This past week something happened to a friend of mine who I’ll call Lucy*. (Names are changed for privacy.) I was speed-walking to class when I ran into Lucy pushing her children in a stroller and crying. Not just silent crying but sobbing.
She told me that someone had said just said a hurtful comment to her, and I immediately became angry. My friend is a recent immigrant to this country and her English is not the best, but she is the sweetest and most hard-working person. I quickly assumed that some stranger had made a racist comment. Although this is not considered a hate crime it is harassment and I at least wanted to see the person who I thought hurt my friend in case some other incident happens.
I am always proud to talk about my Hispanic heritage. I grew up watching my parents host salsa dancing parties at home, eating tacos de lengua and mangú, and spending a couple of summers in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. But there was one thing I did miss, the language. Like many first-generation Americans, I didn’t grow up speaking the language of my parent’s home countries. They would talk amongst themselves in Spanish but to my brother and I, they would speak mostly English with an occasional Spanish word thrown in.
I don’t blame them at all for this. Spanish was my brother’s first language. But when my mom took him to the pediatrician for a regular checkup, they told her he wasn’t hitting the markers for normal development, mainly in speech. You see, when they tried asking my brother questions he would only respond in Spanish. The doctor told her that he wouldn’t develop properly if they didn’t choose one language to teach him. It would confuse him and he wouldn’t learn either one. So following her doctor’s advice, she only spoke English to my brother and I. We now know that this is ridiculous. There have been a number of studies showing that being fluent in two languages can increase intelligence, even in young age. Continue reading “¿Hablas Español? (Do You Speak Spanish?)”→
I don’t think it’s easy for people to understand how severe news reports of sexual assault, school shootings, and terrorism are. This separation is similar to receiving news about someone you know who broke their leg. You may discuss how unfortunate it is, ask how it happened, and maybe even discuss the potential challenges they will face in the near future. However…
Someone breaking their leg doesn’t rock your world.
Someone breaking their leg will notforce you to lie awake at night.
Someone breaking their leg can heal.
Older generations try to blame this lack of sympathy on violent video games, and our generation’s constant attachment to technology. It’s been said that video games like Call of Duty (COD), that “promote” the use of firearms, or Grand Theft Auto (GTA), which displays multiple forms of physical violence, could be the cause of such numbness.
I’ve heard many people try to blame sexual assault and rape on our generation as well, saying that, “This was never a problem when I was your age.”
Today I want to talk something that is close to my heart and that I don’t talk about a lot, but I will since it’s October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Right now little pink ribbons and surround us as reminders to check your breast and remember anyone can get cancer.
First I would like to share some information about breast cancer in general. Please remember that I am not a biology major; I do not study this in my spare time. One, because I don’t have any spare time and two because it’s not how I want to spend my time. Breast cancer is when cells in the breast start to grow uncontrollably and then form a tumor. Although there are many tumors that are benign, meaning that they are not harmful. But some are malignant, meaning that they are harmful. Cells become uncontrollable and cause tumors because of damage between three to seven genes. Then the cells grow and multiply and can escape the body’s defenses leading to the cells spreading. Just think, one cell; it only takes one cell to change your life. Continue reading “My mother’s disease is not a game”→
The election of 2016 was an incredibly trying time for people of all political parties, friendships, and families. Although difficult for me as well, I was very vocal about my opinions especially through social media. Social media is one of the most prominent and available platforms to share information, current events, and even political discourse. During that time though many people avoided social media. The stress of the election was a great one to bear for sure. I did feel, however, that it was important for me to explain why this election was so important and why I feared the possible outcomes for the next four years.
Meanwhile, I had many people tell me that they unfollowed me or stayed off social media or refused to discuss opinions between people. Of course, I understand that some conversations will lead nowhere, but no conversation at all will also lead nowhere. There is a balance there that naturally comes with judgement. Even after the election is long past many people continue to stay silent on issues that are held very close to my heart as well as many others. While I understand wholly the seemingly unnecessary stress talking about politics may have on a relationship of any kind, I still find my heart dropping when people tell me they don’t talk about politics. This is because politics is a lot more than just that. “Politics” entail the livelihood and safety of ourselves and those around us, politics are healthcare and reproductive rights and environmental concerns and politics concern so many different life’s and families. If politics don’t affect you, they will affect someone you know and may care about.
Hi readers! My name is Lindsey Heflin, and I am a junior at the University of Idaho majoring in Advertising and minoring in Professional Writing, Marketing, Art, and Aerospace Studies. I am involved in the UI Honors Program, Greek life, the Department of Student Involvement, the UI Advertising Team, the Vandal Reps Tour Guide crew and more! I am a bit of a busy bee, and while it’s often hard to stop myself from committing to another club or minor, my friends and family inform of me of the sad and unfortunate truth: I cannot do everything.
Part of the reason I book myself to the brim with classes, is because I truly have a passion for learning. I am no Einstein when it comes to my subjects, but as I think about the world we live in today, I can’t help but reflect on how lucky I am to receive an education and get the opportunity to freely learn in the college of my choosing.
I come from a long line of women who get the job done. No matter if it is making lunch for a haying crew of thirty hungry ranchers, or rallying resources in the last minutes before a Christmas morning gathering to make sure the late additions to our table would have gifts to open after dessert. We accomplish the task. My female friends are equally driven. I’ve been on a crew of five that made all the food for a wedding with over 300 guests. We stayed up all night peeling potatoes for salad and rolling up pieces of lunch meat for the buffet and got up the next morning in time to set it all up, dress the bride, get to the service, and smile in the photographs. My girlfriends and I have cut firewood, branded calves, painted, packed, and proved over and over that no matter the job, we can get it done.
And now many of those same women and I have joined the ranks of our sisters all over the globe to get other jobs done. Together we are marching for change, for peace, for climate, for the environment. I’ve joined sister-friends in democratic calls for action, given a thumbs up on every single photo another friend posts about wild spaces and our need to keep them. And I have sat in a classroom with the wonderful bloggers that I share this space with, and talked about the challenges and the rewards of being female and the best way to showcase those.