Is Social Media harming adolescent development?

According the CNN article, Why some 13 year old check social media 100 times a day, “”I would rather not eat for a week than get my phone taken away. It’s really bad,” said Gia, a13-year-old. “I literally feel like I’m going to die.” She along with 200 other teen volunteers across the United States participated in a national study by child development experts  trying to figure out… what kids actually say to each other on social media and why it matters so deeply to them.”  I was quite interested in this article and the study because as a middle and high school teacher, I see first hand my student’s obsession with social media. I have lost count how many times in each class I have told my students to stop taking selfies or videos and to put their cell phones away. They really are obsessed with the social media and what their peers are doing or saying online about them or other students. They are always looking for the next big thing or excitement or gossip.  I am reminded of this when I witness a fight on my way home from work. Before hitting the high way I have to drive through a middle school and another high school which is within 4 blocks from my own school.  While driving through the school zone, I noticed a horde of kids with the phones out, videotaping something. At first I didn’t see the fight on my left because I was focused on the kids right side. I wanted to make sure they were not going to walk out in front of car and into the streets as it is their habit. I saw two boys fighting when I followed their line of vision. They looked like high school kids. One was breathing heavily and the other had his shirt off. They were swinging at each other, and the one with the shirt off got hit and fell in the street. I couldn’t drive because there were cars in front of me and the other drivers  were yelling at the kids to stop fighting.  The bystander continued to film the action while I tried to shout out my student’s name to get his attention, but the crowd was too noisy and I was not close enough to my student. In hindsight I should have called the police but I was too busy trying to get my student’s attention to tell him to leave and go home.  

With all kids filming with their phones, I’m pretty sure this fight was shared and talked about over a hundred times. When you think about it, can you blame these kids? This is the world they were born into. It’s what they know and are used to.  According to the one of the child psychologist, Marion Underwood,”…they’re addicted to the peer connection and affirmation they’re able to get via social media… To know what each other are doing, where they stand, to know how many people like what they posted, to know how many people followed them today and unfollowed them … that I think is highly addictive.” Of course this makes perfect sense because they are still developing their identity and self-worth and yes, their peers opinions matter more to them then that of their parents or teachers. All we can do is let them know we are there if they need us or have questions.


Middle School and High School kids filming the fight.


One of my student filming the fight. He is the one in the baseball cap.

How many more sunsets do we have left?

“Keep looking up! I learn from the past, dream about the future and look up. There’s nothing like a beautiful sunset to end a healthy day.: Rachel Boston


Picture taken on the way from work at my favorite spot where you can see the city of Providence.


Cold winter day picture at Bullocks Point, Rhode Island


Picture taken after I had dropped my daughter off at Brookdale Assisted Living


Picture near my house.


City of Providence. The Omni Hotel where President Obama stayed when he was in town.


On a drive home.


Near my house.


Bullocks Point.


On Scott drive in Riverside.

Waterfire Providence

One of my favorite event is the Waterfire in Providence. According to the Waterfire Providence website, ” WaterFire Providence® is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy.” Speaking from experience, I have to say they have accomplished their mission. Waterfire is a great family event where people from the surrounding states come to Rhode Island to sample the diverse food, music, and culture from all over the world. For more information about this event, please visit:


You can buy these star Lanterns.



Many diverse performers such as this Chinese musicians.


Nice food area.


There is a cool cauldron lighting ceremony which is the best part of the event.


Hundreds of people come out to see the lighting.



Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. If you are wearing heels it will be challenging to walk on the stone cobblestones.

Monsters Alive!

Since I love learning new things, I love to go exploring. Luckily for me, I have good friends like Van, the owner of the Yellow Peril Art Gallery, who takes me around Providence to cool places I would not have known. For example,  he took me to this cool “monster” studio in downtown Providence where they make movie props like the ones you see below.  It is quite amazing watching the “artist” put finishing touches on their products. I admire their tenacity and attention to details. Makes me wish I was as talented as them.





Quick, easy and low carb Pho!

Pho is one of the most popular Vietnamese and Lao soup! I love pho and have tried many ways to make an easy,  healthier and low carb version of this.  I start by boiling the  Tofu Shirataki noodles instead of the traditional pho noodles. For one package of this noodle there’s only 3 carbs and 10 calories and most important of all: no sugar! After boiling the noodles for 3 minutes, I drain it and set it aside. Then I boil two cups of water with one cube of the pho cube until the cube melts. While that is going on I cut up the meat and veggies. Then I throw the meat into the the boiling broth for one minute and then remove from heat to add the cooked noodles. After that I transfer the broth, noodles and meat into a bowl, through my veggies in, put some fried garlic and sriracha sauce in. And that’s my easy and fast pho! Just a note, you can put bean sprouts and fresh thai peppers but I didn’t have any on hand! 12528363_10153508230003386_1103025119_o



You only have to cook the Shirati noodles for like 3 minutes! Don’t be put off by the weird smell when you first opened it.


Traditional pho noodles are high in carbs with 46grams of  carbs just for 1/4 cup noodles and  210 calories! Also you have to soak these noodles for about 30 minutes before you cook it in hot water for another 3-4 minutes.



When I have time I would make my own broth using beef ribs or beef tail bones but since I didn’t have the time or energy to do the traditional broth that can take up to 1-8 hours to make. Traditionally when we make the broth we let it simmer for hours so it can taste better. I have to admit this pho cube I found at the Vmart is not bad. It has the pho taste.


I used only one cube with 2 cups of water and it was tasty.


This broth does not look look but it’s still tasty!

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Basil, cilantro, lemon, jalepenos and beef. I just use one “bar” of beef which is about 3oz.


Steakhouse Choice Beef Country Style Chuck Tender. I used only one strip or bar so my soup is not so high in calorie.


Add sriracha, sauce and fried garlic to taste. You really do not need to add any more seasoning sauce because the broth is tasty.


Threw everything in the bowl and enjoy!


I like my meat medium well on the verge of medium rare!



The Pumpkin Patch in Rhode Island




Farm grew more than just pumpkins but during fall season they are known for their pumpkin patch!


Yes you could take your kids to a local grocery store to pick a pumpkin but somehow it’s not as fun or exciting!


Many choices to pick from!


Fresh farm grown veggies!


WE love the hayride to the corn maze!


My daughter and her Aunt just enjoying the ride and conversation.


Wet got our clues for the corn maze puzzles!


I reminded my children of the movie, ” Children of the Corn!”


My daughter,Anora reading the first clue and trying to solve it to get to the next!

Memories! Lots of them! One of my favorite things to give my children is happy memories so that when they have children of their own they can say things like, ” Your grandma used to take us into the corn fields and try to scare the shit out of us by leaving us there!” In all honesty, I was the one who was scared that some insane killer from the movie, ” Children of the Corn” was going to pop out and grab me! My kids were laughing at me for being paranoid that some crazy person was going to do an reenactment of the movie! They were more focus on figuring out the clues to the corn maze so we can find our way out! With a minor help from and Eagle Scout who happened to be at the corn maze, we were able to figure out the clues and got out of the maze! Okay it may have taken us two hours but hey we got out and I didn’t get jumped by any deranged person or scare scrow! It’s nice to be out in nature and hang with your kids instead of sitting in front of the TV.