theories and two incredible senior classes
The big day, the end of me as a student came
April 29th 2017 was a day
Where they handed me the diploma and I internally screamed hurray!
I will never forget hearing my name and walking the stage to my happy ending
And a new beginning

Where I am now compared to where I was
All the hard work I put in and my family and friends
All the dark places I found myself in
I got out of them with perseverance, I got the win
Why?
It was because of love
Because you don’t quit when times are so tough
You are strong enough
So I will rise, with a loving family
And a college degree
And for all those who ever doubted me
You only ignited my passion to succeed
And now at 28 sometimes when I think that I’m too late
Too late to live my life
That I missed out
I pause
I take a moment, I take a breath, and realize
I’m just getting started
There’s so much life left to go

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Absolutely Fearless

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15 years ago today
In the middle of a bright, warm September day
They had to take me away to the hospital
To see what was going on with me
They ran so many tests and they were all very stressed
I was completely terrified
So I hid and I wept and cried
And frankly I wondered
No one knew what was to come
No one knew where it all came from
From such a happy child to frighteningly sick

My diagnosis was something I never heard of
So I thought wow, I’m so lucky let’s go home
Boy was I wrong as can be
I didn’t know the challenges in front of me

The time began to tick
They told me that there was no way I could finish school no way!
But I was certainly no darn fool
My mom pushed the high school hard and then they pushed back
My mom was a Rock star like J.J. Watt and she got the sack
I went in there with positive spirit
And it’s alive in this poem
Can you hear it?
I finished high school, finished so incredibly strong
Held my head extremely high, not a thing could be wrong

Then community college came along
I always knew I wanted to write
So I took that dream and I held it so tight – I clutched that dream with all my might
And one night in 2010 I began to have real joy again
I wrote for the school paper and with utter glee
The words and phrases they just came to me: epiphany
Movie Reviews were my thing
God, I could really make the page sing
I’m in clubs like ecology and making friends
But that’s not how my story ends

In 2013 I discovered my saving grace – Shimer college
I decided that was my new dream
The pages on the table literally gleamed
The sun a ray of light casting hope on the page
As I took that pamphlet that my remarkable teacher had
I thought cool, now I’m going to MY school
A school of insight, bliss, and love
A school that was high above
Anything I could ever foresee
And then wonderful things happened to me
There was pain and suffering still
But I made it because I said I will

I made true friends and learned things I couldn’t fathom
My studies were my love and joy
My friends were abundant and present
My classes were quite demanding
Their gift to me from my teachers: their complete understanding
I went on a spectrum of studies
And I had some grief and strive
But I had more in me and had the time of my life
Orange Horse and Solidarity
(Because everyone has seen the phoenix fly)
Two school events
Relished by me

 

After Aristotle, Darwin, Copernicus, Lerner and so much more it came
After Priestley, Dante, Shakespeare, Bell Hooks, and Woolf
After Gödel, Einstein, Virgil, Kant, and Augustine
After Humanities 3 and wondering deeply about my faith
After Fem Theories and two incredible senior classes
The big day, the end of me as a student came
April 29th 2017 was a day
Where they handed me the diploma and I internally screamed hurray!
I will never forget hearing my name and walking the stage to my happy ending
And a new beginning

Where I am now compared to where I was
All the hard work I put in and my family and friends
All the dark places I found myself in
I got out of them with perseverance, I got the win
Why?
It was because of love
Because you don’t quit when times are so tough
You are strong enough
So I will rise, with a loving family
And a college degree
And for all those who ever doubted me
You only ignited my passion to succeed
And now at 28 sometimes when I think that I’m too late
Too late to live my life
That I missed out
I pause
I take a moment, I take a breath, and realize
I’m just getting started
There’s so much life left to go

Throwback: Hidden Figures

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I still recall seeing the trailer for this movie and being particularly excited about the concept: Three women of color with brilliant minds overcoming racism to use their brilliant minds to get a man in space at the NASA program. In addition to keeping our rivalry with Russia very clear, the movie Hidden Figures did something I was surprised with because it did a good job focusing on the work lives of the three women. Often, movies with strong women still put emphasis on their family and this movie did a nice job of showing their families in a pleasant way that helped us gain perspective on them as women. However, it was more in the background and their crowning achievements in their careers were celebrated in this movie. Kate was extremely good at math and worked in that department at NASA. She was a widow with three children and she was asked to check the equations of an all white male division of NASA. She had to overcome the adversity of the colors only coffee pot the men installed one day, and the biggest struggle she had to get her work done was the bathroom situation. The colored bathroom was almost a mile away in another building. This becomes a problem because she cannot effectively do her work, with the amount of time spent running to the bathroom.
Kevin Costner had a wonderful role as a mentor of sorts, I thought, being kind to Kate, the mathematician. But, unfortunately, I found out that his character was not part of a true story. He was a “white hero” invented by Hollywood and based on the texts I am read in college, it was particularly difficult to deal with the fact that they couldn’t stay true to the history and create a white hero who knocks down the colored bathrooms sign, but in real life that didn’t even happen. The adversity these three women faced as women of color is clear from the beginning with their car breaking down and the white male police officer demanding respect. Sadly, in a more passive aggressive way, the second brilliant woman is denied a promotion and it is clear the tension between the white and black women in this movie. The third women, who wants to be an engineer has to take courses at what is a segregated high school. So, to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer she must petition the courts to allow her to study at an all white school. Despite all the backlash and struggle, these three women were pioneers of math, computers, and engineering. I only wonder if they weren’t held back so much if they could have achieved even greater things if their race was not in the way.

God and Science intertwined <3

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During our talk on Nicholas Copernicus, we tried to grasp the scientific approach he took and in doing so wondered whether it was divine science or human science he immersed himself in. There are a lot of diagrams at the end of the reading that we did not talk about at all, but we were busy working on the science behind the science. (I will explore a diagram later in this protokoll.) We took an approach of figuring out why Copernicus composed his problems and ideas in this fashion and this led to an interesting conversation. I believe his thinking was a blend of the two fields suggested. Also, in this protokoll I want to discuss that division between science and philosophy that we couldn’t escape as well as well as a concept that Ethan brought forward at the end of class. Finally, I would like to demonstrate how Copernicus analyzed his Order of the Heavenly Spheres as an example of how unique his approach to science was. The idea Ethan brought that was touched upon was this concept of believing in something you cannot see, which is something that we are doing when we acknowledge certain scientific theories such as his. I want to examine how believing in scientific theories is similar to a belief in God, as you cannot see him either. God shows up a lot in our texts at Shimer, and I want to explore a unique way of putting forward one’s belief in the Lord.

Using Science to discover something that I see as this: something has a hypothesis and after the experiment is conducted evidence that proves or disproves a theory is evaluated. The theory is then adjusted or possibly discarded. I think of visual evidence for theories behind the science of something but that is not always the case such as gravity. In the case of Copernicus, there are things he believes where these kind of thought processes are present. Because Copernicus is writing his theories to the Pope, I am interested more in the belief of what you cannot see for the sake of my argument. The example given in class was you can drop a pencil and it won’t fly to the side of this classroom, it will fall straight down. So, that disproves that the room is moving although other theories we know of prove the world is actually moving. I wonder if Copernicus is willing to believe in what he cannot see in terms of science because he believes in God. That is a powerful belief, grounded in blind faith. An argument I have heard very often in relation to God is – if God is real, give me proof he exists. Does this set a certain precedent for science or am I way off base with linking these concepts? Science while you cannot see it sometimes comes with theory and math to back up a claim. While not directly visible, things such as the Earth moving can be proven. So I ask, where does the notion God come from or rather where does God come from if we cannot see him? My Catholic upbringing and continued presence in the church gives me an answer that isn’t the one I seek for this purpose. In our many of our readings God is believed in (or one is told to believe) and when questioned by a person, one is demonized, exiled, killed, or threatened with damnation. This protokoll is not calling for converting, it merely asks, is the blind faith necessary to believe in God similar to the way one thinks of theories such as the Earth being able to move?

 

Furthermore Copernicus links God as a presupposed being important in his theories, so can one believe in his theories but remove God from them? The discussion of the heavens or the discussion of things being spheres, could those things still be in tact while taking God away? I wonder how close believing in things we cannot see like gravity which is not in this reading connects with how one believes in the divine. Would Copernicus have different concepts (or perhaps weaker or stronger ones) if not trying to avoid offending the figure of the Catholic Church? What I am also interested in is one can deny gravity, but gravity will continue to exist without being accepted. Does God still exist if someone denies his existence? Perhaps God exists to some, even if others refute God. But it is clear with my stream of thoughts that one cannot treat God and science together as things to “believe in”.
To understand Copernicus even more, I believe we have to look at some of his work step by step. While he used the work of Plato and Ptolemy, those works were used to demonstrate how those scientists’ theories were wrong. Copernicus had a great appreciation for science that can be seen in his writing. He goes to great lengths to express what he is passionate about, and takes about Ptolemy’s theory step by step, very methodically. What he came up with after the analysis is the modern understanding of the planets that we have them today. One of Ptolemy’s theories is that if there were an empty space in space that nature would fill it. Using the planets Mercury and Venus, math, and logic Copernicus proves that this idea is wrong. He, in fact, disproves many of Ptolemy’s ideas by doing the calculations that he presents and showing that what Ptolemy believes cannot be so. Considering angles, orbits, rotation, and the paths given by Ptolemy, Copernicus is able to calculate his own measurements that still hold true today.

What is interesting is that Copernicus did not have a telescope to prove when Venus would be visible, just calculations. Galileo actually used Copernicus’s theories and with the invention of the telescope could take all these concepts that Copernicus created and actually see he was correct in his theories. He took the layout of the planets, the measurements of where Mercury and Venus were in the sky, and saw that Copernicus was right in his work. Perhaps also not being able to see his work because of lack of a telescope was blind faith. He did have facts and figures in front of him that were consistent with what scientists after him found. In conclusion, Copernicus used Divine and natural science, conceptual ideas and data to create new theories. His belief in God may have strengthened his ability to accept certain scientific notions, but the passion he had for science was also a huge driving point in his study. He never openly insults other scientists, he does one better by proving their theories wrong by using their own work, and I think that is a stroke of genius.

 

The idea of his work being more conceptual than gathering data was presented in class and is interesting because I challenge that idea. I believe that it was beneficial to think of big picture things such as planets and the heavens. I believe while there is a lot of conceptual thinking I believe that using others or his own data also went into the work that shaped his theories. We briefly went to the next reading to compare Galileo and Copernicus. This shows me that the blending of divine and human science helped Copernicus, but I have not read all of the other reading to say whether that reading was similar. What I can say is that Galileo had a very direct scientific method that he boasted about with his telescope. This use of technology and setting up conditions versus the data that Copernicus works with is a way to think of scientific thinkers as using different methods in the name of furthering science. Copernicus took from two kinds of scientific thought to create his theories. They were strengthened through this way of thinking. Believing in God may also have strengthened his ability to believe in theories one cannot readily see.

 

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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When a mirror crosses my path I avoid it! I do not own a single mirror. Such a device does not exist in my room. When I look in the mirror, I can pick apart the different layers and see my eyes my mind; it helps me to hide the inner most layers of paint, of lies, I tell myself each day, of hopes and dreams that were happiness, excitement, love, passion, obsession, hope, dreams, loneliness, confusion, curiosity, anger, suppressed fury, and sadness. These layers are my beautiful disasters. They are my breakdowns. When I look long enough in the mirror I want to smash it. Memories of illness that is permanent and the things I can’t change overwhelm me. The worst part is that nothing I can say or do will change it. I don’t want to be that sad girl who is brittle and fragile and clearly not all there. When I look long enough at this wall of truth I see exhaustion, I see the wanting of dreams to come true. I tell lies to myself that what I dream will come into reality.

I see in the mirror what I cannot change. I will always be second best! When I see the silver device again I want to shatter it. Destroy it. Melt it. Shatter it. A mirror has a long list of stereotypes. Be this fake entity. I have to look nice, thin, sexy, porcelain doll perfect. [Insert name here ] is trapped in this idea of me becoming this perfect person. I want to understand how I broke [ ] porcelain image, I actually shattered it – broke out of that stage, I have no long lived in this way , and in return  now, I look into the memories, and I see failure, someone struggling to go to bed each night and not hate myself. This sudden knowledge that no one can love me if I don’t love myself first.

When I glance at myself, I’m curious am I that ugly, tired thing? Why should I even care any longer? Everyone expects these things from me when I want to live in a world where none of those frivolous things matter.  A mirror is quite a dangerous friend for once you lose sight of what is important you see only skin deep. Now when I look in the mirror, I love my aqua outfit I love my eyelashes, all I wonder how is who will love me back, more specifically will he? Respect me, pile up and pull apart my thick intricate layers. After that you must still love me despite and in spite of myself. That happy girl, content and lovely the one I once was, maybe he can capture and release what he sees – an exquisite, intelligent, ambitious, tender, gentle, wild, unpretentious – the jungle of qualities that make me.

When I look in the mirror for a third time in the band room, I only want to be myself today, tomorrow, forever. When I look in the silver slab of honestly, I remember what someone once told me. Don’t hide and be yourself. Do not care what other people think. Even though the mirror can’t lie, an interpretation is left up to the eye of the beholder. When the mirror and I cross paths, I see that first day at the hospital. Only I see that girl who gets her heart ripped from inside her everyday, that girl who has to pick herself up without aid from anyone and say – you can do it, why care about the past – go out there and show them. Understand. Love. Find the line try never to cross it. Pull yourself together. The only person that “mirrors” my emotions with wise words and a gentle tone – [ ] When I see his face, I don’t need a mirror – I see a smile which I am certain has crept across my face. What I need is already inside me. It is how you use it, that knowledge that makes a world of difference.

 

Because I am here to stay

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Wash them tears away

I promise better days will come

This pain you feel is not for good

You know what you are running from

Wash them tears away

Better times are on their way

I can see them coming

Be grateful for what you have

Be aware that it’s going to be okay

Don’t despair

Don’t throw your hands in the arm

Throw them around me instead

Wash them tears away

Because I am here to stay

To Witness Love

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I consider it

I consider how they are so happy

So lucky in love

The most breath taking kind of love

It is quiet and calm like a summer wind

Then it is loud powerful like a summer storm

Their love is in their eyes

It’s all anyone needs to know

But I know them

I’ve known and I know them

It is possible to be the perfect pair

A lovely young couple glowing

Standing as they wed

Thoughts are circling in my head

I felt like I wasn’t physically there

Like I was up above floating on air

Through all the days and all the nights

Tonight the sky is burning bright

As we make a tunnel of sparklers

For them to exit the evening

It dawns on me

Life isn’t perfect

But Love

In all its imperfections

Can be the most perfect cure

For an Earth swelling with sad events

Tonight we celebrated their love story

We were all unite

On a calm September night

To witness Love