Follow Up in PVD

I came back to Providence to follow up with my surgery. Plastic surgeons said everything is going great. Bandages and stitches around my left eye are gone,so I’m looking much less tragic now. I’m still having some double vision and swelling around the eye, but that will take care of itself in the next few weeks. I’ll find out more on the eyes at my appointment tomorrow afternoon.

Nose, cheeks, and lips are still mostly numb, but I’ve been told feeling will return fully in about a year’s time. Better news: I no longer have to keep bands on my braces! This means NO MORE CLOSED JAW. I’m still adjusting to my jaw fully opening, but I can now talk naturally again! I’ll have braces on my teeth for just two more weeks, but will have to keep a soft foods diet for another six. So keep that ice cream coming…


Surgery Done, Back in Auburn

20121111-194032.jpgI’m writing this back at my parents home in Auburn, NY. The surgery took place on Thursday the 8th. I got a call that morning asking if I could get admitted earlier, so even tho I was a little rushed, the morning went well and was in an oversized gown by 12:30. The entire procedure took five and a half hours long. It involved cutting above and under my left eye, and inside my mouth. I have a plastic implant under my left eye and titanium plates and screws around my cheeks and mouth. Success!

It’s taken me some time to get used to the braces on my teeth. It keeps my mouth closed at all times, which some of you might now be even more apt to visiting me while I’m home. Go for it! I actually can still talk. Just not well and after about 30 minutes I start to get a little tired and a bit of pain if I’m talking or laughing at you. This should be going away more and more as time goes on. Fortunately the longest the braces will be on is only four weeks, and as short as two.

My left eye is still out of order. It’s half shut and I’m seeing double vision. I’m hoping as the swelling goes down and the stitches are out, my vision will go back to normal. If you have the stomach for it, search orbital wall fracture surgery on YouTube for an idea of what some of the surgery consisted of.

I return to Providence for a couple appointments on the 19th and I’m heading back to auburn again for Thanksgiving, a liquified thanksgiving! Even still, I have a lot to be giving thanks for this year. Thanks, everyone.

Ow My Face.

I left downtown Halloween night to head back home. Just after 1:00am I was assaulted at the intersection of Atwells Ave & Dean St. The police report has an eyewitness of someone 6 ft. tall, light skinned, with an olive green shirt fleeing the scene. I woke up at RI Hospital and remember nothing of what happened to me. I have many facial fractures, cuts in my eyes, and a misaligned jaw.

It has been almost a week and am scheduled for plastic surgery tomorrow afternoon at 2:30. I’ll have plates and screws inserted, my jaw wired shut for 2-4 weeks, and won’t be able to see well for a few days afterwards. I’ll be in the hospital until at least Saturday. After that, I’m heading back to Auburn until I’m good again, which will be the last week of November or first week in December.

I’ll try to post updates as I get better! Thank you everyone for your support, you kick ass.


Scanography and Camera-less Photography

I’ve done pinhole and camera obscura, but scanography is a new form of cameraless photography for me. Using flatbed scanners are used to manipulate existing photos and distort and flatten 3D objects. Of course, you cannot help but to experiment with a self-portrait with this method! Photography See-ming Lee is doing just that seen here.

by See-ming Lee Some rights reserved.


AS220 Media Arts key member Lindsey Beal showed me an example of creating an abstract image with flatbed scanners. I love it, and plan on taking my USB-powered scanner outdoors and see what I can conjure up. Lindsey teaches both darkroom and digital media workshops at AS220 Media Arts. Her next class is on Scanner photography, Tuesday June 19. Let me know if you’d like to attend!

Lindsey Beal

Online Systems AmeriCorps*VISTA position

Project Description

Do you THINK BIG when it comes to changing the education system? Want to apply your media skills in an exciting, team-based environment leading efforts to provide an innovative approach to higher education? Join College Unbound as the AmeriCorps*VISTA starting this summer!

Big Picture Learning is a 17 year-old organization whose mission is to lead vital changes in education both in the United States and internationally, by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized schools that work in tandem with the real world of the greater community.

College Unbound is Big Picture’s most recent program development. CU is a rigorous, personalized college curriculum anchored in live-learning (internships). Learner success depends on engagement, discipline, dedication, and a drive to make a difference. We believe this model will impact post-secondary policy, and not only open the doors of higher education to students increasingly blocked out of college, but will ensure that students graduate with a degree and experience in hand, prepared to successfully participate in our New Economy.

VISTA Project Goal: Work with Big Picture Director of Online Systems, to build an online communications and learning system that (1) augments student work and (2) expedites support from centrally based advisors and instructors. This position works in tandem with the co-VISTA project goal of developing an expansion infrastructure that supports the planned growth for College Unbound.

Major Activities/Responsibilities

  • Identify /analyze / document key components of relevant online adult education programs
  • Develop 2-tiered plan (6 month segments) to design and create online system with goal of full implementation no later than beginning of new school year – Sept. 2013
  • Fully implement online system with all locations
  • Develop and implement tier 1 (first 6 months) of online program

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Diverse computer and media expertise
  • Experience with long term program planning, implementation and assessment
  • Experience collaborating/coordinating with other systems
  • Mature and experienced communication skills
  • Self motivated/independent thinker/team player
  • Bachelor’s Degree required
How to Apply

1) Create a My AmeriCorps profile at

2) Submit your application to our AmeriCorps posting –> Click Here

3) Submit a resume and cover letter to Margot Hanson, RICC*VISTA Leader

  • DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 1, 2012

Job Opening: Digital Arts Coordinator at AS220 Youth


AS220 Youth: Digital Arts Coordinator

AS220 Youth is a free arts education program serving young people 14-20, with a special focus on those in the care and custody of the State. We maintain formal partnerships with the RI Training School, a juvenile detention facility, and UCAP middle school.

The primary work of the all AS220 Youth staff is to engage young people in art-making workshops that will lead to an increase in skills and self-esteem. Staff are also responsible for developing para-professional opportunities for youth in art, design, and technology, so they have direct experience working as creative professionals.

Because many of the youth in our program have already entered the juvenile justice system and/or remedial education, AS220 staff must have a strong commitment to serving “beyond risk” youth. This includes providing basic social supports and case management on an as-needed basis.

The Digital Arts Coordinator will design and implement AS220 Youth’s technology program, called the Fabratory. The Fabratory includes 2D and 3D design, video game development, and computer competency.

Our current priority for the Fabratory is expanding our video game design curricula. We are looking for a technical artist with strong management skills to head up this initiative. 

The Digital Arts Coordinator is a full-time, supervisory position. The Coordinator will be teaching at our 3 program sites and supervising additional instructors and interns. The Coordinator will manage the Fabratory budget and will be responsible for maintaining all hardware and software for the studio.

The ideal candidate for this position will have the following qualifications:

– A strong portfolio of creative work that includes illustration, 3D modeling, character development and/or engine integration

– Prior teaching experience

– Familiarity with both Mac and Windows platforms

– Have a passion for video games including game play, modding, and texture mapping

– Proficiency in polygonal modeling program and digital sculpting

– Experience using open source software including Blender, Sculptris, and InkScape, as well as Adobe Creative Suite

– An ability for communicate complex technologies and programs on a basic level

– An ability to coordinate and organize people both individually and in group environments

– IT  and networking knowledge that will inform a sustainable, cost effective resource plan for acquiring and maintaining computers, software and other equipment

– Knowledge of programing languages including C+ and C++ a benefit, but not required

Compensation: AS220 has an “equal pay” policy; all full time staff (including the Artistic Director and the Managing Director) are paid a $35,300 salary per year and receive full health benefits with no employee co-pay.  Generous and flexible vacation time is offered, along with opportunities for education, professional development, and sabbaticals.

To apply, please send a resume, samples of your creative work, and 2 references to AS220 Youth Director, Anne Kugler at

All candidates must clear a criminal background check, in accordance with policies established by the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Leading High performing Teams

Thanks you to Jean Carraccio for sharing my story on teamwork on an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader professional development blog found on

Want Ad Translation:

Mo’s Restaurant is always seeking self-motivated, hard- working individuals with unusual pride & passion to join our team. Commitment to excellence is required.

Q. Is it remotely possible this ad is talking about dishwashing positions?
Read about one of your fellow VLeader’s experiences on a high performing team. Perhaps the most surprising anecdote I’ve ever heard about on the High Performing Team Webinar.

Hi all! Jean here (the “J”) in JEK
Last month 28 VISTA Leaders participated in the High Performing Team webinar.  The webinar began with an opportunity for those attending to share their experiences on a high performing team. As with all good stories the examples were thought-provoking and inspiring. We can learn about teams by studying teams, in particular studying teams that work. VISTA Leader Chris Anderson shared an example that characterized virtually every aspect of a high performing team. It was also one of the most unusual examples I’ve ever heard and it was such a great example of how a team can find meaning anywhere, anytime.
As you read Chris’s story please think about the powerful work that you and your members do. It strikes me that as a VISTA Leader you have a head start within the context of VISTA. If you ever get discouraged and think that you don’t have the right members or a powerful enough mission to build a high performing team you might want to think about Chris Anderson’s powerful anecdote. Here it is:

“Dishwashing at a restaurant comes in many flavors, but its purpose remains the same. If there are no dishwashers, everything comes to a halt. The restaurant I worked at has a high-level dishwashing operation. The work environment is high-pressure and demanding. The kitchen is hot, it’s loud and it’s crowded. You and a team of four others use a 1,000lb machine that pumps out over 3,000 dishes an hour while simultaneously meeting the chef’s, kitchen staff, and server’s immediate requests. When the restaurant closes, the dishwashers coordinate the cleaning of the entire kitchen with no room for error.

I spent over five years as a dishwasher in that environment as my first job, and was a part of many “A-Teams” during that time. We understood that in order for the entire restaurant to run, we had to all perform in unison. We were all in high school in different groups, yet shared the same values at work (The Breakfast Club?). If someone was having a rough day, they could step outside to give themselves a sort of restart. You could talk one-on-one while taking out the trash, and come back fresh. We would create games and competitions with each other to keep us motivated (if you work in a restaurant, contact me I can offer an entire Olympics for you). At the end of the night, we split into two-person teams to clean the kitchen (with great music). After a strict inspection of our work from the chef, we were free to leave or stick around and eat our meals. In the setting of a more quiet and relaxing state, the chef and our team would go over how the night went. During Jean’s webinar the power and importance of positive feedback was discussed. Receiving positive feedback was truly one of the most important parts of working in our restaurant because it reminded us why we were there, and made it clear that our hard work was valued and recognized.

I can relate this experience towards building a high performing VISTA team. There’s a diverse group coming together for a shared purpose. A VISTA should rely on you to “step outside of the kitchen” with them so they can come back ready to attack. Having your team know the VISTA Leader position is to make their lives better and not to ensure they are doing their job properly will lead to the same shared attitude and more participation in coming together for the whole team getting the job done”.

Chris Anderson is VISTA Leader at AS220, a non-profit community arts space in downtown Providence. Our mission is to provide an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts.

February 1st - Six Bucks

Monkee Head at AS220 February 1st, $6

February 1st - Six Bucks

I’m in Monkee Head. We’re playing a show at AS220 on February 1st. Check us out. It’s $6, all ages, and will be a night of great local and visiting artists.

Monkee Head = A carnivalesque network of cannibal sounds from galactic jungles and gear-powered mountains, where space cowboys powwow with witch doctors. Lift-off is battery operated, but includes bacon and some mozzarella cheese.

Members: Albert 1 + Albert 2 + Albert 3 + Albert 4 + Albert 5 + Albert 6

Possible Instruments: (banjo)+(didgeridoo)+(drums)+(bass)+(saxophone)+(harmonica)+(keyboard)+(violin)+(synth/keyboards)+(flarinute)+(bongos)+(congas)+(whistles)+ )+(mbira)+(washboard)+(canjo)+(clarinet)+(slitdrum)+(chekere)+(maracas)+(acordeon)+(concertina)

Traveling, Inky Skulls, Monkee Head, Jacob the Terrible, and Switched Off Bach

Traveling started in September of 2011 by a group of three friends in Bloomington, IN. Ginger Alford, Jake Alexander, and Alan Crenshaw. Ginger has toured the country many times playing in One Reason and Good Luck, and touring with Paul Baribeau playing Bruce Springsteen covers. She’d been playing bass in Good Luck for several years and wanted to play guitar again in a band. This show part of their 3 week tour. No Idea Records released their 7″ in January.

Inky Skulls is Chris Clavin (me) and Emily Rose. We started in Bloomington, Indiana in August of 2011. We only had three weeks to get off the ground. We wrote 6 songs and recorded a demo, then did a week-long mini-tour. At first we thought we should both play ukuleles but it was too tinny and thin so now I play bass and Emily plays the uke. This is Emily’s first band. I’ve been in some bands… (Ghost Mice, The Sissies, The Devil is Electric, Operation: Cliff Clavin etc)

“the world can be so fucked / but there’s only so much shit / you can shit / on a face”

Is his synthesizer Baroquen? No-nonsese/pro-nonsense artist, Joe DeGeorge (of Harry and the Potters), recently began a series of projects in which he performs the classical music of Johann Sebastian Bach with an unusual distortion. One such project is Switched Off Bach, which consists of a solo keyboard performance utilizing a synthesizer that is turned off, with a mic on the keyboard. The performance is completely rhythmically Baroque. The volume is up all the way. The synthesizer is just turned off.

-Event Description stolen from

Community Resource Toolkits

Check out some of the toolkits developed by The White House Council for Community Service. The toolkits are designed to create data-driven decision making an impact for your community. The Resources for Communities includes a section how to best generate meaningful community participation. The Resources for Employers has an evaluation for employers to see what types of skill-building jobs they can offer youth.

The White House Council for Community Solutions conducted extensive research and outreach in the areas of community collaboration and pathways to employment for youth. The Council, in collaboration with researchers and other third parties, has createThe White House Council for Community Solutions 

Resources for Communities
 series of tools and resources for leaders across sectors in communities, including business leaders.