April 2010 Archives

Roll With the Punches: Our Last Visit with Tom

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Angela and I completed our last home visit to Tom as part of our service project this past Wednesday.  Tom shocked both of us by revealing it was his last day at home before he moved into St. Anne’s.  Despite this though, Tom still was as kind as always, patiently answering our questions and talking with us.  He denied any help from us; I think he appreciated talking more.

We had a lot to talk about because the last time we had visited Tom, he had let us borrow a videotape on which he had been interviewed by a state policeman about his life and career.  Angela and I watched the tape on Sunday after the lunch-in we had for the seniors who were involved with our project.

Angela and I had written out some questions ahead of time about what we’d seen, but we quickly found that previous preparation wasn’t necessary.  The conversation flowed smoothly and we had lots to say and Tom had lots to answer.

As far as WWII goes, I am going to summarize what he told us.  If I repeat something I already mentioned in a previous blog, I apologize, I just want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.  In June of 1943, one week after he graduated from Warren High School, at the age of 17 ½ , Tom joined the U.S. Navy.  He originally wanted to be a pilot.  However, when he finished training, he was sent with 50 other recruits to New York to bottle tomato ketchup.  The tomato crop in Rochester, NY was rotting from lack of labor.  Because of this, he missed the pilot training that happened once a month.  Medic Coreman were needed though, so he was sent to Bainbridge, MD, where he was trained.  He was then sent with the Marines to the Philippines.  He was at the battle of Okinawa.  And was part of the main force which consisted of 28 ships, which was to attack Japan.  However, the atom bomb was dropped first.  The ships were hit by a typhoon, which resulted from the atom bomb.  When they managed to get to shore, they didn’t know if everywhere in Japan knew that the war was over or not.  Tom, two officers, and a translator were sent ashore to make sure they knew.  Tom commented that he knew they knew it was all over because, “They had already set up souvenir stands on the street.”  He returned home in 1946.

He worked as part of a maintenance crew for a bakery for a year before he joined the state police.  He recounted that the reason he decided to become a trooper was because back then the police was divided into the highway patrol and the state police (they later merged in 1938).  The highway patrolmen would come in town on their motorcycles near his grandfather’s shoe shop.  Seeing these highway patrolmen is what gave Tom the inkling to join. 

Angela and I were both shocked to learn how much state troopers had worked then and also how little they had gotten paid.  When Tom was transferred into Greensburg after he finished his training in 1947, troopers worked six days a week with one day of the week off (which was usually not Saturday or Sunday).  Three of these days, they worked 16-hour shifts!  Tom’s starting salary was only $1,800 (although this did include room and board).  When he was promoted to detective in 1962, he only made $5,900 a year.  When he retired in 1982 from the state police, he was making $30,000 a year.  The troopers didn’t get any holidays off and had restricted vacations.  He figured out that at the beginning of his career, he made about 28 cents an hour!

In addition to this, he informed us that in order to get married back then, a state police officer had to work for three years before they were allowed to marry.  Once these three years were up, then the trooper had to ask for permission.  The trooper had to sign a statement which said, “My marriage will in no way interfere with my duties as a Pennsylvania policeman.”  Then once this was done, the bride-to-be was investigated.  Once this was all cleared, then and only then could a trooper marry.  And the regulations were strictly upheld, Tom told us he knew a trooper who didn’t wait three years and secretly got married.  He was discovered and was struck from the force.

Tom saw a lot though, he was detached several times from the state police.  He was sent to work with Cornell University for a while conducting a survey on the feasibility and importance of seatbelts (this was before seatbelts were in cars).  His job was to travel around to different place and photograph accidents.

In 1950, he was detached and worked with Penn Dot.  He travelled all over the 67 counties of Pennsylvania, weighing and measuring commercial motor vehicles to determine various regulations about how big they could be and how much they could carry and how much the roads could handle. 

In 1965, he was sent to Philadelphia with nine others to invest the magisterial system there and discover corruption.  His supervisor was Arlen Specter, who is now a U.S. Senator. 

Some of the major cases Tom was involved with during his time as a state trooper include:

·         The Turnpike Murders in 1953.

·         Prison riots of Western Penitentiary in 1957.

·         A prison murder in 1960.

·         The Johnstown flood in 1977.

·         A series of 10 bank robberies committed in Ford area in 1972.

·         Allegheny county District Attorney, Robert Dugan’s death in March of 1974.

·         A rape in 1974 on the Amtrak train en route from New York to Chicago. In August 2003, he was subpoenaed to appear in Jacksonville, FL to testify about this case.  The accused had committed three more rapes in Florida.  He was sent to prison for life.

·         An investigation in December, 1980 of a series of 11 bank robberies in three counties.  Tom was part of a force that caught the robber in the act of his last bank robbery.

·         Trovaglia-Lesko case of 1980.  Two men went on murder spree killing four people, including Apollo police officer, Leonard Miller.  It was Miller’s first day on the job. 

Tom also spent four days with John F. Kennedy on a security detail when he was campaigning in PA.  He also acted on a security detail of Russian premier, Khrushchev, when he came to Pittsburgh in the late 50s or early 60s.  He was also on security detail for President Eisenhower. 

After almost 35 years on the state police, Tom accepted a position as the chief detective of the Westmoreland County D.A.’s office.  He remained there for five years.  Then in 1986, he was appointed to be the officer in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington County.  He retired from that in 1990.  In 1991, he was appointed to the Greensburg City Council for a nine month term.  He was hoping someone would run against him, because Tom does not like politics.  But, no one ever did.  Tom has been on Council ever since.

The stories could go on and on.  There are even more I remember; it would make a very, very long blog entry to write them all down here. 

Tom didn’t just tell us stories about his past though.  He also asked about us.  He teasingly told Angela he had heard about her dad, but then refused to tell her, despite her begging, what he had heard.  He just smiled and stubbornly said, “Nope.”

One thing that also became increasingly evident to me was how very proud Tom is of his two daughters and his grandchildren.  He reaffirmed to us that despite the way kids are today, “my grandsons are good kids.” 

As we finished up our visit with Tom, I could not help but feel honored that Tom had shared so much about his life with Angela and I.  While I know I probably wasn’t nearly as interesting to Tom, as he was to me, I hope that just by listening and doing the few small chores we did, that we helped bring some cheer to Tom’s life.  Tom has faithfully served our country, risking his life time and time again, first during WWII, then as a state trooper, and now he still serves through his position on City Council. 

Tom helped me keep things in perspective.  Amid these last hectic weeks of papers and finals, Tom showed me the bigger picture.  Tom’s final advice to Angela and I was “to roll with the punches,” and I sincerely hope I manage to do so.  Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sadness, Tom has weathered them all and still retains his sense of humor.  Tom is a real hero.  I only hope I can be half as beneficial to my community.     

Help Where It's Not Needed

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My experience with this project has taught me that the best-laid plans never go the way you expect them to.  Just as I arrived at a Greensburg parking lot only to discover there was not any major cleaning up to be done, I arrived at Mrs. G's house with Hallie to discover a house that was well-cared-for and a senior citizen who had a lot of people looking out for her.  Some very obnoxious, selfish part of me was saying, "But Mrs. G, you're supposed to be lonely and living in a decrepit house!  That's the requirement for this project!  I need you to have problems that I can help you with so that I can graduate!"  Okay, maybe I wasn't saying exactly that.  Mainly I was just happy to find that this 95-year-old woman was leading a very happy, full life.  As Hallie mentioned, Mrs. G's cabinets were almost spotless; when I vacuumed her furniture, it was practically pristine.  When we got there, a neighbor was visiting her, and later on, another neighbor could be heard mowing her lawn for her.  Mrs. G also told us about a young neighbor of hers who cleaned her porch for her.  I was really touched by the kindness of the community where Mrs. G was located; I hope that if I ever get to be that old, I have so much support. 

Hopefully, the main service that we did was giving Mrs. G an opportunity to brag; we chatted for a while about her life, and you could tell how proud she was of her family.  She talked about her great-grandchildren and their successes and bitter disappointments at spelling bees (as a former spelling bee champ I could relate to the glory of success and the agony of failure), as well as her children, one of whom bought her a really fancy TV and another of whom was a successful lawyer.  Though you might expect older people who live alone to spend a lot of time dwelling on their own lives and living in the past, Mrs. G seemed to be living fully in the present.  She seemed to be really enjoying her life; her children visit her often and have dinner with her once a week.  She was interested in us, asking about our chosen career paths and offering us brownies and iced tea.  But I'm not surprised she didn't invite us back.  What we were trying to provide she already had--help with maintaining her household, and most importantly, people to talk to and socialize with.  I do hope she at least enjoyed her opportunity to boast--we all know that happiness in life is all the more delicious when you can brag about it to others.  So although I couldn't offer a lot to Mrs. G, I'm just grateful for being able to witness such a loving, supportive community; so often we hear about the sadness of old age, but we forget that there can be a lot of happiness in old age as well.  I am, in fact, glad that Mrs. G didn't really need our help.  I just hope I don't fail.  (Just kidding.) 

Hallie's and Matt's experience

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When we arrived, Mrs. G was already entertaining a neighbor. We would find out later that this neighbor stopped by frequently and would even bring over dinner for Mrs. G, who had a hard time cooking. We would also find out that this neighbor had a daughter that would sometimes clean up the basement for Mrs. G for a few dollars to go swimming with. But when we entered, all we knew was that Mrs. G looked like everybody’s grandmother and had already baked us fabulous brownies.

Mrs. G is 95 years old and lives by herself in the same house she has lived in for 63 years. Even though she has a hard time getting around now, Mrs. G’s house is immaculate. Matt and I managed to clean her cabinets and vacuum her carpets for her, but you would have had to look really close to see the difference in the before and after. Her house was that clean. Still, it made her happy to have the work done, and we were happy to do it for her.

Mrs. G is a story not only of self-reliance, but of family and friendship. Mrs. G would barely say two words about herself, but loved to talk about how good her neighbors were and how well her children were doing. Mrs. G shows the ideal of community in America, where the community surrounds and assists the elderly among them, knowing they will some day be in the same situation. I’m glad I could spend even a brief amount of time with this remarkable woman, and I hope her situation is mimicked across the country.

Day 2 with Mr. and Mrs. Zilli

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The following blog was written and performed by Rob Vasinko and Amanda Manley

 

Our second visit was a lot more comfortable than the first. We had made a connection with the Zillis and knew what to expect.  We also had made a lot of progress on the painting job and had to finish only a small part of the kitchen before we were completely done.

 

As we went up to the front door, we were not greeted by Mrs. Zilli but a small boy. He stared at us with big eyes then ran away. From the back yard we heard Mrs. Zilli’s familiar voice. She let us in and we began to paint.

 

We learned that the little boy was Mrs. Zilli’s grandson and briefly met her daughter as well.  We began to get organized, and soon began to paint the rest of the wall paying close attention to detail knowing this was our last visit.

 

As we finished, we were showered with many thank yous. They genuinely appreciated our help, and we were happy to give it. Though we did not get the grand historical perspective that we might have hoped for we had a very real experience with real people.  The Zillis were a nice couple who were living their lives and merely had trouble getting around. 

 

Our mission was “by combining our unique talents, we will unite individuals to Inspire change in the world.” I think we did that.  Though we are not talented painters, we developed the skills necessary to get the job done and most importantly to their satisfaction. I would like to think we united people, because Mrs. Zilli was very thankful to Seton Hill and their students offering to write a letter saying how helpful we have been.  Finally I would like to think that we made some kind of change. Of course, we painted a room which did change it. But I would like to think that perhaps we inspired change within the community. While Mrs. Zilli was thanking us, I thought of her telling of her experience to her friends and family. By sharing of our experiences and her experiences we have started a wave of positive thinking, which can only result in the improvement of many more lives.        

Rob and Anamda's experience- Day 1

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Our experience began at about 5:15 pm on Wednesday April 14, 2010. As we parked along the curb and strode up to the appointed house, I had no idea what we would be in for. We found Martha Zilli sitting on her porch with her husband. She invited us in.  With few words, she showed us the kitchen and what needed to be painted and then went to watch TV with her husband.

We got all the supplies ready and started to prime the walls.  First, she had us cover up some trimming that was around the wall, which she did not want anymore.  As we covered up the old paint with the new, she came into the room and asked us what kind of sub we wanted for dinner. We politely declined, but she insisted. 

When we had finished painting the trim and two walls, Mr. Zilli came back with the subs.  Martha invited us out on the porch to take and break and eat.  There Mrs. Zilli turned out to be more talkative then she had been.  We found out that Mr. and Mrs. Zilli were quite religious and kept up with current church news.  She began to talk about what a travesty it was to close the smaller churches in the area and have priests travel between parishes.

Luckily, this was something that affected me directly because I live near some of the churches that were closing.  We had found something in common.  As we talked about the closing churches and the new bishop, we finished our meal on the porch with a connection.

After the meal it was back to work.  But I did not feel as disconnected as I had before. I felt that in the end of it all we made an impression .  

Tom Take Two

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 Above picture is of Angela Palumbo (left), Tom Tridico (middle), Greta Carroll (right).

To the right is Mr. Tridico's Congressional Commendation

 

Yesterday, Greta and I went to visit Mr. Tridico again.  He had just gotten an operation, but was still in really great spirits.  He had us get some old state police books (that looked like yearbooks) for him.  Together, we rifled through the pages until we found the pictures of him.

We talked about the State trooper hats, or campaign hats.  Greta and I both commented about how uncomfortable they must be and Tom revealed that, not surprisingly, they are indeed very uncomfortable.  It said that they hurt your chin.

We asked Mr. Tridico if we could do anything for him.  He asked us to pick up the twigs out of his front yard and sweep his driveway.  What seemed like an easy job turned into an hour-long lawn assault.  Greta and I scoured the lawn like two blood hounds looking for a lost criminal.  We also picked up cigarette butts and a few leaves.  We swept the driveway and walk and then went back inside.  Tom told us to get out a tape of him being interviewed about being in the state police.  We went downstairs to look for it and found it.  He then told us we could have it for the time being and bring it back next time.  We’ll let you all know about the tape as soon as we watch it.

Once again, it felt really good going to help Mr. Tridico.  It is an honor to help a retired state police officer in any way we can, although it pales in comparison to the years of service he gave serving us.  We’ll be going back to see him next week.

Below are a few other honors and awards that were given to Mr. Tridico.  There are a lot more where these came from.

Mr. Tridico has a street named after him at the police academy!

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Our Time with Tom

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Greta summarized our time with our senior, Tom Tridico, very well.  I'm not just going to retell all of that, but I do have a few things to add.  Be sure to check out her entry first though, as mine will make more sense after reading hers.

Tom had a great outlook and a good sense of humor as Greta showed with her example of the women and their shirts.  At one point, I remarked that I like to talk and he said, "I can tell," then smiled.  At one point, he even told me that I reminded him of his granddaughter. 

He shared so much with us.  It is amazing how he just opened up to us and told us all about his children, grandchildren, wife, and life experiences.  It was rare that we had a silent moment.  Talking to him was like rifling through a fully interactive archive.  The pictures and awards he shared with us made me feel so special.  I can't believe that he let us in on something so important and personal!  I felt as though we were conversing with a living legend.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed our time with Tom, and I know Greta did, too.

Angela and I went to our first home visit this afternoon.  We met for lunch in the cafeteria, and then we trekked to D lot to get my car.  My nerves were already on edge about driving to an unknown place in Greensburg.  This is my first year of having a car on campus and besides simple trips to Wal-Mart and back; I have not explored much of the Greensburg area.  So an adventure into a residential neighborhood was not anything I have felt motivated to try.  My first concern was whether we were going to manage to get there without becoming hopelessly lost.

Luckily, I thought ahead and borrowed my parents’ GPS.  So, Angela and I slid into my car.  I plugged in the GPS, typed in the address, and headed down the winding, tree-lined road which always lets me know I am safely on Seton Hill’s property.  At the bottom of the hill, I took a gulp, and turned into an unfamiliar world.  I had left plenty of time to get to the senior citizen’s home who we had been assigned, since I was unsure how far away it was and I wanted to leave extra time in case we got lost.  But, this worry was needless, after driving down a pretty road full of sunshine, green lawns, flowers, and trees, Angela and I spied our house.

I pulled into the driveway, turned off the car, glanced at Angela and said, “Are you ready?”  I think both of us were a little anxious about what we were walking into.  We had been informed that our senior had suffered a stroke not long ago and we were both concerned we might have trouble understanding him.  Nor did we constantly want to be asking him to repeat, if we did have difficulties, as we would feel guilty over these constant requests.

We stood in front of his front door, Angela rang the door bell, and we gave each other one last terrified glance, before the door opened.  On the other side of the door we found a friendly and smiling face.  He graciously said, “Come in, come in.  You may have a seat on the couch.”  To my great relief despite a slight slur, his speech was quite understandable.

Angela and I slipped off our shoes and had a seat on his couch.  Before I knew it almost two hours had slipped by.  Tom Tridico, our senior, had so many interesting stories, pictures, and things to say; there is no way I can even begin to do justice to all we discussed in this blog.  Nor would I be able to remember it all. 

He was drafted into World War II; he was stationed in the Philippines as a medic as part of the Marines (although, he was part of the Navy, the Marines needed medical personnel).  Later, he was part of the forces which were to invade Japan.  However, the atomic bombs were dropped first.  After the bombings, he was still stationed in Japan for a time.  He had taken pictures of all of this which he shared with us.  Some of the stories regarding these pictures were humorous.  For example, there was one picture with several rows of shirtless Pilipino women.  He told us that the armed forces had actually raised money and bought all these women shirts.  However, they didn’t like the feeling of the t-shirts on their breasts.  So they cut two holes in the t-shirts to resolve this problem.  Others pictures were full of sadness.  The pictures of the devastation in Japan were full of decimated buildings and dead bodies.

After his time in the military, Mr. Tridico was a state police officer.  He ended up being the Sergeant in charge of Somerset, Cambria, and Indiana counties (maybe even more, I might have forgotten some).  He also informed us that he used to work two days a week up at Seton Hill when it was an all girls’ school.  He would help take care of the petty problems which would arise on the campus.  He told us that the problems were not so much with the students themselves, but with other people who came onto campus.  Little issues like harassment of the female students and above all else “peeping toms” would need to be taken care of.

He was involved in many serious rape and murder cases.  He even showed us two books which have been published about cases he was in charge of.  He shared with us that his father, who had come over from Italy, had been a fireman.  It soon became apparent that much of his family has given their time and lives in careers which directly keeps the rest of us save.  As Angela commented to him, “You come from a family of heroes.”

In his basement, he had a little study area for himself.  The wall behind his desk was plastered in awards, pictures, telegrams, and newspaper articles.  One telegram was from a family thanking him for his help in catching a man who had raped their daughter.  He had a picture of himself with President Eisenhower.  He also had a signed picture of J. Edgar Hoover who he met while at the FBI school (although he was not training to be in the FBI). 

One of his awards which particularly caught my attention was a congressional commendation from John Murtha for his help in the Johnstown Flood of 1977.   For anyone who isn’t familiar with this, check out this YouTube video.  There have actually been three major floods in Johnstown.  The first and worst was in 1889, and then there was another in 1939, and then the one in 1977. Since I am from near Johnstown and am in fact doing a practicum at Greater Johnstown High School right now, I was very interested to hear him talk about his involvement.  He told us he was part of a crew that searched for victims of the flood.  They had to do a lot of this from helicopters, because of the water still on the ground.  He said he found around 60 dead bodies.

He showed us little handmade chairs his wife collected, a doll house full of furniture which was his wife’s, artwork done by his daughter and wife, and pictures of his family.  He has grandchildren about our age and we discussed the economy, Seton Hill, Saint Vincent, the Pirates, Greensburg, JoAnne Boyle (he used to be her neighbor!), and more.  The only thing he asked in return was that we uncover his air conditioner.  Mostly, he just wanted to talk to us. 

As Angela and I said goodbye and headed out in the sunshine outside, I couldn’t help wondering why I had been so worried.  He had so much to say and was so very nice.  I can honestly say I had an enjoyable time getting to know him.  The things he had to say, the pictures he showed us, and the stories he told were genuinely interesting.  It warms my heart and fills me with gratitude to know that there are people like Mr. Tridico who fought for our country, served as a policeman, and even now is a Greensburg Councilman. 

Yahtzee with Seniors

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On Saturday, a group of about nine of us went to a local high rise to play games with seniors.  I was surprised to see that about 15 seniors came to our game day.  We brought games like Old Maid, Yahtzee, Clue, Dominos, Uno, and Boggle.  Some people stayed for an hour and a half, others stayed for two hours. 

I was sitting at a table playing Yahtzee with five seniors.  Yahtzee posed some challenges for the seniors.  One of the residents told me that she hadn't played Yahtzee for about 40 years so she didn't remember the rules.  But, as we began playing, her memory became refreshed.  Another lady had just gotten new hearing aides, so she was having difficulty hearing our instructions on how to play the game.  It was also hard for the seniors to see the score cards. 

But, I hate talking about business and would much rather talk about the experience itself.  I had a lot of fun.  At first, when my group said they wanted to play Yahtzee, I thought, "Geez, of all of the games, I'd like to play this one the least."  But it turned out being a great game to play, despite the difficulties that arose from playing it.  Our group worked together to instruct each other about what we should do with our rolls.  We said what we would do in each case, whether it was continue to roll for a Full House, go for Yahtzee, or simply to take Chance.  We were able to bond using our strategies. 

It was also nice because nobody was particularly intense about winning the game.  We were all playing just for the fun of.it.  I got to bond with the residents over a shoe catalog as well.

The most challenging part of the trip was when we heard that a resident who was deaf was interested in coming down to play.  Dr. Droppa went around the room to find out if anyone knew American Sign Language.  Turns out, nobody knew it very well, but tAmanda did know the alphabet, so she managed to convince him to come down by spelling out words.  He joined my Yahtzee group.  I wrote out some simple instructions for him on the back of a Yahtzee card, so he knew the general rules.  The lady sitting to my right, however, was my biggest saving grace with him.  She said that she frequently built puzzles with him, so he knew and trusted her.  She helped him out and used simple signals (that were not American Sign Language) to indicate what he needed to do.  These two even joked around later when we played Old Maid.  The man with hearing impairments (he wasn't completely deaf), held the cards far apart in his hand and when the lady to my right went to select one, he moved the card away and laughed.

I had a great time playing games at the high rise.  In fact, I wish we were going again.  They all seemed so thankful that we were there.  Many of them had no plans for the rest of the day.  We were the bright spot, and that made me feel really good.  I enjoyed making new friends and connecting with the older generation.  After all, they are people just like college students.  Often, the very old and the very young are judged (us because we don't have a ton of experience, and them because people assume that because they're old, they don't remember anything accurately).  Truth is, that by getting together, there is a lot you can learn by simply spending time with different age groups.

If you are reading this and you are thinking about organizing a game time for senior citizens take the following things into account:

  1. Some older people like to get up early and go to bed early.  A game night might appeal to younger people, but not necessarily to older people.  Talk to the high rise/nursing home to find out when activities get the greatest response.
  2. Keep in mind your audience when you bring games.  If you are playing with seniors, chances are that they don't know anything about Harry Potter, so don't bring a Harry Potter board game.  Bring older games that they would have played.  When all else fails, cards is a great default.
  3. Be ready to explain the rules to the game you brought.  Come prepared.
  4. Bring a magnifying glass.  It would have helped the seniors with recording on the Yahtzee score card if they would have had one.  It would have also enabled them to be more self-reliant (which in turn gives them more confidence).
  5. Speak loud and clear when around them.  Don't shout, but just take your time when speaking and say it louder.
  6. It would be best if you are in a bigger room.  Small rooms trap noise, which in turn make it hard for the seniors to hear you and for you to hear them.   

T-Shirt Sale Stalemate

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Today was the first day of the t-shirt sales.  I have good news and bad news.  The bad news is that I believe we've only managed to sell one t-shirt in the caf.  The good news is we can only go up from here.  If you're a Seton Hill student or faculty and want to purchase a shirt, they're going to be in the cafeteria this week from 11-2.  They're a really pretty dark teal (is what I'd call them).  The proceeds go to Dr. Droppa's Senior Seminar service project "Seniors Helping Seniors."  The money will be used to buy supplies for the seniors homes when we go to help them.

I (Angela, in case anyone was wondering who the omniscient "I" is) was down at the table today from 11-12 and from 1:20-2:00 with Greta then Rob for a short time.  I've noticed that people try their hardest to not make eye contact with you when you're selling anything.  I observed it time and time again.  I can't blame anyone, I do the same thing.  It's kind of like when you know you don't know the answer to a question in class, the last thing you want to do is make eye contact with the professor. 

I actually felt invisible.  I talked to a few people, who were my friends.  I got two "I might buy one but I don't have the cash on me now"s and an "If I wasn't broke, I'd definately buy one."  I have to say that I thought we'd at least be a bit more successful than that.

So how do we solve this problem?  Tell your friends, wear your shirt A LOT...what can we do?  We have a lot of creative people in this class.  People don't want to look at us, so let's make them look at us somehow.  Maybe we could have a drawing for a free shirt.  We could all chip in a dollar for the shirt and one person will win.  Or we could hire an trapeze artist and get a trained Asian elephant to sport our shirts while performing.  Whatever works best.

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