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A Ramona Quimby Personality
Do you have a Ramona Quimby personality? Or are you one of the relatively quieter personalities who mostly thinks before leaping, but rather enjoys and admires your Ramona Quimby friends?

Is there a child in your classroom who resembles Ramona? Is one of your own children a Ramona?

I think there's a little Ramona in each of us, for who among us doesn't travel through childhood without making well-intentioned but regretfully poor choices.

Ramona Quimby's creator, Beverly Cleary, recently died at the magnificent age of 104. When interviewed a few years ago, she said, [The Ramona series...] "was actually just about a girl learning how to grow up."

Do you remember much about Ramona's parents, the kind of home they provided for Ramona, the struggles they endured in their adult lives? Did Ramona's perception about her parents change as she matured and as Ms. Cleary revealed glimpses into the Quimby family life? Read the series again with curiosity about Ms. Cleary's wise counsel for parents. Go to Book Series In Order.

Maria Popova's essay offers inspiring tips to use in your interactions with sweethearts, children, friends and co-workers. want some mind stimulation? Follow her links!
CAMPS 2021 is coming next week!
Featuring: Camp Leader series, downloadable Camps 2021 pdf, dedicated Camp Guide email.
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Happy Easter! Have a great spring weekend with your families, Parmalee
How to Criticize with Kindness
“Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”

by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings


“In disputes upon moral or scientific points,” Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”

Of course, this isn’t what happens most of the time when we argue, both online and off, but especially when we deploy the artillery of our righteousness from behind the comfortable shield of the keyboard. That form of “criticism” — which is really a menace of reacting rather than responding — is worthy of Mark Twain’s memorable remark that “the critic’s symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else’s dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.” But it needn’t be this way — there are ways to be critical while remaining charitable, of aiming not to “conquer” but to “come at truth,” not to be right at all costs but to understand and advance the collective understanding.

Daniel Dennett (b. March 28, 1942), whom artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky has called “our best current philosopher” and “the next Bertrand Russell,” poses an apt question that probes some of the basic tendencies and dynamics of today’s everyone-is-a-critic culture:
In Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (public library) — the same fantastic volume that gave us Dennett on the dignity and art-science of making mistakes — he offers what he calls: a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, best-known for originating the famous tit-for-tat strategy of game theory.

Dennett synthesizes the steps:

How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1.     You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
2.     You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3.     You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
4.     Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

If only the same code of conduct could be applied to critical commentary online, particularly to the indelible inferno of comments.

But rather than a naively utopian, Pollyannaish approach to debate, Dennett points out this is actually a sound psychological strategy that accomplishes one key thing: It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.

Compare and contrast with Susan Sontag’s three steps to refuting any argument, and treat yourself to Dennett’s wholly excellent Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking."

Ask Nicole: Creating Positive Childhood Experiences

by Nicole M. Young, MSW
 
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, which makes me pause to think about all the hardships and trauma children and families have experienced this past year. COVID-19. Displacement due to wildfires. Racism. Social isolation. Hunger. Lost jobs. Financial instability. Struggles with remote learning. Hate crimes. These multiple “storms” have left their mark. Communities across the nation have reported increased calls to domestic violence and mental health hotlines. Recent results from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Household Pulse Survey, suggest “the proportion of U.S. adults with symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depressive disorder have quadrupled since before the pandemic,” especially among women and people of color (https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2020/long-term-impact-covid-19-mental-health).  
 
Thankfully, hope is on the horizon with COVID cases declining, vaccinations increasing, and schools and businesses starting to welcome kids and customers back. But life will not suddenly return to “normal,” as though someone flipped a light switch on. It will take time for children, families, schools, businesses, and communities to recover from these multiple storms and regain our sense of safety and well-being. 
This is a challenge we can tackle together. As a community, we have a shared responsibility to create the conditions that enable all children and families to thrive. We can do this by providing the support and resources that families need to provide Positive Childhood Experiences – loving relationships and nurturing environments – that increase resiliency and counteract the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences – such as losing a parent, witnessing or experiencing violence or abuse, being isolated during a pandemic, or experiencing discrimination and racism.

Here are some tips for parents, caregivers, and all adults who want to help create those Positive Childhood Experiences > > >
Keep On Truckin’ - We are thrilled to invite you and your loved ones to the Keep on Truckin’ tour this spring, beginning April 3rd! Keep on Truckin’, powered by Tandy Beal and Company and a lot of great friends, presents exceptional artists in free mini-shows on a flatbed truck, outside for small audiences. Details
Capitola Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt - March 19 through April 2. Join the Hunt! Hunters can search for hidden eggs and receive a stamp/signature on the Scavenger Hunt Gamecard when eggs are found. Details
Santa Cruz Beach Train Opens - April 1 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm , Round trips are 3 hours, mountains to beach or the opposite. Details
Pick-Up Your Free Creativity Kit at the MAH, April 2 while supplies last - At the beginning of each month swing by the MAH to pick up a new, free crafting kit that includes supplies and step-by-step instructions. Details
Free to Be a Kid Clothing Exchange - April 3, 9:30 - 11:30am

School Events: Open Houses, Virtual Tours, Tours by Appointment, Online Performances. Check both March & April! Details
NAMI Basics Class for Parents of Teens - April6, 6 - 8pm, NAMI Santa Cruz County offers NAMI Basics, a free, 6-session education program for loved ones of teens (11-17) with mental health challenges. This series will be offered via Zoom. Students must commit to all sessions to enroll. Details
Rockin’ Pop-Up: Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for a talk about The Moon! April 7, 3:00 pm Details
The Outdoor Scientist Dr. Temple Grandin, April 9, 6pm, Free – $80, Do you have a budding scientist, inventor, and/or creator in your household? Gather your family and join us for a virtual event with New York Times bestselling author, world-renowned scientist, and autism spokesperson Dr. Temple Grandin to celebrate the release of her latest book for young readers, The Outdoor Scientist. Details
Mount Madonna SDG Speaker Series: Sustainable Development: The Climate-Energy-Equity Nexus,  April 15, 7-8pm, Spend an hour hearing from climate scientist and Stanford University professor, Dr. Noah Diffenbaugh., 7-8pm, Details