WordPress Help

Hey Everyone,

A friend and I on campus are developing a music blog (allnaturalbeats.com) and we need assistance with developing our site on the wordpress platform.  Please reach out to me at gellerac@umich.edu if you’d be able/interested in helping.  We cover a wide array of genres and the music truly is great, however we’re currently limited in terms of the functionality of the site.  Please let me know if any of you could be of assistance. Thanks!

Asbestos KILLS

Did you know that ~125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace? According to the World Health Organization, 107,000+ people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma & asbestosis resulting from occupational exposure – in 2007, my father was one of those people.

If you only take away one thing from this post, let it be this – ASBESTOS KILLS.

The horrid truth is that all deaths and illnesses related to asbestos are entirely PREVENTABLE through an international ban on asbestos. The US & many other countries across the globe must STOP importing asbestos & pass legislation to BAN ASBESTOS. The US Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, and the National Toxicology Program have all declared asbestos a proven human carcinogen – so why hasn’t it stopped being used?

The “near-magical properties” of asbestos, from its tensile strength to its ability to resist fire, heat, and acid, resulted in popular use and the development of a thriving asbestos industry.  Countries across the globe contributed to this industry for decades prior to the discovery of its detrimental health effects. Industrialized countries have used this inexpensive, naturally occurring, fibrous mineral for a wide array of products, including pipe and ceiling insulation, ship-building materials, brake shoes and pads, bricks, roofing, and flooring. The manufacturing, import and export, and use of asbestos in every day products continue despite publication of scientific evidence that proves the life-terminating effects of the material.

Safe exposure to asbestos does not exist, and there is a clear scientific consensus internationally that asbestos, in all its forms, and even at low doses, is a proven human carcinogen. When inhaled, asbestos fibers take the form of a very fine dust and proceed to penetrate deep inside of the lungs, gradually causing inflammation and fibrosis of the lung tissue or membrane and causing cancerous changes that may lead to a lung tumor. Fibers may also venture outside the pleural cavity and cause localized fibrosis, pleural plaques, or cancer of the pleura, mesothelioma.

According to the WHO, there is no threshold at which asbestos dust becomes dangerous to a person’s health, so exposure to any amount of asbestos can potentially lead to cancer. Twenty thousand asbestos fibers are relatively even smaller than five human hairs, so thousands of people are oblivious to the fact that they are exposed. The fibers can linger and alter bodily functions, like cell division, for a latency period of 20 years or more from the time of exposure, before symptoms of respiratory disease or asbestos-related cancer are even detected. Physicians have found extreme difficulty in treating most asbestos-related illnesses because most have no cure.

Even with its well-documented dangers, the process of banning asbestos across the world has been a slow struggle. A number of countries have already taken steps in the right direction and implemented a ban on the use, development, and import and export of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. However, some highly industrialized countries, including the United States, have only stopped using five of the six naturally occurring fibrous minerals of asbestos.

The legalized form of asbestos, Chrysotile, is a white mineral derived from the configuration of serpentine asbestos and accounts for more than ninety-five percent of the asbestos ever used around the world. The countries filled with Chrysotile defend their usage by titling it a “less hazardous and less carcinogenic” form of asbestos. The Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association claims on its website that the use of Chrysotile in manufacturing “is safe for the workers, environment, and the general public.” The scientific world, however, has provided sufficient evidence to support that all forms of asbestos, including Chrysotile, are carcinogenic, responsible for asbestos-related cancers, and cause death for thousands across the globe. An international ban on the use of asbestos is crucial because even though exposure limits could be technically achieved for “controlled use” of Chrysotile asbestos in the United States, the residual risks and environmental exposures to products in use or to waste remains too high to be acceptable.

The primary arguments against a worldwide ban on asbestos are essentially economic. An ad placed in The Times of India by India’s Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association claimed that asbestos cement products are “strong, durable, economical, energy efficient and eco-friendly.” They may possess these qualities, but since when did fibers being released in to the air and contaminating our environment as these materials weather, erode, break or are cut by saws and other power tools become considerably “eco-friendly?”

There are alternative materials to asbestos cement sheets and pipes that can provide this same strength and durability mentioned in the ad. Fibre cements, “a mix of cement and fibres which may be cellulose, polyproylene, polyvinyl alcohol or aramide fibres” could replace the asbestos cement, which accounts for ninety percent of the asbestos market today.  An alternative to any traditional use of asbestos exists. Substitute products may be more costly than asbestos, but many must consider that this cost is miniscule in comparison to the exorbitantly high cost to society of asbestos-related diseases. Journalists have tracked nearly $100 million in public and private money spent by groups in Canada, India, and Brazil since the mid-1980s to keep asbestos in commerce. Critics call the asbestos industry “unethical” and “almost criminal” and compare their strategy to the tobacco industry: “create doubt, contest litigation, and delay regulation.”

Countries feel that using asbestos benefits them economically, but in reality the effects are far-reaching: “using asbestos now will damage a country’s economy for more than 30 years by making future generations bear the responsibility for compensating victims and the financial burden of looking after them.”  For example, in Germany, the cost of meeting victims’ medical expenses and paying financial compensation to victims and their families has reached 290 million and will continue to escalate resulting in a much higher expense than if they used a safer substitute material. The use of asbestos financially cripples the economy of many countries, and the use of substitute materials will be less costly in the future and help save thousands of lives.

While the struggle to ban asbestos continues and awareness grows, temporary solutions must suffice. Foremost, awareness must be spread to people, especially workers, exposed to asbestos. One worker in India, Ravindra Mohite, shared his heart wrenching story on the blog of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization website (“‘India Through My Eyes’ – Ravindra’s Story”). He recalls that in his time working at various facilities with asbestos, “none of the workers were ever informed of the hazards of the material with which they worked.” He goes on to explain, “[we] noticed warning labels on the bags but company officials never explained the hazards nor outlined appropriate safety measures for handling asbestos.” Forty-one workers from the company, including Mohite, were diagnosed with Asbestos-related disorders, and one of these workers died almost immediately after diagnosis.

Notification to workers being exposed to asbestos is crucial, so that they may monitor themselves with medical surveillance and detect illnesses as early as possible. Monitoring is necessary even after an individual is no longer exposed because these diseases usually have a latency period of up to 30 or even 40 years.  With early detection of asbestos-related illnesses, treatment is much more efficient and results in a longer life expectancy. For example, in studies among patients whose mesothelioma was detected early on, the life expectancy ranges from two to five years, while the median life expectancy is four to eighteen months.

When my father was diagnosed with stage-four mesothelioma, the most progressive stage of the cancer, the doctors said the particles had been lingering in his system without any symptoms for 25 years and estimated he had one month to live. Ironically, while working and trying to make a living for himself, he was unknowingly exposed to a deadly material that was going to financially cost him more for treatment than what he was making at work, and eventually cost him his life. He went against the doctor’s estimate and fought with the cancer for seven years. In those seven years, he overcame surgeries, numerous chemotherapy sessions and lived his life in a constant struggle.

Asbestos-related cancer victims go on to die painful, brutal deaths.  In the last sixth months of my father’s life, similar to what many patients will endure, he could not eat, hardly slept, had a tube shoved up his nose, and suffered excessively as a result of exposure to this material. Exposure to asbestos did not only result in a physical and emotional struggle for my father, but for my whole family. Even if other members of my family, anyone my father influenced, or myself were not directly exposed to it, we all had to face the consequences of asbestos. Asbestos not only affects millions of its VICTIMS, but also billions of FAMILIES, FRIENDS, and COMMUNITIES around the WORLD.

To protect the health of all people in the world – industrial workers, construction workers, spouses and children, now and in generations to come – it is essential to spread awareness and ban asbestos universally. More than TWO MILLION TONS of this material are produced each YEAR, and according to the International Social Security Administration, figures for asbestos manufacture and use have begun to climb again. Asbestos lingers not only in the workplace, but also in the environment. In countries where asbestos is being used today, asbestos-contaminated dust accumulates in thousands of communities. Safer substitutes to replace this silent killer have already been implemented successfully in 52 countries.

The only realistic and sustainable answer to this pandemic is complete removal of asbestos worldwide. The primary influence on governments to ban asbestos comes from the voice of the public. Very rarely do people see a story on asbestos in the media, but when the public is educated and acts on the information, the greatest success is seen. The fate of hundreds relies on citizens to promote awareness and come together to demand all countries to ban the manufacture, trade and use of all types of asbestos and asbestos-containing products as soon as possible.

Ultimately, what’s worth more – an inexpensive material or our LIVES?

(*sources available upon request)


(courtesy of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization – for more info visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org)

  1. Asbestos is a proven human carcinogen and there is NO safe level of exposure.
  2. Asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung and gastrointestinal cancers, and an aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient is six – twelve months.
  3. Asbestos diseases have a 10 – 50 year latency period from initial exposure to development of disease.
  4. Chrysotile asbestos accounts for nearly 95% of asbestos mined and exported today. The top five asbestos producing countries are Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Canada.
  5. 55 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. and Canada have NOT.
  6. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers die annually from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos has been mined and used in a broad range of products, materials, and applications including construction, insulation, shipyards, and many other industries.
  7. Asbestos fibers can be nearly 700 times smaller than human hair and are odorless, tasteless, indestructible fibers that can remain suspended in the air for seconds.

Naming Characters

For a long time, I’ve had a fascination with names.  I love reading about meanings, histories, and where a person’s name comes from.  (Thanks, Matilda!)  It may have started when I read about how J.K. Rowling used names in her own stories.  Take Argus Filch, caretaker and patroller of the hallways of Hogwarts.  Argus is a giant from Greek mythology who had a hundred eyes and was ordered to watch Io and prevent her from escaping – a fitting name for a patrolman.  I’ve always liked the idea that names can have meanings far beyond what the audience may first consider.

With that in mind, it can sometimes be difficult for me to come up with names for characters.  On the one hand, I’d like to have a name with an interesting history or meaning.  On the other hand, I don’t want the name to be completely unbelievable or totally transparent.  Let’s face it, no one is going to buy a name like “Nasty McBadguy.”  (Unless it’s a parody or a comedy story, in which case it’s fine.)  There’s also a third problem – the undescribable factor.  A character’s name has to “fit,” and while there are no rules at all about using a particular name, you know when a name sounds right and when it doesn’t.  It’s similar to how people will say things like, “Nicki?  She seems more like a Jennifer to me.”

Luckily for me, the internet has come to my rescue.  Baby name websites are actually great resources for picking out a name.  Quite often, the site give you small blurbs on where the names come from and if any famous people have had the name.  Babynames.com is exactly what it looks like, and Parents.com has a searchable database.  (I’ve often used the latter.)  If you really don’t know what you’re looking for in a name, or just need some inspiration, Behind the Name has a random name generator.  You can even customize the randomizer to your needs.  Do you need a female French name with a middle name that can go with the surname “Fontaine?”  No problem!  There are also options for ancient and mythological names, as well as silly categories like Hippy, Rapper, or Transformer names.

Sometimes, you’ve got a first name settled, but need help with a last name.  The earlier random name generator helps, but it does give you more than you need.  While certainly not exhaustive, it can be helpful to look at these lists of last names, ordered A to G, H to O, and P to Z.  Behind the Names also has this page to browse through surnames, as well as assorted categories.

Even if you don’t have any characters who need naming at the moment, it’s still interesting to look through the sites and see what you find.  Do you see yourselves using these sties?  How do you usually come up with names for characters?  Do name meanings do much for you at all?  Leave a comment below!

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Thanks to that repurposing project, I’ve had Eminem on the brain lately.  And I knew from day one that I would need a post to profess my love for the wonderful Mr. Mathers.  Here it is.

I get that Em’s lyrics are offensive, derogatory, and sometimes just plain twisted, but they are also brilliant.  The way he constructs his rhymes, stretching syllables and words to create verse after incredible verse is nothing short of amazing.  I have such respect for his skill.  Although I love most of his songs, there are lyrics of his that I will never forget: “Picket signs for my wicked rhymes.”  Who honestly thinks to rhyme “picket signs” with “wicked rhymes?”  Eminem does.

There is a 60 Minutes interview of him with Anderson Cooper, and he tells Anderson, “People say that the word orange doesn’t rhyme with anything, and that kinda pisses me off, because I can think of a lot of things that rhyme with orange.”  He goes on to explain that if you enunciate the word differently, stretching it into two syllables, you can get it to rhyme with other things.  “Door hinge” was my favorite example his.  It’s absolutely unbelievable if you ask me.

Another thing that made me love Eminem beyond his music is the movie 8 Mile.  Although it is not directly a biography, it explains his life through the character Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith, an aspiring rapper in Detroit like Eminem once was.  The best part of the movie is undoubtedly the final rap battle between Jimmy and his rival Papa Doc.  If you haven’t seen the movie and you don’t want me to give away the ending…stop reading now.  Jimmy knows he’s white and that he lives at home with his mom (among many other things often used against him in rap battles), and he decides to rap about all of these things so that his opposition will have nothing to say about him.  He also finds out a fun little secret about his not-so-gangsta opponent and uses this to cut him down.  So smart, right?!  It’s one of the greatest scenes in any movie I’ve seen.

Eminem has always been controversial for his lyrics or his family drama, but he is one of the most talented rappers out there.  Maybe even the most talented.  I really love his more serious, personal songs, but some of his crazy stuff is certainly entertaining.  If I could meet Eminem, I would probably cry and then hug him (without his permission of course, because he doesn’t seem like the hugging type).  And then I would die happy.

What are your favorite Eminem songs?  Or musical artists in general?


Vision and Writing

I’ve been working on an essay about an eye condition that I have and its potential psychological/social effects. My eye muscles are misaligned, which makes it difficult to use both eyes at once, fuse the two separate images together, and make eye contact. As dismal as that sounds, I’m enjoying writing this. It’s forcing me to question how this issue that I’ve just sort of accepted as a part of my life has really shaped who I am. It feels a bit like therapy.

One of the things that its made me realize is that my eye condition might be one of the biggest reasons that I turned to writing in the first place. Because of the actual physical strain of holding my eyes up as well as the cosmetic appearance of my eyes, I’ve always felt uncomfortable communicating verbally. The easiest way for me to connect with people is through writing. Also, I’m beginning to realize that the way I (literally) see the world affects the way I think.

Susan Barry, who had an eye problem similar to mine, touches on this in her book, “Fixing My Gaze.” She underwent vision therapy in her forties and managed to make incredible progress towards regaining binocular vision. She wrote:

“Most surprising to me was that the change in my vision affected the way that I thought. I had always seen and reasoned in a step-by-step manner. I saw with one eye and then the other. When entering a crowded room, I would search for a friend by looking at one face, then the next. I didn’t know how to take in the whole room and its occupants in one glance. While lecturing in class I always spoke about A causing B causing C. Until I watched my children grow up, I had assumed that seeing the details and understanding the big picture were separate processes. Only after I learned the details could I add them up together in the whole. I could not, as the saying goes, see the forest for the trees. But my kids seemed to be able to do both at the same time.”

I’ve thought about that many times, but I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or if it had something to do with my eyes. Now I think it’s probably both. I’ve always considered myself to be fairly smart, but, frankly, kind of slow. I have a hard time participating in class because I need a lot of time to absorb and synthesize information before I can form an opinion on it. I’m sure this is true for a lot of people, with or without “normal” vision, but for me personally I think it’s due in part to the way my eyes work. Writing gives me that time and space to work out my thoughts and see what they add up to.

In a way, all of this points to a somewhat unhealthy dependence on writing. There’s no denying that to some extent I need to loosen my grip on written words and develop my verbal/interpersonal skills. But on the other hand, writing has been both an invaluable coping mechanism and act that challenges me to think and to learn.

Guys, I’m becoming more mature

Tomorrow, I’ll head home to Grosse Pointe for the weekend to celebrate Easter with my family. My mom just asked me when I have to get back and I said Monday morning. I had to explain to her that holidays are viewed a little differently around here. For example a professor said the other day “Well your paper can’t be due this week because of Passover, and then Sunday is that Easter thing, so I guess it will just be next Wednesday.”

But anyway, I’ll be heading home for the weekend, and the past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with the idea of whether or not to visit an old friend while I’m home. This is not the kind of old friend that you should want to catch up with. This is the type of old friend that is in the past for a reason. This is the type of old friend where it’s easy to remember their compelling attributes, and harder to remember the other ones. Okay, I’ll stop…this old friend is a boy. And I’m being that girl. I know, just embrace it.

Anyway, I had my mind set that I’d see him when I was home, until the other day. I was cleaning my room and found an assignment that I had to write for a creative writing class. It was all of the reasons why we are “old friends.” Needless to say it wasn’t that creative. I re-read it, and then read it again, and then realized there was no way I could see him this weekend. And now that I’ve officially made up my mind, I know it’s the right decision.

I’ve been so much of an adult these past few weeks I think I need a medal….or a drink.

Guys, I’m becoming more mature.

I bring up this story though because I wonder…have you ever had your own words help you make up your mind like that? Has your past self ever been so convincing that your future self can’t help but to listen?

A passage from my “Why I Write” essay:

“Thinking something in your head, feeling something in your heart and having the ability to articulate it is something special. I write because sometimes I feel such passion, or rage, or excitement, or depression that I never want to forget the feeling. I do not want the emotion to subside and only remain as an ember of the once blazing fire. Writing helps me remember.”

Can anyone relate?

Bio (better late than never, right?)

Who said selfies were a new phenomenon?
I tend to speak (and write, if the situation permits) in stream of consciousness. You’ve been warned.

I drink an alarming amount of coffee (I know the names of at least one barista at ~15 coffee shops. I realized the severity of my problem when I ran into a barista I knew while I was traveling in Chicago. Don’t worry, there is an intervention in place.)

I used to have a shopping problem too..and then I ran out of money. And maxed out my credit card.

I guess you could say I have an addictive personality.

I’ll strike up a conversation with just about any stranger at any time. This may or may not have put me in one or two life-threatening situations.

I’m Chaldean (No, that’s not a cheese. Yes, somebody has seriously asked me that question before. To make it simple, Chaldeans are Christians that originated in ancient-Mesopotamia and now settle in northern Iraq…or Detroit, MI.)

I’m first generation. Both of my parents were born in Baghdad, Iraq. God willing, I’ll be the first to graduate college in my family.

While we’re on the topic of family, I’m an older sister to two of the most annoying, yet lovable (big) little brothers. My family means everything to me.

I want to work in Pediatrics. And I’ve already almost kidnapped ~128021 kids from my research job at Mott Children’s Hospital (I’M JUST KIDDING – PLEASE DON’T SEND ME TO JAIL. OR FIRE ME.) I love babies. And senior citizens. And everyone in between (not really, but I just felt like I had to say it).

I have a phobia of deer. I wish it had a cool name at least, but it’s just deerophobia. My body goes into fight-or-flight mode every time I see a herd of them. They stalk me. No, really..who else do you know that has been t-boned by a deer on 3 separate occasions?

My ultimate goal in life is to make it to the Instagram popular page. Judge me.

Every time I conquer a public transportation system, I throw a mini-life accomplishment party in my head. Punch bowls and all.

I have a slight obsession with the brain & all things neuroscience.

Speaking of brains, my thoughts teeter between those of an over-the-hill woman about to hit menopause & a 5-year-old boy on a daily basis. Some call it multiple personality disorder, others prefer ADHD. Take your pick.

I’m a workaholic. (I’m sure almost everyone in my 220 section has wondered how many jobs exactly does this girl have?? – right now it’s just three.)

If running in heels was an Olympic sport, I would take the gold.

I’m an insomniac. (it could be the coffee, but nobody really knows..or cares.) My peak hour of productivity is ~4AM, so I like to think that it works to my advantage.

If I could be cast in one show for one episode it would be Friends. No doubt. Except they’ve stopped making new episodes. Not surprising since EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS tends to do so *sigh* (I’m still bitter toward that beyotch Mischa Barton for demanding to be killed off The O.C.)

I’m a firm believer that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. (I guess if you want to be technical, the same can be said about some investments if you play them out the right way – but let’s not even go there, smarty pants.)

I fall in love with fictional characters on a monthly basis – Ari Gold from Entourage, Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl, Joey Tribbiani from Friends, etc. You name it & I’ve probably fallen in love with him once or twice.

I try to do one thing a day that scares me. But sometimes I chicken out.

Embrace your innate weirdness. Always.

That is all for now, folks!


Symbiosis of Science & Religion

I’ve spent some time recently reflecting on science and religion – both the overlap and the disconnect between the two. About a month ago or so, I stumbled upon an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book, Strength to Love, which prompted me to think about my own faith and its challenges. The passage discusses a symbiotic relationship between science and religion:

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.” 

Growing up I was raised in a household where there was absolutely no questioning the “rules” or opinions of the Catholic Church, you were just supposed to follow them – religion is the way, science is not. And it didn’t help that almost everyone I was constantly surrounded by in my conservative Catholic community carried a similar perspective.

As I progress through college, and my science background continues to deepen with my skepticism, I’ve found myself struggling as I try to frame my views with one or the other – either science or religion, but not both. With the introduction to new ideas and the constraints that come with living in a conservative environment removed, I’ve experienced countless frustrations and found myself overwhelmed with cluttered thoughts, attempting to make sense of the two. I’ve also encountered numerous other classmates and friends facing similar ordeals as well.

I think my upbringing caused me to believe I had to choose one or the other. When I came to U of M, the views I had formulated growing up were challenged by some peers who identified as atheists or agnostics and defended their views solely with science – science is the way, religion is not. In my opinion, however, I’ve come to realize that both have their limitations and one can’t fully deny the existence or operate without the other. In formulating new personal views and reevaluating existing ones, I currently rely on BOTH religion and science, which I feel is best summarized above by MLK’s explanation of the symbiosis of the two.


I originally wrote this for our “Where I’m From” prompt on the first day of class, but since the Wednesday Word is bagel, I thought this was appropriate to post.

Bagel Master

In the center of the town of Syosset sits Bagel Master– a modest-sized building with a giant flickering neon sign advertising their “Hot Bagels.” Over the years, however, residents have watched as the once bold letters slowly burned out, leaving behind nothing but dull letter-shaped shells. The letter T was the first to go, followed by E and L, so that today, the store advertises something shockingly different: Ho Bags.

Upon entering the joint, customers are greeted by the fishy smells of smoked salmon and baked tuna, masked by the cheap cologne scents worn by the workers behind counter. In the small seating area near the entrance, you can’t help but overhear the talk of the town in between gusts of wind let in by the open door: Sandy’s nose job, the Greenberg’s lawsuit, and of course, the occasional “This is like, way too much cream cheese. I thought I asked for a shmier.”

If you’re just passing through, chances are you won’t be taking your pit stop at Bagel Master. If anything, you’ll hit up the Dunkin’ Doughnuts next door. Only true Syosset residents know that there’s nothing like a Ho Bag to spruce up a Saturday morning- especially after a late-night bar mitzvah Manischewitz bender.

Bagel Master

Maturity, Responsibility, Laundry Service?

What stood out most to me about our class’ self-evaluation of adulthood was the significance placed on doing one’s own laundry.  Many classmates referenced cleaning their own clothes as a marker of their maturity – elevating the rankings slightly.  What is it about doing one’s own laundry that apparently enables people to feel a wider breadth of agency?  From what I gather, people cite doing laundry as a marker of maturity because it is symbolic of a separation of dependency from one’s parents.  That may be, however I would argue that in my particular case, not doing my own laundry is reflective of a much more mature and responsible decision.

I do not do my own laundry.  Up until my college move in, I had probably only operated a washing machine two or three times – and only because my parents were out of town or because I needed to cover up something on my clothes from them.  Doing laundry freshman year was rough; not due to lack of ability to run a washing machine/dryer, rather because all the washing machines in my dorm were broken, causing me to have to run at least 2 wash cycles and 2 dryer cycles just to have my clothes clean and dry.  Monetary expenses of laundry aside, this was very frustrating for me.  Doing laundry became a multi-hour event, which sucked, and furthermore the machines were often occupied meaning I would have to wait additional time for one to open up.

Considering how inconvenient the task of laundry was, at the beginning of this school year I did my due diligence, discovered “Busy Bodys” (A laundry service in which you pay for a certain weight, leave your clothes outside your door, its collected weekly and returned the following day clean and folded), and sold my mother on paying for.  Many have argued that I was just being lazy, incapable of doing my own laundry, or that simply I was being a “J.A.P” – all plausible explanations.

In stark contrast, I believe that my actions with regards to my laundry decisions reflect far more maturity than the act of cleaning my own clothes.  Lets evaluate my actions that led to me paying for laundry:

1) I recognized my own distaste of doing laundry

2) I researched various services and compared costs to other companies

3) Upon figuring out the best option in the local market, I evaluated approximate weight of laundry per week to determine the cost

4) Next I evaluated the extent to which I value my own time (how much are the 4 hours or so a week to me)

5) Then I aggregated my research and prepared an informal proposal for my mother

After hearing my case for this laundry service, my mother saw the merit of paying for laundry and handed over her credit card.  Alas! I finally was back to the wonderful world of not doing my own laundry – and it really is a wonderful world.  Haven’t had a single ruined article of clothing (something I can not say for the broken machines in my dorm), I save hours and hours every week (time which I now spend doing homework/other productive tasks), and ultimately the cost of paying for the service is not that much higher than the cost of running the machines in my building.  All in all I believe Busy Body’s was a great investment.

In conclusion, I would argue that not doing laundry demonstrates my proximity to adulthood far more than cleaning clothes.  I demonstrated agency by researching alternatives to doing my own laundry, I performed a cost-benefit analysis, did self-evaluations of the worth of my time, and I constructed an argument appealing to my audience.

So call me lazy.  Call me dependent.  Call me whatever you want – I don’t really care.  If you happen to call me something mean, thats fine, because I now have plenty of disposable hours each week for counseling if need be.  So get at me all you laundry-service haters!