Friday, October 23, 2015

I Attend A Community Conversation With State Elected Officials

AT THE COMMUNITY CONVERSATION – My Earlier Thoughts, The List of Many Topics, and A New State Government Office
Oak Tree Beyond Window

My Earlier Thoughts - Yesterday I got a Tacoma Public Schools newsletter that describes a Pacific Lutheran University partnership between PLU and Tacoma Public Schools to foster the languages and the cultures of the residences within the whole context of learning.  One project involves student teachers from PLU at Tacoma Schools.  “We need to reflect the languages, the culture and histories of our community in our classrooms as we move forward…” (Spotlight, Tacoma Public Schools Fall 2015)
My thought on that topic is, that perhaps descendents of Scandinavian-Americans need to discuss this with emotional reference.  Another quite recent PLU project was about Caring Burnout.  A mistaken perception could exist in communities involved with this partnership.  In truth, in the history of the Scandinavians with Tacoma Public Schools, the Schools have not fostered the language and cultures of Scandinavians.  Scandinavian groups formed committees to request their languages in high schools, and Tacoma Public Schools rejected this. 
Fey, Darnielle, Jenkins
It was always true that Tacoma Public Schools offered their students an education in a supportive and varied way, with diversity present. I adored school, but my Scandinavian Experience was light years away from our curriculum.  We did do family trees with some holiday traditions in eighth grade.   As adults we have not been misguided - we live in a diverse Tacoma.  However, for non-English people the languages and cultures have not been taught.  Nor has their historical perspective.
At the Community Conversation - The List of Many Topics:  Jake Fey, Jeannie Darnielle, and a slightly late arrived Laurie Jinkens at Wheelock Library meeting room began their community conversation by gathering a long list of topics people wanted to cover:  mental health and civil rights and helath care...
The discussions began with Immigrant Rights and the Detention Center on the tide flats,  continued with Social Security disability cuts and other budget issues. 
Taxes,  laws on religion...Ms. Darnielle explained that some issues were federal (not state) issues, that there were several tiers of government.
They discussed budget issues – with a 25 million dollar fire budget, we have just had a 75 million dollar fire.  And they discussed the slow but progressive action taken, the McCleary response – in affirmative rights the government must support public education. 
I mentioned it might be important to listen openly to the thoughts about non-parents on education.  They experience paying for education without using the service. 
They discussed medical marijuana.  As our representatives, they described how they were strategic in how they tried to engage the many issues of the time.
A new state government office:  And they discussed youth.  Many are homeless.  They are acting to change the fact that many are suspended or expelled without re-entry plans.  They plan a new state government office to address what is bringing children into homelessness and to study how for committing so-called “status offenses”, like running away or skipping school,  children could be incarcerated.  Gray's Harbor County, they said, has a high rate of student incarceration for these offenses.  Adults cannot be incarcerated for these behaviors. 
“There is a huge gap, and what is happening now is not a solution,” said a representative from Hilltop Artists.
They discussed the removal of the Washington State Telephone Assistance Program, now to be managed by a federal program.  Many people under the poverty level will no longer have assistance with telephone bills.   

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

News Article Wednesday Contrasts To Bus Incident Monday

An internet article today from the news contrasts to an incident on the bus I was on Monday.  A Sound Transit Bus exploded on the freeway, minutes after the passengers evacuated.  The incident on the bus I was on was less astonishing.  Monday afternoon twenty minutes after I got on a 4:45 bus at TCC our trip was interrupted by an unusual dinging noise.  We were stopped for forty-five minutes while they found a part that was broken, a hose.  That time of day buses that could come for us four passengers were far off, or were busy.  The replacement bus arrived at last. 

My time right now, as it frequently is, has been occupied with books.  And a book I was carrying was The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, which begins with a bus that soon lofts off the surface of the planet.  And also books that occupy my thoughts are two books that refer to the holocaust, by descendents of the holocaust, and a memoir of the news story about three young women rescued from a residence where they had been held captive for ten years.   A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz, by Göran Rosenberg, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past, by Jennifer Teege, and Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings, by Michelle Knight. 

In the book by Michelle Knight I learn her childhood had been one of abuse and homelessness.  These several grim stories are absorbing, but they reveal a lot about these people who are the books authors.  In the library systems of today I recognize that the permanence of the presence of books in the systems have changed, and wonder what that means for a book like a memoir, when a story has been told, one of intense meaning to the author.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Greyhound High School Travel, 1966, and Roseburg, Oregon

I use public transit, walk, or ride a bicycle.  My small experience with Roseburg, Oregon, is from Greyhound.  When a friend and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, in 1966, our friend and her mother and father continued to California, while we two got the Greyhound bus back to Tacoma.   

It was a long, hot trip.  There was a little restroom in the back, I wore a shift dress with browns, reds and oranges that went with a basket purse.  The driver announced there was a dinner break at Roseburg.  And I remember everyone descended to a cafeteria, a little cafe, at the Greyhound depot.   

A basket purse 1960s, from Etsy
So Roseburg has remained in my travel memories from High School, and I am sure in many travel memories of those who used Greyhound.  When I looked up the Greyhound station at Roseburg, Oregon, on Google Earth Street Views, a mini-drama shows a bus stopped at the permanently closed Greyhound depot and there is a person with luggage just up the street.  A McMenamin's Restaurant has restored an historic building nearby.  

There are some resources on the internet for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from the 1960s.  Outside in the dark at the theater costumed dancers performed close into the audience before the play began, we did not see the featured play that season, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I believe we saw Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thoughts at Lincoln High School's Project Peace Event

In the background of my blurred photos at the Project Peace event at Lincoln High School yesterday afternoon is a mariachi band.  They played two numbers, which primarily brought to mind for me, in the context of the introduction of the Washington State Teacher of the year 2016, the 1966 Washington State Teacher of the year, Doris Hubner.  

Mrs. Doris Hubner was my kindergarten teacher and later hosted an educational tv show that served as a mnemonic for the Spanish pronunciation of the double-l - Cholla's Corner.  Cholla was a Chihuahua. 

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling is the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the year.

At Lincoln High School Lunchroom
October 5, 2015


  Mrs. Doris Hubner included as her piano accompanist on the television show, Linnea Gord Jensen..  My mother participated a lot in the PTA.
Upper Photo Includes
Linnea Gord Jensen at Piano


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Nordic Festival October 10, 2015

During the past year the International Order of Runeberg downsized to a group of lodges called the Order of Runeberg Lodges.  Over their many years they were no longer the large number of larger-sized lodges and this name change reflects the size.  When I have visited at the Nordic Festival in Edgewood, although the Order of Runeberg has not officially participated, some lodge members have been present.  This year's festival is on October 10, 2015.

The International Order of Runeberg was part of my mother's life.  Part of the work I have been able to do as a volunteer at the Pacific Lutheran University has been about the work she did with the lodge as a talented piano accompanist for the lodge choir, when they visited Finland in 1930 to give performances, and later as choir director.  When I was in elementary school, she was their choir director.

Marie Cain and Syrene Forsman '08
Swedish-Finn Historical Society
Over seven and a half years ago the International Order of Runeberg sponsored dancers and singers who visited Seattle and Olympia and gave wonderful performances.  At the Nordic Festival participants sometimes wear Scandinavian Costumes - at the Seattle and Olympia performances in 2008 included was a costume from Malax, Finland. 

Dancers in Olympia 2008
Both my mother and her cousin Signa had costumes from Malax, Finland.  These came from 1938, when my mother visited Finland on a Runeberg Excursion on which her family dance band performed as the Soumi Band on the Atlantic crossing from New York to Helsingfors. 

Marie Cain and Dancer
Malax Costume 2008
Laura Jensen and Dancer
Malax Costume 2008

These are one or two photos of the great visit from 2008.  Marie Cain, Signa's daughter, and I both have Malax Costumes like these.