[OLPC_Boston] Introducing myself

biljrat at spiretech.com biljrat at spiretech.com
Wed Sep 9 16:50:00 EDT 2009

Hello to Boston's OLPC group from - Portland, Oregon.  I'm hoping to begin
a deployment here in Portland at the Community Transitional School.  This
school serves kids/families who would otherwise "fall through the cracks"
- they are the folks we don't want to see, the ones who we think live
exclusively in exotic countries, like Mali or Peru.  The school began in
1990 as a YWCA project for kids (families) who are living in cars,
shelters, or couch surfing with friends and relatives.  I was unaware of
its existence until a month or so ago, when a local columnist wrote about
them; what "caught" me was a statement that there were more cookie boxes
than laptops in evidence.  I'd seen an XO several months before and
checked out the website once.  It immediately came to mind that the CTS
might be a perfect place for XO's.

So, in two weeks I'll be meeting with staff.  My job - as far as I can
tell now - is to present as much information about how OLPC could help
their kids, maybe have them think about it, and meet again to find out if
they want it.  If they do, then we have to start gathering people who want
to make this happen...

I'm in touch with a local person who has experience with the technical
side of things (writing Sugar programs, etc) but so far I know NOTHING
about what information to present to the school. I am definitely not a
technical whiz by any stretch.  I'd really appreciate any personal
anecdotes/thoughts, especially from teachers in your first deployment.  I
would also like to know about your school's socioeconomic make up - our
CTS families are in a daily struggle to survive with dignity and hope;
their status can be generational and/or circumstantial.  We'd like to
change that for the better.

Oh, to introduce myself: I'm 63, unemployed, self-educated/uneducated,
former unlicensed marine engineer and laboratory technician (medical &
research), and non-military conscientious objector to all war.  Thanks for
any advice or recollections you can contribute.  Pam Allee, Portland,

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