Born in Gainesville, Florida, I travelled every two to three years from different parts of Brazil, Argentina and the US going from lab to lab since my parents were both Nuclear Physicists. My parents enrolled me a year ahead in school and, that, added to the fact that every two to three years I had to not only learn a different language but make en.... more
Born in Gainesville, Florida, I travelled every two to three years from different parts of Brazil, Argentina and the US going from lab to lab since my parents were both Nuclear Physicists. My parents enrolled me a year ahead in school and, that, added to the fact that every two to three years I had to not only learn a different language but make entirely new friends made it much more difficult to adapt to this changing situation often being bullied in school for being quite the intellectual type with an advance experience in the sciences and math and knowledge of the world. I have had the great opportunity of visiting all the greatest labs in all three countries and to see for myself the computers on line with the particle accelerators waiting to detect a bump in the mass distribution detected by detectors which would signify the discovery of a new particle. Finally, at my seventeenth birthday, after graduating from high school in Los Alamos, where Los Alamos National Lab is, I had the excellent opportunity to come study here in New York City at what was then called Polytechnic Institute of NY in Brooklyn where I went on to complete 2 ½ years of electrical engineering for which Polytech, as we like to call it, was one of the best places to study in the US. Not being able to complete my undergraduate degree due to the fact that Polytech was just too expensive I started taking language courses in Italian and French and already knew Portuguese and Spanish from a very early age from my travels. I then joined the Red Cross here in New York City as a mailroom clerk as a volunteer and worked very diligently and hard where I earned a reputation and one day I met Fred Leahy which was to become my boss until today and commented that I spoke and wrote five languages fluently so he told me to revise the website in Spanish and see if I could improve it by translating it to a more Universal Spanish aimed at a bigger audience and not just with idiomatic expressions from one country. My work was vetted and they said I was a keeper and that launched my whole career as a translator/Interpreter at the Red Cross and later leading to a paid job as a medical interpreter and K-12 school interpreter. Somewhere during my interpreter/translator volunteering I had a Lymphoma to the vocal cord and by the grace of GOD chemotherapy and radiation put me in total remission for the last five years and now I wrote a book of poems with my experience surviving all that to help others that might be suffering like me. Perhaps, the most important lesson I intend to pass on to others about my book of poems is that all of us need to take a step back sometimes and think objectively and in depth what are we doing with our lives so far or, as they thought me at Polytechnic University, take a look at the mirror and say "what have I got to say for myself"" or "do I like what I am doing in life or is this what I really want to do in life and enjoy" for as usual we do not realize what we really want of our lives until we are much older and our ideas mature. It would be a pity to be eighty some years old and have to say for ourselves we sacrificed it all only to provide for ourselves and just survived and never stopped to think we could have used our particular talents and skills to help others or a cause that we may be passionate about. When I first got the diagnosis of a lymphoma to my vocal cord the only things that were going through my mind were did I do any of the things I dreamed I wanted to do some day and so I started to search for those things after being given a second chance and found a beautiful career helping those who cannot help themselves, which I hold deeply as a basic value which I want to live by. Life is, however, a one shot deal that you either live it as best you can or there is no going back or second chances. I think life is hard for everyone but the important thing to me, at least, is to find our niche and start doing something useful and always look back and ask ourselves not what can we do but more importantly what can we do better this time so if we fall we get back up and do even better next time and only then we will have lived the most amazing life ever when we get old. Also, I believe we must always be appreciative of everyone and compliment and be polite to all and often use words like "I'm so sorry" or Thank you" or "I love you" because it is important to treat all, good or bad, with some love and I think this is the only way to truly be happy and solve any problems without causing even greater grief to yourself and others!!