Tag Archives: libraries

Language Learning, Local Education, and lots of Ideas, Project Do Better

Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially after moving to the bilingual South West. Technically, I was hired for my experience in Unix which led to my MAT in mathematics, but on the ground, my love of learning languages proved to be more important in the classroom. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, my fluency proved helpful for many of my students, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.

Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions recently about ideas for implementing low-cost projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving

1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates,
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by medi-Cal, and
4.) access to public transportation:

1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study.  While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?

2.)   I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations?  Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including, California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc?  One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring,  that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring.  Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference.  Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together?  Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?

3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office  of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?

4.)  One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the Continuing Education division, nor the CE faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of CE student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount.  In planning for post-#Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?

I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.

Please share your ideas for improving local education, or for supporting any other parts of our critical Public Domain Social Infrastructure!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness,  starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransportation

#PublicDomainInfrastructure, and Please Learn (as Project Do Better urges, and builds tools to help…) Why Everyone Should #StopSmoking At Least for CCOVID-19

May, 12020 HE

When Frederick Bailey became Frederick Douglass, & Lesson Day 48/67

If today (September 3rd, 1838) is a lesson in history, let it honor our formerly enslaved ancestors, on Day 48 of 67 GED Lesson Plan Sets...

So, now my novel is back in planning mode.

And, it turns out that I can work him into my novel, as he is still in Baltimore at the same time that my protagonist is there.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Share two different resources in your local public library on the life of any escaped slave.

2.) Write something that uses those thoughts.  Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector,  Lupin, or La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) or El Ministerio del Tiempo reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

Thoughtful Readers, please consider looking up #ProjectDoBetter.


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ministry Mondays: Bibliotecas y la Deuda… Libraries Debt…

Click here for English…

“ -¿Adónde vas?
-A la biblioteca.
-Hija, la vida es más que leer libros.
-Ya lo sé, madre.
-Lo aprendí leyendo”

¿Cuantos hemos sufrido la pena de ser facturado injustamente por una deuda?
¿Cuantos tenemos la suerte de conocer nuestros derechos y que hay que defenderlos?
No tantos.
¿Cuantos sabemos donde encontrar los detalles de estos derechos y como defenderlos?
No suficientamente.
¿Y cuantos tenemos acceso a un abogado, o biblioteca de derecho, y transporte, sin decir la buena salud para irse?
No la mayoria de nosotros.
Por eso nos urge las buenas bibliotecas publicas y transporte publico, para ayudar a todos en defender sus derechos. En un epoca de escasos recursos para las escuelas y bibliotecas publicas, los que necesitan màs tienen menos.
Hay soluciones para ello: Primero, dar màs dinero a los transportes y bibliotecas publicos, y a las escuelas. Segundo, quitar de encima de la gente las deudas a cada rato. Así podemos cambiar la desigalidad que nos limita a todos.

Salud Para Todos! #PublicDomainInfrastructure

“ -Where are you going?
-To the Library.
-Daughter, there is more to life than reading books.
-I know, mother. I learned it by reading.”

How many of us have experienced the pain of being wrongly billed by a debt collector?
How many of us are lucky enough to know that we have rights that we must defend, which cannot be transgressed by those debt collectors?
Not as many.
How many of us know where to find the details of those rights and how to go about defending ourselves legally?
Not nearly enough of us.
And how many of us have access to good legal counsel, or a law library, and the transportation, not to mention the good health, to get there, and then to court if necessary?
Not most of us.
This is where public libraries, and public transportation, become crucial as places to help all citizens research and learn about their rights and how to defend them. In an era of shrinking library and school budgets for the 99%, separate is still not equal: fewer libraries and fewer legal and research librarians are available to guide residents searching for current Statute of Limitations, debt collection laws, etc. The result is that those who need the most help get the least, and inequality continues to grow, harming all of us.

One short term solution to these problems is clearly to fully fund Public Libraries, Pro-Bono legal and consumer Education, Public Transportation, and Universal Health Care (4 major components of our Public Domain Social Infrastructure #PublicDomainInfrastructure ).
One possible long term solution could be an old solution, advocated by several major religions over the millennia: the forgiveness of debt after a certain period of time. Modern student loans, for example, in the UK are rumored to be forgiven after 15 years, while Ancient Near Eastern societies mandated forgiving all sorts of debts periodically. These policies, modern and ancient, were meant to prevent what we are seeing today, particularly in the USA: an entrenched cycle of inequality that prevents the vast majority of people from achieving liberty, let alone pursuing happiness.


1.) Share for two different sources giving statutes of limitations in your state (or District).

2.) Share your thoughts on how a periodic debt forgiveness might help, or hinder, justice and help build more inclusive thinking, and

3.) Write a book, blog post or story using them, and, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The ProtectorLupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Plans, & Historical Fiction Serial Writing

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.

Power Generation At Home, and Libraries: The Common Good

        This  idea of having a pedal-powered TV, and a hand-crank laptop and phone charger, especially, is still gnawing away at me.  Everyone I know that I have suggested this idea to has laughed at me, but I keep remembering how  Mr. Kamkwamba, the 14 year old boy in the film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, built that wind turbine in Africa thanks to having a school library with books that helped him figure out how to build it (Ejiofor, 2019), and powered a well pump that saved his entire village.    I’ve also read that a lady somewhere in either the US or the UK even wrote her entire debut novel using a pedal-power laptop, yet still got laughed at when I mentioned this individual and practical example.  Now I see that the idea is in fact in use, but not in any community that I have access to.  Why is this so difficult for people here in the Global North to imagine?   This is another reason that long term planning and access to educational and technological materials forms the basis of Project Do Better.

     The common good requires both knowledge of how to be self-sufficient in terms of energy generation, financial self-defense,  etc, and also the equal ability to access the resources needed to put that knowledge into useful action.   Like free dynamos, and electronics hardware.  When I was a systems administrator, we always had plenty of spare old equipment, from hard drives and motherboards to old chasis’ and memory boards which could often be swapped into current machines in a pinch.  This knowledge and equipment access is not that difficult to teach, and could increase ‘digital’ access dramatically, as well as helping our society to build a programming and hardware savvy population able to contribute to solving the more difficult problems confronting our world currently.  We can no longer afford to waste the human talent and time that withholding all of this wasted equipment has enabled in the past.  morgan_community_college

   Perhaps  every library and community center (where have all of the Youth Centers and Community Centers gone, by the way?   It seems to me that there were many more back in the 1980s than there are now…) could have a basic hand-crank or pedal-power electronics charger kit to give to all residents.  Would this at least not help just a little bit during emergencies, since having a working smart-phone at least allows GPS to locate a lost person?  During hurricane Katrina, the “cell phone Samaritans” in FEMA shelters did much to help families of evacuees, merely by lending their cell phones to send text messages, since the voice access and phone lines were down.  So it doesn’t really take much, does it?  As a young boy in a far away village demonstrated, a decade ago.


     While there are many ways to help increasing empathy,  Language Learning as a Fourth Tool for Empathy Building is both fascinating and practical.  Empathy building is a crucial task, particularly in our contentious society today.  The task is tiring, and cannot be done all at once, but with careful planning, education, and greater cooperation between the generations, it can be done.

     Let’s Do Better.

Library Copy Review: Subversives: Antislavery Community in Washington, D.C., 1828-1865, By Stanley C. Harrold

 Noting that the DCPL did not have a copy of this book, but I was able to read it at the Library of Congress -thank you to our public libraries!
This is an Excellent and extensive work documenting cooperation in DC.   Read for my book: Stayed on Freedom’s Call.



Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846 [WorldCat.org]

quoting Cook’s need “to be very particular to do nothing knowingly, that would in the least tend to disturb the public weal…” P. 41 of Harrold, Subversives, 2003

“best known” Israel Bethel (split from white Ebenezer, 4th st.) minister. Mentioned with Mt. Zion Negro Church, 1814 in Georgetown (earliest Black church in DC) contrasted with cut ties to mother denomination. Praised with Wesleyan Metropolitan AME Zion church aka African Wesleyan Society on D St, (S.E?) split under Abraham Cole. Began welcoming white abolitionists to their churches -P. 41, No Segregated Seating!!


American slavery, 1619-1877 (Libro, 1993) [WorldCat.org] worldcat.org
Harrold (in “Subversives” LSU, 2003) uses Kolchin to claim that most Whites saw Black ppl as needing slavery to control..

found this related info. in the bibliography of “Snow-storm in August : Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the forgotten race riot of 1835″, p. 4   (I will post an article combing the three reviews I’ve somehow managed to write but not post as proper blog articles…)

Congressional spitting/coarse lang. <-slave-owners; Slave despair & falling #s=slavery vulnerable in DC. Defense of slaves in DC <->legitimate institutution. P.6: 1850 GA secede if DC slavery abol. MD manumissions <-$ ->darker skinned free ppl, seen as more threat than mulatos. P. 16 Judge Cranch, 1821 ruled William Coston grandfathered out of new $20 free Black good behaviour bond. Black-White Cooperation: Quakers Tyson (est. school) & Lundy (pub. Genius of Univ. Emancip.). Mary Billings, George Drinker & Joshua Leavitt (1834 slave pen tour), Charles Torrey & Elisha Tyson (1840s), John Needle & William Chaplin (1850), M. Miner & (Gtown) Maria Becraft. Snow, Cook, Bradley. 1836 Gag Rule. J.Q.Adams, Gates, Giddings, Leavitt & Weld, Child & Torrey. P. 37: Geog. vs. Relational Community
This work needs to be resurrected from the forgotten oblivion to which our society has consigned it.
Please, please, please, read this book, which I was fortunate enough to be a District resident when I needed to read it, as DCPL did not have it, but the Library of Congress did.  Sitting in the Jefferson Reading Room to take notes was amazing, given the size and history of that room, which is more the size of a lecture hall.

   Continuing Education is crucial to our republic, and to our future.  Reading and critical thinking on the work like this is crucial to how we vote, as well, in the immediate term.  Over the long term, empathy, built through tools like free adult education, probono legal aid, and #languagelearning, is crucial.

We really can Do Better.



Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/Protector & Sihirli AnnemLupin, or La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic College Algebra & GED/High School Lesson Plans,

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.  Guest post writers welcome.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Do Better Wednesdays, Books for the Library Prompt

    A resource prompt from chapter 7: 

“I just requested a book purchase for my local library as part of #ProjectDoBetter!”

What books have you recently donated or requested for purchase at the library?


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector, or  Lupin Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

We Can Do Better Wednesdays, Working for Libraries Prompt

    A funding prompt from the old chapter 7 (from the old chptrs 5 and 10 as they rely on libraries to make the rest of our public life more livable…): 

“I just asked for more library funding in my city, as part of

How many shares of this prompt can you get?


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector, or  Lupin Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

On Lesson Day 15, Saved By Libraries?

     This is GED/HiSET lesson plan Day 15 of 67, and a reminder of how libraries have historically been places of learning both intellectually and socially.  The Carnegie library, which was the DC Central library for many years, was, for instance, one of the few non-segregated places in the city where all could learn together in safety. 

      I am working on Draft 6 of my nonfiction offering to communities in our country of one long term proposal, and then hope to get back to my historical fiction stories, for which I appreciate the appreciation many of you sent me when I was writing Ann and Anna.  The work is hard, and the hands are few.  I hope that more will volunteer to serve, even before Phase II.

     I look forward to hearing your ideas, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.


Action Prompts:

    Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in to create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please.   Guest posts are always welcome.  Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better

What would yours be, if you had time?


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector, Lupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic College Algebra & GED/HiSET Night School Lesson Plans,

           or My Nonfiction  & Historical Fiction Serial Writing

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Continue reading On Lesson Day 15, Saved By Libraries?

Nested Holidays, Counting, and Online Libraries for Empathy

The common good, and access to all sorts of FREE libraries, must become more fully inclusive for all of us.  Below, one volunteer-driven online library provides free access to many diverse Jewish texts and teachings, this one centered on two current holidays.

My update for  April 12022/5782, with my own Nested Themes for each day of the Omer:

  1. Empathy and health care as the first night of #counting the harvest, first week: empathy, of seven weeks of growing…
  2. Tonight, the second night of harvest #counting: #empathy and #housing for all…
  3. On this third day of harvest #counting, #empathy and accessible, affordable, and safe train #transport for all…
  4. Counting this fourth harvest day of working to Do Better for #empathy and #hope. We can end poverty, we can end homelessness, and we can Do Better.   …   Empathy, and hope for Ending Poverty via Free Consumer and Debt Related Legal Education (as opposed to hope in having hope, itself, which is akin to faith in hope…).
  5. #Counting this fifth harvest day for #empathy and public #libraries as tools for building safe homes and community for all.
  6. Counting for #empathy and hope in hope itself, on this sixth day of harvest for human kindness.  (l’empatie et l’espoir sont l’espoir pour nous tous…)
  7.    Day 7x of the Omer, will be (tomorrow starting tonight…) Empathy within Empathy … End of 1st week, Empathy, of Counting the Omer, 5782
     Well, this year I missed day Nine, (day 8 being the start of the 2nd Week, the Week of Health Care, and the day of Housing in Health Care as related concerns), so I’ll continue with this new schema omerList  next year, in 5783…

The second night of Passover  begins a sacred countdown that has long fascinated and frustrated me: fascinating because there is a meaning to each day of this countdown that is often forgotten about, and frustrating because this countdown is also often not completed “correctly” by many of us, leading to a near obsession with the count.  It’s called the Counting of The Omer, and it is a 7 by 7 perfect square.  That already, was enough to get my attention years ago, when I first converted to Judaism, but upon learning some years later that there was a mystical meaning that did not involve too much mystical hoo-ha, that added even more beauty to this perfect square, and so I had to learn more.

Each week has a theme of it’s own, as with this first week: Chesed, or mercy.  Then each day of each week has a theme, also, thus giving each day a theme within a theme.  This first day (starting tonight, the 2nd night of Passover, with the 2nd seder) is Chesed within Chesed, and so is purely focused on that quality of mercy (sorry, fellow Babylon 5 fans, I just couldn’t help it!).  Each successive day will have a new focus, which you can see for yourself on this very cool graphic (note that delightful diagonal of solid-colored dots beautifying this mitzvah of learning!!) at the free online library of the Open Siddur Project.   Ok, so it’s not exactly a nested loop, but close enough, with the Counting of the Omer almost sort of one long holiday that takes place within Passover, but continues for 49 days, until the very night of Shavuot, or The Geeks Holiday (!), as I like to call it, and my favorite holiday on the calendar!  🙂

Chag Sameach!

Actions To Help:

1.) Share two different sources related to the Omer.

2.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on empathetic ideas might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

3.) Write a Book, story, blog post, or tweet that uses it.


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

French Fridays, Libraries, and Empathy for Ants?

Libraries are where the librarians, who find obscure bits of local knowledge, and make great book recommendations live!  This book is among the best books I have read, but I must say that the rule of the first holds: the rest of the books in the series went downhill.  Werber’s other books, too, were interesting from a philosophical point of view, but increasingly irritating as metaphysical works.  This one, however, I am half considering reading again! 

-back in 2015:

Les Fourmis (La saga des fourmis, #1)Les Fourmis by Bernard Werber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don’t kill any more ants!!
This book is worth learning French to read. Honestly. It had me worrying for the fate of an ant by page 40! Fascinating swap of perspectives, and hair-raising cliff-hanger ending. I have the 3rd book in this trilogy, but am anxiously waiting to get the 2nd from the library!

Ne tuez plus de fourmis !
Ce livre vaut la peine d’apprendre le français pour le lire. Vraiment. Il m’a fait soucier pour le destin d’une fourmi avant la 40e page ! Changement impressionnant de points de vues et fin incroyable. J’ai déjà le 3e tome mais j’attends avec impatience le 2e de la bibliothèque !

22 Decembre, 12015 HE

View all my GR reviews

So, maybe I was over-empathizing with the fourmi  ants?

Action Items in support of literacy for All:

1.) Imagine two different ways to increase library funding.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you think you’d feel in a library if you were an ant,

4.) Write a story, book, blog post or tweet that uses Items 1-3 above, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy WiP (after Do Better is published out the the community…). Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.  Please tell us about your plans and how they go!


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector, Lupin, & La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews…

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.