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ancillenodavis

This is perspective

Month

October 2016

Thank you Mommy!

We all have a mother. fact. Everyday I meet people who I know have a mother. But each of these people are different. Each and every one of us.

I have a Mommy! I would never trade my Mommy for anything/anyone else in the world. Everything I am and do now I owe to mommy.

As a child going to St. Francis and Joseph Primary school, I still remember the days we would walk around the corner to the Royal Botanical Gardens to visit mommy at work. we had the entire gardens to play in and roam around in, to develop my love of nature and learn about the plants and their local uses and get dirty. I never lost this. Thank you Mommy!

I remember early mornings in our neighborhood walking around with a basket and a pair of scissors, when mommy would give me a list of plants she would be teaching her Bahamahost students about. I would go to the neighbors and ask if I could have a clipping of their plant and sometimes tell them a little about the plant that I learned from my Mommy. As I was learning the plants, I was learning to only take as much as was needed, how to speak to my neighbors and how to take joy in a simple job. Thank you Mommy!

Later on, I got my first part time job at the chicken farm through Mommy’s connections. I saw the chickens as they were incubated, housed and fed, killed, cleaned and packaged. The baby chicks would try to escape the crates and some of them would be crushed and killed. The adults in the big houses would eat centipedes, worms, maggots and other chickens that had been caught in the conveyor belt that carried their food. There was the first time I saw someone have a seizure. I saw the workers eating Kentucky Fried Chicken outside the slaughter house. I did not eat Kentucky for awhile after that, though eventually I did. Still, I think of the value of life when I eat any meat. It makes me more respectful of life and I will always carry that with me. Thank you Mommy!

I remember that we would use no kill traps to remove the rats from our house. I was still in primary school, but mommy explained to me that they carry diseases that we did not want in the house and it was to protect us, but to dispatch them she would drop the entire cage in a bucket of water. The rats would drown. Conflicted as children would be about the death of an animal, I would come after she left and lift the container out of the water. She explained to me that that made the rats suffer longer, though they had to die, they should not suffer and no animal should suffer. This compassion for vermin tempered with the need for their eradication gave me a balanced view which continues to take a prominent place in my outlook on animal welfare and kindness, even in killing. Thank you Mommy!

One of the greatest gifts my Mommy has given to me though, is the huge family of people she has brought into my life, directly and indirectly. Mommy’s ripples of kindness continue to impact me in strange and diverse ways through the people she has helped, because that is her way. Filling out an activity in 9th grade I realized that I had more Grandmothers than anyone else, Ma Rena in Andros, Grumma in the Grove, Ma Dora in Inagua, Gramma in Seabreeze (via Lawrence and Cheska them). I found out later that I gained all these “extra” aunts, cousins, grandmothers, sisters because my mom helped someone in the past and they became sisters. I still go home and people will tell me “You is Ms. Davis son, ey? *You killin’ ya ma boy.” It always makes me smile. I “**born fa luck” I know I look like Mommy and the luck comes from having such a great Mommy, that my face is like a passport to loving-kindness and respect wherever I go, because Mommy paved the way. Thank you Mommy!

As I am writing this I am thinking of our son #LeonardoDavis, whom we would not have if I had never met Alma. Whom I never would have met had I not gone to UMES. Where I never would have gone had I not gone to Abaco for the Abaco Parrot Project. Where I never would have gone had I not completed the Kirtland’s Warbler Research and Training Program. Which I never would have been recruited to had I never asked ¬†Eric Carey to get some fish from the Botanical Gardens pond. Whom I never would have met had it not been for Mommy. and throughout, she has bailed me out financially, emotionally, spiritually and with her supremely balanced way of looking at things. Thank you Mommy!

Today (October 26th) is my Mommy’s birthday. Also our wedding anniversary, the date chosen by chance by Alma’s father, who happened to be born the same year. Alma’s birthday is May 27th, the same as my maternal biological grandmother. So how’s that for being born for luck.

So today, I just want to say Thank you Mommy! and in celebration of my Mommy, if you know her, please call, email, text or Facebook her to tell her “Thank you Mommy.” and if you have ever said thank you for something I did, please tell her “Thank you Mommy.” And then, after that, go tell your Mommy and all the Mommy’s in your life, Thank you Mommy.

*You killing ya ma. Is a Bahamian expression that means you look a lot like your mother.
** born for luck refers to a male child that looks like their mother. It is said that these children will have good luck throughout their lives.

Happy Anniversary from your boys!We love you tons and these past nine years have been wonderful.

Te amo guapa.

Cabbages and time

If it smells like boiled cabbage at six it will smell like boiled garbage at 10.

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Leno’s Life Lessons free work

If anyone asks you to perform your professional work for free, they do not respect your work, your time or you. Ask them to do the same.

The Tutor

Imagine you go to tutor in a strange neighborhood, because everyone tells you they are great. They are expensive. Really expensive, and it is a long drive, but you go because you need to pass this class, you want a good grade, a better job, a better life for your family. You get there and realize it is nothing like your neighborhood. Sometimes the tutor says some slightly off putting comments and borders on prejudice about how little you know about some things. But overall, the tutor is nice. There are a few other students that come to the same tutor from your neighborhood and sometimes you get to work with them. They have noticed some of the same issues, but few of them say anything, because it is hard to get a spot with this tutor, so nobody wants to jeopardize their chance or get kicked out. Also, some of the things the tutor says and shares with you are genuinely helpful and catered to you. You feel they know you and you can trust them most of the time.
[Can you imagine going back home after they kick you out, all the money you would have wasted? what would you and your family do? this is a huge investment.]
So you take it. You fake it. You make it.
Until today. Upstairs in the far wing of their house you begin to hear a commotion. the tutor’s aunt and uncle have arrived and they are arguing fairly loudly. You can hear everything although they cannot see you. The uncle and aunt are arguing over who will stay in the house, with the tutor when the parents leave on their vacation. The tutor says nothing and encourages you to focus on your work. "That is just the way the uncle is and nothing will come of it he says."
The arguing gets more fierce and the uncle starts poking fun at the aunt and how old and unattractive she is. He calls the parents good for nothing. He points out the way they allow "those people in their home". You know he means people from your neighborhood. He calls you and those like you various names, accuses you of all being thieves, lazy even rapists.
The tutor tells you that the uncle will never stay at the house… nobody really likes him anyway… but now the cousins start chiming in in support of the uncle. Loudly. You are now obviously distracted and you start thinking… should I leave and come back later? Will the tutor defend you if need be? If you go downstairs now, will you be targeted, if you say something, how will it end for you..?
You take a break and the tutor goes downstairs to talk to their family and amid the voices, you hear the cousins cheering on the uncle and aunt and your tutor’s voice chimes in periodically and sometimes they sound so intelligent, kind and thoughtful… but sometimes, you hear them support the uncle. on the way to the restroom you notice the photos of your tutor sharing loving embraces with the uncle…[who no one likes].
…What do you do?
Cast of characters

You= International Students & Scholars (Especially Mexicans or Muslims

The Tutor = US Academia (professors and administration)

Uncle = Trump

Aunt = Hillary

Cousins = The American Public

No ragrets

Every day we have choices to make.
All these choices eventually become who we are. Choosing to take this job or that, That one time you had a landscaping company, going to university, telling a backstabber about your research, breaking up with that ex, getting with them in the first place.

In the end, that ex taught you something you carried into your next relationship. So no matter how it ended, you gained something.
The break up, whenever it happened also made you available for other relationships.

The failed enterprises, every job application turned away, every time you were fired, quit, made redundant in a job, that made you available for another opportunity.

Recognize the opportunities you have taken and turned down, but do not mourn your past choices. They brought you here. You are still alive. no regrets.

I thank everyone who got me here. However it happened.
And yes the spelling in the title is a nod to memery.

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Can you see me?

Those that know me for the past four years have probably seen me during winter with my ski mask on. Face fully covered to make the cold at least survivable.
This year I have been informed by my boss that that is over no ski mask for me this year in light of the recent shooting deaths of unarmed black men.

Before my justifications included…
That hasn’t happened in Oxford,Ohio.
I don’t wear it while entering a building and never while running. I am walking a 50 lb potcake and a 4.5 lb Yorkie Mix…
Oxford police are cool and even wave to me when I am dressed as such. The black men that were shot or killed were not wearing any kind of mask. If I can get shot for being black, doesn’t covering my face reduce my chances?

This year I have only one justification for changing my behavior. #LeonardoDavis

Feel free to comment.

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Why?

Everyone wants to know why things are happening.We focus on who is doing what and why…
But really, how far do we go?
very simply I think we need to look at our own activities.
Who do we think we are?
What are we doing?
Who are we doing it for?
Who are we doing it to?
Who is getting paid?
Who is paying for the work?
Who will pay in the future?

This goes deeper, but the dissertation calls.
Leno

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