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The People Behind the PhDs 10: Jenna Klooseterman Halloween week, look at the stars 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 10: Jenna Klooseterman Halloween week, look at the stars 1-3

Dr. Jenna L. Kloosterman received her B.A. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California near San Francisco in 2004, and M.S. and PhD degrees in astronomy in 2010, and electrical and computer engineering in 2014, respectively, both from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona. Jenna is an Assistant Professor at University of Southern Indiana.

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Jenna Kloosterman Bio

Dr. Jenna L. Kloosterman is an RF/microwave hardware engineer with experience in designing, building, and testing cryogenicterahertz/sub-millimeter heterodyne receivers for astronomy. Jenna is an Assistant Professor at University of Southern Indiana and previously a microwave engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While she is an accomplished academic, Jenna has always maintained a strong connection to the arts, especially dance. She minored in modern dance from the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley.
After graduating with her PhD in 2014, she worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, first as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow from 2014-2016 and then as RF/Microwave Engineer. She started as an Assistant Professor of Engineering and Physics at the University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN in the fall of 2017. Her research interests include THz technology development, superconducting SIS and HEB mixers, heterodyne arrays, and microwave instruments.

Dr. Jenna Kloosterman
Dr. Jenna Kloosterman
University of Southern Indiana

 

While at the University of Arizona, Dr. Kloosterman received the Graduate Diversity fellowship in 2010-2011, the TRIF Imaging fellowship in 2013-2014, and was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in electrical and computer engineering in 2014.Linked-in:https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenna-kloosterman-632b88129/

Selected publications

 

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The People Behind the PhDs 09: Robert Poole, homecoming week and bodies of … words 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 09: Robert Poole, Homecoming football game and tailgating 1-3

Robert Poole is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Alabama. He has taught English in Nicaragua and South Korea as well as several language institutes in the US. His research focuses on corpus-aided approaches to language teaching and learning, corpus*-aided discourse* analysis, and ecolinguistics*. Follow at @RobertEPoole.

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Robert Poole Bio

Robert Poole is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Alabama. He has taught English in Nicaragua and South Korea as well as several language institutes in the US. His research focuses on corpus-aided approaches to language teaching and learning, corpus*-aided discourse* analysis, and ecolinguistics*. Follow at @RobertEPoole.

  • *corpus = a collection of written texts
  • *discourse = written or spoken communication or debate.
  • ecolinguistics = explores the role of language of humans and the physical environment interactions
Dr. Robert Poole
Dr. Robert Poole

 

A Guide to Using Corpora for English Language Learners

Robert Poole by Edinburgh University Press

This textbook will help you unlock and access the great potential of corpus linguistics for language learning. While other books discuss how instructors may implement corpora in the classroom, this book provides step-by-step illustrated examples to help learners, graduate students, and language instructors visualize and understand the potential of corpus linguistics for language learning. It guides you through the application of corpus searches for writing, vocabulary and cultural study and provides guidance on building your own corpus. The hands-on approach will strengthen your development into an autonomous language learner and help instructors learn to design and implement their own corpus activities. With tutorials on a range of popular and increasingly user-friendly corpora, it helps usher in a new era of corpus-aided language learning.

https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-a-guide-to-using-corpora-for-english-language-learners.html

Introduction

Chapter 1: Learning the Essentials

Chapter 2: Corpus Searches for Vocabulary Learning

Chapter 3: Corpus Searches for Writing

Chapter 4: Corpus Searches for Cultural Study and Conversation Topics

Chapter 5: Building Your Own Corpus

Corpus Resources; Additional Readings; Glossary

Music by Kate SC

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The People Behind the PhDs 08: Stephen Bieda III – The clouds are forming. Lighting strikes 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 08: Stephen Bieda III – The clouds are forming. Lighting strikes 1-3

Dr. Stephen Bieda III had an inkling he wanted to be a meteorologist growing up, then one day while hanging out with his dog “Zig Zag,” lighting struck his boyhood home. The “snapping” sound stuck which led him to studying weather interpretation and weather communication research, the basis for weather forecasting for the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas.

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Stephen Bieda III Bio

Dr. Stephen Bieda is the Science & Operations Officer (SOO) at National Weather Service Amarillo, TX. Dr. Bieda received his B.S. (2003), M.S. (2007) and Ph.D. (2012) from the University of Arizona in meteorology and climatology. In the capacity of NWS Amarillo SOO, he is the chief scientific advisor to the Meteorologist-in-Charge. In addition, Dr. Bieda oversees the science, research and operational programs of the office for purposes of protecting life and property from weather hazards in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. Dr. Bieda has been an operational government meteorologist or scientist for 9 years, and serves on the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Board of Operational Government Meteorologists as well as the AMS Committee on Weather Analysis & Forecasting.

Abstract: The Relationship of Transient Upper-Level Troughs to Variability of the North American Monsoon System

https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2487.1

, and 

Relationships between transient upper-tropospheric troughs and warm season convective activity over the southwest United States and northern Mexico are explored. Analysis of geopotential height and vorticity fields from the North American Regional Reanalysis and cloud-to-ground lightning data indicates that the passage of mobile inverted troughs (IVs) significantly enhances convection when it coincides with the peak diurnal cycle (1800–0900 UTC) over the North American monsoon (NAM) region. The preferred tracks of IVs during early summer are related to the dominant modes of Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) variability. When La Niña–like (El Niño–like) conditions prevail in the tropical Pacific and the eastern North Pacific has a horseshoe-shaped negative (positive) SST anomaly, IVs preferentially track farther north (south) and are slightly (typically one IV) more (less) numerous. These results point to the important role that synoptic-scale disturbances play in modulating the diurnal cycle of precipitation over the NAM region and the significant impact that the statistically supported low-frequency Pacific SST anomalies exert on the occurrence and track of these synoptic transients.

Music by Kate SC

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The People Behind the PhDs 07: Peta Leitermann-Long – Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What’s my agency? 3-3

The People Behind the PhDs 07: Peta Long – Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What’s my agency? 3-3

Peta Leitermann-LongABD, researches women in politicstwitter activism, political communication, and diversity and inclusion in public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communication at Syracuse University.

 

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Peta Leitermann-Long Bio

Peta Leitermann-Long, is a doctoral candidate at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she specializes in political communication, public relations, and diversity and inclusion. She is the Visiting Assistant Professor in Public Relations at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Her doctoral thesis, which she aims to complete before August 2018, examines the effects of the 2016 US Presidential debates. This follows her work on political leadership, which started with her Master thesis in Pan African Studies that looked at the political communication philosophy as communicated in the speeches of the late Michael Manley, former Prime Minister of Jamaica. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, second class honor and dual major from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in July 2008 where she studied Philosophy and Media and Communication.

Peta Long
Peta Long
Women in Politics Researcher

 

Leitermann-Long is currently working on a book with Drs. Rochelle Ford and Hua Jiang on diversity and inclusion practices, which builds on their award-winning paper and industry bench mark study, “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Recruitment and Retention of Public Relations Talent from Under-Represented Groups: A Study with the Arthur W. Page Society Members 2016.” She is a part of Women Get It Done movement in D.C., and an active member of the International Association of Business Communications – Caribbean.

Student, teacher, researcher, motivator, problem-solver, creator, communicator – endearing words that describe Peta Leitermann-Long.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/petalong

http://www.leitermannlong.com

Peta Long
Peta Long
Women in Politics Researcher

Music by Kate SC

 

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The People Behind the PhDs 07: Peta Leitermann-Long – Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What’s my agency? 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 07: Peta Long – Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What’s my agency? 1-3

Peta Leitermann-LongABD, researches women in politicstwitter activism, political communication, and diversity and inclusion in public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communication at Syracuse University.

 

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Peta Leitermann-Long Bio

Peta Leitermann-Long, is a doctoral candidate at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she specializes in political communication, public relations, and diversity and inclusion. She is the Visiting Assistant Professor in Public Relations at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Her doctoral thesis, which she aims to complete before August 2018, examines the effects of the 2016 US Presidential debates. This follows her work on political leadership, which started with her Master thesis in Pan African Studies that looked at the political communication philosophy as communicated in the speeches of the late Michael Manley, former Prime Minister of Jamaica. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, second class honor and dual major from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in July 2008 where she studied Philosophy and Media and Communication.

Peta Long
Peta Long
Women in Politics Researcher

 

Leitermann-Long is currently working on a book with Drs. Rochelle Ford and Hua Jiang on diversity and inclusion practices, which builds on their award-winning paper and industry bench mark study, “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Recruitment and Retention of Public Relations Talent from Under-Represented Groups: A Study with the Arthur W. Page Society Members 2016.” She is a part of Women Get It Done movement in D.C., and an active member of the International Association of Business Communications – Caribbean.

Student, teacher, researcher, motivator, problem-solver, creator, communicator – endearing words that describe Peta Leitermann-Long.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/petalong

http://www.leitermannlong.com

Peta Long
Peta Long
Women in Politics Researcher

Music by Kate SC

 

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The People Behind the PhDs 06: Steve Przymus -Should I translanguage, I’m not sure about education? 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 06: Steve Przymus -Should I translanguage, I’m not sure about education? 1-3

Dr. Steve Prymus studies translanguaing, bilingual education, and the assessment of teaching culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional students at Texas Christian University.

In this episode, we talk about how a kid wondering about the world during midnight talks while wandering around a small North Dakota town went on to study translanguaging with stops as a junior high teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, and Fulbright scholar.

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Dr. Steve Przymus Bio

Steve Daniel Przymus, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education/ESL at Texas Christian University. Steve’s experiences as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (Dominican Republic, 2003-2005), Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Grantee (Mexico, 2010), and U.S. public school teacher have driven his passion for developing and promoting multimodal/multilingual pedagogies that recognize individuals’ full semiotic repertoires and educational life histories. Steve’s research focusses on the language and identity development of emergent bilinguals through innovative bilingual instruction in the classroom, through socialization in interest-based communities of practice beyond the classroom, and through bilingual semi-anonymous communicative interactions online.The Subliminal Influence of Street Signs in Schoolscapes

Professor Steve Przymus sitting
Professor Steve Przymus sitting

 

  • In the south part of Tucson a majority of the population identifies as Hispanic or Mexican.
  • In the north part of Tucson a majority of the population does not identity itself as Hispanic or Mexican.
  • Yet, in the south part of Tucson a majority of the street signs are in English, and in the north part of Tucson the majority of streets signs are in Spanish.
  • In the south, students are discouraged from speaking Spanish. In the north, students are encouraged to learn Spanish. What gives?
Dr. Z Productions
People behind the PhDs

 

More info at: https://coe.tcu.edu/faculty-staff/steve-przymus/?fbclid=IwAR2I-O0dm2Jxw7i9lvNDCS79vcfivqhjbrOR265Z5qRMcASLkkiE_154s4o

Music by Kate SC

Abstract

Mensajes de los abuelitos: Multimodal Zapotec literacy development via the assertion of local
ontologies and community-based xkialnana (knowledge) in Oaxaca, México

Steve Daniel Przymus, Texas Christian University
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1882-453X

Felipe Ruiz Jiménez, Escuela Primaria Intercultural Bilingüe: Ramón López Velarde
Virgilia Pérez García, Escuela Primaria Intercultural Bilingüe: Luz y Progreso

Abstract

A challenge facing Zapotec teachers in multicultural bilingual schools in Oaxaca, México is a
persistent colonial and Eurocentric system of national education curriculum that places greater
value on Western, monolingual, epistemological knowing-about knowledge over profound,
community-based, traditional, ontological, Indigenous knowing; a knowledge that is vital to the
maintenance of the Zapotec language and way of life. A “decolonial” (ontological) way of
thinking that values and legitimatizes Indigenous categories of thought can lead to decolonial
education models, such as community-based teaching approaches to literacy development
(Francisco Antonio, 2015, p. 1). The literacy teaching methods, shared within, derive from and
honor community-based xkialnana, local ontologies that work to develop Zapotec
literacy/identity development and challenge normalized/official/colonial knowledge acceptance
at schools. Questions of language planning and policy remain, however, as Zapotec teachers
struggle to find ways to infuse the Zapotec language in curriculum in meaningful ways, amid
critique and concerns from parents that doing so slows down literacy instruction in Spanish.
This microethnographic case study of two native Zapotec teachers at two Zapotec bilingual
schools, addresses both ways to achieve decolonial teaching and solutions for including
meaningful Zapotec literacy instruction that builds community-based xkialnana among youth and
keeps mensajes de los abuelitos alive.

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The People Behind the PhDs 05: Jay Sanguinetti -Rude awakening, first grades back, brain stimulation 1-3

The People Behind the PhDs 05: Jay Sanguinetti -Rude awakening, first grades back, brain stimulation 1-3

Dr. Jay Sanguinetti studies consciousness, brain stimulation, and meditation at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he works as a Research Assistant Professor. He is also the Assistant Director to the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona.

In this episode, I talk with Jay about his journey into discovering that he wanted to study consciousness and and noninvasive brain stimulation. His research also includes:

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Dr. Jay Sanguinetti Bio

Jay Sanguinetti is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico. His team investigates novel forms of brain stimulation, including ultrasound and light-based stimulation, with the goal of enhancing memory, perception, and well-being.  Over the past year, has worked with Shinzen Young to combine brain stimulation and mindfulness to accelerate the positive benefits of mindfulness. Jay was trained in neuroscience and philosophy and is the Assistant Director to the Center for Consciousness Studies in Tucson, Arizona.

Jay currently works with Shinzen Young, a famous meditation teacher, to combine focused ultrasound brain stimulation with meditation.

Dr. Jay Sanguinetti
Dr. Jay Sanguinetti

 

Dr. Jay Sanuinetti with Shinzen Young
Dr. Jay Sanuinetti is putting a focused ultrasound transducer on Shinzen Young‘s head.

 

Music by Kate SC

Increased Excitability Induced in the Primary Motor Cortex by Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.01007/full

Benjamin C. Gibson1Joseph L. Sanguinetti1,2Bashar W. Badran1,2,3,4Alfred B. Yu2, Evan P. Klein1Christopher C. Abbott5, Jeffrey T. Hansberger6 and Vincent P. Clark1,7,8*

Background: Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation (tUS) is an emerging technique that uses ultrasonic waves to noninvasively modulate brain activity. As with other forms of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), tUS may be useful for altering cortical excitability and neuroplasticity for a variety of research and clinical applications. The effects of tUS on cortical excitability are still unclear, and further complications arise from the wide parameter space offered by various types of devices, transducer arrangements, and stimulation protocols. Diagnostic ultrasound imaging devices are safe, commonly available systems that may be useful for tUS. However, the feasibility of modifying brain activity with diagnostic tUS is currently unknown.

Objective: We aimed to examine the effects of a commercial diagnostic tUS device using an imaging protocol on cortical excitability. We hypothesized that imaging tUS applied to motor cortex could induce changes in cortical excitability as measured using a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) motor evoked potential (MEP) paradigm.

Methods: Forty-three subjects were assigned to receive either verum (n = 21) or sham (n = 22) diagnostic tUS in a single-blind design. Baseline motor cortex excitability was measured using MEPs elicited by TMS. Diagnostic tUS was subsequently administered to the same cortical area for 2 min, immediately followed by repeated post-stimulation MEPs recorded up to 16 min post-stimulation.

Results: Verum tUS increased excitability in the motor cortex (from baseline) by 33.7% immediately following tUS (p = 0.009), and 32.4% (p = 0.047) 6 min later, with excitability no longer significantly different from baseline by 11 min post-stimulation. By contrast, subjects receiving sham tUS showed no significant changes in MEP amplitude.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that tUS delivered via a commercially available diagnostic imaging ultrasound system transiently increases excitability in the motor cortex as measured by MEPs. Diagnostic tUS devices are currently used for internal imaging in many health care settings, and the present results suggest that these same devices may also offer a promising tool for noninvasively modulating activity in the central nervous system. Further studies exploring the use of diagnostic imaging devices for neuromodulation are warranted.

About Dr. Z Podcasts

The mission of Dr. Z Podcasts is to find, record, and share stories about humans engaged in one of the 6As* of life.

*6As = athletics, adventure, academics, art, advocacy, human algorithm. The 6As is the name of the book I am writing and the foundation for Dr. Z Podcasts.

Dr. Z Podcasts Newsletter Signup!

About Dr. Z

Thanks for visiting my site. My name is Zachary Brooks, the “Z” behind “Dr. Z.” Enjoy the content and please send me questions and comments. *I earned a doctorate in Second Language Acquisition with concentrations in cognitive science and management from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Z Zachary S Brooks
Dr. Z Zachary S Brooks

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Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 11 – Day 6 Bittersweet Ends and Looking to 2021 in Houston, Texas

Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 11 – Day 6 Bittersweet Ends and Looking to 2021 in Houston, Texas

The end comes, always, whether we like it or not. In most measurements of human time, we have beginnings which necessitate ends. Without an end there is no beginning so the last day of the World Transplant Games 2019 in NewcastleGateshead produced bittersweet emotions.

 

For people who have attended multiple World Transplant Games the emotional bridge on the last day is a familiar and an unwelcome but necessary path to take. Most participants are travel-weary and ready to go home, yet very sad to depart from their friends. It’s a rite of passage to pass through the last day knowing that you won’t see some of your best friends for two years. But before crossing the bridge, the athletes deny the end, then celebrate. One more human day with your friends begins. By the time you leave your accommodation in the morning you are enveloped once again by the Games experience.

 

For me, the final day began around 11am when I walked 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the centre of Newcastle near Earl Grey’s Monument to the Gateshead International Stadium. It seemed like a perfect August day in Northern Europe with sun, wind, and clouds taking turns for sky supremacy. On earth, it mattered little to me as the mixture produced clean air with a topography-rich walk that abuts both sides of the Tyne River. When I arrived to the stadium, the Games were in full swing. Celebrating life through transplantation sport had taken on a routine quality. Wake up, put on your team’s jersey, get to the sporting venue, cheer, get coffee, and repeat.

Behind the stage where the athletes prepared the atmosphere was festive. The athletes, officials, and physical therapists worked with purpose as they felt the finish line and when the women were walked out in groups to begin the 4*400 relays, the men stood up and applauded. Our group was assembled into a column with six rows and four columns. The six rows were for the number of teams and the four columns were for each member of the relay team. I took the second spot and looking to my left I could see that the majority of the teams had a better chance than ours but I was so thrilled to be there because at least today I had the chance to step on the track.

And when the race officials marched us out to the track my back felt a slap of applause from the supporters and other athletes who were celebrating life through sport one more time at the 2019 World Transplant Games. Satisfaction. I waved generally at whoever may be calling my name. It didn’t matter to whom my energy was directed because any recipient would be happy to receive it.

The crack of the gun turned off the sounds of the crowd. All I could hear was my own breath. I closed my eyes to smile and take a deep breath while I tracked our first runner around the track … 100, 200, 300 … and then the baton was in my hand. Just pass two guys and I passed one. I didn’t feel horrible or horribly fast but when I reached the apex of the final curve the wind I had been hearing about all day hit. I pushed a little bit harder but I hardly remember the last 125 meters. All I remember is seeing my teammate patiently and anxiously waiting for me. I slapped the baton in his hand. He took off. I stopped. My Games were over but the celebrations were just beginning as the relay athletes begin assembling near the finish line. Jean-Claude, the 85-year old transplant recipient from France, had just started his lap and the crowd stood. The cheers sent a wave throughout everyone’s body and we yelled in unison for the oldest athlete at the Games, his last Games. I quickly found him after he crossed the finish line and offered a félicitations. 

My walk back to the hotel was languid and lovely and I stopped to take a picture of NewcastleGateshead bridges, a place that started to feel like home.

Bridges of Newcastle Gateshead
Dr. Z – Stories of Triumph

 

I got dressed and found my teammates at the bus stop. For the first time we weren’t wearing our team colors. Versions of our “other lives” shone through our clothing choices. We were beginning our walk back across the bridge again to “normal life.” The final ceremonies proceeded festively and effectively and Houston, Texas was presented the baton to host the next 2021 World Transplant Games. Like others, I was spent. My only goal was to find as many people as possible to talk to and take pictures with. I had my picture taken with a female competitor from Hungary, my friends from Australia, a mate from Scotland, talked to man from Iran, enjoyed my conversation with my new American friend, traded the kiss greeting with mis amigos from Colombia, and smiled as I saw my American teammates mingle.

When we began to leave, we walked out into the world to continue spreading the importance or organ donation worldwide.

 

 

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Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 10 – Day 5 Athletics and Agony

Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 10 – Day 5 Athletics and Agony

Fatigue sets in on Day 5 of the 2019 World Transplant Games. The participants, supporters, volunteers, sports management staff take deep breaths and push through. Today was a day of athletics and agony for me personally but it was a magical day for the World Transplant Games 2019 in NewcastleGateshead in the United Kingdom. Athletes from approximately 50 countries participated in the track and field events and while the obvious action was on the field at Gateshead International Stadium, much of the action for the athletes takes place behind the scenes.

“Behind the scenes” in this stadium are multi-use courts behind and underneath the stadium seats. Opening the door to this space is like walking onto a movie set with multiple people working to pull off an event with more than 1,000 people. The first thing you see walking in are rows of massage tables where volunteer physical therapists, also called physiotherapists (physios), in yellow shirts seemingly work around the clock with permanent cheery attitudes on athletes’ muscles. To the right of the row of massage tables scores of blue-shirt wearing officials line up competitors for each event. Finally, behind a large partition athletes warm up on a basketball court doing various leg kicks, stretches, and sprints. It is on this basketball court where the majority of the athletes’ competition time takes place. While athletes size each other up, they also hug each other, happy that after two more years they are both alive and well and that transplants from their donors are still working. The time transplant athletes spend with each other represent just a few minutes in their actual time on earth, but the memories generated in these moments will be replayed and celebrated for the rest of their lives.

In my case, I was happy to see a person I call my brother from another great-great-great-great-great grandmother Stephen Jarvis who ended up Male Transplant Athlete for 2019. Stephen has an Olympian’s talent for athletics which is matched by his love for competition and competitors. And when Stephen departs to check in for one of his many events, athletes from Germany, Colombia, and Thailand jog by proudly showing off their greatest prize: Life.

My only goal for today is to run the 4*100 meter relay race. A relay race consists of four runners each of whom run only 100 meters (hence 4*100) to go once around the track. They use a baton to signal their connection with Newcastle’s bridges as the backdrop. Each bridge was built to connect humans with each other. Modern phones and apps are simply bridges in a new era and transplantation is the ultimate human bridge. I was looking forward to stretching out my arms twice while running the second leg of the relay with a double-lung, heart, and liver transplant recipient. Win or lose, the goal was simply to get on the track and run with my teammates and against others. But destiny had other plans. Agony today was delivered in absence. One of the four people who were supposed to run simply didn’t show up. These moments that are so pregnant in possibility are simply abandoned with one word to the race officials “scratch.” The person who decided not to show up to run with his teammates with unfortunately be remembered in a negative light. Of all the mishaps, I only became angry once and that’s when my teammate didn’t show up. Not having a teammate not show up feels like even more of a betrayal at the World Transplant Games that are full of community and support but unplanned events and having no control over circumstances are part of every recipient’s life. It’s dark.

The light, however, are other humans who shine. Immediately our female teammates began searching the stadium and sending out multiple messages to find a replacement. While ultimately unsuccessful, the deep sympathy shown by our teammates is a memory I will equally remember.

The near-end of the Games brings mental, physical, and spiritual fatigue and yet every volunteer like every donor family, doctor, nurse, healthcare professional and friend simply takes a deep breath and continues walking through the agony to find the athlete inside them. 

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Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 09 – Day 4 Swimming, Friends, Changes

Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 09 – Day 4 Swimming, Friends, Changes

Listen to the Podcast – Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 09 – Day 4 Swimming, Friends, Changes

Waking up today was bound to be less dramatic. Though I slept well, I woke up early and decided to eat breakfast twice before going to the swimming events to support transplant swimmers from around the world. Though I had slight pang about not swimming this year, I was happy to see athletes from an estimated 40 countries compete. The United Kingdom’s Liam Barnett had a fantastic day but so too did American swimmers, a Mexican swimmer, Argentinians, Hungarians, Australians, Turkish, Germans, and many others.

World Transplant Games 2019 Swimming

 

Swimming brings out the most competitive and compassionate of transplant athletes who freely mingle and share food items as they sit in an arena-sized sauna together. Swimming meets take on a never-ending quality. By sitting for hours with water sounds people are gently compelled into a meditative trance punctured by bursts slapping water hitting their faces. Bits of bodies appear above water and pass the spectators eye in a slow blur; some less slow than others. The distortion of the sight and sound means that a hole in the ground with water in it becomes a Star Trek transporter to another world.

And that summarizes the Games: Creating a new world.

At the Games, the stories’ molecules dissolve into the day. A young swimmer from the United States who has a background in gymnastics powered her arms and legs with the efficiency of lawn mower, propelling her forward stroke-by-stoke. She’s had a lung transplant. A Mexican swimmer with Lupus hurts her arm during the 400-meter swim and tells the life guards to go ahead in order to finish. She had a kidney transplant. A German man pushes to win the gold in the virtual triathlon. He had a heart transplant. A South African boy who has never been out of the country jumps in the pool with people faraway from home and immediately become his closest friends. He had a liver transplant.

After swimming, I met six interviewees of Organ Oracles, Stories of Triumph (see featured image of pic) including Elmar Sprink (Germany), Lloyd  Tucker (USA), Holly Miyagawa (USA), Tim Hartman (Netherlands), Tamaryn Stevens (Australia), and Anders Billström (Sweden).

Six of the Fourteen Organ Oracles Season One Interviewees (2019) at the World Transplant Games

 

I’ve also been able to meet

In the evening, the General Assembly for the World Transplant Games Federation took place. There were excellent reports on the Federation’s 2020 Winter World Transplant Games in Banff, Alberta Canada organized by Niva Segatto a major force in Canadian Transplantation, FitForLife, Re-FitForLife, and the 2021 World Transplant Games in Houston organized by the Houston Harris County Sports Authority, the highlight of the night was the election in which two new people were elected while two board members’ terms came to an end. It is bittersweet to see excellent people move on and new people come into the board but like the sounds and sights from the pool, friendship and molecules mix and the World Transplant Games goes on.

Continue reading Stories of Triumph, World Transplant Games 2019 episode 09 – Day 4 Swimming, Friends, Changes

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