Alpha Chi Nu Chapter

Phi Theta Kappa at Southern Maine Community College

Christina Tedesco Presentation

Posted by alphachinu on March 20, 2006

Ms. Tedesco presented her work at the awards banquet Saturday night. The visula presentation played in the background as a slide show, while the spoken presentation regarded her challenges and successes as a person with many abilities and a few disabilities. Ms. Tedesco was diagnosed with dyslexia in high school and has had cerebal palsy since birth. She graduated from high school in New Jersey and wanted to go to Landmark College in Vermont. Her parents were at first hesitant, but she explained to them that they had reaised her to be independent and confident in her abilities. Ms. Tedesco has a great sense of humor and is a wonderful photographer. Her pictures defy definition, but I will attempt to describe them for those of you who were not present.

The photographs are of human forms made from what looks like aluminum flashing painted various colors and slightly to greatly crumpled. The bodies are set in a natural environment that looks like my Maine backyard, but could be almost any forest. They are simply amazing. Ms. Tedesco describes her work as “the colors are the pain I deal with everyday.” After her presentation she answered questions from the audience.

A gentleman who is a transplant from Texas to New England said he had experienced discrimination as a Latino and wanted her perspective on overcoming adversity. She replied, “As you can see, I am white. However, I have experienced discrimination.” She continued by talking about working hard and not letting others tell you no. She related her experience in school as an example of discrimination. Her parents are educators and were advised to put her in easy classes. Her mother said, “No, let her be challenged. She will learn more that way.” I had spoke earlier with a friend about learning more from stuff that is hard for us, compared to learning little from easy situations. I was amazed at Ms. Tedesco relating the same idea that evening.

Another person asked her if she had written her story, and if not, why not. Ms. Tedesco replied, “My father asks the same question. But, I am not special. I am only just working with the hand I was dealt. My story is not interesting or unique.” The gentleman who asked the question disagreed with her, as did most of the attendees.

Then, I asked Ms. Tedesco what drew her to photography. She replied, “It is a long story. I was an English major and it was the summer break. My advisor called to tell me that the English class I wanted was unavailable and that they’d put me in photography. I said ‘WHAT!’ I took the class anyway, and the rest is history.”

Ms. Tedesco has reminded me of the strength that we sometimes do not realize we have until we look back on what we have experienced. At an early age, I had to take care of my mom because she has multiple physical disabilities that seemed to have developed overnight and the doctors called premature aging syndrome. I don’t think they really knew what had happened to my mom. I did what I needed to do, as Ms. Tedesco has done what she needed to do. It took many years and many friends to convince me that I had shown great strength and courage, even, in taking care of my mom and by default, my family. Looking back, I agree. At the time, I was just surviving. I have come to recognize that many people feel the same way: they are just surviving and doing what anyone else would do with the same situation, so what they are doing is not special. But, it is special.

Jennifer Cragen
Public Relations Secretary

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3 Responses to “Christina Tedesco Presentation”

  1. JC said

    Ms. Tedesco sounds like a really cool lady. Where can I get contact information for her? I’m interested in human services and art programs and want to know if she will speak to the people served by me.
    Thanks!

  2. alphachinu said

    Hey JC,
    Let me get her permission before I give out any contact information. If she has additional questions for you, I will relay them to you.

  3. Heather Huntley said

    Christina Tedesco’s presentation was excellent. I am so glad that I was there to see it. She has overcome so many obstacles and it makes you think that your situation has not been so bad. I have a son with ADHD and learning disabilities and her speech talking about her dyslexia and how she got all these degrees and how her parents just pushed her to do her best made me realize that I need to let my son just work at his own pace and not push him to do extraordinary things when it’s out of his reach. I think that if anyone has the chance to hear her story they should definitely jump on it.

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