Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Random Bits

After many years of ups and downs, (more ups than downs it seemed), I just donated my sz. 14 and 12 jeans to Goodwill and replaced them with a sz 8 and a 10. The 10 is already loose on me.

I joined an 8-week weekly women's group workout in the park. Spartazon. No kidding. First session was Monday in the grey drizzle. To establish our base times, we jogged around the perimeter of a huge field, all 14 of us. A quarter of the way out, I found the urge to connect with my own pace not the group pace, and pushed way out ahead. At an easy, non-competitive, comfortable-for-me pace, I came in first without really struggling. Seems my running/writing practice, though spotty, has paid off in accumulated strength and endurance. Of course, I can't move today after all the squats, planks, push-ups, resistance training, etc. That class kicked my ass. Literally. But I feel good. My body is reemerging from a long, deep, painful hibernation. And I'm just getting started.

I have a new book idea that I have begun to work on and will continue to work on throughout the year. I will be chronicling our collectively bold attempt to take a declining local public elementary school, (declining perception based on low test scores, bused-in kids, white flight), add a layer of Reggio-inspired philosophy to the standards based curriculum with ongoing professional development and workshops for the teachers, as well as a combination of community outreach and publicity, fundraising, and working to unite the community, in order to turn this little neighborhood school into something ground-breaking and fantastic…all the while observing from a mother's perspective as my daughter and her friends navigate the changing climate at the school. For a more organic approach to the writing I have been journaling in longhand in my car right after drop-off. So far it has been a bumpy month and a half…so there is a lot to write about. My daughter is in her 3rd classroom/teacher in 4 weeks. Bless her for being a trouper. She is doing amazingly well with all the changes.

My little Westside Guide to Public Schools Guidebook continues to sell, and is now selling faster than I can print it every time I am asked to do a speaking engagement. I am also selling it in bulk to several private school consultants to have as a public school resource. It has been placed in the parent resources section of the multi-million dollar recently renovated Santa Monica Public Library where my colleague and I have been invited to return for another speaking engagement. We will be lining up several more school survival seminars around town and soon it will be Magnet season, meaning time for another round of "Martinis and Magnets" events with Sandra Tsing Loh and Christie Mellor. Sandra has unofficially coined me "The Good Witch of The West" for continuing to openly highlight public school options to weary, wary and confused parents.

I have several new ideas brewing about expanding the Go Mama Guide brand and Guidebook series, including two new guidebook ideas….mulling.

There might be some interest at a quirky small publishing house for me to write a cookbook. Ok, that could be fun.

Speaking of my long-abandoned food career, after several months of turning it over and over, I rose to the "dare" and put a DVD together (as well as 8 pgs of an essay-style application), and submitted to be The Next Food Network Star. Crazy, right? Yeah, Um. Perhaps. But what was so great about the process of mulling it over, exploring my "culinary point of view," considering my influences, being able to think about pitching my own cooking show, or what that might be, I realized that this would actually be a great job for me. And although the reality TV part of it freaks the shit out of me, the part about what I do with food, how I live, how I can inspire others to be fearless in the kitchen, to rethink their approach to good food, real food, to use tasty, nourishing food as the vehicle with which to nurture and bring people together…I think is a great fit.

So, whether or not I crap out on this particular competition/reality TV show possibility with its accompanying must-sign sign-your-life-away contract…the point is, through this process of mulling it over, I have warmed to the idea of doing a cooking/lifestyle show and have committed to spending the next few months exploring what exactly I would want my show to be if I could put together a show. (I already have what I think is a fantastic idea but I can't tell you just yet).

Meanwhile, baby steps, a little piece I wrote about the inspired professional development session our teachers recently took, which was meant to be shared only with the handful of us on the school's Educational Vision Committee, was then posted to the schoolwide/community listserv. I was then contacted by the Assistant Principal where she asked permission to print it up for the entire staff. I am thrilled because writing about the Reggio philosophy is like dancing to architecture. It's impossible to portray the depth of it succinctly. It's incredibly difficult to articulate yet incredibly powerful to witness. Perhaps my little attempt did, at least initially, give everyone new to the concept a warm and tangible way to approach the philosophy. In addition, it opened up communication between parents and teachers and administration, which is a huge step in keeping everyone informed and interested, and being inclusive, not exclusive.

So that's some of what's been going on lately. Now you're pretty much up to speed. Somewhat. For now.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Key-rist! See! You're like a bulb that was planted and appeared to be doing "nothing" until the right time, when you SPRANG forth and BLOOMED! WOW! I'm so impressed!

riversgrace said...

You are, without a doubt, an inspired woman. A mover and shaker. So full of life, you are! I so wish we lived closer that we could be in each other's orbit, to support all the internal and external movement, the dance.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Wow! I admire your committment to public school nad your cooking show possibilities sound intriguing!