Why I Mentor

I’m excited to have a repeat poster for this week’s summer showcase story.  You might remember Daryk from her “In your face, Lucy” post from last summer.

If, like me you find her posts to be both hysterically funny, and surprisingly poignant, you’ll also be happy to know you can now follow her on a semi-regular* basis over at her new blog, Mylifesweird.

being a mentor means having this much fun at the drive-in

I never thought of myself as a mentor and frankly, I think many of the lessons I have to offer today’s youth are a bit sketchy.  Sometimes though, you just meet a kid who is so awesome you think, OMG this kid had better succeed in life because wow, what a cool kid.

That’s what happened to me and is why I became a mentor.  I’ve been involved in a mentoring program for going on 2 years now and I must say, it has been a great experience and one I highly recommend for anyone who isn’t a pedophile, criminal, rapist, stalker, or otherwise creepy person.  If you, like me, are just kind of awesome and enjoy having an excuse to go out and do things, seriously, become a mentor. Continue reading

A Special Thanks to the Special Olympics

This week’s summer showcase post is from Erin Palmer, a writer and editor for Bisk Education.  Erin writes about topics such as online MPA programs. Students that earn their MPA degree can make a huge difference in the world through public service and nonprofit work. Erin can be reached on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.  Welcome, Erin!

My siblings mean everything to me. As one of seven kids, my siblings and I have a bond that goes far beyond simply coming from the same gene pool. We are each other’s support systems, guidance counselors and biggest cheerleaders.

My sister Kaitlin (on the left) and her friend Shelby

My youngest sister Kaitlin is the most joyful person I know. She has the unique ability to make me smile even in my darkest mood. She loves to draw, is a talented dancer and can make almost anyone laugh. She also happens to have Down syndrome.

When Kaitlin’s P.E. teacher encouraged her to participate in the Special Olympics, I thought it would be a fun way for her to spend the afternoon. I looked forward to cheering her on from the crowd. I had no idea how amazing the experience would be, not only for my sister, but for me as well. Continue reading

Art is for Everyone

This week’s summer showcase post is by  Abby Esparza, an art teacher who lives near Houston, TX.  I’m excited to share it with you first because Revelry Painting Parties sound like a great way to spend an afternoon, but perhaps more importantly, because her story illustrates how when you open yourself up to trying new things, you also hold the door open for the people around you to do the same.  

As an adult, it’s funny for me to remember how the years between being a freshman and graduating from high school seemed eternal.  In those four years I was “forced” to learn about all sorts of things from physical science to history to geometry.  I didn’t appreciate my free education at the time–in fact I sometimes complained about it.  I even took the classes I wasn’t forced to take for granted: cooking, photography, and, my favorite, art.

If you are anything like me, time has sped up a lot since high school and all of a sudden you look around to find yourself smack dab in the middle of adulthood.  As a result of this whirlwind of life, we lose track of those things we loved to do in our youth. For many art is one of the elements of our “past life” that it is hard to get back into as an adult. Continue reading

Making Time to Play (Board Games)

My board game collection

Some people display china in the dining room. We display board games

This post is part of the summer showcase.  To read the rest of the posts in the series, click here

I spent last week playing board games.

Ok, if you want to get technical about it I also played some Role-Playing games and walked from one end of the Greater Columbus Convention Center to the other, but mostly I played board games.

Unless you are also a hobby gamer, that may seem like a strange way for a grown woman without children to choose to spend her vacation.  But that’s only because I know something you don’t know:

There is a whole class of board games targeted toward adults and families that you won’t find at the local Wal-Mart.  These games bear little resemblance to games like Sorry, Chutes and Ladders or even Risk (ok, some of them are a little like Risk). Continue reading

5 People, 52 Weeks, 1 Converted School Bus

Summer is here which means it’s time for our summer showcase to begin!

Our first 2012 post comes from a group of recent college graduates touring the United States in a blue school bus*.  I met the author of this post, Gelb, on Twitter and am so honored he agreed to share his story with us.

Like many excited college graduates, around this time late last year I was being bombarded with questions about what was next. While some could point to new jobs, continuation of studies, or sometimes uncertainty, I was different. I was going to live on a converted school bus for a year and make films. Definitely a response that turns heads.

Five of us, all recent college grads, set off in January on a big blue school bus named Stanley. Continue reading