Saavi Insight April Edition

Saavi Insight April Edition

Saavi Insight

April 2015

Issue 06

In this issue of The SAAVI Insight:


v Hot news from Apple

v Inspiring words to live by from our very own Jake Czechowski

v Writers from the Splendido retirement community  from Oro Valley show their stuff

v A sculptured look at sculptures and Welcome Hunter from Meghanne Harvey

v last we dive into ODEsZA’s electronic sounds with D’Anna Barrandey


An introduction to me


By La Moine Williams


            Since this will be my first addition to the Saavi Insight as editor, I would like to tell you a bit about myself and what you can now expect from this amazing newsletter. As you already know my name is La Moine Williams, which by the way means the monk in French. I was born in Ohio, and as most know I am a huge Ohio State fan, go buckeyes! I am currently in the CDP program here at SAAVI, and I am pursuing my High school diploma through The Hadley School for the blind. So if you hear me coming down the hall toss a hello my way, and I will toss you one back.

            Now down to business. I believe that one of the most important aspects of a publication like this is to get to the readers news that is both important to them, and entertaining as well. This is where you come in! If there is news that you would like us to cover, or you would just like to share something with everyone else that is a great accomplishment in your life, let us know! Want to try your hand at writing? This is the place to share your work with your friends and instructors. Have a recipe for your favorite beverage, meal, or snack? Send it in to Roxanne at or me at Lamoinewilliams@gmail.comm, and we will do what we can to get it into the next publication of the Insight.


Happy Writing,


La Moine Williams



By Bettie Greffet

Bettie Greffet, a 92 year old Splendido writer wrote the following work about the word “UP”


Do you know there is a two letter word in the English language that can be used as an adverb, a preposition, an adjective, a noun or even a verb? This word is UP. So, will you please, “ LISTEN UP!”

First thing we do in the morning is, we wake UP. We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night. We call up our friends. We use a picture to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver. We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We work UP an appetite, or we think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is another. Before we leave the house, we lock UP.

At a meeting, a topic comes UP. Our officers may be UP for election. It is Up to the secretary to write UP the minutes.

Here at [Splendido] Writers I am always asked to SPEAK UP. “Why can”t you speak UP?” they say. Well, you could certainly hear better if you would just listen UP!

Sometimes this little word has an ominous meaning.

People stir UP trouble. They line UP for protests. They can end UP in a real mix-UP.

When it threatens to rain, we say, “It is clouding UP.” When the sun comes out we say. “It is clearing UP.” When it doesn”t rain for a while the desert dries UP. A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In an average dictionary, it takes UP almost ¼ of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try writing UP a list of the many ways it is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don”t give UP, you may wind UP with hundreds more. One could go on and on, but don”t worry, I”m going to wrap this UP now. In this group we know that when our time is UP we should SHUT UP! So, I”m not going to screw UP! My time is now UP!


Hello everyone,


My name is lamoine and I wanted to share one of the more positive experiences that I have had while attending SAAVI. I hope by sharing this with all of you it will motivate you in a positive manner like it did for me. When I first began attending SAAVI one of my favorite classes was adaptive sports. This class introduced me to a instructor who is a soldier. Now when I say soldier I don’t mean in the exact military sense, but in the sense of a person who has got your back and would never steer you in the wrong direction.

I know that personally in my life I have not come across many people who keep it one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time. But he has always been a person who if asked for advice will tell you the truth weather it is something you want to hear or not, and that is what is important. He is not just a goal ball coach. He is actually one of the few people I consider to be a real life coach, I can’t think of anyone who deserves that title more then him. Now if you still don’t know who I am talking about, I am referring to Jake Czechowski.

I asked Jake to take some time out of his busy schedule and share this short story with you all. It carries a very powerful message that I hope we all can draw strength from.



By Jake Czechowski


“Excuses are monuments to laziness. They build bridges to nowhere and those who use these tools of incompetence are masters of nothingness.”

This quote was a favorite of one of my high school football coaches. His name was Craig Gilbert. He was raised in a very poor neighborhood in California where gang violence, substance abuse, and unemployment were the norm. His Grandmother ,who raised him, constantly reminded him that success was attainable to anyone who put in the time, effort, and sacrifice. Whenever he would attempt to feed her an excuse of any kind, she would snap out the excuses quote and quickly put him back in his place. Coach Gilbert was a successful football player at the University of Arizona and became a teacher and coach once his playing career ended. I will be forever grateful for the lessons I learned from him both on and off of the playing field even though some of those lessons were tough to hear at the time. I hope that anyone who hears the excuses quote will give it some thought and perhaps apply the philosophy to their lives in some way.


In Return by ODEsZA

By D’Anna Barrandey


Track One Always This Late

This may not have any lyrics to it but it has combinations of different types of beats.  Mixed with an ambient sound that will make you feel out of this world. The different sounds in this song are well blended which all over create a soft electric sound that will not put you to sleep.


Track two Say My Name feet Zyra

The singer in this song is talking about a guy she meets at a club and wants to dance with him. She feels as if he is just leading her on. The tone of this song is slightly flowery with a beat that continues throughout the song even though the tones change every so often.

Track Three Bloom

This song starts out with a soft sound that is similar to the rapid sound of humming bird’s wings. There is also a sample of what sounds like a woman singing. The beat also has a slight base to it which ties the song together nicely.

Track Four All We Need feet Shy Girls

This song starts out very soft and light, then the beat fades in, As it does it gets louder. The singer in this song is trying to persuade a girl that he is all she will ever need in her life. Throughout the song there is a beat again with slight base and lighter up beat tones to the song as well.

Track Five Sundara

This song starts out with a soft pattern of different tones of beats. As the song progresses the drums change, which gives a different feel to the song.

Track Six White Lies feet Jenni Potts

This song starts out with a soft opening then quickly goes into a beat mixed with violins. This track has a very dreamy sound. The lyrics are very poetic and creative at the same time.

Track Seven Kusanagi

This song starts out very slow and light as it goes on the sounds of wind chimes start to ring. The beat to this song is very slow yet light.

Track Eight Echoes feet Py

This song starts out very light then gets louder. The beat in this song is slower then there other songs but it’s still very good.

Track Nine It’s Only feet Zyra

This song is one of the simpler ones that ODESZA has. However the lyrics are very creative and take the listener on an adventure with a twist.

Track Ten Koto

This song has another worldly feel to it.  The beats in it are very flowery and complex. This song is definitely one of the best on this album.

Track Eleven Memories That You Call feet Monsoonires

This song has a good beat along with different tones. It’s very creative and well-constructed.

Track Twelve Sun Models

This song starts out very soft then gets louder as it progresses. The different tones are very well put together.

Track Thirteen For us

This song has some wind chimes in it. It also has a very up beet sound to it. Very well put together and complex at the same time.

            Over all I love this album for its many different sounding tracks and the use of electronic drum machines. I use voiceover along with the Spotify app when listening to it. Please give In Return by ODESZA a listen.


The Appealing Art of Sculpting

By: Meghanne Harvey


Art has lots of fascinating aspects such as painting, dancing, music, welding and the art of mosaics. Another creative and appealing form of art is sculpting. Earlier Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese and The Indus Valley civilizations used carvings and sculpting as forms of writing. An artist can easily shape and manipulate pieces to create whatever they want, and most anything can be used! Metal, clay, stones and wood are just a few different materials used in sculpting.

            The first metals to be used for sculpting were bronze and copper by Greek artist in the fifth century BCE. Scrap metal is often reused for making different projects. These metals go through the procedure of being welded and polished. Next a rusting agent is applied so the piece can last longer. Some metal companies specialize in making different figurines with this recycled metal.

A perfect example was a saxophone figurine that was made from scrap metal.  Some of the components consisted of silver, and other varieties of metal, with nuts and bolts for the screws. An artist once made a life-size portrait out of copper, silver, bronze metals, and hemp was used for the hair.

            The form of Ceramics became known in 9000 B.C. At this time it was discovered that clay could be extracted from the ground. People began making containers that could store food and water. Ceramic figurines are made mostly for decorating purposes. These include models of animals, wind chimes and coil pots made by wrapping the clay in to different coils and connecting it all together. There are different types of clay such as porcelain, clay from the earth, and rock formations. Polymer clay is casino online the easiest to use as you do not need to fire it in a kiln. This type of clay is made from plastic that is easy to shape multiple times without wearing out. This is usually used to make basic projects such as bowls, or you can even make decorative beads from it.

            Wood carving is one of the most ancient types of art. In the early days of carving the only tools used for carving were a knife or an axe made out of stone. Greeks and Romans would make statues of their different religious gods or goddesses and put them in or outside of temples. In Egypt coffins could be found that were carved from wood, this was called a sarcophagus, and mummies were placed within. Most common types of wood include oak, maple, pine, and cedar. Mahogany is a wood commonly used when making furniture, and hand carving different decorations. Mahogany was also used in the IPhone 5 clear wood cases.

            Sculpting is one of the most appealing and creative forms of art. You don’t just have to use clay when you make sculptures. You may use wood to carve and also metal. While sculpting can be easy at times it also requires some dedication and knowledge about how to work carefully with different tools and materials in an effort to stay safe and lower the risk of causing damage to oneself and others.

My Time At SAAVI


By Lauren Heimerdinger

            My first day at the Phoenix SAAVI was on May 19th, 2014. Before I attended the four day vocational rehab workshop and started my program, I had only met a few blind individuals. I knew that there was Braille for the blind to read, but I did not have a clue how to read any of it.  I honestly knew nothing about blindness or anything related to it, except that those who were blind traveled around with a cane. All of that changed for me after I began attending SAAVI.

My experience at this blind training facility has been one that I will always remember. I have enjoyed getting to know my fellow students and the staff. I have made connections and started friendships with several of these students. Having Asperger’s Syndrome has always made it extremely difficult to obtain and maintain good friendships. I have very positive feelings about my new friends. Once I am finished with my program I absolutely would love to continue these new wonderful friendships and build new ones.

Now let me tell you some things that I have learned during my time goingto SAAVI. The first skill I learned was Orientation and Mobility. My Orientation & Mobility instructor has taught me how to use my cane traveling under blindfold. I have become better at doing it, but still get quite a bit nervous since I have never had to use one while traveling around. I now know how to read and write Braille. I am currently learning grade two Braille. I’m amazed how well I can retain what I’ve learned! Another skill I have been taught is how to cook and bake without using my vision. I have learned to use my blindfold for this skill as well. Just like for cane travelling, I get nervous while cooking because I cannot see when I’m next to or touching a hot appliance or sharp object.

A couple of things in particular though have made my SAAVI experience very special! One of those things is being on the advisory council. Besides the first three months that I have been there, I have been a part of the council during the whole duration of my program. I am so honored that the members voted to have me join their council! I have truly loved being on it! A very important project that the group has been doing since March of 2014 was passed on to me. This project is encouraging students to nominate up to 3 instructors or staff members that they feel deserve to win the certificate of the month award. Along with doing that, I also have been in charge of creating these certificates. It’s really cool to see how grateful the recipients are when they receive it.  Another thing that has made my experience special is that I was chosen to plan and host client gatherings since I made the suggestion. There have been 3 successful outings so far. I am trying to have one more before I leave. I hope to continue to help put together these events when I am no longer a student. I do have to admit that I will truly miss being on the advisory council and being in charge of awesome projects. On the other hand I will be getting training to get into the hotel hospitality field so I am really looking forward to that!

            At the end of April 2015 I will be completing my program at SAAVI.  I am sad to be leaving such a great place with so many awesome people. At the same time I am proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of completion and I look forward to working again.   I would like to thank the SAAVI Insight team for allowing me to submit my story. This has been a great experience for me as well.  I want to thank all of the instructors and staff from both Phoenix and Tucson who continue to have patience with me, believe in me, and show me that I can be independent with little or no vision at all.


Slippery Business


By William Horne



In the guise

Of chicanery

Most often harms

The deceiver


Passes himself off

As victim

Until ultimately



Let’s Welcome Hunter!

By Meghan Harvey

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down and getting to know a bit about one of SAAVI’s newest clients in the Stepping out Program. His name is Hunter Garcia, and he has been a part of SAAVI since Late December. Hunter is a recent graduate of Mountain View High school and is a native of Tucson Arizona. Some of his favorite things to do are going out to eat, watching movies, and drawing pictures.

Hunter loves listening to rock music, especially the band Linkin Park. His favorite foods are those that have pork, bacon, or other types of meat. He has hopes of someday visiting japan, and in the future would like to cure illnesses and diseases. Originally one of Hunters instructors presented him with an option of stepping out after high school for more independence training and job searching. The two most important things that he has learned while at SAAVI are bus travel and cooking. Hunter is still in the process of exploring other opportunities after he completes the stepping out program.



The Apple Smart Watch

By La Moine Williams



            On April 24th Apple plans to unveil its new addition to the Apple family! Although we of course will expect the same great craftsmanship that goes into all of Apple’s products, there is one huge difference that makes this new addition stand out above the rest, it is designed to be worn! Yes you read me right, for the first time ever Apple has merged its cutting edge technology with a new sense of style, making it their most personal device yet.

The Apple Watch is a completely new platform: it”s made to run its own apps, connect with iPhones, and be its own fashion product. It will also be able to run for up to 18 hours on a single charge. The Apple Watch also is a music player like an iPod; a fitness tracker with heart-rate measurements; a communications device that will send and receive messages, calls and audio recordings; and a handheld portal to other apps too. It can make payments via Apple Pay, and also control your Apple TV and also act as a remote for connected smart-home devices.

          For those who have never used a smart watch before, basically it keeps you connected to your phone, acts like a mini iPod, works as a fitness tracker, and could even replace your wallet. Apple has shown how the device could not just make mobile payments, but also act as a digital key to open a smart lock on a front door at home. Apps will also allow you to access other home-automation features, such as smart thermostats, using your iPhone”s wireless connection as a conduit. And hey, it also tells the time; Apple actually claims high-precision accuracy within 50 milliseconds, and a variety of high-design customizable watch faces will do everything from show lunar cycles and weather to give quick-glance messages and calendar appointments.

          The Apple watch comes in many different styles based on the same curved-edge rectangular-screen design. There are three different construction styles, two different sizes and six different watch bands, leading to a surprising number of combinations. The first variant, Apple Watch, has a stainless steel case, a ceramic back and a sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch Sport has an aluminum body, composite back and Ion-X glass screen. The Apple Watch Edition has a ceramic back and sapphire crystal, but also adds 18-karat gold to its body.

          One of the issues yet to receive much attention – and yet one which is vitally important to users of assistive technology – is what, if any, accessibility features the watch will have. Apple has not as of yet provided any details as to what accessibility features the Apple Watch will have when they are shipped to consumers on the release date. However, given that a plethora of information about Apple Watch is now freely and widely available, and given that the presence or lack of accessibility features will most certainly influence the purchasing decisions of blind and low vision users, it is highly speculated that Apple Watch will be accessible like the majority of Apple’s product line.

       Because the Apple Watch has so many bands to choose from the price of the watch can go from moderate to a bit on the high end. Prices for the watch range from $349.00 to $70k. The higher end prices are based on which materials the watch band is made of, it has no effect on the actual performance of the watch.

       As much as I love all my Apple products, I do not think I will be purchasing an Apple Watch just yet. I think that although its features would make it a cool watch for me to have, they don’t prove to me that it is something that I actually need at this time. I will be keeping my eye on this platform because I think that it definitly has potential to become a powerful tool for the blind and visually impaired in the future.


The Oink Café

By Louis Gonzales


Can you think of any dish that is not improved by adding bacon? The folks at The Oink Café can’t. The family owned restaurant’s tag line “Breakfast, Lunch, Bacon,” reflects a near religious zeal for humanity’s favorite piece of cured meat. They even offer a wine-bar-style “Bacon Flight” featuring each of the restaurant’s aromatic and appetizingly crisp bacon styles, including jalapeño, Applewood-smoked, honey cured, sugar cured and peppered ($6).


Consider the maple bacon donut ($3). Made famous by the venerable Nickel Diner in L.A., Oink’s version is so superior to the Nickel version it’s like comparing Disney’s boisterous, dancing Pumbaa warthog to Winnie the Pooh’s diminutive Piglet. Surprisingly subtle, the sweet-salty topping and moist cake-like texture mesh beautifully. (Breakfast-shmeckfast, it tastes like dessert to me.) Peanut brittle fans may never go back once they taste the caramel pecan/bacon confection sold here for $3 a bag, and Bloody Mary enthusiasts will find a dusting of bacon salt around the rim of the glass next to a bacon-strip stirrer. The most authentic Bacon Bloody Mary’s use pork-infused vodka. This one ($6) doesn’t, unfortunately.

Standing in for the wan Canadian variety, Oink’s bacon elevates eggs Benedict with crunch and deep flavor. Otherwise, it’s the classic preparation with nicely oozy poached eggs and silky hollandaise ($10). Non-bacon items include a crusted, tender chicken-fried steak with rich cream gravy and two eggs ($9) and credible huevos rancheros featuring deliciously chunky fries ($9). Pair it with the spunky chorizo ($2.50).


Oink breakfast burger

The house sausage is excellent, too, and arrives as a patty topped with a fried egg and crunchy hash browns in the decadent Oink breakfast burger ($10). Three Little Pigs in a Blanket ($7), sausages cradled in fluffy pancakes and drizzled with syrup, are as cute as they are satisfying. Flaky biscuits and sausage gravy ($6) also hit the spot.


Lunch options aren’t as well-conceived. Despite the great bacon topping, the Oink burger ($11) was under seasoned and overcooked. The beef in the French dip sandwich ($9) was seared to shreds, and the jus was too salty. Same deal with the chili (cup $5, bowl $7), which has an odd machaca-like texture and insufficient heat.


Though it seems like the building should be thematically pig-shaped, The Oink takes the form of a long funnel with a charming little patio at the wide end. A cheery citrus color scheme and swine related art provide the decor, and what the service lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in warmth and energy.