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Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays everyone!  Thanks for reading!  



"Dad, take that off!"  "I shan't!  It's Chanukah!"


I thought this was a cute POTSie holiday card!


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Wheelin' it on Semester at Sea

I'm rushing off to class, but I wanted to quickly post this awesome video featuring a guy who uses a wheelchair on the current SAS voyage.   See, I'm not the only crazy one!



Picture from semesteratsea.org.


http://www.semesteratsea.org/2012/11/19/changing-perspectives-how-sas-helped-one-student-redefine-beauty/?cerror=incorrect-captcha-sol#respond

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Spotlight on The Deaf Dream



  One of the most amazing things about Semester at Sea was the people I met on my trip.  Practically everyone was adventurous, globally minded, and committed to changing the world for the better.  I'm very excited to introduce you to one of these awesome people, Destiny and her recently launched organization The Deaf Dream.


   Destiny was inspired by our SAS trip to create an organization to empower Deaf individuals all over the world.  Everyone has dreams, but not everyone has an environment that will allow them to come true.  The Deaf Dream will work with individuals and communities to promote education and employment in places that are not currently set up to offer those opportunities.  As you can see on the organization's home page, it's not about helping, it's about empowering.  It's about working together and creating future leaders in the Deaf community.



Destiny and Friend on the Trip

  Start with this video, and learn more on the website!


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Hurricane and Halloween!

The past couple of weeks have been a whole lot of fun!  I had been doing great and my wheelchair was gathering dust after two weeks of disuse.  Good times!   I also have been getting to know people in the dorms and in my program a lot more.

First order of business is how flipping excited I am that my boys won the World Series!  I fell asleep before the end of the game (yes I'm a granny who goes to bed at 9:00) but I woke up to a spectacular text from my Dad telling me they won.  There was much rejoicing.  And I carved this at my dorm pumpkin carving event.  Because I love the Giants.  A lot.

Gooo Giants!!!!
I started celebrating Halloween early with an OT party on Saturday.   It just reinforced how much I love the people in my program!  I went at a honey bee and was pretty proud of my last minute costume.  I went shopping for a few hours earlier that day (no wheelchair! yay midodrine!) AND made the costume AND had fun at the party all in one single day!


OT Halloween Party.  We are so flipping adorable!  

Le Honey Bee Costume (with messy room in the background)
  Then the excitement didn't stop as I spent Sunday battening down the hatches for hurricane Sandy!  It was my first hurricane so I was beyond excited!  Classes, and therefore TWO midterms, were canceled on Monday so I got to spend the whole day watching the storm and discovering tumblr.  Before the storm hit though, I was sure to make a hurricane emergency kit:


That would be: flip flops, charged phone, water, glow sticks, waterproof cameral case and video camera in waterproof case, a large and awesome book, a useless umbrella, lip gloss, and my sonic screwdriver.  


    The storm turned out to  be just ok on the excitement level though.  I'm sure those in NYC will have a different story, but I felt perfectly safe and cozy inside.

The expectation:





 The reality:



  The only bad part of the storm was that the low pressure royally screwed with my body.  I collapsed on the stairs trying to get to lunch that day and have been utilizing freddy the wheelchair ever since.  I'm hoping this is all due to the storm, because I also have headaches again and that does not bode well for my surgery free future.

Anyway, then it was Halloween!  I dressed up in my second awesome costume for anatomy lab.


I then promptly had a really horrible shaky time and spent most of lab doing my best seizure impression and then wanting to nap.  At the tail end of the lab, I started to feel better and we had some Halloween fun.  And made up dance moves to go with the muscles in the hands.  Because that's how we roll.
Halloween, anatomy lab style!

Meet George.  George is a special skeleton.  His arm is on backwards and his scapula goes up to his chin. Now George has a mustache so he is a sir.

Also, freddy dressed up for Halloween.  :0)

 Time to get ready for Friday service learning at the Boys and Girls Club.  Always the highlight of my week!  Last week the kids played Quiddich!  

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Travel Products - Hydration Packs on Sale

Hi fellow travelers!  I just wanted to post a quickie here about a sale on water bottles and hydration packs.  My camelback was probably the most important thing to help me stay healthy in port!  They are usually really expensive so I wanted to share that a few went on sale.  (I don't get any kickback from this, I just thought some people may be interested.)






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Some Recent Adventures (Part 2)

I finally have some time to finish the bit about my recent adventures.

I got TWO severe thunder storms right off the bat!  I acted the part of a tourist and took tons of pictures of the beautiful billowy clouds and then hid under the blankets with my flashlight convinced I was going to swept away in a tornado once the storm hit.


 


For my birthday (I told you I was behind) I went apple picking with the grad student organization.  It felt oh so wonderfully East Coast!  One of the girls in my program went as well and it was fun getting to know her better.


Hayride out to the apple orchards 
 I wasn't feeling too well that morning, but I perked up as they day went on.  I was a bit silly dragging my wheelchair with me because it ended up being much more of a hindrance than a help as I pushed it up and down muddy hills wile I walked.  Oh well, extra exercise!  I was feeling so pumped in fact, that I climbed every tree I could until my limbs would not lift me anymore.  I'm sickly and weak and out of shape, but I can somehow still climb like nobody's business!  In flip-flops!
I was at least 15 fit up here!  

aaaaand zoomed in.


It was a beautiful day!




The place we went was a proper farm too!  There were lots of critters there to feed and pet if they were feeling friendly.


I think they were actually going for the finger...


 Since I'm not particularly fond of apples, I took off on my own for a bit to see if I could find any pears.  I think I found the last four or five left and they were...special.  But delicious.


The cider was AMAZING!  I got an extra bottle of it and mixed it with water for the next week. (Regular juice is too sweet for me)

Purdy
The rest of my birthday was not so exciting.  I hung out in my dorm room because I didn't really know anyone that well yet and read.  Oh wait, maybe that was exciting.  For me at least.

That's me!


That night there was some rowdiness and some not so good things happened.  As a back story, I had been having difficulty with the handicap bathroom being open because people were using it constantly.  My RA put up a sign asking people to only use one of the two handicap bathrooms and that of course made people use it more.  I thought I would be clever and funny and put up some meme posters asking people to not use the bathroom in their native language: meme speak.
You can find more bathroom sign fun here.  If these don't make any sense, it would probably mean you are one of those strange creatures who has a life outside of the internetz.  

I thought it worked until that fateful night.  The next morning, I found my beautiful signs ripped to shreds and littered in the doorway of the bathroom.  Then, inside the bathroom, someone peed all over the toilet seat and surrounding area. Yes, you read that right, on not in.  Then there was some mysterious bodily fluid material smeared on the doorknob.  So much fun to wake up to right?
  I'll just fast forward past and say that luckily nothing like that has happened since.  I was pretty upset about it at first, but then realized that the mild destruction was more likely fueled by a drunken whim than anything against me or my (awesome) signs.  I wouldn't say I'll every be voted most loved person in the dorm, but it's not as cold of an atmosphere as it was right after I put up the signs.  In fact, people are even taking on the herculean task of walking a few feet extra distance down the hall to use the other bathroom.  They all should get metals.   There are even some people who seem pretty cool.  So, things are looking up.

Then there is this whole graduate school thing that I came here for.  I am very pleasantly surprised that the classes are not as hard as I thought (dreaded).  I've been through one round of tests and papers so far and things went extremely well.  It's a lot of work.  A LOT of work.  But all that work pays off in good grades and much learning.  Plus a lot of it is group work which is actually fun when you're in a program with a bunch of smart, dedicated people.

I suppose there is more to write, but night time meds are kicking in which means it took me a half and hour to write that last paragraph.  Also, there's no telling what I would write next if I kept going so I better wrap this @($&(&#HSBVBSBcskjbiugifuofuwohc #(RY#pn....they found Amelia Earhart in a Jones green apple soda can?????  With a pet tyrannosaurus rex and a pile of purple cheese????

Goodnight world.  :0)

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Some Recent Adventures (Part 1)

   And just to confuse you, I'm going to start off with some not so recent adventures since I've gotten a bit behind.  The last bit of summer was some nice time with family and friends.  I had one more narcissistic photo shoot for graduation, but this time I got mom in on the action.

Sadly this was the best picture from that...

Help!  Help!  I'm being oppressed!  

My gorgeous mum!
  My friend Robert and I got to be mad scientist at the Tech Museum   It was the second time in my life I've been out and about when I wasn't the only one in a wheelchair and it was really fun.  All the wheelchair looks X2!  I was happy with how accessible the museum was.  I've been there tons of times, but never really noticed how easy it was to get around and reach all the interactive displays.
Do not mess with this evil genius!  

Just some weekday gene splicing...
 We went to a Giants game for Dad's birthday and took public transit there.  (I'm always slightly afraid of public transit and wheelchair mixing.)  I wasn't feeling well so we finagled getting some accessible seating so that I didn't have to go up stairs.  From now on, I think I just need to do the accessible ticket thing right off the bad since I never know what shape I'll be in on the day of the event.


Then it was road trip time.  We packed up our "camping" gear and headed to a cabin at Lake Tahoe.  Unfortunately there was a humungo traffic jam so we took quite a while to get there.  Dan and I took advantage of the stopped dead traffic to do some road side exploring.   When we finally got to the cabin we had a weekend of fun with the Cousins and nature.


Oh joy.

"I too am a sir.  A very special sir."


Back in the car I had my neck brace on because long car rides make me a bit sore. Dan decided that the logical thing to do was to clip Snickers' leash to the brace and tug on it periodically.  Despite how I look in the picture, I was not amused. 

The best pizza place in THE WORLD.

And we got out of this deadly rapids trip with only a few casualties and one incident of shaky time.

awwwwe!

  Then California decided it had had enough of me so it was off to Boston.  The stars aligned for us because we had two flights to get there and got upgraded to first class both times!  I couldn't believe that had never happened before and then it happened twice on the same day!  It was pretty sweet too!  I only took a few billion pictures and talked in a dignified British accent a little...

Dat leg room....me gusta

We were given moist towelettes for some reason...  

Mom seemed to know what she was doing...

I say Theodore, these cashew nuts are splendid!

Cheers.  Old pal.  Cheers indeed.  Yes.  Quite.  

A shrimp cocktail?  Why certainly!  

Quite.

And some bouquet of wine with legs and golfballs or something (I don't know much about wine...)

I couldn't seem to pull in my pinky finger the whole time I was sitting there...
 And then we were in Boston!  Mom and dad helped me move in and I got right to decorating.  My room turned out to be pretty SASsy.

Excuse me...excuse me...can you LET ME OUT OF HERE?!?!

I made a poster to honor my true love.


My dorm garden.  And they are all still alive!

Doctor Who Postcards lining my heater vent.

My noms section.



The pictures are from my pen pal class and kids from the school in Vietnam I visited.

Flags of every port (except bahamas), Tibetan prayer flags, and the Peace Declaration (in English and Japanese) from Hiroshima.

What I like to call my Emily Cave.

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