Category Archives: Current Events

Katie Kerl: You Don’t Have to Move on to Let Go


 

 

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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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You Don’t Have to Move on to Let Go

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Who would have thought I’d be quoting a Deadmau5/ Kaskade song at my age. Thirty five is slowly creeping up on me next month.

35.35?!?!  I’m supposed to have 2 kids, a husband, & the dog with the white picket fence right? 

Instead I’ll be celebrating my 35th at Miami music week. Yes, there are endless locations to pick for vacation. That’s just what I enjoy doing. It brings me inner peace.  Dancing my life away one week a year on my birthday, to some of the best house music you can find. Eating Cuban food and drinking Mojitoon the beach until my heart is content.  Sounds awful right? 

To some people that is actual torture. 

I’m sitting here a little high after a hot shower thinking, “What the fuck?” Taking the appropriate steps with someone in a relationship is what we dream about right? 

What happens when money and a dream of a different kind of life gets in the way? 

Believing in someone is one thing. Supporting their choices is another. Watching it change who they are is heartbreaking. Even if they don’t see it now, or do and will never admit it. Money with no meaning in is an empty feeling.

He said, “I wanted to give you everything.” I said, “All I wanted was you.”

In a world of fucked up dating, pretty vs. money, one would think finding someone who completely understands you would be ENOUGH

Think again. If you have to fight for the things you find important, and someone dismisses your concerns. It’s time to rip the bandage quickly. 

People do not change overnight ,or by accident. They change because something drastic happens. They change because they can’t go on living a lie. They change because the stressful world they live in has beaten them down. They change because life has become unmanageable. 

Finding yourself, and not letting go of who you are is just as important as chasing your dreams. I’ve mentioned it before; no one wants to feel dropped into someone else’s life and expected to act accordingly. Gold diggers want that. Not REAL women.

I never want to feel like I have to give up who I am , my hobbies , health , or views on family values for someone working themselves to death chasing money . 

Money won’t be there when you get sick, it’s not going to support you when you’re down, and it’s not going to make a home out of the house you live in. You’re supposed to grow as a couplelearn from each other,and accept problems as they arise,and address them together. 

If you are so busy taking care of everyone else around you that you forget to be good to yourself, of course you will feel mentally drained and used. A person’s presence will fill the room with joy, or it will suffocate you to the point you feel like you’re not going to make it up for air. 

Being single I feel completely free to be my ever weird self. If I let you in you’re special.  You’re adding to my happiness that took me so long to find. Once you start taking that away from me, I retreat and go back to doing exactly what makes me happy alone. 

Someone out there needed to hear this today. I know I did while typing it. I’m not quite sure if anyone is meant to be permanent in your life, or just come in and out to teach you lessons. 

To those who feel they cannot be alone. You truly become the person you are meant to be without any outside persuasion. If you’re stuck making that decision to stay or go, my grandmother always told me to list that person’s good and bad qualities, then make your decision based off that. 

Her system has yet to steer me wrong. I am going to continue to be myself. If I find that person to compliment my ever complicated life great! 

If not at least I am doing my best.

That’s more than enough for me. 

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Portrait of Katie Kerl by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Portrait of Katie Kerl by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology .Occupation : commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include  : Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos , & house music lover . Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateTo access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-love-the-one-youre-with/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, News, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Red

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Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

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RED

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You said you liked red.

So I started seeing it everywhere:

The fabric on my couches,

The scratches you made when my chest was bare.

You said you liked red.

I’ve always loved the drive behind passion,

The power behind anger,

And its symbolism in fashion.

You said you liked red.

And blood became alluring,

Cherries suddenly voluptuous,

All my feelings of black, you were curing.

You said you liked red.

I want to be red for you.

Red from acts of affection,

From what my cheeks can’t hide when I speak too.

You said you liked red.

And it had to find me like the melody of a song,

My fire, my crazy opinions, and my desires.

You knew I was red all along.

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a junior enrolled at Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here:http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mikala-mikrut-sense-of-place/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Affiliates, Art, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Film, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Racquel Ward: “Expo”

Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

“Expo” Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

Artwork and Text by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

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This series entitled “Expo ” represents the rapidly growing body positive movement, which in recent years has challenged mainstream representations of beauty. In the U.S. and other western countries, thin white bodies served as the cornerstone for standards of beauty that most women, including many white women, could not and do not live up to. It is now fashionable, especially on social media platforms, to embrace real curves, cellulite and the “authentic” self with hashtags such as #beautybeyondsize and #thickthighssavelives. 

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Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

“Expo”Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

In the same vein, these sketches do not serve as a symbol for women who achieve this look via plastic surgery – another branch of beauty where women want African features but have failed to make it look authentic.

The “Expo” series was sketched with pencil and colored with expo markers. The artist’s choice of materials shows that anyone can make art with anything just as anyone can be beautiful with exactly what they have.

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Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

“Expo” Artwork by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2019

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About The Author: Racquel Ward is a writer and educational therapist living in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Culture and Media studies and a BFA in Contemporary Music from the New School University – Manhattan, New York. Racquel also holds a Master’s of Science in Teaching. She has been published on ThoughtCatalog and most recently finished her first children’s book. To access additional articles by Racquel Ward, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/racquel-ward-poor-me-home-alone-and-nuttin-to-do/

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, Health Care, Models, Painting, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Science, Women

Jamie Hunter: Escuela Adelante – Nicaragua

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Text by Jamie Hunter, Copyright 2019

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ESCUELA ADELANTE

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Who are we?

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Escuela Adelante provides high quality, alternative education in Spanish and English to meet the diverse needs of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. We offer bilingual preschool, several levels of STEM-based ESL and bilingual coursework for elementary-aged students, and adult ESL classes. All of our programming is founded in our core concepts of Accessibility, Diversity, and Academic Excellence. We have been serving the community since 2014 and plan to expand to full-time bilingual primary and secondary school, including technical training, college preparation, and extracurricular academic courses. Escuela Adelante is a non-profit organization, registered as a 501c(3) in the United States.

Our Mission:

Our mission is to inspire learning and bring communities together by providing outstanding bilingual education that embraces and depends on socioeconomic, linguistic and cultural diversity. 

Our Vision:

We strive to cultivate generations of bilingual critical thinkers who are highly knowledgeable, technologically adept, individually inspired, kind and respectful towards others and towards the physical environment. We envision a thriving, dynamic campus where students can grow and explore. We embrace diversity, self-empowerment and cultural exchange as a means of maximizing education and nurturing healthy relationships between all people of San Juan del Sur and beyond.

Our Promise:

We promise a safe environment where each child can gain the skills for his or her unique path, whether that path leads to university, entrepreneurship, or other success. All students are treated with equal respect and love, regardless of race, gender, religion, socio-economic status, or other individual differences. We respect and embrace everyone’s native language and culture.

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Jamie Hunter teacher educator escuela adelante

Jamie Hunter

About The Instructor

Jaime Hunter, Co-Founder & Director of Operations 

Jaime is a language instructor with 13 years of teaching experience, ranging from Montessori preschool to the university level. She received her Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds Bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Temple University. Jaime previously served as the Director of Operations at the Barrio Planta Project in San Juan del Sur, and instructed at the Polytechnic University in Rivas, Nicaragua, as well as with the Biblioteca Movil and the Casa de la Mujer in San Juan del Sur. 

 

Also posted in Announcements, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, News, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Sense of Place

 

Poetry by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

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Sense of Place

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Las Vegas is my home,

I feel it when I roam.

It must be the drama in the air,

I swear it follows me everywhere.

Seeing that billboard of a provocative lady,

Every day since I was a baby.

Every birthday mom made me ice skate,

An activity of which I still very much hate.

Mom drank fruit water every day,

But complained of the seeds in her way.

For her birthday, I found the solution,

A bottle of glass to also reduce pollution.

She looked at me with disgust, husband laughing,

And said, “no. this can’t be happening.”

“I know you didn’t just get me a fucking bottle,”

Eleven year old me broke down, lost grip of the throttle.

Met the man I thought I’d marry,

Now I’m pretty sure he’s gay, actually very.

My second boyfriend lasted 5 days,

I didn’t like waking from his bed in a haze.

Watching that man get hit by a car,

His body flew so far.

Being forced out of my mother’s twice,

Yeah, that didn’t feel very nice.

My dad dealt weed,

And now the same men in prison are waiting to be freed.

When I visited home from college and thought I had a place to stay,

I discovered my room had been given away.

To a child, not of love, not of blood,

But a mere “friend” from a different neighborhood.

I lost my friend Ben, put a gun to his head,

Oh the things I would have told him had I known he’d be dead.

Then there was the time I got drunk with uncle Doug,

He tripped as he walked over the rug.

To get to me where I was laying,

I could see in his eyes,

He wasn’t playing.

Lucky me, I got away,

Little did I know, my sister in the next room had to pray.

That’s not the worst of it, though,

I swear my life is a dramatic Tv show.

Step sister, Ava, removed from my life,

So much uncertainty, how couldn’t it cause strife?

But, oh, my poor sweet mom,

Who had a perfect life until my bomb.

Her angel of a husband “seduced” by 12 year old me,

She hinted to kill myself so she could be free.

“I want to go home” she would say with a tear,

“Death is no longer something I fear.”

She claimed the best excuse would be if I was gone,

Making herself sound like some twisted her heroine.

All of these things happened in one town,

And yet I can’t think of a single reason to frown.

Why be sad about any of these things?

When I can be excited for what the future brings. 

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Editor’s Note: Photographs Courtesy Mikrut family archives.  Copyright 2019

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a sophomore enrolled at Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mikala-mikrut-the-best-way-to-speak-to-a-monster-is-from-a-distance/

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Documentary, Friends of TWS, Health Care, Models, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women