Surveying, Writing, Busing, Planning, Voting, Outlining, and As Always…Eating

These last two weeks have been quite an adventure for the Teal Band and the US. To start out, the Teal Band took a look at the results of their “Getting to School” questionnaire they had received so far. It was exciting to look at the data collected about the parents’ journeys to school, as well as where they were living at their child’s age. They noticed how many more parents traveled┬áto school on their own or with friends, compared to the students of Brightworks, where the majority of the kids are arriving by car. They also began brainstorming new ways to use the data, such as planning car and walkpools to minimize the carbon footprint of getting to Brightworks.

Looking at where the parents who completed the questionnaire lived as kids and brainstorming what information and provocations can come about from the results.

Looking at where the parents who completed the questionnaire lived as kids and brainstorming what information and provocations can come about from the results.

Looking at some of the numbers associated with the

Looking at some of the numbers associated with the “Getting to School” questionnaire.

We saw the official launch of NaNoWriMo on November 1st and celebrated this by walking to Maxfield’s Cafe to write among the other adults there on their computers. While being incredibly productive, everyone enjoyed the treats they bought to eat and were excited when they saw a woman in there wearing her “2015 NaNoWriMo Winner” t-shirt.

Lauching NaNoWriMo writing in a cafe.

Lauching NaNoWriMo writing in a cafe.

As part of our exploration around the movement of education by land, we began looking into the busing that swept the US in the 60s and 70s, attempting to desegregate schools. Teal Band listed why they like being in Teal Band and why they are comfortable being where they are. Soon the band was being “bused” off to new schools, the Amber and Indigo Bands. Their initial reactions were largely that of excitement and wonder. Once they returned to the Teal Band, their reactions had flipped and many said they felt a lack of belonging and confusion. We discussed how something that was intended to “make things better” could have such a different outcome.

What happens when you love your school and community but are forced to leave it? A lot of feelings.

What happens when you love your school and community but are forced to leave it? A lot of feelings.

Our new

Our new “schools” we were bused to, a.k.a. the Amber and Indigo bands.

With Election Day on November 8th, we spent a full day reviewing 13 of the California propositions. They asked all the hard questions to get to the heart of each proposition. Where is this money coming from? What other group(s) will be losing out as a result? Who is backing this? Who is opposing it? It was amazing to hear from all the families how much their child helped them look deeper at their vote as a result of our conversations.

The results of our research and votes on a number of California's propositions.

The results of our research and votes on a number of California’s propositions.

They were tasked with finding our way around the city to our field trip destinations. Many wanted to jump right onto Google Maps, but quickly found out that they were going to start by using a Muni map and schedule. After coming up with a few different routes, we did use Google Maps to compare our results. We did a fairly good job planning our route using the map and schedule, but we also learned a number of tricks using Google Maps and reflected on what was most important to us regarding our travels, such as cost, time, and method of travel. As a result of all this work, we spent the next morning working on NaNoWriMo back at Maxfield’s and the afternoon at Little Skillet, where we also enjoyed some chicken, waffles and grits (because we have GRIT!)

Teal Band was tasked with finding our way for our field trip using the Muni map and schedule.

Teal Band was tasked with finding our way for our field trip using the Muni map and schedule.

A new spot to work on NaNoWriMo also includes grits and fried chicken.

A new spot to work on NaNoWriMo also includes grits and fried chicken.

After listening to a podcast entitled, “Why Busing Didn’t End Segregation,” on the Boston busing program, we also watched a video on why we live where we live in an attempt to see how urban geography creates segregation. We saw how particular groups of people end up in certain areas as the result of transportation and the layout of cities and suburbs. We discussed how it was this sort of “natural segregation” that led to busing programs in parts of the country where segregation was not originally law.

On Friday, we spent some time looking at how we can use outlines to help us organize our thoughts before writing and used these skills to reflect on the discussion we had the day before on busing and segregation. We will continue to work on outlining to organize our thoughts, notes and writing.

Using outlines help us in so many ways.

Using outlines help us in so many ways.

Using our outlining skills to share what we learned about

Using our outlining skills to share what we learned about “What Busing Didn’t End Segregation.”