Tag Archives: Journey

Back From the Dead: Trapped with no room to escape

10 Aug
Room Escape Zombie Food

Room Escape (As a courtesy, I have blurred out the people whom I do not personally know)

My heart is pumping rapidly through my chest. With labored breathing, I scream out, “Don’t let him get me!” In  just thirty-eight minutes, I’ll be dead along with ten others. Now just seven minutes…two minutes…fourteen seconds…my demise is imminent! A zombie outwitted us in just 60 minutes, and though I died and was unable to escape, it was the most exhilarating time I’ve had in a while.

To celebrate my third year wedding anniversary with my husband, along with some other family members, I searched for something we would both enjoy and offer us togetherness as a team. Since we are eagerly awaiting the season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” which is exactly two months away,  I knew the Room Escape Adventures: Trapped in a Room With a Zombie would be perfect! I was lucky enough to reside near one of the twelve cities where this event takes place. If you’re looking for a fun activity that requires some mental acuity and live near by one of the cities, I strongly urge you to participate. From a sociological and psychological aspect, it was amazing to see how people, based upon gender and even age, took on certain roles. Most of the men became protectors and domineering problem solvers, while the women were more observant, noticed small clues and even distracted the zombie as some of the men attempted to figure out riddles to free us from the room. You don’t have to be an avid follower of “The Walking Dead” in order to get an adrenaline rush from being trapped in a room with a zombie, but it certainly does add to the intensity!

All the best,

 

Tanya

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What My Students Taught Me

10 May

The pastStack of Essays month has been filled with hectic office hours and a deluge of  research papers trying their best to overwhelm me. My ability to be stern yet empathetic has constantly been challenged by the plethora of excuses regarding late papers. Upon wanting to let out a deep sigh along with a grumble, I received a visit from a former student who was genuinely concerned when he heard I had broken a bone in my wrist recently. Though he did not earn an “A” in my course, he shared how he always  left my class feeling like he actually learned something.

He was the first of quite a few visits and emails within the past couple of weeks from former and current students offering praise and appreciation for my teaching skills. As much as I do look forward to the summer break, I sincerely do love teaching and being able to have a positive impact on my students. My students have taught me that even when it may not seem like I am getting through to them, I am. The end of the semester three ring circus is worth it for all of my students as they keep me rejuvenated and looking forward to the semesters to come.

All the best,

Tanya

Don’t Let the Little Things Break You

3 May

 

Tanya H. Franklin

Me Wearing One of the Many Cast Sleeves I Created

In life, things are not always as bad as they seem, but there are times when they are much worst. Not long ago, I posted an entry entitled, “Preparing for the Fall in the Winter” on how I sprained my wrist but did not allow it to get the best of me. A little over a month passed, and the pain was not subsiding. After having an MRI done, I found out that I actually broke a bone in the wrist of my dominant hand. This was a shock. As I mentally prepared for having to wear a cast, the doctor informed me that I had a scaphoid fracture through the proximal pole: an area that will not heal on its own. As a result, I had surgery done a few weeks ago where a 20 millimeter screw was put in my wrist along with having to wear a cast for a while.

Needless to say, this was upsetting. How could this little slip and fall and this little fracture cause me so much pain and aggravation? For a little while, I sulked and wondered why this happened to me and how I would be able to perform daily tasks, especially with a baby. But I did not stay in this place for long. Shortly after my surgery, I was watching a special on the Boston Marathon Bombing and how people were not only traumatized but lost limbs. Watching interviews of people remaining encouraged and determined put things into perspective for me. I decided that I was not going to allow this break to “break” me. So I’ve been making cast sleeves (which has been a lot of fun), drinking milk, eating healthy and being positive in my thoughts and actions. Some people say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I say, “When life gives you a broken bone and cast, rather than complain, get creative, have fun and decorate it.”

All the best,

Tanya

Avoiding the Potholes of Life

5 Apr

PotholesWaiting for the snow covered road to be plowed and cleared takes patience. Dealing with the plethora of potholes that follows the snow takes not only patience but skillful navigating and being circumspect. This year, in  the city of Philadelphia and nearby areas the potholes seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, they do serve a genuine purpose.

Potholes force us to slow down and pay close attention to our surroundings. Sometimes, we’re driving along, and the car in front of us may swerve to avoid a pot hole. Not paying attention and failing to do the same could result in a blown out tire or even an accident. Going the speed limit is fine, but potholes force us to use common sense. If there are a series of potholes, switching lanes or decelerating is necessary if you do not want to ruin your shocks. These potholes represent more than just a nuisance; they are an analogy for those moments in life when we need to be attentive or risk sustaining damage to different aspects of our lives. When we are speeding along, they slow us down and give that jolt we need to keep going on.

All the best,

Tanya

Split Second Decisions Hoping for Second Chances

22 Mar

Day-in-60-SecondsSingle moments can forever change our lives. Do you recall times of just wishing you could change the last few minutes leading up to that trivial decision? Just a few days ago, I received some disturbing news which made me think about how our split second decisions can impact the course of our lives.

A young woman and former student I mentored for two years was on the front page of a newspaper for allegedly shooting at the father of her one year old child while he was holding the baby. Neither of them were injured, yet this is a very serious crime. Of course, I do not know the circumstances  surrounding this event which could have ended far more tragically, but I do know that this decision which was acted out in a matter of seconds will forever change her life and the lives of those involved directly and indirectly.

Even though I was mainly her mentor while she was enrolled at the college, she was always respectful and sweet towards me, and stayed in contact after she left the college. What pushed her to this point? I wonder if there’s something more that I could have done to offer guidance or support. What if I took a few more seconds out of my day to reach out to her? Would her decision had been different? People get so busy with their lives, including me from time to time. As much as I make an effort to be there for others, there usually is someone who may be going through a difficult time, yet I was negligent in making the time to even be aware that they needed my support.

Sometimes, the decisions we make or choose not to make do not allow for second chances. It only takes a few seconds to change the course of not just our lives but the lives of others for better or for worst. Regardless of the outcome, I am hopeful that she will learn and grow in a positive way from this experience and will not allow her split second decision to dictate the course of the rest of her life.

All the best,

Tanya

Driving Me Away!

15 Mar

Tanya Harris aka AnonomzMost of us are excited when we purchase a new car or even a used car. We make sure it’s always polished and clean inside and out. The maintenance is done without delay, and we’re overly conscientious making sure there are no scratches or dings on its exterior. The car takes care of us, and we take care of it. As time goes by, however, regular wear and tear occurs, and no matter how much effort we put into maintaining our vehicles, problems, some unforeseen and some imminent, drive a wedge between us and the car we once loved.

I’ve had my present vehicle for a little over eight years and am grateful for all of the many places it’s allowed me to go. It took me on my interview at the college where I now work six years ago. It took me to the hospital to give birth to my daughter almost a year ago. Without it, I would have missed some of the best moments of my life. For a good while, I’ve been driving without a car note which has been wonderful. Unfortunately, within the past year, my car has had one problem after another causing me to put  a substantial amount of money into it as though I’m paying a car note. Lately, I’ve begun to question if it is worth it and if I am better off getting a new vehicle.

The more I deliberate over this decision, the more I connect it to relationships. Most start off where everything is wonderful, just like a smooth ride. We’re happy, do what we need to do to maintain those relationships, yet regular wear and tear occurs. This is typically where some of us are ready to “trade in” the relationship while others are willing to invest a little more time since the relationship has had good moments. Then there are instances where some major problems occur that require much more than basic maintenance.  Some problems may be so costly that they’re not even be worth fixing. Nevertheless, we hold onto some relationships for longer than we should because of the wonderful moments we had in the past,  they are convenient, we’ve invested a lot of time or even money or we are just hesitant to start new ones. Of course, people are not cars and have more value, but I do wonder how many of us keep relationships going when so many issues in them are driving us away. I know I’m guilty of doing this. Are you?

All the best,

Tanya

Preparing for the Fall in the Winter

22 Feb

slipThere’s a longing for the spring as flowers die and leaves wither from trees. The anticipation for the summer builds as frigid temperatures freeze us to the core and pure white snow morphs into muddy slush, reflecting the depression some experience after days of cabin fever and darkness by 4 pm. If this is not enough, as much as we may try, we cannot always prepare for the fall in the winter. Too many of us take part in the dance where we flail our arms about with our feet slipping and sliding atop of ice patches that seem to randomly appear during our daily journeys.

This past Wednesday, I did a quick two step and took a dip that left me with a sprained wrist.  As I type this post primarily with my left hand, the less dominant one, I wonder how many more others are nursing their winter injuries that range from minor bumps and bruises to broken bones and even concussions. More importantly, as difficult as it may be, I hope those people are not allowing those injuries from the falls to take away their optimism. Put on a happy face; sunnier and warmer days are ahead. That’s my motto!

All the best,

Tanya

The DIY (Destination is Yours)

25 Jan
Home Show 2014: Ahmed Hassan, baby Quinn and Tanya Franklin

Home Show 2014: Ahmed Hassan, baby Quinn and Me

Last week, I went to the Philadelphia Home Show excited to attend  Ahmed Hassan’s presentation. He’s the former host of the hit show  from  the DIY Network, “Yard Crashers,” so I had a few questions about my yard and secretly hoped to be granted a free botanical masterpiece. Though no yard makeovers were given, he offered the audience something else, something special.

Ahmed  passionately and candidly discussed what roads he took to get to where he is today.  I found it to be quite admirable of him to disclose not only his triumphs but struggles with us prior to answering questions about landscaping or the excitement that comes with being a TV host. Listening to him made me feel like I am on the right path.  Many people get so caught up in where they are in life, yet they may not know or even consider what it took to get there.

Even in knowing where we would like to end up, it’s tricky because some maps are still being drawn out as we carry out our journeys; there are hills, valleys and terrain yet to be discovered.  As we come across them, we will eventually realize how they helped us get a littler closer to where we want to be, which is absolutely wonderful to me.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson profoundly stated, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Thanks Ahmed for reaffirming this for me.

All the best,

Tanya

I’m All for Seasons!

11 Jan

Tanya ActingThis was one crazy week of winter weather with a high of 8 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday to a high of 61 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday with the occasional snow, sleet, freezing rain or rain shower throughout the week. While some people complained about the cold and longed for warmer weather, others complained about the rain and unseasonably warm weather today.

For me, this weather is an excellent analogy of life’s experiences. Who doesn’t want the weather and seasons to be predictable? Who doesn’t become upset when the meteorologist gets it wrong? This is understandable, but there is something to learn from this erratic weather we’re having. It helps prepare us for the seasons of life: how quickly something can go from cold to hot or from what seems like never-ending rain to sunshine.

As much as I would love to live in a place where it’s always sunny and never cold, the four seasons have taught me so much, especially when spring makes and appearance in the winter.

All the best,

Tanya

The Journey Continues with Baby Steps

4 Jan

Quinn Stages 1 - 8One of my goals for the new year was to start a second blog dedicated to my journey as a new mommy.  There truly is so much to learn in so little time, but sharing my thoughts always helps me through the learning process.   Maybe they will help someone else as well. Baby Quinn has been my muse as she constantly grows and reaches milestones within a blink of an eye. I am extremely excited about my blog, “Mommy’s Baby Steps” and hope that you will occasionally stop by to check it out. Though I will still be composing posts about my journey of finding me on this blog, I am eager to provide  DIY projects, ways I’ve been saving money as a new mom, the many dilemmas I face, what I’m learning and the adventures of baby Quinn and me.

All the best,

Tanya