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Today we will talk about the number four. Four is actually my “lucky number” for a variety of reasons, all self-actualized; in other words, I see what I wish to see. I am my father’s fourth child; due to my double disability growing up, I was teased with the moniker “four eyes” (due to wearing spectacles) and “four ears” (because I wore hearing aids. Some people are not terribly imaginative). My favorite day is Wednesday since it falls right in the middle of the week. It also happens to be the fourth day of a standard Gregorian calendar week. I was brought into this world on the 16th day of September 1982. Sixteen is four times four! If you sum up the digits in my full date of birth, it equals 36, an integer that is also divisible by four. And lastly, the principal letter of my first and last name start with “D” which, as you may have guessed, is the fourth letter in the alphabet. So you see? I associate with the number on my levels despite how silly it all really is.

Yet, I digress from my intended discussion. In 1865, Gregor Mendel ascertained the basic rule of heredity, a rule of four. An Austrian Monk, Mendel originally spent time studying horticulture. In a very controlled experiment over the course of six years, he combined or crossbred different types of pea plants over a few generations of harvests. In all of his studies, the second generation proved one plant out of four displayed both recessive genes from the first generation. According to the trials, traits never mix, but double recessives have a mathematical probability of occurring 3:1. However, the research does not explain the appearance of mutations. It was beyond the scope of the experiment, but was expanded by later scientists. Mendel’s work did much to further the understanding of inherited traits and the interplay of dominant and recessive genes. His findings laid the basis of genetics, comprehension of DNA, genomes, and even the propensity for hereditary illnesses and disease.

So how does this knowledge manifest itself in me? From head to toe:

Tall height: Both parents’ families

Alabaster skin color: My father’s

Brunette hair color: Mother’s

Oval face shape: Mother’s

Brown eye color: Mother’s

Roman nose: Father’s

Cupid’s bow mouth: Mother’s family

Petite bust size: Mother’s

Boyish waist shape/long torso: Father’s

Narrow hips: Both parents’ families

Weak eyesight: Father’s family

Hearing loss: Debatable! It is quite possible this is a mutation, but my father discovered his father’s generation all had difficulty hearing, a fact he never knew. Although recollecting family gatherings, they were loud conversationalists. . .

The real inquiry, do I have the appearance of my mother or my father?

My parents are in their early thirty and I am ten and six in the photograph above