The journey, not the destination.


Have you taken an olfactory walk down the bike path recently? Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Roses, cut grass, all the smells of Spring after a monster wet winter await you and really what’s more important than recognizing nature? Not much.


And if you’re expecting stories about a certain school board member or the excessive administrative changes in our district office or Dunbar or the end of the school year or politics or fugitive or any of the other drama pools happening around town then stop reading now and return to doomscrolling because summer is almost here and all that matters is right outside your door.


Because, it’s still about playing the long game and it looks like things might finally be heading in the right direction. Tik Tok is getting banned, the surgeon general is finally writing about smart phones making us stupider, the tech industry might be pivoting away from the virtual world, bad people are being called out, and did I mention summer is almost here?


Are you planning your summer get together with family, friends, or total strangers (that party happens every Friday morning and Tuesday evening, it’s called Farmers Market and you don’t have to buy anything, a blanket, some leftovers and a bottle of wine will suffice). Have you invited visitors to come to the best fourth of July celebration ever? Been to the new abstract exhibit at SVMA on a free Wednesday? Have you seen the new Sugarloaf water falls? Tried the pumpkin tamales at El Molino or coconut ice cream at Michoacan? Walked around the Rez or sat by the fountain in the plaza with a good book and no agenda? Now is the time.


Cause that’s summer and you don’t do enough appreciating of your surroundings. Plus, we really have become a destination focused society, feeling like failures when certain things don’t work out exactly as we anticipated. But, when the journey becomes the destination and you stop and smell the roses (like, really, get your nose in there and take a big whiff) your mood improves, you cherish where you are, your brain fills with endorphins, you smile more and people notice.


We took students on a fieldtrip last week to tour the Mission Murals in SF. Rather than charter a school bus directly to the city, we bussed to the Larkspur Ferry, took a boat to the Ferry building, walked to BART then BART to 16th, walked the murals, back to BART to Union Square, walked to Chinatown for lunch, walked back to the ferry building, took a boat back to Larkspur, SMART train to Petaluma, hopped on the 40 bus to Sonoma and were back at the High School by 5.


Sure, there were a lot of moving parts and a couple of glitches but each student now knows what a Clipper Card is and how convenient it is to use. The day was amazing (Do not believe the media about the ugliness in SF, it is still a magic city and I saw fewer homeless than in previous field trips) and after we returned, students were super tired but super happy.


“I’m going to take my girlfriend into the city this weekend. It’s so easy.” Said a student who had about $20. left on his Clipper Card and had calculated that it costs $23.50 by bus train and boat to get to and from the city.


I gave myself a quick self-high-five as this grading period in Algebra and Geometry is called, “Real Life Math”. Ah, the joys of alternative school curricular autonomy.


When you enjoy the ride, you discover things you normally wouldn’t like murals and shortcuts and tidal marshes and “What kind of birds are those, Walt?” You get the picture.


So, make a few plans, but not too many, discover some new things, rekindle some old relationships, let go of the drama and get out there and enjoy the journey. Summer is here.





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