Friday, February 5, 2010

School visit, school transformation, One Health proposal, sea otters, raptor rescue: Dinner with Megan, Melissa, and Julio

Wondering how other people balance living a full life, being creative, and using social media like Facebook and blogging. There's the experience and then there's the experience of writing about the experience. Had dinner at fabulous Sacramento restaurant Tapas the World with some really interesting friends and ended up taking notes for my blog. Not sure if this is healthy. I've known Megan since she was little and became her fairy godmother. Now she's married and in grad school at UC Davis. I met her when her mom, an elementary school teacher, invited me to come do a school visit and 'show and tell' about my kids books to the entire school. It was in El Grenada California, near Half Moon Bay. I ended up becoming close friends her mom Melissa and Megan. Came back to paint some murals with the students. Thus began the process of transforming the school from institutional greys into a vibrant and exciting place of learning. They now have learning gardens, many more murals, and fabulous sculptures. But I digress.

The following is from my notes from a couple of weeks ago: We talked about Megan's experiences in Vet school - guest speaker from One Health where AMVA and AMA have finally gotten together to make a proposal bringing Human Animal and Environmental concerns/relationships together. Cars caused diminishing of vet schools as we were no longer so dependent on horses e.g. closing of Harvard's vet school. Julio's  work at the Natural History Museum and how Southern Sea Otters eat sea urchins which turn their teeth and bones light purple. How passionate Megan has always been about sea otters and when she was 15 she made and exhibited 2317 images that she made to bring attention to how few remained (Megan is a fantastic artist). It was a powerful show. Julio's volunteer work with the Raptor Center where he climbed a 50' tree to rescue a Red Tail that had gotten caught in a kite and couldn't escape. Pretty terrifying. Melissa's fabulous new student teacher. How great it is having her but the amount of extra work in training her. We also talked about the movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which we all loved. I especially loved the eating scenes. Delightfully feral. Also talked about much more such as the demographic differences between MySpace and Facebook (MySpace - high schoolers, artists, people of color), Facebook (White, middle-class, educated) and much more. But life calls and must go. Next to come - writing retreat in Santa Rosa.

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