Archive for April, 2010

What a Wonderful World

Monday, April 26th, 2010

          Last Thursday, amidst the cold, dreary days of Spring in Arcata, we were lucky enough to have one bright, glorious day of sun. To take advantage of the sun’s beaming presence, my boyfriend and I set out for the typical sunny day locale: the beach. After a ten minute drive from my home in Arcata’s Janes Creek subdivision, we arrived at Mad River Beach, eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. However, upon exiting the car we were taken aback by the extreme blustering winds smacking us in the face, so we ventured across the beach with our beautiful pitbull by our side, seeking refuge in a slope between the sand dunes. With our toes burrowing in the sand like little crabs, we trudged barefoot through the dunes in search of the perfect picnic spot. As we strolled along, I scoured the shore for washed up sea treasures, keeping in mind all the litter I’d be coming across as well. During my hunt, I picked up a sand dollar, a crab claw with its hinge still intact, two almost perfect seashells, a couple of smooth stones, and (oh yeah) 26 cigarette butts, 9 bottle caps (5 plastic and 4 metal), one lighter, three beer cans, one plastic bottle, and a plethora of random garbage scraps left behind from beach-goers prior. Luckily, I actually came prepared with gloves and plastic bags, because this Earth Day I felt like I needed to make a difference, and it all started with cleaning up trash.

Forty years ago marks the birth of Earth Day, but before that original day of observance four decades ago, there were no laws or regulations established to protect the environment. Factories everywhere were free to leak toxic chemicals into the air and water. Many species’ habitats were being encroached upon, and there was little concern for the endangerment of species with clear declines in their populations. Since nothing was being done to the preserve the earth and the health of it’s inhabitants, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to step up and make a change. He announced his idea for schools to hold an environmental teach-in that year to raise awareness on issues that caused environmental degradation. Expecting to appeal to Congress at the grassroots level, Nelson’s teach-in instead inspired a nationwide outcry of organized groups rallying together, seeking to spread awareness and show initiative by protesting multiple environmental issues and taking on a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

In response to the widespread movement, Congress passed a bill establishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA. The purpose of the federal agency is to fix the damage this planet has endured and to protect it from further degradation, as well as provide citizens with structural guidelines for maintaining a cleaner, greener environment. Since its creation, the EPA has enforced numerous regulations on the environment, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Food Quality Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Of course, whenever an agency is established to address controversial issues, there will always be naysayers. For instance, the EPA has been slandered for not promptly fixing serious issues like global warming; however, we have to consider who’s really at fault here though: the EPA who issued a report to the White House claiming that there is sufficient scientific evidence that the earth is experiencing rapid change, or the White House itself, where a government official carelessly ignored the statement’s urgency and altered the report to downplay the severity and factualness of the climate change the earth is undergoing. Nonetheless, even with the EPA’s weaknesses, Earth Day should be celebrated for all the good the agency has done, as well as the capacity of humans to do good. There are many organizations supporting different environmental causes to join, endless coastlines covered in debris to clean, vast expanses of land to plant trees and luscious gardens on, and an entire planet to save. If you’re not adversely affected by the planet’s withering state, somewhere along your bloodline, someone will be, and if that’s not enough to make you want to live greener, than I don’t know what is.

As for me, the concern for my children’s future is enough. This Earth Day, I wore an old shirt of mine with the words “Save the Future” printed on the front, which I honestly wasn‘t sure what it was referring to when I bought it. But after a few years of new, profound knowledge, awareness, and exceptional concern for this planet, I have come to realize what it my shirt is trying to posit. Now, more than ever, humans need to get involved in protecting this earth, because we are in a time of dire consequences where the anthropogenic impact has become increasingly clear. Since we cannot ignore the obvious, let’s do something about it. Let us all clean up after ourselves, recycle, reduce our carbon footprint, prevent pollution, plant a seed. Let’s give back to the earth what it gave us to begin with: Life. But let’s not make this day an annual day-to-take-action, but rather a celebration of the simple steps you take every day in making this world a little greener. Earth Day isn’t meant to simply recognize what the EPA has done for the environment, but also to recognize our own strengths as humans on this earth and to utilize them to save the future for our children and their children and their children‘s children.

Suzanne Stenecker-Dieckman

Law Enforcement

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Many people rely on the police and other law enforcement to protect them from wrong doings. I haven’t had to deal with law enforcement very much at all, but from my experiences, it seems to me like police, law enforcement and dispatchers could do a better job “protecting and serving.”

A few years ago I was driving home from work after dark from Eureka to Arcata. I took 255, and when I was coming down off the first bridge and going onto the second, I saw something in the distance. As I got closer I saw that it was covering my entire side of the road, so I had to quickly move over a double line to avoid it. After I had passed it, I saw that it was a massively ridiculous amount of Bud Lite cans. There were so many Bud Lite cans in the roads that it was a hazard, and if I had not been paying attention, who knows what would have happened if I drove through them, (I have a pretty small, low-to-the-ground car.) So, realizing that this was a danger, I dialed 0 to get the Eureka police department. The operator was incredibly unfriendly, and kept asking if it was an emergency, and when I said no, she would say, “Okay well if it is, you need to hang up and dial 911.” Once it was established that I didn’t need emergency assistance, she connected me with the police department. A person in the police department went on with the same question as the operator, I again had to reiterate I didn’t need an ambulance or anything, and then he had to transfer me to someone else cause apparently he couldn’t help me for some reason. So then a woman answers the phone and again with the same emergency question as the two previous people I spoke to. So once I told her the problem, she went on to ask me where the cans were (even though I told her in my story that the cans were on the Samoa bridges.) She then said “well, there are three bridges, which one are they on?” with a very snooty, bad attitude. I was happy to tell her they actually weren’t on any of the bridges, but in between the first two headed west. I also told her that if someone went out there, the cans were vastly numerous that you’d have to be blind to miss them. She then continued with more of her snooty attitude, making me feel very stupid for even calling, making me never want to report something like that again. I feel now that I know why a lot of people have the by-stander effect. “Someone else will report it…”

One of my co-workers recently moved into an apartment, and a couple weeks later he got his car broken into and his battery and stereo were stolen. He planned on just taking the bus and getting rides from his parents until he could save up enough money to buy a newer car, since the one he has is kind of a jalopy. His dad decided he didn’t want to drive him around, so he bought him a new battery. About a week later (this past Sunday,) his battery was stolen again. Everyone at work was urging him to file a police report, but he reluctantly said, “They won’t do anything about it.” Knowing that’s probably true, it makes me feel really unsafe, especially with that kid running around making all kinds of armed robberies.

These are just a couple of instances out of many…I mean I know without the police the world would probably be a worse place, I just think more could be done.

Heather Matteri

A Day in Trinidad

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

With spending a day in Trinidad on our minds we head out for yet another adventure. It takes us a half hour, as we reach Trinidad 19 miles north of Arcata with a population of 500. First on our list of things to do was to see the Trinidad Memorial lighthouse. By the lighthouse we also seen many names on plaques fixed on the retaining walls. There was also a Bell toll in memory of the lost sailors. The great thing about Trinidad park, is its unique and beautiful view. With the sun glistening down on the water, and the occasional breeze with the boats swaying on the water, we just had to get a closer view. Not far from the lighthouse were wooden stairs leading down to a cliff. Ivy on the stairs and bare branches of trees alongside the stairs kept us company on the way down. Soon we were right up on the waves, what a spectacular scene! Looking down right below our feet at the waves was incredible; it’s the closest I’ve ever become to standing on water! Soon with nothing else in sight, we start our journey walking back up the stairs, which was a workout for us all. There were benches at the end of each flight of stairs so we took the opportunity to rest for a few minutes each, at two of the benches. Sharing the views as we moved up gradually we took turns taking pictures and great stories looking out at sea. We weren’t alone with the bumblebees pollinating to start spring and occasional chirping of nearby birds. Out on the sea we notice a kayaker or two as well. Before leaving, we stay for a few more minutes with the sun pouring its rays upon us, and head back. If ever you get the chance to check out the Trinidad lighthouse, don’t  think twice about  enjoying the stay, its incredible!!

                Next on our list was Trinidad State Beach, While walking down a Stagecoach Road to get to the beach we pass the Trinidad Police Department, such a shocking site it was a house! I couldn’t believe it! As we near our destination we start to peer out on the opaque green ocean. Looking inbetween some trees I saw a unique rock with trees growing on it. We decide to head down on the beach. Having a ways to go we begin to hike a windy trail, at the very end of the trail before we could hit sand we had to climb some rocks first. Feeling my legs starting to get weak we then find ourselves down on the beach. With the tide coming in we had to be careful not to get too wet. For a good resting point we find ourselves lucky enough to find a redwoods tree stump. As the occasional water crashed below us there was nothing like getting to see the soapy white foam that covered the rocks from the occasional visits of the under toe. If your ever looking for a good place to boogie-board or catch some waves if you’re a surfer this would be the place to do it!

                From here we decide to cheack out yet another beach  which was Patrick’s Point State Park. A great place to hunt for Agates! Driving in it costs 8 dollars for admission but don’t let that fool you. Along the way you will want to be snapping pictures like never before. A capturing sight for me was a golden sandstone rock in the distance. As soon as we got down on the beach we found out that it was made up of what felt like wet compacted sand. The cool part was that there were millions of names unprinted on there! We found out that people must use it for rock climbing which would make sense with how high the names were located on the rock. The Agates out there are also beautiful! We kept stopping and admiring the precious shiny and glazed stones wet from the receding water. Within minutes all  of us had our hands full with our precious gems dear to our hearts. Other things that capture people to this beach is chasing waves and skipping rocks.

                Toward the end of an exciting afternoon we decide to make one last visit to Sumeg village before heading back. Just 6 miles north of Trinidad and west of hwy 101 we soon find ourselves in awe while visiting the centuries old Yurok village. Several houses surprisingly had crawl holes for doors. We also passed by a brush dance pit, where ceremonial dances and plays took place. What I found awe inspiring from this campsite was the canoe we crossed made out of redwood.  You can tour the village for free, while stopping by the Visitor center for a schedule of special events.

                To call it a day, we get a bite to eat at oriental buffet. But, If your ever looking for something to do don’t be afraid to check out Trinidad!! You will be amazed!!

 

Montserrat Lara

Spring time on the CR campus

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Going Green

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Over the past 50 years or so, humans have been altering the Earth’s climate by emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide or CO2 into the atmosphere. The emissions come from sources including logging, driving cars, and using modern machinery, among other sources. CO2 absorbs heat, causing a warming effect around the world. This effect causes dramatically different weather patterns around the globe. For example, a warmer Earth can mean a warmer ocean, fueling storms and hurricanes which can have devastating effects such as flooding, landslides, and destruction of homes. These side effects are only minor compared to the long lasting effects that global climate change can have on the Earth and its inhabitants.

Many people talk about ways of “going green” such as installing solar panels to fuel one’s home, and purchasing hybrid cars to save gas. However, there are many other much easier and cheaper changes we can make to our everyday lives and still be eco friendly. Here are 5 simple ways:

1.      Bring your own bags to stores instead of getting their disposable plastic ones. Many stores offer a small discount per bag that you bring in, so eventually the bags will pay for themselves. Safeway offers a $.03 discount, Target offers a $.05 discount, and WinCo offers a $.07 discount. (Sometimes you have to remind the cashier.)

2.      Buy recycled or used material. It’s not enough to recycle, we have to “close the loop” by buying necessary products that come in packaging with as high of a recycled content as we can find; if the product itself is made from recycled material, that’s even better. Buying used from thrift stores or yard sales is also a great way of finding what we need, and can be much cheaper!

3.      Reuse before you recycle. While recycling is a good thing since it’s reusing old material, it can take the same if not more energy to create something new out of something old, so if the energy isn’t renewable energy, then the process isn’t very efficient. Before recycling, consider reusing it. Food containers can be very useful for storage, especially as tupperware, and thus taking away the need to buy it, and a lesser demand for new products. (Ziploc bags can be washed by hand, air dried, and reused, over and over!)

4.      Use a water filter and a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. While bottled water companies are trying to cater to eco friendly customers by making smaller caps and using less plastic, it’s still using much more plastic than is necessary. Also, you can go onto your city’s website and read about the chemical contents in the tap water. Some cities have tap water that is safe to drink without filtration.

5.      Use baking soda and vinegar to unclog drains. Drano and other similar products contain very harmful chemicals that should not be poured down a drain, and on top of that, it’s expensive, and the instructions tell the consumer to pour the whole bottle in the drain. If the bathroom or shower drains are clogged, try using a drain snake to unclog the drain first, and if that doesn’t work, the baking soda and vinegar always does the trick. If the clog is really bad, sometimes pouring boiling water down the sink helps to loosen grease or other obstructions.

Heather Matteri

Plastic Ocean: Renaming the Pacific

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Whether you’d like to or not, when you picture a landfill you’d likely see it being on land, right? A landfill is defined as a trash disposal in which the garbage is buried beneath the earth’s layers. On the contrary, according to Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and captain of the research vessel Alguita, the world’s largest landfill is actually just to the west of us, drifting beneath the ocean’s currents. Floating across the Pacific Ocean, stretching from California to Japan, are two giant masses of plastic and other debris supported by the ocean’s strong whirlwind currents, called the Western and Eastern Garbage Patches. These masses make up the landfill most commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, although it has also been referred to as Plastic Soup or the Trash Vortex. The garbage patch is only one of many that is thought to have been accumulating in the earth’s oceans, yet it is supposedly the largest, loosely estimated to span a range from twice the size of Texas to one larger than the continental United States.

          In 1997, Captain Charles Moore and his crew on the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita discovered the garbage patch on their voyage home from a boat race launched in Los Angeles. The crew decided to take a shortcut back to L.A. through the North Pacific Gyre, an area devoid of fisherman and sailors due to a lack of wind in the air and nutrients in the sea. On their journey through the deserted waters, Moore noticed to his horror that they were trekking through hundreds of miles of plastic. “I was confronted, as far as the eye can see, with the sight of plastic,” he said. “In the week it took to cross the subtropical high, no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere.”

          The North Pacific Gyre, where Moore and his crew discovered the garbage patch, is one of the world’s five gyres, which are basically spinning vortexes of ocean currents created by light, circular winds and high pressure in the air. The circular motion of the underwater currents sucks everything in like a vacuum, which is why trash and debris have been accumulating in the Pacific Ocean for decades. Moore estimated there to be about 100 million tons of flotsam, which is floating refuse and debris, in the North Pacific Gyre alone. Despite its monstrosity, the garbage patch does not show up in satellite images because it is mostly made up of translucent plastic particles and it drifts underwater at depths as low as 300 feet.  Due to its obscurity, we have only been aware of this hazard for the past two decades, even though it has been estimated to have been growing since the 1950s.

          So how does all this plastic and other flotsam make its way to the Pacific Ocean and what makes plastic so abundant? About 80% of that trash starts its journey on land; the rest is illegally dumped or lost during harsh storms from cargo ships and offshore shipping platforms. Plastic poses a huge problem in marine ecosystems because it is not biodegradable. Instead it is photodegradable, a process in which the sunlight slowly breaks down plastic into smaller pieces called plastic polymers, or “nurdles.” However, because most plastic floats below the ocean’s surface and is cooled down by water, it is deprived of sufficient sunlight and heat, thus inhibiting the degradation process. Imagine how many drinks you consume from plastic bottles in a day, then consider the fact that a 24oz plastic soda bottle can take as long as 450 years to completely decompose.

          Because plastic isn’t biodegradable, it proliferates in the ocean, becoming highly hazardous to marine life. Every day, marine animals such as turtles, seabirds, and fish, get entangled in plastic netting and fishing line. To gruesomely exemplify, a sea turtle was found with its body horribly mutilated by a plastic ring, its shell forming into an hourglass shape around the ring. Aside from the danger of entanglement, marine inhabitants also commonly mistake plastic for food, yet it has no nutritional value and is indigestible, thus making the animal feel full until it eventually dies from malnourishment. One species greatly affected by plastic ingestion is the Laysan Albatross, a North Pacific seabird whose carcasses are commonly found to be filled with bottle caps, lighters, and other plastic materials. In fact, it has been estimated that more than one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and turtles die annually from plastic ingestion and entanglement. What adds to its dangers is the way plastic acts as a chemical sponge. Plastic polymers absorb toxic pollutants that can cause hormone disruption when consumed, which can lead to population decline and eventually wipe out an entire species. Needless to say, if you are an omnivore or a pescatarian, there’s a chance you may consume one of these contaminated creatures in your lifetime. Now there’s some food for thought.

          Currently, according to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, plastic outweighs zooplankton in some areas 6 to 1. However, scientists predict that if we don’t make a change now, the amount of plastic in the ocean will increase tenfold within the next decade. Unfortunately, cleanup of this massive marine dump is not so easy. The vortex flows too steadily and at this point it is too large, so removal of the trash would thus be extremely difficult and costly. Of course, the government needs to control the actions of ship and oil platform crews, but the main focus should be preventing further accumulation of plastic in marine ecosystems. Structural regulations, like installation of screens over storm drains, are somewhat efficient, but they’re not enough. The key solution is source reduction, which could potentially induce source elimination in the long run.
    
          Some regions have already started this process of source reduction. My hometown of San Francisco was the first city to ban plastic grocery bags, and it has launched a growing movement worldwide. Already twenty-three countries across the globe have begun regulating plastic production and consumption by implementing laws to limit or ban the use of certain plastic materials. To take part in this growing movement, here’s what we need to do: drastically reduce or eliminate our consumption of plastic products. When you shop, carry canvas grocery bags, or reuse old plastic bags from home. Try to buy in bulk when you can, and avoid overly packaged products. When you purchase consumable products, choose items in recyclable packaging such as aluminum, glass, or the environmentally-friendly alternative known as bio-plastic, available in select stores. You can also help limit the source of marine garbage by sweeping the sidewalks and picking up your trash at the beach, or even volunteering for or organizing your own beach cleanup.

          So next time you’re asked, “Paper or plastic,” take a moment to consider your answer. Our consumption habits need to change today because there will be more plastic contaminating the ocean tomorrow. Charles Moore reminds us that “except for the small amount that’s been incinerated (…) every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” Remember that once produced, plastic doesn’t disappear; it is destined to accumulate and disrupt the earth’s ecosystems. The is why the fate of marine life rests in our hands.

NOTE TO READERS: Check out this website: http://www.algalita.org/ for all the information you need about Charles Moore and his research missions with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Check out this website: http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Ocean/Pacific-Garbage-Patch27oct02.htm for a firsthand account from Charles Moore on exploring the plastic ocean.

 Suzanne Stenecker-Dieckman

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Journalism student Allison Baumeister watches as Automotive Technology students work on a transmission.  The automotive program is looking for ’95 or later cars so they can learn about the latest technology.  Contact Michael Richards at CR.

Prof. Michael Richards

476-4345

michael-richards@redwoods.edu

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

It seems as if the ones who have grown-up and lived in Humboldt all of their early and teen years can’t wait until the time when high school graduation rolls around and then they’re finally able to break free of this place they have always called home. As for myself, I was part of the percentage that stayed local and enrolled into College of the Redwoods. Now I’ve reached the point in time where I will be graduating from CR, and I will again have to decide my future destiny of either staying here to climb the ladder up from CR to Humboldt State, or to venture off to a different, unfamiliar place where I’d have to start out a fresh new life.

In relationship to this decision I was going to have to make, I was flipping through a magazine the other day and I came across a quote stated by Carrie Underwood a now famous country singer. She was quoted saying that “if you stick to what you only know, then you are selling yourself short.” This quote really grabbed my attention. To Carrie Underwood she lived by this quote because she took that leap of faith by going from a small town country girl, to trying out for American Idol, and then making it big. In making my decision, I look back at this quote and realize that trying something new maybe a good idea…

Kristen Pinto

A Night to Remember

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

  “Without lament, without a friend and with no marriage song, I’m being led in this miserable state, along my final road. So wretched that I no longer have the right to look upon the sun, that sacred eye. But my fate prompts no tears, and no friend mourns.”

These are the words spoken by Antigone, brave daughter of Oedipus, who sacrifices herself in order to have her brother’s proper burial rights be performed. Written by the infamous Sophoclese, along with other Theban plays such as Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colunus, Antigone is a Greek tragedy that could never be forgotten. The role of Antigone, played by our very own Johani Guerrero, gives an excellent performance that certainly brought tears to my eyes. The intense passion and brilliant acting not only by the star, but by everyone that participated in this season’s production of Antigone, was by far the best I’ve seen since NRCT’s Arsenic and Old Lace just last year.

Born of a warrior father, Antigone was a free and determined spirit that would do anything to keep her people and her family safe. Her uncle, King Creon, thought her brother to be a traitor to the royal family and put out a law that no citizen was to give her brother any grief or a proper burial on pain of death, but Antigone was headstrong and went against her uncle’s rules. Paying the price, she was brought to the throne room and sentenced to death.

It is truly a tragedy, a woman fighting for her brother’s rites to live happily in the afterlife, but in her bravery she taught us all a lesson. Stand up for your rights to believe in something you are truly devoted to and never give up!

Amber Farrington

The Top

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the biggest road blocks in my life is my utter lack of confidence. I cannot even recall how many times by now I’ve discovered a new passion, tried to pursue it, then gave up because I’d lost the confidence in my abilities and started to believe that it was a waste of time to even try to succeed if there was a possibility of failure. Take, for instance, my passion for singing and acting. After years of voice lessons, acting classes, and high school stage performances, it only took a couple of letdowns for me to decide that my skills weren’t good enough to be wasting my time trying to pursue my passion. For years after, I seemed to become more and more lazy as I began losing interest in many of the activities I used to enjoy. I was consumed by hopelessness, staying at home a lot, cooped up in a room watching mindless TV and browsing the web for hours.
When it was starting to seem like I’d lost all motivation in life, I befriended a man who just happened to work at a climbing gym. He was definitely an inspirational character, as his thirst for adventure was so mesmerizing that it motivated me to get off my butt and drag it out the door. I began to seek out a more active lifestyle, one I‘d deprived myself of for years. By the end of summer, I had tackled new hiking trails, went on several bike rides to Mad River and Clam Beach, and navigated a raft down the Trinity River. As simple as it sounded and despite the fact that it would take place indoors, the one thing left for me to do was to climb a rock wall in the gym my friend worked at. Originally, I had told him that I’d pay the stupid usage fee for non-members and show up ready to climb some day soon. Unfortunately, I feared not making it to the top and embarrassing myself in front an experienced climber, so my humility ultimately got the best of me and I never showed my face in his gym. Then, last week, almost half a year after I made that promise, I learned that the company my friend worked for, the North Coast Adventure Centers, was lending their climbing wall to College of the Redwoods for a day and would be letting students climb for free. I knew this would be my chance to regain pride and prove to myself that I was capable of succeeding.
When the NCAC visited last Wednesday, I was overwhelmed with anticipation and fear, but despite my nerves, I was confident that I could climb to the top and ready to conquer my fear as I walked over to the wall they had erected outside of the cafeteria. After signing an agreement mentioning the potential risks, including a dreadfully untimely death, I was strapped into a harness and told to provide slack for the climber before me as I anxiously waited my turn. Fighting against the brisk winds, I gathered my thoughts and prepared to ascend up the wall towering in front of me. When I glanced up at the peak, a sprout suddenly became a beanstalk as I tried to visually measure how high I‘d be off the ground. Maybe it was the thought that I was about to face my acrophobia, or the fact that I was placing my life in the hands of two strangers, or just the icy March air that was making me shiver like timid Chihuahua. But with a few deep breaths, I let the fear escape me and latched on with both hands as I took that first step. Suddenly, as if my hands were magnets, I climbed the wall like a cat up a tree, stopping once or twice to regain composure, and before I knew it, I had already graced the top and was being slowly lowered to the ground. The second my foot touched the concrete I felt twenty pounds lighter. The years of doubt that had built up inside of me suddenly vanished, and I felt ready to accomplish anything, which is why I went home that day and (finally) started writing my first article. I realized that I needed to stop worrying about my articles being good enough, because I know the quality of my writing. What this experience has taught me is that no matter how many people can motivate and encourage you, until you believe in yourself will you truly be able to move forward in life.

Suzanne Stenecker-Dieckman