Fri. June 6, 2014: Workshops and Summits and Crows

Friday, June 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day. Got out my next script episode before I headed to the library.

I’m starting to get some ideas on how to make Thursday mornings run more smoothly; hope to be able to implement them in the coming weeks. The printer at work is just — if it wasn’t littering, I’d drop-kick it into the canal. It prints; it doesn’t; it grabs six sheets; it doesn’t grab any sheets. And so forth and so on. Something that should take thirty seconds winds up taking 45 minutes. That has to stop — beyond my situation. How can we walk our talks on sustainability when our only printer options are printers that the companies make disposable, out of cheap-ass plastic parts so we have to replace them every couple of years and they can’t be fully recycled? The technology industry has to change how they manufacture — which means kicking out the overpriced CEOS and top executives who think more about their own pockets than a sustainable future for all of us.

Had to leave just after noon to get to a workshop in Chatham. The weather was awful. Hard to drive. But I got there (almost on time). The library is gorgeous out there, but parking is a nightmare. I wound up parking blocks away in front of some person’s house, and dashing through the rain.

I was NOT happy with the workshop. I’d hoped for a workshop on resources to help hunt down information to answer people’s questions. Let’s face it — librarians are the ultimate detectives. Instead, the presentation focused on how to stand when you talk to a patron and promoted an attitude of indentured servitude rather than being a professional partner in a hunt with a patron. I found it quite insulting to all of our intelligence.

I headed back to my library, finished out the day, dashed home, threw together some mac and cheese, bolted it down, dashed back out to the Community College for the Environmental Summit. I couldn’t attend the full Cape Coastal Conference this year, but I did manage to fit in the summit. I ran into some friends in the parking lot, and caught up with some people I’d met at last year’s conference when we got inside. They served us a full dinner we got in there (hmm, let’s see, did I overeat last night? Uh, yes) and then it was an interesting, interactive discussion with the purpose of getting the 29 non-profits that attended (and some that did not) to work together, sharing information and working towards common purposes, instead of everyone working in isolation. Yes, I signed up to help work on what I do best — create engaging narrative around actual information.

Afterwards, a couple of us went out to the bar at The Dolphin, in Barnstable, to continue the conversation, which was fun. One of my frustrations here is I don’t have a local hangout, so I’m trying places to see which place suits me best.

I rewrote the monologue for the actor this morning — we have several roads we can travel down next. I think the section on the loss of a particular relationship is too ordinary and what he’s usually played, so I have a couple of sections we could replace it with in that that explores loss of parent, sibling, mentor, etc., that might make it more unique. So that’s off.

So tired I could just fall over, but it’ll be a busy day at the library. Hope to come back tonight and relax. Have GOT to mow the meadow tomorrow afternoon when I get back from the library, because the grass is VERY high. While it’s good for the environment, and my grass now definitely had the chance to grow strong roots, I think my neighbors would like me to neaten it up a bit.

My murder of crows who hang out in the yard had a fit about something this morning. One of the smaller ones ended up coming up on the deck and hiding under one of the tables. I think he’d been attacked by something else, and the rest of the conclave was very, very upset. I got their attention (they shut up and listen when I call out to them and clap my hands) so we could get it sorted out — not sure what attacked the crow, but it’s out of the yard for now. He let me get close enough to him to watch him walk. He limped for a few steps, then flew a bit, then walked a little bit more, gaining strength, and flew off. So I guess I don’t have to bundle him up and take him to Cape Wildlife before work. He seems okay.

Off to work.

Final race of the Triple Crown tomorrow — go California Chrome! And Tony Awards on Sunday — my people! 😉

Devon

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Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 7:34 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 6, 2014: Workshops and Summits and Crows  
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Mon. June 17, 2013: More on the Cape Coastal Conference & a Day Unplugged

IMG_1300

Monday, June 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and chilly

Interesting weekend, in a good way.

Friday was the second half day of the Cape Coastal Conference. Nice to see that so many people stayed for the whole conference, and that many of the presenters didn’t just come for their own presentations, but stayed for other people’s presentations.

The Universe had a good laugh at my expense — although I found it highly amusing, too. The two individuals who inspired characters I plan to kill off in one of the Sustainability mysteries both wound up in the climate change session with me! I figured maybe I’d given them a bum rap, but they were even more annoying and desperate for attention (in the wrong way) in a smaller session than they had in the larger session. One of the things I found interesting was that physically they were very similar, and energetically, they were very similar. In the book, I’m going to make them sisters! I think that will be in the second book in the series.

Apart from that, the climate change seminar was pretty interesting. I think I have enough information to write several of the semester’s papers for the Climate Literacy class, between that and the information my friend provided. Great information and interesting people. The woman sitting in front of me was from the Town of Barnstable, and knew about me coming to tomorrow’s meeting on the climate change project. And I was surprised by how many people knew about the play I’d written for NMLC or had seen it or knew someone who’d seen it.

Back into plenary session. I took umbrage from a few things the head of the Cape Cod Commission said, in relation to writers — if you want your message spread effectively, don’t condescendingly tell us we should work for “exposure” when the special interest side is willing to pay us more than a living wage — and then whine that you’re not getting your message out. Value the people who can get the message out and pay them appropriately. You’re talking about the grants and funding you have for the coming year — if some of that doesn’t go to skilled people ABLE to communicate the message effectively, the project will fail. Period. You can be sure I’m going to speak up! 😉

Came home, caught up on a few things, but was utterly exhausted.

Saturday wound up being an unexpected day of internet disconnection. It wasn’t intentional — when I came out for my morning coffee, I decided I couldn’t live with the deck the way it was one more minute. Last year, we created an enchanted garden on the deck — so far, this year, it’s been a hodgepodge. We keep having to move stuff because of bad weather.

So, I got to work rearranging the deck and cleaning stuff and tidying and arranging. Then, I noticed the terraced area was in Vacant-lot syndrome, so I had to mow that (although the meadow’s getting a little scary, too). No Man’s Land was looking like No Man Will Ever Walk Here Again Land, so I had to mow that. Then, the bags were disintegrating — the biodegradable lawn waste bags were biodegrading — so I had to line the car in tarp and haul everything to the dump.

I sat down to take a rest, make some notes on a project, and read a bit — and suddenly the day was done.

I needed it, and Tessa had a blast being outside with me for most of the day, but I was also a bit worried falling even further behind.

Sunday, I caught up with private students and the RWA students — really happy with the growth the students are showing in the Supporting Characters workshop. Caught up on my own classwork. The Archaeology stuff was exciting — caught up on work, some of which is helping me with the BLOOD AND BONE adaptation, did well on the quiz, evaluated other students’ papers, etc. The Climate Literacy class is frustrating. Plus, I’ve been really good about staying on top of deadlines and they claim I never took the third week’s quiz — um, yes, and I did decently on it, I have the note of my score — and wont’ let me retake it. I also don’t find that the quizzes are reflecting the material we’re going over, which is an additional frustration.

Had a good breakthrough on an upcoming project, though, and started putting together a list of potential sponsors for the Mermaid Ball.

Up early this morning, walking the property. Found I left my notepad with my upcoming projects out on the deck — it was a little damp, but not ruined. I HAVE to get some mowing done today. One of the cats from across the street, a sweet tabby, keeps coming over, but she’s very shy and runs away every time I try to approach her. She’s welcome, as long as she doesn’t have kittens under the rosebush or something.

Note to self: when researching material from library books, notate from which library it came, in case you need to get it out again.

I have articles to get out today, tomorrow morning’s meeting to prep for, tomorrow night’s meeting to prep for, material for the Wed. meeting I can’t attend to prep for, and my presentation on the panel I’m going to be on Wed. night to prep for. Plus teaching and the other stuff.

Better get to it.

Devon

Fri. June 14, 2013: Cape Coastal Conference — Awesome is an Understatement

Friday, June 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and stormy (nor’easter)

Up early yesterday, worked with students, got a few things done (yeah, I got up at 5 AM).

By 7:30, I was headed to the conference. It was truly wonderful, the first annual Cape Coastal Conference. This year’s theme was The Changing Shores: Linking Science with Solutions and Local Decision Making. It was full — all 200 slots were taken. And so well run. I can’t compliment the organizers highly enough. 198 of the 200 people were friendly and fun to talk to, the presenters were terrific, questions were interesting. There was a lot of information for someone like me, who’s coming to the environmental science party late, but I took 18 pages of notes, made lists of questions I’ll pose to the presenters in the coming weeks (they included their contact information in the packets for the purpose of follow-up), things I want to look up, and notes to which I can refer in the future.

Those other two people? I’m killing “them” in a book. And that’s all the space and attention they’re getting. As actual humans, they are excommunicated from my universe — not worth my energy.

I also have to thank the staff at the Doubletree in Hyannis, where the conference was held — their work was impeccable, and they were so friendly, and not in a fake way.

There’s enough information here and from my friend to do my climate literacy paper this weekend.

In spite of the sometimes alarming science, the presenters were upbeat about the things we can do, and how we can move forward towards solutions that make the whole Cape a better place on multiple levels.

Breaks were good, and there were exhibitor booths with even more terrific information.

My seat mate was a delightful, intelligent, humorous gentleman who works for my town — which means I’ll be working with him on several upcoming projects! Lunch was fun — I sat with someone from Sandwich, someone from Brewster, and someone from Chatham, and we had a lively discussion about local politics, Town Hall meetings, etc.

Afternoon session was good, too, focused more on climate change — using some of the same sources that my Sustainability and Climate Literacy classes used. Good reinforcement. Afternoon break was even better — cookies! Cookies in the middle of the afternoon solve many problems.

I hadn’t realized how where we are in the natural geological cycles (that happen over tens of thousands of years) are adding in so much to the additional damage of the raised temperatures and raised ocean acidity. If we were just dealing with the natural change, we’d be okay. The climate-change damage on its own would still be worse, but we’d have more time for solutions. But together? Clock’s ticking, and not in our favor.

It was also interesting to see how much from my astronomy class fed into the science we discussed here. How all these different science arena weave together is very interesting.

Last few sessions were harder to focus on, because we were getting tired and running a bit over. At the end, one of the scientists from Falmouth ran up with his laptop — while we’d been in session, there’d been unusual wave activity in Falmouth (he called it a “mini-tsunami”), and his fellow scientists had sent him video, which he then played for us. It was pretty cool. It was the only place that water activity was happening in the area, although there was some funky air pressure something-something happening over Nantucket.

I was tempted to stay for drinks, but the nor’easter was starting to hit us just as session ended, so I opted to get home quickly instead. Couldn’t do much online because of the storm (didn’t want the laptop to go kerplooey), and was tired anyway, so called it an early night, after making some notes on an upcoming project.

Headed back to the conference today for the next session — very excited to see what I’ll learn.

It means working through the weekend with students and getting some other things done that have come in while I was gone, but it will be worth it!

Devon

Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 5:52 am  Comments (1)  
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