Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Finding Inspiration

I am inspired by lots of different people that I know and read about. Recently I have started to get into Dancing with the Stars again.  If you don't know the show it is the perfect combination of many of my favorite things. There's Music, Competition, Celebrities, Dancing and lots and lots of Drama.

I was watching some of the old dances on YouTube, and was blown away by one of the contestants from Season 18 in 2014. Amy Purdy is a Paralympic Snowboarder and absolutely amazing dancer, which would be inspiring enough, but she is also a double amputee.

I have read a lot about service men and women who have lost limbs and their stories are without exception tragic and inspirational,  but Amy's story is different. At the age of 19, she contracted a virulent form of bacterial meningitis and within a matter of days went into septic shock causing her to have both legs amputated, both her kidneys failed and she lost her spleen. The doctors gave her only a 2% chance of survival,

Less than a year later she won her first snowboarding championship on a set of new prosthetic legs and since then she has never stopped breaking records and showing just what is possible when you are determined and committed to achieving a goal. She won a bronze medal in Russia at the paralympic snowboarding, she's founded a non profit and been in movies and even a Madonna video!

But to be truly inspired what the videos below and you will get a real sense of her story and then see her dance. One of the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever seen.

She takes my breath away and makes me want to be more, and do more.

Thanks Amy

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Senior Interim - Wheelie Art Teacher!

So I am coming to the end of my last ever Interim Week, my third as I missed last year due to the hole in my back.  So Senior Year I've come full circle and I have been back this week with Ms Mac in the Elementary School.

For those who have never been in Ms Mac's class there are very few rules,  which is exactly how I got to be an artist in the first place. It was Ms Mac who invented dancing on the canvas with my wheelchair wheels and she has mentored me ever since. Music is a key part of our process and she always says that I educate her about hip music. We started painting again every other Tuesday after school, come by if you want to see what happens.

Art Teacher Apprenticeship version 2.0

Maybe it's because I'm older now, but this time it feels different. I am working with grades 3 , 4 and 5 and in the lessons they are
introduced to Wheelie Art and get a chance to try it for themselves
using different wheels and vehicles.


Why? The Music 

Music plays a huge part in Wheelie Art, it transformed my first paintings from basic lines of paint to amazing abstract images as I started to "dance" across the canvas. Last weekend Francesca and I spent a couple of fun hours hunting through Youtube videos to find "age appropriate" and "age relevant" songs. So the challenge was ensuring a mix that would appeal from grade 3 - 5.

As it turned out 3rd grade got no music, 5th grade listened with headphones to their I-Pads and 4th grade got the dance party.

I get the girls, they mostly like what I do, Tay Tay, Demi Lovato, Ariana etc but 99% of the boys I have no clue what they are talking about. One 5th grade boy came up to me to tell me what his music choice was and I had never heard of the band or the song! This became a pattern throughout the week, unless we were whipping a nae nae, I was clueless.

So it's my last day tomorrow, we've created some amazing painting this week and tomorrow I will share them, and news of the last day with you.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Back on the Canvas

Now that I am finally back painting for the first time in over a year, I decided, well it was suggested - my mother never really suggests she makes me do stuff - that it was time to get blogging again.

This is my first ever painting on a black background, which is why the colors are white, gold and bronze. The music was Kelly Clarkson's Warpaint which seems appropriate because the painting ended up looking a bit tribal to me.

What do you think?

It felt fun to be painting again, it gives me probably the only way to really express my feelings / frustrations / anger and I think my new wheels are now taking me in a new direction.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Making a Comeback!

Summer went by like a fly.  Summer went by so fast it was hard to tell which day was which and how many days were left.  But when the real summer stopped and the nightmare of school began it was harder than ever. 

 Last summer I never went in my chair unless I absolutely had to for Dr. visits or for exercise other than that I stayed in my bed and read book or watched TV or movies.  I forgot about school and days and I forgot about what my normal routine is.  But now I am back at school and things are good and bad and things are really bad.  But at school you always have the good the bad and the ugly.  

The good this year coming back is getting to see my brother more because it is his last year in high school.  Ms. Fabian's pregnant which means it is fun watching her cope with pregnancy and it's really fun trying to help her get through pregnancy.  I get to spend more quality time with my sister this year, however it's spent.  I have good teachers this year and some good courses and some I wish to bury for all eternity.  I have good books and good TV so when I am not trying to study I can always do that or do some art with Ms. Mac, hopefully starting next week.  

The bad is that the subjects are getting harder and because of my summer routine, I am tired in most of my classes.  Subjects that I am not liking so far are mainly History and Math.  I am tolerating chemistry and today a friend and I made a little skit about how we might blow up the Chemistry labs simultaneously so that no other student, including us, would have to tolerate Chemistry.  However, the subject is easier for me than others which means its not so bad, it just takes getting used to and adjusting to the style of the teaching and work.  

The ugly this year is that my brother is going off to college next year which means that he is leaving me all alone to fend for myself.  He made a promise that he wouldn't let me be alone and I feel like he is breaking that promise.  Google education is driving me nuts because it is so unaccessible on PC's and when I do my homework at home I use my Mom's computer which means that its hard to do homework at home, making it so much harder at school.  I feel like homework is becoming more of an abomination every time I get an assignment because now homework isn't graded which means that I don't have the opportunity to get feedback from teachers on what I am doing wrong and how to fix it.   

I'm just hoping everything gets easier.  I just wanted an easy year and nothing about it is easy anymore and it's only the second week.  And some people could use that against me but to me if this is what sophomore year is going to be like then it's going to be harder and harder everyday.  I need a break from having a break.  I need time to adjust to what the school year is going to be like, classes, teachers and tools.  Except for one thing, I am so impatient that it would even shock you to know that I am 15.  You would think that I am a newborn with how impatient I am.  

Until I have more news to discuss, 

ta ta

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Summer Watch List - TV Marathons

originally posted on Momontheside 
First things first,  which shows will we revisit this summer?  
With school done for the year and all the best US prime time shows on hiatus, my mom and I have time to revisit some old favorites and the opportunity to give others a second chance. We have 10 weeks and an enormous  DVD /download library to chose from.  The key rule from mom is that not every show can be about vampires, zombies or dead people and my rule is that she can't complain about my choices. It's summer so nothing too challenging or intellectual (so that means no BBC or anything from the UK) just sheer guilty pleasures all the way.

Agreed Must Watch of the Summer:

The Vampire Diaries 
yet again, but this, the most important marathon, has been reserved for the " before I go back to school treat" (so check back in August for this one) We are definitely team Damon, who my mom says even makes having a teenage daughter worthwhile - the season 5 trailer explains it all:

So our Must Watch List:
lost-girl-poster1:  Lost Girl 
Lost Girl focuses on the gorgeous and charismatic Bo, a supernatural being called a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans, sometimes with fatal results. (more on IMDB)
There are 3 seasons for me to convert mom to this one, but don't hold your breath.
brothers and sisters2:  Brothers and Sisters
Never has a family been better looking, drank more red wine without ever getting drunk or had more dark and twisty secrets. Love all of the Walkers especially Scotty and Kevin and any series with Rob Lowe in it...
5 seasons for both of us to enjoy
newsroom3:   The Newsroom
A repeat marathon in prep for the second series which must start soon. (July 14th by all accounts) and the quality entry on the list. 
again, and just for my mom, her Aaron Sorkin fix.  (Now that she doesn't drive us to school there are no more daily West Wing moments -  still the best TV show ever - no discussion needed)
bones_tv4:  Bones
Lots of dead people and often really gruesome bodies with lots of creepy crawlies and maggots (I hate maggots almost as much as cockroaches) but the Booth and Brennan banter provides some balance.  Chelsea loves the science and the human side of Bones and is fascinated by the characters. (season 3 is her favorite)
8 seasons, my guess is that we will skip and fast forward through most of them
5: Private Practice
220px-PrivatePractice_S1We love Greys  (still) , and liked Addison and Charlotte almost as much as Christina and Meredith. Private Practice seems a long time gone so we clearly need to revisit Seaside Wellness or whatever they ended up calling it. Charlotte (KaDee Strickland) needs to be back on TV in something - loved her when she was pregnant with the triplets.
5 1/2 seasons with some Greys crossovers including the "neuro cystopsychosis"   in Before and After (2009)
With McVet (O'Donnell) in one of the lead roles I guess we were predisposed to like this and by season 10, and the endless reruns on TV - it's on at least one channel every time you turn on TV here, now even I like the original  NCIS.  Genuinely surprised that this made this list, but they do have Hettie who we love...and they are very good and believable runners unlike other shows we could mention.
4 seasons will be hard going
So that's about 450 hours of TV.  At least 6 hours of viewing a day . We are definitely going to have to skip some episodes and fast forward thru the boring bits.
and we will need a lot of popcorn!
So what about you - what's on your summer watching list?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Vacation Hangover

Everyone experiences a vacation hangover.  
me relaxing in bed at Christmas

If you think I am making this up go on a vacation for four weeks and then come back to school for a full week and  have five day's of work and pain.

For me it is even harder because I have spent the previous four weeks in my bed relaxing, reading, sleeping and not going in my chaaaaaaaaaaiiiiirrrrrrr.

the chair nightmare is even worse
when they make adjustments or changes 
And now I am back in my chair for 10 hours every single day except for weekends.  Weekends are now the only slight chance of a holiday.  But unfortunately they now feel ridiculously stupid instead of happy and fun.

 I will seriously spend my entire weekend in my bedroom.

Hopefully in my bed, hopefully unconscious.

My wheelchair does not exist during a weekend and until it does.

Ta, Ta