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Showing posts from March, 2013

Alviso Adobe Community Park: My Experiences

I have been visiting the Alviso Adobe Community Park in Pleasanton, CA, since it opened in 2008. This video documents my amazing journey of learning experiences there, and it also serves as a way to share about the park's history and beauty. I have written a lot on this blog about my experiences at the park. Please click here to view those posts.

Hiking: A Social Cure for a Disconnected World

In addition to being great exercise and a way to get to really awesome places in the world, hiking is also one of my favorite social activities. Since the time I was old enough to hike around Pinecrest Lake, I was making the trek with my family, trying to keep up with uncles and cousins in my little hiking boots and sunhat. I've always been a hiker, and I continue to be one, especially since I live in a hilly forest off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. How can you not be a hiker when you live two minutes from hiking trails and views of the ocean? Given this interest in hiking and the opportunities for social engagement and community building that it offers, this past fall, a fellow student sustainability leader at UC Santa Cruz and I organized a hike into the Upper Campus trails that meander through forest and meadow above our university home. The goal was to bring together students, staff, faculty, community members interested in sustainability at UC Santa Cruz for a day hike to

My Family of Writers, and Why You Should Visit Jeune Gal's Blog

Before I introduce my younger sister, who last night began a blog of her own ( Jeune Gal ), I want to provide some background about my family. I come from a family of writers, each of us with a unique style and method of sharing our hearts and thoughts with the world. I have so much gratitude for the way I was brought up, always being read to and encouraged to write. My father recited Shakespeare to me when I was a really little kid, and perhaps the nectar of Shakespeare's language flowed into my developing brain and planted a seed that continues to grow each time a line of poetry or a storyline comes into my head. When I was seven, I applied to be a poet laureate in my hometown at the suggestion of my father, who later did become the poet laureate. Though I knew I wouldn't be selected, going through the process of submitting poetry and receiving a personal letter of encouragement from the committee was an empowering process that no doubt contributed to my continued insp

Why Fruit is Sustainably Fantastic

Have you ever realized that the most sustainably packaged, healthy, and portable snack out there is fruit? It comes with its own wrapper (its skin), it's good for your health and your soul (as my boyfriend always reminds me, fruit is designed by nature to be attractive and taste good... I say that anything whose sole intention is to make you feel good is good for the soul), and you can take fruit with you without hassle. Apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, and other hand-held fruits are especially portable, but strawberries, berries, and other smaller fruits are easy enough to carry in hand or in a basket. Can we all just take a moment to be grateful and exhilarated by the beauty that is fruit? Mmm, peaches at a local farm. Juicy and delicious and portable and not wasteful! Gorgeous, too!   Organic strawberries at the local farmers' market  

Philosophy of Teaching Statement

Effective teachers, educators, and mentors learn with their students, and they never stop seeing themselves as students. They are my third grade teacher who was actively involved in her community and took the time to learn about our families, to bring our families into the classroom, and to bring our class into her family’s home at the end of the school year. They are the college instructor who admitted his own philosophical questionings right there with us, giving the floor to students who were inspired by what they knew, empowering students to share and engage in class by acknowledging the value of their thoughts and passions. Even outside the classroom, every individual we meet—whether younger or older, student or teacher—has something to teach us, an ability to open up our perspective on the world so that we can make a connection and learn. Being open to listen to others’ teachings and the opportunities they bring to nourish the lives of those around them is what it means to live i