Monthly Archives: October 2014

Turning a Disability into an Ability- Nick Santonastasso

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Nick Santonastasso was born with no limbs due to a rare birth defect called Hanhart syndrome. Despite being told he would have limited mobility, he skateboards, wrestles, plays the drums, and drives a car. Not only did he learn how to do everyday things with only one arm, he excels at them!

If this is where Nick’s story ended, it would be inspirational enough. Luckily for us, Nick wasn’t satisfied with just being a musician, wrestler and motivational speaker. He’s taken his disability to a new level- an ability. He calls himself a prankster, and boy does he do just that. He creates the kind of realism with his pranks that only someone with a physical disability could, and that’s why I think he’s awesome. It’s not about what you can’t do it’s all about what you can. Happy Halloween!

**This video is not for the faint of heart!**

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Innocent Until Proven Guilty- A Tale of Two Stories

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A few months ago a friend of mine was shocked to find out that I don’t consider myself a feminist. This is not because I do not think women are equal to men, but because I think the word has taken on a meaning that I do not agree with. I value and appreciate the efforts of women who have stood up for our rights in the past and gotten us to the place we are today. I also very much support these movements in countries and areas that are not yet as fortunate in this regard. But, like anything inherently positive, it can go too far. Our system isn’t perfect, but if there is one thing in this world I can’t stand it’s playing the victim.

Perhaps that’s why my gut reaction to the recent Jian Ghomeshi scandal was to side with him. I realize that there are people out there who will think that I’m a monster for not 100% supporting the women who claim they were abused, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty?

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Father Doesn’t Always Know Best

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When you are young you think your parents are infallible. You look to them to tell you right from wrong and depend on them to lead you down the right path. Even as we age, and we start to realize that our parents are human, we still value their opinion over almost anyone else. It’s a hard notion to shake. But sometimes our parents are wrong.

When I was in university my father began to change. He gradually went from attentive, involved, and nurturing to distant, ambivalent, and mean. I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but I know it had something to do with the fact that my dad was having a hard time figuring out the whole “dating thing” after years of being alone. He began to act like a teenager: he didn’t tell us where he was going, he was always forgetting to get groceries, and he didn’t seem interested in his children.

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Emotional Support Animals- Fact or Fraud?

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Despite not growing up with any due to my father’s allergies, I love animals; I have a wonderful bunny named Snickers whom I love dearly.

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I adopted Snickers from the Guelph Humane Society when I was struggling from depression. I had not planned on getting any type of animal, but when I was visiting the Humane Society with my “little sister” I fell in love. I had no specific intentions when I adopted Snickers, he was not planned, but he ended up providing me with an amazing service. I have no doubt in my mind that I would not have gotten through my depression as fast without my furry companion. He was a distraction, a source of laughter, and a responsibility. There were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did because Snickers needed to be fed, or needed his cage cleaned. If you had asked me before I got him about the benefits of animal companions I probably wouldn’t have believed that they could be so helpful. But, according to Patricia Marx of the New Yorker, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

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