My Service Trip To La Plant With Simply Smiles

My Service Trip To La Plant With Simply Smiles

A town in the Cheyenne River Reservation located in the state of South Dakota

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The last week of my summer, I decided to spend on a service trip with the organization, Simply Smiles, on a Native American Reservation. The reservation that Simply Smiles works with is the Cheyenne River Reservation and it runs programming and safe spaces for children and families at a community center on the reservation in the town of La Plant, South Dakota.

To give some background into where this town is and the size of it, there is a sign as you enter La Plant saying that the population is only 171 people and it is around a five hour drive from the Rapid City, SD airport. The size of the Cheyenne River Reservation is about the size of Connecticut, although all the land from when you leave the airport, to the current boarder of the reservation, use to be owned by the Native Americans and now they are left with a small portion of what they once owned.

Though Lakota Native Americans do not see land as something to be owned and view their role in society as what is best for the community; an "us" not "I" mentality.

Upon arrival on the reservation, I did not really know what to expect. I knew there would be the prairie land environment but I was not expecting a highway running through the reservation, along with some stores and a gas station in one of the "larger" towns that we passed through on our drive to La Plant.

My week in La Plant, consisted of assisting the staff of Simply Smiles in preparing to leave (after being there all summer) along with running an after school camp for the children living in La Plant, as well as the neighboring town (20 minute drive away) of Swiftbird, SD. I also had the opportunity to go into the K-12 school in La Plant and speak with a number of seniors about college, along with work with several 2nd graders on a morning math lesson.

Spending time in the school only further reinforced the need for volunteers and more teachers in the community. The school has never had a certified math teacher because it is so hard to find someone to move to La Plant (or near by) and work at the school. There are also very small classes of graduating seniors, due in part to a lack of home support. There is a very high drop out rate and many children on the reservation do not grow up thinking that they could have a life off of the reservation. Simply Smiles works to show children there are opportunities for them outside of the reservation and provides support to those seeking those opportunities.

The daily lives that the children on the reservation face everyday are days that most people could never comprehend a child living through. There are many issues with alcohol and drug abuse, along with an unemployment rate of 88%. Simply Smiles strives to give children a time to be kids and a safe environment with staff and volunteers who love them unconditionally.

Even though there are moments of struggle and hard work on the reservation, any small moment of hope or joy overpowers. This unconditional love for La Plant, South Dakota and the children there, overcame me in just the one week I spent volunteering for Simply Smiles. The end of the week hugs and goodbyes were so difficult, but the Lakota always say, "There is no goodbye, only a see you later".

I hope to return to La Plant with Simply Smiles and continue to learn about the Lakota Native Americans and service this community that I have fallen in love with and continue to miss after returning home.

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A History Lesson On The 'Father of Radio,' Lee De Forest

A trip back in time to the origin behind the creator of live radio broadcasting.

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The "father of radio," the "grandfather of television," the man who created live radio broadcasting, Lee de Forest was a man who forever changed the history of radio and television. Lee de Forest was born on August 26th of 1873, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Furthermore, he was the son of a Congregational minister who had a presidential position at Talladega College, a bankrupt school with mostly African Americans. Lucky for Lee, he fit in perfectly as part of the community. Lee's father wanted a career for him in the clergy, but Lee preferred science which led to his enrollment in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1893. Within six years, Lee was working many jobs, making the best out of his scholarship and the best out of his allowance from his parents to later achieve his Ph.D. in 1899 in physics.

Around 1899, electricity started to be an interest to Lee, specifically electromagnetic- wave propagation."De Forest's doctoral dissertation on the "Reflection of Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires" was possibly the first doctoral thesis in the United States on the subject that was later to become known as radio" (E. Fielding, Raymond). Lee began to work at the Western Electric Company in Chicago, starting off in the telephone section and leading him to the experimental laboratory. Furthermore, working after hours granted Lee with his first invention, an electrolytic detector of Hertzian waves, which became moderately successful. In 1902, De Forest founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company to allow a new medium of communication to be born and spread to the press, military, businesses, and the people. Wireless telegraphy was the route of creation De Forest took, leading him to create the "Audion" because of his dedication to this new form of communication.

The Audion was a more evolved detector; it had a stronger reception towards wireless signals than Carborundum and electrolytic detectors. Furthermore, in 1907 Lee began to take advantage of his invention by broadcasting music and speech to the people living in the New York City area. Although with his newly made invention, also came the downfalls in Lee's life. He was defrauded twice by business partners, involved in many patent lawsuits, had four unsuccessful marriages, and was indicted for mail fraud, which was later acquitted. Furthermore, Lee fell victim to many failed inventions and had a hard time trying to convey his new medium.

On the contrary, in 1910 was Lee's first broadcast of any sort of performance. Specifically, it was a live performance of opera, sung by Enrico Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera. This broadcast allowed Lee to share his new medium with the general public and to get ideas on how his creation could evolve.

Eventually, by 1912, de Forest began to have many Audion tubes to amplify high-frequency radio signals to far areas. "He fed the output from the plate of one tube through a transformer to the grid of a second, the output of the second tube's plate to the grid of a third, and so forth, which thereby allowed for an enormous amplification of a signal that was originally very weak"(E. Fielding, Raymond). The more modifications the Audion had, the better its impact on radio, as the transmitting and amplification of radio signals towards farther distances grew stronger allowing telephonic distance communication to evolve.

Through the success of his invention, Lee began to create controversy around scientists and attorneys, eventually selling patents to communication firms for further development. Moreover, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T;) installed audions to amplify voice signals all across the United States of America, changing the development of radio.

In 1921, de Forest began producing audio and recordings for movies. He created a recording system titled "Phonofilm," which led to him starting the "De Forest Phonofilm Corporation." Although the quality of the system was mediocre, the optical recording system was shown in many theaters from 1923 to 1927. His method was put off by many film producers as they rejected his sound-on-film device, because of the evolution of film and the use of talking pictures. Ironically, producers in the past did not want to use De Forests device, because they did not believe in it, but as years passed, movies began to use De Forests method of sound recording and many are still influenced by his methods today.

Overall, Lee De Forest died with over 300 patents and has signified his spot in the history of radio and television and is one of the principal inventors of today. He allowed the ease of amplifying radio signals, coast to coast services to be created all across the world, and is credited for bringing sound to motion pictures.

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A New Years Resolution Must PART 2

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**If you haven't read, A New Years Resolution Must, I wouldd take a peek at that real quick before you get too into this because it will make MUCH more sense :)

Quick thought before I get to the main point of my article:

I really really enjoyed the 25 Days of Kindness Cards and I definitely want to do something similar again in some way shape or form. I have not decided yet but in scrolling through some of the older articles I've written, I remembered what I wrote this past year for Lent. In 10 Things To Give Up For Lent Other Than That Favorite Candy Bar, I talked about writing letters to different people. My original plan was to write 40 letters, one for each day of Lent. It failed miserably. 40 is a lot! But I definitely think approaching that in the same way I wrote the 25 Days of Kindness Cards will be a better way to spend some time in reflection, not just during Lent, but during any point of the year. You don't just have to write a letter. You can just send the little quotes of kindness. Leave them in random people's mailboxes or slip them under a door or leave them on a bus seat or a park bench. You never know who'll need it.

NOT THAT LENT IS ANYTIME SOON... I don't want to rush the seasons. Just a thought or two to get you thinking if you were considering taking on something like this. Or maybe to get you thinking :)

Okay, now to the real point:

In keeping with the theme of my last article-spreading little bits of kindness all over-I wanted to share with everyone the 18 different kindness quotes that I put in each of the 25 Days of Kindness Cards. Like I said in the little blerb before, you don't even have to write a letter. Print these out and spread them out in your dorm building, across campus, or any other place you can think of. Save them and text a different one to a different person each day. Maybe these will be the few that get you going on your small acts of kindness journey!

How do we change the world? "One random act of kindness at a time"

Surprising Effects Of Kindness

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You will never regret being kind

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/306948530850892994/

May every word that is ever spoken by our mouths or typed by our fingers be words that lift up and never words that tear down

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/306948530850892996/

Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deeplifequotes/15993...

Kindness begins with me

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/2d/ca/8a/2dca8acbe2f7aaccb6379f7a6baf7a42.jpg

Kindness is like snow-It beautifies everything it covers. 

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Do small things with great love.  (Couldn't not put this one in there :) ) 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/306948530850862792/

Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle. 

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/ab/ca/58/abca584fc0296c7cfd13501585943b7b.jpg

Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person's life. 

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One kind word can change someone's entire day

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Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere. 

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/306948530850862762/

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. 

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Be silly. Be honest. BE KIND. 

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Be the reason someone smiles today. 

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A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions. And the roots spring up and make new trees.

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/db/12/54/db12547bc66e9ad2a0029631bf2d2f5e.jpg

You never know what light you might spark in others just through your kindness and your example. 

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/63/17/95/63179520054721362b5db888fc254311.jpg

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. 

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Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/227150374940106672/

Choose kind over cool. 

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/f9/09/fa/f909fa50632eb6cf61ab889da8ebf1a1.jpg

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