Marilyn Calhoun, a 22-year breast cancer survivor, is still advocating awareness and prevention. The retired Dallas principal and veteran educator wants women to be proactive, get mammograms as well as participate in other breast cancer prevention programs. Calhoun originally shared her triumphant journey in a 2011 Harvest Reapers Communications’ video interview. Her words still ring true and her message is more important than ever, so please take the time to watch:
The following is an excerpt from a May 9, 1993 column I wrote entitled "Lessons from the Book of Mom" for The Commercial Appeal, (c) The E.W. Scripps Co., reprinted here in observance of Ma Dear's birthday.
There are a lot of ways for me to note what my mother, [Mrs.] Rowena H. Whiting, means to me. I would like to focus on some of the lessons she taught me.
My mother, who always wanted to be an English teacher, has spent a lot of time teaching my sister, my [one has passed] two brothers and me the importance of correct grammar and proper pronunciation.
A frequent early-childhood refrain I can still hear is: "Regina, it's not 'show is,' it's 'sure is.' This is one of those reminders that frankly became irritating to me, but of course, that never stopped Ma Dear, as we call her. She wanted to make sure that her children did not embarrass her or themselves with poor speaking skills. ...
My mom is one of the world's best cooks when it comes to collard and turnip greens--my all-time favorite food. We grew up on the stuff, along with other Southern fare. She tells us the story often about me being sick with pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx) when I was 24 months old. I was placed in [the-then] Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center with a fever that hovered between 102 and 105 degrees. After numerous efforts to help me get better, the doctors gave up on me.
Mom asked a friend to pray for me, and I gradually recovered. She says as my appetite returned, I got a craving for greens and spaghetti. Also at the hospital was a couple with a sick child. The man was kind enough to go out into the night and buy this food. Mother says my recovery was a "miracle from God."
Did I tell you about the time she got my foot out of the pickle jar, or about the time she saved my arm after it got caught in the washing machine?
I am so thankful my mom is still around, that she passed on many lessons, and that I obeyed most of them.
The next time you're looking for a digital audio package, I suggest you consider Audacity.
Here’s why I like Audacity:
1. No cost: Open source software
2. Capabilities: Recording, editing, importing and exporting files
3. File types: WMA, WAV and MP3 among others
I used an Olympus digital recorder to capture the sounds at Dallas' M.T. Reilly Elementary School during Career Day on May 13, 2011.
First, I asked several students to participate in making an audio movie. They were excited and after I captured the audio of them making bird sounds, they were especially interested in hearing the sounds, which I played back for them.
To create the edited product, I uploaded the raw audio into my Audacity software. Then I highlighted each section of audio and listened. Next, I selected what I wanted to delete, highlighted it and hit the backspace key.
Finally, I used the Effect menu to select Fade Out which I placed at the end of the final piece of audio.
Then from the File menu, I exported my finished product as an MP3.
Listen to the three students making bird sounds.
About the Author:
Regina L. Burns, M.A., Project+, is an award-winning multimedia editor and journalist, specializing in Black history and African American stories at Harvest Reapers Communications. Her work has been published in Texas Highways magazine, WFAA-TV, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as well as The Commercial Appeal, the Tri-State Defender and The Flyer, among others.