A Moment of Reflection – By: Hope

The trial for the marathon bombings has begun. They have reporters in the court room live tweeting and it is up on Yahoo. I have been watching and reading what is being said, refreshing the page every few minutes if new information is not put up. As I read what the reporters are posting, I think back to what I was doing on that day. I was doing what I had done every year, go to a friends place who was right on the route and start partying at 8 AM. I was outside all day, eating grilled food and chatting with neighbors and friends. We hadn’t known about the bombs right away it took a few minutes when everyone’s phones started going off and someone came outside from the house and told us. I have some family and friends that live out of state and they called me, asking if I was ok, where I was, stuff like that. It didn’t really sink in until that night and the following days when the city of Boston was on lock down.

I read these posts, even as I’m writing this and think, what the hell? In our city? Stuff like this happens in other places but not here. The testimony that has been given thus far is gruesome. Some victims have picture and video of the scene right after the 1st bomb went off. Heart wrenching to say the least. One woman said the blast was so severe that her teeth shifted and she lost two of them. I can’t even imagine what any of those poor people have gone through and are still going through. Thank God they are here, a testiment to not giving up and pushing through even when times are grim. One thing that has stuck out to me is that the defense, from the opening statement, has said that he is guilty and he did it but they want to jury to have open hearts and open minds. Those are two tough things to have.

I have a good friends who knew of the victims that died- knew her very well. Some of the testimony that I just read was about someone finding her after the first bomb went off. Her friend who was with her testfied yesterday. What a terrible thing to have to carry around with you–all of these victims have to carry this around. I am somewhat as a loss for words….

I guess my point is, somewhat long winded (which they always are), is that to wake up each morning and be thankful that you are here. Be thankful you have what you have because in a moments flash, it could be taken away. Thank your family and loved ones for being there, even if you don’t see them or talk to them often. Make the time, it won’t be something you regret.

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies of this blog, you are all great and doing big things for the world.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
” Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.”
― Alexandre Dumas

Boston Strong <3

Boston Strong ❤

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What I’ve Learned; From GLAD – By: Shelly

Shelly3Shortly last Thursday after my morning sociology class, I head down to the T station nearby to catch the green line into Boston. (Let me say I’m so glad that the T is operating because just a couple weeks ago it was not working.) I’m terrible at directions and I usually rely on my husband or friend when it comes to traveling anywhere I’m not familiar with. But I’ve managed just fine getting to the stop that I needed to be. That day we had an important interview with a person who works at the non-profit organization GLAD. Each group in class was given an assignment to check out an organization that was chosen by the professor and it was our responsibility to meet with someone that would be willing to show us around the organization as well as give us an interview that was work related about themselves. GLAD is an organization that provides legal advocacy for Gays, Lesbians, Transgender, and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Two other classmates and I were greeted by, a gentlemen named Bruce. He was extremely pleasant to speak with. He told us that a  young lawyer  at the time named John Ward founded GLAD in 1978. The reason behind it was in 1978 there was actually a sting operation at the Boston Public Library with men soliciting other men for sex. The Boston Police Department decided to have officers dressed in regular clothes and try to soliciting other men. The gay community was outraged as they felt they were being targeted. John Ward made this his first case and it went to court where he won. John Ward felt that the BPD was trying to entrap them.

Bruce also told us that in 1983 GLAD launched a project for those living with HIV and AIDS. Apparently a Boston Hospital was refusing to treat those living with this deadly disease. During this time GLAD fought for the rights of the people who had been affected by this. The case ended up going to the Supreme Court.  This was the first for GLAD. Because of this, is why HIV/AIDS are a part of the American Disabilities Act.

On a personal note: my father was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 or 92, and even though my father wasn’t gay, GLAD helped my father by making sure they he received all of his medical treatment by them winning that case. Before he passed away in 1994 he was in and out of the hospitals a lot. It is remarkable how people you don’t even know can some how make a positive influence in your life, even if its just trying to help. GLAD only takes on cases that will not just affect one person; it has to affect the masses.

One of the most significant cases that GLAD has won was the right to marry in Massachusetts. Other states have used GLAD’s “blueprint” to win the right to marry in other states. That’s why today there are 37 states where gay couples can legally marry.

I know that currently or recently anyway that the state of AIabama didn’t want to issue licenses to those who were gay, even though technically it was legal for them to marry. I also understand that there are people who may disagree with gay marriage, but I don’t understand how what a gay person’s marriage affects straight peoples marriages?

Anyway, the whole experience was really awesome and I felt like I learned more. I may even volunteer at their organization. For anyone reading this that would like to know more about GLAD please visit: www.glad.org and to learn more about their history and the cases they have taken on please visit: http://www.glad.org/history

TOP LEFT - 1 year anniversary pic of same sex marriage.  TOP RIGHT - Bruce and I

TOP LEFT – 1 year anniversary pic of same sex marriage.
TOP RIGHT – Bruce and I

Classification – By: Scarlett

ScarlettWell, I am pretty excited about a lesson plan I have been working on. This lesson plan is going to be video taped for my edTPA portfolio. edTPA is going to be a somewhat national way of certifying teachers. It’s kinda tough, but its better than my actual portfolio for the university I am at.

My lesson is on classification. I really like this lesson because it teaches students how to organize and classify things. We do this natural as humans. For instance, our society has a somewhat unofficial way of classifying acne. It’s weird, but we do; everyone hates the one that’s embedded in you skin, then the white head one, etc. The underlying basis of my lesson plan is to slowly show them the content, which are the 6 kingdoms (Archae/Eubacteria, Protista, Plants, Fungi, and Animals). First, I have the students as a team, sort through 24 pictures of furniture and group them. Then they look at birds, bats, and bees and decide how related they are. Then they watch a video showing them how those organisms live. The next part is notes on the proper classification system (Kingdom, Phylum, etc). This part is school because I walk the students step by step and show them how humans are classified and why. The last parts revolve around dichotomous keys which are a series of clues that help you identify an organism. First, I have them use a dichotomous key to classify a series of insects. I tried to pick really cool looking insects (6 legged bugs). The last part is they make their own dichotomous key but for the 6 kingdoms. A dichotomous key is a lot of fun to use, because it really helps students to synthesize the characteristics and organize them in such a way. There is a lot of embedded content I am not mentioning, but I think it’s going to be pretty cool. I also have embedded cockroach stories. The main reason why I am excited about this lesson is because the students are doing a lot of work, we call this student-centered learning. Also, these tasks ae clearly meaningful. Most of the stuff my mentor teacher does is notes and then a foldable. Her honors class I feel are in for a treat. I just hope they are up for a challenge and change. Organizing in your head is a big challenge for many people, I feel this lesson is very crucial. Hopefully, that transcends to them. Look out for an update in a couple weeks!!!!

Always Expect The Unexpected.. – By: Corinne

CorinneThe last few weeks for me have been chaotic and emotionally exhausting. So as this Friday rolled around I was so excited to spend the weekend relaxing, catching up on homework and finally getting to spend some quality time with my boyfriend; stress free!

Saturday morning I was able to catch up on some homework bright and early that I had procrastinated on for many nights. I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in ages, and then the biggest treat of the weekend was going to the Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston with my boyfriend. Yes I dragged him along; maybe not his cup of tea but a great way to get out of the house and spend quality time together. We actually lasted longer than I had expected, we both really enjoyed ourselves and found the artwork to be captivating and very inspirational. The museum was a hit, super low key and fun.

Before I knew it it was Sunday, the last day to be completely lazy and unproductive before yet again another long work week. This was a day for strictly relaxing, absolutely no time for stress in my day! Netflix took over my life for pretty much all of the day and then had this great idea that I should venture out to the mall. So I got myself ready, ran out into the garage, bent down to tie my shoe and well here it comes, the unexpected! My nothing can bring me down, no stress attitude, was shattered within a blink of the eye. My cell phone had landed screen down on the cement. Hoping for the best I turn it over and sadly my stress free weekend becomes stressed to the max.

Now anyone who knows me knows very well I don’t have a great track record with cellular devices. I think within like 6 months once I had 4 cell phones. The phone that I dropped had been on its last leg anyway. I knew it would only take one more small incident like this to happen to really kill it for good. I was so stressed because I have a Maine cell phone carrier and the weekend was over, my work week was starting and I have no flexibility to take time off and there is no way I could be without a phone. Being that I live in Boston the closest store was in either New Hampshire or Maine. Now let’s keep in mind that it’s also Sunday and late afternoon already. Thank goodness the last time I was home I grabbed an old phone I had found. But to activate this phone I had to go into a store because I was too far away from one of my phone company’s towers. It was now 3:15 the closet store I found was in NH an hour and 20 minutes away. Great right? Well they closed at 5pm. There went my shopping trip and up went my blood pressure.

I know it’s just a cell phone, I get it. Under any other circumstances I could live without having a phone, no problem. But I am a nanny and having a phone is extremely necessary, I can’t do my job without one nor would it be safe. So I franticly leave my house having zero recollection of where my destination is actually located, but that’s where the car GPS came in handy for once. Super safe driving of course I somehow make it from my house to NH, 40 minutes before the store had closed. I was literally the most pathetic customer I’m sure they had seen all day if not all week. But they activated my old phone which is literally a dinosaur I can only make calls on it and it takes about minutes to send a text, but I seriously don’t care. I didn’t get a new phone because in a few weeks my upgrade is available and I rather wait to use it and go without a smart phone for a while.

I definitely learned many things from this experience today. First always listen to your Mother! Last time I was home she told me to purchase a new phone in anticipation of this happening. Of course me being me I thought I would be fine for a few weeks, I was wrong. Sorry mom if you’re reading this I should have listened! Secondly, I learned that we as humans rely WAY too much on technology! Because I had a cell phone I hadn’t remembered numbers that I needed, I had no idea as to where I was driving and I felt this huge anxiety of not having a phone in my hand. I now realize how crazy and ridiculous that is. Last but not least, always expect the unexpected. Not always will things go the exact way you’ve planned; things happen, that’s life. You find ways to work with what you got and try to stay as stress free as possible. It wasn’t the end of the world and I got through not having a phone for a few hours perfectly fine. I am sad that I had to say good-bye to the internet, GPS, Snapchat, Facebook and oh my gosh Trivia Crack. But this will be a good break; I can focus more on what really matters in my real life and not be consumed by the addicting virtual world.

Simple, Yet Complex – By: Hope

So I’m reading this book, “The Devil In the White City”–yes I know, it came out like lifetimes ago but, something you must know about me is that I am not on the ball with stuff and I am not into trends.  I think the fact that I am blogging is probably the only thing I do that is up to speed with the world.  Anyway, this book is really good.  I started reading it when I was on vacation–in January–and just picked it back up.  If anyone isn’t familiar with it, it is a dual story about the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 and the first documented U.S. serial killer, H.H. Holmes.  There is a lot of history about architecture, including someone from Boston, and also about what was going on in the states at that time.  It’s very interesting!  It took me a little time to get over the architecture stuff because I am more interested in Herman Mudget AKA: H.H. Holmes.  Serial killers, murderers, horror stories, ghosts–that it is my cup of tea. That is where my biggest interest lies.  I was really excited when my boyfriend told me that this book was about him (Holmes)–of course I had no idea because, again, I am not up with the world.  Any who, I started reading more and more, and now I’m having trouble putting it down!

He was a very smart and good looking.  He used the World’s Fair to attract people, mainly women, to this extravagant hotel that he built.  He covered all his bounds so he wouldn’t get caught, but what I find amazing, is that someone had that thought process in 1890!  He knew he had to have a room in the basement of his hotel to “take care of business”, he knew he needed sound proof walls, he knew he needed to build a kiln that would trap the smell of burning bodies.  It amazes me that someone could be that evil, first of all, but also be that smart back in the day.  Nowadays with technology and all the media thrown in our face, I could see someone covering their tracks like that but not over 100 years ago.  It’s so intriguing and interesting, especially because there is real history involved.

I love stories about dark stuff but adversely, I love, love, love, Dr. Seuss.  I think my favorite is “The Lorax” and I have different reasons for that.  First of all, the simplicity of children’s stories are great, you don’t have to think to hard about what is going on.  Secondly, even though you don’t have to think hard, there is always a hidden meaning behind what is actually written.  I think Dr. Seuss embodies that more so than other children’s authors.  “The Lorax” is a story about what happens if you destroy nature and the repercussions of those actions.  Even though the story was written for young children, it is a message that people of all ages need to see.  As you can see, I am a simple person, it does not take much to get me upset or excited about something I am passionate about.  I get a little more, touchy when it comes to things that truly affect my inner being like family, friends, faith, and nature.  If any of those things are threatened or questioned, expect my horns to come out.

I decided that I am going to end with a quote from now on, and because I talked about my favorite author and story, I thought it appropriate to quote the little orange creature himself.

“Look, Lorax, calm down. There’s no cause for alarm. I chopped just one tree, I’m doing no harm. This thing is most useful! This thing is a “thneed.” A theed, a fine something-that-all-people-need! It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove! It’s a hat! But it has other uses, yes, far beyond that. You can use it for carpets, for pillows, for sheets, for curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!” -Onceler

“Sir, you’re crazy. You’re crazy with greed.  There’s no one on earth the would buy that fool thneed.”

And another for good measure-not by the Lorax, but a poignant point none the less.

“A thought, about what, about something I ought?”

“Well, a thought about something that somebody ought. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothings going to get better, it’s not.”

“They say I’m old fashioned and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses fast!”

I guess I picked these for obvious reasons- I am not going to spell them out because that would defeat the point.  🙂

Be safe all, stay warm and keep smiling!

The Wedding Mayhem Begins – By: Chanty

ChantyLittle by little we are getting closer to our wedding. I can’t believe that another month is down. We have accomplished some tasks and started chipping away at others. First things first, I set up a money saving challenge to help with some of the wedding cost. I found it on Pinterest, called the 52 a week money saving challenge. So far I have been doing well with it. One thing that I have been slacking on is sad to say my working-out plan. I was doing p90x, which I love. I completed the first training block, which at first kicked my butt, but I could already see some results. For example the AB ripper X video I couldn’t survive, but as time went on I could almost do the whole thing. But coming into the second month, or training block, was when all the snow came. My body was so sore from all the shoveling I couldn’t imagine how sore I would be with doing the p90x on top of that. So instead of the p90x work out, I got the New Englander one instead. With that being said come March, I am going to be starting over again with the p90x. Unlike last time, I did the classic which is more strength training I am going to do the lean which is more cardio based. I am also doing to do a teatox that I do occasionally from Matefit.

MateFit

This past month I did accomplish getting everyone’s address. I also received my save the dates. I decided to do a postcard style. This part was a little stressful for me because once again due to the snow the save the dates came in over a week late. I was able to send them out in the beginning of the week. One by one I have been receiving messages describing how happy and exciting they are. I was able to get that checked on my list. I also made a Facebook group made up of my entire bridal party so we would have a better way to communicate amongst each other.

Save the Date

Now on to the tasks I have been starting. This weekend we have set up an appointment with a florist to get ideas of flower arrangements and prices. The florist is actually my fiancé’s cousin, which will make this experience that more meaningful. Another thing we started to research and price around is photographers. This is one of the more expensive vendors, but in my opinion the most important. Everyone always needs their special day to me remembered, and what better way then to have an album with all the pictures of all the moments. Another thing, which like Shelly explained, the holy grail of the wedding, MY DRESS. Although I have only begun looking online, I plan on making appointments next month to begin that process.