Something heartbreaking happened recently in my home community in New Brunswick- it has been weighing heavily on my mind for quite some time and as such I considered writing about it earlier on, but it wasn’t my story to tell.
Now that Maddy’s family has opened up about what happened and urged that her story be shared publicly far and wide, I feel comfortable writing about Maddy today and passing along the Murphy family’s message. I’ve included her father Mike’s post below: Maddy’s Story.
I live away from home now, so I only had a handful of opportunities to spend time with Maddy, but her life has touched my own. Maddy was a kind, funny, athletic girl, and my sister’s partner. She has left behind hundreds of people who fondly remember her dorky humour, love of animals, and easygoing attitude.
Her story is important not only because of her lasting legacy of kindness and love, but also because the way she left us was so shockingly unexpected, revealing the often silent yet intensely deep depths of depression. For a brief but agonizing time we were all waiting on breathing tests and brain scans, holding on to a slim hope that she would wake up in her hospital bed and have a chance at recovery, but we lost her.
It is immensely hard for the people left behind after suicide; I feel the pain of my sister so strongly, as well as that of my parents who have seen their beautiful daughter, who battles with mental illnesses of her own, crumble in response to the terrible news. Everyone struggles with a helpless feeling and the many painful questions that have no answers. I don’t know what to say or do other than to tell my family that I love them and I’m here for them, because there’s no getting around it- this is a horrible time. This is a new and painful reality that is hard to face- my father lost his best friend Jeff to suicide, so he understands the pain, and I hope he and Mom can help my sister heal. I’m very grateful for all of the friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers and everyone else who is supporting my sister right now as she grieves. I also hope my family can feel my love from afar, as I am thinking about them, and Maddy, constantly.
I’ve also wept for the people I’ve never met who are dealing with Maddy’s loss- her mother, her father, her siblings, all of her family and friends. I’m so sorry that this happened. It was overwhelming to see the huge number of people reaching out and sharing memories of their time with Maddy- clearly she will never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of so many people.
To Maddy’s family, and to my sister, thank you for sharing Maddy’s story. My heart is with you.
At the bottom of this post I have included some links, both Canadian and international, which offer support if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or has been affected by a suicide loss. Please know you are never alone.
As I said this will be one of the longest posts you will ever read, and it will shed some light on how my life changed on September 12, 2019. If anything, please read the last few paragraphs as this is the underlying message we all need to hear.
My beautiful, vibrant, athletic, zest for life daughter Maddy Murphy has a story to tell. You all need to hear this and share with everyone you know because it’s so important as this affects so many people out there who are struggling with issues that we do not even know. Her story goes something like this…
From the moment she was born she was special, being a twin, she was the unlucky one who endured having her twin brother Mack sitting on top of her for the full term. I will always remember how we made jokes of her bent ear, crooked neck and cone shaped head from Mack. She was just amazing with those quirky features that went back to normal overtime, they were both healthy kids born at 7lbs4oz (Maddy) & 6lbs4oz (Mack). They both had a passion for all sports and excelled at everything they tried as they grew up together.
Maddy had a niche for hockey, her skating was strong (forward skating anyway), she quickly excelled playing for KVMHA in her early years. By the time she reached the age of 12 she earned a spot on the boys Pee Wee AAA Rangers Team. Maddy had a great year with the boys, this made her more determined as she set out to prove girls can play the game just as well. Maddy & Christina Rombaut were the only girls in the EDZA Program in the KV Area at that time, and the two teammates developed their talent that year, it was the beginnings of her crazy slap shot. Once Pee Wee was over the fun really began as the first Bantam AAA girl’s hockey team named the “Hericanes”, here Maddy developed bonds with her friends that are even stronger today than ever.
On the 2nd year of playing hockey something happened that changed her life in a moment, Maddy went to bed one night and woke up a different child. Maddy developed severe Tourette’s at the age of 14 with no explanation, this was the start of her first long battle that contained components with embarrassment, shame, ridicule and DEPRESSION. Maddy had to draw deep within herself as she focused on her sports with even a more determination than ever as she excelled to the top of her game. At the age of 15 one of her highlights was to play on the U18 Team Atlantic in Calgary for the Canadian Women’s Nationals, all along still dealing with Tourette’s and the silent disease of Depression. Maddy had many weekly sessions with Natural Path Therapy to try and ease the symptoms of Tourette’s & Depression, it was a battle. I still remember her always calling Tracy and asking to get in right away to help her, at least Maddy recognized she needed help and reached for it.
As Maddy began her high school years at KVHS in grade 9, she played hockey on the girl’s team while still playing for the Hericanes, there was a lot of running around to support the amount of hockey games. Going into grade 10 Maddy had the most fortunate opportunity to attend the elite school of Rothesay Netherwood ( RNS ), here she felt so welcomed she would spend so much time forming bonds with the girls in all sports. Maddy represented RNS in Hockey, Soccer, Rugby & even Volley Ball ( didn’t like ) sporting the number 9 ( #9 rides the pine ) the girls always cheered her on. This was every parent’s dream having their child immersed in such a great atmosphere.
Maddy was so happy or, so we thought….the disease that no one is aware of and what this whole story is about appeared for the first time. She was a kid of the times on top of her game but Maddy was holding a secret from everyone, this would weigh heavily on her Mental Health issues even more. That underling Depression finally showed itself for the first time when Maddy thought the best part of her escape was an attempt on her own life in the form of pills not only once but twice this happened. This took us all by surprise that we were dealing with a young daughter that was displaying a smile on her face & a unmistakable laugh, the whole time was hurting so much inside. Taking the pills was a cry for help, although the help was there she needed something more. Maddy spent the night in the hospital for observation and released to follow up with a clinical phycologist. She always knew she had a problem, she would often text Kelly see if time was available to see her, Kelly always made time for Maddy.
After some time, we finally found out the secret she was hiding inside, low & behold Maddy was “GAY” like what was the Big Deal, but in Maddy’s world it was a big deal. After facing years of Tourette’s causing shame, embarrassment & ridicule, fighting the invisible illness it all took a toll on her. Her grade 11 year was one of the hardest years, she was losing that drive & the will she had almost to the point where I felt she succumbed to the battle of Depression. She was bullied by someone who was supposed to be one of her closest allies but ended up being her worst nightmare. Her academic grades were being affected, sports were slipping all at the most crucial time in her life. With help from her closest friends Kristen & the gang they helped her overcome this battle and expose what was going on in Maddy’s life. These girls help her get through a rough time in her life and as a parent I was so thankful.
After the years of therapy and countless visits to alternative care, the Tourette symptoms started to subside, the “Being Out Of Closet” had closure, things seem to be going so much better. Maddy started university, working different jobs and living life with such a zest. Maddy attended UNBSJ in pursuit of her Arts Degree, we all know she wanted to go to University to keep playing the sports she loved. She worked 4 different jobs at the same time, Rockwood Golf Course full time, worked for Vito’s Restaurant part time, The Saint John Marina part time & Harbor Station part time. Everywhere she went she made an impact on people a trait Maddy obviously picked up from her mother Mindy. Everyone on the outside looking in, she looked like someone who had it all, she met a beautiful girl named Chyanne & eventually fell in love. To the typical parents this was all good, things moving forward in life, she had the beginnings of a partner in life, dogs Bauer, Bailey & Thai, cats Sophie, Buddy & Tittin. Maddy always loved animals so much, she always wanted to pet every animal she seen and bring them home.
Maddy was a genuine kid who everyone thought loved life, she was known to post inspirational quotes and party like there was no tomorrow. Maddy & Chy traveled a lot and got to experience some spontaneous trips to see concerts or get their feet buried in the sand. Maddy had such a good relationship with Chy and they had so much fun together. Her young mind lacked the experience of life & relationships as she did not realize a relationship requires work. The highs and lows of all relationships are unavoidable, but to someone battling depression as Maddy has all these years, they look at though there is no light at the end of the day. She coped with her Depression the best way she knew how.
On Sept 12, 2019 my daughter Maddy Murphy thought the best way to ease her pain was to take her own life, she was a determined girl driven to succeed in everything she tried and unfortunately succeeded in her final task. The final chapter of her story will sum it all up on what the real meaning of this whole life story is about and why we ended up with a beautiful soul taken from us way to early.
Maddy had depression & knew it, its not like she didn’t try to help herself. Maddy went to countless therapy sessions in all forms, from Acupuncture, massages, chats with phycologist. She went to the family doctor and asked for an ESA ( Emotional Support Animal ) and purchased a Golden Retriever, she named him Beckett. Maddy has a passion for animals and Beckett would be ready for her in January. Just 10 days prior to Maddy taking her life she went to the Outpatient and asked for different meds as she knew she was not feeling well, she did this all on her own without telling anyone. The disease she has been battling was taking over and no one even knew. The biggest mistake Maddy ever made was the failure to see the support that was in front of her, she had a loving family with so many friends. When dealing with this sickness she was blinded by the pain she was in. I will never figure out what was going through her mind when she decided to follow through what she thought would be the best way to ease her pain.
Here is a girl who was so outgoing, determined, and everyone thought she loved life, we were all mistaken, all of us!
Depression is the “Silent Killer” that no one sees or hears, it strikes at the most vulnerable time in your life and leaves you helpless. This is the most important thing of all, this is what needs to be shared. Maddy’s life looked so good from the outside, but this is how she deflected her pain, by being the life of the party, working as hard as she could, playing her heart out in her sports, THIS is how she coped with Depression. Look around you nobody knows what is going on in people’s lives, just when you think things are so good they may not be. This disease of the mind can be so hidden with so many outlets for it to take a hold of people one wrong move and it has you. Don’t judge people based on their life from looking on the outside, get to know that person find out who they really are. We thought we knew our own kid better than anyone and never realized we would be sitting here trying to make sense of it all.
Everyone needs to remove the Stigma of this terrible debilitating disease, its out there and everyone experiences at some point in their life, its how we can recognize it and cope with it that makes the difference. The only thing I ask is for people to recognize the “not so” obvious symptoms, as no family should ever have to live through a tragic event like this. This was a complete tragedy that made no sense at all but if a positive can come of this that would shed light on the real “Boogey Man” Maddy’s story needs to be told. Maddy was so full of life yet such a hurting little girl inside. This is the sign that people need to see, the façade she was putting on for everyone around her. If this was a movie she would deserve an Oscar, I just wish it really was……
Maddy didn’t understand the consequences of her actions but at the time dealing with this terrible disease all she could think about is to end the suffering. Her suffering has now ended, I am at peace knowing she is not suffering anymore but my suffering through this tragic loss of life has only begun. My entire family has lost a piece of our hearts that we will never get back and we are devastated. No one should ever have to bury their kids. Please keep your loved ones a little closer, talk to them freely about Depression no one should ever need to experience what we just went through.
You touched the lives of so many at such an early age, I know there was more of you to give if I had only one wish it would to turn back time and be able to say goodbye.
May you rest in peace Maddy Murphy, you will be dearly missed and never forgotten!
Madison Claire Murphy born April 8, 1998 – September 16, 2019 #MM81 live on!
Beckett will be raised by our close friends, so Maddy’s spirit will live on, Beckett will be a reminder of a lost soul that had so much to offer this world and we are so thankful for this! #YOUmatter #MENTALHEALTHMATTERS
its ok to not be ok!
The month has flown by, but before it’s over I really want to acknowledge on my blog that October is library month in Canada! This month we celebrate our libraries and raise awareness of the vital roles they play in Canadian lives each day.
“More than just a place to find books, libraries promote cultural awareness, engage in the community, provide educational programs, support freedom of expression and so much more.”
This library of nothing but books and silence is a lie. It’s a myth of a previous time, and that myth gets in the way of us realizing an important truth: that our world needs libraries more than ever… in an age of technology and information, in growing inequality and social isolation, our world needs libraries. They’re essential.
Libraries are not just places to consume- they are places to create, and places that engage with their communities.
“Librarians no longer have all of the answers. We no longer expect that we do the talking and you do the listening. We are building a world… where we share in these experiences, and we are co-creators in the experience that people are going to have in libraries.”
Here are some titles to check out for Library Month!:
These are just a few I’ve come across, and there are so many more awesome resources out there! Please let me know if you have any other favourite recommendations 🙂
This is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information for All by Kyle Cassidy
“In 2014, author and photographer Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate.com called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. Since then, Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like.”
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady and Amiko Hirau
“A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.”
Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill
“Neal Barton just wants to read in peace. Unluckily for him, some local Christian activists are trying to get his favorite fantasy series banned from the Americus public library on grounds of immoral content and heresy. Something has to be done, and it looks like quiet, shy Neal is going to have to do it. With youth services librarian Charlotte Murphy at his back, Neal finds himself leading the charge to defend the mega-bestselling fantasy series that makes his life worth living.
This is a funny, gripping, and relatable tale of life and local politics in middle America”
BIBLIOCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza
“There is untold wealth in library collections, and, like every good librarian, Jessica Pigza loves to share. In BiblioCraft, Pigza hones her literary hunting-and-gathering skills to help creatives of all types, from DIY hobbyists to fine artists, develop projects based on library resources. ”
Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes
“When twelve-year-old June Harper’s parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval.
But June can’t give up books . . .”
Library Wars: Love and War by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa
“In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!”
Chipman, a small village in my home province of New Brunswick, is in the headlines today because officials approved the raising of a “straight pride” flag next to a main road.
“Chipman resident Glenn Bishop and 11 others met over the past few months to find ways to show support for straight people.” –Global News
Interesting, I didn’t know that people in New Brunswick were in need of support for …being straight?
The flag was swiftly taken down amidst backlash, and although the town claims that the flag was intendedto show support for “all groups in the community” I fail to understand how that is possible, unless it was a decision made from ignorance.
Pride for what?
“Straight pride” flags are at best completely unnecessary and at worst incredibly offensive symbols of hatred towards LGBTQ+ people.
LGBTQ+ communities have pride parades and raise pride flags because they are coming together, not only as a positive celebration of who they are, but also to take a stand against the discrimination, prejudice, unequal rights, and violence that they are subjected to just for being themselves.
If your response to seeing a pride flag is to feel excluded and think “where’s my straight pride flag?” you are totally missing the point of the pride flag. Pride flags are used worldwide as a bold visual symbol that says “we’re not ashamed of who we are” in a world that still positions straight, cisgender people as the apparent default way to exist.
Straight, cisgendered people are not shamed for being straight.
Neither their sexuality nor their gender are perceived by the public as remarkable traits of their identity.
They aren’t screamed at in the street for holding their girlfriend’s hand.
They aren’t denied the opportunity to take their boyfriend to prom.
They aren’t approached at the bar and told “you’re a waste of a perfectly fine girl”.
Nor are they targeted, profiled, denied rights and privileges, attacked or murdered because of their sexuality or gender.
When “straight pride” flags are flown, they carry a toxic message: “I don’t care/believe that these things happen to you, I’m important too, look at MY flag!”.
“Straight pride” flags are arrogant, as they were created in direct response to pride flags as a way to claim “it’s just equality!” while simultaneously overlooking the reason why we need pride flags in the first place- people (not straight people!) are being attacked solely because of who they love and who they are.
While the mayor of Chipman recently said that no formal apology was forthcoming, I think that further shows that the people behind this flag, and those who claim not to understand why it is controversial, are in need of education on this matter.
Note: Making threats, hurling insults, and jumping on an internet hate train are NOT effective or ethical ways to educate people. Please don’t do that. Rather, consider sharing information and statistics about LGBTQ+ realities , contacting officials in Chipman, and showing support to your local LGBTQ+ group(s).
I hope that the village of Chipman will learn from this experience and grow together as a community. I agree with recommendations that were shared by the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project (NSRAP), a sibling to Moncton’s River of Pride:
“NSRAP strongly encourages the town council and mayor of Chipman to seek training on diversity and inclusion and sensitivity training to attempt to understand the lives of their marginalized constituents. Additionally, a formal apology, beyond the previously released statement, should be made.”
Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting:
I love blogging because I can share my thoughts and ideas on things I am passionate about with the world! I’ve only been blogging on here for a few months, but I’ve already met some super cool people and joined some awesome collaborative projects. I truly enjoy writing, so it’s a good fit for me. My blog is also a time capsule I can look back on for the memories, as well as something I can share with people when they ask things like “why do you like cosplay”, “why do you love vampires so much”, or “how long have you been a SHINee fan?”
Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
I just ate some butter chicken!
My Dad calls me “scrawney” but I don’t think I’ve ever been what you could call scrawney…
My left eye has really poor vision but apparently my right eye is 20/20 (last I checked, anyway) so it compensates for my bad eye.
I considered getting laser eye surgery for my bad eye but decided against it when I found out that it would make it a lot harder to wear costume contact lenses (because cosplay>ocular health…)
I have a small piece of New Brunswick rock embedded above my left cheekbone from a bad bike accident when I was 11 years old.
My family “smuggled” our pet rats across the country when we moved because rats aren’t allowed in Alberta. We told the Air Canada security people that they were hamsters or something, and they didn’t really investigate. (We would have been a hysterical mess if they took our rats away, so i’m glad it worked out…)
Last year I went to Japan and I still think lovingly about Japan every single day.
I’ve been slowly but steadily working on learning basic conversational Japanese for several years.
I’ve never eaten a food that I wouldn’t try again.
I can’t help myself when it comes to sweets, so I don’t buy them often- when they’re in the house I devour them way too quickly!
Super Specific Questions
Ask your best friend/significant other to make an annoying animal sound. How did they react, and what animal did they imitate?I don’t even have to ask, because I can already hear the beleaguered goat sound Dustin would make. I know it to be so. I will test this later…*I tested it later*.:
Dustin, driving home, on bluetooth: Hello?
Shauna: Hun, make an annoying animal sound.
Dustin: *prolongued silence* uh…
Shauna: Just do it. Any animal.
Dustin: …. “HOOOOOUUUNNAAANNNNKK”
Shauna: What… what IS that?
Dustin: It’s a cow!
Ok, so I was close.
I then told him I thought he would make a goat sound.
At first he said “I don’t know how to make a goat sound?”
Then I made a goat sound, and he blurted “BAAEEEHEHHHEHHE” as if remembering a long-lost bovidae secret.
*POOF* I am your barista. Order your favorite coffee shop beverage exactly as you would in real life.
“Hi um… can I please get a chai tea latte? Oh err, the one that means medium heh, I can’t remember what it’s called. Great, thanks. OH, and this peanut butter cup thing too please. No that’s ok, I will eat it right now. Great. Thanks!”
Do numbers have personalities in your mind? If so, tell me about the personality of the number 6. What’s it’s story? What kind of disposition does it have?
Six isn’t afraid of seven. She’s so tired of people making that joke. In fact, she’s about to snap! She has a secret room in her basement that the other numbers have started rumors about. “It’s a torture chamber!” they whisper, “no, I heard it’s a kinky bdsm dungeon, you know they call her Sadistic Six right?” Meanwhile Six bides her time, musing “They think i’m afraid? Heh, I’ll show them what it means to be afraid…”
What is your favorite movie title? Not your favorite movie, just the title, irrespective of the quality of the film.
“Malkovich’s Hole” (Coincidentally though, I do love that movie)
Story time! Your best friend suddenly finds themselves in the body of your least favorite animal. Craft a story of five sentences or less with this unfortunate predicament as a central plot mechanic. Bonus points if it’s the same animal they chose to imitate.
I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking and I honestly can’t think of a least favorite animal!
I just… I love all animals T-T
Well, since he makes goat sounds, let’s go with goat.S: Honey, you’re a goat!
S: You know that goats are sometimes associated with the devil, right. Are you a Satan worshiper?
S: I challenge you to a rock off!!! Give me one chance to rock your socks off!!!
Tell me. Do Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo?
If you give credence to lexical ambiguity, they sure do!(Thanks for getting me to curiously google buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo and find this interesting ted-ed!)
Tell us about the most boring game show you could ever imagine.
A game called “Truth Or Trump?!” where Trump’s tweets and video clips are shown: contestants raise a sign up to show their guess of if what Donald Trump is saying is TRUTH or a LIE, and whoever gets the most right wins a small loan of a million dollars.It would be extremely boring because there would be no contest; everything that man says is a lie!
Useless Superpower Bedbug: The Return! Which of the following useless superpowers would choose and why? – The ability to randomly add cat meows to every song on the radio – The ability to randomly add the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story to even the most intense of any movie scene – The ability to randomly add Owen Wilson saying “WOW” to any line of dialog in a video game
WOW, these are all solid options. However, I’m definitely going with the ability to randomly add cat meows to every song on the radio. It would really entertain me and tickle my funny bone endlessly. There would have to be a wide range of meow sound selections so that I could tailor my choices to the specific song. I’m already obsessed with Corgi Maybe, so this isn’t a far stretch for me.
What is the hexadecimal color code for your favorite color?
#88d8c0 Color Information. In a RGB color space, hex #88d8c0 (also known as Pearl Aqua) is composed of 53.3% red, 84.7% green and 75.3% blue. Whereas in a CMYK color space, it is composed of 37% cyan, 0% magenta, 11.1% yellow and 15.3% black.
On a scale of one to 15,742.58, how do you feel about these super specific questions?
The scale doesn’t even go high enough- I rate them a fifillion out of a million!
1. You wake up tomorrow to the Breaking News that alien ships had been discovered in our atmosphere. How do you feel? What do you do?
2. What was your favorite toy when you were a kid? Do you still have it?
3. What fictional character would you love to be besties with? What would a typical hang-out session be?
4. Share a random, obscure YouTube video that you are fond of and explain why you like it. If you don’t have one, explore until you do!
5. Share a memorable story from your past involving a teacher you had.
6. What is your opinion on the “YOLO” mindset?
7. Describe your dark alter-ego. Give them a name, explain their style, their hopes and dreams.
8. Open up Paint or a similar program. Create something just for the act of creating it- no judgement, no expectations, no worries, just go with it. Take a screenshot and post it here! (Alternately, draw with old fashioned paper and pen/pencil/marker/paint and take a picture).
9. Explain your true feelings towards circus clowns. You may wish to do this in the form of poetry.
10. Speaking of poetry, what is your interpretation of the following verse from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky? What is being described?
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
11. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen in person- something that might have gone viral if it was caught on camera?
Thanks a bazillion to Megan of A Geeky Gal for nominating me for this really fun award, featuring SUPER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS! I really appreciate it, community is what makes blogging fun, and I’ve met so many cool people through blogging!
And also thanks to Matt of Normal Happenings for creating this award! It’s an interactive and engaging idea.
So! Here are the rules for this award:
You control your own destiny. If you desire Normal Happenings Super Specific Sunshine Award, the nomination process is as follows.
Respond to at least one super specific question in the comments.
If I like your answer even a little bit, I shall dub you “Nominated,” and exchange some witty repartee.
Respond to all questions on a blog post of your own, then come up with ten more super specific questions.
Link back to this post (or not, doesn’t bother me).
Encourage others to do the same, henceforth propagating an internet macro for centuries.
Bask in the glory of your newly earned Normal Happenings Super Specific Sunshine Award!
Super Specific Questions fromA Geeky Gal
It’s Karaoke Night! What song are you singing?
I LOVE KARAOKE! I usually go for soulful songs or powerful rock ballads from artists such as Journey, The Cranberries, KISS, The Cars, Ozzy, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, and Led Zeppelin.
If someone really wanted to understand you, what would they read, watch, play, and listen to?
Read: Transgressive fiction
Watch: Vampire movies and epic fantasies
Play: Otome games
Listen to: Diabolik Lovers drama CDS XD
What movie made you so sad that you could never watch it again?
When I was a little kid in the 90’s my parents rented this vhs from blockbuster and sat me down to watch it. They still fondly recall sometimes the story of how, when the movie was over, they asked me “So what did you think of the movie, Shauna?” and I turned to them, tears streaming down my lil’ face, and bawled “IT WAS HORRIBLE!”
It’s about a boy and his dog lost in the woods together. There is a scene *spoiler alert* where the kid and his dog are finally found and a rescue helicopter comes to save them but they can only take the kid. They have to leave the dog behind, and the kid is screaming, held back by the rescue crew as the helicopter raises higher and higher, noooo my dogggg, I can’t leave my dogggg! and I was pretty much scarred for life.
If you dropped everything right now and went on a road trip, where would you go?
Japan isn’t really accessible by road so….. Banff! I want to soak in some hot springs and see the beautiful scenery. I would also love to visit my friends in Calgary and Nanaimo.
You can play match maker with any two characters of any genre, what characters would you pick and what would their first date be like?
I want to see InuYasha take Kagome on a proper date with no alternate context. YOU CAN’T RUN AWAY FOR EVER, INUYASHA!
InuYasha has to take the initiative. Window shopping, fancy dinner in a restaurant, an evening at the theatre. Who knows where the night will lead?
It always drove me CRAZY that InuYasha was obviously so in love with Kagome but always hid it, CRAZY I TELL YOU.
If I were a billionaire and I wanted to hire you to be make my life better/easier, what would I hire you to do?
Hmmmmm good one…. I’m pretty good at cleaning, and I could maybe entertain you with some very basic ukelele songs?
How many pillows do you sleep on and why?
I have one pillow, and I am VERY particular about my pillow! It must be squishy enough to wrap behind my neck and around my ears- not too firm, not too flat. Sometimes I even take it with me when I am traveling if I know that a hotel has crappy pillows.
The worst kind of pillow for me is one that’s too firm >.<
You die. Credits start rolling past you. What are some of the strangest roles other people have played in your life?
WOAH this is such a great question!
-First Kiss Boy: Kevin Bacon (no relation)
-Mutually Johnny-Depp Obsessed Girl
-The Coolest Woman You’ll Ever Meet
-Racist Jerk on Public Transit
-Loud At 2AM Roommate
-Very Sexually Active Roommate
-Drug Paraphernalia Roommate
-Witch at the Bus Stop
What’s worth the wait?
Happiness is worth the wait, though I wish I’d known I needn’t have waited.
What kind of people do you hate the most?
Hate is a really strong word that I don’t use often, but I think it’s safe to say that I hate animal abusers.
Super Specific Questions from HideNGoShauna
You’re at a geek convention. You’ve got $1000 to blow. If you could only choose one of the following, which would you rather spend your money on: plushies, posters, or figurines?
What fictional character do you look up to as a role model or inspiration, and why?
Explain an outlandish belief or misconception that you had as a child.
What is a profession that you’ll probably never do but think you would be good at and/or enjoy?
Do you have any special or unique traditions with your family or friends?
What would your catchphrase be if you were a 90’s hero? (Example: In the Name of the Moon, I will Punish You! – Sailor Moon)
If your life was made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
What was your favorite childhood toy?
Do you prefer city life or country life?
What’s on your bucket list, and have you completed anything yet from it?
I am a library worker and future librarian, and I am writing to ask you to please reconsider your censorship of LGBTQ+ displays and buttons in Washington County libraries.
I understand that Southern Utah is a place where LGBTQ+ materials cause controversy.
However, that is all the MORE reason why it is important to have these materials visibly available.
Having displays on a theme or topic facilitates learning and discussion. Having a display on something doesn’t mean you “promote” that sort of book- but even if it did, the only thing you’d be “promoting” in this case is the acceptance, inclusion, respect, and understanding of LGBTQ people and communities. It shouldn’t be a “point of view” that LGBTQ people should be respected and treated as people rather than as controversial topics that should be hidden away in the stacks away from public view.
The mission statement for Washington County Libraries explicitly states that censorship is not tolerated and that you provide open, non-judgmental access to materials, but asking staff to take down a display is a form of censorship as it is a conscious act that will reduce the number of patrons who come into contact with those materials.
I respectfully ask that you please reflect on your policies and procedures and consider reaching out to LGBTQ+ groups for information and support in building a more welcoming and inclusive library system.
Today I had the opportunity to partake in a simulated role-play workshop intended to raise awareness of the barriers and challenges of being homeless and/or living underneath the poverty line. The workshop, called the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) comes from the Missouri Community Action Network, and was offered by my local Poverty Reduction Network. As someone who works at a public library in Canada and spends a lot of time interacting with low-income and homeless patrons, I am glad that I had the chance to experience the workshop.
Each participant was randomly sorted into a group and directed to a cluster of chairs that would be their “home”, complete with a detailed synopsis of each family member and the overall situation of the household, including incomes, debts, medical considerations, assets, and expenses. Those without a home were directed to the homeless shelter space. I took on the role of Albert Aber, a father of 3 who was just laid off from his job.
Each person or group had a limited amount of time (broken into 4 weeks of 12 minutes each) to visit simulated local services run by volunteer actors. We dashed from place to place with our fake money and paperwork, facing a variety of setbacks, surprises, frustrations, and injustices along the way.
Of course, no simulation, no matter how immersive or detailed, can offer a true experience of poverty. The closest I have been to poverty was when my family lived in Saint John New Brunswick and experienced the 2 year Irving strike in the 90’s. I remember coming home from school one day and finding weird film equipment in the living room. My Dad was interviewed about the brutal slog of walking the union picket line day in and day out. The film crew followed us to the grocery store to document how we had changed our shopping habits to try to make ends meet and bring enough food home. Mom says we also borrowed food from my aunt during that time.
I was very young back then, so I don’t recall those years as vividly as my parents, but I do remember their frustration. Still, for as long as I’ve lived I’ve had enough food, water and shelter to live a comfortable life, even during the times that my family encountered struggles like the strike. I am thankful for the full and peaceful life I live, and aware that I am lucky to have many privileges and supports that beneficially contribute to my life.
While a simulation could not give anyone a full perspective of what it is like to live in poverty, this is a very worthwhile workshop, because it gets participants thinking about all of the compounding barriers that can make it so hard to get out from under the poverty line. CAPS sensitizes participants to the realities of poverty and homelessness. After the role-play was done, we sat in a large circle and shared our insights and experiences.
Here are a few take-aways from the workshop:
When something gives, something else takes. While I was able to secure a job in the simulation and start bringing in some income again, by the time I finished work many of the community services had already closed, so I was unable to access them.
It became harder and harder to support my family when my wife and I were at work for so much of the simulation, and family matters kept slipping through the cracks. Our pregnant high-school aged daughter was being targeted by a corrupt policewoman, and our two young sons were taken by social services as a result of her being taken into custody.
Every family or person in the simulation had a different background with unique considerations and struggles- those living with mental or physical disabilities, trauma, or addiction faced additional isolation and barriers.
Situations became even more dire when participants missed payments, turned to pawn shops, or were coerced into taking or selling drugs.
Making ends meetsometimes came at the cost of dignity. Despite my character’s more advanced work experience, out of necessity I ended up taking an entry-level cashier job as soon as it was offered.
Most of the people participating in the workshop worked in public and social services and outreach, but I think this kind of simulation would be especially enlightening and enriching for those who do not as regularly encounter people who are homeless and living in poverty. Many prejudices and stereotypes persist regarding these populations, and so it is important that people have the opportunity to be sensitized to the truths that exist behind the unfortunate stigma.