Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
My daughter, Jeanette, sent me a link to a Ted Talk given by Amy Cuddy in which Dr. Cuddy discusses body language. Woven into the talk is her personal narrative. She was in a serious accident and was told not to finish her undergraduate work because she lost a considerable amount of IQ points as a result of the accident.
She developed imposter syndrome. I was beginning to identify with her.
Her advice was fake it and change your body language and eventually you will grow into the person you want to be.
Here is the Ted talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html
This is worth a try.
Editing this because it was written and posted in the wee hours of the morning when I didn’t have the sharpest writing or editing skills.
I watched this Ted Talk on the way to Pittsburgh and was initially interested in body language and our perceptions of people. Toward the end of the talk, she was discussing her feelings that she didn’t belong to her undergraduate and then her graduate program because she had suffered some damage to her cognition in an accident. Her story moved me on a personal level because I suffer from impostor syndrome and feel like a fraud but the idea that when a non-human primate is suddenly put in a leadership role, they fake it until their testosterone levels rise and cortisol levels drop. In other words, fake it ’till you make it is a legitimate strategy.
One of the non-verbal power stances is the so-called Wonder Woman hands on the hips strong stances. When I was in fifth grade, the teacher, a nasty woman, told me not to put my hands on my hips because “It isn’t lady-like.” I was frustrated with this woman and asked her what I should do instead and she suggested I hug myself by the elbows which is one of the most weak body language signals in the human repertoire. I cringe when I consider the number of girls that had their legitimate selves robbed by that horrid woman.
I am outraged that we can’t produce anything better for our daughters to wear except vapid and inappropriately sexualized clothing declaring boys over books or shopping as a favorite academic subject.
Its bad enough that girls are socialized to center their activities around their favorite boys and to build their conversations around gossip while boys are socialized to build their conversations around their favorite activities, now girls have their clothing literally speaking for them.
This is a revisitation of the Barbie in the 1990′s that had, “I hate Math” in her repertoire.
This is derived from the same source that would socialize girls to want to become princesses (again, defined by the men that she can snag but limiting her own personal development as an individual, yeah, just what we want for our daughters.)
Note: I had to wait for nearly a month for Sofia to return from Mexico and give her permission. God continues to give me a “Do Not Give Up” message.
I love hearing her talk about her childhood in Mexico and I love her bubbly personality. She is a powerful prayer and an amazing story-teller and she is brilliant but she was never able to get her high school diploma and has been studying for the GED. She took it in January and passed every subject save math. The reasons for this will become ovbious. I will not post her story without her consent but Sofia posted the following on Facebook.
“Many years ago, I was told that there was something wrong with my brain, something like a trauma or so. I was told not to ever attempt to study Math, because of that “trauma” my brain couldn’t put together 2 plus 2. I took this comment to heart and decided not to go trough high school. Today, the curse was broken! I PASSED MATH! Yeeeeeeeeh! I just needed 410 points to pass and I got 510 wow! Look at me, look at me, he, he, he. I am getting my GED diploma. Yes, it was a very hard test (for me). A good friend from church (who happens to have a brilliant brain) prayed for me two months ago, and when she asked God to “rewire my brain” a bright light pup off on my right eye. Two nights ago I had a dream were God was whispering to my ear, telling me that I passed Math already. This morning, before I left for my test, my husband Isaias prayed for me, and when he asked God to come to my rescue giving me his understanding in algebra problems, that light pup off again, the same way it did last time. When I was doing my test, I encounter I very confusing question, and I spoke this words: “Dear Jesus, let me use your brain, please” and the answer came right after I finished praying. TO GOD BE THE GLORY! I am so happy, that I could run and dance through the streets of Pottstown! Trust always in God and he’ll give you the victory. Do not ever give up. Thanks to all who have been praying for me, I felt your love and I love you too!”
My words could take me in so many different directions but I want to focus on one thing, “Trust always in God and he’ll give you the victory. Do not ever give up.”
Beautiful words, I will not give up, I am glad you are my friend, and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use you with your amazing brilliant rewired brain.
Yes, you guessed who prayed the rewiring prayer and I am not as impressed with the aforementioned brain (mine not Sofia’s.)
Now, all I need do is wait for permission to post this.
If you REALLY want to do something about the privilege and the racial and gender double-standard do something about this woman.
Warning: I am about to be insensitive so if you are a member of Treyvon’s family please stop reading because I am going to make statements you won’t be able to handle.
The rest of you should think about this.
The Zimmerman case was poorly prosecuted and the jury handed down the only decision they could make because the standard was reasonable doubt and the defense produced enough legitimate reasonable doubt. Treyvon is gone, nothing you do can bring him back but, as that jury was deliberating, another black person, a woman, was sentenced by a judge in Florida. She could be President Obama’s kid sister if he had a sister or your brown auntie or whomever but she is rotting in a Florida jail for twenty years because she fired warning shots at an abusive husband.
Yup, crap on her.
She’s black…Strike One
She’s female….Strike Two
She’s in Florida…..Strike Three
Where is the Prez?
Where is Ann Coulter?
Where is Faux News?
Where are all the civil rights leaders?
To all my facebook friends that have blacked out their profile page, this woman is alive rotting in jail for far less than Zimmerman. She is in Florida and under the wacky self-defense jurisdiction. This is a *huge* double-standard. If you are sick and tired of dead black children and a frightened women rotting in jail, let’s do something about it. We can do something for Marissa! I’m thinking petition President Obama for a pardon. But some of you are activists and have the experience I lack.
Are we watching The Help?
Are we reading The Handmaid’s Tale?
Here is the story (credit to CBS News.) http://m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?pageType=national&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2F8301-201_162-57433184%2Ffla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots%2F&feed_id=1&videoid=37&catid=57433184
This tale from my childhood has been remembered several times over the past few weeks and the real moral of the story is just how completely senseless and illogical racism is now back up the clock several decades to a 5 year old Debra……..
My paternal grandparents whom I called Nanny and Pop-pop were pretty cool for old people. Every summer, they would give us a break from our parents by taking us to Ocean City, NJ for a week or two. They would find the cheapest flea-bag place to stay but we didn’t care, we were a couple blocks away from the ocean and boardwalk, we were in heaven.
Please don’t ask me for a logical reason but one thing we loved was to swim in the pool in front of the Ocean View motel right on the boardwalk. We would pay $0.50 for the privilege of swimming all day but once you left the pool area, you were out of luck.
So it happened one fine morning down at the shore many decades ago, my sister and I mustered up fifty cents and started what should have been several hours of fun time in the boardwalk-pool but about a halfl-hour into my swim, Nanny and Pop-pop called us out of the pool.
We just got here and there were no clouds in the sky, no turds floating in the pool, no logical reason to leave so I protested and was stearnly told to get out of the pool.
At that moment, my grandparents were the most stupid people on Planet Earth.
Later on, my sister offered a reason, not logical, not rational but a reason.
Brace yourselves……a black family had the audacity to take their kids swimming.
That was it.
Proof positive my Nanny and Pop-pop were absurdly stupid.
They wasted my money
They wasted my time.
What were they thinking?
We could catch the black?
They had black people cooties transmitted in an aqueous medium?
It doesn’t matter, from that day, they were not the sharpest crayons in the box and anyone with racist views were drooling (can’t come up with a term that won’t offend so use your imagination here) in my world because no excuse anyone has forwarded is any better than the “get out of the pool” reaction I endured as a five year old kid.
I really need help particularly if you have had books published.
1) The book is really short making it a novella. Would you read a short book if it was reviewed well?
2) Julianna said it is read at a quick pace. I asked her if that was an indication that it was boring. She said, “No, you’re just cutting out the boring bits.” Is there any positive aspect to the boring bits of a book?
I put together a promotional excerpt, (I need to add later,) it appropriate? Is it good? Does it make you want to read the book?
Here is the excerpt…..
Excerpt of Book
Anna had been free writing the night she was given Avi’s lament. She reached into the pocket that bore the handprint of her little nephew and took out the small paper in order to make sure she really did write down the words that were so real in her mind. The crumpled note paper was stained with old dried tears mingled with fresh tears.
“Unwritten, what if you were given the opportunity to make things right? What if all you needed was to reject fear and act out of love instead?”
Anna was too shaken to even read what was written in the book she held tightly in her embrace.
Anna handed Viola the slip of paper and it was Viola’s turn to turn white.
Quickly, Viola regained her senses. The teen’s free-writing confirmed the plan that was gestating in her mind.
Miss Viola took Anna upstairs to the dressing room under the eaves. There, she revealed a full length mirror that had that creepy effect when two mirrors are facing one another.
“The mirror is a gateway to times and places,” Viola explained, “Where you go is up to you; you have free will. I can send you back to the falls if you wish but I could also send you to Zipporah to make things as they were meant to be.”
The tears in Anna’s eyes told Viola which choice the teen had made.
“There is nothing I can do to prepare you for this journey but you must have love in your heart.”
“But….” Anna was filled with doubt but also animated with excitement because she knew in the marrow of her spirit that she had been chosen to right a grave wrong and that she was doing what she was created to do.
Why couldn’t Anna shake the doubts that were brewing in her spirit?
“You will feel a bit of a shock because the body just isn’t used to shifting.”
“You will be either moving between parallel universes or going back in time in your native universe but it is quite difficult to tell one from the other at times.”
A heart filled with love wasn’t a challenge for Anna for her heart was overflowing with the type of love that makes her spirit beautiful. The only thing that threatened to dampen the power of Anna’s loving heart was self-doubt and a gnawing sense of fear that periodically gripped her heart.
In fact, Miss Viola sent Anna with two words of advice, “The heart of a person guides actions with intention. Do not let fear make decisions for you and what you do, do in love. Let love govern your heart for love is the currency of Heaven. Fear creates discord and interferes with the song that resonates throughout the universe. It is difficult to impossible to hear the sound of the universe and move in harmony when all you can hear is the demanding rhythm of your own naked fear. Love, on the other hand, is the very essence of the song the Universe is singing. When someone acts out of love, he or she is in harmony with the rhythm of all of creation. Things have a way of working out in spite of circumstances. There is no explanation but this is a universal principle that holds everything together and unites all of Creation to the other. Against love there is no law, with love, there are no limitations.”
Yesterday, I was running errands with Julianna (for those that don’t know Julianna turned 14 in March.) The entire eighth grade is going to Dorney Park. Dorney has a water park that is included in the general admission ticket so we usually split our time between the theme park and the water park but Julianna told me that she was only going to the water park with Abby.
I, of course, wanted to know why hoping that there was no girl drama in Julianna’s little social circle but the real reason was far more disturbing.
Julianna and Abby are the only girls that feel secure in their own bodies to feel free to go have fun in the water park.
Both girls are thin naturally and I can’t speak for Abby but Julianna comes by her thinness naturally (unfortunately for me from the other side of the family.) She eats “like a boy” and is extremely active.
Her other girlfriends are too self-conscious to be seen in a swim suit and this breaks my heart. Julianna mentioned a friend who is a little bit chubby. “But I eat more than she does.” and “But she’s beautiful” and she is. Sadly, she has already decided not to don a swimsuit today.
I wish there was some effective way to help girls through this stage without the girls spending the rest of their lives worrying about their bodies in a swimsuit.
My girls are relatively unscathed but I think it is because of their skinny genes rather than anything I have done.
I am being honest.
But I will not let this fear, no matter how relentless, no matter how valid, to govern the decisions I make nor will I allow it to define my character.
Chrissy, I will stand with you in spite of the consequences. I will speak the truth and justice will prevail.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Two pieces of advice, “Do not let fear govern your actions but what whatever you do, do out of love in your heart. Let love direct your actions for love is the currency of heaven. Against love, there is no law with love, there are no limitations.”
a href=”http://dbaug2uga.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/jeanettemothersday.jpg”>It started yesterday, the day before Mother’s Day. Jeanette, who is getting ready to graduate from berkeley, shipped me a beautiful pink rose plant in full bloom. Perfect.
I am the luckiest mom in the world.
Finally, there is Joseph who arrived in the evening because he was working. There was a rose plant withered up and dying at a friends house and he rescued the plant from the trash and reasoned that water would help it out which it did so I received a flowerless and recovering rose plant and that is because he knows I like to nurture sad little creatures and the challenge of bringing a plant back to health.
I love all of you and the unique blessings you bring to my life.
Life itself is a miracle. All I need to become hopelessly awestruck is to think of ATP Synthase.
ATP Synthase is an organic molecular machine (with moving parts and everything. Much of the energy the body harnesses to be used for all the work the body does is turned into easily accessable energy called ATP and most of this happens oxidative phosphorylation. Hydrogen ions are separated and forced along the electron transport chain because H ions are + charged and the electrons are – charged.
But I went down a rabbit trail.
I am tempted to start with photosynthesis but I won’t
According to the Bible, human life was started in the garden.
I suspect the story is metaphor but even as a metaphor of our evolution, it is a story of lost paradise.
But there is another garden much later in the Bible. We often forget about it because of the drama around that time and place and it is a little boring, so boring that it might put you to sleep. I’m alluding to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and sweated blood and asked his father to let the cup pass but also gave his blessing and consent to the Father’s will.
I love to garden, it makes me feel as though God is using my hands and feet to do His will amongst the riot of color particularly midsummer.
I felt a little pull in my heart to share my plants with one of my besties. Liza wasn’t ready for a garden and Lori has crazy chickens not to mention three engaged and brilliant grandsons. LJ was over to make her treasure map with me and I perceived it was her.
LJ consented to go outside where I could show her something.
I showed her the new Stella D’ora day lilies and eagerly said “yes” when I offered to give her some. All in all, she said “yes” to five but started to cry at the last plant, the Forget-me-not.
Little did I know she was an avid gardener and lost her garden and hasn’t had the property to plant flower beds.
I am completely excited to think of my plants being planted in LJ’s garden now that she has been blessed with a beautiful house on a beautiful property. Part of my heart is poured into my plants and to think of them growing and blessing my dear friend makes me ache with joy that I get to play a part in such goodness.
I had my treasure mapping party a little bit late this year because Pat’s Uncle Joe died and his memorial was on Sat and Lori Poli and Sarah Poli’s little nephew passed and his (Griffin’s) memorial was also yesterday.
Remembering with a moment of prayer.
But we had a lovely time to focus on what we want for the next year. I have included a photo of my treasure map and I love it as it is the most conceptual tm I have ever painted.
The sun in the middle represents Jesus and the words below are lyrics from a worship song.
Be my center
Be my source be my life
Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live
Then something noteworthy happened. I was thinking I wanted to visit Ireland but then I thought of the rest of the world and I thought, “surprise me!”
But not for the world travel, no, surprise me!
I am like a foodie in a five star resteraunt telling the chef to surprise me. The chef will do his best to make my meal memorable and I am asking that of my Heavenly Father, go ahead and surprise me because I know you will give me something better than I could imagine for myself.
My regular readers, if I have any, are likely wondering what the hell Debra has been smoking recently but, rest assured, these things go together like peas and carrots.
I am going to discuss visual pathways and prosopagnosia at the Neuroscience Journal Club at West Chester and I haven’t looked at my notes for a good week so constructing this post will help. Note: I have been unsuccessful getting the photos where I want them so if the post looks good, it will be a bit more of an accomplishment than you might expect.
Where to begin? The man on the moon! Humans are born with a preference for looking at a human face and will choose a face over other shapes. In fact, humans will see a face at the most basic pretense this explains why most of us see a human face on the moon. Many were convinced the planet Mars has statues of humanoid aliens when it was nothing more than opportune shadows on the red planet. The need to see a human face is reflected in the newborn visual field being about the distance between where the baby is when he or she is nursing and his or her mother’s face.
Isn’t that cool?
Faces are so important to humans that a special region of the brain, namely the Fusiform Gyrus, is dedicated to facial recognition.
To appreciate this region of the brain that is located at the bottom of the temporal lobes, I need to take the reader through the visual pathways. When an image hits the retinas, the light is transformed to an electrical impulse that runs down the optic nerve to the place where the optic nerve synapses with the next nerve. This part of the brain, found on the bottom of the thalamus, and is called the Lateral geniculate nucleus otherwise known as the LGN. The LGN has six distinct layers of neurons and these layers correspond wih different tyypes of neurons and different purposes.
The image is carried back to the visual cortex that is found at the back of the brain in the occipital region.
If someone has damage up untiol this point, they are blind.
From the visual cortex, the image gets transmitted to various regions of the brain to determine (in general) where, when, and what the image is.
We are looking at what and the image will go to the facial recognition area on the Fusiform Gyrus.
If there is damage between the visual cortex and the fusiform gyrus, the person cannot recognize the face. This is called Prosopagnosia.
Things get even more interesting as the image is identified as a face gets transmitted over to the limbic system and the amygdala senses whether there is an emotional response to the image. If there is damage the person recognizes the face but thinks it is an imposter because they aren’t feeling the emotional response that is normal and the most logical conclusion for these people is to think their loved one has been replaced with a stunt double or alien (like in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers which was better in the remake.)
First, there are rolls, which are yummy
If you're not careful, your dinner rolls will become fat rolls and that only looks cute on a baby
Then be careful to avoid rolling a joint that might get you jail time unless you live in CO or Oregon (or was that Washington state?)
I am not writing about recrational weed or about healthy eating but another role which is the traditional gender role-playing that patriarchal groups like CBMW pushes in their complementarianistic teaching that they have elevated to essential doctrine.
These people are quite fond of the term role and encourage their followers to fill the role that they were given (by God) but the typical archetype is an image from the 1950's, the image is invariably white, upper-middle class, and everybody is doing what he is expected to do (Note: there is no he or she because if you were doing something worth reporting, you were a male.)
Role is right up there on my gag me words along with Bitter (and its misuses.)
What should I expect from an org. like CBMW, if you get rid of the C at the beginning and the W at the end, you're left with BM at the center which is appropriate since CBMW is full of shit.
I have a suggestion, let people live their lives as authentic beings created in God's image instead of filling someone else's idea of what plastic role they should be play-acting like so many Stepford women.
So I go onto Facebook and, Lo! and Behold! a controversy about marriage equity.
I am solidly and unabashedly on the side of equality for all that includes the right for my gay and lesbian friends to marry and I have a list of reasons why. This list will likely not be exhaustive so bear with me.
1) The law should apply to all.
2) Religious arguments should not impact secular law (1st Amendment.)
3) Extending rights to others does not diminish your own rights.
4) The extent to which the majority gives a minority group rights that they already possess reflects on the majority group.
5) We straights haven’t been doing such a great job of being married, why should we have exclusive rights to the institution?
Feminism and Abortion, an Alternative View
I identify as pro-life. It seems as though having a pro-life position is in conflict with classical feminism but I believe I must articulate my position and the misgivings I have with the entire issue as it is represented by two polarized sides. I believe a fetus is a human being with the right to life. I also believe a woman has the need to be able to exercise personal autonomy. This autonomy must extend to reproductive choice. The reason I believe abortion is such a divisive issue is because there are two fundamental rights that may not always be able to coexist peacefully. I have always believed the right to life is the one that has priority over the others but, I don’t say this without a lot of serious misgivings.
Recently, there has been an article in the New York Times entitled, “Pro-Life Nation.” It paints a picture of life in a state without legal abortion. El Salvador, in particular, has outlawed abortion. There was a story of a woman who was in a desperate situation that resulted in her having an abortion. She was caught, prosecuted, and is serving a long jail sentence. Unfortunately, her two children are now without a mother. They are being raised by an extremely impoverished grandmother. I don’t want this type of justice in our nation. I don’t want to see women in desperate circumstances having dangerous abortions and facing jail sentences for killing their babies.
I do, on the other hand, value the life of the unborn.
What a conundrum. Pro-life and Pro-choice seem to be mutually exclusive, how can people be brought together to work for common ground.
What is the common ground?
In my opinion the basic common ground could be the reduction of unintentional pregnancy and empowerment of women. Statistics seem to indicate that the better educated women are with regard to how their bodies work, and the basic mechanics of contraception, the less likely she will become pregnant unintentionally. Parents need to become more comfortable talking about sex. They need to not be intimidated by having their children emerge as adults with sexuality. I am more conservative than many others. I would prefer my children wait until they have sex, but I am also realistic. I want them to know how their bodies work, I want them to know how contraceptives work, and I want them to know about human development, and how abortions are done. I believe this approach does nothing but decrease the likelihood that they will find themselves with an unintentional pregnancy.
Apparently, the number of abortions has been on the rise since Bush (a “Pro-life” president) has been in office than when Clinton (a Pro-choice president) was in office. This would seem to indicate that having access to crucial social services encourages women to continue with their pregnancies when they feel able, but if social services are less available, women feel driven to choose abortion even if their hearts are looking for an alternative.
I believe in providing education, freely available contraceptives, and generous social services would eliminate the need for the majority of abortions. In the past, I thought things were cut and dry; outlaw abortion. I do not like the picture of life in El Salvador as a vision of the future here if abortion is criminalized. I think some alternative to seeing women in prison garb for seeking an abortion must be found. I am not comfortable with abortion as it exists today, but I am not comfortable with any of the proposed alternatives. I am pretty sure an equitable and humane solution to our present conflict will not be found in my lifetime.
Thank you for your service that has allowed me to opine freely on this blog!
I have recently been made aware of the fact that I have ancestors that served in the American Revolution
Two of my children have also served and I want to take time to thank and honor them. If you’re reading this, please honor your loved ones that served in the comments section.
Joanna is a veteran of the Marine corps. She is the bravest person I know.
Joshua is serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard and I am proud of him.
If you are in a position where you hire people, please consider hiring a veteran because much of the discipline that is imparted to them translates into work skills such as punctuality, respect, and getting the job done (or, if you’re a Marine, squared away.
I will edit in some pics but I wanted to post this early and I have an appointment in a few minutes…….
Today I sat down to the Legacy breakfast at Duquesne University and initiated the socially acceptable chitchat. I’ve walked this earth long enough to see the hand of God in everyday activity particularly when people are brought together and this is a prime example of serendipity. My new acquaintance is a professor of sociology and Holocaust Studies. I am writing a book some of which takes place in that horrible time and my new acquaintance asked me why I chose that period of time for my story and I wasn’t quite sure and told her as much and added, “How do people take away an entire group of people’s status as humans in order to commit atrocities?”
She told me that was the very reason she has studies and taught on the subject. How could anyone take away another person’s personhood? In my book, it is fear that tends to prevent good from protecting the innocent.
A few days ago, I became aware of this letter
If you double-click, you can read the font.
I had earnestly wished it was a hoax but, according to Snopes, it is authentic.
Do not let evil have its way by being polite or keeping quiet if you see or hear someone spew hate like this.
We are all humans, created in God’s likeness and all are His children. Because of this and because of nothing else, our value is inherent and cannot be stolen from us. But evil tries and good must be brave and oppose evil.