Tag Archives: Tanya Franklin

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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The Summer Solstice: I’ve Longed For This Day

21 Jun

Sun And Clouds Wallpapers (1)Happy first day of summer! Here’s to sunny days, vacations, barbecues, etc. Though some view Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, there’s something extra special about the official start of summer. Did you know that the summer solstice is actually the longest day of the year and the shortest night? This is not, however,  just a day where you can count on it being light outside until around 9:00 pm. It is a major turning point because the days will begin to get shorter.

There’s something positive about “the light,” from the longest day of the year. It is basically the middle of the year and can be used as a time marker to reflect on our lives and  consider if we are headed on the course which we desire for 2014. As I look towards the light, I am very happy with my life but know there are so many ways that I can continue to improve it in the days and months to come. Yes, there may be dark days ahead (literally), but they will not prevent me from reaching my goals. I hope you have taken advantage of this long day and have been able to accomplish the goals that will light up your life even in the mist of potential darkness.

 

All the best,

 

Tanya

 

 

Ready to Break in the Summer!

17 May

I Love Summer Break!“No more pencils! No more books! No more teacher’s dirty looks!” Students chant this with excitement at the end of the semester, but they’re not the only ones excited for the summer break. Though many teachers still have about a month to go, most college semesters have ended or are drawing to a close. Some people scoff at the idea of teachers having a summer break and don’t believe they deserve a few months “off,” but most of us work really hard and put in an insurmountable amount of hours working tirelessly for our students to be successful in our courses, not to mention administrative duties.

What’s interesting, however, is that I am not looking forward to my break so that I can just relax all day and do nothing. I’m actually already thinking of ways that I can improve my lessons for the fall semester and putting together new course materials. There are so many home projects, writing projects and activities with my daughter I’m looking forward to doing.  Of course, I’m looking forward to vacationing, but I’m eager to accomplish the tasks on my checklist as well. I wonder if I’m the only one looking forward to all of the work I can get done during my summer break???

All the best,

Tanya

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

Reigning Rainy Days

29 Mar
(Courtesy of boomwallpaper.com)

(Courtesy of boomwallpaper.com)

“Rain, rain go away! Come again some other day!” A nursery rhyme I’ve sung on many occasions. Rain ruins plans for picnics, baseball games, outdoor weddings, etc. Rain can reign over our plans for the weekend like it is doing in the Philadelphia, PA area currently. But instead of focusing on how rain can put a damper on the weekend, let’s try to focus on the positive side of the rain.

  1. At least it’s rain and not more snow.
  2. Rain will help to wash away any remaining snow.
  3. It is great for those spring flowers that will be blossoming soon.
  4. Without rain, we just might have a water shortage.
  5. Rainy days make great indoor movie or game time with family or friends
  6. You get a free car wash.
  7. Rain gives us a chance to use that nice raincoat, umbrella or pair of galoshes we purchased.
  8. You’re never too old to run in the rain and splash in the puddles with that nice raincoat, umbrella or pair of galoshes.
  9. The rain allows you to have a greater appreciation for the sunshine.
  10. You just might see a rainbow once the rain has ended.

Are rainy days already reigning over your plans? Hopefully one of my reasons will help to make your day a little brighter in spite of the rain.

All the best,

Tanya

Is What You Perceive What You Believe?

8 Mar
Duck! Rabbit!

From Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld

Not long ago, I attended a workshop  where the presenter displayed a picture of what appeared to be a duck to some and a rabbit to others. Though he said there was no right or wrong answer, I still wonder why I saw the rabbit first? Today, I read a passage in my Taoism book about how there are no objective viewpoints because our perceptions always get in the way. This is very true because I’ve learned that my perception has the power to dictate the direction in which I am headed or not headed.

When I was a child and into early adulthood, I struggled with low self-esteem and simply felt isolated.  Often, I convinced myself that I was not good enough and allowed my own perceptions to control me and how I interacted with people.

Getting beyond my negative perceptions of myself, some of which sadly were perpetuated by others, was a major hurdle to overcome. Clearly, my perceptions impacted my actions and reactions. If I said I am overwhelmed, I felt overwhelmed. If I believed no one liked me, no one liked me. If I thought I would not achieve a goal, I would not achieve the goal, and if I did, then it was luck. A little over a decade ago, I became more cognizant of my thoughts and perceptions. Instead of looking at a situation and feeling defeated, I came up with motivational affirmations and focused on the positive aspects of my life and life in general to keep me moving forward. This is a practice I still employ today.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like if I figured out the power of believing what I perceived years ago. How many more achievements would I have? How many more lives could I have impacted in a positive way? Then I realize that I am missing the point and should just be in this moment enjoying all of the many blessings in my life.  No, my life is not “perfect,” but I am so grateful for the life I have. We all are given the opportunity to create our own perceptions, and I have chosen to perceive my life as wonderful. What do you believe about yours? Do you see the rabbit or the duck?

All the best,

Tanya

The Touch of Life After Death

1 Mar

touch-of-life-michelangeloHaving the occasional brush with death has caused me to have an even greater appreciation for life. But sometimes it is not the brush with death but learning about the life of another person after his or her death that encourages me to live life to the fullest and have a positive impact on others. Today, I attended the memorial service of my good friend’s mother who passed away from cancer. I never had the opportunity to meet her, but after attending such a lovely service, I could feel her spirit and came to know how wonderful she was within just a couple of hours.

Something that moved me was how consistent she was. Oftentimes, people are one way with their family and friends, another way in their romantic lives and a totally different way in their professional lives. This lovely woman was compassionate in all aspects of her life. Not just her family, but her friends and co-workers spoke so highly about her. The reverend who gave to eulogy used the word “authentic” to describe her and focused on how she was willing to help anyone in need.

Sometimes we may all get caught up in our daily lives, but it’s moments like these that really make me want to be a better person and to be even more conscientious about making my daily interactions with not just those people I know personally but people in general to be positive and meaningful. It’s amazing how someone’s death, a sad moment, can spark hope and compassion in the lives of the living. Dealing with the death of loved ones is never easy, but if and when you have to, I hope that you will be able to add something something positive to the lives of others.

All the best,

Tanya

Thanks “Snow” Much!

15 Feb

Quinn and Tanya Franklin in the SnowNot too long ago, I published a post entitled, “I’m for all seasons.” Needless to say, after several snow storms in the Philadelphia, PA region, I’m all for spring making its appearance with blossoming daffodils, birds chirping and temperatures calling for just a lightweight jacket. The reality is, however, that we still have a month and a half or more of possible snow and frigid temperatures. Instead of sharing my disdain for the aggravation and inconvenience this snow has caused, I’ll share a few tips I’ve learned as I focus on the beauty of this winter wonderland.

  1. When choosing to shovel a neighbor’s snow or anyone else’s snow, do it because you want to not because you expect it to be reciprocated or even expect the person to show gratitude in return. When you expect it to be reciprocated or for the person to be gracious, and he or she is not, this may lead to bitterness and tension. Who needs that when we are already dealing with the winter blues the “never ending snow” may be causing us?
  2. Instead of suffering from cabin fever or moaning and groaning about all of the snow, search for the kid within. Get out there and build a snowman or even a snow family if you have a lot of snow. Not only can it be a fun activity if you have children, but it can help clear some of the snow out of the way, especially if you live on a street where there is not much room to put the snow you shoveled.
  3. If you are cooped up in the house because of a snow day from school or work and it’s just too cold to go outside, use it as an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones or even to catch up on a task.
  4. Remain positive, and be even more willing to help those in need. Today, I went to visit my mother with my baby girl, and my car tires got stuck on a patch of snow mixed with ice as I attempted to get in a parking spot. As I used my emergency shovel to break up the ice around my tires, not one, but two people were kind enough to help. I truly did appreciate their kindness and will make sure to pass it on.
  5. Driving in the snow allows you to practice patience. A few weeks ago, I was driving home from my job during a snow storm. A commute that usually takes me around 45 minutes took a little over three hours. Yes, it was frustrating, but the experience allowed me to work on being more patient and to practice some of my Spanish Rosetta Stone audio lessons too.
  6. There are some people who may never get to experience the snow, so try to embrace the experience. Hating the snow is not going to make it go away, so try your best to focus on the positive.

Though many of us are longing for fun in the sun, remember, we learn and grow the most through adverse situations. What has the snow taught you?

All the best,

Tanya

The Dead Will Walk Again Tomorrow!

8 Feb
Dead Yourself Tanya Franklin

Me as a Walker

Carol was surprisingly banished, Hershel, the moral compass of the group, was mercilessly slain. The Governor got what has been coming to him for a long time! After a mind-blowing mid-season finale, my anticipation for the return of “The Walking Dead” is at an all-time high. The AMC premiere clip is a teaser that at best only reveals that Carl is still alive, and I just need to know how the group has been divided and who will and has survived. Tomorrow evening cannot come soon enough!

Best,

Tanya