15 February 2008
Valentine’s Day On The Bay
The big February 14th extravaganza started with a catch-up morning and drive into San Francisco from Berkeley. That was, of course, after we went back to Benecia High School so I could pick up my computer power cord I had left there the day before. So far I’ve forgotten an audio cable at a school in LA, my power cord in Benecia and my retainer at the La Quinta (which I later remember and recovered). ON. A. ROLL.
We decided to celebrate the big day by heading to the Golden Gate Bridge to take in the view and “light” sea breeze (read: howling winds that almost through us into the water). It was quite the little photo shoot.
From there it is on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Trasit) and out to Oakland to meet with SHATO, another SAGE team who has launched a computer technology assistance program that works to maintain and expand technology opportunities in high schools throughout Oakland. They do troubleshooting, train teachers and even build computers, all for the sake of making sure kids in their community are tied into the information age. Just as a sidebar, they showed up DRESSED TO IMPRESS – suits, ties and skirts. I felt like I was at an IBM conference.
What’s so inspiring about their work is that they’re taking action in a community where change and action aren’t exactly the norm – yet. Oakland, as they told me, is one of America’s most struggling cities, and “kids don’t think good stuff is possible for them, so they don’t try hard and they don’t believe they can do better.” Their technology teacher new better and challenged them to push the envelope. “It all started so we could prove him wrong, and now we all believe we can do better. Two years ago college wasn’t something we talked about, and now it’s like, ‘where are you going to college? It’s real. It’s a reality.”
Talk about the power of being a changemaker! Not only are they are impacting their schools, fellow students and communities, but they’ve changed their own attitudes and redefined their own futures. It don’t get much better than that.
In case you thought we might of missed all the Bay Area charm, think again. We did run into this gem on the BART. He was busting a move in a hot orange monochromatic jumpsuit, complete with orange backpack and tennis jacket. Oh San Fran!
Ok, north we go – My friend’s Llama farm in Oregon is our next pit stop. Woo!