Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What makes me me......

So I'm not really good at this, I never can get the hang of blogging but here it goes.

All semester we've been talking about what makes us human and unique as individuals and most of us said it was our genes or our environment and we all brought in fun baby pictures and told embarrassing stories and had a good laugh on the last day of classes. We all shared photos of our siblings so here's mine:

The top one is the three of us at my sister's 8th grade honors night about 3 years ago. My brother and I are about 4 years apart and my sister and I are about 6 years apart. Even though we all have the same smile and we all had the same crooked English teeth (until my sister got braces), the one thing I loved about the three of us is our eyes. Looking at us we definitely look related, no question, but you can tell where each of us got our eyes. My brother has light blue eyes with a ring of god around the iris, like our mom. My sister has dark blue/grey eyes, like our dad and then there is me. For the longest time I couldn't figure out were mine came from. But as I got older and actually started to learn and care about my background and genes I looked at photographs of my grand parents. I discovered that I have my grandma Jean's eyes, my mom's mom. I was very excited because we are very close and she is just the most wonderful person you'll ever meet (but who doesn't say that about their grandma's right?)

Another cool thing I started to notice when I was digging through my old family photos is how similarly my mom, my grandma and I looked

That's my grandma (black and white photo) when she was younger, around WWII. It was cool to see how alike my grandma, my mom and I are. The top right one is my mom when she was in girl scouts in the 70s and the bottom one is me, my freshman year, road tripping. There are differences in the three of us but I love the similarities we all have

So eyes are a good example of our uniqueness. But going along with what Molly was saying, age makes a huge difference in sibling differences. When we were younger, my sister always tried to copy my and my friends but now, we couldn't be more opposite. Sure we both are a little tree huggy but she is super athletic and runs all the time and listens to rap/pop and is all about photos for fb and such were as I don't run unless something is chasing me or I have to catch a farm animal, I listen to country, show-tunes, indie, and 50s, and I take more photos of everything else than myself to show my aunt on fb (she lives in the UK so it's cheaper than sending them snail mail). My brother and I are still similar, we have similar tastes in comedy, we like science and stuff but being in college as drifted us apart a little. My brother and sister are only about 18 months or so apart everyone thought they were twins when they were younger. People called them Irish Twins. Now, however, they are so different and so polar opposite it's hard to believe they are related.

But enough about them. What makes me human, what makes me me? Doing research for the final paper, I keep stumbling across articles about the 1% difference from chimps and the HAR1 region in the brain where most of the evolutionary advances and differences occurred and the different variations that led to us today. How we categorize people into groups, like race and how that is arbitrary and  you can get it wrong. I also find papers on how unique we are because we have so much variation within our populations and how diverse humanity is. I love it. I love making collages of how different everyone is because it is so beautiful! The colours, the culture, the faces, just wonderful! I want to thank you guys for a great semester and an insight on human variation.

-Cheers :)


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