To Sleep or Not to Sleep: Is There Even a Choice?

I am sure lots of adult students have experienced insomnia at one point or another. I thought I would share this crucial plot contributor to the lived experiences of an adult-student. I am giving writing poems a try because why not?

To sleep or not to sleep: Is there even a choice?

Zero-dark-thirty is when my subconscious mind likes to come alive

Buzzing with images, sounds, ideas, and sensations in every crevice of the hive

Why can’t this happen during the day so my bed can be the place for restful sleep?

My pillow and blankets act as the key, animating an alternate universe, making me want to weep

Where do these things come from, why and how?

I guess I could be a creative if I can remember during the day what is in my mind now

I wonder if the Men in Black really do exist.

Do they hide in my home waiting to disperse my hidden nighttime revelations into the morning mist?

Whatever, I think to myself

I just want to get through the next day, complete adulting stuff, and not put them on the shelf

OMG, I am exhausted, and it is only early afternoon

I work on focusing on the task at hand with the tactfulness of a goon

I got schoolwork to do!

I got regular adult stuff too!

I swear my consciousness must be the Manchurian candidate facilitating a subconscious coup

Wouldn’t it be awesome if can be like all those brilliant writers?

Documenting or just using all this content to create an epic story with epic characters?

Anyways, I gotta get back to work

I know it will only be hours before my subconscious will once again soar undeterred

Walking the tightrope (My attempt at writing a poem, please notice the rhyming words! :-D)

Ancient wisdom from a land my parents escaped

Assimilation with my new culture where an outsider was made

Me, I am the outsider

I thought I was leaving separatism behind

What I was met with can surely make anyone want to respond in kind

Put your head down and work hard to achieve

But the caveat is you will be living your life for me

The small print no one bothers to read on a contract

It seems that I was born into a persona, a job, a way of being, a way living by default

But why can’t I live my life as me and not be a minor character in your last act?

I have been forced to walk the tightrope bridging my bifurcated life

Never knowing the who, where, why, how, or when of slipping into strife

I bear the scars of tumbling headlong onto the jagged ground

Brushing myself off, I swallow deep inside the pain to tell people I was just fooling around…

Today, I have decided to become the playwright of my life

Today, I have decided that I am the protagonist

Today, I will share my experiences hoping others won’t have to fall as I fell

Today, I know I can use my knowledge of pain to be gentle

Today, I seek a true reflection of me as the woman-child in the mirror


Tomorrow is filled with what dream may come…

Rui Babilonia: A Brief Introduction

                Hello everyone, my name is Rui Babilonia. Please call me Ree. My name sounds just like the prefix of re. I am in the graduate certificate program for college and university teaching (GCCUT), and this is one of two classes I am taking. I want to become an online professor, and I thought this program would be a very helpful introduction. I have my Ph.D. in psychology focusing on research health psychology. After I got out of the Marine Corps, I searched for a way to continue serving the military population, which led me to get my Ph.D. My military service started in high school when I signed up for the Army Reserves and entered the delayed entry program.

I attended the University of Pittsburgh for my undergraduate B.S. degree in computer/information science. I left for my second round of boot camp for the Marine Corps twenty-three days after graduating from college. I was older than 3 of my drill instructors, which painted a nice big bright target on me. I spent countless fun times in an area called the quarterdeck and other places such as the sandpit, where all sorts of invigorating physical training activities were done. I found myself back in PA after twenty years of living the transient military lifestyle at the beginning of the pandemic. This is the abridged-abridged version of my adulthood. Now, I will go to my beginning.

Long ago (okay, maybe not that long ago), in a land far, far away, I was born in a town nestled between mountains. I lived in the northern part of China for the first ten years of my life. My parents immigrated to the U.S. to give me the opportunity to live my American dream. In truth, they wanted me to be the proxy for their lost hopes and dreams because they lived through and then had to survive the aftermath of the cultural revolution. As first-generation Chinese immigrants without money or English skills, my parents embodied the tenacity, perseverance, and hardworking characteristics of many immigrants who come to the U.S. My parents also exercised antiquated and oppressive behavioral patterns learned throughout their life in China. Life was interesting living on extreme opposites of a continuum where my school and home lives were night and day. Learning how to stay sane in my forced-by-design polarized life solidified my personality into who I am today.

Some of the hardships my family and I suffered as foreign people in a foreign land have never completely subsided. The perpetual foreigner persona was forced onto me and followed me through a majority of my life experiences. I spent most of my life trying to be accepted by a nondescript group of people within my daily life environments. I am often left feeling like a child with no home, an interloper outside in the cold peering through windows of other people’s warm homes. I will spare you the details of my countless failures and heartaches caused by my perceived helplessness and worthlessness. With that said, the lessons I learned from those experiences are worth their weight in gold, but I do not ever want to relive them again.

                 I currently use the popular phrase of “forty is the new twenty” as my motto because I get the chance to use what I learned in the last twenty-plus years to begin living a life that is true to me, come what may. I will keep the treasures I have collected throughout my childhood, youth, and adulthood as guidance and reminders of what was and what could be in the future. As we interact within the classroom, I am sure my personality shaped by my heritage, military service, motherhood, and educational background will add to the liveliness of our discussions. Please feel free to ask me anything. I will do my best to answer your questions.

Singing songs – Musical masterpiece or cacophony of voices booted from AGT?

Should there be an advisory statement for aspirants before engaging with personal expressions online? The irony of having access to platforms to express anything and everything without old-fashioned boundaries is perhaps the evolved version of why the caged bird sings. The paradox of the boundless horizon looks great on paper but is potentially paralyzing in practice, thus leading to self-limitations of epic proportions. Not sure if at-home remedies such as consuming honey will comfort over-vocalized voices.

So, I am making this my first post to replace the generic “HELLO WORLD!” posting. Thanks for reading! Come back for more should you choose to accept this mission or whatever this is to you. Have a great day, regardless.