Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moving away from Oxford talk for this one...

Every now and then I Google search Erica's name and today I found a new result. The Washington Post did an article on huffing in December 2007. She's only mentioned briefly, but seeing just a part of her on the Washington Post website made me stop for some reason. I'm glad it's there. I want this to be spread and I want people to know. Read  it:

Reaching Out Through Her Pain

Bowie Resident Describes Dangers of 'Huffing,' Which Killed Her Son

By Megan King
Gazette Staff Writer 
Thursday, December 6, 2007; Page PG05

Janna Zuber's 16-year-old son, Justin, died in 2002 after inhaling the air freshener in his dorm at a Pennsylvania boarding school.

For the past two years, Zuber, a Bowie resident, has been traveling throughout Maryland to educate parents about the potential dangers of such household products, as part of a personal campaign to help save other young lives.

On Nov. 27, Zuber brought her message to the Bowie High School Parent Teacher Student Organization, where she spoke to about 20 members. Describing her son as "my good kid" and a "zany soul," Zuber said she had spoken with Justin about the dangers of drug use but did not know about the practice of "huffing," or inhaling a substance through a soaked rag, until his death.

More than 1,000 products that can be found in the average home can be deadly when inhaled, including glue, refrigerant, spray paint and cooking sprays, according to the Alliance for Consumer Education, an organization that focuses on inhalant abuse, disease and poison prevention.

After Justin died, Zuber said she initially had no inclination to get involved with inhalant abuse prevention efforts. But after her daughter began researching the issue for a school project two years ago, she started to reach out via the Internet to other parents whose children had been affected by inhalant abuse.

"Our common swan song is, 'I didn't know,' " Zuber said. "In the future, if a child chooses [to abuse inhalants], even after he's been talked to by his parents, at least that parent won't suffer from that same guilt."

The death of another Bowie teenager, Erica Knoll, 16, who died Nov. 1, 2005, after inhaling Dust-Off, a cleaning agent, prompted Zuber to speak to the Bowie parents. After Knoll's death, PTSO President Mary Nusser asked Zuber to speak at the school.

"My heart broke for that family," Zuber said.

Zuber said her work has included successfully lobbying the Giant and Stop and Shop grocery stores to place brochures with information on inhalants at their pharmacies. The brochures, produced by the Alliance for Consumer Education, will soon be on the counters. After the holidays, she hopes to get other pharmacies on board, she said.

In April, the state legislature passed "Mackenzie's Law," named after Avin Mackenzie Glamp, 15, of Crofton, who died from using an inhalant. The law requires Maryland public schools to educate students on the dangers of inhalant abuse.

In Prince George's County public schools, students receive mandatory drug education in their health classes, which includes a discussion of inhalants, said county schools spokesman John White. The school system is also working with the county Department of Health to publish a brochure for parents on the dangers of inhalants.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 29.2 percent of eighth-graders have admitted to using inhalants, and, by 12th grade, 51.2 percent of teens had huffed at least once.

Zuber told the group she is willing to speak to any community or school groups that are interested in learning about the issue. She can be contacted

Monday, January 28, 2008

Greetings from Oxford! We've started to settle in here and things have begun to feel more normal. It's strange because I don't feel like I'm in a foreign country most of the time. Even though we're constantly walking everywhere and we just went to Stonehenge and Salisbury, I don't feel like I'm in England. I love the city and I'm still in shock that any place can be this beautiful in January without snow. We've gotten lucky with the weather because it's been relatively dry.
As I mentioned before, we saw Stonehenge on Saturday and visited the cathedral in Salisbury. Both were amazing. We had perfect weather with just a few clouds. We got lucky. Our group was pretty big so we had a few mishaps during our day of traveling.First, we had to catch the train in Oxford at 8:00 and it takes about 25 minutes to walk there. We plan on meeting on the ground floor of House 9 at 7:15. It gets to 7:15 and the boys says, "Oh, by the way, Andy's still asleep." So Ben goes to wake Andy and the rest of us take off to the train station hoping that Andy will run when he's ready. We get there on time and there are a few questions about which bus to take, but we ultimately get there-ALL of us get there. That's the important part. The bus ride from Salisbury to Stonehenge is beautiful. Green hills and cute little towns in the valleys are the greatest view when driving through the England country-side. Stonehenge was so cool! Yes, they are just rocks, but it's the questions that can't be answered that leave you awestruck. It's eery to stand in the middle of pastures with huge stones just feet away from you that have been there since pre-historic times. It was amazing. We ate our packed lunches on the bus ride back and walk through town to get to the cathedral. At one point we pass a pub that has a really nice deal for dinners and we plan on eating there later on. Once we get to the cathedral (which is amazing as well) everyone gets lost in it. It's so beautiful that youcan't pay attention to where everyone is. There was a gorgeous wedding going on while we were there so most of stopped to watch the bride come down the aisle and then we went to the Magna Carta Chapter Room where one of the copies of the Magna Carta is (the name of the room was probably pretty self-explanatory). Once we leave the room we sit and wait for KrisAnn and Katie to come out of the Cathedral, but they don't show. We wait for about 20 minutes and decide to go out and see if they've already left because Jaclyn and I could have sworn they were in front of us the whole time. So Eryn and Ben go inside to walk through the cathedral one more time, but they were no where to be found! We decided they had already left so we went to walk around the city and hope that they would show up sometime for dinner at the place we talked about. Here's the problem: we didn't set a time for dinner and most of us were wanting to leave a little earlier than planned. We walked around for a long time and headed towards the pub and then all of sudden--BEN SPOTS KATIE AND KRISANN!!! I don't think we ever figured out who left who because no one knew specific times, but if you want her side of the story check out KrisAnn's blog at Who knows what happened. All that matters is that we finally found each other! So we ate at the pub and I got INCREDIBLE lasagna. The only problem was that I was really hungry and the food was REALLY hot. Needless to say, my tongue is still extremely mad at me. We made it home around 8 and power-walked back to the houses. I was so wiped out from just one day of traveling, I wonder what these longer days are going to be like for me! So there's the story of my first travel day! We go to London on Friday and might go to Bath or Wales or something like that on Saturday. I think a whole semester of this is going to seriously wear me out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lay My Head Down
by Indigo Girls

Oh the party's kicked up a few notches look at us getting loose
She leans back against the wall and she watches 
tugging her collar like it might be a noose.
And everyones tied to their thing
To their past or their drink or the date that they bring
I just get tired all of sudden taking it in.

And I want to lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of changes strangers illusion confusion,
I speak from my heart but im not really sure if its true.
I wanna lay my head down on you.

Oh dont waste too much time planning
Or you'll get rug ripped out
And the only way you'll be satisfied
Is learning to live with out.
But some plan for the kingdom of heaven
And some take their chances and bet lucky seven
I don't know what to believe I just show up and breathe anymore.

And I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of dressers, professors, lookers, hookers
If I don't get out I'll do something I don't wanna do.
And I wanna lay my head down on you.

Was it so long ago
That we sat and talked in your car
Your things were all packed
And the place you were headed not really that far
Years later I think
That I would have been much more alive
To have taken you up on your offer and taken that drive

Well everything that's come before us leads us to where we are now
And thats simple, I know so why cant I let go of the feeling
That im lost somehow
I'm just a ghost looking in
Out of my own life just visiting
In search of a body to have and to hold and to keep and to sleep.

I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of missed chance, slow dance, cold fate heartache
I showed up for a party and saw my life story full view
And I wanna lay my head down on you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm here. I haven't slept for about 41 hours now. 

For moms: Katie, Eryn, Casey, Jessica Lana, Jaclyn, and I are in the basement of number 9. All the boys are in the second floor, and there are more girls above them and in number 10. We've all made it safely even though we are all exhausted. 

For Stacie: which room was yours again?

Katie fell asleep a few hours ago, but they told us it would be better for jet lag if we tried to wait until 8 or so. It's almost 7 now so I'm about ready to get to bed.

I haven't taken pictures yet. That takes more energy than I have had all day.

I promise pictures will follow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How not to pack

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I have fallen in love with Kate Nash. And this song is one of my favorites right now. I loves stories put into a song. Give it a try.

by Kate Nash

She was waiting at the station
He was getting off the train
He didnt have a ticket so he had to bum through the barriers again.
Well the ticket inspector saw him rushing through
He said girl you don't know how much I missed you but
We'd better run cos' I haven't got the funds to pay this
Fine, She said, Fine.

So they ran out of the station and jumped onto a bus with two of yesterdays travel cards and two bottles of Bud,
And he said you look well nice.
Well she was wearing a skirt
And he thought she looked nice
And yeah, she didn't really care about anything else
Because she only wanted him to think that she looked nice,
And he did.

But he was looking at her, yeah all funny in the eye
She said come on boy tell me what your thinking now, don't be shy.
He said alright, I'll try.
All the stars up in the sky and the leaves in the trees,
All the broken bits that make you trip up and grassy bits in between.
All the matter in the world that's how much I like you.

She said what?
He said let me try and explain again.

Birds can fly so high, and they can shit on your head,
Yeah they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel so scared.
But when you look at them, and you see that they're beautiful,
That's how i feel about you.
Right birds can fly so high and they can shit on your head,
Yeah they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel well scared.
But when you look at them, and you see that they're beautiful,
That's how i feel about you.
Yeah thats how i feel about you.

She said, what?
He said you.
She said what are you talking about?
He said you.

Right birds can fly so high and they can shit on your head
Yeah they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel so scared.
But when you look at them, and you see that they're beautiful,
That's how i feel about you.
Right birds can fly so high and they can shit on your head,
Yeah they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel well scared.
But when you look at them, and you see that they're beautiful,
That's how i feel about you.
Right, that's how i feel about you.

She said thanks, I like you too.
He said cool.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN!! ok, so i started counting awhile ago, but now it seems a little more important.

1 Day from now I will be freaking out that I won't be prepared.
2 Days from now I will be preparing myself.
3 Days from now I will start packing (maybe).
4 Days from now I will be getting nervous.
5 Days from now I will be finishing an essay.
6 Days from now I will actually finish the essay.
7 Days from now I will be busy with orientation.
8 Days from now I will be panicked that I still am unprepared.
9 Days from now I will be on a plane to England (and still be panicked).

9 DAYS!!!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

See The World
by Gomez

Day to day
Where do you want to be?
'Cos now you're trying to pick a fight
With everyone you need

You seem like a soldier
Who's lost his composure
You're wounded and play a waiting game
In no-man's land no-one's to blame

See the world
Find an old fashioned girl
And when all's been said and done
It's the things that are given, not won
Are the things that you earned

Empty handed, surrounded by a senseless scene
With nothing of significance
Besides a shadow of a dream
You sound like an old joke
You're worn out, a bit broke
An' askin me time and time again
But the answer's still the same

See the world
Find an old fashioned girl
And when all's been said and done
It's the things that are given, not won
Are the things that you earned

You've got a chance to put things right
So how's it going to be?
Lay down your arms now
And put us beyond doubt
So reach out it's not too far away
Don't mess around now, don't delay

Friday, January 04, 2008


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, New Philosophy?

Nah, just new hair styles...