Wednesday, December 12, 2012

graf #20 Reaction to my own writing

I can't believe I actually have 45 things written on this blog! I have always been better at English and writing than math or science classes but I never enjoyed it. Writing was always something that I was made to do and I was never eager to get it started. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed taking this class, maybe it would have been different if it wasn't on-line but I'm not even going to look too much into that! I am proud of  all of the graf's and essay's I wrote, and even prouder that I felt that the writing came easy in most of the cases. I named my blog Jessica's writing journey before I even knew that all of this course consisted of writing. My name choice seemed prophetic and It certainly was a journey. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Process Essay

A few years ago my husband and I decided that we wanted to have an emergency kit in our home. Leaders in my religion have been asking us to try and prepare 72 hour kits to have in case of disaster, and it can never hurt to be prepared.  I know a lot of people who do have them already but we had never taken the time to make our own. There is a basic order of what should go into a disaster kit and then people decide what will or will not work for them, we decided to just take a section at a time. First we had to decide on whether to make my own kit or if we should just buy a pre-made kit. Then we had to think about what exactly we felt necessary to have in our kit.  Lastly, we had to figure out how much money we were willing and able to spend to make our kit.

The first step of this process was choosing whether to make our own 72 hour kit or to buy a already made packaged kit. I did a little on-line research and quickly realized that if we bought a pre-constructed kit that we would probably want to make some adjustments anyway just to accommodate to our family needs. Considering the price of the pre-made kits are significantly higher than what we wanted to pay it seemed a no brainer for us to prepare our own. This first step of was a easy one for us, we didn't have to do much research to realize that making our own kit was the choice for us.

 The second step was the true decision making part. We had to decide what we wanted in our kit. We came across a statement made by FEMA which reads like this   "The first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments may not be able to reach you immediately during a serious crisis. Each person should be prepared to be self-sufficient – able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones – for at least three days following a disaster." This statement really struck a chord with us and it was clear that we don't have any clue what we would need, use or want in a situation of disaster. We found a good web-site and decided on using these four categories: Food & Water, First Aid, Tools, Hygiene.

The third and final major step of planning how to make our 72 hour kit was figuring just how much money we were willing ( and able) to put into this. We had already decided that we weren't comfortable spending a ton of money when we chose to make our own kit. We decided to find a average price of the pre-made kits and make it our goal to come in under that amount by $100. We usually pride ourselves in being frugal but we felt like something as important as this needed a good chunk of money invested. Our final amount put in came in at $ 131 for a family of 5.

Choosing to make a 72 hour kit for our family was a easy one. We feel so much better knowing that we are as prepared as we can be in case of disaster. I know that this does not mean that we will be better off than any other person or persons if a disaster actually happens but it does give us peace of mind knowing that we did as much as we could ahead of time to prepare. Now a days there are so many zombie and apocalyptic movies, books and tv shows that you can kind of work yourself up into a nervous wreck. This was something that did take a chunk of our free time do initiate, research and actually conquer but in the end it was worth it because I feel a huge weight of my shoulders because of it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Timed division essay

Tweezers and I go a long way back. I have memories starting around age 5 of my mother standing at the bathroom mirror for what seemed like hours with a tweezer in her hand. I never really knew what she was doing for so long with them but at that young age it seemed important and hard work. Growing up without any major male influence meant that I pretty much never got that power tool, saw dusty building something from nothing  in the garage experiences that most kids get. I grew up watching my mother use tools that were a little more delicate, like sewing scissors, nail clippers and tweezers. 

I have had my own fair share of experiences with tweezers as well. One of my favorite uses for a tweezer is to remove splinters. I have a special pair of extra pointy tweezers that I reserve just for this purpose. Say what you want about tweezers being painful and damaging when it comes to removing a splinter, but I can guarantee you that when your way of "applying gentle pressure with two fingertips" hasn't worked for an hour you will be happy to let me try with my hand tool. I have fond memories of having my mother remove wood deck splinters from our summer beach house vacations and my children will never forget me digging in their heels to get that pesky one out. 

Tweezers are also extra special to me because I happened to inherit my mother's side of the families italian style eyebrows. I still cringe when I come across pictures of me as a little girl before I learned about tweezing your eyebrows. Not only are my eyebrows full and bushy but I also have what my kids call black hair ( it's really dark, dark brown). Now I know what my mom was doing most of the time in front of that bathroom mirror. Yes, I know I could wax them but who likes to take the easy road? Certainly not me.

I saved the best for last because my final and third favorite thing to use tweezers for are to remove foreign objects. I haven't had many cases of doing this but in the past few years I have had to remove a bee stinger from my sons foot, remove a small piece of glass from my own finger after picking up a broken glass, and try to take a sewing needle out of my husbands palm, this last one didn't work and we ended up bringing him to walk in care to have the professionals take care of it. I enjoy this the best because I can pretend I am doing some kind of important surgery, even for just a few minutes. 

As you can see, I have found plenty of useful ways to use my tweezers. I am lucky enough to have a very handy husband who has taken the time to show me my way around a tool box and that is much more than I had growing up but I'll always be there with my tweezers in hand when we need that special, delicate tool. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Effect Essay Rewrite

My parents got divorced when I was around the age of 8.  Following the divorce I don't think my dad and I spent more than 5 days together, I never needed, wanted or expected anything from him. That's until I turned 17, got my driver's license and wanted a car. This is when I decided to play the dad vs. mom game that all us children of divorce like to do. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to ask my dad for something, considering the fact that he pretty much missed everything of my childhood. I spent the next two weeks talking to my dad pretty much every day and somehow managed to swindle him into buying me a brand new Honda Civic. 

Well I got my car and life was great. I was happy as a clam to be driving around and I felt like I had done the smart thing by sweet talking my dad into buying it for me. However, looking back I know things were not as they seemed, the whole experience changed me. It had a lasting effect on my life because It was the first time I have ever pushed a little too far and manipulated someone into doing something for me. My innocence was gone and I was left with a cold, sorrowful heart because of what I had done in order to get that shiny new car I had wanted so badly. I know that innocence doesn't last too long in this day of age but it saddens me to think that the first person I "used" was my father.

 I feel like having my dad buy me the car and then leaving him emotionally high and dry was something that put a huge strain on our relationship. Granted, our relationship was never anything more than a birthday phone call and cards in the mail every once in a while, but I have the feeling that he had hope for us after all that time I spent talking to him. We have never been able to fix that estranged relationship and in my opinion it is even worse off than it ever was when I was in my youth.

To this day I still feel extreme guilt about the entire car situation. Not only do I feel bad about making my dad feel like he owed me something but I also feel guilty about how I treated him afterwards. I pretty much used him and forgot about him for a long time after. Even though I am proud to say that I have never done that to anyone else it is still something I am not proud of. There is nothing worse than feeling ashamed and unfortunately that is probably the biggest thing holding me back from communicating with my dad.

All in all this I have had to come to terms with what I did. Teenage years are really hard years to navigate and I hope that my parents both expected a little bit of bad decision making. In my book I have to just chalk this up to stupid, selfish, teenage behavior and call it a day. I'm sure that one of my three children will do something of the same sorts to me someday, and that will probably be the day that I truly forgive myself.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Process essay intro (Revised)

A few years ago my husband and I decided that we wanted to have an emergency kit in our home. Leaders in my religion have been asking us to try and prepare 72 hour kits to have in case of disaster, and it can never hurt to be prepared.  I know a lot of people who do have them already but we had never taken the time to make our own. There is a basic order of what should go into a disaster kit and then people decide what will or will not work for them, we decided to just take a section at a timeFirst we had to decide on whether to make my own kit or if we should just buy a pre-made kit. Then we had to think about what exactly we felt necessary to have in our kit.  Lastly, we had to figure out how much money we were willing and able to spend to make our kit. .

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Timed Effect Essay


                    Everybody has a road of life story. It's inevitable that we as human beings will be forced to make choices throughout our life. Hopefully we have been raised and taught well enough that we can see the right from the wrong and pick the appropriate one. It's my opinion that there is three ways to travel through your life, there is the simple choice of going with the flow, there is the exciting choice of traveling the low road and then there is the harder, sometimes lonely high road. I have never been one for a challenge but I have somehow been able to stick it out on the high road.
                   Always choosing the high road has had a huge effect on the amount of friends I have. I don't think I have to explain how hard it is to fit in at high school when you are a straight laced Mormon girl. Now that I am old enough to look back at those horrible 4 years of my life, I thank my lucky stars that I stood my ground when it came to drugs, drinking and parties. When your in high school you feel like that is going to be your life forever, you don't see a way out. I decided to choose the high road and make smart choices of who I hung out with ( however small that group was) and what "extracurricular" activities I participated in.
                   Becoming pregnant at 18 and un-married had a huge impact on my life. I obviously had veered of that high road I had been doing so well with. I was pressured by a lot of important people in my life to give up the baby and move on with my life. I had goals and was busy working towards accomplishing them when I hit a little pot hole on the road of life  and detoured off for a bit. I made the biggest choice of my life by deciding to keep the baby and get married, and this was a direct effect of my earlier choice to try and choose the high road at all times and in all places. I never regretted that decision, despite the negativity I received from my family members. 
                     Choosing to marry my husband after I found out I was pregnant could have been a huge mistake. I really don't know why I felt so confident to do so. I was being faced with lots of opposition from my family who all thought I was way to young to get married and that there was no possible way that our marriage would ever work out. Eight years later we are still together. It hasn't been all roses and buttercups but we have made it through. I choose to take the high road when I decided to get married. I knew it would be more work than just walking away and either raising the baby alone or giving him up for adoption. Marriage is hard, if someone tells you otherwise, they are lying. But we take it day by day, month by month and year by year.
                    The Roads of life are bumpy. They are filled with more pot holes, detours and curves than any of the roads I've encountered, and that's saying a lot since I live in the sticks of Maine.  I have been lucky enough to know the road I must take. I  know my ultimate destination and can only hope that I continue to choose the right route to take in order to arrive safely at the end. Everyone and anyone can successfully travel the roads of life. It helps to have a partner in crime though, even if it was a marriage set up for failure! ( He, He)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Example essay rewrite

               Its been said that patience is a virtue. I totally lack patience. I know I do and I am perfectly fine admitting it. Considering I have three kids, one would assume I have an abundance of patience, however it seems to be quite the opposite. I don't take it well when my kids have "childish" accidents, or make "silly" mistakes. I would say that with each child I had, I lost a bit of patience in the making. I also have a lack of patience with the day itself. That's right, I actually find myself looking at the clock quite often wondering why the day is ticking away so slowly. My lack of patience is also a annoyance to myself, I am a big believer in the fact that our time on earth is short so make the best of each day. If that is my philosophy then how can I possibly have a problem with patience?
                 I have three kids, ages 8,6 and 4. I love them dearly and with all my heart, but boy do they drive me crazy! I know that kids act there age and mine are all still young, so part of me wants to accept there wild and crazy behavior and take it with a smile. The other, more impatient part of me wants to have a remote control for them and be able to utilize all the buttons. I would use the mute and volume button for sure daily. I find that the thing that i love the most about my childrens play habits is also often the most hated. All three have a great sense of imagination and can play for hours on end with out much more than a cardboard box and a roll of tape. This can be a blessing on rainy days spent inside but its also inevitable that whenever we are on a time crunch and need to get out of the house, my kids will not budge from there fort of blankets or game of supermarket, i just don't have the patience for that! I was told as a child that kids are supposed to be seen and not heard, and as I mentioned before I am a only child, so I'm sure that most of my lack of patience with my kids stems back to that and the fact that I never had to deal with extra noise in my house. My lack of patience with my children is the one thing that I find myself consistently working on in my life on a daily basis. I wish more than anything that I would be able to interact with them on a better level and show more compassion and patience. 
                   I also have a lack of patience with the hours in the day.  You know that feeling you have when you are waiting for a special day to come and you jsut want those days previous to it to go as fast as they possibly can ? Welcome to my world because that's  pretty much how i feel all the time. Those 24 hours go as slow as a snail and I am desperate for them to go faster than they do. I know this is not the norm, actually it may be the exact opposite of most people ; who feel there isn't enough hours in the day.  I however, pack my day full of all the things I consider "on track" with my goals like taking classes at school, volunteering within the community, and my oh so never ending church related commitments. When  I am finished  I just want the day to be done, I don't have any patience for those extra hours of relaxation.
                My life hasn't turned out exactly how I had imagined it would, but lets face it, thats the way life is, right? When I was younger I had great, dramatic plans for my life after high school, I never imagined I would have gotten pregnant as a senior in high school. I put my plans on hold and have waited 8 years since my first child was born to pick up where I left off. When I was nothing more than a stay at home mom, I had  lost that intenseness for life, I could see this happening and was disturbed by it but too far gone into domestic bliss to do much of anything about it. Now that I am in college and all my kids are in school all day I have found that drive again. Along with this drive comes my impatience. I want my life in order now!  
                 I've always known that I want things when I want them and that life doesn't exactly work that way. I guess I would say its a good thing that I am overly optisimistic because if I wasn't then my life would be a constant disappointment. It's an understatement when I say that I lack patience, not only do I lack patience dealing with my family and in tsmy personal life, but I am so bad that I actually have no patience for life in general. I don't know what has made me this way and I don't know how exactly I should go about changing this but I do know that there has been and always will be 24 hours in a day and noisy children so I better just get used to it.