Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Miss Representation

A few months ago I posted the trailer for Miss Representation -- here it is again (at the bottom of this post) with multiple opportunities to see the whole thing:


Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Miss Representationis written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. The film had its broadcast premiere on OWN Oprah Winfrey Network in October 2011.
For more information about the film and the national campaign to influence media which has arisen out if it, visit


Smith College Club of Maine hosts screening of
Miss Representation
Sunday, January 29, 2:00 PM
Catherine McAuley High School
631 Stevens Ave., Portland
Though the screening is being offered to students free of charge, a suggested donation of $5 is being collected. (see poster here)For more information about the screening, please contact Rebecca Rundquist at or at (207) 712-6430.

FREEPORT INFO : 1/30 @ 6:30PM 

Outing Club Link

The eventbrite registration link has been fixed on the outing club page -- if you want to bookmark it, it is  

Also, please remember to distribute Clynk Bags to support OC (and buy snowshoes for the school!) -- Bags are in Jessica's office and can be given to friends and relations, placed conveniently at work, etc. etc.  The tag is already on the bag - once full, it gets dropped off at a Hannaford Clynk site and money is magically sent to FSP!

Links and More Links

I had a few tech problems last week and some links have built up :

From Helen - a wonderful NYT article about the importance of solitude for problem solving and the bleed from "collaboration" to "group think."  The author has a book coming out about introverts - I'm looking forward to reading it.

From Audra : Disney Princesses vs. Miyazaki  -- Kiki's Delivery Service is one of my favorite movies, but GeekDad lays out even more reasons to vote Miyazaki... Maybe we can have a FSP trip to see his newest movie, a take on the Borrowers, the February.

From Leisa :  In Smaller Voices,  I Have A Dream  - despite MLK-day behind us, the message is so powerful and worth listening to more than once!

From Kim :  An interesting article about how some STEM programs designed to pull girls in are having an opposite effect.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arts Fest Extraordinaire

While Maya captured my happiness on film, the arts festival has prompted a longer and deeper sense of wonder in me.  Watching kids engage so deeply in a collaborative process that yielded such profound pieces in such a short time was just incredible.  The queries that arose from their work were really sophisticated:

  • What is it to capture someone's image - what does it mean to represent someone else? 
  • What is it to "have come from different boats, but all be in the same boat now?"
  • What is it to honor and celebrate individual differences, and unique individual gifts, but still maintain equal opportunity (and how do we decide which gifts are most valuable in a community?) 
  • What are our deepest questions for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?  What are our questions for each other about maintaining his vision for equality and peace and nonviolence? 
  • What does "Equality" really mean to us? 
The use of the arts to explore these questions was so fabulous and I hope the conversation goes on for a long time. 

For me, it was followed up by listening to Bill McKibbon on Friday night. I am hoping I can convince Bethany to write a guest post - she could summarize much better than I can - but the take away for me is that we (adults) need to try some art activism ourselves, and really commit to creating political change by influencing others about our deepest commitment to equality and a healthy planet. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kim in Wonderland...

MLK week + visiting artists + conga line = 1 happy Kim!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cracking Teenagers' Online Codes

As follow-up to our forum about our kids' technology use, and as a precursor to our spring kid/parent forum on technology, here's an article that Mary sent me about Danah Boyd, a GenX Micorsoft researcher with a different perspective.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Portland Performing Arts Festival

A brand new Performing Arts Festival is being planned for this summer :

June 28 - July 1, 2012

Four days, nine performances.
Artists from Maine and around the nation.
Portland's newest reason to shine.


Portland Performing Arts Festival
Public Announcement and Open House
Friday, Jan. 20, 5pm - 7pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library

Monday, January 16, 2012

Writing Contests

There are 3 kids writing contests swirling about right now:

Telling Room  Maine Magazine : Searching for Maine, Searching for ME   (due March 7th / Middle School)

Flower Show : Use Your Imagination to Describe In Detail A  Celebration You Would Plan Outdoors -- all ages due Feb 16

Cornerstones for Science Read Write Win :    Grades 3 & up Due  March

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Event tomorrow @ PPL

Come hear McKay Jenkins!
This Wednesday, January 11th, 12:00 PM
Part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series at the
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium

It's very appropriate that Jenkins is making this presentation in Maine. He focused some of his research here, where 16 Mainers had participated in our Body of Evidence study to determine the levels of toxic chemicals in their own bodies - with startling results. 

We also think January is a great month for Jenkins to visit Maine. This is the first month that the ban on the toxic chemical BPA goes into effect for any baby bottles, sippy cups, and reusable containers sold statewide.

Jenkins' work is a great call to action for us to build on our progress and continue working to remove harmful toxic chemicals from our every day products. So get involved!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Community Read?

I'm still chewing on our conversation about living-digital.  Although I don't really like the term "digital natives,"  the book Born Digital was just recommended to me by a Media Studies prof. and I'm wondering if it would be a good FSP community read?

One of my biggest concerns about the internet has to do with the sexualization of girls and the corporate interests (including pornography) that underpin the digital economy. At the same time, I'm persuaded that the internet provides opportunities for agency and direct democracy that is so important at this time in our history. 
I'm dying to see Miss Representation - it will be shown on January 30th in Freeport at 6:30 pm and hopefully more often around Portland this spring.  The film connects media representations of girls and women to sexism in society... 

And older kids should check out the project Powered By Girl which allows kids to talk back to sexism in their media!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Amtrak Deal

In January only, the Amtrak Downeaster is celebrating its 10th anniversary by offering $10 one-way fares on select trains. Discover the endless variety of things to eat, see, and do during your day trip, weekend getaway, or week-long vacation. Book your ticket from December 14, 2011 through January 28, 2012 to escape on the Downeaster and take advantage of this limited time offer.

Terms and Conditions
This offer is valid for sale between December 14, 2011-January 28, 2012 and valid for travel between January 1, 2012-January 31, 2012.

This offer is exclusively available at or Advance reservations are required a mimimum of three (3) days prior to travel.

This offer is valid for a special $10.00 One way rail fare on the following Downeaster trains only: #681, #682, #683, #684, #687, #688, #689, #690, #691, #693, #694, #697, #698, and #699.

(See below for these trains' Boston/Portland times.)

This offer is valid for travel between all city pairs with a rail fare of $10.00 Or more. Seating is limited; seats may not be available on all trains at all times.

The $10.00 Fare is valid for all passengers; no additional discounts allowed.

This offer is valid for coach seats only.

In addition to the discount restrictions; this offer is also subject to any restrictions, blackouts, and refund rules that apply to the type off are purchased. Fares, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. Once travel has begun; no changes to the itinerary are permitted. Other restrictions may apply. Amtrak and Downeaster are registered service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
Northbound Trains:
681    9:05a - 11:35a, M - F
683    11:05a - 1:30p, M - F
687    5;40p - 8:10p, M - F
689    11:00p - 1:25a, M - F
691    8:50a - 11:15a, Sat & Sun
693    11:10a - 1:35p, Sat & Sun
697    6:45p - 9:10p, Sat & Sun
699    11:00p - 1:25a, Sat & Sun

Southbound Trains:
682    8:00 - 10:30a, M - F
684    12:50p - 3:20p, M - F
688    7:55p - 10:25p, M - F
690    6:00a - 8:25a, Sat & Sun
694    12:25a - 2:50p, Sat & Sun
698    8:00p - 10;25p, Sat & Sun

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Media Literacy / Digital Citizenship

The conversation last night was so great - here are some links to keep us going:

Howard Garder, et. al new curriculum - I think it is more sophisticated and interesting than a straightforward media literacy approach:  but might be hard to implement at home...  (Wondering what folks think about this as a P4P topic?)

Frontline - Digital Nation - could be fun to watch together - lots of resources on their web page.

CommonSense Media has a frightening explanation of how corporations track kids via cookies (and why it should be illegal) - they also have ratings of various social networking sites - perhaps we'd want to encourage our kids to all participate on a safer one than buzz?

One strategy we discussed was "channeling" - at least trying to make screen time as high quality as possible - to that effect, the American Library Association compiles "Best Web Sites for Teaching and Learning"

For adults curious about the effects of the internet on our brains, Nicholas Carr's 'The Shallows" is probably the best known; books about Kids include "The Dumbest Generation" (mean title, interesting book) and an academic anthology Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out

I don't have anything for kids to read themselves - anyone else? 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


FSP opens up Monday morning (despite being a formal holiday)!