Good to be back.
The time we have alone, the time we have in walking, the time we have in riding a bicycle — [these] are the most important times for a writer. Escaping from a typewriter is part of the creative process. You have to give your subconscious time to think. Real thinking always occurs on the subconscious level. I never consciously set out to write a certain story. The idea must originate somewhere deep within me and push itself out in its own time. Usually, it begins with associations.
(Source: , via explore-blog)
Every time I come back to Colorado, it takes longer for me to stop gawking. Each year, I need a little more time to remember that, yes, the clouds and the mountains generally do that with the sunset. Yes, for a few weeks yet these fields will be this green, and those peaks will still have snow. And yes, this is home.
The way we try to recruit girls into STEM fields is all wrong. We typically compare them to some great woman or someone that has gone before them. We are saying, “Hey, you can be like Madam Curie or Sally Ride.” It is recruiting by intimidation. We need to change that message. We need to recruit by appealing to WHY we need them in STEM. We NEED you to help make the world a better place We NEED you to help discover the cure for cancer. We NEED you because you have the ability to change the course of humanity for the better.
It’s true the amount of popular female scientists and researchers is comparatively lacking - but having a solid role model shouldn’t be the only motivating factor in young girls pursuing STEM fields. A recent Smithsonian Magazine article revealed that 49% of female STEM college students say they chose their field because of a desire to make a difference, compared with34% of male STEM students, andthere arejust as many women are pursuing STEM fields as undergraduates - but once they graduated college, 73.2% of science and engineering jobs were held by men.
I did not pursue a STEM degree as an undergraduate because I did not think there was any room left for individual input, interpretation, or creative control. Obviously now I see how absolutely incorrect that thinking is, but what that has taught me is this: if high school graduates see these fields as stagnant and unappealing spoon-feedings of rudimentary knowledge, we desperately need to change how work in the field is presented. We need to emphasize the need for creativity and innovation. And I don’t think there’s any argument that young women aren’t fully capable of being able to do this, but we have to keep them in the workforce. The truth is, ladies, that your inclination to join the field in the hope that you can make a difference or even change the world is absolutely accurate. That is exactly the kind of motivating self-initiative that the world needs.thebrainscoop)
School’s done with, seniors were trying to get rid of stuff, and
Not like I had much better to do. And I’m going to miss these folks.
I will survive finals week. No matter what my grades are, I’ll still have learned an immense amount of very cool stuff in this past semester.
By Sunday, I’ll be back home: back with my family, back in my city, and back on my trails. A little while later, I’ll be doing research on computer models of fluid dynamics. And after a few months of that, I’ll be back in school: back in this room, back with some great friends, and back in class with some wonderful professors, to learn even cooler stuff.
All told, it’s an amazing life, one that I’m thankful to live for these few years.
In celebration of the new Star Trek film FINALLY coming out, here is every main character from every series of Star Trek with carefully hand drawn silhouette profiles of all the actors who played them!
And in today’s edition of “White Liberals, You’re Just as Racist”
On 24 April in the town where I live, a wonderful town that I love, a woman was shot to death in front of her four-year-old son, Joshua. According to authorities, she was a college student.
A young woman, obviously invested in education, undoubtedly with dreams of a good life for herself and her child, struck down. It’s a sad story, a tragedy worthy of deep sorrow and serious reflection about gun violence and gun policy, especially when added to the fact that it was the fourth fatal shooting in my town in a week. Despite the obvious potential of such a story to poke at the hearts and minds of anyone who hears about it, most people won’t hear about it. It won’t get in the 24-hour news cycle. And it certainly will not spark a national debate about gun control. Why? Because the woman who was killed, Donitra Henderson, was a black woman and she died on a street corner in Oakland, a predominantly black and Latino town, in front of her black child.
Gun violence affects black and Latino people in poor, inner-city neighborhoods on a regular basis. As The Washington Post reported, black people are 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun crime, and yet our deaths by gun are much less likely to result in national conversations in which liberals and conservatives duke it out over the second amendment. We become statistics, just one more added to the number of gun deaths in the US in a particular year, and that’s all.
As I wrote in my recent blog post, “Hey, White liberals: A Word On the Boston Bombings, the Suffering of White children, and the Erosion of Empathy,” if you’re not white, your tragic death doesn’t feel quite as tragic to the American media or the collective American conscience, which are inextricably linked. It does not inspire the kind of national outrage and grief that white deaths, and especially middle-class and affluent white deaths, inspire.
There is a certain level of indifference in this country to the deaths of people of color. But there is also a double standard in the narrative around gun violence, depending on where it takes place and who is affected by it. When it happens to wealthy white folks in the suburbs, it’s a tragedy visited upon those who didn’t deserve it. When it happens to black and Latino people in a city, it’s our own fault.
Take, for example, President Obama’s speech in Chicago about gun violence where he talked about policy change, but also focused a lot on the structure of the black family, saying:
“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families – which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood.”
Compare that to speeches he made following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a predominantly white area, where a gunman murdered 26 people, including 20 children. The president never connected the violence there with the structure of anybody’s family or with the failure of any white parents. Even though the shooter, Adam Lanza, was raised by a single mother. Instead, he promised the people of Newtown that lawmakers would stand beside them and create policy to protect them. Those are two very different messages.
One reason this double standard is so easy to apply is that the question of why gun violence happens so much in inner cities is brushed over or ignored. There are many factors: the effects of racism on individuals and communities, failed education systems, high unemployment, etc. These are rarely discussed in connection to gun violence on a national level.
Without that connection, and thus with no greater social ills to help explain it, it’s seen simply as the fault of the people who live in those places, as if they have some inherent defect in their families and their communities. And because it’s our fault and not, as in the case of violence against middle-class white people, a national tragedy, it does not warrant a national conversation.
This double standard leads to the further devaluing of black and Latino lives. It also contributes to the sporadic nature of the national gun control conversation itself. Because gun control is only talked about on a national level when multiple murders happen in affluent white places, it’s talked about a few times a year at most.
If the conversation were shifted to include the tragedies of people in the inner city, if our lives were valued enough by the American media and the collective US conscience to warrant that conversation, it would be an ongoing debate. Maybe then it would at least have a chance at leading to some actual change. Which would be great. Especially for those of us who are most often affected by it.