Category Archives: News

Katie Kerl: Picking up the Pieces

Digital Montage of Katie Kerl by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Digital Montage of Katie Kerl by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

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Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Picking up the Pieces

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Nothing heals a broken heart better then love and support from your
parents and friends. I’m very lucky and have the most down to earth
parental units out there. I have mentioned that a few times in past
articles, but this time my mother and father really outdid themselves.
 
Break ups are never easy. Getting your belongings back, half moving back into your place that you were using for storage, feeling drained, and endless explaining to people about what happened. After all of that, I do have a certain peace of mind knowing I made the right decision for my own happiness.
 
Now, previously I would have went out and tried to busy
myself serial dating, drinking, and not truly recovering. I did download all of the dating apps out of pure anger, but this time I couldn’t bring myself to meet anyone off of it.  It’s not a productive use of my time, or going to make me less angry . I got through my work day, did some yoga, and meal planned. That was about all I had the
energy for the last month.
 
So what changed? My ever praying mother came and helped me. My
father is my personality type and more of my best friend. He has always
listened to me over coffee, or glass of bourbon. Reiterating I do not
need a man to be happy, or take care of me. He said that was his job even in my
thirties. I’m forever grateful for everything he has done for me. I now
realize as an adult I could never have had it both ways with my parents.
Someone had to be the voice of reason and tell me no. My mother was
that parent.
 
She recently turned 60, and we had a really fun weekend celebrating. I
gave her a birthstone ring.  I also wrote down 60 reasons she is the best
mother, and put it in a pretty wooden box. I realized I never told her all
of those things I appreciate now growing up. Now she can hold onto that forever. 
 
I let her know I was struggling going through all my stuff at home, and
didn’t have the space for it all. She came for the weekend to help me. In four days she pulled everything out of the closets, kitchen cabinets, and storage.
She helped me create new spaces for all the stuff I had accumulated. I was floored, Marie Kondo has nothing on my mother. She turned my pantry into a shoe cabinet , and a piece of my entertainment unit for my bags. 
 
She also just listened to me with no judgment. I made dinner the one night , took her to my favorite brunch spot in my area called Morning Glory Diner,
we walked the Italian market , and did some vintage shopping here in
Philadelphia . I couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend. I feel like a
complete human being again, and at home in my own place.
 
She will always be there to help pick up the pieces. Life does not get
any easier in your thirties; you will still need your mother. No one can get through life alone. She has never given up on me even in my most unlovable moments.
 
She really does not get why I like to go to Miami for my birthday, but
always goes shopping with me for it.  She gets  music sets me free, just like
getting tattooed does. My parents only want the best for me and that’s happiness. 
 
I hope everyone finds theirs as well.
 
– Kerl up with Kate
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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://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-you-dont-have-to-move-on-to-let-go/
 
Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, Popular Culture, Science, Women

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, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, Popular Culture, Travel, 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, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, Women

Rongrong Liu: Light

 

Video and Text by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2019

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LIGHT

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This video art project is all about light. I started thinking of using light as my main subject when I saw the disco ball installation recently at the Institute of Contemporary Art. What’s most interesting about it is that what I am able to see with my eyes is different from what the camera lens can see, which is iridescent.

There isn’t a strict plan for this piece. Starting from the first clip, each clip is what I associated in my mind with the previous one. The blurry night traffic scene ⇒ the micro bokeh light ⇒ disco ball ⇒ glass light ⇒ underwater light ⇒ projector light ⇒ smoke. After this clip are my interactions with the light, playing with the shadow and the time lapse of traffic. Light is everywhere, and it is different depending on the way we look at it (from a macroscopic or a microscopic view), how close we are, how focused we are, etc..

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Portrait of Rongrong Liu by Alexis Masino. Copyright 2019

Portrait of Rongrong Liu by Alexis Masino. Copyright 2019

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About The Author: Rongrong Liu is a Senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019. To access additional articles by Rongrong Liu, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/rongrong-liu-me/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Light Table, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, Women

Bob Shell: Fighting Monsters

Artwork by Christopher Suciu. Copyright 2019

 

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #33

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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FIGHTING MONSTERS

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Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”.

I’ve been fighting a monster known as The Commonwealth of Virginia since my life was disrupted in 2003 by false criminal charges after the death of my girlfriend Marion Franklin. Have I succeeded in not becoming a monster myself? I hope so.

When you’re charged with a crime by a state, that state devotes all of its vast resources to insuring that you are convicted. Unless you are wealthy, it’s a very uneven match, and you must be prepared to lose everything, even if you win the case. Lawyers, court reporters, expert witnesses, bail bondsmen, etc., don’t work for free. Everywhere you turn, someone is standing there with their hand extended for money. I’ve never been wealthy, just comfortable, and the whole legal process bankrupted me.

Last night I had a dream. I was sitting in an auditorium somewhere with friends. We were on the front row. The Commonwealth’s Attorney (CA) came down the aisle, turned to me and asked, “Mr. Shell, did you wear sunglasses on your drive over here today?”. I said that I had. “You see,” he barked, “he admits to an illegal activity.”. I must have looked totally confused because he said, “Don’t you know that it’s illegal to wear sunglasses after you’re accused of a crime? ”

Just a dream, right? But not so far from reality. After my arrest I spent thirty days in jail before my lawyer could bail me out. When you’re out on bail it’s just like probation; you have to report to the Probation and Parole office regularly, and any infraction, no matter how minor, can get your release cancelled and you thrown back in jail. One day I was going somewhere in town, don’t recall where, when a town cop pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for having a burned out brake light. I had no idea the light wasn’t working. For a while it looked like the CA was going to try to revoke my bail over this! I had the light fixed immediately and carried the receipt to traffic court. Luckily, the judge dismissed the charge. But by driving with a burned out brake light, I was technically committing an illegal act while out on bail! And if they want to, they can revoke your bail over almost anything, even a parking ticket!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-prostitution/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Men, Politics, Popular Culture, Women