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Beyond the Farm: A PWR Summer Like No Other

tent in a clearing

How did PWR Lecturers spend their summer in 2021? From adventures in the great outdoors, to teaching summer quarter, to major life events, to getting some much need needed rest after a hectic year, this summer was an unforgettable one. 

Christine Alfano: PWR doesn't actually shut down for the summer, so I fit my summer-time fun in to different nooks and crannies of June, July, and August. I managed to make it to the east coast to visit my parents and even take a little time away from civilization, where I tried to balance keeping up with PWR's August tasks (classrooms, enrollment, new instructor sessions, etc.) with reading a couple books, walking a memorial labyrinth I helped build in 2019, communing with family, friends, and nature, and drinking some Summer Sammy in the evenings on the porch.  

porch on chappy

Shay Brawn: I took a four-week road trip across the country with my daughters to look at colleges and shake off some of our house-bound moldiness. One highlight of the trip was our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, where we saw an amazing exhibit of portraits by American fiber artist Bisa Butler. This one is called "Westchester Family."

Bisa Butler, Westchester Family

Nissa Cannon: Mostly this summer was a blur (what is time, even, during this pandemic?), but my husband and son and I managed a 12 day roadtrip up to Oregon and back, which was definitely a highlight!

Lecturer Nissa Cannon and family

Kevin DiPirro: This summer I: got a new hip; helped my friend through her chemotherapy treatments; grieved my father’s passing; got my son off to college on the East Coast, cultivated and landscaped my yard, and am currently supporting my high school daughter through resumption of on-campus learning and end of life care for her beloved cat Reef.

Kevin DiPirro

Harriett Jernigan: I don't have much to report except my first road trip to the Pacific Northwest, which was fun, and receiving a tutorial in Japanese swords in Seattle, when I got to handle swords from between the 11th and 18th centuries. Very fun! Had the tutorial in Persian cooking at Food For Life in Campbell, which was also supremely gratifying. 

Harriett Jernigan

Hayden Kantor: This summer I taught PWR 2. In between classes my wife and I found time to take our daughter to the beach.

Hayden Kantor and family

Valerie Kinsey: We drove across the country with two kids and our fearful dog, Chaco. Along the way, we passed through 22 states, saw old friends, listed to Lonesome Dove and many, many episodes of Song Exploder. Highlights include seeing buffalo in Yellowstone, visiting family in Vermont (and testing out the alpine slide), getting drenched by the water at Niagara Falls, riding to the top of "The Arch" in St Louis, and standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Given the turbulence of the last few years, traveling coast to coast reminded me of the vast diversity of landscape and lifestyle in these United States.

Vaccines float

Kevin Moore: My partner Erika and I moved back to the Bay Area from where we were living/working near San Diego. We spent most of the summer getting settled into our new place in Polk Gulch, SF. I worked on a fiction project. In August, we headed south again to spend two weeks with Erika's family in Tecate, Baja California, and had a chance to visit the wine country in Valle de Guadalupe.

Lecturer Kevin Moore

Lisa Ramee: This was a summer like no other as the PWR work was a little...much. But I did manage to start a raised bed garden (in an old entertainment center), get to Pt. Reyes (although sadly didn't have time to visit with Doree) did several virtual panels (one with one of my absolute favorite mg authors Erin Entrada Kelly) and enjoyed the fruits of my labor. The midnight snack tomatoes are so cool! They look black for a long time and then slowly turn red as they ripen and are delicious!

Lisa Moore Ramee

Becky Richardson: In June, my boyfriend and I took a road trip up to Oregon to see my family for the first time since December 2019. Also momentous because this was the first time I drove the route! -- having relearned how to drive during the pandemic. My stepfather is immunocompromised so we were still super careful -- but we have lots of great memories of slow dinners on the porch watching the sunset on Mount Hood and the hummingbirds fight over a feeder that is always refilled before it has a chance to run out. And sunset walks to look for the great horned owls! (Pictured: my sister on one of those walks with her camera ready to go, Mount Hood in the background.)

Lecturer Becky Richardson

Kath Rothschild: We finally went back to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where we go each summer to the same house (for over ten years!) Last year we mostly hid in the house and had walks on the beach at dusk. But this year we returned to the Boardwalk to pay homage to Laffing Sal and all the cool images of the old Plunge. And--the kids were big enough to ride the Sea Swings!

Sea Swings

John Peterson: After teaching PWR1a on Zoom (even though we were all on campus) with a class of incoming athletes, had a reunion with my 3 siblings and our families in August. Went to Catalina Island, off the coast of SoCal. Much anxiety about Covid, indeed. Amazing how few assumptions you can make about people's choices, especially in a place as populous as LA County. About the photo: I hear that on an open-air high speed boat, transmission is unlikely. What have you heard? Let's share info, shall we?

Lecturer John Peterson

Julia Schulte: My partner and I drove across the US and back this summer! We tried out natural hot springs in Wyoming, bathed in a freezing creek in Colorado, celebrated a sweet suburban 4th of July in Kansas with friends, saw armadillos in Arkansas, and spent a lot of happy time with family in North Carolina. We hiked and camped and ate a ton of good food. I love the greens and blooms and mushrooms of the Appalachian mountains, and even the super loud insects were fun for a while.

Lecturer Julia Schulte camping

Ann Watters (Lecturer Emerita): My clinical practice (psychology) was deluged: people coping with Covid, isolation, relationships, work, illness/deaths. To avoid being overwhelmed, I dive into artistic projects where I need to focus; nothing requires attention like cutting glass. This summer I've completed jewelry carried by a couple of local shops, as well as a large piece for a Denver office and three reclaimed church organ pipes for garden totems.

glass mosaic

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