Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Taylor, Amelia, Annie, Peggy

Here are some of the numbers that we found. Since we have no feedback yet from the design committee, these are just preliminary numbers. We will tweak them as we go.

Placemats-11X17 paper
Color paper, black and white printing- 1,000 copies= $55.00 (this paper looked very springy)
2,000 copies= $110.00

Books- we have so many options, but here are some numbers to work with.
25 copies- 1 for each member of the class plus 3 permanent ones to leave at the Drop Inn
8 ½ inch paper, folded in half-whatever number of pages we decide on, it needs to be divisible by 4.

24 pages/ 6 original sheets printed on all sides(4pages per sheet)
White paper 20# b/w printing $6.00
White paper, color printing $33.00
70# nicer paper/different colors, black print $8.25

48 pages/12 original sheets
White paper 20# b/w printing $12.00
White paper, color printing $66.00
70# nicer paper/different colors, black print $16.50

The binding is a separate cost. Some of the ideas:
Stitch and Fold $4.00
Plastic binding $.75 each
Or they will punch holes if we want, I think for free
Also, lamination is very expensive. She suggested maybe a plastic outer sheet for the Drop Inn books at $.35 each book.
Another note, sales tax will start to be collected beginning April 1. If we can get the Drop Inn’s tax id number, then we can get the placemats printed free of tax.

So Emotional

My Experience at the shelter changed me a whole lot. I don't like seeing people who are struggling or who has nothing to go home to. When I first went to the shelter we was afraid to go inside. We was being very stereotypical. We saw people outside drinking and smoking standing and some leaning up against the wall. We drove around the block a couple of times because we were afraid to actually stop and go inside. We finally got hte courage to go inside. We was the first group to go to the drop-inn. Once we went inside it was really a sense of relief. Everyone was so nice. I felt bad for actually being so afraid. I really didn't know why I was afraid. Everyone was so grateful for everything. They treated us like we were like royalty or something. Some people just made me want to cry. Like seeing the younger people in there i could have just ran out there crying. I felt like they were looking at us like we were looking at them like some kind of a charity case or something. Just some of the things people said to me just really took an emotional effect over me. I called my mom as soon as we had left the shelter and I had told her about what we had did. The first thing that she had said was "Were you scared?". I told her how bad I had felt. I thought she was going to cry. I thought that it wouldn't bother me that much but it did. I wanted to go back with better food to give to them. I felt like they would have been offended by us going in there. I just know that I gained a whole lot more respect for my parents because they really struggled while I was growing up and we could have very easily been in there place.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Journal, March 31, 2009

Journal Entry for March 31, 2009


So I ruffled some feathers…that was my intention.


My journalism teacher in high school always told me that the best stories were about things that pissed people off. What pisses me off, is spending an entire class period arguing whether or not the people at the Drop Inn will hate us after we write about them as an object of our creativity. So, I apologize for picking on you, Jack – we can attribute my insensitivity to your feelings to woman’s monthly visitor, maybe.


As for my classmates who – through hearsay – have their panties in a bunch over me being hypocritical in suggesting that students who go to Miami are sheltered, I have to correct you.


According to the credible source, dictionary.com, sheltered is to be protected from the troubles, annoyances, sordidness, etc., encountered in competitive situations: a sheltered life.


Is this a competitive situation?


Anyway, in no way does sheltered deal with socioeconomic status in the world, but if we want to go there, we can.


My family would be considered upper middle class. We live in a small, modest house in a nice town. My mom drives an Escalade, so shoot me. I feel fortunate to be close with my family, be healthy, and be able to have the opportunity to share a classroom with you lovely people. Call me sheltered, I can take it. I can’t change people, but I truly don’t care.


Homogenous, according to dictionary.com, is to be of the same kind or nature; essentially alike.


There’s not a whole lot of diversity at Miami. The administration works hard to promote it, but for some reason or another, it’s not a prevalent characteristic of our university. In my opinion, I thought the usage of homogenous in regards to Miami and then to suggest inquisitively ‘Sheltered, anyone?’ was a valiant effort to make my point that Miami is an easy stereotype. It’d be easy for me to stereotype homeless people as irresponsible, but it’s just as easy for them to stereotype Miami students as sheltered. Perhaps the stereotype isn’t correct, but is it a possible characteristic for at least some of the respective category?


My real point in writing a controversial blog post was to say that whatever we create doesn’t need to be politically correct or sugar-coated. It also doesn’t need to be blunt or stereotypical. It’s a work produced by our class that will be given to the Drop Inn. It will be diversified enough that people are able to make their own statements and ideas, but all in all it will be one production. And what they take from it, we probably won’t know. And that’s OK.


I look forward to our final piece.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A few thoughts ....

Homeless Shleter Defintion
-Homeless shelters are temporary residences for homeless people. Usually located in urban neighborhoods, they are similar to emergency shelters. The primary difference is that homeless shelters are usually open to anyone, without regard to the reason for need. ...
-A place where a homeless person will often get a roof over his/her head; a temporary address which provides sleep-in facilities for displacedTemporary??What if it turns into longer temporary sounds so young and little.Often get a roof over there head?? what if they don't then what? The streets? Cold nights? like cold souls?We all take for granted the things we already have and are blinded by what we want that we dont see what others need. A place to call home is a necessity to some but a privalage??
I think not. I think it should be something everyone has. It should be something so routine and open that when someone is comfortable and at peace and it should be felt in a place called HOME. A place where they have fond memories good and bad, where they watched their family grow, a place of their own....Even with my opinion I am still a hypocrit to Homeless people who are really no different then myslef except they are less fortunate then I and even more less fortunate then some of the students at this school. I can name multiple encounters I have had with homless people and I have felt the same everytime. Afraid?? Why, I can only imagine because of the stereotypical idea of a homeless person is supposed to be scary? What happens when your neighbor who you have lived beside for years loses their home and becomes Homeless??? Then what ? Are they scary then? Do you avoid them? Do you help them? Or are you afraid they might become dependent on you?
Being Homeless is like a survey of question and what if's and couldv'e shouldv'es .....The shelter helped me see further into the situation of homelessness. I was afriad at first going into the shelter .... actually I was afraid when we pulled up. So many thoughts were running through my head and yet when we were inside & and actually serving only one kept going through. "Why did I come with pre-exsisting thoughts of how these people were going to be when I didn't know them??"
I tell myself that I should feel privlaged to have parents that cared enough to work their ass off to give me and my siblings everything we have. I tell myslef I should feel privlaged to be able to go to school and have a car and have a job and have all these things?? Then I tell myself I am privlaged thats why I have them but what makes me any different from those who dont have them?? How do you become privlaged when its either given to you or not? What is a privlage if you can work and work and still not get shit?? I'm confused on everything about this.. But in the mist of all that I ask myself....If I gave up one thing such as my car and it would benefit 10 homless people would I??The question is unanswered because Idon't know..... When reading it you want to say yeah....But I didn't and maybe Im selfish but is it my fault I was privlaged enough to have those things??? Or "Their" fault that their not??

In studies they say that the two main leading factors to homlessness is Lack of support from public funding or its just not there and the decreasing employment oppertunites.When your economy is in a place such as we are now how do we begin helping others with out letting our own selves go with it. I think the third leading factor is greed. Self absorbance, power, money,possessions, and many other things take over and we become blinded to the nature of what is going on to others and the little places. We should want to help...should....

-Should-"used in auxiliary function to express what is probable or expected"
Expected?? So where is it?? A question and an answer that can be classified as a mystery always to be explored but never solved??
Homelessness-My defintion is that of an unfortunate event that has happened to those who are under privlaged...some by fate others by choice...But all have the ability to over come their situations as long as they have the will to fight for it!!!! They have to want better, do better, and understand..there is a reasoning for everything and what don't or won't kill you .....Has made you stronger!!!!! Your here aren't you ....seek for your purpose and Faith and perserverance will pay off!!!

Glorified Blessing

Anxiety shivers with
foreign feelings:
re-evaluation of values.
People waiting as
hummingbirds hovering.

Eye contact or not?
Attempt to make eye contact.
Pitying them –
offensive or compassionate?
So many questions.

Call people to the line.
The handicap first,
then women,
60 years old or older,
middle-age men last.

Some cringe but
most say hello.
So friendly –
pride swells.
A man blesses me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

to break it down...

in the dark and the cold
loitered bright lights illuminate ivory
paper bread too many attempts at a third bag
couldnt help but smile more than 300 words
i wouldnt say i fit the stereotype

four stations under instructions
not all men are evil
green and yellow walls
succeeding, systematic nature
blur of a coat that had many colors and many layers

swagger, even more ambition
in book, THE MAN, picasso
bandana wrapped cussing
bandana woman bitter
thought writing the most influential type of art form

apprehension shivers re-evaluation
stimulus overload blend well
deep indentation vibe to the meal
crazy hats, handful, repeat
a money exchange, a peace walker, an artist, a joker

cracked smile, breaking it down
instant friend dreams
you putting in half a scoop?
above 40 degrees
"Love Wins"



Blur of coats
Colorful expectations
Alcohol? Drugs? Both?
Presumed plights

Detached hats
Fluttering hardship
Uncaring guilt lingers
Unabashedly timorous
Avoiding pretending

Indiscernible profanity
Unexpected slander
Shameless emotions affront
Moth-eaten plaid
Ambivalent shirts loiter
Mingling, remembering
Dollops of hope
Adorning cynical trays

Timeless jeans
Tattered experience
Nameless conversation
Influential artwork

Scraggly sneakers
Attract quiet eyes
Mumbled gratitude offsets
Upbeat arguments
Contagious laughter

Overwhelmingly ordinary
Apprehensively unreal.

I Don't See Any Elephants

There's one on a bench
Sitting, staring, watching TV
He's got an old Army pack
Shuffling, scraping, finding what he needs

There's one sitting at a table
Eating, scooping, peppering his soup
His friends are doing the same around him
Talking, rambling, laughing ain't it weird?

There's one outside
Standing, shivering, waiting for food
There's elephants wandering in and out
Strangely, no one sees any elephants at all

A Plate of Shadow

With cracking hands
A hydrated eye
Colors of grey

Swish High.

Recognition.  Why?
Accuracy, heart.
Raw interest.

A plate 
of beans 
A plate of paper

Homeless, yet

On a plate
of shadow,
What would you
look like?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


WWJD on an SUV 
smiles through the french vanilla 

The gold said "love" on my finger as it clenches to the green inside

One smile. Two faces.  And the same dark sky up ahead

Its friday night, so i'll pity you later

Green light.

"A Lack of Sleep"

A big city visit,
Humanity in
And a meal from
The bowl of God,
But where, oh God,
Is the flavor?

Salt and pepper
Are medicines for
A vineyard,
But the vines are
Green and yellow,
A sickly
Green and yellow,

So erase the moth and mingle
For a chance, absorb
“Love Wins.”
Picasso paints
Your portrait
And Bierce notates
Your words.

Do not hide
Your keychain
And do not feel
For this decrepit
House can’t lock away
Your story or your face.

A Little Something

It didn't cost much
Just a short trek
For a couple hours of
Time well spent

A few hungry mouths were fed
A few jokes were cracked
Picasso drew another portrait
Out of colored pencils
The line died down

If that wasn't reason enough
To leave satisfied
Maybe a second round would do

Who Knew?

The Drop Inn
Let's pop in,
Just to say hey!

More than anything
those there
want something
to go their way.

One or two, two or one
who's to say?
Why is it
these people
seem to have to pay?

There is nothing you can do.
Man up! Game face on!
Flash a smile or two,
You never know where
It might get you.

"I walked across the U.S.!!!"
And I believed him too.
Who knew how much
The Drop Inn could influence you.

A Blood Vessel Contradiction

I want a toy with stripes—
A car, a boat ------------ delight.

I wish for candy and gum—
alluring, unbearable ------------ succumb.

I need a chance to win—
 grueling, taxing ------------ chagrin.

I crave a glee accordingly numb—
Thick, festering ------------ scum.

Life is ‘a toil;
Life is ‘a strife.

But what life is not,
is a butcher’s sharpened knife.


Alone, the future about to be,
creeping, weeping,

Do you see the inevitability?

To batter, to boil,

Carve out what you desire
and it is freedom, you seal.

Miami v Drop Inn

Drop Inn vs Miami University

Miami University, Ugg boots and Northfaces riding in Lexus’s and BMWs cruising the streets between the houses and buildings that make up the atmosphere. Highlights and tans bob along the sidewalks carrying their Macbook Pros and designer bags from class to class. Cosmo and Men’s Health explain the celebrity style that is available because of mommy and daddy’s bank accounts.

Drop Inn, twenty-year old jackets and clothes from the garbage walking in old shoes and barefeet down the crowded sidewalks between the river and 12th street that make up Cincinnati. Dirty hair and dinge somberly trudge along carrying knives and bags of rags from shelter to shelter. Stereotypes and prejudices mimic the text book idea of poor and helpless.

Miami University and the Drop Inn, embrace different mind sets, but serve the same purpose in each setting. An idea of hope, inspiration, and life fill the atmosphere and the hearts of those that inhabit it. Setting aside the presumptions for something more, something meaningful, that sheds light on the future.

You decide

When people log onto facebook, they like to show their best side and brag about their accomplishments.
Is it real or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When people visit the Drop Inn, they are down on their luck and the best story wins.
Is it real, or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When people stand in line at the bank waiting to deposit their check, they chat with those around them and wish them a nice day.
Is it real or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When people stand in line at the Drop Inn waiting for food to be deposited into their bowls, they avert their eyes and don't say much to those around them.
Is it real or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When people attend a 20 year reunion, they gloss over the bad and highlight the good.
Is it real or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When people apply for food stamps, they gloss over the good and highlight the bad.
Is it real or just what they want you to see?
You decide.

When women get together they complain about their husband's lack of understanding.
Is it real or just what they want you to see.
You decide.

When homeless people gather they complain about their situation.
Is it real or just what they want you to see.
You decide.

Who are you really? What makes you who you are? Your accomplishments? Your highlights? Your chitchat?

Or is it something more?

You decide.

Real Life

Real Life.

Studying the place around me.

Plain room, fluorescent lights, bunk beds.

Man with colored pencils. 

Doctor's office.

Green and yellow walls; a slightly outdated preschool.

Plastic tables.  An assortment of folding metal chairs.

Gnats.  A hint of Lysol.




Coats. every color. Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys.

Bowl of chili, a piece of bread.

Lack of eye contact. Shame. Mumbled thank-you’s. or none at all.

Shopping basket, dirty torn jeans, hungry eyes.

Garbage bag filled with Timberland boots.

Collective consciousness of sadness.

Poor, homeless drug addicts. Penniless people.



Smiles. Joking. Laughter.

Dinner. Men grubbing down.

Sports and girls.

Brothers, husbands, fathers, or boyfriends.

Shocking.  Upbeat moods.

Info about drugs affects.

Community. Human passion. 


Gigantic lard of a van.

People loitering outside. Drop Inn goers.

Literal barrier. Social barrier.

The bread girl. The bean girl. The potato salad guy.

Ravioli changed to beans.

Foreign feelings. Overload.

“Keep moving. KEEP MOVING!”

What I seen. And Who they are.

Monday, March 23, 2009



Countless beds lined up in rows

Bed dressing is unnecessary

Shivers creep up on you in the darkness



Tables filled with hungry eyes

Food is scarce but present

Conversations bursting at their seams



Wandering around the city limits

Glimpses of people’s faces

Noises jammed in the mind



Memories ingrained last forever

Reminiscing does not bring people back

Change is inevitable in this world



In a group

Discussing the circumstances

Everyone has feelings



Having hope

Giving one another hope

Spreading hope





You are never alone.

Even if you feel lonely. 

Intro.; No Offense

So we’re creating this project. We, as in my creative writing class at Miami. All twenty-something of us. I want to be the introduction to the project.


Let me start by warning you. There’s a young man in my class who has fought this assignment since the day it was assigned. Oh, and P.S. he’ll read this and be happy that he got under my skin enough for me to write about him. Even that pisses me off. So anyways, this kid has thought it was morally wrong to be doing this – creating a final product to give to the Drop Inn ‘people.’ Why? We’re just like them, we’re dehumanizing them, and other such ideas he has about the project. Well, I’m done with his shit. This is a group project, dude. Grow a pair, write your shit, turn it in, and the people at the Drop Inn probably won’t even give a damn, it’s just something new to read.


Maybe they’ll find raw blog posts that explained the immediate reactions from some of my classmates. Some were shocked by the Drop Inn. The whole event, assignment, experience… Others were more passionate about the people living or just ‘dropping in’ to the Drop Inn.


It’s Miami University we’re talking about here…One of the most homogenous college universities (or for that matter, places) around our country. Sheltered, anyone?


Okay, so that was my pessimistic side.


I’m excited about the project. I’m ready to produce something from our collective findings as a class and not get feedback from the Drop Inn. It could be there a while, or maybe someone throws it away after a week. Why they throw it away? Maybe they’re offended. Maybe it’s a mistake. I don’t want to spend time analyzing the situation.


Regardless, its six of one, half a dozen of another in relation to how the people who will be reading it, see us as writers, or as self-absorbed Miami students. But, we have a chance at being people with the Drop Inn visitors. Most of the country stereotypes our University as wealthy or pompous, entitled conformists, etc. But the Drop Inn is open to anyone, and our piece that we’ll submit will be too.


With that said, maybe my friend who is so concerned about the final product (after reading my blog post – woops) can handle submitting our work to the Drop Inn without being judged or hated on his conscience.

Maybe There Is No "It" To Get

I’ll be frank:
I do not like what I feel.
Helpless, maybe,
The whirling wind almost knocking me to my feet
As I walk into the Drop Inn Center.
Even excellent thoughts struggle to help me now.

Meanwhile, I am screaming inside.
“Why not me?”
Filling cups with water, scatterbrain-like,
And though I am not smart enough to leave,
I dream, higher level, to take this “thing” away.

“Hang onto this hope,” I want to say to them
And rid them of this shame obliterating
As we serve food and serve our minds,
Taking away pain by giving silent support
To those who need it.

Experiment by Emily Mouch

I.               Title: Homeless Person Observation

II.             Materials Needed

a.     Homeless people

b.     Homeless shelter

c.      Questionable beef stew

d.     Paper plates

e.     Plastic forks and spoon

f.      Watered-down punch

III.           Procedure

a.     Divide into groups of three to four students

b.     Drive to Over the Rhine located in Cincinnati, Ohio

c.      Park

d.     Serve food

e.     Clean tables

f.      Talk with homeless people

g.     Observe their interactions

IV.            Hypothesis

a.     I claim that the Drop Inn Center in Cincinnati will be an eye-opening and rewarding experiment that will allow insight into the similarities that exist between homeless people and those people with homes.  Furthermore, I expect that homeless shelter to be a sad place filled with an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness.

V.              Conclusion

a.     After careful observation at the Drop Inn center, only fifty-percent of my hypothesis remains correct. The experience was in fact eye opening and incredibly rewarding for it showed that humanity remains intact in the inhumanity of homelessness. However, the remainder portion of my hypothesis, the lack of hope within the Drop Inn Center, is far from correct. There existed an overwhelming sense of hope, family, and love.  This is far from what I expected to observe in my experiment. The walls were painted orange, blue, green, and pink – painted to cover the bleak black and grey that is associated with homeless. Yet, it was not the vibrant color of the walls that grabbed my attention, but the colorful personalities that existed on the faces of the Drop Inn residents. 


You think I'm somebody
without a place in society;
just another statistic.
Throw me an orange
and I'll tell you about the time
I walked across the United States.

That's right,
the whole thing, straight.

Stand there for a few minutes
and study us as we converse.
Visualize our situation and
imagine how awful it must be
while I sketch your portrait
on the back of a paper menu.

It’s from a restaurant
I’ve never been to.

Please give me a bowl that’s
filled up to the top.
It’s not what I want to eat,
but it is something.
And afterward, I won’t be full,
but it helps when hunger beckons.

Can’t a guy
just have seconds?

1st Drop Inn draft

Blueberries for Sal
I found it in a box labeled lamp shades

Sal ate too many blueberries
Her mother was unquestionably genius
All the pictures are in navy blue and mellow yellow

In Leverett there were blueberries
I stuck my fingers through a hole in the screen
A splinter on the wooden floor
They tasted like the sunset

When my mom read the book I was Sal
The overalls matched the short haircut
Inquisitive children always learn more than they wish to know

Now the yellow and blue illustrations are stuffed in a box
Did you know an entire life can fit in a box?

We packed all the boxes and taped them
Packing tape screeched on the roller
The tape knew our misfortune

Blueberries collect in the bottom of the pale
The insides are really purple
I don't mind calling them blue

In an empty room I stack boxes
The leaning tower of my life
I lock the door
The dog asks where we are going but I care not to reply

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Place is Filled with Hope

A man in the corner with a bag of colored pencils and a pad of paper nodded in my direction. He took a moment to study my face like a math problem, then turned his pencil to the paper. 

I studied the place around me.  It was nothing like the Miami world I was used to. "This place is filled with hope" said the faded bumper sticker plastered to the industrial door which lead into the sleeping room.  Inside, thin green mats lined the concrete floor reacking of the bleach they had just been sprayed with.  The plain room was dimly lit with fluorescent lights and bunk beds lined the walls in an almost prison like fashion.  This place is filled with sadness, I thought.  

Yet in the room over, real life was going on.  People came in and sat down to laughed with one another, huddled under coats and tired eyes, blank stares and smiles.  These were people, just like all people, who carried stories on their backs and thoughts in their pockets.  Some turned to watch the television as Barack Obama descended a plane and shook the hands of some overly welcoming bureaucrats.   In the corner, I caught the man with the colored pencils studying my eyes.  The president was filled with hope, too.

Someone directed me to stand behind the food counter and pass out cookies. In my mind I kept comparing everything to my own situation.  Just several hours before at school I had the option of eating as many cookies as I wanted.  Here, the cookies seemed stale and pathetically small. The rule was one per person.  And who made it like that?

And who made this like this, too?  That I carefully study someone else's situation as a part of a project, as if I were studying their needs for my own personal benefit.  Here, take this cookie while I watch how you react.  Let me note your facial expression while you take it from my hand. Will you give it away?  Will you ask for a second? Sit down quickly so I can keep listening and watch you.

The man in the corner scrutanized me carefully.  I smiled awkwardly in his direction for a moment, and then resumed my own art project of observation.  Watch and listen.  See the shopping basket she carries?  See the dirty torn jeans he wears?  See the hungry eyes those two have?

The man in the corner approached me.  In his hand was the piece of art he had drawn.  A portrait of me.  He had shaded in the tired spots beneath my eyes from a night of late studying.  He had drawn almost perfectly the freckles I had about my nose and eyes from summers spent at the pool now long past.  His pencil knew my frizzy irish hair and the necklace that I loved. 

  I smiled and thanked him, and wondered in my head if there would ever be a time in my life where I could be capable of making art that pure, if I would know how to serve someone (someone who was supposed to be serving me) so selflessly with my art and passion.

They say stereotypes are broken down through art, through the sharing and exchange of human expression.  And as I stood there awkwardly watching these people, I became filled with op that with this "project" that is something I might be able to do. 


Talkin' Bout A Revolution

I felt the drive to the Drop Inn Center was the most important part of the adventure, because I really felt anxious about the kind of situations I was going to be in within a matter of minutes. Abbie, Molly, and Shannon and I talked about the upcoming adventure of what we were going to be involved in, and we really did not know what to expect. We took more time than usual to find a parking spot, and after noticing the people that were quite literally hanging out on the outside of the place we were going, we knew that it was going to be a different experience. After we entered the building the room had a familiar smell of men in it with a hint of Lysol. The room was probably over one hundred feet square, and everyone seemed to be minding their own business and eating quietly. It reminded me of “Talking About A Revolution” by Tracy Chapman, with many people “standing in the welfare lines.” The sadness did not hit me until the second ten minutes of the experience. There was a bustle to the place and the water jugs were carefully arranged by the volunteer staff whom were there before us. I hated what I felt when I saw the mattresses, still wet with disinfectant, laid out on the floor. The men’s corridor had a line of green mattresses while the women’s room had blankets and whatnot. I could feel the burden of a the thousands of people who walked penniless through those doorways, I could taste the anger and disappointment that they were processing. Cleaning the dinner trays helped with taking my mind off of things, and though I only talked to a few people, the collective consciousness was that of sadness.