Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Dream

"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" ~Martin Luther King

We are getting closer to MLK's dream in some areas and further from it in others. Our social policies now mostly support the Dream, but we are still brutal to one an other. The change has to work its way into our brains and spirit. We still fear too much.   There is still us and them, with the definition of them expanding to cover all people not like us.  It is made worse by the receding economy.

Love thy Neighbor.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brain Damage. Debts of Honor. Toy Pianos.

Driving to the lab today I was listening to an interview with Myra Bartok on NPR where she was describing the effects of a brain damaging car wreck. She said that her short term memory was unreliable.  That she would get lost coming home from familiar places and she had to have an elaborate bookkeeping system to allow her to continue her career as an author. I could not help but notice that her memory loss symptoms from brian damage were very similar to those that I am experiencing from the severe sleep deprivation that comes with new parenthood. I have been trying to complete three month worth of research for the last 7 months. I have a journal to remind what project I'm on and what I intend to do each day. I got lost going to Krogers and to the YMCA. I can't remember the correct words for things. On a good night I get 4 hours of sleep in a row. It has been like this for 6 months. I have tried scheduling, pampering, cry it out,  lavender, and warm baths, my little one is an night owl. I need to move to France so her days and nights will naturally be in the right order.

It is worth it when my little girl smiles or imitates my playing on the toy piano. She had a soft high pitched little song she sings when she is playing. She also says mama. It melts my tired heart.

I just hope that I can get enough research done well enough to get the next job when my post-doc ends in 7 months. There is nothing more terrifying than being the breadwinner and having to turn down more lasting jobs because I can not get my research done. I feel I have an debt of honor to my research group that can only be paid in scientific journal publications.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Angel

Knoxville gets its largest snow in a decade. Even the University and ORNL are closed!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Cat. A Place. A Girl.

It begins with an extraordinary cat named Alexandria who lived in Alexandria Virginia. The cat met an untimely end. The people could only agree on the name Alex for their beloved ones, so it passed to the little girl who was born to them a few months later. Seeds were gathered, pilfered, and begged from courtyard gardens all over the city of Alexandria. Then the people left the city 700 miles behind. When the weather warms a garden will be planted by the girl and her family with seeds from the city in honor of the cat. In three ways it will be Alexandria's garden.