Thursday, December 30, 2004

Gift and Silver linings backfire - 12/30/04

••••••••••• Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:55:39 AM Pacific/Honolulu •••••••••••

The story of how an artist tried to make something good happen for the citizens of Maui County only to have it backfire.

It's no wonder kids on Maui are undernourished. I was awarded community service which I choose to do at the Kihei Youth Center. I had offered to use my skill as an artist-educator to teach children how to use computers to make a movie of personal art, photos, writing and narration. I had successfully given this DIGITAL STORTYELLING playshop last time I had to do community service. The folks at Kihei Youth Center had no problem.

I was looking forward to the excitement and interest of the kids who normally play violent video games or watch TV. Both of which deliver no valuable skills, or "mindware" as the content of the games and television programs is filled with violence, anger, and valueless examples of abuse and disrespect for people, their property and lives.

I had spoken with Alika the KYC director. He had O.K.'d the digital storytelling playshop last time I choose community service; for a seat belt ticket. I choose community service because being on disability and not having a regular income like other folks, money is quite dear to me. In my conversation with Alika, I described what I would do and got permission to lead a two day 4 hour workshop, and receive credit for a flyer I produced announcing it.

Alika said he wanted to advertise my playshop and get more kids in this time... I made a flyer announcing what I would be teaching; to help KYC promote the class to the kids and community members. Alika was fine with this. I faxed it to him, and called to see if it came through. It didn't so I faxed it again and made sure it was received.

When the day came to work off my 8 hours (Alika agreed to credit me for the one hour the flyer took to make) I loaded all my gear, camera, tripod, computer, and software and hauled over to the Youth Center where I was met by two ladies who had no idea of the flyer's contents and insisted it was not received because they didn't see it.

They also saw the announcement I had sent into the Maui news to announce the opportunity for Maui's children to learn 21st century job skills in a fun and friendly way. They resented the fact that I had let the press know what I was doing; saying it was against regulations for me to promote something mentioning the Kihei Youth Center...and informed me not to do it again. They then directed me to find Ron, the gentleman who guides and governs the kids while at the youth center. I had worked with him last time. The ladies were administrative assistants.

I set everything up and began to address the nearby kids who were curious. Then Ron gathered a few more kids. I explained to them what I would be teaching. After a short while and some discussion in the office, Ron comes back and springs on me, that there can be no videotaping or audio recording of the kids without parental consent. Now, KYC had known about this for a month. The flyer I had made and faxed to Alika made it clear what would be happening.... The flyer was never reproduced and distributed. The 2 office workers knew nothing about it, and apparently were told nothing by Alika? I did as I was told.

I put away the camera and changed plans to have the kids learn how to make art with the computer, a digitizing tablet and stylus common in the computer graphics industry. Remarkably the kids, took to it with ease and began creating art, It was something new and different, creative and fun.... yet, when I went to the office at the end of the first of two 4 hour sessions, I was told not to come back.

Not only were the office works upset that I had taken my own time to try to get more kids to participate in the learning experience (via alerting the news media), but took it upon themselves to reverse what was a proven hit with the kids, and squelch the possibility of learning more and expressing themselves through creative expression using the computer. They told me not to come back... even after I agreed to change my program so there would be no audio-video recording.

I was going to teach them how to make music with computers so as to comply with the request for no filming or audio recording, but the two women were intent on making sure the kids would not receive my gifts, or the possibility of education beyond their dreadful games. They certainly didn't want me interesting them in something beyond the junk food for their bodies and minds - that is the de rigueur KYC menu for growing dumbed down children addicted to violence and sugar.

I had gone to the bathroom to discover a child had missed the toilet. Feces were all over the floor. I would say the attendants that day had missed the boat and made things difficult because I took a creative approach to help this community's children with technology literacy and creative expression.


Aloha Alika, I was surprised by the reaction of your staff both, stating that they never saw the flyer you OK'd. They then tell me not to come back to work off the remaining 4 hours of my service even though I complied with the request to not video or audio record the children (though you had no problem with that last time I offered my skills and talents to the youth of Maui and in particular, those visiting your Kihei Youth Center. I would like to have a conversation with you about what happened and why? The office assistants were upset that I followed your words stating you wanted to "organize my service so more young people would be present." I never imagined that announcing the opportunity for Maui kids to learn 21st Century job skills, and to take advantage of the free experience for learning new tools for creative expression, published in the newspaper would have been a problem.

FYI, I had faxed the article I submitted to the news paper, to you - two days before it was published (the same day I sent it to the news paper). I saw no problem in this, so I thought nothing of it, until I was informed that that was against KYC policy or something? Anyway.... The kids were really interested and produced some nice artwork. I was asked to burn a CD of what they did. That took another 15 minutes. Can you credit me for that, as well as the one hour to make the flyer that you OK'd as well as yesterday's service for a total of 5.25 hours toward my 9 hours of service? Thanks! I remain, Peter Rosen, in Service.


Well I never sent the above note to Alika. Politics are at play here. In fact, Jason had informed me that Kalimaya is now on the KYC board of directors. I had noticed she had come in during my teaching yesterday. I would not be surprised if she had something to do with the reversal of Alika's statement, and denial that he authorized my digital storytelling flyer.. that he now claims no knowledge of. It's no wonder why Hawaii's children are at the bottom of the heap in literacy skills.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Turning Adversity into Silver Linings

For immediate release
Stop: Dec 29, 2004


How do you turn a dark cloud inside out to reveal a silver lining? Just ask Peter Rosen, who is turning the aggravation of a $70 seat belt fine into a community service opportunity benefiting Maui’s youth.
Rosen was recently cited for a seat belt infraction while driving home, oddly enough, from traffic court where he had appeared for a previous seat belt infraction. The second citation occurred when he attempted to take some medication while at a stoplight. Just as the light turned green he realized his water bottle had rolled beneath his seat. In attempting to retrieve the bottle he unbuckled his belt. A moment later the light turned green and traffic was beginning to move. Unfortunately for Rosen, a police officer observed him putting his seat belt back on and issued a citation. Neither the cop nor the judge cared that he was taking advantage of the stoplight to take medication. However, this is where the silver lining comes in: Rosen found a way to turn his double trouble into a gift to the children of Maui.
Since community service is an alternative way to pay for ones “crimes,” Rosen arranged to offer his knowledge and teaching skills in a 2- day free, DIGITAL STORYTELLING PLAYSHOP on December 29th and 30 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Kihei Youth Center in North Kihei. Any young person who understands, or would like to understand, the art of storytelling with computers to make a personal film, is invited to take advantage of this unique opportunity. The 8-hour Playshop will provide an overview of the tools and techniques for taking family photos and creative ideas to the next level, both on CD, DVD and/or on the special web spots that offer young people free web hosting for their multimedia stories.
Rosen, an internationally noted teacher of DIGITAL STORYTELLING and founder of Maui nonprofit, Visionary Artists Resources Including Other Unique Services (V.A.R.I.O.U.S. Media), has been helping young people produce and experience POSITIVE MEDIA. He has produced over 11 Artists Showcase and Networking events on Maui that offer creative people a “living gallery” opportunity to tell their stories and share their art. His award winning “KidCast for Peace; Solutions for a Better World” project has connected Maui’s youth with kids of other lands; in a series of live video conferences on the Internet; - designed to connect kids in school classrooms (and kids at home), to allow them to learn about other cultures and be appreciated for sharing their art and their heart!
Students should bring family photos, music on CD and a brief, one-page story that can be illustrated with images found on the Internet. They will also be able to record a narration that will form the foundation of their digital story. Although stories can be about anything, Rosen suggests they consider ideas for making the world a happier, healthier, more peace-filled place to live. Rosen is sure that by the time he has completed his mandatory community service, his students will have learned how to create video stories on their own.
Though pre-registration is not necessary, it is helpful to check in first by calling Rosen’s office at 875-4747. The Kihei Youth Center can also be reached at 879-8698.
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Changes for the New Year

The Adventures of Shiloh Bones

How to have a good time? Well, its not producing a show only to have 10 people show up for a total donation of $20. Everyone was served, and i suppose I could say that for me as well, but I'll be hog tied if I can figure out how?

And, the hoops of personality I had to jump through with the Unity events rep to get the over pirced venue!! What was i thinking? Well, lets just say, I will never book that space again. It was wonderful when the spirit of aloha prevailed at Unity. Now they need to extract blood from Rocks. Mainstream control and high prices fueled by untrust are the order of the day...eliminating another affordable venue where gifts to the community could be offered at affordable rates. no thanks!

If we are to do another V.A.R.I.O.U.S. Media Ink; The Maui Artists Showcase and Networking Event, it wil be at akaku.

Merry Happy Holidaze.... not feeling the magic of the moment in the money season of manufactured christmas.

I am recovering from producing the showcase after a month of effort for what, I ask myself? I am reflecting on Maui not being LA, where the event served a hungry public.

Here people are fed by nature, not so much the desire to make new friends or showcase their talent. Its a different dynamic and I am 20 years different too!

It was nice to fit a jam session in with Maria and Joshua who came over... as Thursday Night is Music Night at Shiloh's.