Category Archives: Organizations

Travel Theme: Twist: Twisted Fourth of July

Setting up for an all city celebration traps workers into all kinds of twists and turns.

Twisted flagsUnfurling flags took hours.

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Some workers didn’t stop until they saw stars!

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Hope you had a memorable 4th!  Tell me about it!  :)

Book Review: Co-Operative Dreams A History of the Kaweah Colony by Jay O’Connell

Kaweah Colony

If you’ve never seen a tree so wide you can drive your truck through it, then you need to come to the Sequoia National Park.  The Kaweah River surges down from the Sierra Nevada, through the Big Trees, forming the Delta where big agriculture lives in Tulare County.

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The huge forests that attract thousands of tourists world-wide today, might have been wiped from the map before their secret was discovered were it not for the drama that unfolded in the mountains in the 1880s.

I met author, Jay O’Connell, in the Pizza Factory in Three Rivers on the day Sally Pace and I made ad sales calls for the Kiwanis Magazine, “What’s Happening in the Foothills.”  I went home, and sure enough, I had his book, Cooperative Dreams A History of the Kaweah Colony, in my library, but to my loss, had never taken the time to read it.

Early tent colony where first Kaweah Colony residents settled.
Early tent colony where first Kaweah Colony residents settled.

“Three key issues of the nineteenth-century California history are illustrated by events at Kaweah.” The issues prominent in the 1880s, when the Kaweah Colony formed were: “land and its acquisition; labor and the organization of it; and conservation.  … They are personified by three major characters in the drama of the Kaweah.” Charles Keller found the land, and knew it would be perfect to start the perfect cooperative colony.  Burnette Haskell, son of none other than Eddie Haskell (not from Leave It To Beaver, but very much like him in personality) gave voice to the organized labor movement so prominent in those years.  Finally, Visalia’s own “Father of the Sequoia National Park,” George W. Stewart championed conservation so effectively that the results surprised even him.

More permanent dwellings afforded little protection from the winter weather.
More permanent dwellings afforded little protection from the winter weather.

What I didn’t know was that there was such a mysterious aura around the often-told story.  For fifty years even historians did not know how the park came to be included in a bill that originally reserved only a small portion of the trees for posterity.  Even more amazing was the reason for including the magnificent trees in the preservation act.

O’Connell gently unfurls the story, introducing each character, using primary sources including letters, newspaper articles, and interviews of survivors of the colonies conducted in the 1940s by Tulare County historical expert, Joe Doctor, to authenticate his narrative.

As a student of local history, I found this fascinating, but California’s history, its dream belongs to the world as did the settlers that came in the 1800s.

What Happens at a Social Studies Conference?

Large or small, I like social studies conferences.   Teachers starve for social studies professional development because it differs from other subject area conferences.

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The social studies include four core subject areas:  geography, economics, history and civics.

  • Geography:  Now I ask you who isn’t interested in traveling? One of our CCSS exhibitors offers teachers expenses paid trip for two weeks to Germany.  Do they have offers like that in math conferences?

The activity we did at the N. CA conference this weekend had us identifying where and when pictures had been taken.  Each group of 4 had two different pictures. This particular activity showed change over time in Germany.

  • Economics:  Do you run out of month or paycheck first?What would happen if we quit shipping the 40% of California’s agricultural products overseas, could we save water in drought-ridden California?  Studying economics helps students grapple with historic and current issues, trace the consequences and predict future results from actions we take today.  Conferences bring you face to face with people in the know like Dr. Jim Charkins of the California Council for Economics Education.
  • History:  Scholars from near and far engaged us in conversations about WWI, the trenches, the music, the need to enlist before the selective service started, and the propaganda to get people to enlist.
Lora Vogt from the WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO
Lora Vogt from the WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO

Now I understand a little piece of my grandfather’s life a little better.

scholar Jennifer Keene
Dr. Jennifer Keene from Chapman University compared Ernest Hemingway’s life to the average WWI soldier. Sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute

At the other conference we Skyped author/scholar, Allyson Hobbs from Stanford, also sponsored by Glider Lehrman Institute who studied the effects of African-Americans who passed for white, and what they missed from their black culture by giving up their identities.  Can you imagine giving up/turning your back on who you are?  She made it personal.

Dr. Allyson Hobbs, sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute
Dr. Allyson Hobbs, sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute
  • Civics:  We met three speakers involved in landmark Supreme Court cases.  Sylvia Mendez’s younger sister never knew the court case happened until  she studied the effect on the Civil Rights movement in high school.  Karen Korematsu spoke about her father, Fred Korematsu’s opposition to the federal government, prison, Supreme Court Case.  We met Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker V Des Moines, who wore a black armband to school, to express her views.  She didn’t think it was any big deal at the time.  Now she talks to children around the country.  She told us stories of amazing children, and what they can do that adults couldn’t.
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NCSS President-Elect, Michelle Herczog and Mary Beth Tinker of Tinker v Des Moines

We heard Major General Patrick Brady tell us that people may not have equal opportunities, but we all have access to as much courage as they want.  The more we use, the more we have.

Major General Patrick Brady, Vietnam War hero, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Major General Patrick Brady, Vietnam War hero, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

We met political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz who has one of his paintings hanging from the wall of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor

Lalo Alcarez at the CCSS Conference in Los Angeles
Lalo Alcarez at the CCSS Conference in Los Angeles

Where else but a social studies conference can you rub elbows with people who played a part in exciting events you read about in the news?

Power of Democracy2Intensity sparked like electricity during a Power of Democracy Task Force meeting. Where can you get direct contact with legislators, Department of Justice, and Department of Education at the same time?

Power of Democracy/Civic Education
Student speaker at Power of Democracy/Civic Education meeting

We honored our best and finest social studies teachers at the awards program – AKA Emmys. Twitterers tweeted during the conference.

DBQ session

Brent won a bicycle at the membership booth. Exhibitors gave free stuff to everyone.  Best of all teachers connected with other teachers and shared ideas.

Next March we go to Oakland.  The National Conference will be in Boston in November.  California Council Needs YOU!  If you teach history-social studies in CA, please join us.

A Quickie

If you are not a regular reader of mine, this post may seem like a waste of cyberspace.  I’ve never taken such a long break from blogging, and I miss you all, but I have a Board meeting tomorrow morning in Ontario.  It’s a long drive, and since I’m the gavel banger, I have to have my act together.  Our big conference is March 7-9, and both Vince and I are working our tails off getting the website up to speed, and helping with the details of the conference.

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I say all that to apologize for not visiting much, posting at all or even responding to comments very often.  I promise you are all in my thoughts.  I browse Facebook, so if you are my FB friend, I’ll see you more often since I have to post updates for CCSS every day.

Thanks for being understanding, and staying with me.  I promise after this weekend at the very least, I will be a better “post”er child.   That was a lame joke.   BTW

What are you all doing this weekend?

Love and hugs to you all  :)  xox

Book Review: Through the Redwood Curtain by Robert Burke

Bob Burke is front and center at the Foundation Bologna Feed.
Bob Burke is front and center at the Woodlake Foundation Bologna Feed.

At a Woodlake High School Foundation Dinner I attended recently, Bob Burke, the 2011 San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies High School Teacher of the Year, told me he had just published his first book, Through the Redwood Curtain.

Through the Redwood ForestI was thrilled for him, and anxious to read it, a story about places and times familiar to me.

McKinleyville collage

The main character, Steve, a long-haired student at the College of the Redwoods, transversed between his home, where he lived in a tiny trailer in an ultra-conservative, poverty-ridden McKinleyville trailer park with his brother and his brother’s wife, to his place of school and employment in Eureka, 13 miles away.  On the way driving south on Highway 101 in his rundown Volkswagen van Steve passed through the now progressive town of Arcata, home of Humboldt State University, just over five miles away from his home.  The two towns couldn’t have been further apart politically.  When folks for the two towns met and talked politics, it was like metal on pavement, driving on the rims.

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Through Steve’s naive eyes, the reader sees the battle lines  being sketched between two ideologies, environmentally conscious students, and lumberjacks and fishermen barely scratching out a living as they destroyed some of the most pristine forests in the United States.  The destitution of the residents contrasted with the privilege and unappreciated wealth of the majority of the Humboldt State students from Southern California created a dramatic backdrop of political sparks that fueled this book’s plot from beginning to end.

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The drama didn’t end with politics, however.  Steve had his own internal combustion engine when it came to the love of his life, Cheryl, and their lonely times of separation, the abundance of drugs, family differences, friendships, and betrayals.  In addition, the death of Steve’s mother, the lack of support from his drunken father colored his emotions, and his own desperate financial situation added to the intense conflict of forces within the story.

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Finally, the story wouldn’t have been complete without Steve’s $1.65 an hour job at Coastal Gardens Nursery in Eureka.  Steve worked with an assortment of characters, most of whom were paroles, students, or local tooth-free young women looking for good men – in all the wrong places.  Steve seemed to innocently bound through his mixed up world always seeing roses through his fog colored spectacles.

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All of the dramatic facets and interludes of Steve’s life seem inextricably intertwined into the life of his rusty, fussy old VW van.   Could it be that the opposing forces in Steve’s life wouldn’t begin to come together as long as he had the troublesome VW?  Or would his troubles only deepen if the old van ever died?  To find that answer you will have to read the book.

Common Core Standards

While this is a work of fiction, I think most high school teachers could use this with their students studying modern U.S. history, and would find Through the Redwood Curtain more than just a fun read.  Of course they could analyze the characters and setting, both of which are part of the new standards.  One of the important aspects of being a historian is to know the author, and understand the lens through which the book is written.  Robert Burke graduated from Humboldt State in the 1970s, so is a primary source when it comes to the issues found in the book.  So did Bob have an agenda when writing the book?  Did he see like as a wealthy college student, or did he, because of his own lack of funds, identify more with the conservatives who also had financial troubles bigger than the Redwoods?  How would the book have been different if written from the perspective of the owner of Coastal Gardens Nursery?  These are topics with which students have to grapple in their Common Core classrooms.  In my opinion this story would be an excellent one for examining perspective.

If you know Northwest California, and love the complexity of the simple life found there, you will love this book.  Read it and pass it on to a friend or two that went to Humboldt State in the 1970s.  They probably knew Steve – even though he is fictitious.  I felt like knew him – back when.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

I love companionable.  People and animals getting along together.  Maybe even plants, anything that breathes.  Things???  Well, Manny is companionable, but usually…  Well there are a few things I can’t do without, too, come to think of it.

SFW Companionable 120

Puppy Girl and Mama Kitty are about the same size and very companionable.  Even from the start Mama accepted PG.  Who knows why?  She hates other cats that come around.

BJ and Piggles

I used to raise guinea pigs.  my puppy BJ was so jealous of what we gave the guinea pigs that he would eat things that dogs just hate – like lettuce.  He and Bud were very companionable with the guinea pigs when we fed them.  Piggles didn’t mind being companionable.

History Girls

My good friends, the history girls, and I decided that one of our outings would be to see Wicked.  I found these perfect sparkly red shoes at the Sears store in the shopping mall near the theatre – wonder why?  They were only $9.99.  Who could pass on that?  We wore them and felt companionable, not just with each other, but with the play as well.

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Now I have to go BE companionable with the Woodlake Kiwanians who put on a July  3rd Fireworks Display.  I hate working in 108 degree heat, but I am going to be companionable – until I melt.  :)  Lots of love to everyone.  Remember to be companionable tomorrow as you celebrate our freedom to be companionable.

Kiwanis Roundup for Hunger

Can you believe that I could get somewhere – anywhere at 6:15 a.m.?Good, that means you know me pretty well.  I got there at 6:25 a.m., complete with camera, but my disk had no space AND no pictures.  What’s up with that?  I learned how to format my disk today because of it.  Needless to say, I was a little late to my assigned post, but I got there.  It turned out that many people came to help, so I didn’t have much to do, but enjoy the day. 

Marsha and Connie
Marsha and Connie

My very good friend Connie from Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) showed up, and we walked the path slowly, relishing the chance to catch up .

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The day was off to a lovely start.  The temperature was cool enough that I appreciated my coat for a while, then quickly shed it, as we strolled into last place.  Altogether 73 runners and walkers participated in this fund raiser.  All the proceeds from the event go to the Woodlake Food Pantry.   It’s a real privilege to be part of a community organization that gives so much back to the community.

How was your Saturday?  What is your favorite charitable organization or fundraising activity?

National History Day – California – Tulare County a Huge Success

This was my first year in the past twelve years NOT to coordinate Tulare County’s History Day event.  The job now falls on my dear friend, Joy Soares, who took my place as the History Consultant at the County Office.  She has enough energy and ideas for three people, and indeed more than three people kept very busy bringing this exciting day to fruition.

Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg.  Styling, Joy!
Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg. Styling, Joy!

My job in all of this was to represent two volunteer organizations, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS), and Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS).  Both organizations had booths, and both gave scholarships to students.  This was the first year we named any of the donations from these organizations.

Three tables for three organizations.  Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS
Three tables for three organizations. Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS  See me manning the tables?  OK I’m a little ghostly, but there’s my coat.    800 ISO picture – much better!

Two individuals from TCHS were especially instrumental in bringing TCHS and History Day together, Stan Barnes and Madeline Franz.  When I first started coordinating History Day, the Fresno County Historical Society actively supported the Fresno County event, and I didn’t even know who the Tulare County Historical Society was or how to find them.  Then Sharon Doughty created a website, and I made a phone call.  That next year Madeline Franz judged for our event.  The next year she brought friends, Don MacMillian, Terry Ommen, and Stan Barnes.

Madeline is a kick.  You'd love her.  Her daughter is sitting next to her.
Madeline is a kick. You’d love her. Her daughter is sitting next to her.  You can see Terry Ommen behind her with his arm up like he is taking a picture.  He was. 

Stan was particularly taken with the project, and insisted that the Society donate money as long as it didn’t get swallowed in a “black hole.”  The society also contributed a large amount to a group of students from Kingsburg, CA who were going to National History Day in Washington, D.C.  What an opportunity for students who had never been out of Tulare County!  TCHS bought tee shirts one year so that when our students went to state they all dressed alike one night and really stood out in the crowd of thousands of students.  This year was the first year that the Society specified scholarship amounts, and named the scholarships.  Unfortunately, Stan Barnes passed away just a few weeks ago, so did not see what the scholarship named for him will do for students.  His daughter attended the awards ceremony.

Stan Barnes' daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.
Stan Barnes’ daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.  Stan’s daughter is the smiling blond woman looking towards me.  The blond in the background was my boss at TCOE when I retired.  Jill Brown is not wearing brown, but yellow.

Madeline also participated in the awards ceremony, bringing her family with her.  TCHS President, Jill Brown presented both awards.

Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture.  I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!
Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture. I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!  Someone was not extremely excited to be there for the presentation part.  This is Madeline’s family.

SJVCSS is the local affiliate council of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) It is a professional organization for social studies teachers, administrators, and professors, and really is NON-profit.  Each year since I started as coordinator the organization gave $50 to History Day, and I used it to purchase things we needed for the event.  This year we upped it to $100 and created an Exhibit Scholarship in the name of Marvin Awbrey, Father of History Day.  Marvin is from Fresno County, just north of us.  He IS the Father of History Day in California, the man who brought it to Fresno County, then the state.  He also served as the judge captain of the Exhibits Category for many years.  At the awards ceremony yesterday, I made a presentation speech, and Marvin gave the scholarship to a deserving exhibit designer, Mr. Wilson.

By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot!  I learn SO slowly!  :)
By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot! I learn SO slowly! :)

I will write a more professional article that has student names and a little less silliness for the Los Tulares, the TCHS quarterly magazine available to members.   My blogging friends have to put up with all my foibles, bad photography, and antics.  It is SO fun to be retired and be able to be silly.  There is something to be said for that second childhood!

Here are some other photos if you are a parent or an interested bystander that just loves HD.

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Eva Paterson: Heroine of the Civil Rights Era Who Kept Moving On

Eva Paterson was only a teenager when she debated Spiro Agnew on national television in 1970.  When she became an attorney she fought for Civil Rights for many underserved groups of people.  Though she grew up in a violent home, she became a champion for those whose rights were challenged at home or in society.  In the late 1970s she successfully sued the Oakland Police Department  for not coming to the aide of battered women.

Eva Patterson will be speaking in a panel at the CCSS Conference in Burlingame on March 9, 2013
Eva Patterson will be speaking in a panel at the CCSS Conference in Burlingame on March 9, 2013

“Prior to taking the helm of the Equal Justice Society in 2003, Paterson worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for twenty-six years, thirteen of them as Executive Director. Paterson led the organization’s work providing free legal services to low-income individuals, litigating class action civil rights cases, and advocating for social justice. At the Lawyers’ Committee, she was part of a broad coalition that filed the groundbreaking anti-discrimination suit against race and gender discrimination by the San Francisco Fire Department. That lawsuit successfully desegregated the department, winning new opportunities for women and minority firefighters.”  http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/about/evapaterson/ 

Paterson, though part of an historic movement in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement, keeps on producing results.  On Saturday, March 9, at the CCSS conference in Burlingame, CA, “Ms. Paterson will be joined in a panel discussion by two Dream Act student leaders, Sofia Campos and Catherine Eusebio, courageous immigrant youth who are building a new civil rights movement, risking arrest and deportation to fight for the rights of immigrant youth and their families.”  CCSS Conference Brochure

Martin Luther King Junior had a dream.  Some people living in the United States are inhibited from following their dreams because of their immigrant status as children.  “The ‘The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation ‒ pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] andSen. Richard Durbin [D-IL] ‒ that can solve this hemorrhaging injustice in our society. Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.” http://dreamact.info/  Two of these students will share their stories during the panel discussion on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Burlingame, CA.

Eva has come full circle.   As a student she came to the spotlight during a panel discussion addressing then President Spiro Agnew, and next Saturday she will participate on a panel discussion with students who share the their own struggle for civil rights nearly 50 years later.

Come to the Local Councils Booth in the Exhibit Hall to color a quilt square - a tribute to the Civil Rights Movement, and another quilt honoring World War 1  100 years later - for Next Year's Conference
Come to the Local Councils Booth in the Exhibit Hall to color a quilt square – a tribute to the Civil Rights Movement, and another quilt honoring World War 1 100 years later – for Next Year’s Conference

No matter what your politics, you will enjoy this inspiring speaker at the conference.  You will be amazed.

A Little Foothill High School History

Sally Pace asked me to do a column of Foothill History for the Kiwanis magazine which is published quarterly.  Our larger community consists of several small foothill towns ranging from populations of about 3,000-8,000.   From north to south the communities are:  Woodlake, Lemon Cove, Three Rivers, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Exeter.  Then a little farther south,  still in the foothills, but not considered in our neighborhood are: Lindsay, Porterville (about 45,000 pop.), and Springville (very tiny and very high into the mountains).

Just so that you understand the history here in Tulare County, I will give you a little background.  There were NO white, Mexican, Asian, or any outside people here before 1852.  NONE – not even explorers.  Well maybe one or two Spanish explorers.  But let me tell you, they didn’t stay.  Heck no, they went back to the Central California Coast.  So when the world rushed in to find gold in “Californey”, a few of the folks headed south of gold country to Tulare County. Native Americans from the Yokuts tribes lived here peacefully before the OTHERS arrived.

Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County.  This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree.
Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County. This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree, near Road 182.  Tulare County was the size of West Virginia.

Standing around an old Oak Tree,  (there were no yellow ribbons tied around it), named The Election Tree for the occasion, a group of white men founded what we now know as  Tulare County.  In that time the county was HUGE.  Now it is the size of Connecticut, but then it included Fresno County and Kings County and part of Inyo county.  It didn’t take long before folks back then decided that was WAY too much land for any one county, and they split it up,

April 1852
April 1852

For Historical Society purposes, I found out that you really need to count three generations here before you are considered blue – blooded, that is.  I’m purple back in Indiana, or even further back to North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but I’m clear-colored here. (I’m distantly related on both sides of my family to Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, my one and only claim to fame.)  I’ve lived in Tulare County for 28 years, and if I’d had kids, and they’d had kids – they would be royal blue by this time, but …

"In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction.  Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor."
“In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction. Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor.” 1

Yesterday I was blessed to have interviews with 4 people who have lived in the area longer than I have.  My friend, Sally, of Running P Ranch, was one of the impromptu interviews.  Sally and another neighbor, Frank Ainley, discussed the good old days of teaching high school in Woodlake.  One story they swapped started with the words that the principal said to Frank one day at school, “I need to see you.”  (That sounds familiar, but read on…)

“I can’t come right NOW!  I’m right in the middle of class,” Frank answered the intercom voice that the entire high school could hear.

“That’s ok, if you’re a good teacher, your kids will keep doing what they are supposed to do while you’re gone,” the principal responded

Add they did for about 25 minutes.  That was back in the late 1960s (when I attended junior high and high school in Indiana.)  Weren’t we the Perfect Generation, or something like that?

Both Frank and Sally talked about the kids doing projects.  The high school kids kept the teachers organized so that the projects ran smoothly.  Students could drive in those days – if they had a license.  So if the students needed something for the project, the teacher would just ask one of them to go get it at the store, and come back to class with it.  If they had to travel for sports or field trips, the kids just drove there – if they were over 16, and had parents written permission, of course.  There were SOME laws back in the 1960s.

The principal, Bud Loverin, said to Sally, the JUST hired home economics teacher, “We have an opening inservice for all the teachers the first day back to school. There will be about 60 people for breakfast and lunch.”  You got the implication of that statement, didn’t you?  The administrators made the assignments, then trusted the teachers to somehow accomplish them.  and somehow they did (or they didn’t, I’m guessing).  These two teachers remembered going into the Loverin’s office upset about some issue, and coming out apologizing for taking up his time, and thanking him for the new assignment he just gave them.  Yet they both said teacher morale was at a high.

Evaluations?  Frank asked his principal, “When are you coming in to do an evaluation of me?”

Bud Loverin answered, “If I didn’t think you couldn’t do the job, I wouldn’t have hired you.”  He didn’t have an evaluation that year.  He didn’t have very many evaluations.  To be fair, I never had too many evaluations that ever seemed like evaluations, and I taught from the late 80s on.  But my experience is unusual because I left the classroom and didn’t become a principal, but a consultant.

Woodlake High School 2013

Are we missing something today?  Bud Loverin sounds like what current experts (and laws) might consider to be a horrible principal.  He was the type of sales person that motivated his staff.  Sally repeated an oft-said comment about Loverin, “He could have sold icicles  to Eskimos and made a profit. ” The teachers loved him.  He took care of them.

Frank and Sally both said the kids loved the principal and the vice-principal, Herman Ziegler, and most got good jobs after they graduated.  I know both of these teachers, so I know that they both understated their effect on kids.  Both teachers are very well-respected and loved by students and teachers alike.  Frank quit teaching in his 70s, and is still active in the community.  Sally became a counselor in the high school and brought national recognition to Woodlake High School a few years ago because she raised so much money for scholarships, and enabled students to attend college.  She has also retired in her 60s – sort of, and keeps busy in the community.

Frank talked about discipline in the school, when they still used a stick.  Discipline was done by the vice principal – a BIG guy, Herman Ziegler.  Both the principal and the VP were BIG.  I remember our principal in 5th grade.  He would come in to get a naughty boy, and I would quake.  He was BIG.  What was it in those days?  Was that a requirement for being a principal?  BE BIG, and you’re hired?  Apparently they got the job done in Woodlake according to Frank and Sally.

When I was getting my teaching credential in 1986, I interviewed a retired elementary principal, Mr. Crawford, in Woodlake for an assignment.  He told this story.  In the 1940s, as a teacher, he had a 19-year-old 8th grade student with an attitude.  (duh! I’d have an attitude if I were still in 8th grade at age 19.)  This student was about 6 feet tall, and didn’t like the assignment Mr. Crawford had made.  The student challenged his 6 foot tall 40s something teacher, “If you didn’t wear glasses, I’d beat you up.”  Crawford promptly removed his glasses, and the two settled their dispute.  The teacher won, and the student behaved the rest of the year.  By the time the principal, Francis J. White, arrived on the scene, the student was doing his assignment.

I have to say that at the time, I sat in this man and his wife’s living room with my mouth hanging open during most of the interview.  It was one of those unforgettable experiences.  At the time I knew Mrs. Crawford because she and I often substituted in all the classes in Woodlake.  She was tiny, about five feet tall, and probably never weighed 100 pounds, but she knew every student in school, and they all liked and respected her.  She had a no-nonsense way of managing a class that worked.  She never had to raise her voice – or her hand to a student.

Kids today are faced with a far different world than any of us grew up in – even if you are 20.  That’s another amazing conversation Sally and I had.  Kids who are 17 are like adults to the 10 year olds of today.  In the eyes of my fourth graders my high school-aged assistants were no different than their 40 year old teacher.   So if you just graduated, and are 17 or 18, watch out – YOU ARE OLD! (to someone – not me, BTW)

So how have times changed since you were in school wherever you are from?  What was school like when you started teaching?  What was it like when you were a kid?  What worked?  What didn’t work?

Footnotes

1.  Elliott, John F.  A History of Woodlake Union High School The Woodlake 11 Class of 1924.  Three Rivers Historical Society

Kiwanians at the Farm Show

Sally Pace gave me free tickets to the Tulare World Ag Expo, so Cindy and I went to check it out Wednesday.  I have lived here for almost 28 years, and in all that time never had free tickets, and since I’m not a farmer, I never went.

This picture doesn't show the miles and miles of parking that we saw.
This picture doesn’t show the miles and miles of parking that we saw.

I’d heard rumors about the traffic, and since it opened at 9:00 a.m. and Cindy and I left to go to Tulare at 10:30 a.m., we missed the biggest rush.  There were miles and miles of cars and busses already parked.  I’ve been to lots of shows and conferences, and this was huge in comparison.

Granted I was most interested in eating, I took pictures first.
Granted I was most interested in eating, I took pictures first.

The first place on our list to visit for several reasons was the Kiwanis food booth#21 on O and South Greenbelt

Ten forty-five in the morning is ALMOST lunch time.
Ten forty-five in the morning is ALMOST lunch time.

The menu looked great!  Tri-tip, onion rings, chili dogs.  mmmm  I thought I should take pictures first.

Kiwanis Club Booth #21

Inside the booth everyone was working hard, and look like they knew what they were doing!

Kiwanis Club Booth #21

All I knew was that I was hungry, and it smelled good in there.  That must be MY hot dog.  mmmmm  I’m still hungry.

Kiwanis Club Booth #21

Outside folks were busy putting out plastic-ware, checking stuff – OK shooting the breeze.  I think they killed it because it was unusually calm that day.  Chilly, though.

Mike is getting good reception with his rabbit ears.  Kids!!!
Mike is getting good reception with his rabbit ears. Kids!!!

Mike and his friend were inside having fun.  The crowds outside were thickening, so Cindy and I decided we’d better order up.

Kiwanis Club Booth #21

Linda had a long-term customer debating about which desert he should try.

Kiwanis Club Booth #21

Cindy and I enjoyed our chili, and went back for seconds – an extra scoop of chili for a dollar.  I have more pictures of the farm show, and even the Kiwanis booth, but I want to hurry and press Publish.  So please excuse me, and I’ll write more tomorrow!   :)  What kinds of trade shows have you attended?  What did you enjoy most about them.  P.S. some of the Photoshop pictures in this post, have had the magic touch.  Can you tell which photos are photoshopped?  Take a guess.  I’ll tell you later.  They still have real people in them.  No friendly heads on someone else’s body!!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire

cees-fun-foto1

As I pushed the publish button the notice came up that this is my 300th post!  Thanks everyone for sticking with me for that long!!!!  :)

 

This challenge is a bit of a stretch for me.  When I was about 4 or 5 I got into quite a bit of trouble when I set my doll bed on fire, then started to carry the flaming blanket to the bathroom to douse the flame in the sink because I knew that water put out fire.  I don’t know HOW my mom found out about it, but she ran in, saw me starting towards the bathroom, and threw everything out the window.  I think I also started a fire outside once, too.

But neither of those events could hold a candle to the time we came home from my friend, Wyla’s, wedding to find fire trucks at the end of our street.  We lived at the end of our street.  My friend Gary, a volunteer fireman, decided to pay us a visit that day, even though we were not home.  He climbed through a window to get in.  He was calmly sitting playing the piano when he smelled smoke.  It took him three misdials to finally reach the Portland Fire Department, but he saved our home.  I was finishing up the last of Wyla’s trousseau and we were almost late for the wedding.  In my haste to get to the wedding on time, I had left the iron plugged in my attic sewing room, and the faulty old wiring in either the iron or the house, sparked and caught the tons of patterns I had stored in the attic on fire.

With all that fascination with fire in my younger years, you would think that I could find ONE fire picture.  And I did.  ONE.  And it’s blurry.  I tried to sharpen it up, and it’s sort of pixellated.  Sorry!!!  This was a great place, though.  The owners of this place are members of the Tulare County Historical Society, and they had their own museum specializing in old cars and old slot machines, and clocks.  Of course old cars needed old gas.

Flames

Here’s one of his flaming hot cars!!!

Bill #6

I thought about getting V’s ghost flames on his Nova, but do you think they would show up for a picture?  No – they were ghost flames.  They didn’t even show up!!

I decided to display some HOT outfits that I found in Old Sacramento.  Would that count???

Sacramento HOT Costume shop

Or maybe this outfit?

Hot Outfit

So I know that’s pushing it to come up with fire, but honestly it was the best I could do!!!

Here is a link to see other hot shots!

Using the Creative Cloud by Adobe

As many of you know, the job of designing a brochure somehow dropped on my unartistic shoulders.  I created something using the Creative Cloud for our Board Meeting on Saturday, and received immediate feedback about what to change.  This was my first time ever to use Adobe Illustrator, and it represented about 8 or more hours of intensive effort.  I just LOOKS so easy a first grader could do it!  I would not call Illustrator an intuitive, user-friendly program.

My first attempt using Adobe Illustrator
My first attempt using Adobe Illustrator

Today I spent the entire day creating a new brochure with an artsy look rather than a blocky photography look.  My husband helped me on this one by brainstorming with me, then finding me a nice artsy print to get my creative dry mouth (there were not juices) started.  He also agreed with Cotton that the California Bear Flag was the primary symbol to use to anchor this brochure.

I couldn't figure how to color this one blue.
I couldn’t figure how to color this one blue.  I still thought it was cool.  Do you recognize anyone here?

I couldn’t find the same picture he did, and I thought I would be so clever and Photoshop of our own meetings.  It didn’t transfer well into Illustrator, so he emailed me the picture he found.  I made major changes on it before I used it.

This was the best I could do in Illustrator.
This was the best I could do in Illustrator.  Oops a flag pole in the middle of the sky.  Weird.  The colors don’t really go here, but I hat to take a break.

The hardest part after he found the anchor artwork for the meeting was to create a seamless look between the artwork and the background.  I’m not sure I could do any of it again at this point.  I found that it was easier to merge the pictures and the background in Photoshop than in Illustrator.  I couldn’t even get the paintbrush tool to activate on the layer I wanted in Illustrator, and I couldn’t flatten the layers.  So back to what I knew.  I got a little paint on the photos, but I’m hoping it gives that artsy-dreamy look.  I need to brush up my coloring skills.

I tried using the select tools, but forgot how to use them correctly, and so I just colored around the map – that took forever!!!  I also had to do it more than once.  The first time I thought I coud just place it into Illustrator.  Place is how you get your photographs to stick on the background in both Illustrator and Photoshop.  That is in the file drop down menu.

I found out that Photoshop CS6 is different enough from Elements 10 that I had a bit of a learning curve, but I was able to McIver my way through the project.

After I was as pleased as I could be in the amount of time that I wanted to devote to my 4th makeover, I saved the project as a jpeg and then placed it over the first page white blank sheet in Adobe Illustrator.  Then I just added the words.  V helped me with the words, too.  He used to be in advertising, and he focused me on what was really the reason for the brochure – to GET PEOPLE TO JOIN THE ORGANIZATION!  So that went in the top right hand corner.  DUH!

This was my third attempt.
This was my third attempt.  Here it looked like I scribbled around the map because I was dodging the words.  Has any one ever been to the state of Califronia?

I got it all done, and sent out to our Exec. Board, and realized I had misspelled California.  Believe it or not I had to start back in Photoshop and get my three pictures together again on the background.

This was the most time- intensive part.  this was my fourth attempt.
This was the most time-intensive part, and it was my fourth attempt at creating the brochure.

I finally got the words back on  using Illustrator because the words are sharper if you use Illustrator rather than Photoshop.

This is my final draft - SO FAR!!!
This is my final draft – SO FAR!!!

I had a few changes to do to the inside, but those were simple.  So this is the journey I’ve been on for the last few days since our start long ago with the simple cover you all voted on.

You overwhelmingly picked this design for the front of the brochure.
You overwhelmingly picked this design for the front of the brochure.

Thanks so much for all your input.  I appreciate when YOU offer suggestions.  Thanks also to V for all the help you gave me this morning, and the patience to see me through my tears without trying to SOLVE all my problems.  I knew I could do this if I just put my mind to it.  I was not going to be overcome by a computer program!!!!  :)

John Muir Visits the Tulare County Historical Society During the 2013 Annual Meeting

Yesterday at the Tulare County Historical Society Annual Meeting Frank Helling, a 30-year veteran as John Muir, with his hand carved cane in his Scottish accent told the crowd  “Everywhere we step is holy land.”  Of course he never hiked around the world,  he “san-tared” (sauntered) about because hiking is too much like work.

Frank Helling as John Muir
Frank Helling as John Muir

At one point Muir had to find employment.  Although he wasn’t a shepherd, he was hired to keep tabs on Shepherd Billy, a lazy bloke.   Billy rarely never bathed so  his clothes became a natural walking history museum, growing thicker by the day with new additions such as pine needles, tree sap, or whatever else he wiped on them.  Another employer wanted him to run a saw mill, but Muir had vowed never to cut a living tree again, but didn’t mind taking the already fallen trees to the saw mill.

Muir recounted the many famous people his path had crossed except for Louise Jackson’s mother who was 13 when she met him.  Sixty-eight year old Ralph Waldo Emerson came to see him in 1871 and remarked about the Sequoia Redwoods, “These trees have a talent for being tall.”  Muir quipped back,   “You’re a Sequoia yourself, get acquainted with the brethren.”

Muir, the Big Tree Advocate, upon returning to  Yosemite after one of his many travels,  found the trees being cut down, and cried out “Repent the Kingdom of Sequoia is at hand!”  He got lost in the “artificial canyons” (hallways) of a San Francisco hotel when he met with his editor, Johnson.  His friend changed his writing , and removed many repetitions of the word, glorious, telling Muir, “That’s called editing.”

Muir kept his audience humorously spell-bound for probably close to an hour.  I don’t know I lost track of time.

We will soon have a new TCHS website.  We meet with the designer, Louise Jackson’s daughter, Laile on Wednesday.  I’ve been honored to serve on that committee for the past year, so I can’t wait to see what she has to show us.  :)  Websites, websites, websites!!!  :)

My First Photography Up for Sale on Fine Art America Website

I saw Enice’s photography on this website http://fineartamerica.com/, so I thought I’d give it a try as well.  So far I only have 10 pictures posted, but they are also advertised on my Facebook page.  I’m excited, because I finally got myself started.  This business is mostly a hobby, but I would like it to be a successful hobby just because I like to be successful.

The way I will measure success is that 1) the pictures are of technically of good quality ( clear, the right brightness, etc.) 2)  the pictures are well composed (interesting subjects, good balance, framing, etc.) 3)  The pictures have appeal (people just enjoy looking at them), and 4) The pictures have salability (usable for decorating, cups, t-shirts, cards, advertising, calendars, etc.)  Who knows where this will lead, but this is my next experiment.

TC History Gal Productions

I started out with pictures of cats because they seem to have so much personality.  I realize that most of you are photographers as well, so you are not too likely to purchase pictures from me, but I would love your opinions. You have been so helpful in the past about giving me such good ideas.  How would you rate these?

V's favorite is Boulder Monitoring.
V’s favorite is Boulder Monitoring.

V’s favorite is Boulder Monitoring.  That’s what I felt like doing yesterday afternoon instead of driving to Ontario.  But I drove 5 hours instead.  I hope that you will come and like my Facebook Page, and join me on this adventure.  I’ll be sharing how it is going or not going as we go along.

Like me?
Like me?

The next thing I started this week, I did out of necessity.  Earlier this week I asked you to vote on the front of a brochure that I designed in Photoshop.

You overwhelmingly picked this design for the front of the brochure.
You overwhelmingly picked this design for the front of the brochure.

Although I really had no desire or inclination to design a whole brochure, no one else volunteered to do it.   To create this masterpiece, I tried out a new product, Adobe Illustrator.  You can see that the basic design that you voted on  is on the right, which is the cover.  I changed the picture, and used too big of a font for the words at the bottom.  I also included more pictures on the inside flap and back to represent the various branches of social studies.  Wikipedia quotes our own National Council for the Social Studies to define social studies.

Social studies is the “integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence,” as defined by the United States Americans National Council for the Social Studies.[1]   … Many such courses are interdisciplinary and draw upon various fields, including sociology but also political sciencehistoryeconomicsreligious studiesgeographypsychologyanthropology, and civics.

The brochure that you all helped me design.
This is the first draft of the entire brochure that you helped me design.

Ralph, you’ll notice no smelly sock unless you consider the bear smelly!!!  Cotton, I found the Bear Flag on the map, and I thought that was too cool.

I also finished as much as I could with the tri-fold brochure.   Paula made some suggestions for technical revisions, but our board made some other substantive comments that may WILL change it as well.  Here were some of the comments/questions I heard around the room as soon as I passed the out the brochure.

Would it be more effective to have a brochure with artwork rather than photographs?  (I don’t have the ability to do artwork!!!)

This was done by a real graphic artist for our conference in March.
A real graphic artist created this for our conference in March.

If photographs are suitable, what photographs really illustrate these divisions of social studies?

This man is a sailor, which in my mind suggested economics.  Maybe it wasn't the best photograph to illustrate economics.  It got a laugh!!
This man is a sailor, which in my mind suggested economics. Maybe it wasn’t the best photograph to illustrate economics. It got a laugh!!

Even more basic than those questions, do we just illustrate the definition of social studies, or do we move past that to illustrate what the council does?

1) the advocates for keeping social studies as a core subject to continue to be taught in American public schools?

2) provides professional development for teachers grades k-16,

3)  identifies quality instructional resources and

4) assists in developing and implementing state policies including standards, frameworks and assessments.

There is so much to designing a brochure.  The designer and the organization have to identify what is really important and somehow represent that graphically!  How do REAL graphic designers ever do it????

Thanks for coming along with me in my busy-ness this week.  I’ve been so wrapped in meetings this week month that I hardly knew know if I’m coming or going.  You all have helped by my anchors and my boulders.  Thanks for being there.  I’m monitoring you!

Have a nice rest of the week-end.  What are you all doing??  I have a meeting tomorrow for Tulare County Historical Society.  Anyone want to come??  Don’t forget to write to, like love tell me what you think while I’m busy going to meetings.   :)  Lots of Love, Marsha :)

Another New Career: Designing Brochure Covers

I decided instead of not posting while I’m working, I would bring you into my workspace.  Although I am not a graphic artist, I am designing covers for a new brochure for California Council for the Social Studies.  So I’d like you to help me judge attractiveness.  You should probably know what the organization is all about.

Purpose

California Council for the Social Studies

  • advocates for and promotes social studies education as an essential foundation in developing citizens for a democratic society in the 21st Century.
  • provides professional development for social studies teachers through state and regional and local conferences.
  • identifies and produces quality instructional resources and programs to improve classroom instruction of social studies
  • assists in the development and implementation of state and local policies, legislation, framework, standards, testing and other instructional components.

So here are a few brochure covers I have played with.  I won’t be at all insulted if you have some constructive feedback for me because these are ideas.  Paula may redo them all, but I wanted to give her something to work with to start.  One of these designs has an image that may be copyrighted that I have altered a bit, but if we use it I’ll get permission or purchase the image.  Since we might not choose it, I’ll leave it for now.

Brochure #1
Brochure #1
Brochure #2
Brochure #2
CCSS Brochure #3
CCSS Brochure #3

So what advice do you have for me?  Do any of these look like a possible brochure cover?

To Do List, My Lazy Blogging Excuse

Like all of us, I actually do have a life.  And often it gets in the way of my blogging.  I started blogging in April, and by August I had to quit my day job so I could blog full-time.  Such a sad excuse to retire, but V says I go after blogging like I did my job, and according to V – not my boss –  I was a workaholic.

We're really working.   Proofing the Conference Program.
We’re really working. Proofing the Conference Program.

 

 

The Conference is March 8-10.  So much to do.
The Conference is March 8-10. So much to do!!!  

As you may know, I am still heavily invested in the social studies teaching community through California Council for the Social Studies, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies and National Council for the Social Studies as well as the Tulare County Historical Society, and I am just about to join our local Kiwanis Club thanks to Running P Ranch Co-Captain, Sally Pace.  This week three of them have had meetings.  The funny thing about meetings is that there is always work attached.  On top of that V’s son is having a birthday soon, and we are celebrating with him.  Paula’s son just had a birthday, and we will celebrate with them on Sunday.

Meet V's son, J.  Isn't he handsome?  Can you guess his age?
Meet V’s son, J. Isn’t he handsome? Can you guess his age?

 

Edward1

How old is this handsome “grandson” of mine?

 

I say all this to apologize if my posts for the rest of this month may be sketchy or nil.  I’m not sure if I can stop blogging altogether.  I am super addicted, as you can tell.  But if I do neglect to get up a post or two, please feel free to rummage around in my past posts.  I have tons.  I can’t stop myself.  Some of them are better than others, but my WordPress friends are probably glad to let you know in the sidebars which are the most popular.  They are all pretty random.  They are streaming thoughts, after all.

This also means that I have been and will continue to neglect my visiting of your blogs somewhat.  Again, I don’t mean to.  I am reading my reader as I travel – if I’m not driving!!!  unfortunately it sends me tons of blogs I hardly even know, and who never write me back.  I am prejudiced and I really prefer to visit people who actually visit me, and write back to me when I scribble out a few comments on their blogs as well.  My reader tries to expand my repertoire, but it often misses my valued closest friends.

My email notifier is good, but I find when I click from there many of your blogs make me sign in three or four times before I can even like what you said.  I have to admit that when I am on my iPhone, I have no patience with those sign ins.  I hit the wrong keys, and end up having to enter tchistorygal@gmail.com at least 6 or 7 times before I get it right!   I’m bouncing around in a car, so I get mad and go back to playing Farkle.  I’m sorry – did I just tell you that?  So mindless of me.

All that to say, if you don’t hear much from me this week, it’s not because I don’t love and think about you.   :)  ML

So that you can keep  me in line, here’s my list.  Feel free to comment.  Marsha, did you call… or did you …  And if you think of anything else I missed, be sure to comment that, too.  Except you, Ralph.  You’ll have a complete additional to do list for me that I’ll never be able to finish!!! JK  haha

Marsha’s REAL TO DO LIST

Home

  • Call Scott with model number  3712
  • Call John  and arrange for him to drive the trailer to Scotts.  (Yes, we’re selling our Layton 39 foot trailer – anyone interested.  You can see it on Ebay or on my FB page.)  We’ll deliver if you live in Spain or England!!  JK  :)  We can’t tow it  -  it’s LONG, but spotless and comfy.  We store it mostly.
  • process pictures
  • input hilton honors information

CCSS

  • Proofread the conference program
  • Look over the BOD packet (haha that’s Board of Directors, Ralph!!  Don’t get all worked up!!!)
  • Avi needs to have someone write up the motion for the board packet.  
  • I need to write a motion to accept the changes in the bylaws.  
  • I will highlight sessions and workshops.   Three or four compelling topics in each subject area.  http://ccss.org/Resources/Documents/conf2013/2013_Program.pdf
  • I need to write up motion for reverse brokering.
  • Work on the membership brochure at least the text.  See if Paula or V will help me with the graphics.
  • Mary is drafting a letter that will go to people who will be new members.  As one of the benefits you receive a complimentary membership to CCSS. 
  • I need to pass the brochure on to Mary.    
  • I need to follow up with Mary to make sure she has written the letter.

TCHS

  • email Laile with the results of our conversation tonight

Isn’t this fascinating?  Am I desperate for something to write or what??  Can you guess which ones are done????

What have I missed Avi?  Brent?  Terry?  Sharon? V?