Mitosis : a collection


Mitosis is a process of cell division, which results in the production of two daughter cells from a single parent cell. The daughter cells are identical to one another and to the original parent cell. (, National Health Museum 2003)

The divorce was like any clean, even split. Like a fine blade through a ripe tomato. Broke us in two. Our mother went one way, our father another, and my older sister Jen and I stretched to compensate. It was easy enough. No more fighting, or crying. It was a clean cut. Two families were made out of one. Of course, adjustments had to be made. I was only five, and for a while, I dreamt of losing them both. I'd wake at night and cry for one of them, stretched thinly enough that I might have tom myself. But I held together. We all did. We were two families, and although it was a gloomy time, there was education to be had.

Education about trust, love, family. It was the storm before fine weather. A whirlwind on a calm day; the dust brushed up, stung our eyes for a bit, and then settled. My sister and I acclimated. In college, I took a biology course. The course was undemanding, and I fell to daydreaming during lectures, wondering what the summertime looked like outside of the windowless lecture hall I was packed into with four hundred other students. Our pretty, Indian professor elegantly rolled r's and added w's to words beginning with "o." I could close my eyes and listen to her thick accent, her voice flowing like water from a faucet, and pass the time away.

This particular day, I managed to listen in on the context of her words. We were studying mitosis. The process of cell division. A cell spats, and produces two new cells she explains. The two new ones are just uke the original cell -nothing's changed in either of them. Why did my though ts find my father, my mother, and sister? Why did I think of Sunday mornings at our old house on Algaringo Avenue? I remembered the ironic torrent of sunlight that always accompanies those memories blinding my sight of the lectern. Trying to read the Sunday paper over my father's shoulder. Jumping off the stairs into his arms. Helping my mother set the table. But then all that fighting. It had to end. Mitosis. Are we identical to our original unit? We lost nuclearity. Didn't we? I was five and Jen was eight on the day our four-person family gathered into my parents' room on the second floor of our Spanish-tiled home in shady Coral Gables, and our parents told us the news. I remember it as nighttime; but just the other day, Jen informed me that it was in fact broad daylight. I remembered the room as being painted dar~ Pacific blue, with dark wooded furniture. No, it was generic white with cedar furniture. I remembered meeting my future stepmother and stepsister only days after the divorce. No, several months had passed. So my memories were jarred. Jagged, not a clean, clear cut picture. Perhaps I inserted filler where the details were lost. The emotions, though, have always been accurate. Fear, loss, feeling like a thin rope in a tug-o-war match. Those feelings never left me, even though I acclimated and life went on. They are as crystal clear as the diagram in biology explaining the process of losing one unit, but gaining two.


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Thesis Completion





Bartkevicius, Jocelyn


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences



Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences; Breeden, Lauren N.







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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