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:

From: Congressman Bill Delahunt
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.


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.


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.