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SusanDolphinDelaney

Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Challenge

Fifty three years ago, I was a senior at Bladensburg Senior High School in Maryland. I was a rising star in the science world and in the science fair world. I was Photography Editor of the yearbook.

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I had been a scientist, in my soul, since childhood. I came from a family of photographers and had worked in the darkroom since I was 7. My dad was the Medical Photographer at George Washington University Medical School in DC and I had gone to work with him often, on Saturdays, all through grade school. I had hung out with medical scientists when I was there.

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My success and my gender were apparently too much for my high school Physics teacher and the Photography teacher. Sadly, their classrooms were across the hall from one another and  they were best buddies. This allowed them to gang up on me more.

I was the only girl in my “Double Physics” class. Back in the day (1964-65) we didn’t have AP classes. Serious science students could sign up for classes like Double Chemistry, a two hour class which I had taken the year before. Now I was in Double Physics, another two hour class, this one with a total of 12 students.

The Physics teacher would have been fired the same day if I’d had an iPhone and had recorded his daily, sexist, misogynist remarks to me. “There is only one thing a woman can do that a man cannot do, and she needs a man to help her do it,” he said one day.

By some miracle of grace, I paid him little attention in these attacks. I was there to continue my science education by learning Physics.

Only two of us in the class took the Science Talent Search exam. Only one of us was named to the Honors Group. That would be me.

Only one of us would earn a slot in the International Science and Engineering Fair. That would be me.

The Photography teacher was the yearbook advisor I had to work with. And of course, I had to use his darkroom, right across from the Physics classroom. I had worked in darkrooms since I was seven. I really had no questions for the Photography teacher, I knew what I was doing and did it quickly and efficiently.

The Photography teacher was actively hostile to me, every day, for no reason. The two teachers were “best buds.” Neither touched me. They just tried to shame and discourage me.

It didn’t work. I was respectful to both of the teachers, and held myself aloof from their cruelty.

I was able to exact revenge on the Physics teacher twice.

The Maryland Academy of Sciences chose to honor me at a special dinner in Baltimore, 38 miles away. Your science teacher was to accompany you. I told my Physics teacher of this requirement. He suggested that my old Chemistry teacher do it instead. I replied that they wanted him to be there. I could have asked my Chemistry teacher, who had moved to another school. He would have been glad to support me, but I wanted my Physics teacher to have to drive me there and back, and to sit beside me and watch me be honored.

The second “revenge” came twelve years later. I knew that the Physics teacher had always wanted to go to medical school and had not been able to get in.

When I graduated medical school, I had already earned a MS in Human Physiology, I learned that my Physics teacher had retired. I called the office at the Prince George’s County School Board and spoke to the woman who sent out the checks to retired teachers. “Oh,” I said, “he will be so thrilled for me. If I mail you a copy of my graduation announcement, would you mail it to him for me.” She readily agreed. I sent it.

Of course, I never heard from him.

I am writing this today because I read an article in the Washington Post about a math teacher who tried to tear down female students. I am here to say that teachers like that have tried to tear us down for a very long time.

It is my understanding that both of my former teachers are deceased. I leave their names off out of respect for their families. I am sure that both men did good in their lives, although not to me.

An organization, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, created the hashtag that leads this post.

Here is the link to today’s WP article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-a-prestigious-high-school-math-and-science-program-alumni-say-metoo/2018/03/01/b17f68ac-f1b6-11e7-b390-a36dc3fa2842_story.html?utm_term=.8b9e7ac9a8d3&wpisrc=nl_mustreads&wpmm=1

*The portrait of me was taken by my brother, Stephen C. Delaney, who was the photographer for the EPA for its first 25 years. The second photo was taken by my dad. I am standing with my uncle and grandfather.

Susan Delphine Delaney MD, MS

Doctor Delaney was honored by the Prince George’s County Regional Science Fair; The Westinghouse Science Talent Search; the International Science and Engineering Fair; The Washington Academy of Sciences: The Maryland Academy of Sciences. She is a 1969 Graduate of the University of Maryland in Chemistry, in an American Chemical Society accredited program. She worked as a Chemist, wrote operating systems for large scientific computers and did hospital data processing. She earned a MS in Human Physiology in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin. She earned her MD from the University of Wisconsin in 1977. She is a 1981 graduate of the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She was a Staff Psychiatrist at the Menninger Hospital and taught in the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She is the author of two books. The first won a Gold Medal for Health Communication from the American Association of Medical Writers. She is the author of two nationally distributed columns and many magazine articles. She has given presentations at the UTSW Medical School and at several Dallas area colleges.

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I turn seventy tomorrow.

I am writing to tell you that survivors of clergy sex abuse serve a life sentence.

Clergy sex abuse, with its physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional abuse and spiritual abuse causes a SHATTERING of the survivor’s being.

Sometimes clergy are given minimal sentences for raping children. Sometimes as little as one year. But we survivors serve a life sentence.

Let me introduce you to my five year old self.

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This precious five year old was sodomized on a weekly basis during fishing season by my father’s priest.

My body will never be the same.

My emotions were savaged not only by the abuse, but by my parents, groomed by the priest, who turned a blind eye to what was happening.

I lost my faith, but regained it, bit by bit. My faith is now robust, but scarred.

I lead a full, productive life. I have left this world a better place.

I like to think that my book has been a snowflake in creating the wonderful avalanches of justice that are happening for children, women and men today.

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I published my book on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28. I dedicated it to all of my brothers and sisters in this world who survived clergy sex abuse. And to those who, sadly, did not survive. So many suicides because of this horrible crime!

Earrings Everyday’s Challenge is “Chart Your Own Course.” I decided to play with asymmetric earring pairs.

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Bumblebee Jasper Cabochon. Golden Freshwater Pearls. Swarovski crystals.

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Pottery Fragment. Freshwater pearls. Swarovski crystals. Lampwork bead.

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Lampwork butterfly wing. Freshwater pearls. Czech beads.

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Lampwork bead. Faceted Garnets. Rosebud pearls. Lampwork headpin. Czech glass beads.

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Faceted Aqua Aura beads. Root beer lamp work disk with aqua dots. Beach glass.

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Large and small lamp work mushrooms. Freshwater pearls.

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Art Bead Scene ( http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com ) offered a wonderful leafy challenge this month. Click on the url to see this month’s challenge.

I used beads from five countries and three continents in my response to the challenge. UK, US, Norway, Czechoslovakia and Ghana. North America, Europe and Africa.

The focal beads were gifted to me by Petra of Scorched Earth (UK) with an order I placed with her. They started out as white porcelain. I painted them with black acrylic, then dry brushed them with interference violet and interference green. I used my embossing gun to cure the paint between colors. I have my embossing gun hanging from my gooseneck lamp so it is always at the ready.

I used two bright purple disks made from my opal polymer clay, one in each earring. One is much thinner than the other. (US)

The grape colored bead is lamp work by Yulia Hollund of Norway, gifted to me with an order of her beads.

I used amethyst beads and Czech beads in both earrings.

The right-hand earring has a green artisan bead from Ghana. The artisan used recycled glass and made the hole with a piece of straw, which burned away in the kiln.

I have been strongly drawn to asymmetrical earrings of late and this challenge gave me the chance to give myself the chance to let loose with asymmetry.

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Art Bead Scene offers a painting each month as a prompt to create beads and jewelry.

The painting this month is Self Portrait  with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940.

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So many of Kahlo’s paintings focus on her physical suffering as a result of terrible injuries in a bus accident.

Instead of the suffering I chose to focus on Frida as an Artistic Goddess and created beads and then earrings derived from the Jaguar in the painting. I call the beads Eye of the Jaguar Goddess Beads.

I used my emerald Opal polymer clay and layered it with black and translucent black polymer to create the Eye of the Jaguar Goddesses. They shimmer and reflect light like mineral opals. I topped them with a pair of emerald shaped vintage beads collected in Santa Fe, NM. The pale emerald beads sing with the opal clay.

Here are the earrings:

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I am so grateful to Art Bead Scene ( http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com ) for these monthly challenges. I grow so much as an artist as I respond to the challenges.

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The March challenge for Art Bead Scene reminded me of paintings I’d seen of birches at twilight.

I am crazy about birches and have 531 pins of birch trees on my “Birches” board on Pinerest.

Here is the challenge painting:

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Edith Carr painted this in 1912 after a six week adventure into rural British Columbia. She called it “Haida Totems”. Birches grow in British Columbia and as far north as Alaska.

My twilight birch beads are inspired by Heather Power’s birch beads, although mine are much, much bigger than hers. I strung them with denim colored button pearls and amethysts.

I also entered the Bead Challenge this month, based on the same photo. Here are Indigo Goddesses.

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You can see this month’s challenge at http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2015/03/march-monthly-challenge.html

 

http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/Banner/Index/8aa58e29-f85b-4c8c-a6f8-61e65d2a9388

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A few days ago a woman found my Aurora Australis earring disks on Etsy and wrote to me.

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http://www.etsy.com/listing/219840257/aurora-australis-pair-of-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_20

She is a spinner of wool and wanted me to make her a diz* that looked like my earring disks. Many emails ensued and today I made her the diz at the top of this post.

I textured the top of the diz with a mold I’d made from a Malaysian palm and after curing, painted it with iridescent paints and cured it again.

*A diz is a curved disk with small holes in it. It is used to select the longest fibers from a mass of wool fibers, so that they the long fibers can be spun into a strong yarn.

Here is the back of her diz:

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The diz is 2 1/2″ across and 1/4″ thick. I left the back very plain so that no paint would rub off on the wool.

I look forward to hearing from her about how it works for her.

 

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