Therapy as art

This program has provided me something you can’t find in any school classroom other than this one. Typically you take year one university to see what you’re true interests are if you’re unsure. But here I’ve been able to find that out on my own. Reaching out into all these different fields that I’m interested in, and spending time getting to know the layout of each one individually. Putting aside all the skills I’ve learned throughout all of these experiences I have been able to actually get a taste of many different careers to see if id really enjoy them in life. And I think that is something I have taken for granted up until this point.

As we all know we are well into our time here at Propel, and the semester is nearing the end. For the last few months I’ve been expanding my knowledge in careers I’m interested in, I’ve been doing this by job shadowing in mechanic shops and dentist offices. I have had many volunteer positions and learned more than I ever thought possible. But in this closing month I found something I wish I would’ve found weeks ago. Art therapy! Maybe some of you have heard of it, taken it, or don’t know anything about it but it’s a very large interest of mine. Of course dentistry was at one point too until I actually job shadowed with my dentists, and realised it was most definitely not for me.

The true definition of ‘art therapy’ is a form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling. And if any artist thinks about it….. We’ve been doing this our whole lives. Ever since we were kids or only for the last couple years of our lives, we have been expressing ourselves through many different mediums. And weather you did on purpose or not it happened. Coming home after an amazing or terrible day, we try to get something out there. Sometimes we can sometimes we can’t. Other times we don’t want to but do it anyway. And its therapy for us even though we never intended it. As my mom would say “it’s practicing your soul”.

With this sudden realization that I am madly in love with helping people and art…. I decided that I should run an art therapy class! Within an hour I had sent out emails and called every place I knew that would be open to this idea. Having a volunteer position at St. Amant made this very exciting and they were very supportive. I am still working on a solid plan for my ideas but I would love to work on this project in a senior’s home as well as St. Amant. Of course this comes with some research and buying supplies but I am ecstatic about this.

Cheers,

Taylor Broesky

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The leaves are gone but winter is here

This week was a fairly slow project week. Packed with research and presentations. But if I look at the last month as a whole, I can see a lot more than project growth. It’s really hitting me that I’m in grade 12 and that when we graduate lots of things are going to change, and that were all growing up. Well, we have all been growing up since day one but now it seems to be happening at an extraordinary rate. This all hit me like a freight train when my auntie passed away last week at such a young age. My pet fish went belly up the same night, and the following day Shayla came to me and talked about her grandpas passing. Now I am definitely not saying all 3 of those are on the same level but it just made the image so much clearer.

They are 3 completely different stories.  To get my point across I will simply focus on the fish. It was an unexpected purchase me and my best friend had made together, walking around the mall looking to do something spontaneous. We each paid half and merged our names to create one for the small animal. It may seem slightly elementary but it was something we had never done before. It was the experience and time spent on it that made it so important. Same goes to a lot of people and things in life. Friends, growing plants from just a seed, or even a pair of shoes. But I refuse to use the word ‘just’ in any of these situations. It wasn’t just a pretty fish in a bowl you see, in a way it was our friendship. “What is essential is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly” – The Little Prince

As we all get older, we begin to see these things more frequently. But it was something no one prepared us for. It’s not something anyone can prepare you for. Each of us individually have to observe and feel these things for us to create our own understanding of it. And to pluck out the important memories and experiences to remember. It happens at different times for everyone. Or if you’re like me and Shayla, you get to go through these things together so that someone can understand the clarity of the broken words being spoken. It’s important to be able to look at any loss and see what you have gained. To celebrate the life that was lived rather than having point of convergence on death. I hope you can see that this isn’t about how sorrow filled I am about losing a pet.

All of these things are gone now, but left behind more than people know. It just goes to show how much time both gives, and takes away.

Taylor B

I need a bigger brain

Well, fellow bloggers… I have to say that I am quite tired. Last week I spent a whole day job shadowing with my dentist. The following Monday I started job shadowing in the mechanic shop at Capital Ford Lincoln. Then finally on Wednesday, I had volunteer orientation at St. Amant This past week has been hectic and very fact packed. I frankly don’t have enough time to spill out every bit of information I’ve received but I will do my best to share with you all, the most important things I experienced.

On Friday when I went to my dentist office, I got to job shadow with many different staff. Doing referrals, watching fillings, cleaning tools, and watching how to pull teeth as well. Believe it or not, when we were pulling teeth the lady that came in was 100 years old! I asked lots of questions about schooling and what their jobs were like. I learned that I will never become a dentist, which is a good thing! Cause that’s one thing I never have to think about ever again. The reason for that is, I just don’t want to spend 6 more years in school learning about teeth and how to take care of them. But I did have a wonderful day with the staff, and maybe one day ill become a dental assistant! (which only takes 1 year of training)

At St.Amant I’m working in the adult school program. I don’t do any feeding or lifting, but I do play games with the students and take them on bike rides. We do a morning routine which includes talking about the weather, what day of the week it is, and singing songs. We then move all the students to the drama class room, and then we have music class. Throughout the day I take students on bike rides through the building. And this might not seem like a very big deal to you guys but it is very intense for me. Very few people know but I am terrified of elevators. But elevators are the only way I can take students on bike rides! So every day I have to face my fears and do it for the joy of others. It’s good to get over my silly fear one day and well… Tis the season! It’s very fun volunteering there but I knew I’d have a hard time seeing the condition some of the students are in. It all became very real pretty fast but I am glad that I signed up to volunteer and help people.

last but not least, becoming a mechanic! Since grade 9 I have been very interested in automotive mechanics, but I’ve never worked on a car before. So I was just going off pure soul feeling, there was no telling whether I’d really like it or not! But this experience was by far the highlight of my week. I was working together with another mechanic in the shop, who taught me more than I could handle through the week. Going from never working on a car… to doing oil changes, brake replacements, and full car safeties. I have pinched fingers, bruised arms, and sore stained hands. But it was all worth it! I hope to return back to Capital Ford Lincoln and continue working, or job shadow in another shop. I see this as a definite career in the future and look forward to gaining more experience. I was working with a really fun guy in the shop Dan, who would often rant about how much he enjoyed his work. I don’t yet understand how me and Dan became so close in just a few days, but none the less it as hard to leave.

your jack of all trades,

Taylor Broesky

Tis the season

I Know I’ve mentioned it before but I miss summer oh so much. I spent those sunny months out of the city, spending time with friends and family. Taking long car rides to far away beaches, drinking iced tea and going to every greenhouse I could find! During the school year I have to wait till the weekends to see friends and family. Due to the fact that they all live hours away from where I am. Don’t get me wrong, the city is a beautiful place sometimes. But these empty trees and dry streets have me missing the sunshine.

But I long for the snow to fall already. I love winter as much as I love summer. And I know that Christmas is just around the corner but I cannot seem to get in the spirit with the lack of snow. It’s this middle stage that I can’t stand. All of this waiting around has me jumping up and down. I can be patient for Christmas, but I don’t think I can wait another week for snow. If we don’t get a foot of snow soon… I am writing a stern letter to Santa and Mother Nature.

I think Christmas means a lot to me because it’s the one time of year where I get to see all of my friends, family, and carry out traditions. My mom’s side as well as my dad’s side are both really big. With lots of cousins, aunties, and uncles. I don’t really mind being a part of a huge family, because it just means more fun and lots of amazing food! Our whole family’s really close, which also means that this 1 day every year, is spent trying to catch up with every one you haven’t seen. Saying hi, giving hugs and a short 20 minute conversation should do the trick. And to think I have to do this 3-4 times… makes me tired from excitement.

Some of my favourite traditions are putting up the tree at my dad’s house (we put something new on top of the tree every year. Last years? Coke can), giving and receiving warm socks, buying a new bored game and playing it, the pool games, the over competitive crocono tournament, and finding out who got the family hunting and fishing trophy’s. I mean they are not any old trophies. They are big, heavy, and totally unnecessary. But that’s just the kind of goofy family I’m in.

Traditions change just like everything else in this world. As a kid, my favourite tradition was traveling to the mountains in Montana. We stayed at the Big Sky Ski Resort, one of my favourite places on earth. This is many years ago but from what I do remember, there’s never ending food and unforgettable bacon. But something that I will never forget from those years, is sitting in the outdoor hot tub, staring at the jagged mountains while it began to snow. I miss skiing and that’s definitely something I want to experience again.

 

Cheers,

Taylor Broesky

 

Nothing but opportunities

Last Monday our class attended an event at the bored office called ‘CAPS’. Which stands for Career and Post-Secondary Symposium. Originally hearing this…. I was admittedly not too intrigued. I could be sitting in my warm home with a book and some tea. Walking around all evening in loud crowded rooms, simply did not appeal to me. I’ll save you all from the city transit issues, let’s just say that when I arrived I wasn’t the happiest camper. But I tied my shoes, warmed my nose, and put my hair up in a ponytail. This was supposed to signify that I was getting down to business. Because as soon as I walked into those doors, I was on a mission. Although I didn’t yet know what that mission was…. I was determined to do something. To try and learn something, to consider a new point of view, or to just meet new people and make new friends. To my surprise I managed to do all those things!

I am here to tell you that I had an amazing time at CAPS! I even stopped my teacher in the hall to thank him for making our class go. I’ve never had so many meaningful and important conversations with strangers. Sorry mom!

The first booth I went to was the Armed Forces. Ever since I got interested in mechanics, I’ve wondered how I could use this interest to help others. And after talking to a friend, it came to me that I could go into the army. So I walked up to this booth with 1000 questions, and got just as many papers. The man I was talking to made it simple to understand, and made me even more excited for this opportunity. All I need is grade 10 education and a lot of self-drive. Then I fill out an application and head to Ontario. That is definitely something that I am going to peruse in the future.

A few booths that I went to were university booths. This made me a little nervous cause I have never even considered university. Never looked into it and never knew anything about it. So I was sweating around my collar when I started conversations. But I figured I was there any way, might as well see what’s what. Quick shout out to the people at the CMU booth for making me laugh and making my evening so much better! (Us together in the featured picture)

The last booth was Winnipeg Paramedics and Fire Fighters! This one is truly exciting because I was introduced to this field during my time in Ottawa with Encounter with Canada. Which I had previously wrote a lengthy blog about. I am more interested in Fire Fighting, and was able to talk to multiple people about their career in the last week. What they love about it and what’s hard. Things to expect and look into. My uncle was a fire fighter for a few years and when I was a kid I got to go for rides in the truck, and tour the fire hall. Maybe subconsciously I have always known this was the career for me.

There were more booths that I went to and more people that I talked to, but frankly they weren’t as intriguing. More so to get cool pens and bags to be honest. But I got much more out of CAPS than I thought I would, which led me to leave on a very happy note. I left with emails, cards, forms, informational documents, applications, and new perspectives galore. This event was well worth my time. Thank you to all who made it such a great and joyful experience!

 

Cheers,

Taylor Mackenzie Broesky

The Benefits

As we all know yesterday was Thursday, and that means I was working at The W.R.E.N.C.H. I try to make every visit there different by switching up tasks I do in the shop. Going from stripping bikes to taking tires off wheels and cleaning the axels. At the beginning of the day I had no idea how to do any of this, but come 5:00 I was teaching others in the shop.

Along with working in a bike shop of course you will meet some extreme bike enthusiasts. People who bike through the winter no matter what, and put epic modifications on their bikes. They have the crazy suspension with the thick tires and spiked petals. Laugh all you want, admittedly I don’t know everything yet, but I am putting in a lot of extra work in the shop to learn as much as I can.

Some people bike because it’s easier, others because they hate traffic. But most people do it because it’s beneficial to our bodies and the environment. Since I’m working in a shop I figured that this ought to be something I understand. But why is cycling so much better than driving you might ask? Well I did some quick research for you.

  1. Cycling uses no fuel.
  2. Bicycles take a lot less energy to make compared to a car.
  3. Bikes don’t need toxic batteries or motor oil to function.

During its lifetime, on the road, each car produces another 1.3 billion cubic yards of polluted air and scatters an additional 40 pounds of worn tire particles, brake debris and worn road surface into the atmosphere.

This is information I found on the website below. Where you can continue research if you wish.

http://youcanbikethere.com/environmental-benefits/

Cycling can also benefit you’re cardiovascular system, reduce stress, and increase bone strength. I think that it’s important that more people start cycling. Of course I do not yet own a bicycle but I’m working towards it. In The W.R.E.N.C.H. they have an open shop on Thursdays where people can come in and fix their bikes or build new ones. The build a bike program is something in going to be starting next week, and of course I won’t get it done all in one day but near the end of the semester I’ll have a lovely bike to get me where I want to be. This will save me from bus fair, city transit in general, and hopefully road rage.

Save the planet one cycler at a time!!

Taylor Broesky

Volunteering

The W.R.EN.C.H. is a non-profit charity that helps many people around the city. They recycle bike parts, have workshops throughout the week, and work together with anyone to repair or build a bike.

I started volunteering at The W.R.EN.C.H. last week Saturday, and was able to go again this week Thursday. On Saturday I met some of the staff and got a quick tour of the shop, then got to do some hands on work and striped bicycles for parts. I was working together with someone who had bike repair experience, so I was able to get familiar with the tools and basic anatomy of the bike.

Together we took a few old thrown away bikes, looked them over to see if we were able to keep any of the parts. We strip the bikes completely and separate reusable parts from garbage parts. Parts that cannot be reused like torn up handle grips, split petals, and split cables go in the garbage. Parts that are reusable, we place in specifically labeled bins. It was very helpful that I got some experience on Saturday, so that when I got there on Thursday I was able to start working as soon as I arrived.

On Thursday, another Propel student Areyan and I got grouped together with a few other volunteers to work on kids bikes. There were 15-20 bicycles that we had to take the petals off of and turn the handle bars. It doesn’t sound challenging until you add in the fact that some of these are really old bikes, rusted, and designed differently. Most of these bikes then went into a trailer, so that come Christmas time we are able to take them out, fix them, and give them out to children.

Time really fly’s whenever I’m there because I enjoy the hands on experience it provides, as well as helping others in the community who need it. I’m hoping to be volunteering here for the entire semester and look forward to getting more involved as the semester progresses.

Your local bike mechanic,

Taylor Broesky