Memories and lessons learned


Locally grown, organic deliciousness

Sunday morning, my friend invited me to go with her to the farmer’s market at St. Philip’s Plaza, a bit of an upscale shopping plaza known for its nice restaurants, beautiful landscaping, and even a trendy nightclub – Level.

Lots of people show up every Sunday to try all sorts of samples from the vendors and of course to buy locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and seeds among many many other things.

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One organization in particular stood out for me – Native Seeds.  They are a non-profit regional seed bank that 350 varieties of seeds unique to the southwest region.  Native Seeds works with native tribes to continue their long agricultural traditions.  The organization promotes the conservation of heirloom seeds, which are seeds that have adapted to the growing conditions in a certain area.   This promotes sustainable agriculture and agricultural biodiversity, according to their website.  One of the biggest issues Native Seeds is concerned about is what they describe as “the loss of ecological relationships” between humans and plants.  Please visit their website to learn more about Native Seeds’ current projects.

Map to St. Philip’s Farmer’s Market:


Dream beneath a desert sky…

What a beautiful desert I live in!  These are pictures are I took during a hike in Sabino Canyon a while back with my good friend, Goli.  I had my other friend’s really nice camera with me and I was testing out my nature photography skills.  Not bad for an amateur, eh?  I even ran across the roadrunner (last picture) on our hike!  Which, I’m told by a friend of mine who grew up in Arizona, is a sign of good luck… No sign of the coyote that day, though 😉



Clinica moments…

Spreading a little knowledge…

Check out this awesome, creative classroom!

Last week, I accompanied Tawab Saljuqi on a visit to a high school Literature class out in Marana. Saljuqi was chosen as the Center for Middle East Studies Outreach scholar for 2010-2011 and as part of the deal, he has to give two lectures to the Tucson community about Afghanistan. The class was reading Khaled Hosseini’sThe Kite Runner” and the students were curious and eager to learn more about Afghan culture. Saljuqi prepared a presentation to teach the students a bit about the lives of the average Afghan. Here are some pictures from that trip. I’ll update with more pictures and hopefully a sound slide show soon…

Saljuqi setting up his presentation

Saljuqi goes over critical points in Afghan history

My experience live blogging…

Last week, Norman Finkelstein visited the University of Arizona’s campus and spoke to rooms full of students, professors, fans, and critics. His first lecture of the day covered the highly controversial topic of academic freedom. I used this lecture as a dry-run to figure out the ins and outs of And thank God I thought to do that!!

Anyone considering a live blog should keep a few things in mind.
1) Go ahead and set up the event ahead of time on the coveritlive website. When you log in to your account, you can see a tab for where to build your event. This will save you from missing the opening moments of whatever you’re covering.

2) Tell your friends to follow it. There’s nothing more boring than a one-way conversation. Twitter, Facebook, whatever social network site you use, make sure to advertise the event to your friends and followers. If it’s an event interesting to you, most likely, someone else out there is just as geeked out about it as you are 😉

3) Practice!! Cover It Live allows you to practice the event before you go live with it. Take advantage of that. You can test out all the little buttons and play with all the tricks the site allows you to do. It’s a little more sophisticated than just tweeting updates every 5 minutes or so, so don’t think you can just wing it when you get there.

4) Make sure your computer has a full battery and the place you will be at has wifi.

5) Relax. You’re not going to catch every word. Try to do your best relying the gist of the message, the tone of the lecture, and the mood of the audience. If you mess up, you can go back and edit even after you close out the session.

So when that first lecture was over, I closed out the session and posted the embed code into my blog (as you can see below). However, that’s when I encountered another problem. WordPress kept changing the code when I hit the “Publish” button and instead of posting the live blog session directly to my blog, it just gave me a link 😦 I have no advice for why this happened or how to fix this. In fact, if anyone knows the answer, I’m all ears.

Sadly, I missed his second lecture of the day. I heard it was great though. But I did get to see his third and final lecture of the day. You can check out the live blog of that on the Cactus Chameleon website. This time, covering the event went much smoother, although let me just say how hard it is covering a lecture with such a controversial figure and trying to decide what to put in and what to leave out. Everything he said seemed important to me and I almost kind of felt just live streaming his lecture would’ve done it more justice! Oh well, something to work on…

Academic Freedom (testing out Live Blogging)

The live blog itself went fine, I just can’t seem to get the embed code to work and so only a link to the live blog is showing up on my blog 😦 Oh well, you can still check it out by clicking on the following link: Academic Freedom

Also, check this out – it’s one of the funniest debate videos I’ve ever seen… and it just happens to feature Norman Finkelstein: