Wednesday, December 12, 2007

part 2.......almost forgot

The one that I really enjoyed was the practice final. It came so easily to me I didn’t have to sit and think of what I was going to write next because I never stopped. It is fun to write about something you truly know or understand it makes it a whole lot easier.

The one I didn’t like or that I had a hard time with was essay #5. I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn’t find the right words to express it. I struggled with that one for awhile. Even when I was doing the redo I still couldn’t make it sound right so by far this one was a struggle.

essay #11

What you learned

I learned that I enjoyed taking this class even tough I am not a strong writer. I also learned sometimes I try to over think a topic when I should just start writing when something comes to mind.

Whether the course surprised you in any way

It did surprise me I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me. It also surprised me that for the most part we got to write about topics that really interested us that makes it more interesting.

Whether what you learned was worth your time and money

It was definitely worth my time. I am very happy I started out with this class and had you as a teacher because I am just starting to get into the groove of school again so it can be pretty challenging at first. I didn’t feel stupid even when you would ask me to redo an essay because you were very nice about the whole thing. You would think that all the teachers would be this way but unfortunately not all are.

What was good in the course?

Making me have to use my brain again. Again I enjoyed the class overall but I did enjoy the prompts. It was fun to write them and fun to read others. One of the prompts would make me think of something but make someone else think of something totally different so it was interesting to read.

Things I should change


Things that should stay the same

The way you are as a teacher I really do mean that you were very helpful. Thank you so much.

Any miscellaneous advice or suggestions

I just wanted to say thanks for putting up with my writing I know it is a little rough around the edges but I like to think it got smoother as the class went on. Maybe I will have you in another class. Thanks again.

Monday, December 10, 2007

essay#5 redo

To me there is nothing better then being a mother. I have always known I wanted to have at least three children. I think I wanted a bigger family because I am an only child. Parenting is a lot of fun but it can also be very challenging. I know for me I just want to be the best mom I can, it is stressful sometimes but it is worth all the hard work. I try to keep three basic “rules” in mind when I face the day, a flexible schedule, to play and listen to my children, and not to sweat the small stuff.

We don’t follow a strict schedule by any means but I try to have somewhat of a structure. Come 7:30 we are out the door to bring Keaton to school we drop him off at school and will be back to pick him up at 2:00. We get back home and we play some dress up. Marnie has to put on her favorite pink skirt and pink top along with her crown and wand, she is a true princess. Piper is on the floor for some tummy time so one of these days she will get her cute little dimply legs moving. After awhile Marnie decides she is hungry so we go look for a snack. She usually digs through the basket of fruit and pulls out an apple which needs to be peeled but not cut. When she is finished we decide to make dessert because Piper is down for her morning nap. This is one of Marnies favorite parts of the day because she loves to lick the spoon! We are just finishing up and I can hear Piper awake playing in her crib. I go get her and we come back out and decide to color a picture. Piper sits on the floor next to us grabbing the pages of the coloring books and she acts like it is the best toy ever. Marnie starts to rub her eyes and wants to watch TV. on the couch. I turn on a cartoon while she lays there rubbing her ducky blanket. Piper and I continue to play on the floor with some of her toys; I look over and notice Marnie has fallen asleep. I remember I have laundry to fold so I bring Piper in the bedroom and fold clothes while she is playing peek a boo with all the clean clothes. I start getting hungry so I go out and make a sandwich and get some food for Piper. We sit down and have our lunch before Marnie because she is still sound asleep on the couch. When we are all done Marnie is awake and asks for some lunch. She sits down and has her lunch. When we are all finished eating we play some more dress up and cook some food in her play kitchen. We finish playing it is 1:30 so we start to get ready so we can get Keaton. We get there at 1:45 and wait for him to come out. We see Keaton coming out of the big blue doors. We drive home and he is hungry as soon as he gets home so he asks for some peanut butter and crackers. I make him some crackers and he watches cartoons on TV. Piper goes down for a nap. Keaton is done eating so he plays with one of his many cars he has on his car mat. I start to make dinner while Marnie runs back and forth between helping me and playing with Keaton. Dinner is usually on the table around and 5:30. We all sit down to have our dinner. When we are all finished Keaton takes a shower and Marnie and Piper jump in the bath. They get out and stand in front of the fireplace so they stay nice and warm. They get their pajamas on, brush their teeth and find a book to read. We read a book altogether in Keaton’s room. When we are finished I turn their nightlights on and head down the hall, they are in bed at 7:30. I finish picking the house up and then get on the computer to do my class work. That is the basic schedule I try to follow ever day I as long as we have the eating and sleeping on somewhat of a time schedule we can switch up the rest of the day.

During our day my children want me to play with them or watch them play or make a funny face. I find that if I get down and really play with them it makes it more pleasurable for everyone. Most of the day my kids are saying “Mommy watch this”, “Mommy listen to me”, “Mommy come play with me; they just want my attention. I don’t get much time to play with Keaton since he is in school all day but as soon as he gets home we all play together. We sit down and have a snack and then we play cars or play Candy Land (his favorite game). While we are playing we talk about what happened at school that day; sometimes it is like pulling teeth but other days he can’t spit it out fast enough. During the day Marnie likes to play a lot of girly things because when Keaton is home she plays cars with him. She loves it when I play dress up with her or make a pizza in her pretend oven. As long as Marnie is involved with the activities she feels very special and we have a good time together. At this point Piper just wants anyone around her so she can laugh at them. We all love to tickle her because she gets her loud belly laugh going and she can’t stop. She enjoys sitting on her play mat and watching her brother and sister play. We all will get down on the floor with her and talk to her for awhile and show her new toys and she thinks that is the best. I have learned that if I keep my kids involved with the activities of the day it goes much smoother. I love that they want to be around me I would be lost if they weren’t at my feet all the time. I know there will come a day when they don’t want me around all the time so I am going to eat it up while I can.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I am looking at my sliding glass door and I count 5 handprints on my window. I feel blessed to have the handprints all over my windows. I know there will be a day that I wish I saw those tiny little handprints shining in the sun. Every time I open up my favorite cookbook I see all my little drawings in it from my kids. I remember when Keaton first made a mark in the book while I was cooking; my first reaction was to say no don’t do that but then I said why not? It wasn’t going to hurt any thing and I would always have his drawings in there. Now when I open my cookbook I smile ever time I see the scribbles so I encourage Marnie to draw in it like her big brother did. I do have a lot to do during the day between laundry, cooking, cleaning and school but I wanted all of that. As much as I complain sometimes I truly do love it. What would I do if I didn’t have anyone to take care of, I would be lost. Life is too short to complain all the time and before you know it your children will be all grown up so I treasure all the little messes they leave behind. (Notice I did say little)

Raising children can be very difficult and challenging but the good always outweighs the bad. I have always wanted to be a mother and watching my children growing up is so rewarded. The three “rules” I try to follow everyday helps the flow of the day be a more relaxed one. I still have a lot more to learn as my journey in parenting continues but as long as I make each day a happy one I feel like I have accomplished something.

Essay #5 redo


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Practice final

Why I love my dog Vienna

Seven years ago my husband and I went to Bucksport to look at some mini dachshunds. When we got to the house there were five little puppies. We knew we wanted to get a little girl and there were two to choose from. I picked up one of them and she was the size of my hand. She fit perfectly in my palm. I looked into her big brown eyes and melted, I wanted her and then she gave me a little kiss on the cheek and it sealed the deal for me. There are many reason why I love my little dog Vienna but the three things I look forward to everyday is her greeting me at the door when I get home, still loving to play like she was a new puppy and curling up with me at night.

When I pull into the driveway I know my little girl is waiting in there ready to jump all over me and give me kisses. I get out of my car and I hear her whining in excitement because she knows that I am home. I open the door and there she is sitting on the rug in front of the door. She is wagging her tail so fast that her entire body shakes in excitement. I kneel down to talk to her, I pick her up and she starts in with the little kisses. I don’t mind her slimy tongue on my cheek because it is so small I don’t get slobber all over me. Coming home to that is so rewarding I couldn’t imagine walking into a house without a four legged creature to greet me at the door (well in her case it is a three legged creature)

Vienna will constantly want me to play with her. She has lots of babies around the house. Some of the babies she gets she will chew up as soon as she gets them just to get the squeaker out. She will usually pick one toy not to hurt and she will protect it like it is her baby. She gets very upset when someone touches her special toy and will whine if anyone squeaks it as soon as she gets it back she takes it right over to her bed. She loves to have you throw her toys for her she would do it all day if you would let her. Her favorite toy to chase is her tennis ball which doesn’t have much of the yellow fuzz on the outside because she chewed most of it off. Vienna doesn’t just love her toys to play with she also loves playing in the pool and outside in the snow. She will jump in the small kiddy pool with the kids and bark until one of them splashes water at her so she can try to bite it. This will go on until I finally have to take her out and then she will lay down on the deck and sunbath in the hot sun. Then when it turns into winter she can’t run out the door fast enough to dive into the big snow banks. She will wait for you to throw a snowball at her so again she can grab it with her mouth. She eventually gets to cold and will come in and curl up on a blanket in front of the fireplace.

When she was just a new puppy she would lay across my neck and fall asleep. Now come bedtime I carry her into the bedroom. I plop her on the bed and she climbs underneath the blankets as soon as she can. I get into bed to snuggle up next to her and she will follow me where ever I turn. If I am lying on my side she will cuddle up between my legs and stomach she fits perfectly, if I am laying on my back she lays out straight right next to my side with her nose buried under my arm. My husband doesn’t love it as much as I do having her in bed since she lays right between us but I just can’t say no to her.

I could go on forever listing all the things I love about Vienna she is very special to me. Some people may find it weird how much she means to me but she is part of our family. I couldn’t imagine my family without her; she is one of my babies. Something would be missing if I didn’t hear that whine as soon as I got home, or if there was no one there to catch that tennis ball, and if I didn’t feel that warm little furry creature lying next to me at night.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


There are many different obstacles people face in their lives. One of the challenges I have had to deal with is having a father who is an alcoholic. I feel helpless when it comes to my father and his drinking. I want to fix it but I know I can’t he has to want to stop for himself. Drinking is such a destructive disease I don’t understand why you would start in the first place. The only way I can explain it is alcoholism is like fire, it destroys what ever is in its path with out ever looking back.

A fire has no concern for what is in its path much like an alcoholic when they are drunk off their liquor. My father has done many things when he was drunk that normally he wouldn’t have done if he didn’t have a drink. The way fire craves oxygen to burn my father craves alcohol so he can survive. That sounds crazy but my father truly believes that he needs the alcoholic so he can function. My father continues to drink his bottle of vodka just like adding fuel to the fire. He has been selfish most of his life always looking out for number one, himself. When he has had enough in his job or just everyday life he will up and leave and go on a mini vacation so he will feel better. He doesn’t even think about what my mom is going through back home trying to pay the bill and make ends meet all on her own. When he finally decides to come home he acts like nothing ever happened.

A fire doesn’t just destroy what is in path it has affects on it surroundings as well. The fire changes the chemical makeup of objects when it burns them. In this way alcoholism affects more then just the immediate family it affects the whole family and friendships. The chemical change that happens to my father and the family do to the alcohol is unreal. There are so many different ways my family deals with the alcohol, my grandparents just ignore it like it isn’t even there, my mom puts her two cents in here and there but it is easier if she just doesn’t say a word and me I confront the issues on many occasions. I can’t really say which one works the best because none of them seem to work. My father also goes through a change when he has been drinking he isn’t himself his personality changes completely. My father is normally soft spoken and willing to help you out when ever you need something but if he has had a drink he is cruel and wouldn’t dream about moving from his chair to help someone.

The only way to stop a fire is to smother it so it is no longer fueled by anything. Alcoholism is the same in the sense that there must be a way to smother the need for a drink. It isn’t easy it’s almost helpless, it continues to want more. It will continue to stick around until there is nothing left. We have tried so many different strategies to try and help my father. When he is ready if he ever is he will stop on his own. Sometimes the same thing happens to fire; no matter what you try to put it out with it continues to burn until nothing is left.

Fire is a very powerful force and some are easier to put out then others. Naturally you try anything to stop the fire from spreading and destroying everything. Sometimes it takes a lot to put a fire out; many people and a lot of equipment and other times it only takes one. I’m not sure how to put this fire out that is burning in my father I feel I have done everything I know to do now it is all up to one person to put it out, that person would be my father.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

example essay

I am going on my third time around for college. I have had some crazy experiences with school. It was difficult to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up because there have been many professions that interested me and when I finally thought I figured it out something went wrong. I finally realized if I waited until I grew up to go to college I would never make it.

I went to college directly out of high school for dental assisting. I wanted to get into the hygiene program but it was completely full so I thought I would go for assisting and continue on after that. I really enjoyed my classes and was doing really well except for my biology class. I struggled in biology, I always have. My advisor said that I needed to get that grade up or I wouldn’t be able to go to the hygiene program. I continued to try but I kept struggling and manage to get a D in the class and a B in the lab. All my dental programs I received A’s and B’s and was really happy with my grades overall. I thought my advisor would notice that I did really well in my dental so I could also do well in the hygiene program. Well, I was wrong when I showed her my grades she said to me that I wasn’t smart enough for the hygiene program and I just wouldn’t cut it. I was devastated of course because I was all set and ready to move on and at that moment I knew I had no chance. My mother went in and talked to my advisor and she said the same thing to my mom and my mom had a few things to say to her. I was so upset with everything that I said forget this I am not going to waste my money on dental assisting if it isn’t even what I wanted to be. Be young and dramatic I just quit and decided to take time off. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t try to prove my advisor wrong and keep going and trying to get in but I didn’t want to find out I wasted my time. I gave up school for awhile and worked at a bank until my next opportunity came along.

My next bright idea was to go to school for medical transcription. I wanted to make some good money fast so I didn’t do my research on the school I chose, that was a big mistake. I chose this school because it was less then a year and you could become a transcription and make decent money. I figured I would go to school for the next few months and then find a job being a transcriptionist at home. I had it all planned out and it seemed like it was going to work out just fine. The school was great at first, we had one teacher teaching us the whole time and she was wonderful she had a lot of knowledge on transcribing. A month goes by and she all of a sudden doesn’t come back to class so we had a substitute who knew nothing about transcription she was just reading from a book. We had her for a few weeks and then we switched teachers again and boy was she was a little off her rocker. It was the strangest situation she would yell at students about the silliest things she made one student cry and leave the room. When the student came back she brought the head of the program down to our classroom to talk to the teacher about what just happened. Instead of going someplace private to discuss the matter they stood in front of the class and yelled back and forth. The student said this is very unprofessional and she demanded her money back. I don’t know why I didn’t do the same, what was I thinking? No wait I know what I was thinking I was thinking Melody you are not going to drop out of this school like the first time so if you can make it through the next few months you will have a great paying job at home. It never turned out the way I planned; instead I walked away with nothing. I knew the next time I went to school it would be the last time.

It has taken me awhile to come to the conclusion I would be going back to college. I have been working with children with autism for eight years now and enjoy every minute of it. This job is what really pushed me in the direction of pursuing education that is how I ended up here. I have been taking classes here and there for about two years now and just recently applied. I have taken mostly education class and found them very interesting. This time is different I am very motivated and passionate about my major so I am here for the long haul.

Looking back on my experiences with school I know I wasn’t ready. Sometimes I wish I was ready back then because it would be much easier when I was first out of high school. I didn’t have a house, bills to worry about a husband or three kids but I am grateful for the opportunity now. I am not only doing this for me but I am doing it for my family. And don’t they say third times a charm?

Friday, November 16, 2007

I-SEARCH 1st draft


Melody Tracy

ENG 101-95


November, 16, 2007





What I know


What I learned

The future


I chose my topic on hula dancing and how to better connect with hula because I have a hard time showing emotion during my dancing. My teacher tells me all the time that I am a wonderful dancer but I need to show more emotion. While I am dancing my face shows that I am concentrating on the dance and the moves not the meaning behind the dances. With hula you really need to tell a story to your audience with your movements. I wanted to find out more about the history so hopefully it would help me connect more to the dances.


I was involved in dance when I was younger but I didn’t keep up with it because none of my friends were taking class and I didn’t want to be the only one. I did go to gymnastics for a few years and that was probably my favorite and the one I stuck with the longest. I eventually stopped going so I could play sports in school. The last time I took any kind of dance lessons was Jazz and that was when I was in high school. I didn’t enjoy going because we didn’t learn dances it was more just the different steps. I know in order to learn dances you have to know the steps but I got bored quickly and needed something more to keep me interested. After a few months of learning jazz steps I decided not to go any longer. I have always wanted to go back to dancing since it’s something I love to do but I could never find the time or money to go.

Every time I would go into get my hair done my hairdresser would talk about a hula class she was taking. She said it was a lot of fun and they learned different dances so they could perform for people. She had been taking lessons for a few months and really enjoyed it. The more and more I heard her talk about it the more I was interested and thought I should give it a try. She said that the hula group was going to perform at her birthday party so I should go and check it out. I couldn’t make it to her party but my mother ended up going and telling me all about it. She said they had on beautiful outfits for each dance they performed. There was only about 5 ladies dancing and then about 4 little girls.

I finally called the teacher; Marybeth to see when I could come by. She said she has classes on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday so any day would be fine. She holds her classes at her house which I learned was only five minutes away from mine. A friend and I decided to go a week later and try it out. I wanted a time where I could do something for myself and I figured this would be a great opportunity. I have three wonderful kids and a husband at home but sometimes it is nice to do something for your self. I thought this was perfect since the class wasn’t very much money and it wasn’t that far away both of those are important to me since I didn’t want to take away from my family. I figured I deserved a little time away.


Some people can automatically put emotion behind anything they do on the other hand have a hard time doing that. Some of the woman I dance with you can see on their faces all the emotion they put into it. I wish I knew how they do that. You can look in some of their eyes and just see that they are into the song and all the meaning that is behind it. My issue is that my dancing is passable but to an expert I am cold. My face and body motion during the dances doesn’t show anything. I am to busy trying to think of what comes next that I can’t think of anything else.

What I know

I know that I love to dance but I lack the knowledge to tell a story with my dancing since I don’t know a lot about the meaning of hula. I know that my teacher says that I a beautiful dancer and I learn quickly but I need to get into the music. I’m not sure why hula started I think it had something to do with wanting to tell a story through dancing and performing. During the dances you hear a lot of chanting in the songs I believe it’s letting the audience know what the dance is about. I don’t know what they are saying all the time so it is hard for me to connect with the different dances. It is hard to show the audience the story when I don’t know the whole story a lot of the time. When you are performing you change your outfits according to the song you are doing. For a slow hula dance you usually wear a long dress and for most of the other dances you wear a long full skirt and a top that looks kind of like a tube top but it isn’t fitted.

In hula you have to stay very low basically squatting most of the time you’re dancing, so your legs need to be strong. I think that by doing squats at home that would help with my endurance when it comes to this. Your upper body has to be very still the hard thing about hula is that you have to only move your lower body. Your movements have to be very controlled the entire song. There are many different levels in hula this means your levels vary from standing up straight to sitting on the floor. I don’t have issues with learning the dances because I can continue to practice until I get it right. I guess practice makes perfect.


Most of my research was done on the internet by looking up the background of hula. I found a lot of websites about Hawaii and hula and for the most part they all said pretty much the same thing. They all talked about how Hula is the sprit of Hawaii. I got most of my information from two websites Aloha Magazine and Indian Child. They had very similar information but I found them both extremely helpful.

Both websites said that hula is a rich tradition of Hawaii. When hula first started it was viewed as a sacred ritual but it slowly became a form of entertainment. Mele is what is known as poetic text. There are a lot of legends about hula and one of them says that hula originated when the goddess of fire commanded her younger sister to dance. The website also talked about another legend that says her younger sister danced to appease her sister. I found out that most of the hula that is danced today is for pure entertainment but they used to use it as a form of prayer. Overtime the significance of the dances was lost. When the missionaries saw hula they outlawed it as a pagan practice but people still performed it in secret so the art wouldn’t be lost. When the king Kalakaua was elected he was very fun loving and loved to celebrate so during his time as king is when hula started to be the symbol of Hawaii. He said that “hula is the language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”

During the dances we have to do a lot with our arms and hands. I wanted to find out more on the gestures we make during the dances and the meaning behind them. I found out that those gestures carry the most meaning. The movements can represent any part of nature or life; plants, trees, war, wind, fire or water. The hand movements and body language don’t tell the whole story they highlight the important elements.

Another question I had was what does all the chanting mean during the music? When we are dancing we have to chant at the beginning and end of some of the songs. The chanting is called mele which means the poetry of hula. The chants can be a prayer, about chiefs, love songs or songs on praising the land. The different chants in the song can help me is classify the dances.

When doing my research I learned that we use a lot of the traditional instruments. Marybeth has many instruments in her studio but I have personally only used three they are called `uli`uli (feather decorated gourd rattle,) `ili`ili (water worn stone pebbles played like castanets) and the kala`au (sticks). I enjoy using the instruments it does make a little harder since you have another thing to think about but it makes the dance that much more interesting for the audience.

The last thing I was trying to find were excercises I could do to help me become stronger physically as a dancer. I kept hitting dead ends the internet kept directing me to workout videos for hula. Then I asked my teacher and she said as long as you are practicing hula three times a day your legs will become stronger. She said the more you practice the better dancer you will become overall.

I tried to think of another way to help me connect with the dances other then learning about the history so that is when I decided to ask some of the girls I dance with. A few of them said it was a release of stress for them. Dancing helped them forget about ever day stresses. One woman in particular does a wonderful job showing emotion on her face and really telling the story behind the dances. I asked her how she can show so much emotion. She told me that her daughter was very passionate about dance and that she had past away so every time she dances she felt like she was connecting with her. She also said that she has been doing all types of dance for a long time now and it really takes practice seeing as you are learning so much all at once. She told me to free my mind of everything and really listen to the songs and hold onto that feeling and go with it. The more you dance the more you will feel free to lose yourself in the music.

What I learned

I have learned that now I know the history behind hula I am even more fascinated with the art of the dance. I have always wanted to talk to my teacher about the dance but she is always so busy so I never wanted to bother her. I always said I would find out more on my on time but could never find the time to do so. So when I was asked to do and I-Search this topic came to mind.

Even though I really wanted to do this topic it was hard to make it personal. I know that anyone can look up the information that I have in my paper but I truly wanted to know the history behind hula. I felt like it would benefit my dancing and hopefully help me become a better dancer. After finding all this information on how hula started I feel more confident in why people dance hula and that it is more then just a beautiful dance, it is a story.

The Future

I am going to continue dancing hopefully for a very long time. I now have more knowledge on Hawaii and Hula so I feel more confident in my dances. From now on when I go into class I am going to just let lose myself and really try to become what the song is talking about.

I am also going to have my teacher really explain the song and what it is talking about because I think that will really help me tell the story. I am typically pretty quiet in class and tend to go with the flow but from now on I am going to ask more questions so hopefully I will continue to learn more about hula and how I can become a more expressive dancer.


“Aloha Magazine.” Google.15 October 2007

I used this website a lot I found this one the most helpful when it came to finding out the background. It also talks about the chanting and some of the implements they use. It talks about the different ways hula can be done and the many instruments that are used.

“Hawaiian Language.” Google.15 October 2007

On this website there was a page with Hawaiian songs on them with the English translation. I’m not sure this will help me with my songs but if I could see if my teacher could translate the words and copy them that might help. I did end up finding this website very helpful because a lot of the words on here weren’t ones that I hear Marybeth saying

Hartley, Bonnie. Personal Interview 10 November 2007

Bonnie has been dancing most of her life but she really went full force after her daughter passed away. She enjoys dancing since her daughter loved it she feels close to her daughter when she dances.

“iefit.” Google.15 Ocober2007

I was looking for excercises to help with hula and it brought up many websites showing videos to buy. This one that I chose actually shows a number of videos showing you the basic hula moves along with strengthening your body.

“Indian child.” Google.13 October 2007

Another good website even though it doesn’t offer a lot information the information it does offer is very meaningful.

Palmer, Kristy. Personal Interview 6 November 2007

Kristy started hula about 2 years ago and continues to go one day a week. She finds it to be a very nice stress relief from everyday life.

Tracy, Jess. Personal Interview 10 November 2007

Jess has only been dancing for 6 months but enjoys it very much. She wanted a really good workout and thinks hula is a perfect fit for her.

Friday, November 9, 2007

classification essay revise

My stomach is in knots, my hands are covering my face just enough so that I can still peak out through them. I ask my husband over and over again what is happening because I want to know so bad but sometimes I can’t watch That is how it is when I am watching a horror movie. I enjoy a really entertaining movie but horror movies are still right there at the top. My husband is the one that got me into horror movies and he even has them broken into categories, gore fest, creature feature and slasher.

When my husband and I want to watch a movie that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking we pick up what we call a gore fest. When we watch these movies it brings us back to when we first started dating. We would be in his apartment in college with a couple of his roommates ripping apart the movie. What makes up the category of gore fest is any movie that is lacking any really talent but has plenty of blood. These movies are usually so unbelievable it makes them funny rather then scary and they don’t care about the plot they just try to squeeze in as much gross stuff as possible. On those cold Farmington nights, we would hit the local movie gallery and grab five or six of the worst looking movies from the shelf. The movies have usually been placed at the cheapest possible rent price because hardly anyone touches them. We had so much fun taking turns tearing apart everything from horrible acting to awful special effects. Although these movies were completely ridiculous, every once in a while you’d fine one that was actually pretty decent. I think that’s why we rented so many because of the possibility of actually finding one of the hidden gems. We don’t watch these movies all that often anymore but if we want a movie that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking then we will pick one up.

The next category is creature feature, any movie that has some creature doing the harassing. Again my husband got me into watching Jaws so now every time it is on T.V. we have to watch it. I could sit and watch that movie a hundred times even though I know what is coming next. Another good one is Ghost in the Darkness. This movie is about two lions that are after the people in Tsavo, Africa. They end up hunting people for fun, not just for food; it’s great! Both Jaws and Ghost in the Darkness are suspenseful and actually very well made, which makes it easier to watch them over and over. There are plenty more of these style movies like the Relic, Mimic, Aliens, Predator and Jeepers Creepers. The basic idea of these movies is that a group of people enter the habitat of the creature and try desperately to kill it or escape. In the meantime, the majority of the unknown actors get killed off. One of the reasons I enjoy watching the Creature Feature is that sometimes it can be believable, especially if it is based on real animals. Any movie that has a creature of some sort whether it is an animal or an alien would fall under this category.

The last category is a slasher which is my favorite. This one is the one where I have to hide my eyes through most of the movie. They are the most terrifying to me because most of the time it could really happen, as scary as that sounds. Scream is the best slasher movie. When that movie first came out there was no other movie quite like it. When I watched it I would jump at all the parts that you were supposed to jump at. I find that during these movies I am hollering at some girl to turn around, don’t go up the stairs, or run! Unfortunately, after Scream there were so many movies that tried to do the same thing. Some of those movies did a good job with a suspenseful plot, not a lot of gore and intense scenes, but there were a ton that ended up falling into the Gore Fest category. Personally I like to watch the movies that jump and keep me wondering what is going to come next not the ones that turn my stomach the whole time I am watching.

As much as I still love horror movies I have noticed they are getting harder for me to watch. After having children I am a little more sensitive towards them. I catch myself not only covering my eyes more but plugging my ears. I have to wonder what is the purpose of watching a movie if you’re hiding most of the time? Still, every time a preview for the next big horror movie comes on I find myself wanting to go to the theater to see it. That is the way to experience a scary movie with the room pitch black and the surround sound so loud it is almost unbearable. For me the way to tell if it was a really good horror movie is if you screamed out loud anytime during the movie since it takes a lot for me to do so. And yes it has happened to me, but only once.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

essay #6

My grandfather opened up a hotdog stand about fifteen years ago it had always been a dream of his. He always wanted to have a little hot dog and ice cream place similar to the one where he grew up. I worked there the second year it was open until it closed seven years ago. Who knew working at Hot Diggity Dog would lead to finding my future husband, getting married, and having children.

I used to work six days a week for my grandfather every summer at Hot Diggity Dog. It was a fun place to work and very fast paced so you were always busy. A few years after I started a boy named Bill was hired as one of the cooks. There was a lot of talk around that he thought I was cute and he wanted to ask me out on a date but I already had a boyfriend. I would look at Bill and think there is no way I would ever go out with him he was not my type. He was 6 feet 5 inches tall and I was 5 feet 2 inches on a good day. He was tall, blonde hair, blue eyes not the usual darker featured boy I typically was attracted too. The more we worked together the more I started to like him. He was actually really nice and more mature then a lot of the other guys I had dated. Then my family started to say “ Oh Melody just go out on one date with him, he is such a nice boy” I had just broken it off with my boyfriend which needless to say was not a very good relationship so I didn’t want to jump into anything right off. I decided to go out on a date with him which was really just the two of us driving around talking. We started going out more often and found out we had a lot of the same interest and values. We remained friends for awhile but would keep in touch when he was off at college. When summer rolled around again that meant we would see each other all the time since we would be working together. After that second summer of spending so much time together we knew we were going to be together.

He proposed to me as soon as I got out of high school it was during the summer at Schoodic. He likes to tell everyone that when he asked me to marry him my response was “sure” but I don’t remember it like that at all. He would always make fun of me for saying “sure” whenever he would ask me to do something so I think he likes tell everyone I said “sure” just so he can make fun of me and get a good laugh. We waited to get married after he was out of college so July 3 1999 we were married. We both love the summer and three is my favorite number (I don’t really know why it just always been my favorite number) so that is why we chose that date. It was in the mid nineties that day and the church had no air condition, I’m not sure what we were thinking. I few of our relatives wore Hot Diggity Dog shirts to the wedding, which was very appropriate. The day was exactly the way I pictured it (even tough I am sure a few guest would have appreciated it a little cooler.) The day was still perfect to us we were just very excited to begin our new life together.

Shortly after we got married we started talking about children. We both new we wanted kids so a year into our marriage we decided to start trying. It took us a few years but in 2002 we had or son it was the happiest and scariest moment of our lives. We had been waiting for this little baby for what seemed like eternity and finally there he was with his big blue eyes staring back at us. It took some time getting used to our new roles as parents but we finally understood what we were supposed to do. We started talking about number two shortly after Keaton was born and in 2005 we had Marnie. We couldn’t have been happier to have to healthy children. Before we started having kids we talked about three children but after we had two we seemed content. Every once in awhile I would find myself longing for another one but Bill was just fine with the two children we had. I kept going back and forth on whether or not to have another child but I knew I really wanted to have two more feet running around the house. So we said oh what the heck what is one more? We had our third child this year and it was the best decision we could have made. I knew I always wanted three and I always felt like something or someone was missing before we had Piper. I don’t have that feeling anymore I know we are complete we are a well rounded family of five.

I can’t believe all that has happened over the past fifteen years it doesn’t seem possible. Hot Diggity Dog was a dream of my grandfathers looking back I never would have imagined it would have made all my dreams come true as well. Hot Diggity Dog closed before my children were born; I wish they could have seen it since that is where the whole Tracy clan began.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

essay #5

I finally found out how to survive the day with three young children. It took a little getting used to adding the third child into the mix but as long as I keep in mind three basic “rules” it makes each day a good day. I feel there are certain elements that help me get through the day as long as I follow them. One thing I try to keep in mind is a flexible routine. I feel children need that in their life. The next thing I have learned is to listen they just want someone to hear them. Then the last is to laugh when I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs. Laughing helps the situation a little more then yelling would.

I don’t follow a strict schedule by any means but I do try to have some kind of routine for the day. I have never been one of those moms who check the clock to see if it is time for the kids to have a nap or see if it is time to eat again. We do have nap time around the same time and eat around the same time each day it just doesn’t have to be exact. Each day I try to have different activities planned in my head just incase my kids think they are bored. I have an art project, cooking or even going outside and playing on the swing set. As long as I have a back up there won’t be any meltdowns.

Most of the day my kids say, “Mommy watch this”, “Mommy listen to me”, “Mommy come play with me". So for the most part I try to sit down and play with them and listen as much as possible. I’m not saying I don’t have those days where I don’t take a moment to play but I find those days more difficult. Now that Keaton is older he likes to play by himself but every once in awhile he will want me to play cars with him after school. So we will get out some of his hot wheels and drive them along is mat on the floor. For the most part he just wants me to listen to him tell jokes or for him to tell me a story about his day. Marnie is two so she is still wants my attention all the time. We will play house together or dress up but if that is not enough I will have her help me around the house so I can get things done also. She loves to help me do laundry, cook, even clean she is a great helper and as long as I keep her involved she’s happy. Right now at this point Piper doesn’t care who is giving her attention as long as someone is. She enjoys sitting on her play mat and watching her brother and sister play. We all will get down on the floor with her and talk to her for awhile and show her new toys and she thinks that is the best. I try to keep my kids involved with the activities of the day because it makes it so much smoother.

There have been many times I thought I would lose my cool and I have many times lost it many times but it doesn’t get me anywhere. When I don’t think I can handle one more whine or one more argument I just laugh. It always makes me feel much better and it helps me so I don’t lose my cool. All of my kids seem to always need something at the exact same time so if I’m not doing it as fast as they think I should I just laugh even it is just to myself it helps me to relax. Laughing is one of the best medicines you can give to anyone so I try to make my children laugh so they also will feel better.

Raising children can be very difficult and challenging at times but the good always outweighs the bad. The three “rules” I try to follow everyday help me to stay sane and help my kids be more relaxed. I still have a lot more to learn as my journey in parenting continues but as long as I make each day a happy one I feel like I accomplished something.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

process essay

Every night come 7:15 we start our nighttime routine. I can always tell when it is getting close to bed time; Keaton starts to whine a little more, Marnie starts to instigate her big brother and Piper wants to cuddle close. Basically the same three steps have to happen every night before we all drift off into our own wonderful dreams.

Marnie is trying to get her skinny little legs into her pajamas faster then her brother. She already has her shirt on but it has the tag sticking right up into her face because she always puts it on backwards. Keaton is either jumping around or making funny faces at his littlest sister Piper, he hasn’t even started to get his pajamas on yet. Meanwhile Marnie is still trying to get her feet in the right holes and finally she does it but yet again they are on backwards. She stands there all proud of herself with her hands on her hips and says with her squeaky little voice “I beat you Keaton”. Then of course Keaton turns around and says annoyed “Mom I didn’t know we were getting our pajamas on” I had only asked him three times prior to get his pajamas on but he was too busy sticking his tongue out at Piper. During this whole process I managed to change Pipers diaper and get her into clean pajamas. We are all dressed in our PJs and ready to brush our teeth.

As they are running down the hall they are hollering it is my turn tonight, no it’s my turn. We take turns every night on who gets to go first so we don’t have a huge melt down. Keaton hops up on the stool and sees himself in the mirror so again begins to make faces at himself. I am trying to brush his teeth while he is trying to stick is tongue out of his mouth as far as possible. I ask him to please stop making faces so I can brush his teeth. He listens and stops making faces only to begin to tell me exactly what went on at school today. All day I have tried to get him to tell me what he did in school and it is like pulling teeth I only get a few little details. So he figures the best time to tell me is when I have a toothbrush shoved in his mouth. Next it is Marnies turn she doesn’t even want me to hold her toothbrush she has to do it all on her own. I have to constantly tell her to spit because she loves to eat the toothpaste. She moves her princess toothbrush over the front of her teeth about 5o times never touching her side teeth. I pry the toothbrush from her hands and finish the sides of her teeth. She finishes up with a big glass of water that she swishes in that petite mouth of hers and spits back into the sink over and over again until it is all gone. We are all set in the bathroom now it’s time to pick out books.

We go to Keaton’s room and they each get to pick out a book. Keaton usually picks a poem book from Shel Silverstein. It doesn’t matter which one we rotate between them all. Marnie isn’t into the poems yet so she gets a book that has the sounds on the side…fun! We all jump on the bed with Piper in tow. Keaton is on the left side of me Piper is in my lap and Marnie on the right side and I couldn’t forget about our two dogs at my feet. We read the noise book first these are the books that show you the picture next to the words and every time you see it you push that button. Let me tell you Marnie does not miss a button we have to push it every single time. Piper is gets all excited over the pictures so she tries to grab the book and chew on it while Keaton is upset because he can’t see. Then we move on to the poems. Keaton sits very quietly with a big smile on his face because finally he gets to hear what he wants to hear. Piper isn’t as interest since it isn’t making noise and there aren’t any bright colors so she starts to play with her feet. Marnie listens to a few poems but that is as long as she can stay focused so she starts to bounce on the bed. Keaton gets upset and asks her to please stop he is trying to listen to the poems, she acts like she hears nothing and continues to bounce. I manage to get her to sit still by giving her another book to look at while I finish with two more poems for Keaton. Finally, it is time to go to sleep.

We are all done with our books and it is sleepy time. I tuck Keaton in first which has to be exactly the way he wants it with is pillow above his head, his car pillow on the right side of him and the blankets pulled over his face. I give him a big hug and kiss, turn on his nightlight and head into Marnies room. Marnie has to have her nightlight on, her fairy light on and her hello kitty light plugged in and we can’t forget her Mr. doo duck. I don’t know how the yellow blanket with the duck head on it ever got that name but that is what she calls him. I give her a hug and kiss and close her door. Then when they are in bed I get to tuck Piper into bed which is so easy I lay her on her back in the crib cover her legs with a blanket, give her a kiss and turn her mobile on and she is out like a light. All those steps and we still get to bed no later then 7:45 pretty good I must say. I wouldn’t change the bedtime routine with my kids for anything.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

graf #10

It is nice knowing I can turn on the computer and jump online if I ever have a question about something. The things I research are items I may want to purchase or toys for my kids, and which are the best products out there for your money. Another thing I research a lot is autism since I work with children with autism it is very fascinating and there is always something new out there. It is amazing all the information you can find now. When my children get sick I like to know that I can type in the symptoms and usually find something online. Even though it is nice to do the research on your own sometimes it can bring you to a totally different conclusion then what it really is. There is so much out there now so I do think it is really important to research as much as you can so you don’t draw a conclusion to fast. As far as school stuff I am new to really researching for school since I am just starting this new phase in my life so it should be interesting.

Friday, October 19, 2007

annotated source list

“Alternative Hawaii.” Google. 13 October 2007

This had a lot of information on the culture. It also helped me to see that it is a sacred ritual so the dancers need to really become fwhat the music is talking about wether it bee a flower or an animal.

“Indian child.” Google.13 October 2007

Another good website even though it doesn’t offer a lot information the information it does offer is very meaningful.

“Aloha Magazine.” Google.15 October 2007

This website talks about the chanting and some of the implements they use. It talks about the different ways hula can be done and the many instruments that are used.

“Hawaiian Language.” Google.15 October 2007

On this website there was a page with Hawaiian songs on them with the English translation. I’m not sure this will help me with my songs but if I could see if my teacher could translate the words and copy them that might help.

“iefit.” Google.15 Ocober2007

I was looking for excercises to help with hula and it brought up many websites showing videos to buy. This one that I chose actually shows a number of videos showing you the basic hula moves along with strengthening your body.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

contrast essay 2

A lot of people say that birth order has a lot to do with their personality. I’m not sure it does, I only know that I have three amazing children and each one is unique in their own way. Keaton is 5, Marnie is 2 and Piper is 6 months. They all have very different personalities but you can really see it in the older two since Piper is still growing into hers. The differences between Keaton and Marnie are countless but there is a few that stick out in my mind more then others. Keaton is a very caring little boy always willing to please others. Marnie is also caring but she is in it for herself. Keaton is cautious with things he doesn’t know where Marnie dives right in. Keaton loves to wrestle and play hard, Marnie is content to sit and play dolls or dress up

Keaton is more cautious in certain situations. When at school or playing sports he usually asks the teacher or coach what he should do next, it is like he is afraid to make a mistake. The soccer coach will tell all the kids to go to the second field so most of the kids start running over while Keaton stands back and waits to see what the coach is going to do. I wish he dared to go out on a limb every once in awhile. Marnie dives in with both feet no matter what it is. She is most likely the first one in her gymnastics class to try one of the new jumps on the trampoline or the new way to hang on the bars. She isn’t afraid at all; in fact sometimes I wish she was a little more cautious.

Keaton is the first child so he had our attention all to himself until his sister came along. We used to do everything for him from picking up his toys to brushing his teeth so now it is harder to get him motivated to do things all on his own. He is always taking his time, I often hear “but mom can’t you do it?” He will get dressed and brush his teeth by himself but that is after countless times of saying “Keaton hurry up we are going to be late, let’s go!” Marnie on the other hand is very independent. We didn’t pick up after her as much or brush her teeth for her since we had two to tend to. She learned very fast to do it on her own and realized she liked this independence. She wants to do everything on her own she always says “No mom I can do it” and she usually can. She is always the first one to get dressed and to brush her teeth without any complaints.

Keaton is a very thoughtful little boy he is constantly thinking of others feeling. He will draw a picture to cheer anyone in his family up if they aren’t feeling good that day or just because. The picture is usually of a rainbow and the sun or the person’s house with their car in the driveway. Whenever it is someone’s birthday he wants to call them up so he can sing happy birthday to them. Marnie is also thoughtful only in a different way. She is a big helper if I need anything she is the girl to ask. She always wants to help out and to please that way. If Piper has lost a toy she is the first one to find it or if I am baking something she wants to help me make it. She is my little mother hen.

It is amazing to watch your children grow into their own person. I look at them and they are so similar in many ways but yet so different. It has been the two of them for awhile but now that Keaton is in school they are staring to branch off from each other amore and more. Keaton is bringing is friends home and playing with cars or playing rough just doing boy things. For the longest time Marnie wanted to do anything her big brother did but since Keaton has started school she has learned to make her own decisions instead of having her big brother do it for her. Instead of playing with cars she will go over to her dress up and dance around in her ballerina outfit. It’s neat to see her actually picking up toys to play with and doing something she enjoys something girly. I can’t wait to see what Piper has to add to the mix when she gets a little older.