Sunday, April 3, 2016

Grief After Giving up Our Dog











It's ok to grieve. It's ok to feel sick to your stomach, worthless, devastated. Whatever you're feeling - it's ok because it's you and you've just been through a tremendous loss.

Tremendous because our dog meant something to me, and grieving is thus warranted. I gave up our dog for adoption yesterday. He will lead a good life, but that doesn't take the current pain away. I didn't get to give him one last hug or say goodbye - perhaps I did say it but just can't remember. But he knows I loved him. And I gave him plenty of kisses and tight hugs prior to him hopping out that door. So he knows... I hope.

Amidst my grief I went to one of my favorite places in the world, the library. I got a few books on grief and hope to begin reading one of them tonight. But they don't take the pain away. If anything, starting to read last night made me cry even more because that particular book focuses on how amazing a dog is. And it's true, but that only makes me feel worse for giving him up and being completely alone now.

Amidst my intense grief last night, after trying to read, I decided to take some action and look up some resources available to people separated from their dogs. Below are the resources I found helpful, and perhaps you'll find them helpful, too:

Tufts University's Pet Loss Hotline, if you need to talk. Their website has some helpful resources as well.

Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make It Meaningful, by Ashley Davis Prend, A.C.S.W. Highly compassionate author. Mainly focuses on the death of a loved one, but does give a great overview of the stages of grief.

Get your doggie fix by seeing burmese mountain dog Waffle dorkin' out and lovin' it. Once I was feeling much better I even put a cute picture of a pup on my desktop wallpaper.

When all else fails, go on Pinterest.

(Photo from Pixabay)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Dream to Be a Writer


Last night I watched the documentary, The Short Life of Anne Frank. I want to be a writer too. Why do I feel so accomplished after I write something? Why do I feel my best when I am journaling or reading? My mother always thought I'd be a writer and that I'd write a book. At least, that's what she told people! I'd like to be a writer... for Anne Frank, because she never got to be one. For my mother, so she can be extra happy in heaven. And for myself, to fulfill my great dream that I've always had.

But do great dreams always die once you reach a certain age? All I really want to do in life is sleep, read, write, eat, and travel. I'd like to go back to school to study writing. But I don't know how that will happen. I'll have to work, probably as a clerk to earn a living for the time being. I don't have anything I want to write about, but I want to learn to write well, learn and use new words, compile written works, have my own curriculum vitae.

I don't want to be a journalist. The world rules the journalists, meaning that whatever the world wants/does, the journalist must do that/follow. I want to be a writer--someone who isn't restrained by news and what's occurring right this minute, but someone who has a mind of her own, can express herself better in writing than in spoken word. Being true to myself, not anyone else.

I want to tell stories that inspire people, like the story of Anne Frank. Anne Frank's story inspired me to write this post and to look into being a writer. Being a writer is what I'd really like to be known for.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Good Old Emerson Fry


Remember when Emerson Fry's fashion line was so small she herself was the model? The pictures of her in front of her farmhouse? Yes, I miss those days...

Monday, September 14, 2015

An Ode to Summer


Summer opens the door and lets you out.

I so admire this film directed by Andrew and Carissa Gallo for Kinfolk. (Carissa is one of my favorite photographers.) The film's aesthetic perfectly captures the essence of summer: light cotton shirts, warm sunrise, cool mornings. I particular like the beginning of the film, when the girl's at home surrounded by farmland, sitting on her porch. Total house/life envy.

(Photo by Carissa Gallo)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sylvia Plath: Drawings


Sylvia Plath's drawings span her life and travels in the United States, England, France, and Spain. One of her letters or journal entries accompanies each section in the book, Sylvia Plath: Drawings. She describes with particular glee her honeymoon with Ted Hughes in the small Spanish fishing village of Benidorm.

Her daughter, Frieda Hughes, writes the book's introduction. She describes how calming it was for her mother to draw, and particularly how her mother's artistry and academic endeavors flourished when she was with her husband, Ted. Painting also calms me, and like Plath, I prefer to depict real things on a small scale.

Her drawings render her as human to me. They're imperfect, with wriggly, deep-set lines. I can't help but feel that despite being calmed by drawing, she held a critical eye and still struggled amidst the peace.

Below are terms aptly describing Plath herself; Frieda uses the first two to describe her mother in the intro.

1. Effusively (as in, "she wrote effusively"): unduly demonstrative; lacking reserve.

2. Ebullient: cheerful and full of energy.

3. Benevolently: characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.

Which of Plath's drawings is my favorite? Cambridge: a View of Gables and Chimney-pots, c. 1955.

(Sylvia Plath's signature from Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tiny Beautiful Things


Behold the first installment of Tabbed Vocab. I read Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things and include below some new words I learned from the book, all of which exemplify the work itself. Hopefully this helps you learn some new words, and get a better sense of the title, which you may or may not want to read.

1. Irreverent: in the book, it means brutally honest.

2. Ad hoc (as in "ad hoc memoir"): formed, arranged, or done for a particular purpose only.

3. Elucidate: make (something) clear; explain.

4. Behoove: it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something; it is incumbent on.

5. Magnanimous: very generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.

Would I recommend this book? I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. Some of the topics didn't apply to me so I skipped over those, but the ones I did read were influential. The book's focus is on relationships (friends, family, spouse, children, partners, exes), so if you lead a more solitary life like me, you won't get as much out of it.

If you've read the Dear Sugar column, what does Strayed's advice mean to you?

(Painting by Margaret Berg)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Order of Interbeing

"From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, ‘Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don’t want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy.’ If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry."

What a lovely book Peace is Every Step is. Each word is a drop in Thich Nhat Hanh's river of compassion. He understands your desire for peace in your life and offers ways to cultivate contentment. Once you drink the last drop, you feel loved and yearn to love others.

Nhat Hanh teaches conscious breathing, being in the present moment, thinking of nice images, and understanding others. He says thinking "In" and "Out" when breathing isn't actually thinking; "In" and "Out" are only words to help us concentrate on our breathing. If you have an unpleasant feeling, such as anger, breathe through it: "Breathing in, I know anger is present. Breathing out, I know this feeling will pass." Just the act of smiling, even slightly, helps us feel happy. He suggests smiling on an out breath, or when you wake up in the morning (try placing an object, like a feather, near your bed to remind you to smile).

Finally, Nhat Hanh lists the fourteen precepts of what he and his monastic community call The Order of Interbeing. These principles act as an ethical guide to serving others. Here are a few that I find so very much needed in today's society and that I hope to fully embody: openness to others’ experiences and insights; not forcing people to adopt their views; helping people let go of fanaticism and narrowness; taking a stand against oppression and injustice; and "learning to look with the eyes of interbeing and to see ourselves and others as cells in one ... body."

What about you, dear reader? What are the principles you hold so dear?

(Photo from DTTSP)

Monday, June 15, 2015

3 Primo Podcasts


Since the first season of Serial ended, I've delved into an array of other noteworthy podcasts, but only three are standouts to me.

1. Dear Sugar. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond gracefully tackle some of today's most pressing relationship issues. They don't do it alone, though. In each episode they speak with someone who has a prominent point of view on the topic at hand. Inevitably, you end up relating to at least one of them: Cheryl, Steve, the letter writer, or the person Cheryl and Steve call to consult. Not gonna lie, this show really brightens my mood.

2. Criminal. As with Dear Sugar, this is mandatory listening for me. Every episode is good. I wrote this other blog post about the show, so feel free to check it out.

3. On Being. On Being pursues wisdom and virtue by profiling influential people. The host, Krista Tippett, is a genius yet soft-voiced and warmly curious. As someone who received her M.Div from Yale, she holds an interest in religion and starts each episode asking the guest what their religious background was as a child. She usually asks them about their current spirituality, but it's only a small slice of the topics they cover. Sage insight abounds from interviewer and interviewee alike. One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, even has his own column on the site.

(Image from DTTSP)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Happy Wagon


Have you read the young adult novel Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli? It's the sequel to Stargirl, and chronicles Stargirl's life post-break up with Leo. She puts pebbles in a small wagon (her "happy wagon") if she's happy and takes them out if she's sad. One day she has no pebbles left because she keeps thinking about her ex. Another day her wagon is full because she meets a new friend, Lulu.

It got me thinking about having a "wagon" of my own, a spot in my room from which I will either take out or leave trinkets in accordance with how sad or happy I feel. I do have a small wicker basket of seashells on my bureau, but it's a thing to help make me happy. For me, my happy wagon is mindfulness. Stargirl's wagon inspired me to check in with myself more to see how I'm feeling and thus better learn what I like and dislike.

How about you, do you have your own "happy wagon"?

(Image via Carly Kaste)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Eulogy for My Grandmother


Fragrant roses. Hugs and kisses. Holding your hand. And most of all, family. These are a few of the things Dorothy "Dot" Saucier loved. I can't recall how many times she told me she loved me because there were too many to count. I do know, though, that it was a privilege to be her granddaughter.

Her life and death revolve around momentous occasions in the Christian church. She was born on December 31st, shortly after Christmas, and passed away in spring, shortly after Easter Sunday.

Christmas is a time to celebrate one of the most famous births in history. Dot, too, was a famous birth for her family. The second youngest of four sisters, she often told me that her father doted on her. After marrying at a young age, she gave birth to two sons, who eventually went on to create families of their own. Christmas is also a time to feast, and she created feasts—both big and small—for family and friends. She was a gift to her parents and to us all.

Speaking of life, she had so much life to her. Never the quiet one, she often spoke her mind quite plainly. She taught me the importance and value of honesty. She shared her life with us, while being true to herself. Lively and funny, she sometimes mumbled little jokes so you felt close to her, as if you're in on something together, your shared secret.

Easter is a celebration of rebirth and the love that comes from sacrifice. Dot gave so much of herself, including her love, to others. Not only did she care for her sons, but as a nurse for over twenty years, she cared tirelessly for others in need. Her warm, bright smile made people feel special and at ease. I always admired her radiant skin and beautiful green eyes.

Familial love expresses comfort and caring, and it's a treasure I seek to return to in order to feel whole again. Reuniting with her over the phone or in person was lovely. She helped teach me how lovely love can be.

How appropriate that we are in spring, the season of life and new beginnings. She would've loved the warmer weather of spring, although her favorite season was summer; she especially enjoyed traveling to tropical places. To her, a perfect day was sunny and warm. She died in the spring, yet her death is not an end but a beginning in a new place. She has moved on from our world to the next.

(Image from DTTSP)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Adjectives


This is a compilation of my comments posted on the Grammar and Style course's week 5 discussion boards.

Effective adjective use is an important mark of a good writer. I don't know if it's the most important mark of a good writer, but I understand why Ben Yagoda would suggest that. Adjectives add creativity and clarity to a sentence. Knowing their proper placement is also knowing proper sentence form.

Vladimir Nabokov is one of my favorite writers because his adjectives are evocative. Below is part of a poem from Lolita. In it, Nabokov repeats "wanted" and does the same with other adjectives in the poem, in order to maintain the sing-songy, almost childish, rhythm. In the poem, Lolita is condensed into exact numbers and colors, indicative of his obsession with her.

Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet.
Age: five thousand three hundred days.
Profession: none, or "starlet"

Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Her dream-gray gaze never flinches.
Ninety pounds is all she weighs
With a height of sixty inches.

(Image from DTTSP)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Musings on Love


There are many forms of love, some uncontrollably passionate and wild, some conservative and restrained, yet all are from the same sturdy foundation. They all, whether life-long or fleeting, evoke that same feeling; whether it be a look, a touch, a call, or a distant memory in a black-and-white photo, the middle of your face tingles, moistening your eyes, you feel your heart and its heavy weight in your chest, and, like air filling your lungs, it fills your core, your soul.

In its universality love touches everyone and its effect on a person has the potential to be life-changing. As a baby we are born into this world and eventually come to learn love through others. Perhaps you first feel love from your parents, or another family member. Maybe you even come to learn about love from a nonbiological person. You finally realize the meaning behind the phrase, "I love you." At some point, you learn love as a child. It's associated with a caring look and a genuine compassion felt from someone. After that, you realize it's your turn to start reciprocating, and out of your birth comes the birth of love in you.

However, no life is perfect, and not all childhoods are positive. I'm lucky enough that my childhood was generally good. No divorce. No abuse. No poverty. No tragedy. For those who have experienced a troubled childhood, I hope you find genuine love at some point in life, so you can be your truest, happiest self.

Learned familial-type love expresses comfort and caring, and it's a treasure I seek to return to in order to feel whole again. As I get older I realize the concept of love spreads beyond just family and friends, to the global population. I can love anyone. And it feels pretty good.

(Photo of Happy Rockefeller embracing her son Nelson Jr. at home in Maine, by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Verbs


Let's school some verbs! The Grammar and Style course's lectures for week three covered main types of verbs and their subtypes and aspects. Some verb types are pretty confusing to decipher because they are so similar, including the gerund and present participle, and phrasal verbs and verbal phrases. It would be great to go through what these types are, along with some info on the secretive passive voice.

Present participles and gerunds are verbs ending in -ing. However, a gerund always functions as a noun. (I thought all words ending in -ing were gerunds, so it's nice to know the difference.) For example, "swimming" in "Swimming can be good" is a gerund, and "riding" in "I am riding north" is a present participle. As you can see, a present participle contains a helping verb; in the example, the helping verb is "am."

The terms "phrasal verbs" and "verbal phrases" are so similar I thought it important to distinguish the difference. Phrasal verbs consist of a main (finite) verb and a preposition or adverb integral to the meaning of the verb. Phrasal verbs include "climb up," "turn on," "add up," "back up," back down," "call in," among others. A verbal phrase is trickier to distinguish because it contains a non-finite verb and the words modifying it. So you'll need to know what non-finite verbs are (present and past participles, gerund, and infinitive). Here's an example of a verbal phrase: "When examined carefully, the substance did not seem harmful." "Examined" is the past participle, and "carefully" is the adverb modifying the verb.

Whew, that was tricky. Now onto the passive voice, which is when a subject is acted upon in a sentence. Teachers taught me to avoid the passive voice when writing, which in general is correct, as it's better to stick to the active voice. Yet, there is a type of passive voice, called the impersonal passive, that is acceptable when used intentionally in certain circumstances, particularly in business/work settings. Examples include, "It was decided...," and "It was agreed...," which soften the tone of the message.

(Image from DTTSP)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spec-tacular


Harvard Square Eye Care in Boston is a small hip shop with a diverse selection of frames. After perusing the city for eyeglasses with no luck, I decided to try this place. I turned off of the busy square onto a quaint side street, and a ways down, there it was. A female clerk was super helpful and friendly, and I managed to find the perfect professional-looking metal pair.

Two years later, I am kinda feeling all the cool larger frames out there (à la Frannerd :). What do you think, dear reader? Do you own two pairs, one formal, the other more casual?

(Photo by Pete Prodoehl)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grammar and Style Online Course


Writing effectively is a genuine interest of mine. To me, it's also a lifelong process and journey. I guess that's why I chose to major in English in college, and why, when I'm choosing which online courses to take in my free time, I prioritize the writing ones.

Week one of edX's English Grammar and Style course consists of the basics. The results of the first quiz reminded me that my writing flaws tend to revolve around the passive voice and the usage of me versus I. I especially liked the course's differentiations between grammar (the way sentences are constructed; underlying system of rules of a language) and syntax (arrangement and inter-relations among words in a sentence), and denotation (literal meaning of a word) and connotation (idea or feeling a word invokes in addition to its denotation). Le mot juste—the intensely right word—is particularly important to me; using the right word in the right moment and context is very rewarding.

Writing is like watercolor painting (another of my interests). Every stroke of the brush is a word or sentence. The paint is the tone of the piece. My writing is like my painting in that they're both straightforward, descriptive, accurate, and planned in advance. I usually paint from real images or things, and I usually only write nonfiction. Adding layers of paint to a watercolor painting adds depth to the art, while paragraphs build an argument or story. Professor D'Agostino emphasizes that grammar (related to the word glamour) is about style. Likewise, I find well-tailored writing as appealing as a beautiful painting.

Week one ends by asking us to submit our favorite word. Apparently serendipity and love are the most popular among the students. My favorite words are delight, smitten, altruism, and love.

What are your favorite words?

(Image from DTTSP)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Après le repas


Voici mon poème que j'écrit quand j'était étudiante à l'étranger en France.

Après le repas

À la fin du repas
Je bois un thé
Le goût est sympa
Et il me satisfait

J’assis dans ma chaise
Ma place à table toujours
Je bois le thé avec aise
Attendant le prochain jour.

Après le repas j’ai assez mange
Mais la boisson est la dernière étape
Qui me calme et me vraiment plaisait
Et quand je le finis, il me frappe

Que le moment est fini
Le silence est parti
Je bouge de ma chaise
Et mange une fraise.

(Image from DTTSP)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Poem for Newlyweds


May your love endure forever
May your hearts be kind
And your smiles sweet
May your eyes brighten when you meet
May your memories
Give you goosebumps under willow trees
May you seek and find
Their arms intertwined
May our love endure forever

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Criminal Podcast






























Missing Serial? Criminal is the only other podcast I've found thus far to be as gripping as Serial. Interviews with criminals (including a teen who "broke" the Internet, and a once-successful counterfeiter) eradicate the mystery behind their crimes. Other episodes are less directly related to crime (for example, the thirteenth podcast is on an elderly couple's connection to crime writer Raymond Chandler), but each one, in its own surprising way, tells a story I never thought I'd hear.

Criminal's episode art (shown above) is by Julienne Alexander. Here's her take on the podcast:

Criminal's three producers -- Pheobe, Lauren, and Eric -- are doing a great thing: they're presenting real stories about crime from every angle, keeping it bright and compelling even when the subjects center on the dark, the unjust, and the selfish. Some humans perform dreadful acts, some are victims, and some make those stories captivating for wide radio audience. I'm happy to be a part of the action.

We're glad you're a part of it too, Julienne!

P.S. While dedicated to Serial and Criminal, I am also looking forward to NPR's new podcast, Invisibilia, to be released on January 9.

(Photo by Carissa Gallo)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The State of Serial


I, along with many people in the world right now, am a fan of Serial. The story is a fascinating wild goose chase with many legs. After I listen to Serial, I then listen to the Slate podcast and read Rabia Chaudry's blog to learn how others view the evidence. (I still have yet to read posts on LL2, but hope to get to it at some point.) If you're having trouble comprehending the timeline, IBT displays a helpful graphic.

Where we are now in the series (9 episodes in) is where Serial will likely end: with Sarah Koenig unsure of Adnan Syed's guilt. A definitive ending would mean Koenig would have to pull a rabbit out of her hat, and I don't think that's going to happen. The Innocence Project is re-investigating the case, but that's all we know.

As I've learned from Dateline, cases live way beyond a TV episode. In other words, cases don't just end with a conviction; appeals take place; people can be absolved from conviction; and others can be convicted in their place. So Syed's case is like many others -- ongoing. It will continue to evolve after this podcast ends. The saddest part is that grief for the Syed and Lee families will also linger, and may never end.

The good news for Serial followers? There will be a Season 2.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Letter to July


Dear July,

You and I have a very sentimental relationship. I've always ruminated when watching your fireworks. Since the year is half-way through, you have a way of making me reflect on the past year and what is to come. The latter of which is completely unknown to me.

But I do know that I am much better than I was this time last year, thanks to support from some new people in my life and some old ones who have been there all along. What have I learned in a year, you may ask? Well, I know that days I think are going to be perfect may turn out to be horrible, and vice versa. I can't control what happens in any given day, but my current motto is to make today better than yesterday. That seems to help.

Best,
Elizabeth

(Thank you Emily for your own lovely Letters to July, for they inspired me to write this post. Above photo by Mischelle)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fitzgerald Fan


If I had to read only F. Scott Fitzgerald literature for the rest of my life, I think I'd be okay with that.

In This Side of Paradise, the protagonist, Amory Blaine, follows a downward trajectory. Given his genius and confidence, I thought his successes would never end, however, he eventually faces "a succession of quick, unrelated scenes" (Fitzgerald, 2000, p. 233). These include two rough romances and a temporary bout of alchoholism. Dejected, he reflects in the final chapter, only to confirm, "I know myself, ... but that is all." Despite Amory's egotism, I empathized with him at various times throughout the novel, and was glad that his last remark was a humble one.

(Image by Matthew Allard)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ethel


Ethel is a documentary on the life of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), and mother of eleven children. Directed by Ethel's daughter, Rory Kennedy, the film is an authentic portrait of Ethel's character; she is altogether fresh-faced, pious, and funny. "She was full of life ... making him [RFK] enjoy life," said Kerry Kennedy.

I especially admire how Ethel and RFK fought for social justice throughout their lives. Following the assassination of JFK, RFK wrote some admirable advice in a letter to his eldest child, Kathleen: "Be kind to others and work hard for your country."

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Titanic Inquiry

After reading through the British Inquiry into the Titanic disaster, I wanted to post a selection of telling statements from the Inquiry. Stanley Lord said, the night of the Titanic disaster, "it was hard to define where the sky ended and the water commenced. There was what you call a soft horizon." Charles Lightoller said the sea was so "absolutely flat that when we lowered the boats down we had to actually overhaul the tackles to unhook them, because there was not the slightest lift on the boat to allow for slacking, unhooked."

In sum, the night the Titanic sank was a strange night (no swell on the water, clear, no moon). The iceberg was likely dark in color so that it could not be seen in time to avoid hitting it. The speed at which the Titanic was going contributed to the disaster. It's apparent that when in the ice region, Captain Smith should've decreased the vessel's speed and put an additional lookout at the bow of the ship. In his testimony below, Sir Ernest Shackleton, an experienced explorer, confirms these last three statements.

25040. How far would you see one of these dark bergs on a clear night, assuming it to be 60 to 80 feet high?
- It might be only three miles, depending on the night and depending almost entirely on the condition of the sea at the time. With a dead calm sea there is no sign at all to give you any indication that there is anything there. If you first see the breaking sea at all, then you look for the rest and you generally see it. That is on the waterline. I do not say very high, because from a height it is not so easily seen; it blends with the ocean if you are looking down at an angle like that. If you are on the sea level it may loom up.

25041. That would rather suggest that your view would be that you could detect bergs of that kind better at the stem than you could at the crow's-nest?
- Better, the nearer you are to the waterline. When we navigated in thick or hazy weather there was always one man on the look-out and one man as near the deck line as possible.

25042. That is thick or hazy weather?
- Yes, that is thick or hazy weather, or even clear just the same.

25043. What I want you to tell my Lord is, Do you think it is of advantage in clear weather to have a man stationed right ahead at the stem as well as in the crow's-nest?
- Undoubtedly, if you are in the danger zone; in the ice zone.

25044. And supposing you were passing through a zone where you had ice reported to you, would you take precautions as to the look-out? Supposing you only had men in the crow's-nest, would you take any other precautions?
- I would take the ordinary precaution of slowing down, whether I was in a ship equipped for ice or any other, compatible with keeping steerage way for the size of the ship.

25045. You would slow down?
- I would slow down, yes.

And supposing you were going 21 to 22 knots, I suppose that would be the better reason for slowing down?
- You have no right to go at that speed in an ice zone.

25046. (The Commissioner.) And you think that all these liners are wrong in going at this speed in regions where ice has been reported?
- Where it has been reported I think the possibility of accident is greatly enhanced by the speed the ship goes.

25047. We have been told that none of these liners slow down even though they know that they are going through an ice region - that is to say a region where there are icebergs?
- I have been in a ship which was specially built for ice, but I took the precaution to slow down because you can only tell the condition of any ice you see; there may be projecting spurs and you may suddenly come across them.

...

25063. (The Attorney-General.) According to the evidence - I am only dealing with one part of it - perhaps the most striking part - during the afternoon on this particular occasion on 14th April of this year, the temperature was reported to be falling, so much so that the Captain ordered the carpenter to see that the water in his tanks did not freeze. Would that be any indication to you?
- If I knew what the mean temperature of that locality was for that month of the year and there was a great variation, then I would certainly think there was some abnormal disturbance in the ice to the North. Of course, that particular night was an abnormal night at sea in being a flat calm; it is a thing that might never occur again.

25064. That is what Mr. Lightoller says. You say apparently it is very rare to get such a flat calm as there was that night?
- I only remember it once or twice in about 20 years' experience - the sea absolutely calm, without a swell, as it was recorded to have been.

(Image of survivor Margaret "Molly" Brown displayed at Titanic Memorial in Washington, DC. Taken by Bossi.)