Guided by prompts from WDC blogging challenges... and of course, life
This is a collection of writings prompted by WDC blogging challenges from "Journalistic Intentions" , "Blogging Circle of Friends " , "30-Day Blogging Challenge" and, well, life.|
PROMPT September 10th
What qualities do you value most in yourself? List at least three of them and tell us why you have these values.
Qualities...let me see...I'm not really big on promoting my own self but I'll give it the old college try... so I will go with some of the qualities others have told me they see in me...
1. Empathy - I really do feel what others feel. Their pain wrenches my heart, their elation makes my spirit soar. It can be hard on me, but God made me this way so I could help others and I am definitely going to use my gifts!
2. Grateful - If I was not grateful for God's blessings in life - and life itself - I would not be me. To be grateful for the small things in life, for life, and even for the lessons learned in the bad times - that's when we are most at peace with our lives and who we are. Living in pain is tolerable but I don't want to die an unhappy person.
3. Generous - I am generous to a fault. I tend to give so much of myself and my time, I have been known to lose track of my own needs and problems. It also sets me up to be used over and over again (which probably contributes to my withdrawal from most of the physical world). But my nature is a gift from God. He made me this way for a purpose bigger than I know or can comprehend.
And I have also been told that I must be brave and courageous to live the life I have been dealt. But what's the other option? Killing myself would be a cop-out. I just make due with what I've been given and am grateful for every single day I wake to see a new dawn.
There are a few more people have said too, once I think about it. Honest (you could say blunt), kind, understanding, open minded, responsible, trustworthy, reliable, modest, humble, etc...
But most of all, I'm ME. There's no one else I'd rather be.
DAY 3222 September 9, 2021
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”― Terry Pratchett
Discuss this quote in your entry.
I think I have already discussed this topic before, or maybe I just dreamed it, but in any case here we go...
Generally, if I go away, I have no intention on coming back. But in those cases where I do, those places usually appear darker, more threatening. Maybe my memories are just sunshine and rainbows, I don't know. When I returned to my old hometown, there was a different ambiance about the place, other than the inevitable changes time has on places. The buildings seemed to crowd me, I felt like the people looked at me judgingly. How do the people see me? Do they still see me as the cheerful girl I pretended to be? Do they see me as the outcast I felt I was? Are they still spreading rumors about me? Do they believe that the old rumors are true? Do they look at me, wistfully longing that they had gotten out of that small town too? Do they hate me because I was able to escape? People who were once my confidants had become strangers. Awkward, uncomfortable silences abounded. Some sneered, some tried to strike up a conversation, still others avoided me completely. It is true, "coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving." I wouldn't change my life path for another if I were able. But sometimes, I have to wonder who would I be if I had never left that little town of 150 in the middle-of-nowhere Texas. Would I still be as miserable as I was when I left? Would I still be afraid to show the real me? But you know, others made it out too. And some of those are lifelong friends. Sometimes, your roots rise up and move with you.\
Word Count: 357
PROMPT September 9th
Everyone seems to be pretty health conscious in today's world. What health tips have worked for you. If you can't think of any, or are like me and haven't pursued any, what would you like to do to improve your health?
Health tips...Don't get sick? (Just kidding)
Now to be serious, I have never been one to diet or try those fleeting health trends. I have always eaten what I want when I want. And for a while I drank a lot of soda and sweet tea (I am from Texas after all)
I can tell you from experience, cutting out the sodas and weaning myself from the sweet tea was the best thing I ever did for myself. When I cut out those drinks, I replaced them with good old fashioned H2O - water - the elixir of life, sometimes adding some lemon juice for flavor. Increasing my water intake helped more than I could have imagined. I felt better and was also able to sleep better at night since I had cut out the caffeine.
Another thing, I have always eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables. Many of these really do help aid in digestion, which will allow for a healthier lifestyle. HOWEVER, being on blood thinners, I am no longer allowed to eat any green vegetables and as a result, I have seen an increase in my weight within the last six months. So, if you can eat them and can stomach them, do it!
Of course, being active can also help you toward a healthy lifestyle. If you aren't able to get up and run or work out, try a leisurely walk or going swimming. If you are chair or bed bound, find some gentle activities you can do within your confines. Those stretchy exercise bands help in cases like that.
But being healthy isn't just physical. It is mental too. Too much stress is hard on your mind and body. So find ways of destressing - doing something active is a great way to do that as well.
Just some thoughts for a start...
Word Count: 352
Day 3221: September 8, 2021
Prompt: “Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Use this quote to inspire you blog entry or describe autumn where you live.
Second Summer has settled upon us, the slightest of reprieves from the Texas heat. Rumors of cooler weather reach us from the North, but our respite hinges on the whims of the weather and blows away just as quickly. We know that fall has begun. There has been an increase in wind and skeins of geese can be observed flying overhead, headed to their wintering lands. They leave piles of droppings to mark where they landed for rest and drink. The leaves are beginning to show a tinge of yellow around their edges and hints of fungi can be smelled wafting in the ever present wind, promises of more to come. Stores have begun to set out their fall and Halloween wares; the candy an enticement to my sweet-tooth, the decorations showing us how Autumn looks elsewhere. We'll get to that point, eventually; right before Winter sets in.
Word Count: 196
PROMPT September 8th
A practice I can begin to help me let go of negative emotions and return to a state of peace is…
I have learned and now use many techniques for letting go of negative energy and emotions. There are a few which work best for me such as music and dancing, writing and other forms of art, cleaning, prayer, and hugging a tree (and other forms of meditation).
That's right hugging a tree. Grounding is a great way to allow negative energies to flow out from you into the ground below, while nature's calming presence replaces those negativities with a sense of well being. It doesn't really have to be a tree. You can sit or lay on the ground and the earth works just as well as a tree. But, in grounding, visualization is highly important. You have to visualize those negatives flowing out of you and into the ground or tree, while also visualizing the calming influences of nature pouring into you, replacing the bad vibes.
Who knows? Maybe it's all in my mind, but it works so I do it. What's that old adage? - Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.
Word Count: 197
Day 3220: September 7, 2021
Prompt: "Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that's precise, predictive and reliable - a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional." Brian Greene - Use this quote to inspire you blog entry.
My mind works well for the study of science. I like order and facts, research, field study, and even the not so fun things like writing up reports. Science gets my pulse racing and excites my mind. There is so much to see, do, and learn under the huge canopy term of Science. There's always something new to discover, to prove. Ask any of my former students and they will tell you, "This lady is crazy about science!"
I have been a science nerd since I was little. It began with my love of all things fossil. I'm pretty sure my love of fossils, paleontology, and archaeology began before any other love of science. With Daddy being an excavationist (he likes to say he plays in the dirt for a living), he would often find amazing fossils. Some of which he brought home for us, those that the paleontologists would allow him to keep any way. He found a mammoth on one job site. Didn't get to keep that one. But he brought a wide variety of fossils for my inquisitive hands and mind to explore. I now have one heck of a collection of petrified wood, ammonites, and other fossilized sea life. I suppose that was about the same time my love for geology happened also. My rock and geode collection has been growing since I was a young little thing. I still collect cool rocks I see hidden amongst the more common rocks littering the ground.
When my big brother received a telescope for Christmas one year, my attention grew to encompass what was above me as well as what was below me. I was so enchanted with the stars! I even painted pictures of them. So I began reading everything I could get on astronomy. I think I checked every book on the subject out of the school library at one point or another.
When my parents bought a farm and moved us to the country, my love of all things living occurred and triggered my love affair with Biology. The wide range of biology is probably still my favorite science, but as I have aged and added more and more knowledge to my brain's memory banks, I discovered the many disciplines under the umbrella of the term biology. There are so many that call to me; microbiology, herpetology, ornithology, zoology... but amongst my favorites are: mycology, botany, and genetics. It only made sense that my area of research would be plant genetics. Long hours of working in the lab and the growth chambers, DNA sequencing, data entry - it never got old for me. Along with my boss, I discovered so many titillating secrets about how plants work to adjust to new environments; not just physically, but at the DNA level as well. We found that gene to gene interactions were the cause of certain physical traits. There was something new to learn every day!
But I also discovered amazing sciences like chemistry and physics. Physics is amazing! It uses Mathematics to explain why and how things do what they do and is not limited to living organisms. It helped me understand a little better how my brain works. You know, some sports are actually easier to play when one has a decent understanding of the laws of physics. And chemistry! Getting down to the core of things! All of those elements so orderly and precise! Creating so many different things from those same building blocks we call elements. How could you not love science with so many directions in which you can delve?
But I prattle on. Science is a way of life. For those of us who are science-minded, it is our passion, our love. It isn't something that can be switched on and off like you can a light (which can be explained through physics). It is with us every second, makes us who we are. And through science, humanity has been able to understand how things work in the natural world, we've learned more about ourselves, and have progressed our abilities in medicine and technology. All Hail Science!
Word Count: 745
PROMPT September 7th
You have been chosen to speak at a Zoom conference concerning your chosen field. Over 500 people will attend. Each of them is new to your field and are waiting to hear words of advice from you about this field. What will you say to them to them concerning things you wish you’d known about the industry when you were getting started?
A bit of explanation ▼
Love of subject openly shown
leads to student interest grown
and more enjoyment of your classes.
Balance is required when teaching
or fewer students you'll be reaching
so you'll need discipline to control the masses.
It takes a willingness to explore
animal carcass, guts, and gore
so steel stomachs come in handy too.
And get ready for the insects
'cause you won't get too much respect
by running 'round and screaming while you do.
Classifications are worth knowing
so many facts can be mind blowing
and I haven't even gotten to DNA.
There's plenty more to go through
but the best thing I can tell you,
is loving what you do gets you through the day.
Day 3219: September 6, 2021
Prompt: Choices can change our lives profoundly. The choice to mend a broken relationship, to say "yes" to a difficult assignment, to lay aside some important work to play with a child, to visit some forgotten person--these small choices may affect many lives eternally.
Gloria Gather - Tell us about a choice you made that changed your life.
Every choice we make in life has the potential to change our lives profoundly, as well as the lives of those with which we interact. But, being human and therefore fallible, we all make some doozies in our lifetimes. I've had a few. The probably worst choice I have made to date affected mainly me, but in the long run has affected my parents, children, my husband, and even some of my friends throughout the years. As a teen, I suffered from undiagnosed Bipolar disorder. Most of the time, I was depressed to the point of not wanting to be alive with some times of feeling invincible surfacing once in a while. I was unhappy. When I considered everything I had to be grateful for, I became even more depressed because there were others that had life much worse than I. I couldn't find a reason to verify why I was so despondent. So one day, I took a bottle of muscle relaxers that a school mate had been prescribed for her back. The whole bottle. I went into seizures during theater class. Everyone saw it. I'm sure the teacher was scared to death. I woke up in the Emergency Room having my stomach pumped. It turned out that the choice I had made to end my life triggered my dormant genetic trait for Epilepsy. The choice to try to end my life just made it worse than I perceived it already was. My parents then had two kids with Epilepsy. Two kids' specialist bills to pay for, and the labs, medicines, etc. They had two of us they had to worry about day and night, never knowing if or when one of us would go into a grand mal seizure. I was teased at school after that, people pretending to have seizures and calling me a freak. I had a few more big ones at school too. It was always so embarrassing. The choice to take my life inadvertently affected my ability to get into the top universities I had been looking into, and the Naval Academy (they wanted me to be seizure free and medication free for at least a year before I would be allowed in - and that never happened). Little did I know then, it would affect me for the rest of my life. I had seizures when I got sick or too stressed, seizures during my monthlies. That choice affected jobs, the quality of life for me and my little family. I tried to hide my Epilepsy from new friends as long as possible. It always ended the same way, with them being witness to a seizure. I his it from my husband too. He found out in the middle of the night when I went into a pretty bad one. He took me to the hospital and when I came out of my post-seizure state and was finally coherent, we both found out I was pregnant. I had seizures while in labor with both of my girls. No amount of medication could keep them away. Then, my daughters had to grow up with a defective Mommy. But they became old hands at dealing with the effects of the seizures. There were a few times when the seizures were so bad they scared everyone. I'd wake up in the hospital with everyone I love taking turns sitting in my hospital room waiting for me to finally wake up. And the kicker, the Status Epilepticus. By the time that one hit, everyone was well used to what to do. When the seizure lasted longer than five minutes and then more came back to back, they knew I might not make it out of that one. I think it scared the bejeezus out of all of them! I don't know, I was incoherent. I think that choice made my life and the lives of my family much worse. All these years, decades later, I still wonder if I hadn't made the choice to try to end my life, how different my life would be. But, then again, I wouldn't be the person I am today.
Word Count: 750
PROMPT September 6th
Do you love your job/career? Tell us why you love it, and why did you choose this career and not something else.
It wasn't my dream to be a teacher, in fact my mom warned against it, as she was unhappy in her teaching role. She taught English and history. Originally, because of my love of animals, I wanted to be a veterinarian. That fell through when I began college and discovered my new-found freedom. At seventeen, I learned that partying was way more fun than learning. I failed out during my second semester, even failed aerobics. Morning classes are difficult when you wake with a hangover daily. So, I dropped out of school and focused on my social life. Two kids and almost twenty years later, I decided I was tired of slinging pizzas and mowing lawns for a living so I enrolled back in school. My first degree was in computer programming and design. I was stoked when I graduated, ready to take the world by storm. I ended up using my degree to work a desk job that was far from enriching for a couple of years. Extremely unhappy with where I was, I decided to go back to school again, this time in Biology. Why the heck not? I have always loved science, been a bit of a nerd. (I totally rock being a nerd by the way, no better thing for me to be) The field of Biology is so wide that I had my choice of what my field of study within it would be. I took every Biology class I could. And Chemistry and Physics. I was in my realm! THIS is what I was supposed to be doing! I loved every biology class I took and was the first student to volunteer for collection of samples in the field. I was offered a research assistant position with one of my professors and jumped on it. I was chosen over a few others because of my experience with plants. I already knew how to clone, do controlled pollination, alter growth cycles. So, into the plant genetics research lab I went! I absolutely loved research, both in the field and in the lab. I had my own growth chambers for the experiments we performed. I was lead assistant. I presented our work at symposiums. I was even a co-author on our research article that was published in Nature Communications. I thought I had found my niche. But the prof. told me there’s not much of a living to be made in research biology unless I was teaching as well. I’d be better off teaching and researching on the side. I had a family to think of after all. When I graduated, I also got my certification to teach - all science for seventh grade through twelfth grade. Over the years, I had become someone who covers their bases as much as possible, so this certification was perfect. The certification test was a whopper. Imagine taking a final exam where everything you’ve learned in all of your Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes was being tested.
I began teaching shortly after graduating. My first gig was teaching Sophomore Chemistry, Senior Physics, and Forensic Science, which was an elective available to juniors and seniors. Oh Yeah! I found I absolutely loved teaching. I loved sharing my enthusiasm for science with a whole new generation of nerds – and those who were just forced to take the class for a credit. Teaching was so much fun, and worth the time I had to spend creating lesson plans and lab activities and grading papers. And it turns out, Forensic Science was the love I never knew I had. After that, I moved to another district and began teaching biology, chemistry, Forensic Science, and Theatre. (Wait! What? Theatre isn’t a science! True, but they needed someone to teach it and since part of my original degree was paid for on a Theatre scholarship, my boss thought I fit the bill just fine. Okay… There are stories I can tell you about that gig, but they’ll have to wait for another day.) A few years there and I found a job at a private Christian school. I would be the main science teacher for all middle and high school classes, and I was encouraged to include Creationism into my life science lessons. (It works by the way, the theories of Evolution and Creationism can both work together to explain just how we got to where we are today. They aren’t as opposing ideas as most would have you believe. This, again, could be another entry for a different day.) My day was full. I taught physical science, life science, integrated physics and chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biology, physics, chemistry, and of course my new-found love, forensic science. These were the best years of my working life! The students became like my own kids. I shared in their successes and failures. I was there when someone needed advice and when someone just needed an ear to listen. I saw many students grow through the years, graduate, and become contributing members of society. Many of them friended or followed me on social media platforms like Facebook. Some of them became friends after they graduated. But all good things must come to an end, right? My illnesses took a hard turn south about a year and a half ago and I was hospitalized. Luckily for me, my hospitalization coincided with the arrival of the pandemic to our area and the lockdown that followed. So I was able to teach remotely from my hospital bed. I even used my dialysis as an opportunity for my Anatomy and Physiology students to see what it was all about, live streaming one of my dialysis/transfusion sessions just for them. Make the most out of every situation, right?! My students and even some of my former students sent well wishes to me in the hospital through the internet. Sent cards via a co-worker. But that was the last year of my teaching. The pandemic and my illnesses made sure of that. Sometimes though, I will happen across one of my former students on those rare occasions that I go into town. Some have told me that I was their favorite teacher. Many have told me they didn’t like science until they took my class, that I made it fun and interesting. And that is why I started and continued teaching. For the love of Science and for the love of the kids. Encouraging the nerds of the next generation.
Word Count: 1101
PROMPT September 5th
What is the best thing to come out of staying at home?
The best thing to come out of staying home is that I don't have to go around people. Seriously. My introverted tendencies have grown in epic proportion to the point that I am now anti-social, well at least as far as socializing with humans goes. Staying home, I don't have to experience the panic attacks that my social anxiety brings on anytime I have to be around more than a handful of people. I suppose I am becoming feral. (you can laugh there) I almost don't know how to behave in public anymore.
Another positive of my being homebound is that I have much more time to spend with my fur and scale babies, and they all need all the love they can get. With two cats, a big dog, a lizard, and a tortoise, my time has to be divided up amongst them even though I know the fur-kids would each love all of my attention. The cats already show jealousy of each other and the dog is jealous of my time spent with anyone but him. But they're getting more loves and cuddles now that I'm home almost all the time.
I also have time to do those things I put off constantly when I was working, like writing and crafting stuff. (And cleaning my house when I am feeling up to it). I have gotten more writing done since I've been a non-working member of society than I think I did in the last five years combined. Kudos to me! I needed this. I feel more myself again, even though I honestly miss teaching. Writing is something I can take with me when I have to go see a doctor or am on the road for whatever other reason I am forced to leave home-sweet-home.
So there you have it. I don't have to be around people, I get to spend more time with my animals, and I am doing more writing. My stay at home blessings in a nut shell.
Word Count: 349