An important part of the Schiller Institute’s mission is to meld the humanistic with the scientific. To address this aspect of our mission, we appointed a Poet Laureate. The first Schiller Poet Laureate is BC first year undergraduate student Jesse Julian. Jesse has been writing beautiful, thought-provoking poetry that you can explore below.
trailblazing by Jesse Julian (read at the January 19, 2023 SI-GECS Symposium)
Notes on trailblazing - Jesse Julian
Growing up, I was a passive child, refusing to take action regarding any issues surrounding me. I was often advised to not “fight fire with fire,” which essentially means to respond to an attack with a similar attack. However, I transformed this saying into a much more uplifting and motivating phrase, provoking people to take action. My poem characterizes January 19th's researchers as “trailblazers” who took profound action against climate change. This is proven by their commitment to their respective research. Thus, I devoted a stanza to each of their projects, after studying and asking them about their work. “trailblazing” commemorates the ways in which these “trailblazers” have chosen to fight climate change, or, “fight fire with fire.” - Jesse Julian
15 by Jesse Julian (read at the January 26, 2023 SI-GECS Symposium)
Notes on 15 - Jesse Julian
"'15' describes the personal impact on my life from the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck right through the middle of my high school career. It changed the way I interacted with people; the way I learned; how I found entertainment. Adapting to an Internet-based life was a struggle, especially for my mental health. A decline in mental health was a common adolescent issue amongst my peers; I wanted to reflect this in my poem. However, the research performed by Jan. 26th’s symposia brings comfort to this younger generation, which will eventually rise from the dark of the pandemic and return to their curious sparks, thanks to the effort made by researchers today." - Jesse Julian
Modern Magic by Jesse Julian
Notes on Modern Magic - Jesse Julian
"Modern Magic" struck me while admiring the fluid and mesmerizing complexity of GIS. I sat in Professor Noah Snyder's lab, admiring the captivating visuals on the screen while his welcoming team discussed the depictions. They displayed an aura of exciting wonder, especially for the capabilities that GIS had in developing their research.
As a theme, I toyed with the idea of traditional magic. I incorporated references to this language domain; for instance, the phrase "Presto Chango" alludes to the "quick change" of modern technology today.
I understand, though, that magic shows appear somewhat corny, like a kids' birthday party. GIS, in contrast, was sophisticated, told a factual story, and relied on technological advances, and so I defined the difference between traditional versus modern magic.
Each layer of the Chattahoochee River was revealed with a satisfying click of a mouse, captured by bathymetry and LiDAR. The ease of this captured my attention, and I felt like a kid watching a card trick — except GIS isn't an illusion at all.
the human touch by Jesse Julian (read at the April 27, 2023 Lunch and Learn Seminar)
Notes on the human touch - Jesse Julian
"the human touch" focuses on the warm, comforting feeling associated with the good in humanity. My poem begins by acknowledging the compounded effect of conflict (such as war) which negatively impacts a child's malleable cognitive skills and intelligence. Yet, I believe all humans harness a warmth, encompassed in their ability to reach and touch the hearts of those in need. Upon meeting them, Matias and Sarah embodied their compassionate dedication to implementation science, bringing skills, support, and the warmth of the human touch to children.