Micro or macro, walking the Sonoma Developmental Center or understanding the world, it’s all about shared space.

 

Here’s a little quiz from my morning:

You are walking your dog around the rez at the SDC, it’s your happy place and you walk it at least once a week. Your 14-year-old terrier mix is trotting along behind you as always, you carry his leash but rarely put it on. You come around a corner and see a Doberman with a spiked collar on a leash being walked by a large gentleman in a camo baseball hat.

“That dog needs to be leashed!” the owner yells at you.

 

Do you:

  1. Tell the guy, “No, my dog is fine, he responds to voice commands.”
  2. Yell back, “F-you leash shamer, this is my path and my dog never needs a leash.”
  3. Smile, put the leash on your dog, walk past the Doberman then take the leash off again when you get around the corner.
  4. Apologize for your selfish behavior, carry your dog the rest of the way, never return to the rez and never take the leash off your dog again.

 

This week in Physical Science we were finishing a unit on electromagnetic waves and I used the example of how 5G towers cause interference with airplane landings and whether it’s fair that Elon Musk sends thousands of satellites to circle the earth for private companies. Do we need to think about sharing space in space? Yes. Should airplane radar be compromised by cell phone waves? Heck no.

 

Are you following Sonoma’s local school board drama? You can Google the details if you want but what I really care about is not the $16.2K in alleged labor union contributions, I care about the $92K investigation of the incident and $90K lawsuit the district has already paid plus all the time spent focused on adults and not students. And really-400K in attorney’s fees?!?!

 

I respect the work of almost every schoolboard member I’ve met in 22 years in the district, including John Kelly. I don’t agree with all of them, including John Kelly, but I know, like teachers, they have a tough and thankless job. But if you’re not focused on students, it’s time to exit the gift shop.

 

Meanwhile, I was told to write a grant to the Ed Foundation for my art supplies this year. Fair? Good sharing? Yeah, not so much.

 

And the big national news is that bullies are not sharing even when the rest of the world disagrees. Putin has decided to take over the Ukraine, killing hundreds of innocent people and democracy at the same time and no one is able to stop him. War should be as obsolete as bullies in schools plus, the more that bullies win and get their way, the worse off we all are. Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten? Apparently not.

 

The district has also had a lot of problems around special education and here is my simple solution: share. Calculate what the district can afford for each special needs student then tell the parents the amount available and what services are offered. Then let parents decide if this is enough or not. Sure, there are many more variables but when there are limited resources you have to limit opportunity to maintain equity.

 

Unfortunately, this shared space theory is in direct conflict with Capitalism and other current popular ideologies. And, after two plus years of insular pandemic living we are all a little deficient in the empathy department. Of course, I have a simple solution for that too which is answer C on the quiz above.

 

Diffuse the conflict, empathize, and share. Now if we could only get Putin on board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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