Thursday, July 30, 2009


Wow, didn't realize I'd picked such a challenging assignment. Well, I won't tell you what it is but maybe you can guess...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Organ Donation

Today the kids learned about organ donation and its importance. Our presenter, a wonderful woman from Albany Med, Jen Salm, coordinates all the donations in the capital region area and was kind enough to meet and speak with the kids. An actual kidney recipient came as well and shared her story. In addition, Jen brought an actual human kidney in one of the preserving pumps to show the kids. It was pretty amazing to see. This particular kidney was taken from a 59 year old who recently died. It was found to have some defects and therefore, could not be used for a transplant. But it certainly was interesting and educational for the kids. They also got to dissect pig kidneys and had a great time doing it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sorry I have not commented on anyone's blogs lately. By the time I get home and eat and post my pictures, I"m either dead tired or have a meeting:) I promise I will catch up in the next few days. Today, we took the kids to Rubin Dialysis Center in Clifton Park and they had a good time learning about dialysis. They were great! From left to right: Nicole, dialysis nurse, Delory, RPI student staff, Brandon, Skye, Kayla, Cynthia, Jess, Camilla and Jaime Linart.
Also, Camilla tastes the 100% pure water from the tank where they get water for dialysis. They check it every few hours to make sure it is sterile and safe. It's actually pretty tasteless without all the minerals we normally have in our water!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wonderful kids

Wow, what wonderful kids I have in this, the beginning of STEM at RPI. They are mostly 8th and 9th graders and they are smart, attentive mostly, respectful, and all around fun. How often do kids clap at a powerpoint and thank you for a class? I think that this week and next will be amazing. Plus it's great working with Jaime Linart so I'm really happy. No time for pics today so the first is from yesterday, my mom's baby sunflower and today's is an interesting shadow from just now on my kitchen counter, which I am hoping to replace eventually.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The Man Cave (or Caveous Manus Maximus) is a common structure found throughout North America and the more inhabited regions of the world. So named by the brave explorer Carolyn Hart, Man Caves have been a mystery up until recently due to their dangerous and inexorable dwellers, more commonly known as...Men. The well-developed Man Cave could contain any number of rare (and often broken) items and some of the more volatile chemicals known to human kind. Take heed...the Man of the Man Cave may be unpredictable and subject to fits of both creative genius and wild frivolity depending on the task at hand. While Man Caves are generally not approached by females due to the uncertain nature of the Man, today, for the first time, we are approaching this wildly mysterious dwelling in hopes of furthering our knowledge of this talented yet cryptic beast. As you can see by this photo, the Man of the Man cave has ferocious incisors which could most certainly mean certain death or a mild limp depending on the Man's mood. Today however, we were lucky as the Man of the Man cave was content to study us briefly in a less than precocious manner before disappearing happily back into said Man Cave. We hope this documentary has been helpful in demystifying the Man Cave. Stay tuned for next week's exciting sequel: Luring the Man from the Man Cave...Sensible or Suicidal?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saved by a milk jug

The pool is drained and I am covered with muddy algae as I scrub, scrub, scrub. Long story short, there are some repairs that have to be made which is why the pool would not clear up. I thoroughly enjoyed cleaning it, really. Just to be outside is wonderful! These little guys were rescued from certain death....I think I must have rescused about 12, all smaller than my thumb nail! So now I feel like I can join the Trish Johnson Save the Frogs society:)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Endings always lead to beginnings

Last night, as I went to the kitchen to get some cold medicine, I was awe struck by this sunset. No editing whatsoever...straight off the marvelous CANON camera:)
While last night's amazing sunset gave way to a new day, this new day also ended with the presentations from my first summer program, my 7th and 8th graders, some of which are shown here moments before their big presentations, stole the show! Monday begins a new journey with STEM, new curriculum, a new and familiar co-worker, and new kids from NYC area. I'm looking forward to the challenges that await and the rest on the other side of those challenges!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

30 years old

What do I like about turning 30? That I've tried many things, made many errors and have lived to tell about it. That I've discovered new things about myself and learned that people can change for the better. That I've still retained my belief that there is good in all people and I still trust in that good. That people love me despite my hard headedness. That I am still an open book, waiting to be written on.
p/s: No luck with buttons, I promise I will try tomorrow or Saturday:)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Midas touch

Remember that story about King Midas? Well, I was turning some things into gold myself today! My 7th and 8th graders are currently building worlds using a software design program and descriptive writing skills. We just finished the novel about a secret underground civilization where writers have the power to make the worlds of their imaginations come alive! At Friday's closing program, they will present their worlds and the staff will decide who receives 3rd place, 2nd place, and the grand prize golden World Master Trophy (which I making right now!) While using some gold spray paint outside, I enjoyed the effect of the paint on the grass and got this picture:
The gold part in the right and top is the trophy while at the bottom I added a slight reflection filter for interest.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sankofa...Learn from the past

Yesterday's trip to NYC didn't yield as many photos as I would have liked, but the experience itself was still invaluable. While I really liked the Bodies exhibit, the best part, I thought (other than Sylvia's Soul Food in Harlem) was the African Burial Ground. Discovered by construction workers while building the Ted Weiss Federal Building in 1991, the African Burial Ground was a place set apart from the city for Africans to bury their dead. It is the oldest known cemetary in North America. Slaves were not allowed to bury their own in church cemetaries within the city limits. Some 419 remains have been found and re-buried properly on the grounds of the federal building and it is estimated that about 15,000 remain below a 5 block area of lower Manhattan.

Interestingly enough, I took this picture before finding out this, to see the kid's feet on the sidewalk holds a whole new meaning as I contemplate the unnamed dead beneath us at that moment. This bronze statue, entitled Africa Rising, shows an African woman looking west towards slavery, her wings clipped back, stripped of her liberty while the back of her looks east, to Africa, her wings spread wide open in joyous praise of freedom.
Sankofa means learn from the past...I certainly learned much about this little known national landmark. But more importantly, I re-learned an important truth...that we are all family, members of one race, the human race. Those who have gone before me are my brothers and sisters who suffered and died and were left uncared for. Today I honor with my photos both the dead and the living that continue to suffer and die and are left uncared for. May we all be reminded of our responsibility to care for others, our brothers and sisters, in a broken world. Sankofa...learn from the past.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Early B.D. present

Today was really not a photo focused day for me. No big deal! Thought I'd share my early birthday present from Mike. New sneakers:) These ones are cool though. If you notice the soles, they are thicker and different. The sneakers are made so that when you walk on them, the heel and mid sole sink down as though you are walking on sand. The effect is that you have to work a little harder to walk, thus your muscles get stronger over time. I found out about them through a magazine ad and since I was about ready for a new pair anyway, Mike treated me to the early present. And just in time...Monday, we are taking the kids on a field trip to NYC to the Bodies exhibit, real human bodies plasticized and allowing you to see all the muscles, organs, veins, etc. Since our theme has been Brain Power, it should be pretty cool for the kids to see the actual brain (unfortunately, no photography allowed in the exhibit, but I'll be sure to get pictures of other things!) They even have organs that you can pick up and hold (heart, lungs, etc). Looking forward to the day and having new happy feet too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Brief pause

A brief moment of break allows me just enough time to post my pictures for today since I know I won't be home before 9:00pm tonight. Took these today at RPI, no editing software on these computers, so no editing! Tried to get that bee but it was hard to keep him in focus.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Green: the sky cries

Too hectic of a day to say much. Got stuck on thruway in a massive down pour. My assignment presented itself in the rush of squeaky wipers and through the roar of the thunder claps.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A lovely shadow playing its way across my livingroom, reminding me of things I must do!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tired and out of inspiration

Two 3 hour sessions of teaching today and I am wiped out! No inspiration or really no drive for composing anything spectacular. You'll have to settled with my fresh laundry hanging on a clothes bar:)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It ain't fun unless you're muddy and bloody!

That's what my step dad, John, used to tell me as a kid. So I'd make it a goal to get muddy and bloody during every bike ride or rock climb or whatever we were doing:) Today John, Breanna and I went for a muddy and bloody mountain bike ride through the Charleston State Forest. Only we weren't exactly figuring on THAT much mud! Breanna's facial expressions are priceless and perfectly describe the mud! At one time, both my feet got stuck and I tried to walk but instead ended up knee deep in mud:) Thanks for a great day John!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My favorite cooking herb

My grandmother (Mama) from PR uses Cilantro in her wonderful rice and beans and I have taken a great liking to it in my hamburger. Yummy! It just reminds me of Puerto Rico and all the scents in the air when you walk along a beach, looking for food.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Today my high school students went to Parson's Child and Family Center in Albany to try out some high ropes activities for team work and fun. This fit in my curriculum perfectly since we were talking about fear and your brain's response to fear. Here are just a few shots. I like the first, because Nate is doing the dreaded leap of faith...climb up a 40 foot pole, balance on the wobbly square foot platform and jump to a trapeze bar 6 feet away in the air. Nate made this look easy!
DJ (RPI student staff) zip lining

Olivia (RPI student staff) climbing the wall

Madeline and Marius take a breather and show off their beautiful smiles:)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

5 things that make me happy

1. Worshiping my God, letting the Holy Spirit wipe away my fears and worries.

2. Being with someone I love, seeing them laugh, seeing their smile lines increase

3. Music and how, for me, it just seems to course through me and reach into my inner soul

4. Reading a book until I've read it so much that it's falling apart

5. Nature. Being outside and watching how the world around me (whether it's a big city or a remote forest) changes, grows, moves, and breathes:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Busy days=need for rest

I like this picture because it represents what I need to do...sit down and just rest!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Late surprise and ugly table

Today's picture is an ugly picnic table at RPI. Too rainy and cloudy for much else and I'm still not ready to be taking pictures of the kids. We're still in the getting to know you stage of things:) However, yesterday evening after I had already posted, these clouds were posing for me in the distance. I love how the different layers of clouds look like they might be mountains and the colors. What do you think?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back to work!

RPI summer sessions started today and I like the group of kids I'm working with. No pictures the first day, too much to think about. Maybe later on. As I came home and dumped out my backpack of the day's materials (tomorrow's pack will have new and different materials!) here are some lackluster shots for the day. Bet it would be hard to guess what I was using these things to teach!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Late hair post and more!

Here are two shots, one normal and the other with a softening filter. Which do you like best? Sorry, enlarging may not work, blogger is doing weird things!

Sorry, I nearly forgot about the hair assignment! Took this yesterday at church meeting:

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