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Friday, September 23, 2011

Volatility...can we ride it out?

I am tempted to only track the positive experiences in this journey. But I have to say that I experience a great deal of volatility, cycling between excitement and despair.  I don't know that we're actually going to do this until it starts.

Roger suggests that we are likely to increasingly encounter repeated roadblocks to the actual start of our small little experiment.  We are genuinetly intervening in a collapsing system.

The Project fair...a ray of hope

Today's project fair felt like a success.  It was really largely organized and advertised by AmeriCorp member Evan Razor.  We had about eight groups show up as potential SUSTAIN partners. There were about eight additional groups representing agencies either looking for volunteers or looking for volunteering opportunities, as in the case of Alpha Phi Omega.

We spent three hours talking to students who were walking by.  We also talked to many honors students who were sent our way by Tom Trice.

As the crowd filled up, I had great difficulty taking pictures of anything but peoples' backs.

I was pleased to learn that although many students knew nothing about SUSTAIN, they were interested in volunteer opportunities with the agencies. This was a win-win situation for some of the groups who really wanted student help to advance their activities.
In the morning, the faculty were milling about, looking for potential projects to adopt for their classes.

Again, this seemed to be a positive outcome.

It was very inspiring to learn of the students' interest and their experience!  Many of these young people are coming to us, having already accomplished a number of things, including things like designing and building energy capture systems.

The students always remind me of the value in what we are doing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The pinata has burst!

I often don't care for pinatas...for me, there is a strange message about the rewards of violence...small children blindly beating an animal effigy--or perhaps worse...a human effigy--until they successfully destroy it and are rewarded with the gifts that burst forth, competitively scrambing to amass the most for themselves.

I have to admit that what we have done over the past year with SUSTAIN has not been a whole lot different from the process of breaking a pinata!