Category: SPC 313

The challenge of 650

I’m at the age where tattoos and piercings are a popular way of expressing oneself. Some more than others.

I think having something permanently inked on your body for your entire life means that it should represent something powerful, something emblematic… It should be a symbolize a part of your character that no one else has.

Here is where I’m going with this.

I grew up in the same house my whole life (minus the few years I was with my mom). Just like every family, we have our problems and sometimes we go our separate ways for a while. When it all comes down to it, my dad and 3 sisters will always be there for each other.

With that being said, no matter what happens, all 5 of us always end up back in our original place- 650. It’s our address, and it means more to me than anything else. It’s my home. I spent my first night of life there. I ran around the hallways stomping my little feet and wrestled on the carpets with my sisters. I learned how to ride my bike on that driveway, and played catch in my front yard. We’ve built some killer snow forts, and created some awesome chalk drawings!

These are my sissies on our front yard of 650. Taken in 2008

Of course there were times of sorrow, but these are memories that only my family can relate to. No matter how hard I try to explain what it’s like to be a part of my family, no one could ever understand.

(Okay, Dad. Stop reading!)

I know you'll still love me! Kind of like that time when I got my nose pierced and pretended it wasn't real!

Which is why I want to get a tattoo that says 650. It is incredibly meaningful; enough to be permanently drawn onto my skin. It’s a beautiful symbol that represents my life better than anything else could. It illustrates the good, the bad, and the ohso-ugly. It explains who I am today better than I could ever describe.

I love my family! No matter what, we'll always wind up together.

And even though no one will ever be able to successfully comprehend what my life has been like, they will be able to understand that 650 is where I belong, with my family, at home. It’s where I am always welcome, and I always will be.




Always judge a story by its cover

Photos and graphics are important components of stories and news releases because they grab people’s attention and often explain things better than words. I can think of several pictures that tell stories of global events better than any journalist could. Think about the riots in Cairo, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Haiti.

I love checking out the GlobalPost for the best photos. They are truly worth a thousand words. Here are the 50 best photos of 2011:

50 Best Photos of 2011: GlobalPost

Some photos are quite graphic!


Notice how these photos are taken with a top-of-the-line digital camera to ensure maximum quality and resolution. Sure camera phones have released some newsworthy stories (i.e: plane crash on the Hudson), but these photos are much more than just informing the public. I can feel the pain, rejoice, and sorrow that the subjects are feeling in these remarkable photos.


A photo worth much more than "shelf life" this moving image is still used today.


In order to be a successful PR professional, one must have an outstanding sense of aesthetics, not just a knack for writing.


Okay people. Before you read further, you must watch this video. It’s called The Girl Effect and I really think you’ll like it.

The Girl Effect


What do you think?

I remember when I was 12. I started to really care about my hair and I got mad when my dad threw away my jeans with the rips in them (thanks, Dad. Always lookin’ out for your girl!). I started to think boys were cute, (EW. GROSS.) and I did what ever I could to look cool.

I’m sure many girls from my generation can relate to me, but there are a whopping 50 million girls that have such a distorted 12-year-old life that they couldn’t even fathom having a life like mine.

I tried to grow up as fast as possible when I was 12. These 50 million girls who are taken advantage of by that age have no choice but to let their self-worth drown into a downward spiral of complete and utter nothingness. They are convinced to have no purpose in life but to give up their body for possible HIV infected men only to support her family that she was not ready to have.

My amazing sister, Alena, is serving in the Peace Corps in Africa as we speak. She works with AIDS/HIV outreach and also created a program for young girls to feel empowered. It’s called Camp G.L.O.W (Girls Leading Our World. Isn’t that awesome?). I have some really cool sisters. You should be jealous.

There she is! Alena's host family gave her the name Lindelwa. In Zulu, it translates to "the one we've been waiting for."

Anyway, Alena has told me many stories about the sexism that exists in her village. I know this is real. This video is not exaggerating. Actually, I think it’s downplaying what is actually going on.

I am encouraging you to donate what you can to help spread The Girl Effect whether it’s empowering a young girl, teaching gender equality, or even giving money.

This does not only affect 12-year-old girls. This affects boys, moms, dads, villages, and countries.

Be the change- Get involved!


I recently read some stats from Monitoring the Future (MTF), which was released in 2010. MTF is an ongoing study that has been around since 1975. This most recent study surveyed 46,500 students from grades 8, 10, and 12. Further info is on

The results were pretty interesting. Of course marijuana use has increased among teens, but I am seeing some light in this. Here’s why.

For the first time since 1981, more 12 graders are smoking marijuana than cigarettes in the past month. (That’s more than 1 out of every 5 high school seniors).

Now I’m not condoning the use of marijuana, espeically in high school, but I know for a fact that marijuana has signifiantly less long-term side effects than cigarettes. Here’s just a few professional studies and scholarly journals to prove it ( in case you don’t believe me).

Researchers from UC San Francisco and the University of Alabama compared 20-year smokers to 20-year tokers and discovered that "moderate" marijuana users suffered little loss of air flow rate or lung volume (Romero 2011).

Now that that’s cleared up, I am humbled by the affects that marijuana has had on the tobacco industry. It is debated that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs, but when weighed between cigarettes I really don’t think the chances of death are as high.

Of course there is negativity associated with the results of this research. All I’m saying is at least we are improving.