Saturday, August 30, 2008

Breaking the Addiction

Accepting that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery...

I've lived with Luwanda the Honda Civic for about 5 years now. It's been a really great time and I've been remarkably thankful for her faithful service to me - I mean we've had our rough moments, but overall I'd say we've treated each other fairly well.

But I think it's getting close to that time...

"Oh, she's probably got a lot of miles" you're thinking - well, not really: not quite 100,000. Anyone that drives a Honda knows that's not nearly its expected lifetime. So why am I thinking about selling my perfectly good car?

(It is increasingly a moral issue for me.)

I am tired of participating in the system that requires oil consumption. There must be an alternative way of living. I don't necessarily anticipate anything truly replacing my car, which ultimately means less mobility, but I see that as a small price to pay for not having war, loss of habitat, international debt, and climate change on my conscience. I am opting out.

So then... how do I proceed? How do my commitments change?

(Let's start with what doesn't need to change, eh?)
I have the luxury of living in a rural/downtown. This means I can bike to my CSA, I live right next to a food Coop. I am within walking distance of 2 movie theatres, bike repair, bottle recycling, my job, ultimate frisbee pick-up, multiple restaurants & bars, including music venues, library, etc. And now... back to what does need to change.

The three reasons I need a car:
  • To see my family in Essex.
  • To get to my church in Burlington
  • To get to parties in Plainfield

  • Family in Essex: I can take the bus, they can pick me up or I can ride my bike from the bus stop (that would take ~1hr)
  • Church in Burlington: I'm not sure I've got this figured out yet... I could take the bus up on Friday into Burlington, stay overnight Saturday and Sunday, take the bus back on Monday. Or, take the bus up on Friday, sign out one of the "shared cars" from CarShareVermont and stay overnight in Essex. Start a Carshare in Montpelier and sign it out for Sunday only.
  • Parties in Plainfield: I'll just have to meet some people from Montpelier traveling out that way any time there's a party and ... probably plan on camping more.

Or I just don't go to church in Burlington. Or I don't party in Plainfield. Or I see my family less.
These are all possibilities, and possibilities I'm willing to accept.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thoughts before starting the new year...

Today was our first day of inservice and though I don't have any inspired thoughts from that, I do have to say that the beginning of the school year feels a little rushed into - like I haven't really relaxed completely this summer enough to become eager for the beginning of school.

Maybe this means I need a massage. Maybe it means I need to pick more berries, or go to Bolton Falls again, but it might just mean that my life is busy and at no point will it naturally become un-busy without my intentionally making it so.

So here we go diving in to the new year, and in the next few days the projects I see looming in the distance will, with any luck, snap into focus. The key here is to keep the conversations going with the right people, and also to keep an open hand as the projects change, emerge, and develop into something I hadn't anticipated at all. If I clamp down too soon it will ruin the dream before it's fully formed and before it has increased its potency to the point of being a reality.

I'm writing this out here perhaps in part for you, but really for me - because I need to hear it. Keep the open hand, let it emerge, but don't drop it either.

Last year's projects were... admittedly less than impressive and I believe it's because it was too much about me, and insisting upon making a difference in the world. But it's funny how picky reality is, and how the dialogue between imagination and reality end up with a manifestation that is somewhere in between...

Ok - enough blabbering about abstract things ~

In other news my intern from last year got a job near by and her first day with students was today, and so I'm eager to hear from her how it went.

Monday, August 18, 2008

VPT with Senator Bill Doyle

Last week was Jackie and Ashley's last week as enVision Montpelier's Americore Vistas, so there was a going away party for them, and at that party I got to meet Senator Bill Doyle who's like 86 and still loves being a senator. We talked for a while about physics teaching and then he was like, "I have a weekly television program where I interview people. How'd you like to be on my show? Does next week work for you?"

Why sure!

So this past week I brought a bunch of physics toys (thanks to the help of the ever-helpful Eli Rosenberg) and we talked about energy and heating and it was lots of fun. We started getting into the heat issue some after the show and he was like "This is very important and relevant stuff. How'd you like to bring two other people and be on my show again next week?" Of course, sir, I'm sure they'd love to.

I never thought I'd *ever* be on one of those public access channels. I hope they put some psychodelic pictures behind us.