Showing category "Personal Experience" (Show all posts)

A Place Within Community

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, May 18, 2013, In : Personal Experience 
"For the people with beautiful ideas, a place within community." This was the title of my graduate school reflection project written after my first six weeks in Baltimore (six years ago). It comes to mind now, after a busy week full of courageous people implementing beautiful ideas and working together to create positive change within the city. It inspires me to write this morning and pay homage to all those that made an impact this week.

I started off at 9am on Monday morning at the Mind Your...
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Critical Mass/Baltimore Bike Party

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
On Friday night I rode in the monthly Baltimore Bike Party. The Bike Party, formerly Critical Mass goes on a group ride the last Friday of every month. I went along this month because it was a good friend's birthday and it was what she wanted to do. I will admit, I was a little skeptical. When I lived in New York, I respected the Critical Mass rides, although never participated in them. I was never confident enough to ride my bike much in NYC, but I supported the idea of a traffic slowing gro...
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Choices, Changes and Encouragement

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, April 1, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
What has to happen for us to make the choices that are what we need, want and make us our best possible selves?

I have been riding my bike as primary means of transportation for two weeks now. Somehow it is something that I have always wanted to do and I am feeling really good about my decision. The fact that my car had to break down for me to make this decision has me considering doing things out of necessity versus doing things by choice. I started riding my bike because my car broke down an...
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Bicycling Baltimore

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, March 23, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
In my first week as a biker in Baltimore I rode my bike to work two and a half days out of six (making the assumption that I ride tomorrow). I have realized several things in this time. The first is that if I am really going to live without a car, I am going to need a better bike. I knew my bike wasn't great, but after borrowing a friend's bike, which I have been told is also not a great bike and thinking it was the best bike I ever rode, I now know that in order to make biking my primary mea...
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I Am My Father's Daughter

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
The fact that I am my father's daughter has never been questioned. I have always looked enough like him for people to say I took after him and my sister my mom. This year, however, I was given the opportunity to prove this fact in a different way. I sat on my very first jury. My father loves jury duty and I have to say, so do I. It is amazing to be a part of the judicial system, to have a front row seat to a trial and see in it all the complications and conflicts of our law and all of the inc...
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One Thing I Miss About New York

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, January 22, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
New Yorkers know how to deal with snow. With the amount of snow that fell two nights ago, there is no reason that sidewalks should be covered in a solid layer of ice. Not that I should be complaining, the block outside my door is the slickest I have encountered and I have no one to blame but myself. I really don't understand the rest of the city though, unless Baltimore is really where I belong and I fit in so well that I am just one of the many people completely unprepared for any type of wi...
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Coffee Once a Week

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, January 14, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
I like coffee. That said, I am also very sensitive to caffeine. I forget sometimes when I get into the habit of drinking coffee everyday. I was in this habit for most of last year. The year before I had limited my intake and was drinking a lot of decaf. It doesn't taste the same, but it fulfills my desire for coffee without the anxiety of too much caffeine. So at the start of this year I made a resolution to not drink coffee everyday. And so for the last 2 weeks I have been weening myself off...
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The Ball Drop in Hampden

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, In : Personal Experience 
Happy 2012! Somehow I am always glad when one year ends and a new year begins. I guess I like beginnings. At the same time though, there is something really beautiful about the rituals that we bring the new year in with. I spent this year on 34th Street in Baltimore, it is the block that puts up an amazing array of holiday lights, an entire block that does it. It is incredible. Google "Miracle on 34th Street Baltimore" to see some images of the spectacle, but it will not do it justice. If you...
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Oh! The Places You'll Go!

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, September 30, 2011, In : Personal Experience 
"Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!" -Dr. Suess


Today in my after school program at the Creative Alliance we read Dr. Suess' Oh the Places You'll Go! I told my students I picked this book because I am moving. They looked shocked and said, "Where!". I realized they were worried even though I have only known them 3 days and I said, "Don't worry, just across town." It was funny though, I did want to read the book because I felt that even moving c...
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Back in the Swing of Things

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, September 22, 2011, In : Personal Experience 
On Sunday I returned from vacation. I had never been to Southern California before this trip and it was beautiful. I enjoyed the sun, the beach, all the friends that I saw there and the new people that I met. Part of me felt I could have spent another week on the beach, but I knew that it was time to come home.

The day after I returned to Baltimore I began a training at the Family League. I am working with the Creative Alliance this year facilitating an after school art club as part of their O...
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Worried Blues

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, June 30, 2011, In : Personal Experience 
One of my campers this week looked like she was about to cry as she walked in. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that sometimes she gets scared before she gets to camp. She started to cry a little so I told her how I used to get scared and cry before going to school, but that my mom would talk to a tree to make me feel better, this made her laugh. 

Sitting here now, Worried Blues by Bob Dylan plays on my i-tunes. It hit me that what he is singing about is exactly what this little girl...
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Reflections After a Week on a Farm

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, June 2, 2011, In : Personal Experience 

The last week of my life has left with me with so much to contemplate and write about, I have the feeling this post will be scattered and may be confusing for those without my experience. My apologies, if you bear with me, as I write more in the coming days, I think there will be many insights after the brief glimpse I had into another existence. I spent a week on a farm in North Carolina and it was such an amazing experience that I am conflicted as I transition back into my life in Baltimore...


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Who Are You? You Are What You Do

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, May 1, 2011, In : Personal Experience 
Last night was the 6th Annual Who Are You? Youth Media Festival Performance Night. The festival, produced by Wide Angle Youth Media, is a month long celebration of the creativity, talents and achievements of Baltimore youth. The festival consists of a visual arts exhibition, benefit, poetry slam and performance night. I have worked for Wide Angle since September as Festival Coordinator, facilitating a group of high school students that plan, create and curate all that goes into the festival. ...
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On Playing Fable III

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, January 30, 2011, In : Personal Experience 
I want to start a youth developed video game program in Baltimore. I am also dating a video game designer.  I think that because of these two circumstances, as of late, I have begun playing more video games. My most recent game experience has been playing Fable III. The game has a premise I found interesting, the character that you play as is the sister or brother (depending on your preference) of the king. Early in the game one has to decide whether to save one's love interest or a group of ...
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3 Days Writing

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, November 4, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
For those of you who saw the link I posted to 750 words, I have now written a little more than 2,250 words in the last three days. www.750words.com is a website that challenges members to write 750 words each day. A coworker told me about it and I had to try. There is something that I really like about this process. The first day it was hard to get to the last word. I don't think that I had the capacity to really understand how many words 750 was because I had never written with that as the g...
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When Everything is New

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, September 19, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
New schedule has not afforded me the time to write as often as I would like. Still trying to get used to the new life that I have begun. I have started a new job and moved into a new home. These experiences have brought many new people into my life and have altered, deepened and made more meaningful relationships with others. It is good, fall seems to be the perfect time to begin new things, to renew oneself and reinvent one's life. I'm not one to make new year's resolutions, but if I was I t...
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The Artists of What's Your War? Final Installment

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, September 5, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
Yesterday I repainted the walls at Load of Fun, after I touch up a couple of spots today and return a couple more of the pieces to the artists What's Your War? in physical form will be complete. Today I also finish writing about the artists.

Christina Ralls' piece is a call to action. A statement against fear and the negative effects it has on our lives and relationships. "Fear stops us.  It prevents us from communicating with each other. It scares us into being stagnant and not taking action....
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The Artists of What's Your War? Part 3

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, August 28, 2010, In : Personal Experience 

For those of you who did not have the opportunity to view What's Your War? deinstallation began yesterday so unfortunately, you will not be able to. There are plans to put the show online and I will do this as soon as possible, but until then you will have to be satisfied with my continued review of all of the fantastic artists in the show.

I will start with Christine Stiver, whose flipbook The Blind Mole Rat was a huge hit. People seemed surprised to see a flipbook, but were tickled at the s...


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Healing is a Choice

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, August 26, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
Last week was my final week of summer camp. I had a really great group of students, they were enthusiastic, engaged, and energetic. I had started to get a little burned out from the amount of camps that I had been contracted to teach this summer, but this group made me really excited again about what we were doing together. The camp ran smoothly, students got to know each other and as a group, in the classroom, they worked together really well. We didn't hit a bump until recess the second to ...
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The Artists of What's Your War? Part 2

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, August 14, 2010, In : Personal Experience 

To continue writing on the amazing artists that participated in What’s Your War? I will begin with Sabrina Saneaux. Her painting quickly became a kind of showpiece in the gallery. It is the largest piece in the show, but that is not the only reason it captures one’s attention on entering the space. There is something in the complexity of the work, the way that Saneaux layers her figures, their expressions, and the depth of the painting that draw one into it. At the same time so much ...


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The Artists of What’s Your War? Part 1

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, August 12, 2010, In : Personal Experience 

As co-curator I am probably biased in favor of the artists that are in a show that I curated, but I am so impressed by the talent, creativity, dedication, and beauty of the artists that came together in What's Your War? that I cannot help but comment on how blessed I have been to work with these people and the objects they create.

I put a call to artists out before co-curator Oasa DuVerney and I even knew where the show was going to be held. The first submission we received from Freya Pow...


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Mates of State at the Ottobar

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, July 15, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
I love when bands tour with other bands that they love and seem to have a genuine good time with. I had the pleasure of attending last night's Mates of State show at the Ottobar. Free Energy opened for them and both bands were great. They also shared a joy throughout the evening that I do not remember from many of the concerts that I have seen in the past, especially when I was living in New York. Maybe I am making a huge jump here, but there is something specific to Baltimore that I find pro...
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On Guns

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, July 12, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
I recently had the opportunity to shoot a gun, actually several guns. I wasn't hunting, all I shot were some empty paint cans, but the experience was memorable and worthy of writing. I am glad that at 29, this was my first experience with fire arms, I am not sure that I had the seriousness, respect or confidence necessary prior to this that is needed to use a gun with care. The weight of the gun was what struck me, both in the physical object and in the damage that it could do if accidentally...
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"Turn Around, Turn Around, Turn Around

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, May 22, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
And you may come full circle and be new here again."

From I'm New Here by Gil Scott Heron on his first album in 15 years of the same title. This song came on my i-pod yesterday after a challenging day. A day of some disappointments, some bad surprises, and pure exhaustion. I've been doing much thinking recently about my next choices, where I am going to go and what I am going to do and I will admit, it has been stressful. I realized yesterday that I am at a place where I am new here. I have ch...
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Thoughts on Home

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, March 26, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
Adding to my post of two days ago The Spaces Must Change, I wanted to discuss home. Someone's home can be a warm, comfortable, inviting place to be, but only if it is livable. I love walking into a beautifully designed house with rich colors on the walls, comfy furniture, and great lighting, but if the house is not livable, if the objects are not meant to be used, worn, loved, then the house ceases to be homey. I think about my childhood. About parents with white carpets who filled with rage ...
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On the Peace Corps Application Process

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, March 12, 2010, In : Personal Experience 
For anyone that is interested in applying to be a Peace Corps volunteer I thought it might be interesting and possibly helpful to write about my experience with the process. After having served two years as an Americorps member I was sure that I was ready to start my Peace Corps application. I went to an information session in June or July of last year and then got my application in by early August. The application itself is pretty standard, basic personal information, essays about why one wa...
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This blog will address issues of communication, art, and life from my point of view. It is a means for me to keep writing, thinking critically, and finding meaning in my life and work.

 

 

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