Picture of students using computers in the library

A Sand Tiger Shark Tuesday

October 10, 2013

Did you know the Sand Shark is also known as the Tiger Shark consequent of its ferocious looks? Peer into USCB’s own ferocity-- I think you will be delighted to see the endless possibilities, and you may even rediscover Katy Perry’s, “Roar” in the eyes of a Sand Tiger Shark!

The ferocity in the demeanor of the Sand Tiger Shark has had clearly a bold impact upon his name. Following the currents of such knowledge my thoughts swim into ideations of my own demeanor, wondering how ferocious I am and if my name: “Erin ”-- reveals that ferocity (it’s okay to giggle here, I did too). In the giggles, such memories are propelled to the forefront of my mind. I am reminded of Mr. Tromsness, my 11th grade voice and speech teacher at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. In Mr. Tromsness’s attempts to bolster my own phonetic ferocity, rapid clarity, and bold accuracy, he would encourage: “Erin! Release the tigress within!!!!!” My peers giggled, a few even escaped me, but I took such delight that he saw the tiger!

That is what we represent at USCB, the “seen tiger” and “the releasing of that tiger”. Much like Katy Perry’s song "Roar"

--you could say “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath”, be “scared to rock the boat and make a mess”… sit quietly, agree politely, forget the power of choice…but at USCB, my peers and I challenge such pitfalls and traps. We have the eye of the Tiger Shark! We are fighters, we are champions, and we are loud: roaring in our education, our inspiration, our integration, fueled in our hungering ambitions to grow, and in an almost instinctual drive ready to shake up the world!!!

No, no-- these are far from pipe dreams.

If it is not evident yet, my Tuesday was abundantly inspiring. I could not help but (wide eyed and amused) turn my head toward classmate, Trish, during our Human Biology class’s discussion with Dr. Z. The Scientific American article titled “Think Twice…”  was being shared and consequently keenly discussed. Author, Adam Hadhazy was responsible for describing scientific research supporting evidence to the outlandish ideas and legendary stories of the “gut instinct” that so many of us have heard. Based upon the lining of the 100 million neurons in our guts (that’s more than in our spinal cord and peripheral nervous system!!) it has been named “the second brain”. This “second brain’s” evolution has growing purpose and influence not in just the digestive functions alone but in our state of mind. The “lower brain” is in a sense communicating to our “upper brain”. The two are exchanging messages in an effort to work together and maintain important stable homeostatic levels, informing our emotions and feelings and so much more beyond, only further reflecting the mind and body’s endless interconnectedness and vitality to each other.

Head geared toward Trish I whisper: “Brandon Branch” and she responds with a brilliant smile. Brandon Branch is Paula Deen Corporation’s Creative Director, and was one of our guest speakers late September in our Leadership in Practice course here at the University. Brandon’s emphasis in leadership was founded in the phrase “trusting the gut”, including everything from following a gut inspired pursuit of one open door to staying put to work on the door frame of another (that is of course again-- if your gut instructs you to do so).

--It is in moments like connecting human biology to leadership qualities, technicalities, and potentialities that I am ready to get “out there” and be heard. Recently, classmate, Austin Michalke and I were rocketed into a fervent discussion on the education that fuels such ambition, yet again inspired by our Leadership guest of the week. President and CEO of Electric Cooperatives, Mike Couick and his concept on starting with why was delightfully revealing. He spoke with smooth boldness, “As long as you don’t lose sight of your why, you can achieve-- you will achieve.”

Austin and I found ourselves sharing the same understanding of education in our nation today and the “whys” of each our own. Too many, education it is a task, a chore, a mundane motionless prerequisite to life, essentially it has no root, not to mention purpose. Yet in other countries people risk their lives for education. There is a passion to learn, a desire to learn, and it extends far beyond simply “going through the motions”. Austin and I asked: why? Why is it so often like this and not like that? Where does a desire to learn come from? Where has the fire gone? Has it been lost in our land and why?

In all this, I feel confident in saying it has not been lost-- in fact I believe it is fighting to stay. I feel further confident in sharing it can be found here at USCB. Austin and I came to a common conclusion that the desire is sparked in a deeply rooted passion of interweaving the powers of knowledge throughout the scopes of academia, disciplines, and life. Knitting them together in such a way to unfold their exuberant brilliance and all their capacity to be more than visually absorbed but palpably applied. Attacking a complex problem (like re-awakening education) will take more than a financial understanding alone, more than being set in juxtaposition to scientific literature or philosophical theory, but furthermore it takes communication, willingness to learn, fearless diversity, functioning together: “head brains” working with “stomach brains”.

It is what USCB offers, I am reminded of that continually-- and how fortunate I am.

USCB: we are propelled. We share the desire to stand for something, to get up when we fall, and to be heard. We are fighters. We are champions. We integrate, collaborate, and celebrate our education--you’re “gonna” hear us roar!!!


Yours Truly: Tigress Sand Shark,

                                                   Erin Dailey