CIP: College Internship Program Helping Students on Autism Spectrum

BY SUSAN M. BRACKNEY From teaching time management skills to helping students discover their passions, College Internship Program (CIP) Bloomington offers services which could benefit nearly anyone. However, the young adults assisted by the local transitional program fall on the autism spectrum or have other learning differences that make it difficult for them to navigate college or jump straight into a career after high school. “We work with students to develop goals and reach their highest potential,” explains CIP Bloomington Assistant Program Director Ellen Davidson. The program helps students develop both hard skills (such as how to navigate campus or plan meals) and soft skills (like emotional regulation and detecting social cues). “So much of what we do is automatic, […]

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Fun, Healthy, Educational Ways to Celebrate at Children’s Birthday Parties

Birthday boy Carson Andrews with Silly Safari's opossum. Photo by Jim Krause   BY SARA SHEIKH Once upon a time, celebrating a child’s birthday meant opening your home to a dozen or so children who belted out “Happy Birthday” before eating cake and pinning tails on donkeys. These days, many families celebrate birthdays in more elaborate ways, and a variety of entertainment options exist for parents hosting a child’s party. For Carson Andrews, age 7, a perfect birthday party involves inviting his classmates to join him in a backyard setting to get up close and personal on a Silly Safari. This adventure with animals is intended to be part education and part all-out fun. Carson first fell in love with [...]

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Michael Shelden’s Latest Biography Tells of Herman Melville’s Secret Love

BY JANET MANDELSTAM Herman Melville was living in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, far from the roaring surf, when he wrote Moby Dick, his great novel of the sea. Michael Shelden wondered why. “If you ask scholars or Melville biographers, they either will say they don’t know or say that Melville was there to be near [Nathaniel] Hawthorne,” says Shelden, professor of English at Indiana State University and author of several well-received biographies. While Melville greatly admired the author of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne left the area and Melville remained in the Berkshires for 12 more years. “Why did he stay?” Shelden asked. He found his answer in the person of Melville’s neighbor, Sarah Morewood. The discovery of the […]

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Indelible Images: 10 Years of Bloom Magazine Photography (Cover Story)

We at Bloom love photography, and over the past 10 years, we’ve published more than 6,000 images, most taken by local photographers. We know that you, our readers, also appreciate good photography — you tell us so when we meet around town and in the letters and emails you send to us. In the following pages, we present some of our favorite pictures from the past decade. We hope that we’ve selected some of your favorites as well. Bloom has been fortunate, as an unusual number of talented photographers reside in our city. A fair number have passed through as well. The supremely gifted Steve Raymer, who worked for National Geographic for 25 years, took many of our favorites during […]

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New Community Cat Program Controls Feral Cat Population

BY JULIE GRAY Recent visitors to the Monroe County Humane Association (MCHA) Facebook page have been treated to a video showing a homeless black-and-white tomcat (let’s call him Tom) joyfully leaping out of a humane trap back to his old life after being neutered and vaccinated for rabies. The reason for the spring in Tom’s step is the medical treatment organized for him by the brand-new Community Cat Program. A joint effort between MCHA and City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control (BACC), the Community Cat Program’s goal is to control the population of free-roaming cats like Tom. Known as feral or community cats, these undomesticated felines are happily living outside in colonies of four to 15. They would never […]

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