Top Science Reddit IAmA's http://www.topiama.com/cat/science The latest Science IAmA's collected from Reddit ScienceWe are Arctic and Antarctic scientists celebrating International Polar Week! Ask us anything! http://www.topiama.com/r/6409/we-are-arctic-and-antarctic-scientists For this International Polar Week, members of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS; www.apecs.is) are highlighting how we all live in a #PolarWorld, where issues happening in the poles affect everyone on the globe. To help celebrate, we want to discuss the interconnectivity of Earth, international collaborations, and people living and working in the poles. APECS is the future of polar science; ask us anything!

As we’re logging in from around the world (Belgium, Canada, India, Portugal, South Africa, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States), you can expect our answers over the next 24-hours. You can also join in on the Polar Week discussions across social media at #PolarWeek and #PolarWorld, or learn more about APECS’ celebrations here.

APECS members participating in today’s iAMA are, in alphabetical order by surname:

  • Tonya Burgers is an ocean chemist from Canada and collects seawater samples to measure dissolved inorganic carbon to understand rates of ocean acidification and air-sea CO2 exchange in the Arctic.
  • Henrik Christiansen is a marine biologist from Belgium and investigates the connectivity and adaptation of Southern Ocean fish.
  • Archana Dayal is a biogeochemist from the UK and studies snow and ice microbes/biogeochemistry in the High Arctic (Svalbard) for her PhD. (Twitter)
  • Jean Holloway is a scientist in Canada who is interested in how permafrost is responding to climate change in the Canadian Arctic. (Twitter)
  • Kyle Mayers is a marine biologist from the UK, and interested in studying the interactions between algae and their grazers (zooplankton). (Twitter)
  • Ricardo Molina is a scientist from Guatemala and working in the United States, and his research is part of the The Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) project.
  • Swati Nagar is a biologist from India, studied freshwater lakes and interested in conducting outreach activities in polar sciences for students and public. (Twitter)
  • Gabriela Roldan is a researcher from Argentina and works in New Zealand, and studies connections that Antarctic Gateway cities construct, resulting in a unique “Antarctic identity." (https://twitter.com/Antarcticdentty)
  • Marius Rossouw is a plant ecophysiologist from South Africa, trying to understand how sub-Antarctic ferns are coping with climate change. (Twitter)
  • José Seco is a Marine biologist from Portugal, and is interested in looking to the pathway of heavy metals on the marine food web (from crustaceans, fish, squid, marine birds). (Twitter)
  • Sara Strey is an atmospheric scientist in the United States, studying interactions between the Arctic and midlatitudes from the perspective of air sea interactions. (Twitter)
  • Alex Thornton is a marine ecologist from Alaska in the United States, and is interested in studying how polar marine mammals and seabirds respond to environmental change. (Twitter)
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Sat, 23 Sep 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceI’m Jürgen Götz, neuroscientist. My lab has reversed Alzheimer’s symptoms in animal models. AMA. http://www.topiama.com/r/6402/im-jurgen-gotz-neuroscientist-my-lab-has-reversed I was born at home in California to two anti-establishment parents who didn't file a birth certificate or social security number for me or my two brothers and opted to give me limited homeschooling that lacked structure or consistency wherein most of the academic subjects I know I learned independently prior to attending an adult school this year.
Proof: https://imgur.com/a/hNsvc
 
EDIT: I made a small GoFundMe for anyone interested.

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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceIamA former NASA astronaut with 1000 hours aboard the Space Shuttle and a professor in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. I'm Jeff Hoffman– Ask Me Anything! http://www.topiama.com/r/6399/iama-former-nasa-astronaut-with-1000-hours-aboard THAT'S IT FOR TODAY. THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR GOOD QUESTIONS. SORRY I COULDN'T ANSWER ALL OF THEM, BUT I HOPE THIS HAS BEEN INTERESTING FOR YOU.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR 16.00X - INTRODUCTION TO AEROSPACE ENGINEERING AND HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT, STARTING NEXT TUESDAY (26 SEPTEMBER).

AND REMEMBER THAT MITX WILL OFFER A NEW SPACE COURSE IN THE FALL OF 2018 - 16.885X - SPACE SHUTTLE SYSTEMS ENGINEERING.

SIGNING OFF!

I'm Jeff Hoffman - former NASA astronaut and current MIT Professor. In my spare time, I'm the director of the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium and Deputy Principal Investigator of an experiment on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.

I've logged 1000 hours of flight time aboard the Space Shuttle, spent four years as NASA’s European Representative, and joined the MIT faculty in August 2001.

My free Introduction to Aerospace Engineering course on edX begins September 26th.

I'd love to answer any questions you have about outer space!

AMA!

Here's my proof

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Wed, 20 Sep 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceI’m Sandro Galea, dean of Boston University’s School of Public Health. I’ve also studied natural disasters and their impact on our health. AMA. http://www.topiama.com/r/6383/im-sandro-galea-dean-of-boston-universitys-school Since 2005, I've worked through my websites and personal seminars to educate people about ID theft issues. In that time, I've traveled to various schools, businesses, military bases, and conferences to talk about ID theft and created a recent video series due to the OPM data breach in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH7bfxIHuvQ

ID theft is a dirty industry that is full of scams and dirty tricks like monitoring and insurance plans. Every time there's a breach, they give you the same bad information about what to do and try to shift the blame to the hackers when it's almost always their own negligence at fault.

My goal today is to make sure everyone gets the RIGHT information about how to handle the Equifax breach (short answer: Freeze your credit reports)

Proof: http://www.thegeekprofessor.com/about/ (at the bottom).

Proof of my history: https://www.google.com/search?q=lifelock+sucks&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 (check out the top non-ad link :) )

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Wed, 13 Sep 2017 0:00:00 EDT
Request[AMA Request] "Robert", the 9-year-old boy who robbed a bank in NYC with just a toy pistol back in 1981. http://www.topiama.com/r/6358/ama-request-robert-the-9yearold-boy-who-robbed-a Hi Reddit! I am New York defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, the lawyer for alleged Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Through my career, I have represented a number of other high-profile clients including John Gotti Jr. and rappers The Game and Fat Joe.

Here is my proof, my website, and a New York Times article.

Thank you all for spending two hours with me and asking such intelligent questions. If you have any more interest about what I do for a living, I have a pretty informative website as linked above which will give you an idea about the types of cases I have and my results -- and thoughts as contained in my blog.

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Thu, 31 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicI'm a PhD candidate and public school teacher who has created after-school video game clubs in Des Moines and now in Detroit. I am studying how video game clubs are affecting student engagement. AMA! http://www.topiama.com/r/6345/im-a-phd-candidate-and-public-school-teacher-who Greetings everyone!

TL:WR (Too long, won’t read): I created a couple high school video game clubs, current one is in Detroit. I’m trying to give schools/students/parents the tools they need to start their own successful video game clubs. We have an opportunity to engage students into school through their interests in gaming. Everyone wins: students’ education, parents, and gaming companies.

My name is Nick Lenk. I am a physics teacher in Detroit Public Schools Community District teaching at Cass Technical High School. With enrollment at ~2400 students, it makes Cass Tech the largest high school in Detroit.

I run the Cass Tech Video Game Club. Without going into too much detail here, boiled down to the basics, the club meets nearly every Friday from 3:30-6:00pm and through our 26 meetings last year we had an average of 110 students come each week. The basic model for the club is that the students bring in their gaming consoles (one kids brings in his PC), and I provide the monitors they use. We’ve 13 monitors that typically all get used each meeting. The games range from NBA 2K, to Smash, to Just Dance. There’s also a lot of students who bring their TCGs in, with Yu-Gi-Oh! being the most popular.

I am a PhD candidate at Wayne State University (3rd largest public Michigan university located right here in Midtown Detroit). My dissertation is studying how after-school video game clubs have affected their student’s engagement. In my multiple case study of video game clubs in Canada and the US, I’ve found them to be incredibly beneficial at helping the students feel better about school.

Specifically, the most beneficial part is the students feeling like they have a community at their school. The students felt like because of the club they’ve been able to meet several people who they didn’t think liked the same stuff they liked. The students routinely described being appreciative of having peers, and a support community, surrounding their interests. They described this as a large factor in their happiness about school. Students describe their club as being a significant factor in forming their group of friends.

I am trying to lay down the literature that students, teachers, parents, and administrators can use to convince their peers that these kinds of clubs are far more than just a place where students can come to play video games. They’re a place where students build relationships with classmates, have healthy interactions with adults, have a place where video game addiction can be discussed, and have a place that will help them reengage with schooling.

The after-school club model has existed for nearly a century. We can still use this approach for our current students’ interests. Sports teams, drama, chess, and debate clubs all have been positive influences on our students’ lives. Video game clubs can achieve just as positive results those groups historically have.

I have created the website www.videogameclubs.org as a means to help anyone who is interested in seeking information regarding starting their own video game club at their school. It has recommendations of successful video game clubs, helpful structural suggestions for your club, and published literature that you might be able to use to help support your argument if you’re facing stubborn administration. Also, people can use /r/videogameclubs as a way to shoot questions off me if they’re not feeling my website.

If I couldn't pick teaching science, I think my dream job would be to work for a video game company or be a consultant or something, traveling and helping interested k-12 districts and universities start these kinds of programs. It helps them recruit prospective students; but most importantly it helps their current students stay engaged with school and gives them a vector to feel like they have a community in which they belong. I really feel like I'm helping the world become a better place through these clubs. That being said, I’ve no idea how to pitch this job to Blizzard/EA/Riot/Nintendo/etc., hah!

Special thanks need to go out to /r/leagueoflegends for helping me get the attention of Riot Games back in 2014. They flew out to my club in Des Moines to make a video feature about the League club I had there. That video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWysttc6aqw . I didn’t know what I was doing was so valued by parents and students at the time. Shortly after that video came out, I decided to pursue this as a PhD topic. 3 years later I’m about to defend my dissertation, and I’m here to help anyone else start their own club through the resources I’ve found helpful.

Proof: https://www.videogameclubs.org/about-me/

Edit 1: I'll be back in 2 hours to start answering questions.

Edit 2: Forgot to plug my recent video about the club in Detroit: https://youtu.be/s4T51_1Zgbw . Keep sending the great questions everyone!! I'll be up for a few more hours!

Edit 3: Alrighty everyone, I'm heading to bed. Please feel free to post questions here still and I'll get to them in the morning.

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Wed, 30 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
Unique Experience-LiveI am James "Attrition" Lunning, and I am a swordfighting vagrant who has spent the last 30 months hiking over 15,000 miles around the US. http://www.topiama.com/r/6324/i-am-james-attrition-lunning-and-i-am-a At the ripe young age of 21 I quit my job as a machinist to hike around the US. I've hiked across the US nearly 4 times, thru 29 states, and over 15,000 contiguous miles. Currently taking a rest day after watching the Solar Eclipse, in the last state of the Continental Divide Trail: Montana.

When I set out on the Appalachian Trail on February 12th of 2015 I had planned to hike until I ran out of either money or trails I could reasonably connect, but it was sort of a joke and I couldn't have understood what I was really up for. I've snowshoed across the High Sierra in November, the San Juan Mountains in May; trekked across the Great Plains, Death Valley, the Mojave and Sonoran deserts; shiverred my way through the Upper Midwestern winter; been swept down rivers and steep icy slopes. I've cried at the sight of grocery stores, and been kicked out of buffets for staying too long/eating too much. All the while carrying my trusty longsword.

If I had to pin down why I'm doing this, flippantly its because I played too much (or not enough) Dungeons and Dragons. More seriously would be that many things conspired to give me this opportunity, not least of which was my father having a cancer scare just before retiring, which made it clear as day that I couldn't count on retiring, so if I wanted to go traveling I needed to make it happen. The dumb heady reason is that I don't believe in free will so this is all post-fact rationalization anyways. Hiking was chosen as the mode of travel as combination of having started on the Appalachian Trail, and an inspiring meeting with another hiker doing a similar walk to what I've been up to, I am considering Kayaking the next leg of my trip. I carry the sword partly as a dedication device, I study Historical European Martial Arts (mainly Fiore if we have folks from /r/wma) and figured if I didn't bring it along then I wouldn't be likely to go back to it when I returned; but also I like the frame of mind carrying it puts me in, very adventurous and kindof like I am on some sort of quest.

I am not independently wealthy, but I did go to a low cost trade school to become a CNC machinist, and worked for about a year while pinching my pennies pretty tightly. I bought food in extreme bulk before I left and my parents help me by mailing boxes of it to post offices along the way. I do pay the postage but I'm trading the labor with my Mom, in exchange I'm planning to take her on a thru hike of the John Muir Trail in CA, during the summer after I call my hike complete.

Sporadically updated Blog: https://www.attritionhike.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jameslunning

Proof links:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYI6CR4nLe4/

https://attritionhike.com/2017/08/23/ask-me-anything/

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Wed, 23 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
RestaurantCurrent Taco Bell Employee. AMA http://www.topiama.com/r/6328/current-taco-bell-employee-ama Ive been working at a Taco Bell for nearly a year now and have seen it all. I work both making the food and as a cashier/order taker. AMA

Verification http://imgur.com/0Ro1fzL

EDIT: Thanks for all the great questions! We even made it to MSN! Ill keep this going live as long as you guys keep questions coming. Thanks again!

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceIamA elephant scientist AMA on World Elephant Day! http://www.topiama.com/r/6299/iama-elephant-scientist-ama-on-world-elephant-day We are Solar Team Twente, a group of 19 students who took a break of a little over a year from our studies in order to build the world’s most efficient solar car. Also, here we are with our solar car and bonus points for finding our mascot in the 360 view of our car and race team.

Our car will be partaking in the biennial World Solar Challenge in Australia, which will be held again this year in October (8-15 October for those wondering). There are multiple classes and we’ll be competing in the Challenger Class, which we like to call the F1 of solar car racing. This basically means that we built a single seat efficiency masterpiece built according to regulations set by the organization.

The team consists of a management team, communications team and technical team and basically functions like a small business, except we don’t get paid ;). We are also proud of the fact that we do almost everything ourselves; from designing, building and testing the solar car to securing all funds and in kind sponsoring and even our own management and public relations. As you would expect we have a great variety of study backgrounds, but let’s not give away everything just yet!

Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper AMA introduction without proof. The image is a little bit outdated (oops sorry), but the guy on the right is clearly so ugly that he can only be me. The two people in the image are also your hosts for this AMA. I, Luc, am one of the aerodynamicists of the team, while Gearte Nynke (good luck pronouncing that) is our communications manager. You can ask us anything you want. Questions could be about the car or other technical aspects, but also about our motivations to join the project or any other aspect of the project you can think off. Don’t be shy, Ask Us Anything!

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Sat, 12 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
MedicalIamA(n) intensive care nurse in a level 1 trauma hospital. I have experience with every specialty except burns. AMA! http://www.topiama.com/r/6291/iaman-intensive-care-nurse-in-a-level-1-trauma The Exploratorium is a playful learning laboratory in San Francisco with 600+ interactive exhibits. Nicole Minor is the project director and producer for the museum's 2017 live stream of the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21st. Rob Rothfarb is the Exploratorium's eclipse live stream technical director. He created the museum's FREE Total Solar Eclipse app for iOS + Android. We’ve live streamed six solar eclipse events.

https://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse

Thanks everybody! We had fun answering your great questions and hope you enjoy clear skies on eclipse day! Please join us online for our live coverage on our app and website, beginning at 9:00 AM PDT / 12:00PM EDT on August 21. If you're in the Bay Area and would like to come watch with us, we're having an eclipse viewing party at the Exploratorium starting at 9:00 AM. -Rob and Nicole

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Wed, 09 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
MedicalMy name is Travis. I am a Paramedic in Pennsylvania and 9 years ago today I donated my left kidney. In order to spread awareness and help reduce some fears of organ donation, AMA! http://www.topiama.com/r/6256/my-name-is-travis-i-am-a-paramedic-in 9 years ago today, when I was a college student, I donated my left kidney to my oldest sister. I am also currently a Paramedic. Feel free to ask me anything! I will be checking in and out all day, answering questions until midnight tonight. I'll try to answer all of them or as many as I can.

If the mods want proof of my kidney donation, I can send them a link to a story my college paper did about it. I don't want to post it here since it mentions my sister' s name and I didnt ask if she wants to have her name out there.

Proof of being a paramedic: https://ibb.co/g1Aws5

Just a note, I created this account just for this AMA. I like having privacy online for various reasons.

Edit: Thanks to everyone who asked questions or dropped by. I apologize for any short answers, but I did 99% of this in an ambulance either while responding to a call (my partner was driving) or while walking out of the hospital after transferring care. I've had a busy day, so I'm going to go sleep. However, I hope I at least answered some questions and even if you don't want to be a living donor, at least consider being a deceased organ donor. For some fun statistics you can go here: https://www.donatelife.net/statistics/ There is a shortage of organ donors and this problem is a growing problem as more people suffer organ failure. Even as a paramedic, I see a lot of people with organ failure from sickness, disease, or trauma.

I hope everyone has a great night and God bless!

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Sat, 29 Jul 2017 0:00:00 EDT
Request[AMA Request] Arman Bitaraf, near-constant cast member of Japanese reality show "Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City" http://www.topiama.com/r/6259/ama-request-arman-bitaraf-nearconstant-cast My short bio: What's up Reddit?!

Over two years ago I left my home in New Jersey to embark on a five year, seven continent trek around the world. In Texas I adopted a dog, Savannah, and we’ve been walking together ever since. I’ve been walking for 687 days and have covered 9600 miles over fifteen countries. Currently I’m in Dublin, about to take on Europe and North Africa.

My previous AMA was a year ago and I was in Macará, Ecuador. From Ecuador I walked through desert for months (and nearly lost my mind), did ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle, climbed to 15,000 feet to cross the Andes, and stumbled upon the Argentinian Carnival. After South America I took a ship to Antarctica where I took a plunge in the icy waters and kayaked beside humpbacks.

Savannah was four months old when I adopted her. When she was a pup I pushed her in my cart. Now she’ll walk thirty miles a day and still be running around at night. In Central and South America it was fairly easy crossing borders with her. To get her into Europe we spent a month in New Jersey doing her paperwork (which is easier now than it used to be apparently). I’ve spent nearly every minute of every day with her since adopting her. She’s my best friend and a great watch dog at night.

As to why I'm walking around the world, I had a friend, Anne Marie, who died at seventeen. I'd never been close to someone who died before. Her death reordered my understanding of the world. I suddenly saw life as something fragile and fleeting. I needed to make the most of the short time I had - I wanted adventure and to see the world. When I discovered Karl Bushby the idea of walking around stuck in my head. So from seventeen to twenty-six I kept The World Walk my aim. I went to college, worked, paid off loans, saved, then set off before I had too much responsibility. By twenty-six I had enough saved that if I lived frugally I could walk while still paying off my student loans for two years.

However, about a month before leaving, the owner of Philadelphia Sign reached out to me. He knew Anne Marie and wanted to support my walk. Now, Philadelphia Sign gives me enough money to see this thing through and donates a dollar a mile to AnneMarie’s scholarship fund. If you'd like to follow along I do my best to post photos daily and write a weekly blog post.

If you’d like to support the walk check out my patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/theworldwalk

Also, here's an infographic which shows some highlights of my first two years.

My Proof

Edit: That's it for me my friends! Thanks for all the support. I hope I was able to give you a better idea of what life is like walking 8 hours a day. All the best, Reddit!

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Fri, 28 Jul 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceIamA Ex Lead NASA Engineer for the International Space Station AMA! http://www.topiama.com/r/6214/iama-ex-lead-nasa-engineer-for-the-international My name is Dane Jasper (/u/danejasper), and I co-founded Sonic in 1994, at a time when the “World Wide Web” was brand new, Linux had just been invented and avoiding dialup busy signals was the main customer issue. Today, Sonic is the largest independent ISP in Northern California. As a 20-year industry veteran, I've seen a lot of change, but I remain committed to the concept of alternative competitive broadband access services, which is why I’m fighting for net neutrality today.

Sonic firmly believes that internet providers should NOT be able to charge content creators -- like Netflix or CNET -- more money to stream their service, or have the ability to block others entirely. The internet should remain open and equal for all.

I’ll be sticking around to answer your questions on net neutrality and what’s at stake for you and everyone else who uses and loves the internet, amid the FCC’s plans to roll back current net neutrality regulations. Ask away!

Proof: https://i.redd.it/25jzwv38c19z.jpg

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Fri, 14 Jul 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceI'm Martin O'Leary and IamA scientist on Project MIDAS, which has been tracking the trillion-ton iceberg A-68 which just calved off the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. AMA! http://www.topiama.com/r/6224/im-martin-oleary-and-iama-scientist-on-project My short bio: Hey reddit! I was hit by a car while on my motorcycle 2 years ago and as a result I tore several of my nerves at the braquial plexus. I broke my radius and ulna, lost all movement in my right arm, and since then my life has changed forever.

In February 2016, after 6 months of fruitless therapy, I had nerve surgery in Mexico where 25cm (~10 in) of nerve was removed from my right leg to be inserted at the braquial plexus and several other points in my arm to promote nerve growth and regeneration.

Since then, I've been attending physical therapy daily and have seen veeeery slow changes over the course of this year. My doctor said that it will take about 3-4 years after the surgery for me to see what movement I will have for the rest of my life, but it all depends on how much work I put into my recovery.

In this time I have continued my bachelor's degree, struggled with depression, tried to continue pursuing my interests (especially music), and maintained an incredible relationship.

Ask me absolutely anything! :D

My Proof:

Sketch of the crash: http://imgur.com/a/0Qoro

Album of the crash: http://imgur.com/a/ETsYy

Pics of me today: http://imgur.com/a/ang5R

Reddit thread on r/motorcycles: https://www.reddit.com/r/motorcycles/comments/4bsj5j/hey_guys_i_made_a_post_about_a_bad_crash_i_was_in/?ref=share&ref_source=link

EDIT: Wow, the responses almost duplicated overnight! I'm answering questions today too.

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Fri, 14 Jul 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceI am theoretical neuroscientist Dr. Edward Large, and I pioneered the theory that the brain entrains its oscillations to acoustic rhythms. Using recent discoveries, I invented a new way to visualize music. http://www.topiama.com/r/6181/i-am-theoretical-neuroscientist-dr-edward-large I am a survivor of a school shooting.

My name is Meaghan. I attended Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington from 2013-2015. I was born and raised in Washington state, before eventually moving to Charleston, South Carolina at the end of my Sophomore year.

The shooting happened during my Sophomore year. School was somewhat enjoyable at best for me, I never really liked school or even the social aspect of it. I constantly begged my parents to let me do online school, more so after the shooting though.

Despite all that, the kids I went to school with were people I grew up with, people that I had once made a connection with in the past. We were a pretty small community. I also had a solid group of friends at the time that I still talk to today. My classes weren't bad either, although geometry was a huge struggle. I liked my teachers, we were all pretty close. My school was laid back, not too tight on the rules and everyone generally got along pretty well.

The morning of the shooting was like any other. Wake up 10 minutes before school, my brother yelling up the stairwell telling me to get my ass in the car or he'd leave me. We lived about a mile from the school, so the ride was fairly short. We were probably listening to some shitty rap song as we zig-zagged across speed bumps and screeched into the parking lot a couple of minutes before class. I rushed to first period, English 2 Honors, and plopped down in my seat, late as always.

I don't remember that morning being much different from any other, class was the same as always. I trudged onto second period, some sort of computer class. That class wasn't interesting so I never paid much attention. Then third period, health class with one of my favorite teachers. Again, a normal day.

Our classes were shortened, since it was a half day. Our school had half days every Friday due to budget cuts. We weren't exactly the wealthiest community. After third period I had first lunch, I walked into the "small" lunchroom around 10:00 A.M and sat down, talking to my boyfriend at the time on the phone. My friends didn't have first lunch that day, so I sat alone, blabbering on the phone.

If I remember correctly around 10:20 A.M, the fire alarm went off. Everyone evacuated the building as expected. I remember laughing with one of my brothers friends, joking about how it was probably one of the seniors pulling a prank. Then I heard a bang. It sounded pretty far off, so I didn't think about it. Then I heard more... that was when fear finally settled in.

It all happened within a matter of minutes. At 10:24 A.M the first shot happened. I remember running like my life depended on it. I was aiming for the parking lot. A lot of my brothers friends were heading to their cars to leave, I so badly wanted to go with them. I wanted to go to safety. I wanted to go home.

I never made it to the parking lot. My limbs were heavy with the thought that someone I know might be dead. My heart hurt from beating so hard. I think I cried. I don't know. I just know that I was afraid. I still feel that fear today.

One of the Spanish teachers who shared a room with my first period teacher grabbed me so hard it knocked the wind out of me. I remember begging him to let me go, to let me go to my brothers friends. I had known them my whole life practically, they were my brothers too. I wanted my brothers to take me away from the horrific tragedy that had just occurred seconds ago.

He refused, and shoved me into the room and locked the door behind us. Standing there, in that room, the stench of fear was so tangible I still see it every fucking day. It was like my life was in slow motion. I scanned the room, kids were huddled in corners, shoved under desks. The air was so thick I thought I was choking. It felt like that room was 100 degrees. There was probably 50 or so students in a room meant for 25.

I found a spot under a large table right underneath the only window in that room. I looked to my left and there was a group of freshman girls huddled by the teachers desk. I remember one girl hysterically crying, swearing up and down that her best friend was dead. I think that's when It finally sunk in.

I smushed myself under that table between two guys I didn't know. I was still on my phone with my at-the-time boyfriend, and he swore up and down that he wouldn't hang up, that he would sit through this with me. Despite the disaster that relationship was, I will always remember him talking me through that entire experience and keeping me somewhat sane for the time being. I will forever appreciate that.

The texts finally started coming in from all of my family members. "Are you okay?" "Are you hurt?" I didn't really know how to respond, but I did. I was huddled under that desk for over two hours, watching the newscasts quietly with hushed voices thick with tears. The anxiety, the fear, that's all I could feel.

Finally, the police knocked on the door and demanded that we open up. They came in, guns raised and flipped on the lights. I remember standing up and covering my eyes only to be told to hold my hands high in the air. I trembled as a police man pointed his gun near me, my heart couldn't beat any faster in that moment. We were told to grab our cell phones only and to exit the room in a orderly, single filed line. We ran out of the room, flanked by policeman.

That first breath of fresh air wasn't refreshing. It was heavy, filled with sorrow and agony. We ran, and ran until we were escorted on a school bus and sent off to a church not far from the school. The ride there was a blur, and being there was one too. We had to sign our name in check in, and go out front to wait for our parents.

I'm not religious, but I do remember walking through that church and just hoping that someone would rid my body of the crippling anxiety I felt. It's still there, it never went away.

I hugged some of my teachers and cried with them, holding hands with people I hadn't spoken to in years and telling them that it'll all be okay. Eventually I was outside waiting for my mom behind a line of police tape. I saw her and she pulled me through the tape and hugged me so hard. I heard her sobs in my ear as she shook and petted my head. Her heart was absolutely broken, mine was too. I didn't know how to feel, I didn't cry with her, I wanted to. I just couldn't feel anymore. I lost a part of myself that day that I'll never get back.

We then retrieved my brother and my dad came to pick us all up, and we went home. At home I sat on the couch and watched the on-going news reports with my family. Nobody said a word. Later on that night I found out one of my childhood friend, Zoe, had died in the shooting. I didn't cry then either. I went up to my room and didn't come back out the rest of the night.

We had the next week off of school after the shooting. Our community really came together after everything. Nothing really helped my healing process though, it's still an on-going thing.

I now suffer from PTSD (diagnosed by a psycho-therapist). This shooting has affected my life in so many ways. Any loud noise sends my pulse skyrocketing. A book slamming on a desk, loud beeping sounds, alarms, fire trucks, police sirens, banging noises, all of this immediately sends me back to that initial moment when the fear struck me. I can't trust people.

The unpredictability of that day has forever traumatized me. I so badly want people in my life to understand that it's not their fault that I have an extremely hard time trusting. It’s not my fault. I am constantly hyper aware of my surroundings, I notice every little detail. My body is always tense, I don't know if I'll ever truly relax again. Anxiety is a daily thing, I'm not sure if it'll go away anytime soon.

I lost some of myself that day, and it was replaced with fear and anxiety and intense trust issues. As unfortunate as that is, it's who I am. I cannot tell you how many nights I have spent on the bathroom floor, crying, wheezing, hurting and just wishing that things were different. But they aren't, they never will be. The only thing I can do now is move forward.

I am a survivor of a school shooting.

I will always be afraid.

Proof:

Here is a picture of my school ID from that year ID

Here is a picture take by a news person of my mom hugging me after she found me mom and me

And here is a picture of me now holding my school ID me

Also here is the link to the Wikipedia article about the shooting. It's not proof, just added in case someone wanted to see it https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marysville_Pilchuck_High_School_shooting

Please leave any questions you have, I'd love to try and answer them.

Thank you.

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Thu, 29 Jun 2017 0:00:00 EDT