Wednesday, April 30, 2008

trust me

I enjoyed observing the salsa dancers last night.

A gentleman I went to undergrad with happened to be there and he hadn't changed one bit; on the dance floor all night!

I always enjoyed watching him "stroll" in college. "Strolling" is a common dance tradition within African American fraternities and sororities--generally at parties--choreographed line dancing is what it basically is...

Gabe, the gentleman I ran into, was always a great stroller and that transcended quite easily into salsa dancing. He was fun to watch. He twirled the ladies around all night.

I didn't get out on the dance floor myself.

ah, I know... give me a break; one can't be a rock star everyday.

I sat back chatted with two friends from work, ended the evening with a free drink, thanks to the bartender, and participated in a little political banter with Terry and another soon to be docta', Brad. We chatted up the latest Obama fiasco. Reverand Wright...wowsa', eh?

it resonates in that old school New Edition 80's hit..."sunny days? everybody loves them. tell me baby', can you stand the rain? storms will come."

well, at least for me. ;-)

But... back to the evening; it was a quaint crowd, with a nice array of music and traditional Latin appetizers.

I am grateful that the Latino Medical Students Association pursued such an event on behalf of the mural project, and it is my hope that the organization will seek & maintain a connection with the youth in Rosedale in the future.

Rosedale is what? 51% hispanic....

Would you like to know what happens when young teens look into the eyes of young adults who culturally look and resemble them?

Their eyes widen and you can literally see the thoughts rolling in their heads.... they made it to medical schoool....maybe I can too.

trust me.

it's called destiny.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

salsa & nostalgia

the Latino medical students salsa fundraiser is tonight! despite two large projects due Wednesday and Thursday I am going to salsa/ procrastinate the night away.

proceeds, partial, I believe, will go to the RDA for the 42nd mural project; which is exciting.

oh, and mikey informed me last week that city visionary has slipped the RDA a nice $2000.00 for the mural. yes! wowsa! ;-)

City Visionary does murals throughout Kansas city Missouri.

They sat down with us early on in our planning and shared knowledge regarding potential artists, who had experience working with youth and they also shared a mock budget--which was extremely helpful.

Their organization referred artist Joe Faus . He is an amazing artist who works diligently with the organization Maddie Rose. Maddie Rose fosters and cultivates the arts within the vast Hispanic community of Kansas city. Joe's done a few youth murals and is extremely talented. After only one meeting, Wendy knew he was the one. I will try and locate information on city visionary & Maddie Rose and post it to the side bar.

Mikey and I met with Joe down at one of Maddie Rose's art studios several weeks ago...

ah...there is nothing more spectacular than the colorful, vibrant nature of Hispanic art.

Now, I did grow up in Los Angeles, CA so I may be a bit bias,
bearing witness to such art
filled me up with
great sense of nostalgia.

Monday, April 21, 2008

logic vs

reflecting on the past 7 months is not as easy as I thought it would be...mostly because I sit in meetings and take notes in a journal...

I dig journals.

if i were more logical, though, I would have separate journals for the separate projects I play about in....but, I tend to use one journal for an unset amount of time. I record my thoughts, to do lists, and other important scribbles for every single endeavor I've got going.

and so this makes it hard to look back and decipher what is what...

yes, I know; I am a librarian, and librarians are known for organizing information...

I though, am peculiar by sheer nature, and I am, and will likely always be, a work in progress.

Monday, April 7, 2008

from the beginning...

I learned early on in my graduate studies, that I communicate in circles--twists and turns. I never tell a story or give an account in chronological order. Even now, my mind is telling me to share a poem with you that immediately popped into mind as I typed the words 'twists and turns'. ;-)

I will digress from sharing it with you now, but will post it later in the comment field of this post.

Because I know my sharing style can be jagged, I figured it would be a good idea, before I go any further in describing our progress with this mural, to describe how and why this mural idea really came to be.

As my profile says, I am a graduate student at Emporia State University. I am pursuing a masters' degree in Library and Information Science. Last Fall, or rather, last July, I began work on a practicum at KU med center through Dykes Medical Library. I wanted to focus on outreach work and the ways in which a health librarian could be of service in that regard. Because I enjoy working with young people, Pediatrics seemed like a good place to start.

Getting involved with Pediatrics was quite easy. I sat down with the head nurse of the wing, Kristine Brees, and she put me in connection with Andrea Kennedy Smith, the Child Life Specialist in her unit.

I generally went into PEDs about twice a week, I pulled in juvenile book donations from William Allen White Library in Emporia and adult books from Kansas City Missouri Public Library.

I visited with kids--played games, read books, held babies. And while my experiences were engaging and fruitful, my adviser, Candice Boardman, kept saying there has to be more... She pushed me to look deeper and try and determine what a professional outreach health librarian could do on a broader more fluid level.

I sat down with Karen Cole, the dynamic library director of Dykes Library, and we hashed out ideas. We figured maybe offering access to medical databases may be the answer and/or offering pamphlets on different services offered by the library. But Pediatrics is place of families under stress~books to read and time spent is a divine intervention~'the medicalness' if you don't mind me making up a word, is not what I believe they need... not from a librarian. What's golden is the interaction--the maintenance and sharing of literature, and quite possibly literature based programming.

I would love to see a set story-time in KU's pediatrics unit or something similar. I suppose that is still a possibility...

Realizing what I did about PEDs, made me step back a bit. I began to look at the potential of being not only a outreach source to PEDs but also to the outlining community.

ah...what about a community liaison?... the hospital sits in the community, as do the schools, and as do community centers. Why not cultivate relationships within these venues as well?

Now, generally, yes, such a role falls within the "public" library system, and Dykes is an academic library. But within this particular community, the pubic library consists of 3 locations. Because of this, I believe, it is hard not to find cracks in the amount and quality of service offered to the community. Cracks that have nothing to do with effort, but with resource and time

It's that good old quote, "it takes a village to raise a child', yes? yes.

Between the months of September and now, April, I have made subtle connections with the Rosdale Development Association, Rosedale Middle School, and the School of Social Welfare at KU. The school of social welfare for instance offers tutoring at Rosedale Middle School every Wednesday that I was able to get involved with... and then there has been a great buzz around Dykes Library on behalf of the persistent and diligent Anne Huffman, the director of Public Services, to get local kids engaged and involved in the health sciences. The stage is set to work with both Wendy Wilson of the RDA, and Donna Devine from the School of Social Welfare to offer and cultivate programming for young people of this community.

Remember the Cicades last summer? Remember how loud they were? It always made me think about the innate power that resonates when voices & people come together...

I must say that working in PEDs has been a real privilege...Andrea and another young lady Emily Hernandez ,a music specialist in PEDs, and most certainly the nurses in the unit do amazing work. I have to say, nurses make the world go 'round.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

action steps...i think...or are these goals mikey?

I stayed in contact with Wendy, Mikey, and Joel throughout old man winter. We learned early on that the owner of the lot was up for a mural creation on her property.

so without pause we established four main 'action steps'...

a. finding an artist to facilitate and guide the youth group effort

b. creating a budget

c. creating a timeline

d. finding & securing funding

e. establishing a core group of young artists from the community


I found the Rosedale Development Association with a simple google search. Their website was informative and linked me directly to Wendy Wilson, the executive director of the RDA.

The RDA's mission reads: Working in partnership with residents, businesses, and institutions to build a strong and healthy community and to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and play in Rosedale.

I was beyond meet the group of people that made up the organization.

Delight sure followed...

I remember leaving my first meeting at the RDA people are as open & out there as I am. ;-) They were energetic and funny and they were more than willing to look into the possibility of doing a mural at the crossroad of 42nd and Mission.

I believe it was in our first meeting, that Wendy mentioned she knew the woman who owned the lot at 42nd and Mission...and that she would phone her directly. ;-)

Now, not only did I meet the fierce Wendy Wilson, but I also met Linda Wright~the go-to woman at the RDA, Joel Goering an RDA staff member with a degree in Global Peace & Justice Studies from Bethel College, and Mikey Fletcher-a social welfare student graduating in May from KU. Mikey is doing a practicum with the RDA.

Dynamic people indeed & by the end of the meeting we were dreaming of painting all of Rosedale. The grain elevators...the free-way over pass...and of course... the side walks.

for we all deserve a yellow brick road...yes?


early bird gets the worm...(september 2007)

I've never been one to rise early in the morning...I take great delight in sleeping in...but this past sweet, september, on serveral occasions, I found myself up at sunrise in route to a hospital perched on a hill.

The drive from overland park to KU med center would usually take just under 15 minutes. I was guided around the pitter-patter of morning traffic by a scientist, who swore to the quickest path--I-35 to the mission rd exit, up the hill to 42nd street, quick left onto 42nd street, down to rainbow, quick left on rainbow...and voula'.

The crossroad, though, at 42nd and mission would often hinder this quickness. As crossroads tend to do...

Due to the pause , I couldn't help but notice the empty lot with a large retaining wall sitting so empty on the corner. What a perfect place for a mural, yes? yes. I figured I'd call a local high school & see what they thought. Wesport High School!

The scientist quickly informed me that Westport High was in Missouri and that we were in Kansas. With that came another pause; ah, yes...

remember now, I am not an early riser.

He went on, as scientists do, to tell me exactly what to do: get in touch with some of the movers and shakers in Rosedale.

Rosedale? Where's Rosedale?

The scientist paused a bit, squinted his eyes, spun his fingers around, and said, this; all of this, is Rosedale.