Thursday, August 25, 2016

Story: Adam Was Delusional

Adam and Lilith stood in the East region of the Garden of Eden, admiring the fruitful trees from which to eat and abundance of sparkling streams from which to drink. Creatures of all type roamed about freely. A feeling of serenity washed over them as they admired their home; it was perfect. Lilith caught gaze with Adam; she flashed a smile, her eyes twinkling with joy.  Adam quickly shifted his gaze to the path before them, and asserted that they get to work. They set about exploring the garden, intending to assign names to all of its inhabitants, which they would inscribe on a clay tablet.  As they walked, Lilith tried to make conversation with Adam, but if he replied it was only in quiet grunts.  Adam’s behavior was starting to concern Lilith - he had become more and more distant during their journey, and would frequently mumble incoherent words to himself or jerk his arm in response to nothing.  She decided not to waste her energy thinking too much of it, she had other things with which to be concerned.

This is how I image the Garden of Eden. Courtesy of Matt Gilman on Flickr

Adam and Lilith found a quaint spot atop a small, grassy hill that gave them an exceptional view of many different types of creatures.  Adam began naming them as Lilith transcribed.  After Adam had named several animals, Lilith was ready to switch and try her hand at naming.  When she suggested this idea to Adam, he threw his head to the sky and cackled. Adam turned to Lilith and said, “You do not get the privilege of naming these creatures, for that is the job of a MAN.” Lilith didn’t understand what he meant. “Aren’t we equal,” she wondered. Adam continued, “The LORD God has assigned me to this task, you Lilith, a woman, are only with me to be my servant.”

“Adam, what are you talking about? Who is this God you speak of? And I am most definitely not your servant; I am your partner, your wife!” Lilith replied.

“Nonsense,” Adam screeched, “how dare you question our God! Do you not hear him when he speaks to us? Do you not feel his divine presence all around us? He is the one who gave us this garden; he is the one who gave us life!” Lilith didn’t know what to say, for she certainly had never heard someone besides Adam speak with her, and though the garden they discovered was magnificent, she certainly felt no divine presence. Adam continued to yell, and demanded Lilith to submit to him, telling her that her only purpose was to be of use to him.  Adam’s words confused and upset Lilith; she ran off to be alone, or at the very least away from Adam.

After wandering just a few minutes, Lilith stumbled upon a lovely tree full of supple fruit, and decided to sit underneath it to ponder Adam’s words. She thought about what he said for quite some time, but could not make sense of it. Lilith grew tired and dozed off, but the sound of footsteps soon woke her.  Adam was approaching the tree.  Lilith grabbed a low branch to support her as she stood up to face Adam.

Lilith, by an unknown artist from Carl Poellath's atelier in Schrobenhausen. Source

“How dare you speak to me in such a way, Adam! What has gotten in to you?” Lilith demanded.  Adam once again began shouting, insisting that God had told him all of these things, but suddenly he stopped mid-sentence.  Terror struck Adam’s face as he stared at a branch above Lilith’s head. Lilith turned to see what he was aweing at, only to discover a serpent dangling from the tree, only inches from her face. She swiftly ducked and moved far enough away to feel safe.  Adam turned to look at her, then back to the snake, and then back to Lilith; Adam’s face was twisted with anger. “How dare you associate with the DEVIL,” Adam roared.

“What? But Adam, it’s just a sn-,” but before Lilith could finish, Adam struck her across the face.  Adam raised his hand again while muttering something about “sins” and “the Devil,” but Lilith hopped to her feet and fled.  She refused to let herself be treated so poorly, and she would not stick around. Adam screamed an assortment of hateful words in her direction, but she kept moving.
Adam made his way back to the wooded area where they had set up camp, muttering incoherently to himself as he walked.  “God, my wife has left me! She wanted to be treated equally, but I told her it was not your will,” Adam projected toward the stars.  Silence.  Adam continued, “Yes God, I told her, but she left.  I went to find her and she was with the Devil at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I tried to convince her to come back with me, God, but she ran off to be with Satan!” A light wind rusted some nearby leaves, and Adam smiled, “Yes God, I will.”  He picked up the clay tablet and began to write of the horrors of Lilith when he heard a voice behind him.

“Hello, I’m from a nearby group of gatherers.  I thought heard someone crying, so I thought I’d check it out and make sure you are okay.” The woman continued, “My name is Eve.” 

DISCLAIMER: In no way is this story intended to be offensive to: anyone suffering from any sort of mental illness, victims of domestic, emotional, or physical abuse, or any person of any religious background. I really didn't know how else to make a story from the stories I read in the Adam & Eve unit other than to make it really over the top, and kind of dumb, so I'm sorry if the content (or the lame writing) offended you in any way.

Author's Note: You can probably tell from the disclaimer that I don't really love this story. I got to writing some stuff about it, got this far, made some edits, and figured it would do.  This unit was really hard for me to complete (stories from stories are hard for me to do anyway), because I'm not religious at all, and honestly found some of the stories I read quite offensive to women. Usually I wouldn't be very bothered by that, there are tons of loudmouth sexists out there, but it just bothers me that such a HUGE portion of the population accepts these stories as the absolute truth, and use guidelines from a book containing these (and similar) stories to make decisions or judgements of others. It's a lot easier to see why sexism is deeply ingrained in so many cultures, though, if people really believe the things that are written about women in these stories. But enough of me complaining, here is some info on the story I chose. 

I know the unit was about Adam and Eve, but I couldn't help but focus on one specific story about Lilith from The Legends of Jews by Louis Ginzberg. According to legend, Lilith was Adam's first wife, but unlike Eve she was not made from Adam's rib, but from the same dirt from which God made Adam. Adam and Lilith's relationship didn't last long, though. Why? Oh, just because Lilith wanted to be equal to Adam, ya know, considering they were both made by God in the exact same way. But no, God and Adam didn't want any of this equality business, and that upset Lilith, so she left Adam. Adam didn't like being left, I guess, because he complained to God, who then sent angels to go get Lilith back. The angels tell Lilith to return to Adam, she says no, so they threaten her - if she does not return, she will lose 1000 of her demon babies daily (suddenly she's a demon who has at least 1000 babies per day????? Yeah I was just as confused.) She still says no, and then apparently becomes some wretched demon that hunts babies, or some other very strange *cough* BS *cough*... I mean, ending. The story had a very strange ending that came out of nowhere. Anyway, I wanted to make Lilith at least more noble in this story, because heck yeah, you should be equal, girl. Also, I wanted to make the way Adam treated her harsher, but only because he was hearing insanely violent voices in his head (aka the LORD). He may be a loving & forgiving God, but man does he have a mean streak.

Bibliography: The Legends of Jews by Louis Ginzberg (1909).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Learning Challenge: H.E.A.R.T, H - Happiness and Health

Today I decided to find out a little more about learning by HEART, specifically learning about happiness and health . I chose this topic because I often find myself feeling lonely or pessimistic (i.e. unhappy) instead of thinking positively, appreciating my time alone, or enjoying what I'm doing.

I did or learned about three things to improve my happiness today. 

1.  Being grateful is a good technique for feeling happier. Here is a short video about the effects of gratitude.  To practice this in my own life, I wrote 2 thank you cards to people in my life that recently went out of their way to do something nice for me. They were addressed to:
My manager - she recently purchased every one at the clinic cat-themed (adult style) coloring books as well as a large, reusable bag covered in - you guessed it - cats. 
My neighbor - just a couple of days ago she gave me a really cute coffee mug that she purchased while she was in Tulsa. I thought it was really nice that she was thinking of me while visiting my hometown. 

2. Happiness Jar: I can't decide if I'd rather make a physical happiness jar, or just make a blog post that I update daily (or both?!) I think doing both would be the most fun - it'll be nice to have a tangible collection of notes, but I also think doing it here would help me be more accountable for it.  I can't promise I'll do it every single day, but I'll do my best!

Happiness Jar. Source
3. Read about how to be happy on
This website/blog used to be my google chrome homepage on my old laptop.  It's full of excellent posts, ideas, reflections, and more, on everything from happiness to productivity.  It seems like it would be an obnoxious or scammy website judging by the title, but it's not at all.  I'm glad I rediscovered it, because I had forgotten about it.  The article I read talks about how being happy about what you're doing in the moment, instead of thinking about what you COULD be doing, is an important part of being happy.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Reading Notes: Adam & Eve Part B

Part B of my reading consisted of The Forgotten Books of Eden by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr. (1926), parts 1 - 25.


This part of the reading focuses on after Adam and Eve leave the garden in which: Adam and Eve sob and repent constantly, Adam kills himself a few times (God reviving him each time), they encounter the Devil in the form of a serpent again, the Devil snake tries to attack Eve, Adam cries some more, God continuously reminds them of their "transgression" against him, more sobbing.

Really the only ideas I got from these passages were to make God an abusive boyfriend or father, sick right? I will say, my absolute favorite imagery was in The Sunrise and the Serpent , where the Devil (as a snake), chases after Eve while Adam sobs because he didn't have a stick with which to hit the snake.  I find this imagery hilarious for some reason, but I can't think of how to make a story out of it. The only thing that comes to mind is describing the scene in further detail and making it into some sort of comedy.  Like in Scooby-Doo, when the gang runs from "monsters", going in and out of random doors in a hallway, and somehow they end up running away from Fred with the monster.... ha!  Adam would be sobbing the whole time, naturally.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Courtesy of the EyZmaster on deviantart

I have so many questions about these stories, like if God knew Eve would betray him, why would he give her the opportunity? Why would he let the Devil reside in the garden? Why would he make the tree in the first place? One could easily answer that God wanted to test their commitment to him, but he KNEW it was going to happen, for he is all seeing and all knowing, so why let it? According to himself, he knew it would happen before he even made Adam, so why bother? Or why not take some time to perfect your design before you make humans? There are so many aspects of it that just don't make sense to me. I'm going to try my best to write the least blasphemous story I can possibly write; I don't want to be outright offensive to people who may follow this religion.   

Reading Notes: Adam & Eve Part A

When I originally thought about reading the Adam & Eve unit, I had my hesitations, and now I'm thinking I should have listened to my gut... As I read through each passage, the urge to pull my hair out and bang my head against the wall grew stronger.  Who knows, maybe a good story will come out of my frustration.

My first, and perhaps the most obvious, inclination was to rewrite one of the stories to where Adam is the one who eats the fruit, not Eve.  But that wouldn't make for a good story, at least that I can think of, and really is quite petty.  None of this stuff is true, anyway, but it's hard not to feel offended, reading stories that essentially criticize a laundry list of things about a woman and women in general.  No wonder sexism is so deeply rooted in societies, when people interpret stories, like the story of Adam and Eve, literally.  Actually, even as some sort of symbolic work, the only things I get out of these stories are "don't question God" and "women are bad and are the reason for bad things." Anyway, I guess this isn't the place for a rant - but I don't have many reading notes over these stories, and those I do have are likely too explicit to post.

The story that I liked (could stomach) the most was that of Lilith.

Lilith the Badass; Credit: Lady Lilith by Rossetti (1867)

Lilith was Adam's first wife, not made from his rib, but from the same means as Adam was made, the dust.  Because of her creation, Lilith wanted to be treated as Adam's equal, not as essentially his servant, but that didn't fly with Adam.  Lilith ran off with the Devil as opposed to staying with Adam in LITERAL PARADISE with unequal treatment.  I say: you go girl!

Anyway, at this point, I'd like to write something about her; perhaps something about life after Adam or her life on the road with Satan, in the story of a fairytale? Maybe as a sort of crime piece? I'm not really sure, all I know is this piece was my favorite in the first part of week 2's reading.


Bibliography: Lilith from The Legends of Jews by Louis Ginzberg (1909).

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Growth Mindset

I had not previously heard of Carol Dweck or the Growth Mindset, but after watching the videos and reading over some of the challenges, it definitely piques my interest.  While watching the videos, I related more to the "fixed" mindset. Often I'm worried about grades more than actually learning, and I'm often afraid to look unintelligent.  I think that I was certainly in the fixed mindset in high school and when I first started college, but I do think I've developed more of a growth mindset since being at OU.  I could definitely continue improving, though.

Where my obsession with grades came from is unclear.  My parents did not emphasize getting all As, or being the top of my class, or anything of that nature; I was the one who wanted it, even at an early age.  I made excellent grades, was put into special classes, and won all sorts of awards as a young kid, and because of this, my family would constantly praise my intelligence. Often times they still do.  I used to enjoy it, but now it makes me uncomfortable.  I've gone so far as to skip family functions, because I couldn't handle the pressure of being asked about school, my grades, and all the "great things" I've been up to.  I've been honest with them when I've gotten mediocre grades - I once told my grandma about a C I made in one of my classes, but she literally didn't believe me.  "No way you could ever get a C, you only make As," or something along those lines.  It was stressful and upsetting.

Not only do certain members of my family reinforce a "fixed" mindset, but I think many universities in general do.  I don't like living in Oklahoma; I would love to be going to school on the east coast right now, but I only applied to OU. Why? Because I was afraid of being rejected.  I was afraid they would look at my high school grades and ask "why didn't you take more AP classes? Why did you fail this class? Why didn't you take the ACT after your sophomore year?" or whatever else.  I didn't try much in high school because I hated it; I was depressed and desperate for attention or somewhere to fit in; I wanted to be cool, and cool kids didn't try.  I wish I could go back and tell my high school self the things I know now.  {Like being yourself is cool, and will make you happy} For those reasons and many others, I slacked, and I regret it.  But anyway, I had the capabilities to go to most schools, just not the GPA or long list of extracurriculars that I knew they would want  And now, I feel as if I have to play catch up.  I would love to go to grad/med school on the east coast, but in order to get in, I've got to look good on paper, and that means good grades.  Many times, it makes me feel trapped.  Instead of sitting in class and feeling excited because I get to learn AMAZING information from (essentially) experts, I'm anxious, wondering what material will be on the test, and being sure to write it down so I don't forget it.  I feel like the world in which I live is stuck, and is trying to keep me stuck, in a fixed mindset.

That all being said, I think I would be very interested in working on some Growth Mindset challenges this semester.  I'm definitely worried about my Cases in Medical Microbiology course.  The professor sent out an announcement informing us that we would be doing a lot of talking in front of the class, which is nerve racking! I want to be able to freely develop ideas and link concepts together, but instead, I just worry about being wrong and looking stupid.  I want to try to overcome this.



Starting the Semester

My life is constantly stressful. I'm really bad at time management, so even basic assignments tend to take me at least an hour to complete.  I procrastinate, BAD.  I don't work out regularly, or have many good outlets for my stress, so it all builds up and it's becomes pretty overwhelming... My schedule always seem so jam packed.  I wish I didn't have to work a stressful job while in school, but hey, what can ya do?
Taking all of that into consideration, I don't have many tips you'll want to follow.  I have a great GPA, but at what cost?!? Haha, but really...  I'm more looking forward to reading everyone else's tips, so maybe I can get a better handle on my upcoming semester.  Here are a few, though:
  • Use a planner
I love technology, don't get me wrong, but there is no way I could rely solely on my phone/computer/PDA (heh) for my entire schedule.  I know people do it, and hopefully it works well for them, but I've got to PHYSICALLY write things down in a planner, or I'll completely forget. Yes, even if I set a reminder on my phone... That just can't be my only way.  I actually have a planner I take to all of my classes, a wall calendar above my desk, a notepad type thing with a weekly schedule, AND a calendar connected to my hotmail that's configured to email me my daily schedule every morning.
I'm a very, very forgetful person sometimes.  Sometimes I'm just not motivated, so seeing that past Sara took the time write something down and put a bunch of stars next to it sometimes gives me the kick I need to get my stuff done.

Me, always. Credit: CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

  • Wake up at the same time every single day
I don't even do this really, but I know I should.  I am really bad about waking up early.  I hate mornings, I hate getting ready, it just all sucks.  I have noticed that when I start waking up every morning (yes, even weekends) at the same time, it's much easier for me to get up in general.  If you're one of those people who can just hop out of bed whenever, then good for you, I'm jealous, teach me your ways; otherwise, routine is key.

This also applies to going to bed! I'm just as bad at that too though.

  • Have a support system
My tip for getting through the semester is having someone I can call when I'm having a bad day.  For me, it's my mom, but I think it could be anyone! Your friend, your sister, your SO, your neighbor? Whatever, as long as you have someone to level with sometimes.

That's all I've got.

Basically. Credit: CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

Reading Options

Week 2 Reading - Adam and Eve
While browsing through the week 2 reading options, I was having a hard time deciding. I'm not religious by any means, so the idea of a Biblical unit immediately sounded unappealing.  But then I thought about it more - maybe it would be interesting to read these stories from a different perspective than I had as a child, so, for week 2 I am choosing Adam and Eve

Adam und Eve, Hans Sebald Beham, 1543

Other Interesting Units

This unit immediately caught my eye.  My freshmen year of high school, I attempted to read Inferno and Purgatorio, but never ended up getting very far. What I was able to read of these epics was very intriguing, and I definitely want to revisit them in this class. I love the specificity and organization of Dante's vision of hell; the circles of hell and who is contained in them is really interesting. 

The Barque of Dante; "This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights."

African culture is so different than Western culture, and exploring their paradigms and interpretations of the world is fascinating.  Their spirituality is so different than our religion, and from what I've read in the past, it is much more in tune with Mother Nature.  I also like that the author of the stories in this unit, R.E. Dennett, was a trader and member of the Congo Reform Association, which was against British colonialism.  I'm somewhat familiar with very basic, general African literature, but it will be interesting to explore it more.  

I find Tibet to be such an interesting place. From Mount Everest to Buddhist monks to their modern political conflict with China, I think learning about Tibetan culture through folktales would be eye-opening.  I took Chinese for 3 years in middle school, and in those classes we learned a lot about Chinese culture (though I can't say I remember very much...) Tibet and China are often lumped together, but I would like to know more about their distinctions, because I'm definitely #FreeTibet.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Famous Last Words: Stories From Stories Will Be the Death of Me.

I've been working ahead in this class for a reason; my course load is pretty heavy this semester, at least for me, considering I've got a job and a shiny new research position to tend along with my 15 hours. The assignments for this class have been pretty straightforward so far, though I was definitely tripped up on the "story from a story" assignment.  I probably spent too much time overthinking it, worrying if my rendition would be good enough. Ultimately I think it turned out alright, but it made me nervous for what lies ahead.

Fast forward to moments ago: I've just completed the "Browse the Storybooks" assignment, and I'm feeling eager to continue to progress.  I work this weekend, and won't have as much time as I usually would to work on the course.  I click on the next assignment and there I see it, glaring back at me.
"...'stories from stories' is the central theme of this class"
I pause, reread the text, but the words don't change.  I appreciate the reasoning for this, but that does not stop me from feeling anxious.

Pathogenic Microbiology, Cases in Medical Microbiology, Organic Chemistry (II), and a physics lab, but I'm now certain this class will be the most difficult.  Now, I don't think that the idea of asking students to write stories from stories is an absurd or unfair thing by any means, but to me, it feels next to impossible. Sure, I've been creative. I've tried to write books, draw pictures with dual meanings, and have even made up my own dances to weird songs; but that was when I was a child. At this point, I'm certain that any creative bone(s) I had in my body fell out in the form of baby teeth during grade school.
What I mean is, I have trouble discerning meaning from anything in a non-empirical sense. Or a non-scientific sense. However you want to word it, I've never been good at figuring out even the most simple symbolism, like what the hell the big red A meant in the Scarlet Letter. I want to understand, I try to understand, and it seems to be always right under my nose, but it ends up escaping.

Perhaps I'm being melodramatic about this. I have no intention of dropping this course, and I hope that I'm wrong, and that my creativity is reignited, because I think that would ultimately make me a better scientist and all around person, but I can't help but worry!

Enjoy this unrelated image!

Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris, France; Photo credit: Me (2014)

Storybook Favorites

After browsing the extensive list of previous students' storybooks, I found a few that caught my eye, a couple that piqued my interested, and one that blew me away.  The first one I clicked on actually ended up being one of my favorites, but the other two took quite a bit of clicking and reading to uncover. The last storybook was definitely worth the trouble.

I'll start off with my unpopular opinion: The Beatles are overrated.  They're good, don't get me wrong, just completely overrated.  Now that that's out of the way, I'll say that I really like the style of this storybook.  The design of the page went really well with the content, and I liked how the author wrote this story from the point of view of a 69 year old hippie in London.  I also liked the fact that this story was in the form of a psychedelic flashback; I immediately thought that it would be fun to see where the author goes with this...  Definitely an introduction that caught my attention. What wild adventures will ensue? How many Beatles references will be woven in the story? How many of them will I actually recognize or understand? 

For some reason, the simplicity of this landing page caught my eye, along with the large, obviously aged painting of a ship.  The author begins describing the legend of "Calico", or Jack Rackham, while enjoying  some "suds" with his fellow pirates.  As per usual, a cryptic old man interrupts the playful storytelling with enticements of "the truth" about Calico's tale.  No but really, it's always the old man in the corner of the bar who knows the "truth," which always somehow ends up being stranger than the original story.  Anyway, the author really grabbed my attention with this promise of an enticing, and hopefully a first hand, story.  I don't know much about pirates, but this storybook made me eager to find out ergo continue reading.  

1.  The Aviarium by ???

After clicking on dozens of storybooks, this was the most unexpected surprise I found.  I saw the title and nearly brushed it off, but I'm glad I didn't, because it is definitely my favorite.  I think the landing page simple and sophisticated, and I really loved the image of the bird exhibit in the Senckenberg Museum.  I navigated to the introduction page and read on, only to be struck by surprisingly gripping imagery.  I love that the author puts me into the story, forcing me to picture myself there.  I almost felt like I was in a "choose your own adventure" story.  The intro definitely gave me an eerie feeling, and the writing is great, and wow, another beautifully suited photo!  I literally felt antsy clicking on the "Exhibit One" tab...  

Here is an image from the introduction page:
To Breathe: A Mirror Woman by Kimsooja

... I was right. I'm blown away by this storybook.  Not only is the writing tantalizing and elegant, the story is keen, and well... phenomenal.  Now I wish I knew the name of the author, but the anonymity almost makes it more enjoyable.  If my storybook (assuming that's the route I take) is even half that good, I will be more than pleased with myself.  Bravo, five stars, the highlight of my evening, truly. Who knew a story about freakin' birds could be so good?!


The Awkward Introduction of a Microbiologist and Cat-Lover

Hi. I'm Sara. 

(For maximum effect, hit play)

Animal Collective - For Reverend Green

I was born early in the night on a Monday in July, 1994.  I'm currently 22 years old and hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My parents have been married for 30 years, and are both RNs in an ICU in Tulsa. I have a brother, Jacob, who is 17.  I graduated high school online in 2012, then went to Tulsa Community College where I sorta unintentionally got my AS.  I'm also a registered phlebotomist thanks to good ol' tech school. I'm a senior (technically...) studying Microbiology with minors in Chemistry and German.  I still have 2 years until I graduate, though.  I'm still contemplating my future career, but it'll be along the lines of MD specializing in infectious disease or PhD focusing on infection/antibiotic resistance, or somewhere in between!  I'm currently a undergraduate research assistant at the Lawson Microbial Systematics Laboratory, where I'm helping out the graduate students who are working to classify/learn more about the human gut microbiome.  I'll spare you the details, but if you want to know more, go here.  I also work as a vet assistant at the a cat hospital here in Norman. I love my job, but sometimes there are sad days and I cry.  The song you're hearing helps me on those days.

If you couldn't already tell, I love cats.  I have 2 here in Norman (Church & Piper), and one back home in Tulsa (Lils). I also have a Siberian Husky named Jasper. I miss my pets in Tulsa, but am very lucky to have my two kitties (kids) here in Norman.  They are siblings from the same litter.  Church is blind, as he was born with Microphthalmia or "micro-eyes" Here are obligatory pictures:

Piper (left) & Church (Right); Photo courtesy of me.

Lils & Me; Photo courtesy of me.

Jasper. Photo courtesy of me.

I enjoy listening to music, my favorite band is Animal Collective.  I used to play the drums, but I haven't had a kit a several years, so I can't say I still play.  I also like watching TV quite a bit, my favorite shows are Arrested Development (which I watch all of the time) and The Wire (which I rarely watch, because it is emotionally draining. WALLACE WHY?!)  I also enjoy going out with my friends, although I don't have many here in Norman.  I like wine and board games, especially when combined.  I enjoy cross-stitching rap lyrics and framing them, but I haven't actually *finished* one yet.  I also like knitting, but I'm really bad at it, and I can never find left-handed patterns.  Or I'm just too lazy to follow them.  

I don't like talking about myself very much, especially to "strangers" on the internet, even though I guess you are technically my classmates (& professor), so that's all ya get for now! 

Me; courtesy of me (& Erin for taking the photo with my phone)

The Story of Dave

Author's Note:The Aesop's Fable The Man and His Two Wives tells a story of an aging man with 2 wives, one young and one old, who feel differently about the man's grey hairs.  The young wife decides to pull out the greys, while the old wife pulls out the rest, intending to just leave grey.  He ends up bald.
The moral of this story is "yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield."  Though I appreciate the moral, I like to imagine that they came up with a solution that made everyone happy, so I turned it into a sort of poem with a different ending.  


Dave's Cone Head
Cartoon Head 31 by doodleguy on openclipart

Dave was small in size but had two wives; their names, Greta and Cindy. One was old, age untold, while the other, 30 years his junior. He held them both dear but soon it was clear, Dave was beginning to age. Without Dave knowing, the greys started showing; his wives had different opinions. 10 years his senior, Greta was eager to stop being called his mother.  
But Cindy quite feared the jabs from her peers, like calling Dave her great-grandfather.

With what to do with their man, they both had a plan, but their thinking was quite the contrary. Cindy’s demand, tweezers in hand, was to pluck all those pesky greys out. David abided and laid by her side as she searched for those evil white hairs. The very next day, to Greta’s dismay, Dave’s hair was just looking black. With a long sigh and Dave’s head on her thigh, Greta had her turn with his locks. Soon he was bald, his wives quite appalled, not knowing where they had gone wrong. When he looked in the mirror, it couldn’t be clearer; Dave’s head was shaped like a cone!

Being embarrassed because he was hairless was really bumming Dave out. Having taken an oath to please them both, Dave was in a predicament. At a family meeting, they ended up agreeing to only pluck half of his head. After quite the fight over who’d get the right, Cindy settled for the left. So every other evening to each woman’s pleasing, they’d pluck out the hairs that they did not like. Because of Dave’s tact, one half was black, and the other side solely grey. The next day in town, he was called a clown; everyone mocked Dave’s new ‘do. Dave did not care - he loved his hair, for reasons they did not quite get. This may sound sappy, but it made his wives happy, and that’s what Dave always strived for. They did not intend to start a trend, but half colored hair became all the rage. {Everyone hopes to be content.}

Dave, after. (Not actually Dave)
Photo courtesy of The Costume Guild on  Flickr

Bibliography. "The man and His Two Wives" from The Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs. Source.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Extra Credit I didn't Even Know I Already Had: Tech Tip: Blogger Template

I'd like to talk briefly about the templates offered on this website/blog:

To be honest, I haven't explored them much, but I knew I needed a change as soon as I saw the bright orange default template Blogger provided.  I suppose bright orange would make sense considering Blogger's logo/icon, but it reminds me too much of OSU (ew, am I right?) Jokes aside, I don't like orange, so I essentially immediately changed the color scheme. Little did I know, doing so was actually an opportunity for extra credit!  I chose a simple green and white color scheme because it suited my mood at the time, but if I don't get too swamped with life this semester, I may end up messing with it more. I haven't explored the lengths to which I can customize this blog yet; I definitely don't want to end up making my blog hard to navigate, but we'll see. (Shout out to Xanga and "making layouts" ... the golden years.)

If you wanna change your template, you should, because it's easy.  Dr. Gibbs even has a blog post about it, which I'd link but I'm not that nice, and plus I can't do your extra credit for you, come on! <GOB voice> Here's a link if you really really need help though.


PS: I hope I'm not too informal on this thing.  Lord knows I'll end up treating it somewhat like a diary and not an element of a college course.  Thanks, internet culture.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Favorite Places

The Northeast

As vague as it may be, one of my favorite places to be is the Northeast. New York City, Philadelphia, & New Hampshire to  name a few, as well as my absolute favorite, Washington D.C. I love the bustle of a large city - there's always something going on. I love how easy it is to get from one city to another up there - just hop on a train in New York and in an hour or two you're in a completely different city and state with tons of new, exciting things to do. I also love utilizing the subway/metro/whatever you may call it when I'm visiting these places. It's (usually) fast and efficient, and is an excellent place for people watching. 

I was recently on vacation in Philadelphia (and NYC!), and while there I discovered one of my new favorite places, Spruce Street Harbor Park. It's a nice little park and urban beach located on the Delaware River. It has a floating beer garden, free games, and the best part - over 50 hammocks in which to relax. Visiting the park at night was one of my favorite experiences from my recent trip.  

Spruce Street Harbor Park; Philadelphia, PA. Image credit: My own image (2016)

The Beach (or any decent body of water)

I love being near the water, whether it be a beach, river, or even just a backyard swimming pool. One of my favorite things to do is float on the water with a good book, though I haven't been able to do it as often as I'd like since moving to Norman. Tulum, Mexico is home to some of my favorite beaches. I had the opportunity to visit Tulum in 2012 for a wedding; I'll definitely be going back. 

(PS: There was also a hammock park in Tulum. I guess I just really love hammock parks?)

Tulum, Mexico. Photo Credit: Stefano Ravalli, Flickr. Link

Honorable Mentions: Tulsa, Oklahoma (my hometown) & The Hospital 

I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. It's where many of my friends and family are still located; that alone makes it one of my favorite places. There's also a surprising amount of things to do there, well at least now. I miss it a lot, but I'm very lucky to be able to live in Norman and go to OU. 

One of my favorite places in Tulsa is Saint Francis Hospital, aka "the Pink Palace." Yeah, I already know how weird that is, considering most people hate hospitals, and I know some who won't even go inside of one. But both of my parents work in the ICU at Saint Francis, and have for nearly my entire life; I essentially grew up at this place. I also worked in the main laboratory for 2 years while taking classes at Tulsa Community College. I learned a lot there, and miss my job all of the time. Working "Code Blues" was always an interesting and sometimes emotional experience. 

My love of hospitals isn't limited to Saint Francis, I really just love the hospital environment. Don't get me wrong, I hate being sick, but there's something about the (appearance of) sterility and cleanliness in hospitals that appeals to me, along with the fact that many of the people there are working to save lives. 

Saint Francis Hospital; Tulsa, OK. Image credit:Kong213, own work via Wikimedia Commons. Link

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Hi I'm Sara.
I hate introductions but I love bacteria.