made it to Chatanooga Tennessee 🙂
Well, it is about three weeks (give or take, I am not sure exactly when I was infested) since I had lice, and I am finally free of them all. I wish I could tell you that with extreme determination and a snazzy lice comb, I got them all myself. But if I told you that, I would be lying!
Hannah’s expectations: one day or two of a little bit of combing, and then I am instantly cured.
Hannah’s reality: It took two lice shampoo treatments, four different lice combs, at least three hours per day combing (my mom would help me comb for about an hour before complaining that her back hurt and she was tired,) and two “natural” olive oil remedies later, I determined that we needed professional help. I called a lice salon in Jackonsville and made an appointment, not sure of what to expect. After getting lost a bit (my mother and I are nothing if not directionally challenged, even with the help of Mapquest) we finally arrived. We drove two hours for this, and I guess I thought it was going to be like a regular hair salon with a bunch of people there and we could all commiserate about our horrible lice experiences. Actually, since it was a Sunday and I guess people have lives, it was just me, my mother, and Michelle, our lice professional. We went into a small room and she used the AirAlle machine on my head, which felt much like a blowdryer and apparently kills all the lice and their eggs. After the obligatory comments on the thickness of my hair and how much hair I have (two separate concepts, my hair is both thick and overly abundant,) we began the endless combing process. She set up a very bright light and began ruthlessly combing through my hair in tiny sections, clipping up a section when she was done with it. She picked out all of the nits, one by one. We chatted about our lives as she continued this process…for 2 hours and 20 minutes! Apparently a normal head of hair takes about 1 and a half hours to 2 hours. I am not normal. Well, I got that memo a long time ago (hehe.) Anyway, I felt very relieved that at least I finally had someone else doing the “nit-picking” for me (har-de-har-har) and the experience was not entirely unpleasant. After the combing, she put cool gel in my hair and a little spray, which smelled amazing. We then rinsed off my hair in the sink and put a freshly-washed towel over my head to dry the hair. Her kind disposition and attention to details such as the cleanliness of the towel and making sure she didn’t hurt my head when combing, reminded me of a mother. She did mention her son, and we agreed I probably got the lice from interacting with children. Anyhow, we may have begun our appointment at 2 pm, but it was not till about 430 pm or so that I was officially declared lice-free. While I wish there was a free solution (haha,) paying to go to a salon was definitely worth the cash in the end. And I would definitely recommend this place, if anyone is in the North Florida area. They also have locations in Savannah, Georgia and Orlando, Florida. They are called Fresh Heads Lice Removal if you are interested (although I hope you are not interested because I would not wish the head lice experience on my worst enemy! That is all for now. May the lice not be with you.
I went on a summer trip with University of Florida students to explore the dance scene in New York City. One of my favorite parts of the trip was meeting interesting people and hearing their life stories. We met a woman, Siobhan Burke, who auditioned for Riverdance and got in! We also met a woman who did not start dancing ballet until she was 20 years old, but she really loved it and she had a successful career! Now she works at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in the dance section. I also really loved seeing the New York City Ballet because it was my first time seeing the ballet. The Stephen Petronio Dance Company was cool too. I had a great time taking a Ballet class at Steps on Broadway. Their teachers are so attentive to detail! I took a Jazz class also. They were very encouraging and made little improvements on even the greatest dancers in small details like their arm movements or the way they shifted their shoulders slightly in a movement. I really liked the Julliard Senior Production as well. They were clearly very skilled dancers, but they also added elements of theater to the performance. I also enjoyed taking Modern and Yoga classes at Dance New Amsterdam. And I loved performing at the “Our Children’s Foundation” in Harlem. The kids there were so inspiring. They reminded me that you should never give up on your dreams, no matter what! People will tell you you cannot be happy and you must settle, but that is not true! More on this later.
Today was my second time volunteering at Balance 180 Gymanstics for children with special needs. Today I worked with a boy named Liam. Last time I had worked with a young girl. Liam was wonderful to work with because he had so much energy, and he really wanted to do all of the activities! He did a great job jumping off of two feet, jumping from hula hoop to hula hoop, walking on the balance beam, and doing flips on the uneven bars. He struggled a little bit with jumping on the trampoline—I was trying to encourage him to jump higher and to tuck his knees sometimes when jumping–but I am sure that will come with time. I was told not to help him through the exercises like we might with the other kids because Liam may be moved to the more advanced gymnastics group. He really had a lot of energy, and we had to often keep him from bounding ahead to the next station when it was not our turn yet! He was really delightful. I really enjoy working with Balance180 Gymnastics because they employ the concept of movement as a useful tool for kids with disabilities to express themselves and have fun. I really believe that physical activities (dance in particular, and yoga) have helped me through some of the abuse and suffering in my life, and I hope that I can do the same for these kids. I will not be volunteering next Saturday because of my sister’s wedding, but I will be back for the month of July, and I may be teaching dance at that point along with gymnastics. That would be wonderful because dance is more my area of expertise, although gymnastics and dance have a lot in common!
For more information about Balance 180, click here:
And here is a picture of Liam, the great and enthusiastic gymnast:
I hope this empowers other women the way it empowered me. We are not alone.
There is a strange sort of unspoken theory that once a woman has been raped, sex is no longer a viable option for her. Sex has been replaced by trauma, fear, pain, and anxiety. I’m not saying this is never the case. Every survivor’s story and experience is different, but too often the assumption is that if you have been raped, you are sexually broken and forever unfixable. That sort of discourse is not healthy or empowering or even sympathetic. What I want to say is what I wish I had been told: rape is not a form of sex, it is a form of assault. Sex feels good. Assault is traumatizing. It is possible for sex to exist after rape because they are different experiences, just like it’s possible for you to still enjoy going out to eat even if you got food poisoning once. You might never go…
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I also enjoy Mermaid pose. It is a very deep stretch in my leg. We do an interesting variation on crunches…one crunch with the legs up, then bring the legs down, then lower them slowly…then back to crunch. Crunch is always on the exhale, not the inhale. You get a better crunch that way. Interesting 🙂
We get to pick the music for the class using Spotify, which is interesting. The other day we were trying to hold Triangle pose to the angry beats of “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. The part where she says “All I wanna do is..(insert gun sounds here) and (more gun sounds) and (sound of shot being fired) and take your money!” our yoga teacher, Stark, announces, “I really hate this song!” and everyone laughed. I don’t mind the song, but it is kind of the wrong song for yoga, in my opinion. It makes me feel angry and aggressive, which is kind of the opposite of how yoga is supposed to make you feel. Maybe I will edit the playlist before next week and put some good music in there.
Today I went to one of Extreme Dance Company at UF’s classes, which are always fun. We did some across-the-floor exercises (switch leaps, good times) and we learned a combination to the song “Pop, Drop, and Roll” which one of Dancin Gators’ former E-board members, Kimberly Barton, had choreographed a fan dance too a while ago. It was interesting to see the differences in choreography between the two girls. I always wanted to participate in both Dancin Gators and Extreme Dance Company while at UF, but I always found myself too overwhelmed with schoolwork to do both. But who knows what the future may hold? I will upload the video of our Extreme dance later today when it is up on Facebook. 🙂
For now, though, here is a video of a combination we worked on a few classes ago. It’s kind of a rough draft, but it was an enjoyable dance for me!
Disclaimer: This is not my choreography. These dancers were choreographed by members of Extreme Dance Company at UF.