A Football Fan
I’ve always loved football, or soccer or whatever you want to call it. Growing up in England if you liked football you followed a team and were scrutinised for it. If they were a bad team you were a bit pathetic but if they were winning, it was obvious you only support them because you’re a glory hunter. My mum was from Manchester but had moved to the countryside before we were born and had spent her youth dropping by the local Old Trafford matches and yelling along to ‘ooh ahh Cantona’. So I adopted her love of Manchester United from the beginning.
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE
At my college here in England, I realised the imbalance in the classroom pretty quickly. Biology wasn’t so bad, probably an even split, but chemistry and especially physics was where the divide started to show. In chemistry it was about a third female to two-thirds male students but in physics I was one of two girls in my entire class. And there were no black students in either biology or physics. Going on to study Animal Science at university, I noticed it was the opposite with probably 80% girls to boys but if there were mixed lectures from other disciplines i.e., biochemistry lectures the male population tripled, but there was still a lack of diversity among pupils.
Lights, Camera, Netflix!
So, it’s Saturday night and you’re loving SNL and its quirky comedy vibe. You worship the light-hearted girly comedies like The Proposal and Miss Congeniality but want something a little more outrageously funny. Bridesmaids is hilarious, goofy and can give you enough cringy ‘you wouldn’t really do that at a dress fitting’ moments to put you off tying the knot for life! Kristen Wiig sold that movie as the jealous disaster- bound bridesmaid, and now you’ve seen a snippet of Melissa McCarthy as the butch dog-thief you want more.
A Wrench in the Works
Once again, I wiped the sweat off my neck with a rag that wasn’t completely oil or sweat- drenched from toiling over this engine that, thanks to me, hummed like a mechanical beast. Looking out the greasy window I could see the sun lowering, leaving behind the sticky summer haze that surrounded Detroit and its suburbs. The hour long walk home to Paradise Valley would mean it’d be just about dark by the time I finished and returned to Hastings Street. In winter, I’d try and half that by running for the bus and hoping all the black seats weren’t filled by the dozens of workers that poured out of the automotive factory that I worked at like my father before me. Luckily, he taught me everything he knew about machines as more workers were moving north every year and Detroit seemed bursting with people looking for work by ‘53. Despite this, my father had never seemed worried that I’d get a job there, I remember him saying our family would have work in that factory for generations to come, when I asked why he used to shrug and say it’s in our blood.
The Crooked Connection
No matter what Bert Stone said, I was gonna be somebody. I’d been pedaling his newspapers for a while now and I was good, I could sell. As long as no one nicked my corner, I could set up my board to catch the sharp-suited men whose oversized coats billowed as they headed to Union station and tempt them with the Evening News or Examiner. But from my spot I could also pull out the muckrakers to catch the lowly eye of steelworkers as they trundled past after working on either the Wrigley or Jewelers building, most likely. With their flat caps and cigarettes coupled with their scraggy vests, they had a style different to the office men straight from Vogue (as I imagined not being willing to sell those for 55¢ a copy) but had a rustic working man’s charm all the same. That’s what I loved about downtown Chicago, it was a magical place to me and someday I’d be heading straight to the top. It was 1925 for goodness sake, everywhere you looked we were building and enterprising the way to the future! Whirring electric trams and flashing neon lights glowing through the haze of cigarette smoke and cars honking as they rattled through the busy streets, it never felt like you were alone in Chicago.
The Human Animal Bond
Anthrozoology or the Human Animal Bond is a real and evidenced area of research. What I mean by this is that there is actual scientific evidence that having pets can be good for you. Maybe not all pets and maybe not for everyone, but there are definitely advantages, hear me out. People love animals, yes, and many people think animals love them back, too. Every species has been on an epic journey of how they first associated with humans, how they were seen to be helpful such as wolves beginning to protect human camps in return for food which over thousands of years lead to the domestication of wolves and over time the changing into subspecies of dogs. The same has been seen in the domestication of horses whose ancestor was the size of a modern-day fox. Over 65 million years, to be precise, horses have been domesticated and bred originally for food, then utilities such as agriculture, riding for war, leisure and sport. But is there such a bond and advantage to keeping domestic animals, even today? Well, I think there is.