On the water, Newport bridge

On the water, Newport bridge
My happy place

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Empowering Education

Critical Teaching for Social Change
Ira Shor

Maybe because its our last reading, or maybe because so much of what the author is saying just makes sense, either way its a reading that somewhat frustrated me. Its one of those, please practice what you preach ideas that comes to mind. "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school. "  I wonder if this is being done across the board. Are all teacher's trying this, or is it just being encouraged with the smarter students, the confident ones. "People are naturally curious. They are born learners. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn."  By encouraging students to question, it can help develop their intellectual growth and emotional growth.
What type of effects does it have if a child isn't encouraged? Is it long lasting? If one teacher in one year doesn't encourage, does that move with them to the next grade up? Will the student expect the same from each teacher? It takes one teacher to truly make a difference. To help a student thrive. "Many withdraw from intellectual work because they are told so much and asked to think and do so little. Rote drills drain their enthusiasm for intellectual life, as do short-answer exams and standardized tests. These familiar methods disable their intellects in a process I call endullment, the dulling of student's minds as a result of their non-participation." Well then, I ask... why. Why are standardized tests still in practice? It takes away so much time from the classroom and the teacher's spend so much teaching time preparing for them. When will we learn? This reminds me of one of our past readings from Oakes about tracking. Clearly standardized testing would help accomplish this. 
Shor states "From Dewey to Piaget to Freire, many educators have asserted that learning works best when it is an active, creative process." So with all the research showing this, and proving this, why do students have to go to separate schools like the Met in order to get these type of learning experiences? Why can't the public schools implement the same type of learning? "The typical classroom is framed by competition, marked by struggle between students (and often between teacher and students), and riddled by indicators of comparative achievement and worth."  My cousins son goes to the Met here in Newport. His hands on learning experiences and opportunities to participate far surpass anything the public high schools are doing. He is currently growing his own coral reefs in six separate fish tanks, He's received his diving certification and plans on taking what he's learned, going to college and working with oceanography in the Caribbean. What an accomplishment. He's 15. I'm not saying that public school students don't aspire to have a future or careers, but what I am saying is that the hands on learning he's had has truly developed into a love for learning and continuing. "There is now a good deal of research evidence to suggest that the more time and effort students invest in the learning process and the more intensely they engage in their own education, the greater will be their growth and achievement, their satisfaction with their educational experiences, and their persistence in college, and the more likely they are to continue their learning. "  

Points to discuss in class: If research shows the process in which children learn better, and grow, then why aren't we all teaching this way? Standardized tests suck. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tracking:Why Schools Need to Take Another Route


This reading about tracking in the classroom really hit me in the face. It made me question my job as a parent. Although an IEP protected my son's rights in the classroom, and provided him with services that he very much needed, I look back and feel that now, his experience in school wasn't as fulfilling or enriched as it could have been. He was always in an inclusion class, but after reading this piece, I realize that he had fewer opportunities than students in higher achievement classrooms. I remember words like "gifted" being used in his school, and I accepted it. Over the years, I saw other children doing certain projects from the gifted groups and thought, wow what a great hands on experience. I wonder why my son isn't doing that project? Forgive me, I'm not taking away the fact that he needed the IEP, but he always knew the teachers placed him figuratively as a child that didn't have the ability of others. Does an IEP automatically place that child in a group as someone without ability? Not all cases, but in this case, I feel yes. So, with that being said, I agree with many aspects of the reading. That tracking can in fact affect the quality of learning in the classroom. That the higher achieving students have more opportunities, higher confidence the way that teachers treat them, and an overall greater learning experience. "One fact about tracking is unequivocal: tracking leads to substantial differences in the day to day learning experiences students have in school. "  I wish I could turn the clock back and have a do-over. My sons education experience at the elementary level seemed to be more about goals, and IEP objectives, rather than maybe focusing on the things he could do, and build on that. I'm not saying every teacher was like this, but just imagine, art work being displayed in the hall ways every month of every year, and it took until fifth grade to finally see that teacher hang your child's work. An artist he is not, but just take a minute to think how this could've affected his confidence and self-esteem. He never really enjoyed school. Wow. I wonder why. "Students who need more time to learn appear to get less; those who have the most difficulty learning seem to have fewer of the best teachers."
So what are the alternatives? With such extreme differences in students abilities, and how they learn, how do we not track?? The reading also mentions how tracking can affect the average students as well. That teachers expect very little from them. "When classes are conducted this way, average students, too, are deprived of the best that schools have to offer. " Finding an alternative would require a huge change. I'm going to leave this with one last quote. There are so many I could've pulled from this reading. "Prevailing beliefs about the limits of ability are critical. Unless teachers and administrators believe and expect all students to learn well, they will be unlikely to create school and classroom conditions where students believe in their own ability and exert the effort it takes to succeed. How profound. 
Here is a link to the NEA about tracking.... a good read as well. http://www.nea.org/tools/16899.htm 
This subject was an eye opener, and tough to share. I'm not sure if my son would appreciate me connecting him to this assignment, but how could I not. Those of you who aren't parents, will understand some day. Those of you who are, I'm sure you can feel my frustration. As parents we try and do everything the best we can; what we feel is right as a true advocate for our child. 

Points to discuss in class... how can we avoid tracking? how can teachers see the true ability in a child when statistics are given to them about the child? 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

19th Annual Multicultural Conference

Promising Practices
Resilience Across The Board

Promising Practices was an experience I've never had before. I can't remember ever attending a conference like this. I had no expectations, but was overall impressed with the keynote speaker the most. Clearly Robert Brooks has done this many times he probably has lost count. He kept the audience engaged with slight humor, personal stories and points that made sense. I jotted down just a few things as I listened that stuck in my mind. The power of "mind sets" and the effect we can have on people, "paying it forward" and "connecting the dots backwards". The biggest question he asked for me anyway, was "How do I create a positive emotion in class to promote success in learning?" 
His answers were so obvious, yet not the route that most of us take. How you speak to your students using positive phrases, rather than negative, can help the students achieve a higher self esteem, and a greater capacity to learn. Below is a slide I took a picture of during his power point presentation. I choose this one, because it has so much meaning. I wanted to take more, but wasn't sure if I was supposed to and didn't want to disturb anyone.
Onto the workshops, The two that I chose were Embedding Growth Mindset in Everyday Elementary School Lessons and Healthy Lifestyles: Your Health, Your Choice. 
The first workshop was presented by a first grade teacher from Henry Barnard School. Describing two sets of mind sets that we can have. Open (growth) and Closed (fixed). The teacher explained to us the difference between the two, and how we want students to answer questions open minded. She then went on with passing out children's books for us to read in pairs. We had to read the book and then say whether or not the story was open minded or closed. It was interesting to see the results from each story. She the broke us into groups with a project. Building a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Build the tallest tower she said. The experiment was to promote conversation and see how we tackled the task as small groups. Open minded, or closed. 
This is one of the handouts I received at this workshop. Examples of questions on how we should ask students, to keep them open minded. Below are some sites shared I thought I'd share on here as well.
The next workshop wasn't quite as engaging, or interactive at first, but just as informative. 
Healthy Lifestyles:Your Health, Your Choice, was about a new program developed by the State of RI for students with disabilities ranging from 14-24. It focuses on teaching children of this age how to have a healthy life style and how all aspects of life affect one another. From emotional health, to physical health this program teaches the kids how to be more independent. How independence will teach you new skills, give you spiritual growth and better social health. This program is great for students with disabilities who have already graduated and aren't going to college, but need to learn basic life skills to get them a job and create the independence they need for their next step in life. Here is a link to have a better understanding of the program. www.ripin.org
Overall I though Promising Practices was a well put together presentation, very informative and I got a lot from it. I just wish it wasn't on a Saturday! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

This is the video I was talking about in class today, from just this past summer....

Sunday, October 30, 2016

American Life Episode 562, Hebert Separate and Unequal, Brown Vs. Board of Education.

Separate and Unequal

After reading, and listening to the assignments this week, I'm still in shock at how things are in schools today. Maybe growing up in small town USA, and coming back here after so many years, never have truly been exposed to inner city schools, I've been somewhat sheltered.
Brown Vs. Board of Education was a landmark Supreme Court case laying the foundation for the civil rights movement stating that as long as schools are separate but equal, they are inherently
unequal. Including the 14th amendment and other cases such as Plessy, Brown affected more than just schools. All facilities were affected. "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality. "

Listening to American Life Episode 562, it was sad and I could relate to it as a parent, student, and future teacher. Questions were asked from parents about metal detectors in the schools, if students should transfer in. The parent stated it was a question of safety, not race. As parents, we are always concerned about our children's safety.  As a student, I felt for the child who was being transferred back and forth. She had made friends, dealt with a huge change, but there was always uncertainty in her life. " If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty."  As a future teacher, how do you deal with the disadvantages some children may have, the "White Privilege" that other students may have. How as teachers can we make the learning experience and environment more equal while they're with us? "But there is no getting away from the fact that if you try to bring about economic integration, you're also talking about racial and ethnic integration, and that provokes bitter resistance." 
Brown Vs. Board of Education was in 1954, it amazes me that we are still struggling with these same issues today. "This society should be far more integrated in almost every way than it is now."

Monday, October 24, 2016

In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning

In The Service of What?
Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer


In The Service of What? The author argues that "Educators and legislators alike maintain that service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling. " The question remains to what degree. In this article, the author describes two clearly different cases of service learning. Mr. Johnson's students had a choice of "Serving those in Need." From working in a hospital, or providing survival kits for the homeless. The author describes these as one type of service learning. Ms. Adams students chose one issue to focus on, which was homelessness. Focusing on the one subject, but how it affects local communities and around the world. The two projects had a lot in common, stating that both provide a learning experience for the students. However, the article goes on to describe the differences between the two cases based on what the students actually learned from the projects. Mr. Johnson's students can reflect and developed more of a sense of "altruism", Kahne states. They worked more directly with the actual people in need. Where Ms. Adams students had much more planned work and strategies with the topic of homelessness. Here is a great article describing how important service learning is, and what students can learn from it. http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/curriculum-development/what-makes-service-learning-unique-reflection-and-reciprocity/
Kahne and Westheimer continue to describe the different ways students can learn from service learning. Using three domains, moral, political and intellectual, the students learn about citizenship in the political aspect, where they learn more about caring and giving on the moral side. On the intellectual stand point, service learning the author states is the "Trojan horse of school reform." Creating strong learning experiences, the three domains "moral, political, and intellectual goals, are intertwined." Here is an example of elementary students participating in a service learning project with various photos showing what they did.  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120311/news/703119898/
Points to discuss in class... On a more local, personal note, why are the requirements for Service Learning different from school to school? My son graduated from MHS only having to do 20 hours of service. While Tiverton high, just 20 minutes away, in the same state, has to do 80 hours. I feel the 80 hours makes more sense. 20 hours per year of each year in high school. I feel my son would've had a greater experience, with much more to learn in 80 hours. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saw this on yes, of all places, Facebook.
Just wanted to share because it reminded me of the article we just read about Locker room talk and boys will be boys! This isn't a statement as to who I may or may not be voting for though...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Election 2016 Power, Privilege and Voting

Option 1

The election of 2016 has become quite a controversial subject. Each day leading closer to the  election, I cringe at the thought of voting for the first time ever. With each new article, comments, or reports about the candidates, I'm further away from making up my mind.
In Jill Soloway's article on Donald Trump, Locker Rooms and Masculinity, she begins with discussing the most recent incident of Donald Trump and his sexist behavior while on an interview with Billy Bush. She then goes on further with this topic and calls it "Locker Room Talk". How men behave behind closed doors, what they say, and how they treat women. Men are different when they are alone with other men. Soloway calls this "toxic masculinity." So how bad is it? As Soloway goes on describing men treating women as objects, dividing them into two types, I felt sickened. Is this what we want from our future President? Someone that sees women in this way? The groups are split in two. Good women and Bad women. According to this definition, I may possibly be a bad woman? Why? Because I'm single, with no ring on my finger? How stupid. I'm insulted.
Soloway then describes a "hierarchy" of men in the locker rooms. This immediately made me think of Johnson's "Privilege, Power and Difference." Even in the locker room there's white privilege.
This article really got me thinking.
The second piece in the New York Times, by Amy Chozice, was a discussion about Hillary Clinton's voice. I'm confused as to why this discussion even needs to take place. I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing. Have there been critiques on other candidates voices? Most likely not. Lets just pick at one more thing because she's a woman. "Loud, flat, harassing to the ear." is the description of Hillary's voice. "Decidedly grating pitch and punishing tone." Are you kidding me. Who cares? Shouldn't we be more concerned with what she's actually saying than how it sounds? She's yelling? I'll show you yelling. "In today's America, when a woman is loud, it's shouting. When a man yells = enthusiasm." Such crap. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Second Presidential Debate
Sunday Oct. 9

This clearly isn't the first election I will be voting for, however, this is one of the first elections that I've honestly taken interest in. Is it because of the cast of characters? Maybe, but I really tried to watch it this past Sunday. With TVs surrounding me at work, each one showing the debate of course, I was still only able to catch bits and pieces of the event. Because, as I said, I was at work.
To me, this debate, as the last one, was nothing but insults flying at each other, with the most recent discoveries of Trumps past conduct on the forefront. I actually turned the last debate off. I couldn't take it any more. I made it a social hour for my friends and I. Come over, I have cocktails, we'll watch the debate. That night ended early. So this past Sunday, I was excited to catch what I could while still doing my job . I noticed, as everyone else did .... that no real questions were answered. Our country should be scared. I am. I didn't vote for Obama, either time, but that man has more dignity and composer on stage than Trump and Clinton combined. If it were allowed to vote for a third term for Obama, I'd seriously consider it. As a single woman, who lost her health benefits with divorce, I am truly thankful for Obama Care. I'm not saying its perfect, it has its flaws, but its still better than nothing. I'm frightened to think about what my health care plan may be next year. So now, as mentioned in class today, I may have to vote on one particular issue at hand, not the actual candidate.
Safe Spaces
Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth
Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, Megan S. Kennedy

Extended Comments

In Safe Spaces, I found even the introduction to be engaging with facts that surprised me. Having grown up in "different times" I feel the classrooms and school environments that I attended were much different that what kids are growing up in today. of "Still, classroom spaces leave their mark on all of us."  Vaccoro says.  How we look, act, dress, shouldn't matter. Every student should feel safe. Vaccaro states that its the adults responsibility to "pay attention" in order to help with shaping of attitudes in the classroom. As Christian states in his blog, " A child's identity is crucial to healthy cognitive development and confidence." I have to agree with Christian on this. If a child is unsure of who they are, and their place in the world, imagine what that does for their self confidence? Their social skills? Their potential in the classroom, or in life? The LGBT student should feel as safe and free with equality as any other student in the room. Christian then goes on to say "Why limit a student just because they have a different sexual preference than you?" Exactly. Why limit any student? How does ones sexual preference affect their over all learning? If this wasn't an issue and it was truly accepted by everyone, it wouldn't affect their learning. The child would be free to express themselves and be themselves as they choose to be. "How are children going to learn to accept a concept if they are so heavily sheltered from it? Christian further explains. "Sexual orientation topics are entirely absent from nearly half our elementary teacher education programs in the United States."  As we learn more about this, and more people are open to the facts, I hope that statistic changes.
Points to discuss in class: Once we are educators, what could we do for LGBT students to ensure their safety and equality in the classroom?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Unlearning The Myths That Bind Us

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us
Linda Christensen

Where to begin... In Christensen's Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us, she explains the influence that cartoons, movies and children's books have on us at an early age. "The impact of racism begins early." We let our children watch programs without realizing the outcome it could possibly have. The characters portrayed in cartoons, with violence, or even in the typical fairy tale type stories have a heavy influence on the young child. They can perceive it as reality. Christensen describes this influence as a "secret education".  Our children are accepting cultures, rolls, and stereotypes without us possibly even realizing it. "Industry produced fiction has become one of the primary shapers of our emotions and our intellect... Although these stories are supposed to merely entertain us, they constantly give us a secret education." As a parent, I look back and realize, ok... yes, I no longer allowed Sponge Bob to be watched in the house when I realized just how stupid it was, and yes, my son watched the typical preschool programs like Sesame Street and Blues Clues. However, did I always make the right choice? After reading Christensen, I think WOW.
 Disney movies we have all watched. The typical princess and her prince with the fairy tale ending. Not reality at all . One of Christensen's students questioned how come there's never been a black Cinderella? Do we think of these things while watching Disney movies? Probably not. Obviously my son was never interested in the typical princess movie, and cartoons were starting to fade away for him as well... around the age of three, or four it was Thomas the Tank Engine. He could name all the trains and started to identify the numbers on each one. The show had a story, with usually some type of lesson learned. Were there races? Cultures? No, just trains. All with personalities, so yes, there were conflicts. Always resolved by the end of the story. 
So, now I will continue on with another way to reflect about this reading. What did I watch when I was a child? Growing up in the seventies, the programs were far different than what my son had to choose from. I remember one of my favorite shows. A cartoon called "Wait Til Your Father Gets Home." Oh boy. Just in the title it implies something! The mother stayed home with the kids, while being a homemaker. The father was off to work all day. The show had comedic value, but did not  I realize then, that in the very title alone, it meant the mother had no authority in the home. That she couldn't make a decision on her own? If the kids did something they shouldn't have she couldn't set the guidelines for punishment? Yes. Welcome to the seventies. I'm sure this cartoon was aired before then, but that's when I watched it. Then, there's Tom and Jerry. I believe my son watched this as well, but newer versions. I recall many episodes with one adult in particular that would make an appearance. She was dressed as a maid, heavy set, black woman's voice with black skin. ALWAYS dressed as a maid. As a child, I most likely never questioned this. 

Points to discuss in class.... Do you agree with the idea that children receive a 'secret education" in the media? What did you watch as a child? Do you think it influenced your learning or emotions? 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Richard Rodriguez's Aria

Richard Rodriguez's Aria

What a compelling story about a "socially disadvantaged" child told by Rodriguez. This was a fairly short and easy read, but stacked with interesting experiences about  him. How would any of us know the affects it has on a child in a classroom if they don't speak the language? Some are obvious and quite clear, but he goes on to describe in detail exactly how he feels in the classroom, and the affects it starts to have at home.
As a student, he was shy, didn't like being called on by the teacher, and didn't even feel that the English language was "his to use". The English language was a "public" language to him. He'd rather be spoken to in Spanish while in the classroom. This is totally understandable as this was his Native language and  he was comfortable with it. He was scared to use English! The teachers started to notice Richard's behavior as well as his siblings. "Timid and shy" were how they described Richard. Well yes, of course! I would be too! At such a young age, I'd feel learning something new like another language would make me timid and shy as well.
To help Richard's progress along, the teachers visited his home and asked his parents to start using the English language at home. Here is a great article speaking of the type of support a bilingual student needs. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/05/13/bilingual-students-need-support-in-their-native.html.
After the teachers visit in his home, the dynamic of the whole family started to change. The parents and all family members started using English more, but were interacting with each other differently because of it. Richard wasn't even sure what to call his parents any more. He didn't like the English words used to say mama' or papa', but didn't want to continue using what he always called them. It reminded him of how much things have changed.  As he grew more and more familiar with English sounds and how to use them, he realized he was truly an American citizen. He became more and more confident and spent less time at home. He made more friends and so did his siblings. He even mentioned that his parents were spending less time at home due to the confidence they had as well. His mother however, was uncomfortable with how the families interactions had changed. His father on the other hand, didn't seem to mind much at all  about the new quietness of the household. His father still used Spanish and spoke with emotions while doing so when he needed to.
Richard started to care less and less about the sounds at home, he grew inattentive,  but would still remember how things used to be. "Today I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of 'individuality' by becoming assimilated into public society." "They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized. So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality." Normally two quotes together like this isn't something of the norm, but I found them to be significant.
In closing, I found another article on how to recognize an ELL student, and the affects a second language has. http://www.education.com/reference/article/who-ell-english-language-learner/

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace

Where do I begin? After reading Amazing Grace, I'm still in shock. Poverty, poor living conditions, sickness. You know its out there, in yes, our country, but to what extent? How many of us have actually seen it first hand? On the news maybe, or how its portrayed in a TV show, but not like this.
The story of Amazing Grace and the city of Bronx, New York, telling of personal stories of people living there is truly the opposite of the American dream. I found myself saying "oh my god" out loud as I'm reading each page. The statistics are overwhelming. The story starts out explaining the population, the annual household income, comparing it to Manhattan just an eighteen minute train ride away.
The personal stories of the every day life and what has become somewhat normal for them is more than disturbing. The author covers the amount of people living with HIV in the area, the amount of children suffering from Asthma, drug usage in the area, and prostitution. Its all out there for everyone to see. The question was brought up as to why so many of them are living in the same city? How will the children have a chance? This is the same discussion mentioned in Land of Limitations. The class in which people are born, they tend to be stuck in. How would a child with such poor living conditions, like Cliffie in the story, have a chance at life? Sickness and poverty all around him.
Also, a large  percentage of people living in the Bronx, are of color. So would this be an example of the lack of privilege the people of Bronx have? In Privilege, Power, and Difference, Johnson states that  "Privilege is always at someones else's expense and always exacts a cost." The people of Bronx seem to be living that cost. They have no privileges, their health care is even frightening. Yet, clean needles, and condoms are supplied to them. Welfare can be easily cut. What is wrong with this system?  In today's society? In the United States? Unfortunately, yes. I'd like to see Trump, and Clinton do a tour of the Bronx  live and maybe see how well the population would respond to them.Here is a recent video showing just how bad living in the Bronx is .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tavGqhjOaO0
Points to share in class... the impact of these conditions on our children. Does it affect their learning?
Do they even have the opportunity to learn? The schools are over crowded. What opportunities do these children have compared to rural areas?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kristof's U.S.A. Land of Limitations.

 Kristof's U.S.A. Land of Limitations, a short, but profound article stating that we, as humans, end up where we begin. America has always been portrayed as the "land of opportunity", the American dream which is becoming further and further out of reach depending out where you start out.
"That's a lovely aspiration, the vision that brought Rubio's father to the United States- and my father, too. Yet, I fear that by 2015 we've become the socially rigid society our forebears fled, replicating the barriers and class gaps that drove them away. " Kristoff. Where you start, and what class you are in, determines where you end up. Many have climbed out of it, but that's simply not always the case.
The statistics in this article are very disturbing. There is a direct correlation between how well your parents are off, or even your grand parents; as to how well you will do. "The chance of a person who was born to a family in the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution rising to the top 10 percent as an adult is about the same as the chance that a dad who is 5 feet 6 inches tall having a son who grows up to be over 6 feet 1 inch tall."Discouraging at best, but there's still always the chance that it could happen.
The article goes on further describing a particular  person "Rick". Unsuccessful through all his years of schooling, without proper support, he ultimately quit school and went into the work force. His father was a drunk and left him and his siblings. How did this give Rick and his siblings a chance at life to be successful? It truly didn't. Sickening actually. This created a pattern for the rest of Rick's life. Two unsuccessful marriages, a single Dad while collecting disability, he didn't seem to climb out of the class in which he was born into, now did he?
There's a flip side to this in which you are born into a much higher class, with a sense of entitlement.
Do you continue to stay in that class with little to no effort? This is where income plays a much higher role than the environment of a lower class. My opinion, this is such a double standard. There are less consequences to your actions when you have the income to support your decisions. A teen like "Rick" drops out of school. Does that child still have more opportunities because of the higher income class in which they are in? Yes. Obviously, yes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An introduction... a little about me.

My son Brenden and I zip lining in                                                      Connecticut. 
Must have at least two cups of coffee every morning!

My son just graduated high school 2016. 

He's my only one! 

Went to Disney with the MHS Band! 

My 9 year old Golden, Amstel.