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Hero and heroin

This happened on October 8th, 2017. The following account is true and accurate to the best of my memory, but may cause emotional distress to those with similar experiences related to drug overdose or first responders. I am writing for catharsis. 

Tonight I am still shaken up. It is 10:30 pm. He started breathing again sometime around noon I think.

I think I should feel like a hero, but this was nothing like the movies. 

I cried afterward in front of the cops and the paramedics that looked like undergrad volunteers. I zoned out while I was doing cpr and I seemed to only come back into focus to tell my body to switch from rescue breaths to chest compressions. Was I crying the whole time? 

I can’t really remember.

I also cannot forget. He has a friendly face and he is so helpful and kind. Loves his mom. His friendly face was starting to turn blue. As I pushed down on his chest I remembered our conversations and working with him and his mom. 

I remember the sounds. 

The girl screaming “He’s doing CPR”. 

The dispatcher telling her to stay, to take the cell phone off speakerphone because she (the dispatcher) could not hear. 

My voice was counting. If I counted out loud, I could not hear them and maybe that would be good enough for the dispatcher. 

The girls says ” he’s doing CPR”. I don’t know her name. She did not even know the name of the street. She does not know my name. “He is doing CPR”. Who is “he”? 

Oh. It’s me. I am doing cpr. 21, 22,23… I am trying to hold it together. 

This is crazy. It’s Sunday. We are cleaning and cooking. We have guests coming over. I was going to have some Cruzan coconut rum and Ginger Ale later on. But right now, I just want him to breathe. “Please God, help me help him.” No pulse. Not breathing. Keep going. “Please God, help me help him.” I realize, I have never prayed so hard. Maybe I have never prayed so earnestly.

The dispatcher is saying “they are on the scene. Can you let them in?”

The girl says she can’t stay. She has to go. She “can’t be here”.

What? 

24,25,26,27.

I am alone with him. The dispatcher is saying something. “Is he breathing?”

I can hear his stomach sloshing with the compressions. That last breath was too much I heard some air enter his stomach. I think that is why the sloshing is so much louder. He’s definitely less blue. 27, 28, 29, 30. 

Stop. Look. His face is flushed red. I can see his pulse in his neck. His chest and stomach are rising and falling slowly. It is so quiet. Was I screaming? He’s alive.

Dispatcher “They are on scene. Can you let them in?”

Me: “His heart is beating! He’s Breathing!” I am shouting now.

I let the officers in and direct them to him, before going next door to tell Alma what happened.

I come back over a few times to give my statement to the officers, but I avoid going back toward the bathroom. A few minutes later he is sitting up on a gurney, being put in the ambulance. I feel scared, terrified. I definitely don’t feel like a hero.

I later find out it was a drug overdose. Heroine.

I just happened to be there. I am no hero. Heroin.

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Grapes

What does a grape say when it gets stepped on?

Nothing. It just lets out a little wine.

Define your community and you define discrimination

I have come to realize that throughout the communities I operate in, there is a consistent thread of defining who is a part of our community. Inherently, this defines who is not a part of our community.
In particular, I look at diversity affairs organizations and professionals. Most, follow a restrictive explicit definition, which usually lists the legally protected minorities defined in the laws of the country or territory. Therefore, if you are not a defined minority, your lack of power or smaller numbers leaves you exposed outside the defined protections.

For example, look at your university statement on commitment to diversity. Do they mention students with family (children, spouses), do they mention students with different visa statuses?

Now, look at the students that make up your community. How many of them could be excluded from events, opportunities, activities because of one or the other of these characteristics?

Would a broader statement on commitment to diversity be better? Perhaps making a statement that says “for any group of students in the minority, based on an inherent characteristic of their identity, we will support your success to make you equal among us”. But, is this type of statement a possibility considering the current climate? What would be the real impact?

Some things to consider: Loss of federal funding/support for programs that give international students equality; discontent among nationalist students/faculty/staff; where the borders exist in terms of feelings of safety, support, security among students.

Yeah. I don’t have the answers. I am still looking.

Ancilleno Davis

The Lion Queen

When you discuss the Lion King with your students, perhaps you should mention that lions have a female dominated social structure. Therefore, Mufasa’s loss would have been no big deal, Scar could not take over and no one would have gone to look for Simba…Oh yeah, they did not.

Maybe even the subtlest media elements should be questioned. Check our privilege.

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

Sex Education

So…I have two sons.

I expect to teach them good family values and to be respectful of women. (Admittedly, I am still working on it for myself.)

When do we start sex education though? When is it no longer appropriate for. Either of the boys to bathe with mommy or daddy? Or see us changing? Where do you draw the line between establishing modesty and taboos and letting them know, “hey, boys have a penis and girls have a vagina“?

Most importantly, how do you tell them about sex? How do some parents think it is ok never to talk about sex?

I do not want Leo or Oli to repeat this guy’s story.

But I don’t want them teaching their classmates before they or their parents are ready either.

How did your parents tell you about sex? Or how did you learn about it?

What do you think? Share in the comments. 

How my day is going…

La Guapa makes delicious food for me to eat. YES
pack food and forget to bring eating utensil. UGH!
find chopsticks in drawer. YES.
suck at eating rice with chopsticks. BOOOO!
ask neighboring grad students if they have utensils. OH THE HUMILITY
get plastic spoon and warning it might be dusty. WIN!
Try to rinse spoon at water fountain and almost drop food on floor. GASP!
Catch the food while jamming your thumb all up in it. NICE SAVE!
Find out the food is super hot from the crazy office microwave. OW!
Sit down to eat food after blowing on it. YUM!
Oh, look at the time! I have to go teach lab! **Belly Rumbles**

Diversity is…(not)

Diversity is not a personal characteristic. Diversity is a characteristic of a population.

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

The thing about Mangoes

If you have ever tried to offer me a mango, or eaten a mango in my presence, you have probably heard this already and you are on the “mango people” list. There is no redemption. Even #LeonardoDavis is on there. If you are not yet on the list… be warned.

I grew up in the Bahamas. In the bahamas there are two types of people. The ones with mango trees in their yards and the ones without.

This dichotomy in the mango classes makes it possible for us to fall into a yearly ritual during mango season.

As the wasps, bees and houseflies pollinate the mango flowers (yes the same houseflies that were on dog poop and in your garbage earlier). Anyway… As the wasps, bees and houseflies pollinate the mango flowers, both the mango haves and have nots make note that mango season is approaching. 

As the fruit ripens, the neighborhood have not children develop an affinity for broomsticks and stones that they carry with them hoping to pock or whap a semi ripe mango from the branches hanging into the public domain. More often than not, a half ripe mango is tossed on the side of the road only partially eaten by the savage children of the have not class. And occasionally, the “owner” of said tree descends upon the children to defend that single mango they being even more savage than the have not whelps.

I was a have not. But a rare one. We had no mango tree, but I was also born without the mango drive. That beady-eyed, lip licking lust you see on the faces of the mango lovers near a magnolia tree cannot be faked. I tried to feign enthusiasm for the bright yellows and the deep purples and reds. I even pocked a couple mangoes out of a tree in my time, which I desperately convinced my friends I was going to take home to “mommy”. I did not. It was not necessary.

Every mango have not family knows at least one mango having family. They look up to and adore them.

And every mango having family knows at least one have not family… and this is what happens.

The season waxes full and the mangoes ripen. The have nots regularly ask the haves if the mangoes are ready and they are rejected. “The mangoes are not ripe yet, They are sour, ” etc. They gorge themselves on the sickeningly sweet pulp and their fake smiles try to hide the truth of their abundant mango hoard. The faint smell of mango and the fibers in their teeth expose their lies… if you could not see the goblinesque glint in their eyes.

All the while, the mangolust grows in the have nots. The night raids on the unfenced have yards become more frequent and the swarms of have not offspring become larger and attack with increasing frequency. They become a force of nature. 

And as humans have done for ages, in the face of destructive phenomena, the haves, turn away from their greed and find religion. They gather a portion of their unearned wealth and prepare to throw it into the volcano. They call their have not “friends” and offer them a box of mangoes. Maybe this will stop the raids, maybe the children will be sated, maybe the mango diarrhea will stop.

This is where my family came in. 

I am ashamed to say, they celebrated that box of mangoes. I would watch the haves leave a box in the arms of my brother and run back to their cars, like they had tossed butcher store offal to a pack of hungry potcakes. My family would plead with them to stay and share in the mangoes. They would have none of it.

The box of mangoes took its hallowed place atop the kitchen counter. We could all see and smell the mangoes. For those that enjoy a mango, I am sure it was pure delight. Their enthusiasm raged and they would eat two or three mangoes that first day. Maybe a single mango the second. By the third day, they would have to skip a day. This enthusiasm would swell and dip over the course of two or three weeks, depending on the heat of the summer and the appetites of my siblings.

As I tried to escape the stench of the ever-decaying box I could sit on the porch, where the smell was only faintly perceptible as it clung to my clothing and clawed its way out the windows. From there I could see the haves knocking on the neighbors’ doors with the boxes in hand, then dropping the box and scurrying away before anyone could answer the door.

Our box would sit on the counter, threatening, like a square, odoriferous cat filled with the rotting mango flesh. A predator of souls waiting to pounce, devouring tongue and bowels.

Eventually the trance would wear off. Common sense and intestinal discomfort would prevail and the box would be banished to the floor of the kitchen. Now a sad dripping shadow of its former self with the juices of dozens of overripe mangoes bleeding through its all but forgotten hide. Yet, hope springs eternal and my family would be seen picking through the gooey mango carcasses and cutting away the blotches and bruises from the scavenged mangoes.

When I could build up the fortitude, I would surreptitiously steal a few mangoes at a time and toss them in the trash, gagging and retching all the while. But, I had to. I knew that the one person in the house not inclined to eat even the most beautiful of  mangoes, would be the one cursed to carry the dripping carcass to the trash bin.

Yet, the glorious day would eventually come, they would all realize that no family can eat a box of mangoes before they rot.

It is at this point that they would hit upon the scheme of schemes! “Let us peel, slice and freeze the mangoes that we can save. We can have mango chutney and purée and jams and blah bla bla.”

And upon opening the deep freeze as I looked on in disappointed amusement, they would find the frozen mangoes from some forgotten year. They would then turn to me and say “throw those mangoes out, they’re stinking up the house.”

So no, I don’t like mangoes. Nothing is supposed to be hairy wet and orange anyway.

 

Thieves

It is my long held understanding that if someone steals from the treasury or takes our natural resources without due process and permits, they are stealing not from inanimate soil, water and buildings that make a territory, but from the living, breathing, bleeding people of our country.
Politicians and poachers alike should be subject to an infinite string of legal action by any and every citizen that has contributed to the treasury or has rights to the resource.

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

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