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    24th May 2011

    Teaching sex-ed through film-making

    Last week, on campus at USC, I came across a young woman trying to give away 2-liter bottles of Pepsi while she was systematically opening the bottles and checking to code numbers on the lids. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of this, so I stopped and asked what she was doing and why she was giving away the Pepsi.

    Tani, for that ended up being her name, was using the prize codes on the bottle lids to make earn extra votes for the Pepsi Refresh Project. Tani is the co-founder of a community based organization called imMEDIAte Justice, which “is a summer program designed to empower young women leaders from South Central & East LA to share their knowledge through film” (from their website). The idea of the program is that since teenagers actually listen to other teenagers, who would be better to teach teens about sex than teens themselves? imMEDIAte Justice sets up students with mentors from the world of film and reproductive health, and then they work together to create a film that can then be shown to other teens or posted on the web. So the project benefits teenagers in two ways: first, the students that actually take part in the mentoring and creation of the the film benefit because they are mentored by caring adults and learn useful skills in the process; and second, other students from all over can benefit from engaging with the finished product.

    Though I might not agree with all of the viewpoints of the organization, I do think what they are doing is a really good idea, and said that I would give them some support for the Pepsi Refresh competition. imMEDIAte Justice is currently in 8th place and the top 15 receive $25,000 from Pepsi Refresh. Please consider voting for imMEDIAte Justice by visiting their page at Pepsi Refresh, or by texting 106065 to 73774 – that is, put 106065 in the body of the text message and then you send that to the “phone number” of 73774.

    If you would like to know more about imMEDIAte Justice, you can also visit their website at

    Voting closes at the end of the month – please consider voting!

    22nd May 2011

    So this one time I moved to California…

    That’s right, I just up and moved to Los Angeles. It all happened so fast. I finished my classes at Colorado State last week and then drove out here with my brother Mike and two of his friends on Sunday – and really didn’t actually finish work for my CSU classes until after midnight on Sunday night, when I emailed an instructor from our Las Vegas hotel room – and then started classes at USC on Monday. Whew.

    And now it’s official, I’m a student in the Masters of Arts Teaching program at USC. It’s a 12-month masters + teaching license program that will be pretty intense… I have three classes through the summer that involve a lot of observing situations in the educational system and interviewing people involved with education in the neighborhood around a particular school.

    My start here at USC was less than prodigious in that the apartment I was assigned to for the summer had been seriously water damaged sometime in April. So when Mike, Jon, Kory, and I opened the door and entered, we crashed into a wall of stench. The next day I went back to the housing office and they moved me across the hall into a less moldy (not moldy at all, I think) apartment that also happens to have a better location with the back opening up onto the residential courtyard containing tables, chairs, and a couple of grills with charcoal. Excellent.

    I’m definitely not settled in yet because I was pretty lazy this past week – it was nice to rest a little bit after moving a million miles an hour for the past 16 weeks. Now it’s go time again. I have more things to tell the world about in the near future, so expect to hear from me again soon – but right now I need to get back to school work.

    ***A quick word of congratulations to the Loveland High School girls track team and Coach Q, who won the Colorado 5A state championship for the second straight year this past weekend! I’m always proud to see my high school track team doing well!***

    2nd May 2011

    The Lioness (a poem that I composed as a text message)


    I know who you are.
    You don’t need to prowl
    for lovers
    late at night because you’re
    secretly afraid
    that you aren’t good enough
    for real love.
    And you don’t have to rely on a man for help
    or steal from the table of another,
    more capable,
    But still,
    there’s been something missing lately,
    no flash of teeth or low growl to remind me
    what I already know:
    You’re the undisputed queen –
    and the king? –
    is down for a nap.
    What is it that has tamed you
    or shamed you
    into consignment as a zoo cat?
    You know those bars aren’t real
    and no fence can hold you
    Spring up with swiftness;
    sail out of your solitary –
    but willing –
    past your keepers –
    who are no captors –
    for who could imprison you?
    Return to the jungle,
    remember your pride!

    the lioness.

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.