Profile: Shari17

Personal background
The first thing that comes to mind right at this moment (as I attempt to find my way through the maze of TEAM SETI.USA message boards) is that I\\'m in a very strange place, indeed! I\\'m trying to learn the ins and outs of these message boards by hobbling along (as if I had a broken leg and was walking on crutches). I don\\'t really know anyone yet nor do I understand much of the jargon that goes on within the BOINC culture. That\\'s right! This community has it\\'s own \\"culture\\" with it\\'s own alien languages, dress codes, etc. Maybe we are the aliens that we\\'re looking so hard to find.

Okay, enough of this free association! Now a little about myself. I\\'m a person from the \\'60\\'s. That, in itself, should explain a lot about me. Okay, I\\'ll say it....I\\'m into middle age. I call NY my home as here I was born and here is where I now live. The years from 1972 to 1989 I lived in South Florida with my husband and son (who was born down there). I came back to NY for many reasons. I was divorced in 1980 so I returned to NY a single woman.

My father suffers from late stage Parkinson\\'s Disease (PD) and my mother has Macular Degeneration and is legally blind. I didn\\'t really want to move back to NY as the tropics and sub-tropics are a part of me. However, I needed to have a total knee replacement and I wasn\\'t about to do that in Florida. \\"Don\\'t ask me why!\\" :) That, and the health considerations of my parents, forced me to stay in NY.

I went back to school (at Adelphi University) for my Master\\'s Degree in social work. Those were two very demanding years, but I finished. Surprisingly, there were many older people who also were back at school to earn a graduate degree. At Adelphi they tend to mostly emphasize Ego Psychology and Clinical work in the field. I took the state certification test and became a Licensed Master in Social Work (LMSW). I worked for several years as a therapist. Nevertheless, my parents\\' health problems grew much worse and they couldn\\'t be left alone and, in addition, my own health took a turn for the worse, as well.

Graduate school was nothing compared to having to be at home almost all the time with my parents now. This year I was hospitalized, (one time for a perforated ulcer), 3 times. I won\\'t get into my health problems any further.

So here I sit, trying to make sense of my life. I reunited with SETI@home and developed a very strong fascination with space science. It is one of my hobbies. I also do a little writing. I do anything that will whisk my mind out of this house. In case it hasn\\'t been noticed, this is not a happy time for me. However, I don\\'t know how much longer my parents will be on Earth and I know that, when they are gone, I\\'ll be glad that I had the opportunity to spend this time with them.

I\\'m very happy to be among this scientifically oriented group of people. Science (all kinds of science) is my first love.



March 28, 2007

My father passed away on Feb.9th. I've said this so many times but it is worth saying so many more times. My dad is the very finest man I've ever known. I have a sister and a brother who are younger than I: one is 4 years younger and my brother is 8 years younger. We rented a hospital bed so that my dad, Irving Gellman, could spend his last days at home with us. The night that he passed away my siblings and I were seated on chairs around my dad's bed and each of us has our hands on a part of him. I held his left hand all evening. We all stayed on him physically, hovered over him and spoke with him about everything he meant to us. Although he was not awake, we knew that he could hear us. The words and phrases (such as "love," and "wonderful father" and others of that ilk) were things we said to him.

After many hours the three of us were very tired and we decided just to take a short break so we got up and hunched into the kitchen. I was in there maybe one minute and something told me to go back in. He had an aide that stayed with him 24/7 who took very good care of our dad. She was seated at the foot of the bed and watching TV at that moment. As I walked back into where his bed was (I entered above where his head was lying) I stopped. I looked at his chest which was a bit labored earlier. I looked at his chest. I saw it take one more breath and that was IT. That was his last breath. His cheast didn't move after that. I actually saw his dying breath.

How ironic things can be. I was his oldest and he saw me born and I was there, I was the one to see him die. I alone saw him take his last breath. I'm beginning to feel grateful about that now but at the time I was totally devastated. My dad and I had always had a very special relationship. He spent more time with me than with anyone else throughout our lives. I looked more like him than did my sister or brother and, for the most part, our personalities were more similar than the others. We could talk about poetry and philosophy and other subjects involving the intellect. We just had a very special relationship. He was a wonderful father. He never hit any of us. Instead, he used reason. If there was something we wanted he didn't just go out and buy it for us. He made us work for it and I'm not talking physical work most of the time. He got us to use our brains and to be thoughtful people.

When I was 11 yrs. old I was madly in love with some rock n roll singer...a typical American pre-teen. He lived in Brooklyn and he invited me to stop by to meet him (his career was just starting). My dad said he'd take me over if I wrote a 1,000 word composition describing why I wanted to go. Well, I did and he did take me over. The only problem was I was too embarrassed to ring his door bell. LOL!

Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I am fascinated with the probability of finding life elsewhere in the universe. It may not be \\"intelligent\\" life at first but even finding bacterium or one celled creatures elsewhere in a different body in (at first) our Solar System will raise the stakes of finding some sort of intelligent creatures elsewhere.

Maybe we, on Earth, will be the \\"FINDEES\\" and not the \\"FINDERS\\" of life. That would be wonderful. We have more to gain (because we probably have more to learn) being found by extraterrestrials first.
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