Tag Archives: community

An Interview with a Tree Fairy

Thursday brought some morning clouds, making a trip to Andulka Park (5201 Chicago Avenue, Riverside 92507) for an AM romp a no-brainer.  This marks the first time since the end of Spring I pulled a long sleeve shirt out for E.M. She loved the bright graphics and rough texture of the thermal top – I loved the fact that I could keep the sunscreen in the trunk.  But we hauled the sand toys because this park has some of the largest sand boxes in Riverside.

Now, some may dispute this fact and point to other parks. Others may play word police and claim they are actually volley ball courts. On weekday mornings, when they are crawling with amateur archeologists and future explorers, a functionalist like me says, “If it looks like a [sandbox] and it acts like a [sandbox]…”

And the tree fairy I spoke to would agree. He (yes, they can be guys – Santa may be the most famous fairy alive today) goes by Paul when he is with his granddaughter.  Here is why the parks are wonderful and should always be funded, maintained, and used often.  It’s the connections they create.  And lessons taught.

Before Paul made his true face known, I learned that he worked at Riverside City College (just like me) and he retired in June (just like I want to do!) and he’s not sure he is doing retirement right (I question myself to distraction). He likes Reagan more than I do but we both agreed the mental health issues behind much of the homeless problem in our parks stems from those mental health facility closures that started under his “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” approach to social services.

An old Gen-X and a young Boomer caring for the girls that will grow to save the world we have made for them.  And when we made Andulka Park, we had little more than dirt and space.  The City of Trees was devoid of shade.  The city planted them but the tree fairy made sure they grew tall and strong.

The Tree Fairy traversed the expanse of the park soon after it was finished.  He hand fertilized every single tree. Because he knew they would need the extra support. It was his way of doing his share and supporting a resource vital to the well-being of any city, and every single park in every city.

Now, fairies are odd creatures.  They typically know a good deal about a lot of things, yet they become known for just one or two key traits – few people realize that the Tooth Fairy can get your car started in a snowstorm and the Elf on the Shelf can make a sublime PB&J without a knife.  Which is why I suggest you get out into parks to talk with them. Don’t rely on what a few writers have put into your books.

This famous quote sums it up best:your task in the world rabbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under belief, Family, happiness, nature, things to do in riverside, Uncategorized

Last Week to View “52 Project” Part I

good pic of my 52

hope or fear?

Our four day run was extended through this Sunday! Please enjoy and support the museum if you would like. Either, both, or neither…it’s all good. If you have ever finished something you did not think you could do, then you know how I feel this week.

I went on a 52-week artistic journey, with 147 other people, this past year. It was a program through the Riverside Art Museum called “The 52 Project” and it was designed to help us be more creative through setting goals, discovering our story, capturing ideas in a journal and learning about the “business” of art. This summer we will be sharing the results of this amazing experience with 33 mini 4-day exhibits and a Group Show.

The Riverside Art Museum has been very generous in supporting us so we have agreed, as a group, to help raise some funds to help underwrite the installation of the summer shows and some seed money to insure the continuation of The 52 Project,

My family collage includes a poetry chapbook. You can buy it at RAM’s Blue Door Gift Shop or online http://bit.ly/doyourchores

100% of all sales through the end of this 52 Project goes back to Riverside Art Musuem.

Here are some suggested giving levels. No amount is too small….

  1. $220………. pitch in towards buying a “52 Project” brick for the entry walkway
  2. $52.00………. to contribute to next year’s “52 Project” scholarship fund
  3. $75.20……… help underwrite the installation cost of this exhibit
  4. $100.52…….. help underwrite the marketing of this event
  5. $152.00…….. help the Riverside Art Museum be a “cool” (AC) cultural hangout

Please make any donation out to the Riverside Art Museum and put my name/ The 52 project in the memo line. You can mail the check to me or to the museum: Riverside Art Museum 3425 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside CA 92501. Please call the museum at 951-684-7111 to pay with a credit card over the phone.

I have the dates and times of our events listed below…please join us!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

 

Note: This show extended through July 24th!!

GROUP ONE mini-exhibits July 7-11 (FREE admission)… opening July 7th from 6-9 during Art Walk

Presenting Artists: Jessica Boctor, Gabrielle Brewer, Larry Burns, Elizabeth Carr, Crystal Edwards, Gordon Edwards, Charlotte McKenzie, Sue Merrill, Donna Morin, Gary Rainsbarger, Kelly Rider, Martina Schrader, Kaye Sweaney, Jennifer Sweeney, Anna Vela, Alicia Webb, Sharon Zorn Katz

GROUP TWO exhibits August 4-7 (FREE admission)…opening August 4th from 6-9 during Art Walk

Presenting Artists: Terri Stiles Alkayali, Jennifer Anderson, Maggie Tello Case, Kathy Crabbe, Karen Dunivent, Terry Ellis, Diego Hernandez, Jeanne Kataoka, Sue Roginski, Nicole Smith, Ingrid Tegner, Bridget Tucker, Sue Young, Judy Valdivia, Raina Wessen, Shirley Wible

Mom and Rob at 52

artists – need family support! Thanks Mom and Sis.

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Look Down! You are Standing on Someone’s Shoulders

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I’m in heavy training mode these last two weeks thanks to my full time faculty position with University of Phoenix. I get the pleasure of working with first year students to support their career and academic success. What I am learning is too large to put into a list…but I have dozens of PowerPoints and Word documents at my disposal!

What is clear, from all of these resources and the excellent Wiki page the faculty and staff have put together, is a structure that has been built over decades – and I get to stand on it and say – LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!  Hopefully I will do more than that. My hope is that I will be able to add a wall, or a floor, or even a curtain to a window of this amazing and ever changing structure.

What I see all to often in my professional career are folks who just never look down. Perhaps it is fear, perhaps it is hubris, perhaps just bad training or not enough hugs as a kid, these people forget their history and think they need to destroy or radically alter the city-scape they inherit in order to “leave their mark”.

In short, those people are wrong. We all know these people. We also know that they typically do not last. Their lack of vision and limited growth potential make them poorly equipped to do much useful for an organization. The employees we need to hire, train, value and care about are the ones that know they stand in greatness only because of the greatness of those who came before them. And they understand the obligation to continue that good work.

It is better to be part of something larger that will last for decades. Anyone can bring down those around them to stand tall for a minute, but the quicksand they spread all too far and wide will eventually bring them down as well. In parables from business, religion, history, or politics, our systems work best when built by caring hands who intend to grow what is in front of them and conserve it for the ones who will do the work when they are gone.

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Filed under career, higher education, leadership, management, training