Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Well, here it is! Finally, the family has added a dog to their clan....

He's a yellow lab--very lively, but also not wild. He'll run around with Ellen for a bit, and then contentedly settle down on the floor in the kitchen, watching the goings-on.

I was asked to take him out for a walk this evening, and he was so good!

{sigh} ... I want one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I can multitask when I have different windows open on one computer, one being a conversation, and the others being schoolwork.

I can multitask--to a lesser extent--when I am typing on the computer and conversing with others in the same room with me. (this applies well when taking notes in class, or doing projects with classmates)

I can multitask when listening to others on the phone while cleaning, driving, folding laundry, dressing, applying make-up, cooking, etc.

I cannot multitask worth beans when listening to others on the phone and trying to do school work on my computer.

Consequence: I woke up early to do a lot of my school work for today!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not doing work,...

There are so many uses for these school-issued computers...

My roommate, Sarah, passed by my room this evening.
"Oh, my gosh, Shannon. Look at that grin on your face!"
Next thing I knew, she came back and took a picture of me.

I'll give you one guess as to what I was doing.... **

**note: the above challenge is meant as a hypothetical question, and is not intended to elicit comments, speculations, or musings about any persons or places related to the above photo.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If it weren't Sunday, ...

...we would have known it was the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila.

I'm sure I've posted it before, but it's always worth hearing / reading / saying again:

"Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
Christ has no body on earth now but yours;
no hands but yours;
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes
through which the compassion of Christ
must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet
with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands
with which he is to bless his people."

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm so proud of him...

My little friend, Andrew, is a celebrity this week in his local paper.

Well, actually, he's a celebrity wherever he goes.... He tends to make friends with whomever crosses his path!

Here is just one example...
One afternoon a few weeks ago, Andrew and I took a trip to the library. His mom thought it would be a good idea to find some books on tape, and to couple them with the actual books so that Andrew could follow along. Since she could find neither Andrew's library card, nor her own, she asked if I would mind asking for new ones while we were there.

Andrew and I arrived at the library in the family's handicap-accessible van, and bee-lined it for the juvenile fiction section, using a ramp to the lower level. We successfully chose two books on tape that I thought would be appropriate for his reading level and that he thought he would like to read. We picked up the book and the tape for Mary Poppins, but just the tape for Charlotte's Web, since he told me he had the book at home. I told him he should browse the shelves for a few minutes while I went back upstairs to check the books out, since it would be boring for him to wait at the desk with me while the librarian re-issued two library cards.

The new-library-card-process took much longer than I thought it would. I started to worry that Andrew might wonder whether I'd forgotten about him...or that he might knock something over trying to maneuver his power wheelchair through a narrow aisle. Since Andrew is easily distracted in new places, I was even concerned that he might accidentally run into someone while intently perusing the shelves. The protective side of me was also anxious that he would encounter other children who would stare at him but not talk to him, or worse, say something degrading to him. I did not want to leave him alone for too long. (I should have known not to underestimate Andrew's suave and charm!)
Fortunately, the check-out desk at the library was on a balcony, so I could walk a few feet and glance down at him every once in a while. Hoping the librarian did not think I was rude or trying to rush her, I paced back and forth between the desk and the balcony's view several times during the course of the new-library-card-process.

Finally, I hurried down the stairs to the lower level, and met up with Andrew driving his chair out from between some of the bookshelves. Behind him was a boy of approximately his own age, carrying three books under his right arm, and one book in his left hand, which he offered to me.
"Here you go," the boy said, and Andrew continued for him, "I would also like to get this one out, please," (then turning his head to the boy who was now next to him), "Thank you for helping me."
"You're welcome," the boy said softly, as he turned to walk away.
"That was so nice of you; thank you," I commended the boy, impressed with his matter-of-fact attitude about coming to Andrew's aid.

Next on the agenda was homework.
"Andrew," I explained, "we can do your math homework here, but we need to find a table big enough for your chair." We both looked around doubtfully at all the low round tables scattered throughout the juvenile section.

"Excuse me, sir!" Andrew said out loud, before I realized there was another young boy approaching our spot in front of the shelves.
"Yes?" the boy looked at Andrew and then at me, a little doubtfully--a reaction, probably not only to Andrew's obvious physical disability, but also to Andrew's use of the word "sir" in addressing him!
"Could you tell me where we might find a table big enough for my chair, so that I can do my homework?" Andrew asked innocently.
The boy shifted his weight from one leg to the other, apparently thinking seriously about his answer. "Well," he responded with some authority, "you might be able to find some tables on the other side down here..." (at this point, it took too much energy for Andrew to keep his head up and turned in the boy's direction, so he slowly let his chin drop to his chest).
The boy then directed the rest of his answer to me: "If not, I guess he might be able to use one of the study tables upstairs."
"Thank you very much," Andrew graciously replied, lifting his head a little bit.
"You're welcome," the boy said amiably, and continued on.

I led Andrew over to the tables in the periodical section, where the boy had pointed, marveling at his social magnetism. These kids aren't cruel to him; he's so polite, so unassuming, so vulnerable.... Somehow, they sense the goodness in him.

And he becomes a celebrity.

I love Paris in the Springtime...

...But I love New England in the Fall!

The leaves are turning, and it's a crisp 53 degrees outside.

Late this morning, my Capstone II group (yes, I have another huge project this semester...) drove up to the community hospital we're working with, about 40 miles north of school. The Merritt Parkway was stunning, with firey red, orange and yellow leaves dancing their shadows across the road in the bright sunlight. I kicked myself for not bringing my camera. The further north we drove, the more lovely the foliage became.

Autumn is my favorite season anywhere; but it's just the prettiest up here in the Northeast. I am blessed to be able to enjoy it for another year.

(this picture is from last year, toward the end of the season, when many of the leaves were on the ground...I'll have to post some pictures from this year soon!)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Long weekends...

Unfortunately, the reason I get a long weekend right now is the same reason everyone else does: it's a bank holiday.
Which means, of course, that EVERYONE had the idea to turn a 5-hour drive down to Washington, D.C. into a 7-hour drive! However, seeing friends is always worth the trip. (once I finally arrive!)
I must admit, studying and working on my school projects is much more enjoyable when done by the side of Katie, my nursing student buddy! And even more enjoyable when done in a vibrant, wireless-enabled coffee shop in Virginia, where people-watching every ten minutes breaks up the monotony.
Not fun, though, to have to manually repair my wireless adapter on my computer; something is wrong, but I'm not savvy enough to be able to fix the root of the problem. I need to get that fixed on my return to school.
In other news, I will know my clinical internship placement by the beginning of November!

Prayers are appreciated!