competitive swimmers

She was the first woman to...

…travel around the world in a damned Zeppelin.

Originally posted by lego-stories

Lady Hay Drummond-Hay (September 12, 1895—February 12, 1946) was a star journalist who became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, and she did it in a damned Zeppelin. She went on to report from war zones like Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and Manchuria (now part of China), fell into a tumultuous romance with a fellow reporter, and was eventually captured by the Japanese during WWII.

…swim the English Channel.

Originally posted by hero-generator

Gertrude Ederle (October 23, 1905 – November 30, 2003) was a competitive swimmer, Olympic champion, and at one time held five world records. If there was a world record for coolest nickname she would’ve held six, because hers was “Queen of the Waves.” When Ederle set out to become the first woman to swim the English channel, she used motorcycle goggles and sealed the edges with wax to keep the salt water out of her eyes. Due to unfavorable and violent wind conditions twelve hours into her 14 hour and 34 minute journey, her trainer shouted at her to get out of the water and into his boat. She reportedly popped her head up from the water to simply ask “what for?” 

travel around the world in less than 80 days.

Originally posted by meedean

Nellie Bly (May 5, 1864—January 27, 1922) asked her editor at the New York World if she could take a stab at turning the story Around the World in 80 Days from fiction to fact. Using railways and steamships, Bly chuggah-chuggahed and toot-tooted the nearly 25,000 mile trip in just 72 days, meeting Jules Verne and buying a monkey along the way. If her name sounds familiar but these stories don’t, it’s probably because you’ve heard about how she once faked a mental illness so she could write an exposé on psychiatric asylums. Or maybe it’s because of her famed coverage of the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913. Or maybe it’s because you’re a big fan of farming and industrialist patents and heard she invented a novel milk can and a stacking garbage can. Nellie Bly did a lot in her short 57 years. 

Follow these Tumblrs for more Women’s History:

  • Stuff You Missed in History Class (@missedinhistory) is not exclusively about women, but hoo boy, it turns out most history classes aren’t great at teaching us about women’s history. You’ll learn a lot here. 
  • The New-York Historical Society (@nyhistory) has been pulling articles, artifacts, and documents deep from the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library this Women’s History Month. 
Magic Works (aka STORY TIME)

Sit down, witches young and old.  I have a story to share.

So, in late Summer 2014, I was held at gunpoint and my car was stolen.  Without going into too much detail, I was out at night running errands and two masked men cornered me in the parking lot of my apartment complex.  (The Mister was not with me at the time; he was in the apartment.)  In the trunk of my car was my witchy box, which contained ALL of my most important craft materials including my book of shadows, my tarot, and my most beloved trinkets.  (I had taken it on a witchy retreat the weekend before.)

When they stole my car, they used it in a bank robbery and then ditched the vehicle after use.  I was DEVASTATED.  I couldn’t sleep or eat for days (trauma can be an absolute bitch); I was terrified to go out on my own, even on our porch.  I lost my job because I no longer had a means of transportation.  And to top it off, I ended up having a miscarriage around the same time.

Guys and gals, I went to a very dark place after this.  The police, as helpful as they were, told me that the likelihood of finding the vehicle was slim-to-none.  In fact, it is common in most places (and especially my state) that stolen vehicles are dumped in rivers or ravines, never to be found again.  What made matters worse was that I had JUST PAID THE CAR OFF and SWITCHED MY INSURANCE TO LIABILITY ONLY.  (For you bebes out there that don’t know, this means that your insurance company won’t replace the car if it is stolen.)

For months, I tried to dig myself out of this hole, but I felt like I couldn’t really connect with my craft because I was missing important elements to my spellwork.  Some of the things in that box were passed down for generations in my family.  They were absolutely priceless.  I felt so…lost.

The following May, I was visiting Tulum, Mexico.  A tropical storm was brewing off the shoreline and everyone else was drunk at one of the all-inclusive bar.  I watched from my balcony as surfers took to the turbulent waves and something came over me.  I felt a literal pull in my chest.  Something kept telling me to go to the water.

My family, friends, and the Mister all told me I was crazy when I went to the beach.  There was thunder, the waves were insanely high, and even the experienced surfers were having trouble.  On the lifeguard stands, black flags were posted (one of the signs that swimming is absolutely ill-advised) and for even an experienced competitive swimmer (that’s me!), it would be dangerous. But something told me to get into the water.

Nothing could have prepared me for the power of the ocean.  It pulled me when I resisted; it dragged against every limb and I became frightened.  But instead of thinking about the fact that I could possibly drown, I kept replaying those guys and their guns pointed at me, one shoved into my forehead.  I became angry; I kicked harder, pushed myself further until I felt the sand at my toes again.

I was crying and so angry.  I stood still in the water and called out into the wind.  I beat my fists against the surface of the sea (I probably looked insane, but no one was out there) and felt all of my pain seep away.  I begged the water for one thing: even if the car didn’t run, could my precious things be returned to me.  I bartered with the sea.

The sea giveth and the sea taketh away, as they say.  All of the hurt and terror and anguish I had felt over the previous year disappeared.  I was embraced by the water and somewhere so very deep inside me, I knew everything would be okay.  There was finally a sense of calm and clarity inside me, replacing the tumultuous emotions I had been feeling.

The morning we left, after the storms had passed, I went back to that secluded part of the beach and promised that I would dedicate my life to helping witches around me.  I had never made a promise like that in my life.

A month after that, the state police found my car.  It wasn’t in working condition at all, but everything remained intact in the trunk.  They brought it to my parents’ house and I rushed outside.  I sobbed when my dad opened the trunk and saw the box waiting, looking the exact same way it did the night the car was stolen.  Everything was in it, untouched by the elements.  (Eventually, I repaired the car enough for it to run another two-and-half-years, too!)

Magic is real.  Against impossible odds, there is power in every wish and desire.  I will never regret the promise I made that day.  I will never take for granted the gifts that have been given to me.  And when people scoff when I say that I am a witch, I inwardly smile and know that my magic is true and real.  I have all the proof I need.

C.R.O.W.N. - Continental Reconnaissance Operations to Ward Neutrality
a disney princess modern spy au - written by Brenna, graphics by Drew

Agent 1117-89
[CLASSIFIED]
Codename: SIREN
Status: ACTIVE


Name: Ariel Andersen.
Birthplace: Road Town, British Virgin Islands.
Occupation: Technical Analyst - clearance to engage in field operations.
Division: Intelligence.
Specialism: armed combatant; computer science; cryptography; eskrima practitioner; technical skills.
Additional Knowledge: certified CPR practitioner; [former] competitive swimmer; musical theory; nautical navigation; university double-major in computer science and cultural anthropology.
Medical Records: Agent SIREN is wheelchair-bound as the result of a spinal cord injury incurred in a car accident (see file: Civilian Incident Report #4307 and file: Operation ATLANTICA).
Relations:
●  Andersen, Adeline; sister.
  Andersen, Alana; sister.
  Andersen, Andrea; sister.
  Andersen, Antonia; sister.
  Andersen, Aria; sister.
  Andersen, Aquila; sister.
  Andersen, Kenneth; father. (See file: Agent TRITON)
  Andersen, Lorelei; mother - DECEASED. (See file: Agent ATHENA)


Ariel Andersen was never intended for espionage work. Her father, a retired C.R.O.W.N. operative, spent the better part of her life protecting her and her sisters from the dangers of his job, particularly when the consequences caught up with his youngest girl. But after a brief entanglement with A.R.AC.H.N.E., Ariel defied her father by accepting an analyst position with the mysterious agency and since then has fashioned herself as the most resourceful information broker and cultural consultant on staff.

the student athletes net 

what is it? a place for student athletes in the studyblr community to connect with one another, find other studyblrs in the same sport, and share tips on dealing with sports and school. 

what will happen? when you join, you will have the option to be put in a discord group chat or a google hangouts. there will be one for everyone in the network, and one for each sport. there will also be a tag for everyone to follow, and if necessary, other forms of group messaging will be implemented so everyone can be heard.

requirements? do not have to be a studyblr / must be currently in the sport / follow @studentathletesnet / optional: follow admin @studytune

how to join? must reblog this post (likes don’t count) and fill out the form here. then wait to be contacted via messages by aelynn from studytune. 

about the admin: hi! im aelynn! i run the blog studytune here on tumblr. i am a competitive swimmer and cross country runner. most people probably don’t know how important sports are to me, and i wanted to celebrate the people who care a lot about both school and sports like me by creating this network! please shoot me an ask if you have any questions!

2

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. One of only two out lesbians in her small town and standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the responsible adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, her responsibilities weigh more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool.

As Ramona falls more in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift as well, and she must decide if knowing who she is is more important than figuring out who she might become.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Ramona was just a child when Hurricane Katrina uprooted her life. Ever since, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Being one of the only two lesbians in her small town, standing over six feet tall, and with bright blue hair, Ramona feels like she’s outgrowing the trailer she’s come to call home. But with a flaky mom and an overworked father, and between juggling her two jobs, Ramona feels the weight of responsibility. Especially now that her sister Hattie has fallen pregnant. The return of a childhood friend, Freddie, is a welcome distraction. As Ramona’s love for swimming grows, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift.

I really enjoyed Ramona Blue. It’s a fantastic, well-developed YA contemporary with lots of talking points and issues. There are so many things I enjoyed. Firstly, the sibling relationship between Ramona and Hattie. I loved (and I mean loved) their relationship. I’m a sucker for well-developed sibling relationships, and I loved how Ramona knew Hattie better than anyone and vice versa. Hattie was a bit selfish, and I really enjoyed the exploration of the dependency and responsibility between the two. And on top of this, I thought that the familial relationship was very well done. Whilst I wasn’t a fan of Ramona’s mother, I really loved her father; I particularly enjoyed the loving and supporting figure her father was.

Additionally, I thought that exploration and the genuine look at poverty was very well done. It’s definitely something I would like to see more of in YA fiction, because I do think it’s lacking. And I think that this also ties in with the supporting familial relationship because it’s rare that we get a look at poverty and supporting families, because there is quite often this assumption that poverty means neglectful parents and that’s definitely not always the case. So yeah, that’s definitely something I really enjoyed about Ramona Blue (yes–her mother was flaky, but her father was a stable and reliable parental figure and that’s who she lived with).

I loved the exploration of sexuality and how it’s fluid, and how Ramona was the only one to define her identity:

“I was so scared that by having sex with Freddie, I would lose part of myself-part of my identity. Instead, I’ve embraced another facet of myself. Life isn’t always written in the stars. Fate is mine to pen. I choose guys. I always choose girls. I choose people. But most of all: I choose.”

Whilst I enjoyed the romance, and it was sweet and well-developed, it definitely wasn’t the focal point of the story, and so was probably the aspect I least enjoyed. Nevertheless, it’s still a sweet romance, and Ramona Blue is still a book I would recommend to YA romance fans too.

It’s not quite a 5-star read for me, but it’s pretty close. I would definitely recommend Ramona Blue to fans of realistic fiction and contemporary romance.

Rating: ★★★★☆