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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hello Blog!


Hello everyone! I am sorry for not blogging in so long. We have a little problem downloading pictures and videos. I have wanted to show you my work at the bus compound. However, the video Jason and I shot on my phone, would not download to my computer. I hope to have a video up next week.


I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving was awesome. My dad grilled our turkey and it was so good. My family and I stayed home and relaxed. It was enjoyable.


I will post something next week. Until then, have a great work week.


Alex

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thank You Congressman Bill Delahunt

I would like to say thank you to Congressman Bill Delahunt for sending me a warm letter congratulating me for my achievements. Through a family friend, Ed Hanrahan, Congressman Delahunt was introduced to my family. Congressman Delahunt was given a binder with pictures of my family and my blog address. He visited my blog and said he was inspired by what he read. That is a very nice thing to say and makes me feel good to hear that.

Below is a copy of the letter Congressman Delahunt sent me. Above the letter is a link to a short biography of his life and work. In the letter, you will see that Congressman Delahunt is an advocate for people and families with Fragile X. Everyone who reads this should say thank you to Congressman Delhunt for his work in bringing awareness to Fragile X.






Biography Link:
http://delahunt.house.gov/about/biography.shtml

From: Congressman Bill Delahunt
To: alchaconas@insightbb.com
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Subject: A Remarkable Family

Dear Chaconas Family:

It gave me great pleasure to meet your dear friend Ed Hanrahan yesterday and speak with him about Fragile X Syndrome. During our meeting he presented me with a binder of pictures of your family and directed me to the blog that Alex created. I visited the "Hokey Pokey" blog and was inspired by all that Alex and Adam have achieved. I believe they are both on a path towards greatness.

I first came to Fragile X over 13 years ago, as a freshman Member of Congress and I had the privilege of working with Congressman Wes Watkins (OK), who like me, knew people with children afflicted with Fragile X and saw that the issue had not penetrated the consciousness of too many Americans. Because of families like yours, I have championed funding for research into Fragile X Syndrome. My good friends and colleagues Representatives Gregg Harper and Phil Hare have joined me in chairing the Congressional Caucus on Fragile X. The caucus successfully has fought for increased funding for Fragile X research at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, organized the first Congressional briefing on Fragile X Syndrome, and released a public service announcement to raise awareness about the disease.

If gives me great honor that my work has allowed me to meet remarkable families such as yours. I look forward to continuing me efforts of raising Fragile X awareness and will keep on following the "Hokey Pokey" blog.

Again, I am glad to have been made aware by your story and look forward to staying in touch.


Sincerely,




Bill Delahunt
Member of Congress

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Check Mate!


On September 8, 2010, Jason and I had our first adult education class, which was chess. We are meeting at Sinica High School on Wednesdays from 7pm until 8:15pm. Our instructor's name is Jack Walker. He is a band director at a local high School. He has been playing chess for over twenty years. Jack is a really great guy.

There is another person learning to play chess and her name is Ellen Moore. She is a Episcopalian Priest and has a grandson who she likes to play chess with. Ellen is great also.

What am I learning?

Jack has done a great job teaching us many things about chess. For example, when you set the board up, the white square in the corner has to be on the right side. We remember this by saying, "White on right." I have also learned all the names of the pieces and where they go on the board. First the pawns line up on the front line. Then, starting in the corners, the Rook (castle) is first, then the Knight, then the Bishop, then the King or Queen. The Queen goes on the square that is her own color. If you are lined up on the white squares, she goes on white. If you are lined up on the dark squares, she goes on dark.

I have also learned opening moves. The first moved I learned was the English opening. This starts by moving your King side pawn two spaces forward. We then set up our knights and Bishops to control the middle of the board, which is very important in chess. By our fifth move, we will castle on the King side.

Another opening move Jack taught us is called Fried Liver. With this move, if your opponent is not paying attention, you can check mate them in four moves. However, if your opponent is paying attention, it can easily be blocked.

Pawn Game

Jack taught us how to play a game inside of chess. He calls it the Pawn Game. The purpose of this game is to teach you how to use your pawns in a chess match. Pawns are very important in strategy in movement and protecting the King. The way you play the game is by getting rid of all major pieces (Rook, Knight, Bishop, etc) and playing with the pawns. The object of the game is to get your pawn to the other side. Whoever does this wins. Jason and I have played this game several times. I have also played it with my dad.

Conclusion

My chess class has been a lot of fun. It has been fun because I met two new friends. It has also been fun because I have learned something new. Unfortunately, there is only one class left. I will miss Jack and Ellen on our Wednesday nights, but I look forward to playing chess with Jason and my dad.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Over The Hills And Off To Grandma's We Go!


A couple of weeks ago may family drove to St. Mary City, Maryland to visit my grandparents, my moms parents. We were not able to see them for seven and half months. So, it was great to visit them and spend some family time with them. Here is how my visit went.


We left early Sunday morning, August 8th, before the sun came up. It took us about thirteen and a half hours to get to St. Mary City. During the drive we watched movies and ate a lot of snacks. My favorite movie on the trip was "College Road Trip" with Martin Lawrence. Jason and I went to Half Price Books and bought two movies before the trip. This was one of them.


We arrived at my grandparents house at dinner time. The sun was slowly going down as we drove on the long gravel road leading up to my grandparents house. when you walk up to the house, you enter the back porch. There is plaid bamboo chairs and a couch to the right. An old refrigerator sits in the corner on your left. When you enter the door from the porch there is a green step and then you turn left and go up three steps to the kitchen door. If you keep going straight, you will take concrete steps to the basement.


Once you enter the kitchen, there is brownish vinyl flooring that looks like it is from 1969. There is a square kitchen table with four cushioned chairs. We do most of our eating at this table. If you sit at the kitchen table, there is a T.V. straight ahead of you sitting of a T.V stand.


Going through the kitchen you enter the dinning room. In the dinning room sits a long square dinner table with cushioned chairs surrounding it. There are piles of papers, coupons, mail stacked neatly on the table. A brown hutch with a mirror sits against the wall on your left as you enter the room. You will find candy, a CD player, and CD's laying around. A hummingbird chandelier hangs from the center of the ceiling. Grandma has put pictures on all the walls of family. Some of the pictures are of Adam, Allegra, and I as kids.


If you walk through and turn left, you will enter the living room. There is a grayish looking couch with a rocking chair in front of you when you walk in. An old upright piano sits to the right against the wall. Allegra likes to play the piano when she visits. A standing lamp sits next to the chair to provide light for reading. A coffee table divides the couch the the chairs.


There is a hallway leading to the bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room, and lining closet form the living room. Down this hallway is where the family sleeps. There is the twin bedroom. We call it the twin bedroom because there are two twin bed in there. There is also a T.V. The brown bedroom is at the end of the hall across from my grandparents room. I'm not sure why we call it the brown room. We have always called it that. The guest bedroom room sits behind the living room. I like to sleep on the porch. I love the couch out there and watching T.V.


My grandparents house is surrounded by trees and grass. Some of the trees were cut down since I last visited and so there are more tree trunks. There is also a creek behind the house where Adam likes to fish.


It is very quiet and relaxing at my grandparents house. I love to spend time with them, especially running errands with my grandmother. We spent most of the week just enjoying our family and the quiet time in the country. Unfortunately, the week went fast.


We left my grandparents house on Saturday, August 14th. We drove to Frederick, MD to see my moms college roommate Becky. We stayed the night in her condo and she made us spaghetti and bread sticks. It tasted wonderful!


On Sunday, August 15, we left Frederick, MD and drove home. It was a long drive. We arrived home at around dinner time. It was good to be home. It is always good to be home after a trip. Then I could see my good friend Jason!


I love really love my grandparents and enjoy seeing them. I hope I get to do it again soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Second Strides Saturdays

This is a short video of my volunteering at Second Strides. Second Strides is a nonprofit organization that rescues race horses. Jason and I volunteer their every Saturday for an hour or so. I really like the people there and working with the horses. If you like the video, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My First Day At Life Way!

Today was my first day as a Life Way employee! I was a little nervous, but more excited to meet new people and make a living. This is how my day went.
Before Jason came to pick me up, I got dressed in my Life Way uniform. My uniform is a maroon shirt with khaki pants, black belt, and nice brown dress shoes. Jason came to my house at 12:30pm. My mom took our picture and then we left. She was very proud. She said I looked handsome.

Jason was hungry and so we stopped at Wendy's. At Wendy's we decided to get Heather (the assistant manger) a chocolate frosty. We thought she would like a treat.

We arrived at Life Way at 1:15pm. I met Walker at the door. Walker is the regional manger for all of the Life Way stores at SBC seminaries. He was cool. He said he was happy to meet me and I said the same to him. I also met Joshua, the store manager. He is new just like me. Today was his first day. He seemed very nice.

After I met everybody, Heather and Dane (assistant mangers), helped me officially in the system. I now have a ID number and a password to log in for my time sheet. Jason also sat down with me and me with my schedule and list of responsibilities, i.e. my things to do. Then Jason showed me around the store and helped me understand the rules and way to do things. For example, when I put stock out on the floor, I must put it in the right section in alphabetical order by the authors last name. I think this is a good idea.

After Jason and I went around the store, we gathered all of the trash and took it to the dumpster. The trash was heavy to lift and the dumpster was really far away. It took us a long time to get there. I was glad when we were down with the trash.

The next thing we did was put stock out on the sales floor. Stock is just another name for the books we are selling. Jason showed me how to look at the back of the book at the price sticker to see what section it belongs. We then put them in alphabetical order by authors last name.

Finally, we went in the back room and clocked out at 3pm.

It felt good to work at Life Way. The people are very nice and friendly. I hope I do a great job and work there a very long time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My First VBlog!

Job Interview

On Tuesday, June 15, 2010, I was given the opportunity to interview for a job! A couple of weeks ago I applied to Life Way Christian Store at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Life Way Christian Store is a book store primarily. My friend Jason attends school there and also works at the book store. Anyways, they called me in for an interview and this is how it went.

Early that afternoon, I got dressed up in a collard shirt, navy blue pants, and dark dress shoes. Jason arrived at 2pm to take me to the interview. Before we left, my dad took our picture (See above photo). Jason and I arrived at the store at 2:30pm. We were greeted by Hope, an employee of Life Way.

We then went into the back office where we met Dane and Heather. Dane is the textbook manager and Heather is the retail manager. Dane invited us into his office where he asked me some questions about my work history and my hobbies. I told him that I used to work at a bookstore called Carmichael's. I also told him that I currently work at Dr. Herm's office, who is my dentist. We also talked about Second Strides, the horse farm that I volunteer with on Saturdays. We ended the interview with me telling him that I have many skills to offer Life Way Christian Store. I can organize books on the shelf, put out stock, and clean very well.

After the interview I met Michael and Casey, also employees of Life Way and toured the store. First, we went through textbook tunnel. This is where they store all of the textbooks needed for classes. Second, we toured the main store area. Finally, we ended the tour at the front desk. Dane walked us out and we said goodbye.

I felt really good about the interview. I was a little nervous, but the interview was short and the people were nice. Overall, I feel like the interview went really well. I look forward to receiving the call saying I have a job!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Goodbye PACT!


On May 27 , 2010, I graduated from the P . A . C .T. Program at the University of Louisville. It was a wonderful ceremony and an important time in my life. I am very thankful to my parents and family for helping me. I also would like to thank Renee, my teacher, all the aids, and administrators for their support. Here is how the evening went down.


We had a buffet style dinner that started at 5:30pm at the University Club. They served us salad, rolls, green beans, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and lasagna. We washed all of that down with a glass of water and tea. For dessert, they served gourmet bite sized cakes and pies.


At 6:30pm, the graduation began. Principle Dan Pike welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Then my friend Gwenna gave us a wonderful speech about our school year. Next, Dr. Robert Pennington spoke kind words about each of the graduates. Then, we saw a slide show of all of the students throughout the school year. After that, the four graduates lined up in alphabetical order and Mrs. Renee called our names. I received two awards; a Certificate of Attainment and a Cardinal Award of Excellence of Outstanding Determination Skills. Finally, Principal Pike gave us a few words of encouragement and we were dismissed.


Though I felt really good about graduating, I also felt a little sad. I felt sad because it was hard to stand in front of all of those people and it was sad to say goodbye to my friends. However, my family was there helping me and my friend Jason and his family came to watch me graduate from college. They were all very proud of me and that made me feel good.


Now that I am done with school, I will continue working at The Bus Compound and Dr. Hurm's Dental Office. I will also be working at a bookstore called Life Way at Southern Seminary. Jason, my friend, will volunteer with me at a horse farm called Second Strides. I will be a busy man.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hi! I'm Alex!

Hello, my name is Alex Chaconas. I live in Louisville, KY. I have a younger brother and sister named Adam and Allegra. My dad is a pilot for UPS and my mom is a wonderful mom who does a lot for our family.

I love music, especially the Hokey Pokey. I have collected many versions of the song and enjoy seeing people laugh while they dance to it.


I also love cars. Some of my favorite cars are any kind of SMART car and the 2010 Prius. My dad and I go to the Casparado Car Show every year.


I currently attend the PACT program at the University of Louisville. Unfortunately, I have only 5 days of school left. I will graduate on May 27, 2010. I have many friends at school and I will miss seeing them every day!