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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Multiple goals, one symbolic act

I have never not had any hair; I was born with a full head of hair and the moment it grew beyond my chin it never went back.

And despite only having long, traditional female hairstyles, I’ve always wanted to do something drastic but lacked the support from my mother and her stylist. My pleas for brightly colored hair were dialed down to a single, inch-wide section of blue hidden behind my ear. My hopes for a side-shave were met with a laugh and an eye roll.

Moving away to college granted me with a measure of freedom, as it does with most students. I pierced my nose and wore what I wanted, but still I did not change my long, dark hair. It became a source of pride for me: I took excellent care of my hair and a lot of people noticed.

When I discovered the St. Baldrick’s Shave-a-Thon, I had found my calling. It was a win-win situation where I could drastically change my appearance and also make a statement about a serious issue in the same stroke of a razor.

I talked about the foundation for more than a year, but it still did not feel real until I was sitting in the chair with my hair braided and ready to cut. I didn’t realize that the most rewarding part would not be the lack of hair, but rather the path that took me there.

I reached out through social media with the link to my fund-raising page and it found it’s way farther than I thought ever possible. Through a mutual alumni Facebook group, I met a mother from Tampa Bay named Christina who lost her son, Nick, to brain cancer at age eleven. It was a difficult but motivating story for me to hear, about a boy who fought cancer for four years and managed to stay friendly, loving and brave throughout the entire battle. Christina and Nick’s story rendered me speechless.

Christina explained to me that children were treated with the same drugs and treatments that were used on adults, despite having different bodily needs. Treatment for children with cancer is a guessing game, something that I heard echoed through my research on the St. Baldrick’s website.

Hearing about little Nick gave me the inspiration to continue fund-raising even harder, and by the time I was climbing the stairs to the stage where I would lose over 24 inches of hair, I had raised almost $600 for the cause.

Being without hair is odd. When I pass people I know on campus, their eyes graze right over me and they do a double take. It surprises me when it happens because I’ve been talking about the event almost exclusively for a month. It’s almost as if they didn’t expect me to go through with it and are surprised that I actually did.

I’ve been told that by the time you get used to having no hair, it’s already started to grow back. Being bald for only a day has left me with very little insight with what living without hair will be like. I woke up this morning with an adequate amount of time to style my hair, and then realized that I didn’t have any hair to style.

I do not regret shaving my head, despite the fact that I went from having the most hair I ever had to the least. If I come to regret this decision, I know that I would have regretted it more if I had never done it at all.

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