A Review of the Shadra Strickland Unworkshop @ Highlights Foundation


A Selfie of Jeanne and Shadra


Shadra Strickland is the most interactive teacher I’ve ever had. She spent 30 minutes at one table and then another to touch everybody at meals.She structured a brain storming session and asked questions to engage us. She gives the opposite of a lecture.

(Show, don’t tell)

All the participants were published, so it was a group of professionals, not beginners.

Don kept accessing data for everyone and showing images on his tablets.That was an enormous help in grasping information. Shadra did the same.

The group in their twenties  in the Lodge got to brainstorm every evening.

The transition to the Gallery Opening was smooth.The chef caterers magnificent. They are so proud to work for the foundation. Shadra looked elegant and graceful at her opening. The untiring kitchen staff still provided supper after all the exotic appetizers.

Comments about the faculty: dignified,intelligent,great style,interactive,energetic,hard working ,talented speaker,artist,teacher, colleague, enlightened, affectionate, attentive, organized, grateful,and patient.

This is a many layered experience. the power flows both ways. Each individual adds to the symphony: wisdom, smarts, organizing, artistry, talent, perseverance and respect. They honor each other, even the children.

At winter workshops, you need to devise a way to have a fire indoors, especially when the snow and wind have frozen. Like a ski lodge, there should be a place to sit with slippers around the fire.

I love the way George calls his wife his bride, even though the children are over 10! And he looks at me and says”I love my children”, as if that would explain why they straightened out the library with their boots, and outerwear and toys.

My first experience of the Foundation was at Chatauqua. It was this enormous event with a huge family. And the leader was not Moses but a humble Kent. Now there is a humble George, and a vigorous Alison. They each have a glow about them, a light for the children to help them find their way!

Definition #383 science

collared lizard

collared lizard

“To My Daughter Teaching Science

by Dana Robbins

They are olive green and elegant, tails curved to a fine point,
these lizards that my daughter cares for so lovingly
in the terrarium in the back of her science classroom in Brooklyn,
miniature dinosaurs, motionless as yogis, fingers

curled around a branch. She has worked long underpaid hours
to create this wonderland while the politicians rail that teachers
are the problem. Gently, she drops a worm on a leaf for the lizards,
says they prefer crickets, then shows me the hissing cockroaches

who hide under bark in another tank. I recoil. “It’s instinct,”
I say. “No,” she tells me, “people all over the world eat insects.”
I remember her as a toddler, teaching songs to her bears;
her voice trilling from her room to fill every corner of the house.

Now my daughter is teaching me; I want to imitate the hooting
of owls, fold paper into birds, twist pipe cleaners into spiders,
sit cross-legged on the colorful rug to look up at my daughter,
lovely with her long hair pulled back, her eyes bright

and intent, as the long days with troubled children,
the attacks from braying critics fade away,
as the lizards on their branch tilt their inscrutable heads
to listen to the strange creatures who surround them.

“To My Daughter Teaching Science” by Dana Robbins from The Left Side of My Life. © Moon Pie Press, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

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