Wednesday, April 16, 2014

South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped

South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped

This story was shared by a friend of mine on Facebook along with a copy of the email he sent to the school district. After reading his email, I was intrigued by amount of anger he felt towards these people. So, I decided to read the article. This is absolutely ridiculous. The lieutenant on the case seriously said that he doesn't classify that as bullying?? EXCUSE ME? Spitballs to the head, trying to pull down another person's pants, and deliberately trying to scare the person IN THE MIDDLE OF A HIGH SCHOOL MATH CLASS doesn't CLASSIFY as BULLYING?! Seriously!? And the VICTIM is the one to have charges brought against him?! Just because he recorded what was going on. So he could have proof of the bullying. Because he wasn't able to do anything about it without the proof. Do these people not see how WRONG this is?

Children are told as they grow to stand up for themselves. To speak up if there is something wrong. To not be afraid to go to adults about it. And when they don't, the adults get upset for them not coming forward with an issue. Some issues smaller than this. And the adults wonder why the youth don't speak up. Well when there are incidents like this and the victim is the one punished, it's easy to see why the youth don't want to speak up.

This needs to change. Soon. Before something worse happens.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Articles for Slide Presentation

Hutchinson, S. (2000). Waiting for the Bus. Social Text, 18(2_63), 107.
Kaplan, S., & Prato, C. (2012). Risk factors associated with bus accident severity in the United States: A generalized ordered logit model. Journal Of Safety Research, 43(3), 171-180. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2012.05.003

LANDERS, J. (2012). GAO Evaluates TIFIA Financing, Bus Rapid Transit Programs. Civil Engineering (08857024), 82(10), 16-17.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting for the Miracle of Life: Lexi and her Journey with my Neice

Yesterday, a major event happened in my life. My best friend and sister, Alexandria (Lexi) gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl, Hailie-Marie. It was a very long process. In August, she learned that she was 6 weeks pregnant. She and her fiance were worried but happy. After she wrapped her head around the news, she told me. I had a bit of a freak out session (in a good way) but after I calmed down, we started planning things out. She went to the doctor again and they gave her a due date of March 9, 2014.
The months passed by quickly. February came and she had the baby shower. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go because I was teaming a weekend-long overnight retreat and I couldn't leave because the shower was during my speech. Then we were in the last 4 weeks before her due date. Everything was being finished up, plans being finalized. Then, with 2 weeks left, there was an issue. There was a phone call from UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester. Mommy Kate was there in the ICU.
I'm not sure of all the details but she was at work. Something happened and the brought her to the hospital. While examining her, they found out that she had a brain aneurysm that burst. She was put under and the doctors surgically drained the pressure from her brain. At first estimate,  Mommy Kate wasn't going to be released until after March 9th. This was a major problem because Lexi NEEDED her mommy to be in the room with her. She started stressing out. Stress is not good at any point of a pregnancy but nearing the end, it could send you into early labor and could cause problems for the baby. Mommy Kate's doctors were actually really surprised that Lexi didn't go into labor on the first visit to Mommy Kate. But little Hailie-Marie just wasn't ready yet.
March 9th came and went, with no contractions. Doctor's appointment on the 11th. No dilation but Braxton Hicks. They decide that if there isn't any change by Friday night,  they will induce. Friday comes and there is no change. They tell her to be at Women and Infants Hospital by 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 15 to start a cervical ripening. Sunday, they start Lexi on the pitocin. Monday morning comes and she's about 2 centimeters dilated. They up the dosage. Monday at 12:59 pm, Lexi's water breaks. I leave my Math class early so I could go and at least sit in the lobby if they wouldn't let me in because there isa visitor limit while you are in the Labor and Delivery department. Her fiance, Nate, needed a break so he could go home and grab some clean clothes and shower because he hadn't planned to be there for so long. So, I got to take his place around 5. When I got to the room, they were checking her dilation. She was at 4 cm, 70 effaced. Contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. When I left her around 10:30, contractions were 1-2 minutes apart but nowhere near strong enough yet and she still wasn't dilated enough.
Yesterday morning, and still not much change. Talk of possible c-section if there still wasn't much after the 24 hour mark after water breakage. 1 pm, the 24 hour mark, contractions stronger so the doctor decides to wait. 4pm, doctor checks dilation again. 7 cm. Getting there! Not too much longer now!
Approximately 7:40 pm, time to push! At 8:09 pm, little Hailie-Marie makes her appearance into the world weighing 8 lbs and 15 oz, 9 days overdue. This beautiful buddle of joy has already shown her Irish stubbornness and kept MANY people waiting WAY too long. But it was well worth the weight :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Commuter Life #3

This is what the sidewalks of Woonsocket looked like just after the last snow storm. The city only clears the area around the schools and on Cass Avenue, one of the main roads. The only reason that Cass Ave's sidewalks get cleared is because the high school is on Cass Ave and a large portion of the students have to walk down Cass Ave to get home. This sidewalk is at the bus stop, in front of city property. So it should be cleared by the city.
There is an ordinance in the city that states that residents and business owners are required to clear the sidewalk in front of their property. Some people do; like business owners. They clear their parking lots and clear their sidewalks as close to the pavement as they can. This is because they care about their customers and want them to be able to visit. It's also most likely to avoid any lawsuits from people slipping and seriously injuring themselves. But a lot of people don't take care of the sidewalks. I feel that if the city wants us to clear in front of our properties, they should clear in front of their's. I mean, its for the safety of the public. And we do have a public safety division. We also have a parks and rec division, who don't really do anything other than run the ice rink during the winter. So why can't they get paid for actually doing something to take care of the city instead of just sitting around?

Commuter Life #2

Waiting for the bus a couple weeks ago. I was heading to campus. This was taken in Woonsocket at about 6:00 am while I wait for the 6:11 bus. Which didn't show up until 6:22 that day. It was really really cold, about 20 degrees.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just Because

You should definitely click this link :) It's ridiculous but very cute :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Commuter Life

I am a commuter, just as most of the student body of Rhode Island College. A few of my friends are as well. 3 of the 5 days I have classes, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I get a ride from my friend Katie. Monday and Wednesday, I take the RIPTA bus system to campus. When I take the bus, it is 2 hours or sometimes more from the time I leave my house until the time I get to campus. Going home is even longer because of the time I leave. I end up in rush hour traffic on 146.
Winter is a horrible time for RIPTA commuters. The following two pictures I took on my way home about a week and a half ago.
It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. I had just missed my connection by 2 minutes. I have to take the 92 from RIC to Kennedy Plaza and then catch the 54 to my city of Woonsocket. I missed the 54. In these pictures, I am waiting for the next one that is at 4:55.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

final project draft

Mahon, Stefanie. "Bible Camp One-on-One Fun." 2012. JPEG file.
Looking at this picture, it is clear that there is some event going on. With chairs in and out of the frame, set up for an audience, there is definite evidence of some preparation. Banners brightly painted in the background against a tan accordion wall, a shadowy hallway entrance in the upper left hand corner and handmade drums dispersed amongst the chairs. A teenage girl with a child in her arms in the center. A cute little smirk on the sweet little girl's face, an open grin on the other's, and the two wearing matching tee shirts. The picture has been taken by another person, shot in "my-eye-view". This photograph shows that the teen enjoys what she is doing and the child has bonded with her.

This cute little girl is 16 months old Paige Mahon. She is the youngest child of the photographer. The teenager is me. I was 17 years old when this picture was taken. It was taken on the last day of the week-long Vacation Bible Camp at my parish. VBC is offered by many parishes throughout the country, under varying names, and usually is for children ages 4-10. Because many of the adult volunteers have children under 4, like with Paige, we offer one-on-ones from the youth volunteers. The adult volunteers run the 5 different stations and the snack preparing area. The youth volunteers are group leaders, station assistants and one-on-ones. With my parish, drop off starts at 8:30 am and we start at 9 am and pick up starts at noon and is usually done around 12:30 pm. During that time frame, each of the four groups spends 30 minutes in four of the stations, two before snack and two after. Snack time is an hour long because we can only fit two groups at the tables at a time. Also, it keeps things from getting too chaotic. While two of the groups are having snack, the other two are outside at the fifth station: Games. If it's raining, they move inside and it's a little tough to have a semblance of order.

This particular year, 2012, I was requested by Mrs. Mahon for Paige because in 2011, when Paige was just 4 months old, I was her one-on-one to free up Mrs. Mahon's hands so she could take care of snacks, the area she is the volunteer for. That year, I had sprained my ankle and was on crutches. Seeing as I had to walk to work after, since my mom was working, I borrowed a spare wheelchair from a friend's aunt. Being in the wheelchair, there wasn't much that I could do in regards to the normal positions. Holding a baby and rocking her were things I could do. Mrs. Mahon had thought that there wouldn't possibly be a way for her to put Paige down long enough to do what she needed to without Paige being asleep. She is very much a "Momma's Girl" and did not like to be held by anyone else. But, when I held her, there weren't any issues at all. So, being so good with her the year before, Mrs. Mahon requested me for the adorable little girl in this picture. Being with her this much, I have formed a bond with her. And she a peculiar one with me.

I am someone who has always been good with kids. Growing up, I went to Kids Klub, an after school child care program. As I got older, the younger children became attached to me and started referring to me as "mommy". When I was at church, the children of the parish, different from the Kids Klub kids, would cling to me after mass and get upset when respective moms and dads said that it was time to go. It has gotten to the point where now, I can name almost every child of the parish. With Paige, things seem a bit different. My time with her didn't start out as only 10 minutes a week after Mass. It started with having her for 3 hours a day, 5 days in a row, and then babysitting her and her siblings and seeing her at Mass on a regular basis. My bond with her has grown so much that I refer to her as my daughter most of the time and her mother has said that I can take her whenever. Paige, however, has a different bond.

Paige will look at me, smile, and scream. This particular week of VBC started out with Paige screaming whenever I went near her because she didn't quite recognize me. I had just gotten contacts and needed to wear them that day for my appointment later to have them checked, making sure they fit, and I had just gotten my hair cut and styled. Needless to say, that caused some issues. She had started crawling and was learning to stand up. When she was given to me, if Mom didn't come back when she screamed, she would crawl over to her sisters. This was how the first two days were. Once she got used to me again, used to being with me every morning, it got easier. She came to me with no problem and would stay with me throughout the day, except when she needed to eat, be changed, or simply just wanted Mommy, the only word she could say at that point. On the Thursday, I we were given our shirts for Friday and I let her draw in it with fabric markers and she didn't have any "Mommy" episodes the rest of the day.

Now, as I mentioned and may have been noticed, Paige and I are wearing matching shirts. I also mentioned that this was taken the last day of VBC, Friday. At the beginning of the week, each parent is asked for shirt sizes for children and all volunteers are asked as well. This is because on Friday, a little showcase is held for parents to come and see what the kids had been learning and for the kids to show off their singing and respective motions for the songs they had been working on all week in the music station. To show unity, everyone that was there gets the same shirt, decorated a little differently depending on the year and the project that goes with it. This year, the kids colored iron-ons that went along with their group name and all volunteers decorated theirs with fabric markers brought in by one particular volunteer or they were left "blank", the only decoration being the small iron-on logo for this particular theme. I can't recall the name and title for it but it was based on a safari theme.

I have now been Paige's one-on-one for 3 years. This coming summer will make 4 years and Paige will be 3 years old in April. Last year, Paige was walking and has begun to figure out more words. Her favorite is "No" which she used almost the entire time last year, 2013. Our bond has grown and taking pictures with her have gone from in my arms with a tiny little smirk on her adorable face in the picture in the beginning to the full blown grin sitting on my lap from VBC 2013 in the following picture or me snapping a picture of her while she is saying "Noooooooooo!" in the picture after that.

These photos are decent representatives of who I am. I am a girl who adores children. All I have ever wanted to be is a teacher. I am a girl who loves to volunteer. Every chance I get, every spare moment, I am volunteering for one thing or another. From spending my Wednesday and Friday nights with Girl Scouts as an adult volunteer, to giving up my Saturdays and Sunday morning with retreats, Girl Scout Cookie Sales, and teaching a third grade religious education class, to volunteering with a non-profit organization, The Woonsocket Autism Benefit created by an autistic friend of mine. My life is all about helping children, helping others, teaching, and learning through my experiences. I'm not doing it so that it looks good on my resume, as many people have assumed and asked. I do it because I enjoy it and it is fulfilling, even if it does fill up my schedule. It is part of who I am, who I will always be
Tracy, Kara. "Paige and the Crown" 2013. JPEG file.
Tracy, Kara. "I said NO!" 2013. JPEG file.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Family Photo Assignment

This photo was taken at around 2:30 in the morning on 12/31/2013. The place, the Father Marot CYO Center, 53 Federal Street, Woonsocket, RI. We were having a lock-in fundraiser. This lovely group of teenagers raised about $30 each to come here at 7 at night and remain until 7 in the morning, playing games and doing different activities. Including the adults, there were 28 of us. The night was amazing. I am on the Leadership Team for the Center (as we refer to it) so did the planning along with my fellow team members. I know this assignment was about family and they aren't my blood family, other than my brother standing in the upper left hand corner, but they all treat me like family and they feel like my family just the same.
A little bit of background on the Center. It's a building that's staff is very big on faith, as it is a Catholic organization, but is open to anyone for events. There is a gymnasium downstairs and a hall known as the Main Hall upstairs that they rent out often. The Main Hall is actually the largest rental hall in Northern Rhode Island, holding up to 413 people. There are many events that are held in this wonderful building. There are prayer meetings on all but the first Monday of the month. That Monday they take a bus to an event call Glorify at the sister center in Cranston. Two Fridays each month are dedicated to Drop-ins, one for middle school aged youth, the other for high school aged youth. The middle school nights have about 60 regulars each month. Also, they host retreats, which can be a day or the weekend. The biggest one is called Search. They hold one every few months, as does the sister center. The next one actually starts tomorrow, 2/14/14, at 7 pm, if anyone that sees this before then is interested :).
I could go on and on about this wonderful place. It's a second home to me. As a matter of fact, after my birth, my parents brought me here before they even brought me home. I grew up helping out at the Search weekends while my parents were in the kitchen helping to prepare the meals. The director became my brother's godmother, my Aunt Fernie. This is my favorite place in the world. The building and the people that work and go here have helped me through some really hard times and lots of troubles. So while they aren't actually related to me, they might as well be because of how close I feel to them, how much they mean to me, and all they do for and with me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Study Time!

 These were taken facing the window. I wanted to see the effect the sunlight would make.

 These were taken after moving the camera to face away from the window for clearer pictures.

Some friends of mine and I had some time between classes so it was time for some studying! I was going over the "Framing" reading from the homework, while they study for the history quiz they have at 2. I did get their permission to use their photos

Friday, February 7, 2014

These are the 10 pictures I took for the still life assignment.

Still Life Poem Assignment

                      Do I See Me?

10:30 in the morning, thinking about myself,
I think about all the things around this shelf.
Painting, instruments and sewing machine,
Bags, basket and cassettes in the scene.
What can this tell me about me?
I like to paint and listen,
Oh how the sun makes those keys glisten.
Practice playing,
Practice staying,
Practice sewing and swaying.
What in the world do I see
When I think about me?

Friday, January 31, 2014

In Class Photo Session

When looking at these two pictures, I see myself very differently. The one where I am sitting on the floor, I can see the small child that is still inside, whereas the one where I am sitting on the chair, I look like a grown woman.
The first picture is a bird's eye view. When I look at it and see the child that I am inside. I see this through the position I am sitting in, knees bent up, arms on my knees, and head bent slightly downward. When I was little, that was how I would sit if I was upset, scared, or feeling alone. This photo immediately brought those memories forward.
When I look at the second photo, I see a more grown up woman, even though I know that they are both me. I see this in the way I am sitting, in a chair instead of on the floor. Also, the setting of inside a classroom adds to he feeling that I am more grown up. The room may be empty, but to me, my posture suggests that I am trying to pay attention to something in the front of the room.
I never thought a simple thing like placement could change something so much. Just by changing posture or setting could change the perspective. Also, the point of view from which the photo is taken increases and enhances the way the subject (if a person), in this case myself, can have their age "altered".

Testing testing 123 :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Assignment 2, the Paintings

         During class on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the class as a whole examined and critiqued two paintings. The first was Olympia by Edouard Manet. The second was Venus of Urbino by Titian. While looking at these, I determined that though both paintings are done well and in the same medium, a different effect, though some points are similar, is created for each by the style of the artist.

         Olympia has a few different effects. The first is the feeling of being beneath the notice of the woman in the forefront of the painting. The style in which her face was painted makes it seem like she is looking right over you. Kind of like the really popular girls from high school who stuck their noses up in the air while they walked around the school. The woman in the painting is one of the popular girls. Anyone looking at her is one of the nerds that "doesn't deserve" her notice. Next, is the feeling of wealth, and power exuded by the position of which she was painted in. Holding her head up is kind of her way of saying that she has more power than we may think. Lastly, the style the artist used makes the painting seem almost two-dimensional. It appears that there is almost no depth to the artwork, everything seems to be on the same plane. 

         Venus of Urbino also has a few different effects. The first is that of wealth and power, just like Olympia. This effect is created by the objects in the room around her which the artist used. The use of the objects like the grapes, the tapestries, the large hallway, and the slight jutting of her stomach help to illustrate that she has a decent access to food and money. Then there is the feeling of satisfaction. This is enhanced by the slight smile on her face and the style used to create the piece, which causes a serene expression on her face. Finally, the realistic effect and feel that the piece holds. The use of shadowing and depth within this work makes it feel as if you could reach into the painting, reach your hand back into the hall. It's like you could just walk right into the scene with them.

      Two different artists, from two different time periods. There are quite a bite of differences but also quite a few similarities. Art my change over time, but the effects that are created are done by the style, not by the time.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Assignment 1

I use online photography as a way to keep in touch with my far away family. They aren't always able to see me in events that I find important so I take the pictures to let them see it. Also, I use online photography as a way to get out my artwork, especially for relatives to see and to show my progress from when I started painting to now.