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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

September 25, 2014
Purpose

Annie: A Purpose for Learning

A Must Read: A Deadly Warning, A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention

Suki: A grown-up Harry Potter for me and you
Viva: Paleo Weekly Meal Plan- September Week 4
This Week
Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House & Native Plant Fair
Annie: A Purpose for Learning - continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  Purpose

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Seymour_seaotters1.jpgHave you been to the Seymour Center as it celebrates Sea Otter Awareness Week!  Tonight at 7pm you are invited to a free public lecture on The Secret Lives of Sea Otters in Elkhorn Slough.

"Elkhorn Slough is an 11.5 km tidal estuary located in Moss Landing, CA. It is the only estuary located within the range of the southern sea otter in which sea otters reside. How many otters live in Elkhorn Slough? What do otters eat in the slough? What is unique about this sea otter population? The Elkhorn Slough sea otter project started September 2013 to determine the role of sea otters in an estuarine ecosystem. Come discover what we have learned so far about the significant role sea otters play in this unique system."

Annie Murphy's article gives me food for thought on the topic of purpose, both narrowly as in why learn "coding" and also more broadly as in living our life purpose.  As parents we want to foster an (Photos General) JimBaby1971.jpgenvironment that enables our children to find their own purpose in life, often while we ourselves are still wrestling with our own life purpose! Personally I find that whenever I feel off balance, it helps to renew my passion about my own life's purpose.

Anyone here guilty of texting while driving or the victim of someone else who's texting and driving? Read the book we review. Diane Rehm's interview with Matt Richtel is riveting.

Viva offers us a week of a paleo meal plans and Suki comes up with a Harry Potter type book for adults. Double bonus!

Happy Birthday Jim!  The world's a better place with you in it!

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter. As always, your questions, comments or concerns are welcome.  To find more events than we've highlighted below, just click for everything Friday through Sunday!

Have a great weekend with family and friends! 

Parmalee

 

 

(Ads 2014) ArtFactory_Sewing2SCparent2014_Sept.jpg

  Annie: A Purpose for Learning

How computer coding can increase engagement, provide a purpose for learning

By Annie Murphy Paul

"Why does this matter?"

Teachers are often called upon to answer this question about an academic subject, and computer science instructors may face this demand more frequently than most. Learning to write lines of code can seem, to many students, like a pointless exercise in tedium.

But a few professors of computer science have a compelling reply at the ready. They are participants in the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software project, known as HFOSS-or, more grandly, Software for Humanity. Why does this matter? these professors might respond. Because it's helping to feed needy people in Haiti, or to deliver supplies to earthquake survivors in China, or to manage the medical care of malaria victims in Rwanda. Read more>>>>>

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news website focused on inequality and innovation in education.

 

(Ads 2014) Seymour_SeaOtterAwarenessWeekS11_S18_S25.jpg

  A Must Read: A Deadly Warning, A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_ADeadlyWandering.jpgA Must Read for Teens and Parents

A Deadly Warning, A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention

"From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology's vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic "texting-while-driving" car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.

In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against "distracted driving." Richtel interweaves Reggie's story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.

A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time-what is all of our technology doing to us?-and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need."

 

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  Suki: A grown-up Harry Potter for me and you

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgA grown-up Harry Potter for me and you

Some years ago my husband was reading a book he'd bought on the basis of a good review. He was sitting in his chair chuckling, and occasionally he would say, "You have to read this!" and then "I mean it, you've really got to read this!"

"OK, dear," I said, and back to my own book.

Then I did. The book was The Magicians by Lev Grossman. After I finished it I was hanging out with my sister and she said something like, "Oh, my book club read the greatest book!" and I answered, "I just read the greatest book, too!" And it turned out to be one and the same...continued>>>>

  Viva: Paleo Weekly Meal Plan- September Week 4

(Photos General) VivaGravatar.jpgPaleo Weekly Meal Plan- September Week 4

Dinners

  • Monday- Lamb Tagine (from Well Fed 2) with roasted Kabocha squash
  • Tuesday- Chicken Soup (I'll use this recipe from ThePioneerWoman, but I'll use homemade chicken stock and add parsely)
  • Wednesday- Carnitas based on this recipe from SmittenKitchen
  • Thursday- We're going to tackle the "beef velvet steak" that arrived in our meat CSA box from Marin Sun Farms, using this recipe from Sigona's
  • Friday- Broiled sand dabs.  Sand dabs are a delicate white  fish that are basically a small version of sole.  They came in our weekly fish pick-up over the summer and I had hastily frozen them since I wasn't in the mood for flounder.  Now it's time for us to defrost and face the music, which should be more pleasant than it sounds.
  • Saturday- Pan-seared lamb chops (Joy of Cooking)
  • Laylita's french beef stew

Dinner sides are mix-and-match as usual, and include roasted root vegetablessautéed spinach, sautéed chard, oven-roasted cauliflower rice  by Melissa Joulwan, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted winter squash, steamed or roasted white/red/purple potatoes, Michelle Tam's braised red cabbage, sauerkraut, and fresh salads.

Lunches

As usual, lunches this week are the leftovers from the dinners, plus fresh fruit like melons, peaches, strawberries and nectarines from the farmer's market.

Breakfasts

Breakfasts include Berry SmoothiesBanana Walnut Smoothies, PaleoParents' Chunky Monkey MuffinsBanana Faux-tmeal, and sweet potatoes sautéed with apples.  Plus protein on the side- usually sausage, bacon, sardines, or kipper snacks and usually extra fresh fruit, too.

Have you tried weekly meal planning yet?

This post is linked up at Musings of a HousewifeSassy Moms In the City, and I'm an Organizing Junkie. This post contains affiliate links from which I might receive a commission. 

  This Week

(Holidays) Halloween_MagicalGlassPumpkinPatch.jpg

Events in the Parks

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg
 

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School Corner

SC Waldorf PreK, Early Childhood Education Class 9/25

 

SSCDC Preschool Open Houses Tuesdays & Wednesdays

 

Ecology Action, Bike to Work/School Day 10/22

 

Chartwell School K-12, Off to College Workshop 10/8

 

SC Waldorf K-8, Waldorf Alive! 10/15

 

American Geosciences Institute, Earth Science Week Contests 10/12-18

 

LitWits Master Classes High School, The Hound of the Baskervilles Class 10/17+ 24

 

Gateway School K-8, Open House 10/15

 

SC Montessori Preschool - 8, Primary School Open House 10/19

 

Mount Madonna, Campus Tour Day 10/22

 

Monte Vista Christian School 5-12, Open House & Curriculum Fair 10/26

 

Tara Redwood School Pre-5, Call for a Tour

 

CLUBS FOR KIDS!

 

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artfactorystudios.com

831-688-8862

Parenting is "thrilling, exhausting, hilarious, fun, frustrating, rewarding.... and requires constant vigilance..."

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Tune up Your Parenting Skills


Workshops for  Parents with Babies to Teens

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 Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House & Native Plant Fair

Elkhorn Slough
Celebrate National Estuaries Day with fun events at Elkhorn Slough
Date: 09/27 from 9:30am to 2:00pm

Special Instructions: Check website for times

Celebrate National Estuaries Day at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House & Native Plant Fair!  This free event happens Saturday, September 27 from 9:30am-2pm, with:

(Special Event Images / Graphics) ElkhornSlough_Sept27.jpg

  • Guided trail walks;
  • Talks about topics including sea otter research, water quality monitoring,  water-wise gardening;
  • Kids crafts at our award-winning Visitor Center;
  • Views of the slough's microscopic life in our state-of-the-art education lab;
  • Displays and demonstrations by researchers, artists, land stewards;
  • Our 3rd Annual Native Plant Fair (a perennial favorite);
  • and more!  

A food vendor will be on site between 11am-1pm. Why not make a day of it? We look forward to seeing you!  For more information, visit elkhornslough.org or call (831)728-2822.


Location: 1700 Elkhorn Road , Watsonville Map
Phone: (831) 728-2822 •website Watsonville

Girls Night Out
click to view website
  Girls Night Out
Art Factory
Date: Every Fri (Oct 14-Dec 16) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Treat yourself to some time with the girls, wine and cheese and a create evening
City: Aptos Phone: 831-688-8862 view all details >>
     
Purpose
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Friday Evening Program: "Black Holes"
click to view website
  Friday Evening Program: "Black Holes"
Hartnell College Planetarium
Date: Every Fri from 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Ages: Mature 3rd Graders and Up
Details: Explore the science and mystery of "Black Holes"
City: Salinas Phone: (831) 770-6161 view all details >>
     
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California Coastal Cleanup Days!
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  California Coastal Cleanup Days!
California Coastal Commission
Date: Every day (Sep 20-Oct 12)
Details: Help clean up the coast Sept. 20 through Oct. 12
view all details >>
     
Yard Sale
click to view website
  Yard Sale
Walnut Ave Women's Center
Date: 09/27/2014 from 8:00am to 1:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Yard Sale with Mulitple Sellers
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-3062 view all details >>
     
Purpose
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Founders Day Special Events
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  Founders Day Special Events
State Park Big Basin
Date: 09/30/2017 from 9:00am to 8:00pm
Ages: Able to do 3.5 mile hike
Details: Honor the Visionaries, Valued Workers and Visitors that shaped the character of Big Basin over the past 109years.
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8883 view all details >>
     
The Exploratorium
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  The Exploratorium
The Exploratorium
Date: 09/28/2014
Details: Housed within the walls of San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts,
City: San Francisco Phone: (415) 528-4360 view all details >>
     
     
  Annie: A Purpose for Learning - continued

These are all actual real-world humanitarian missions that have benefited from computer programming services provided for free by students engaged in an HFOSS project. Started in 2007 at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and now operating at a dozen East Coast colleges and universities from Maine to Washington, D.C., the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software project brings together students eager to solve real-world problems with social service agencies desperate for their help.

In Haiti, a nonprofit organization called ACDI/VOCA uses an app developed by student coders to track data on recipients of food rations. In China, volunteers assisting the victims of an earthquake were managed via a computerized system programmed by college students. And in Rwanda, doctors employ an electronic medical record system, created in part by U.S. undergraduates, to monitor the spread of malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. The HFOSS project has been likened to the well-known charity Habitat for Humanity - except that, instead of building houses for the needy, participants are building computer programs for use in situations where information is the scarcest and most valuable resource.

One of the goals driving the project is to draw a more diverse group of students to computer science - young people, including women and minorities, who might find the prospect of helping people in need around the globe more appealing than learning programming for its own sake. Another aim is to counter misconceptions about what computer programmers actually do. Participants learn that "programming is part of a complex, team-oriented, creative process," writes Ralph Morelli, a professor of computer science at Trinity, in an article he authored with other colleagues involved in the project. "The HFOSS development process has no room for lone programmers working in isolation."

Students who volunteer their efforts also gain real-world experience that is likely to make them more attractive to employers - experience that is often hard to come by in academic settings. Take the Sahana project, for example. Sahana is a disaster management system used in the wake of earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides and other catastrophes to coordinate information about survivors, volunteers and supplies. HFOSS students write sections of code that update, adapt and expand on the current system, but in accordance with the standards set out by the students' "client," the Sahana Software Foundation. All student-produced code is reviewed by the Sahana team before being incorporated into the system. Documentation must be provided and deadlines met in a large-scale international collaboration, similar to the ones computer science graduates will likely encounter in the workplace.

RELATED: Latest games are finally unlocking the key to making learning more fun

Students may even forge contacts with industry professionals. Consultants from Accenture, the management consulting and technology services firm, serve as volunteer mentors and advisors to students working on HFOSS projects. (Funding for the HFOSS program comes from a grant from the National Science Foundation.)

But the most unexpected benefit of helping to create "software for humanity" is that it likely improves students' learning. An emerging body of research demonstrates that students who find meaning and relevance in their studies are more engaged and motivated to master the material. Students must recognize the value of academic work themselves, however - it can't simply be pointed out by an instructor.

In fact, a teacher's heavy-handed emphasis on the relevance of students' coursework can even backfire. Several studies have found, for example, that informing students that the study of mathematics will be important to their futures actually undermines interest in math among students who weren't very interested in math to start with, or who have doubts about their competence in math.

A more effective approach is to "encourage students to generate their own connections and discover for themselves the relevance of course material to their lives," writes Chris S. Hulleman, a research associate professor of education at the University of Virginia, in a 2010 article in the Journal of Educational Psychology. Hulleman and his coauthors found that a writing exercise in which students were asked to apply the material they were learning in their math or psychology courses to their own lives increased their interest in those subjects. The effect was strongest among students who had low expectations for their performance in math or psychology, or had performed poorly in these subjects in the past.

RELATED: What it actually takes for schools to "go digital'

Other research reports that even when academic work is boring, providing a "pro-social, beyond-the-self-oriented purpose for learning" helps students to persist in the face of boredom, and can even help them raise their grades. "When tasks are likely to be experienced as tedious or uninteresting - as many repetitive, foundational, skill-building math and science tasks are in the U.S. - it can be helpful to focus on creating meaning," writes Angela Duckworth in a paper published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology earlier this year. (Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, is most famous for having demonstrated the importance of "grit" to academic success.)

In the case of building "software for humanity," the relevance and purpose of the work hardly needs pointing out. Students can see how their experience working on real-world programming projects will benefit them when it's time to apply for a job in the field. And HFOSS participants are well aware that their efforts are contributing to a cause bigger than themselves. When instructors supply a satisfying answer to students' pressing question - "Why does this matter?" - engagement, motivation and persistence take care of themselves.

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news website focused on inequality and innovation in education.

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