Rotattler for June 6, 2019
We began our meeting with an activity that always puts a smile on our faces:  we welcomed a new member.  President Richard showered our newest member, Lena Ugren, with gifts and swag and the entire welcome package and then some.  Lena is an artist, graphic designer, Renaissance woman who does it all, and she also just passed her citizenship test to become a U.S. citizen the day before!  See the happy faces below:
We then had some quick reminders:  
June 22nd is the Rotary District Conference for the entire family and free of charge in Portland.  President Richard will be going and others might want to carpool with him or others to enjoy the festivities.  
June 23rd is the Pot Luck Changeover Social at the home of the Harmons, starting at 5 p.m.  Cheryl Harmon really needs to know what you are planning to bring to avoid duplication.  You may bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert (plus your own beverages).  They will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and maybe more.  The sign-up sheet has been emailed to contact Cheryl directly, but we will also circulate one at the meeting on Thursday.  We appreciate the Harmons' hospitality in hosting this.
Because she needed to leave early, we then proceeded to the speaker of the day:  Diane Murphy, who told us about the BigFIsh Learning Community she helped establish in our region.  In a nutshell, it provides support for teens to leave conventional school and build an education of their own based on personal interests, skills and passions.  She calls it a resource center for the mind, body and soul.  They partner with schools and home schoolers.  Students can be 11-18 years old.  Diane drew from her experiences and observations as a public school teacher to create and embrace this system of education.  She knows that teachers love humans and this program tries to reach those who just don't thrive in a normal public education environment.  These are Liberated Learners, based on a model that started in Amherst for kids not doing well.  When she opened her BigFish in Dover, NH at the McConnell Center, they had 6 kids.  Now they have more than 25 with waiting lists.  They create partnerships with other "humanists" and strive to emancipate the kids, because in her view authoritarianism is not good for us, nor is the win-lose mentality.  Partnerships are key!  There are now 14 Liberated Learners centers.  It is definitely a paradigm shift.  For more information, email her at info
Next up for our edification on Thursday, Derek Ahl brings us Linda K. Riddell, MS, from Health Economy, LLC.  She has developed an experiential simulation to explore social determinants of health (for example, how does poverty or transportation affect health factors for individuals and communities).  We think she is going to run us through a short-hand version of the activity.