Education through better living

   The link above goes to an editorial in The Olympian on October 24th.  I have worked with children in and out of schools for the past 40 years and I completely agree with the corruption that goes on at all levels.  I graduated from the T.E.S.C. teaching program in 1986, after having taught pre-school, worked with behavioral problem kids (boys & girls) in the public schools and mental health after-school programs for 14 years. When I attended the Evergreen program, which was conducted by the University of Puget Sound on the T.E.S.C. campus (due to no accredited teachers at Evergreen at the time), I made the decision, based on several experiences, never to teach in the public school system ever. I found it degrading to children and adults. Teachers complained constantaly about abuse heaped on them by administrators up and down the hierarchy. Children were abused by adults both physically and emotionally (some in my presence) and those in supposed authority did nothing except call me on the carpet for making waves.

    I find the whole business of eduction is not for educating human beings to be human beings but to fit into the corporate structure of how the United States has become a corporate surrogate at all levels. And business is the right word because our current system stems from the industrialization age in which workers were required for factories as the rich needed fodder for their mills and other exploits of humanity; hence the bell and whistle schedule in the schools which got people ready for the bell and whistle routine of the mills and industries later in life. Ever notice how going to the bathroom got to be such a monitored issue in school. Ever notice how monitored going to the bathroom is as a worker. Coincidence?

Education & jobs

   I have utopian ideals. And why not, sometimes they help keep me sane. Like the one about everyone working for the same amount of money no matter the profession or task. In other words, a lawyer would make the same as a street sweeper. A doctor would make the same as someone in a daycare.  Who's to say one deserves more money? Isn't money the commodity of prestige? As if to say, 'this person is important because of how much they make' - thus the Porsche, 5 BR home, vacations to the Bahamas (or wherever).  As if to say, 'this person isn't valued very much by our society because all they do is take care of small children all day' - thus the diapers, crying, hugging, constant vigilance and trips to the potty.

    I, too, hear the cry for "MORE JOBS" by both the Demogogues and the Repugnicans. "MORE JOBS!"  How about people do what they love and get appreciated (which translates into dollars) for it? How about that? Rather, what we have is rich people, who can own the factory or businesss, supposedly needing to provide "JOBS" for the rest of the people. And when they don't, they get pilloried for not being good corporate citizens. Since when did we start relying on others to provide for us? (Oh, and by the way, the Repugnicans tell us every chance they get how we're all  too dependent on the government for our welfare -HOORAH!), How to create the kind of society wherein everyone gets to shine.....and get paid for it?

 See, I told you it was utopian !

Teacher Pay in Olympia, or Rose-Colored Glasses

There was an article recently in Mother Jones that listed teacher pay in 300 municipalities, including Olympia. For at least a couple of easily identified reasons, the article makes teacher pay seem higher than it is. Basically, they neglect to mention that our district, like most others I believe, has a disproportionate number of teacher at the maximum end of the pay scale because they are nearing retirement (many having delayed retirement because of the recession); also, they do not account for pay cuts that have occurred.

I'm glad to have had public school teachers who gave me the tools to see through skewed numbers to the real story, and am sorry they were not paid better for dealing with punks like me.

The full post, with links to the Mother Jones article and data, appears at Mojourner Truth.


OCS Spring News: Enrolling and Hiring New Teacher!

Olympia Community School is a busy place this spring. Last weekend we participated in the Procession of the Species, in the Water section, as animals from the Galapagos Islands. It was a lot fun and the kids had a great time making their costumes at the procession studio and participating in this exciting annual event. We also had our students' art displayed in the window at Traditions, as part of Artswalk. They are studying India and created India inspired elephants.

This weekend the school volunteered at Left Foot Organic farm. We learned about their farm and helped out by weeding some of the garden beds. If you haven't been there, it is a great experience. From their website: "Left Foot Organics promotes self-sufficiency, inclusion and independence for people with disabilities and rural youth through meaningful, paid employment and training in the business of growing and selling quality organic food and farm products."

We have more community service events scheduled, our next is a field trip to the Thurston County Food Bank, where our students put together food boxes for kids in our area to have healthy food for the weekends. Check out our teacher blogs to learn more about the field trips and classroom news.

Tax Loopholes

Educational Tabling about State Tax Policy with Pat Holm, at the People's Movement Assembly. The PMA was sponsored by the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace.

Free Skool Olympia's February Calendar out now!

The newly revived and under new (no)management Free Skool Olympia has come out with its February calendar of classes!

Free Skool Olympia is an autonomous, all ages, egalitarian, volunteer-run collective which works to offer a wide range of workshops, classes, trainings, and skill shares freely to the community. The Free Skool offers a direct challenge to educational, economic, and social systems that oppress and divide our communities by providing vibrant alternatives to those systems and safe places for them to thrive so that we may begin to imagine and build a truly free world.

This month features classes on:

  • Algebra
  • Art and Activism
  • Book Binding
  • Computer Security
  •  Freestyle Rap
  • Haiku & Asian Poetry
  • History
  •  Knot Tying & Climbing
  • Media
  •  Musical Saw Playing
  •  Mycology
  •  Peace Psychology
  • Really Really Safe Sex
  • Self Defense
  • Sign Language
  • Stick 'N' Poke Tattoos

As well as a Black History Reading Group, White Privilege Reading Group, film showings, a Stitch 'N' Knit circle, and a Theatre of the Oppressed troupe!

All classes are absolutely free. The whole month's calendar, which includes descriptions, times, and locations is attached to this post!

Child care will be provided at classes on request. If you have child care or accessibility needs, contact the facilitator of the class you'd like to attend.

To find out more about the Free Skool, you can come to our general meetings every Sunday, 2:00pm at Media Island (816 Adams St. SE) or find us on Facebook. To contact us, e-mail olyfreeskool (at) riseup (dot) net

Capital Youth Symphony Experiences a Renaissance in 28th Season

Capital Youth Symphony Experiences a Renaissance in 28th Season

First Concert Nov.20, 7 p.m.

 The Capital Youth Symphony is pleased to announce its 2010-11 concert season. The students will study the Renaissance, an examination into the rebirth of culture, and perform pieces that define the movement.

Performances for the 2010-11 season are: A Panorama of Italy, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.; An Impression of France, Mar. 12, 2011, 7 p.m.; and A Vision of England, May 14, 2011, 7 p.m.

All performances are held at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Performing Arts Center at South Puget Sound Community College. For tickets, call (360) 956-1892 or visit

The Capital Youth Symphony is composed of three student groups: the Debut String Philharmonic, who perform at an advanced elementary and beginning middle school level; the Premiere Repertory Orchestra, at the middle school and beginning high school level; and the Capital Youth Symphony, featuring students at an advanced high school level.

The Nov. 20 concert will feature the debut of Jeffrey Lund as conductor of the Youth Symphony.

 "It's very exciting to have the opportunity to encourage and develop the talents of these young musicians in an organization like the Capital Youth Symphony,” said Lund. “I am eager to uphold the traditions of this organization, and it is a privilege to begin a new chapter in its history - one focused on musical excellence and in the enjoyment of its students, their parents and the community."

The Capital Youth Symphony is proud to offer a 28th season of bringing the musical arts to area students and putting together the highest-quality symphony experiences for our community.

River of Promise Book Launch Reception

A journey back to the time of Lewis and Clark with Washington State Historical Society director and author, David Nicandri, as we celebrate the publication of his book, River of Promise, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia. Old-time refreshments will follow a presentation, dynamic fiddlers Vivian and Phil Williams will perform the foot-stomping music of the era, a re-enactor with Fort Clatsop Memorial Park will demonstrate replicas of equipment carried by Lewis and Clark, and Molly, a local Newfoundland will make an appearance as Seaman, the expedition mascot. The commemorative exhibit 'End of our Voyage: Lewis and Clark in Washington' will be on display.

Center for Creative and Applied Media Grand Opening May 11, 2010

Join The Evergreen State College for a grand opening celebration to dedicate its re-imagined HD video, audio and animation facility that will allow for new methods and means to transform teaching and learning through a new, improved media hub on campus. The open house will include hands-on demos led by students and staff. The event will take place from 1 to 4 pm and from 5 to 6 pm, with a formal dedication from 4 to 5 pm. All events will take place in the Daniel J. Evans Library. For more information, visit The Evergreen State College is located at 2700 Evergreen Parkway, NW, Olympia, WA 98505. Directions to campus are available here:

Andy Bichlbaum Presents at the Capitol Theatre

[now updated with photo link to the Dow Chemical Golden Skeleton.]

Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men at the Capitol Theatre in Olympia Washington

April 26, 2010 — Olympia, Washington

The South Puget Sound Community College student group B.R.I.C.K. (Building Resistance by Increasing Community Knowledge) hosted Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men at the Capitol Theatre.

The Yes Men are composed of Andy B. and Mike Bonanno. During the presentation, Andy mostly talked about what the Yes Men have done, how they work, and also about their recent film, The Yes Men Fix the World.
Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men
at the Capitol Theatre in Olympia Washington

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