Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Events

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events of educational or cultural value in the Portland area for the month of February 2012.   I have been making this list for the homeschool group we belong to, which includes kids 9 and under, so  I pick events that don't exclude this age group. This month's guest proofreaders are the Yip Yips!  So please doublecheck anything you'd like to attend, in case of mistakes, typos, and cancellations.


February continues to be great weather for planting trees!  Good places to find volunteer opportunities planting trees are on the website of a park near you, and with SOLV:  http://www.solv.org/volunteer_landing_2007.asp  You may need to bring gardening gloves in your kid's sizes.

Symphony Storytime”, Wednesdays in February, 1PM, Sherwood Library. “Storytimes feature musicians from the Oregon Symphony performing music that enhances and deepens the storytelling experience. Each storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!” http://www.orsymphony.org/edu/storytimes.aspx

Raptor Road Trip Rev Up!”, Wednesday, February 1, 7PM-9PM, Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. $15. Preregistration required; register online: http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/classes2/rrtrevup12 “The Willamette Valley in winter is home to a host of hawks, eagles, and falcons - attracted by the mild climate and abundance of waterfowl. Identifying these raptors may seem daunting at first, but sorting through them all isn't so hard when you know what to look for. Join Portland's Adult Education Coordinator, Steve Engel, for an introduction to identifying birds of prey. We'll learn the key field marks for all the local wintering raptors, and make side-by-side comparisons of similar species. A great way to prepare yourself for the Raptor Road Trip extravaganza sponsored by Portland Audubon, Metro and Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife on the following Saturday at Sauvie Island.” 

The Alphabeticians”, Saturday, February 4, 4PM, at E.A.T., 850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx; and Sunday February 5 and 19 at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($5 donation per family).. Mr. Hoo will also be playing every Tuesday at 10AM at Soundroots, 3954 N. Williams Ave., Pdx (an interactive show with instruments for the kids, $5 admission per child); every Wednesday at the Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx ($5 suggested donation per family); every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee ($5 donation per family), and Friday, February 3, 10 and 24 at 11AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. “The Alphabeticians, Mister Hoo and Mister E, have been best friends since their salad days in the mid 80s. They formed The Alphabeticians after they both became fathers, heard some of the music that was promoted as “Kid's” music and thought, “We can do better than that.” They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, interactive elements and an all around great stage show to entertain people of all ages. Adults have as much fun as kids at a typical show, where you're likely to hear songs about numbers, size, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and multiple alphabet songs.” http://www.thealphabeticians.com/

Mo Phillips”, Thursdays in February, 10:30AM, at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. ($3-5 suggested donation); Fridays in February, 10AM, at Soundroots, 3954 N. Williams Ave., Pdx. ($5 per walking kid); and Sunday, February 12 and 26 at 10AM, Flying Cat Coffee Co., 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($3-$5 suggested donation), and Thursday, February 9, 6PM, Mississippi Pizza. “Mo performs interactive shows of his own that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.” http://mophillips.com/ 

"Science Sleuths", Thursday February 2. 2PM- 5PM, Vancouver Library, Children's Program Room , Level 3) 901 C Street, Vancouver, WA.  "Self-guided family science exploration. This month: Wonderful Weather."

Mr. Ben”, Mondays in February at 5PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.; Tuesdays at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx (suggested donation $3 per walking human); and Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division St. (suggested donation $5 per family or $3 per person). “Mr. Ben plays live music for kids and families in and around Portland, OR. His shows are the perfect blend of entertainment and education. Your child can participate as much or as little as they choose — they are free to explore new musical ideas and concepts at their own pace and in their own way.” http://mrbenmusic.com/ 

Bob Rabbit in the Deep Woods”, Wednesday, February 1, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); and Wednesday, February 1, 4:00PM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 3:30PM). “This original folktale follows Bob Rabbit as he sets out on a trek through the woods in search of a new friend. Andy Furgeson, the one-man-puppet-band, will take you on a musical journey with Bob and a crew of other quirky animals. Children will be singing, dancing and performing during this musical puppet show!” http://redyarnprojects.blogspot.com/

Votes For Women! The Oregon Story” Opening Reception, Wednesday, February 1, 6PM, Central Library, Collins Gallery. “Women in Oregon won the right to vote in 1912, nearly a decade before most women of the United States achieved suffrage in 1920. Votes for Women! The Oregon Story explores the campaign undertaken by courageous women (and men) who were determined to give Oregon women equal access to the voting booth. Join us for refreshments and opening remarks from the exhibition organizers.” http://www.multcolib.org/events/collins/votes.html 

Sweet Words”, Wednesday, February 1, 5PM- 8PM, Forest Grove Library. “First Wednesday program. Featured authors at the library: 5:30 pm: Nel Rand author of ‘The Burning Jacket’ http://nelrand.com/ 6:30 pm: Robin Cody author of ‘Ricochet River’ and ‘Another Way the River Has’ http://www.robincody.net/ Book discussion of Ricochet River by Robin Cody on Wednesday, February 8, 7 pm” These are local authors, the two fiction books feature young people, and all three books have messages of love for the natural world. Mr. Cody will also be at Lake Oswego Library on Feb. 21. 

Magic Paintbrush Bookmaking Class”, Thursday, February 2, 3:30PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. Preregistration required; call 503-954-2354. Suggested for ages 6-11. “Have you ever wanted a magic wand? How about a magic paintbrush? Point it at anything to change it's color! Today we'll make a book with a wheel mechanism that makes the picture on our page change color with a wave of our magic paintbrush.” 

Obert Skye Book Signing”, Thursday, February 2, 6PM, Barnes and Noble, 18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy., Beaverton, OR. “The elusive Obert Skye is the bestselling author of the world-renowned 'Leven Thumps' series. Obert Skye will be here to sign books and celebrate the release of Ambush, the final book in the 'Pillagy Series.' Please join us!” http://www.abituneven.com/ 

Portland Opera to Go: Hansel and Gretel”, Thursday, February 2, 7PM, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside, Pdx; Sunday. February 5, 12PM, Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR; Friday, February 10, 7PM, Saturday, February 11, 1PM, and Saturday, February 11, 4PM, Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St., Pdx; Monday, February 13, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby; and Thursday, February 16, 7PM, McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Pdx. All ages. “Enjoy a family friendly production of Hansel and Gretel and a selection of opera's greatest hits!” http://www.portlandopera.org/calendar/2012-01 

Juggling!”, Thursday, February 2, 3:30PM, Tualatin Library. “Designed for ages 7-11. Learn to juggle at this interactive class that will teach you a skill that could wow your friends, entertain younger siblings, or be the beginning of a lifetime hobby. During this class you will get to make your own juggling props and learn the skills it takes to juggle three round objects at a time.” 

Collage Workshop", Thursday, February 2, 6:30PM, Canby Library. “Current display artist, Susan Schenk, will demonstrate her method of using collage to create artwork. For children age 6 and above with parent.” You can see some of her lovely collages on display at the library through February, or on her website: http://susanschenk.com/home.html 

Homeschoolers Hands-on Art”, Thursday, February 2, and Thursday, February 16, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. In this series, “We'll study six different book illustrators and artists, creating art in the style that makes each person famous.” 

AsiaFantasia”, Friday, February 3, 7PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Weaving together music, movement, and wild facial gestures with folk tales and myths from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Afghanistan and other Asian cultures, master storyteller Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec brings characters and places to life, delighting audiences with adventures of the imagination.” http://www.ethnohtec.org/

Family Clay Nights”, Every Friday in February, 6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. No preregistration required. “Come as a family and play with clay! $10/hr per adult and child pair. $4/hr for each additional child. Includes glazes, firings, and 5 lbs of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of the potter’s wheel by instructor approval only. Pay at Multnomah Arts Center office.” http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/

Lantern Tour of Fort Vancouver”, Saturday, February 4 and 18, 6:30PM, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E. 5th St., Vancouver, WA. $10 for adults and $7 for children under 15. Reservations required; call 360-816-6230. “Take a lantern-lit journey with a Park Ranger through a night at Fort Vancouver! Peak into the past with vignettes by costumer interpreters, and learn about your urban national park then and now. You will be touring through the fort buildings and enjoying hot cider with the costumed interpreters!” http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/lantern-tour.htm

"Utopia- A City of Imagination", Saturday, February 4, 2PM-4PM, White Salmon Valley Library, 77 NE Wauna Ave., White Salmon, WA.  "A participatory city-building project for all ages. Together we will create a city from recycled materials and found objects that will be displayed in the library. Visit www.facebook.com/WhiteSalmonLibrary to see how the city develops. All ages are invited to start envisioning and constructing Utopia. Some materials available. Feel free to bring in other fun recycled objects.  Tuesdays through Fridays, February 7- 24, 2-4PM, will be open building time.  Materials will be available to continue construction on the city. Special times can be scheduled for school and community groups.

Snailpeople!”, Saturday, February 4 and 11, 10:30AM, The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx. Suggested donation. “Join music duo Snailpeople! for classic and original kids music, accompanied with guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, and more! All Ages.” http://snailpeople.com/

Raptor Road Trip”, Saturday, February 4, 9AM- 2PM, Sauvie Island. $10 per vehicle. “Explore Sauvie Island in search of magnificent eagles, hawks, and falcons that spend the winter here. On this special day devoted to raptors, experienced naturalists and hawk experts will host activities at four locations around the island. We’ll provide a map, then you choose where to go to enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors up close, and see hawk identification displays. Hot drinks and donuts will be available in the morning at Coon Point, Wildlife Viewing Platform and Howell Territorial Park, so we can stay warm and have breakfast with the birds.” This is a must-do event! Lots more details here: http://audubonportland.org/about/events/rrt

Portland Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, February 4, sign-ups at 12:45PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat.” 

Tet Festival 2012”, Saturday, February 4, 10AM- 6PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Mlk Jr. Blvd., Pdx. Admission $4. “Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the Vietnamese Community of Oregon’s Tet Festival Tet, a shortened name for Tet Nguyen Dan, translates as the ‘first day’ and marks the 23rd day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Tet is a time to celebrate heritage, honor ancestors, leave the past year’s problems behind, and make a fresh start. The festival features activities including a lion dance, lucky money, a children’s art contest, a free health fair, music, dance an ao dai (long dress) pageant, and more.” http://www.congdongvietnamoregon.org/

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays in February, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” February 4: Winter Twig Identification; February 11: Wildlife Detectives; February 18: The Art of Owling; February 25: Magnificent Moss and Lovely Lichen. http://www.tryonfriends.org/ 

Family Coyote Night”, Saturday, February 4, 6:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $6 per person, preregistration required, register online http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2012/02/04/747/-/family-coyote-night.html This is likely to be very popular, and parking can get hairy here, so my suggestion is to get there early and hike around this lovely park before the event begins! “Families will have the opportunity to learn about coyote adaptations which makes them successful rural and urban dwellers, listen to coyote stories, make a coyote storytelling plank hat, and join one of our Nature Guides on an evening hike in the forest to listen for our resident coyotes.” 

The Midnight Serenaders”, Saturday, February 4, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Proving that hot jazz and vintage pop of the 1920’s and 30’s is as relevant as ever in the present day, the Midnight Serenaders provide an infectious and irreverent take on the raucous and carefree music of ‘The Jazz Age.’” http://www.midnightserenaders.com/

Oregon Cats Classic”, Saturday, February 4, 10AM- 5PM, and Sunday, February 5, 9AM-4PM, Oregon Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Dr., Pdx. Adults $5, seniors, students, military and accessible ticketing $3, kids 6 years and under free, families of under 10 people $10 and groups of up to 10 people $20. Parking is $8, or $7 with three or more per vehicle. Very Max accessible. See unique cat breeds, experience the excitement of a cat show, and find out if “cat training” is really an oxymoron. http://fliers.cfanorthwest.org/OCI/

A Literary Look at Parenting a Child With Autism”, Saturday, February 4, 3PM, Belmont Library. An event for adults, this is such a unique and cool event I’m including it just in case it’s useful to some parents. “Autism affects one in every 100 children today. Two Portland writers, both mothers of children on the autism spectrum, step away from the clinical and the didactic to take a look at autism through a literary lens. Ellen Notbohm, author of four award-winning books on autism, and Brittney Corrigan, poet and co-editor of the online journal “Hyperlexia,” will read from books and share poetry as they weave a tapestry of their experiences both triumphant and troubling in raising children with autism.” http://www.multcolib.org/events/autism.html 

Hand-Made Valentines”, Saturday, February 4, 2PM, Gresham Library; Tuesday, February 7, 4PM, Hillsdale Library; and Saturday, February 11, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Artist Kathy Karbo will show you how to create a one-of-a-kind valentine using copper wire, pipe cleaners, decorative papers and colorful beads and ornaments. Gain experience with hammers, anvils and needle-nose pliers. Fun for all ages!” Anything with Ms. Karbo is highly recommended! 

Rainy Day Idea Cards”, Saturday, February 4, 11AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; Thursday, February 23, 3:30PM, Belmont Library; and Saturday, February 25, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library. “Cooped up inside and running out of ideas on what to do on a rainy day? Join artist Sarah Fagan in making an activity game to stay busy during the wet Oregon winter. After brainstorming fun and unique indoor activities, we will write and illustrate our ideas and collect them in a raindrop-shaped pouch. At home you can close your eyes, grab an idea, and let the fun begin!” http://www.sarahfagan.com/

Can You Hear Me Now?”, Saturday, February 4, 2:30PM, Capital Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM). Recommended for ages 4 and up. “Did you hear that? Sounds are all around us. You can hear them, feel them, and sometimes even see them! In this workshop, an AKA Science instructor will engage kids in hands-on science activities to explore the science of sound. Have fun really listening to and exploring sound and vibration. This is one of the rare times you will be encouraged to make noise in the library!” http://impactnw.org/main-navigation/programs/youthfamily/aka-science/

Winter Guided Walk”, Saturday, February 4, 11AM- 12PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free, preregistration required; register online: http://www.leachgarden.org/classes-and-events/ “It may be winter but there are always many wonders to view in the Garden. Join our Garden Curator on a special Winter Guided Walk to view blooming plants such as: Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel), Lonicera standishii ( Honeysuckle), Helleborus (Hellebores), Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paper Bush), and Mahonia x media (Arthur Menzies). After the walk return to the Manor House for hot cider!” 

Black Composers of Oregon, Past and Present”, Sunday, February 5, 2PM, Central Library, US Bank Room. “Join Aszemar Glenn, noted composer, pianist and conductor, for a lecture and performance that celebrates black musicians. The program will include a presentation and solo piano suite of former Portland Parks Bureau music director Richard C. Moffatt’s ‘American Dance Suite.’ The performance will culminate in a world premier performance of Glenn’s own piano suite ‘SSS.’” http://www.oregoncascadesymphony.org/aszemar.html 

Tet Show at PSU”, Sunday, February 5, 2:30PM, Smith Center Ballroom, Room 355, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx. There will be a charge for admission. “Enjoy music, a lion dance, an ao dai (long dress) fashion show, and more at the PSU Tet Show, presented by the PSU Vietnamese Student Association. http://www.vsa.pdx.edu/ 

Supernovae: The Spectacular Deaths of Big Stars!”, Monday, February 6, 7PM and 8:15 PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, OR. $2. “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.” http://www.mhcc.edu/planetarium/

Treaties and Treachery”, Tuesday, February 7. 7PM, Forest Grove Library. “Portland Author Kurt Nelson discuses his new book. ‘Treaties and Treachery: The Northwest Indians Resistance to Conquest”. Copies of the book will be on sale.” This looks like a rather fascinating account of a crucial element of the pioneer era that is often left out of our books. Not suitable for sensitive kids. More about the book here: http://www.kurtrnelson.com/Treaty_Intro.html

Hans Araki”, Tuesday, February 7, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Enjoy traditional Celtic music performed by Hanz Araki and his band. After learning the shakuhachi, the traditional bamboo “Zen Flute” of Japan, from his father, Araki taught himself Irish and Scottish tunes. A fixture of the Irish music scene in America, he has performed with the Juno Award-winning Paperboys, Casey Neill and an all-star tribute to The Pogues called K.M.R.I.A. alongside members of The Decemberists and REM. He has played with the Seattle Symphony and the University of Washington Wind Ensemble and is featured on more than a dozen recordings and soundtracks, from feature films and documentaries to popular video games.” http://hanzaraki.com/ 

Do You See What I See?”, Tuesday, February 7, 10AM, Central Library. Suggested for ages 4 and up. “Have fun learning all about light! If part of your morning routine includes seeing your reflection in the bathroom mirror, you have light to thank for that! In this workshop, an AKA Science instructor will engage kids in hands-on science activities to show how mirrors can be used to bounce light all over the place!” http://impactnw.org/main-navigation/programs/youthfamily/aka-science/ 

"Legos and More", Tuesdays in February, 2PM-5PM, Vancouver Library, Children's Program Room, Level 3, 901 C Street, Vancouver, WA.  Suggested for ages 5-11.  "Drop in for creative construction with Legos, Clics, K’nex and other fun building toys."

Bird and Nature Walk”, Tuesday, February 7, 9AM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin, OR. Free. “This 1 ½ hour walk around Sweek Pond is led by the Wetlands Conservancy.” http://www.tualatinhistoricalsociety.org/calendar.html 

Where is Dystopia?”, Thursday, February 9, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “Robocopalypse Community Wide Read Event. What is dystopia? Literally, ‘dystopia’ means a bad, hard place, and is the opposite of the concept of ‘utopia’. Explore dystopian and apocalyptic societies in literature, comics, and video games with Clackamas Community College English Instructor Trevor Dodge. What could be more fascinating than discussing a future we’d all like to avoid?” http://trevordodge.com/?page_id=1412

Maher’s Irish Dancers”, Wednesday, February 8, 2PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Gabrielle Maher will present an introduction to traditional Irish Dancing with a demonstration by students from the Maher School of Irish Dance. This dance is notable for its rapid leg and foot movements, body and arms being kept largely stationary.” 

Laura Winter”, Wednesday, February 8, 7PM, Ledding Library Pond House, 2215 SE Harrison, Milwaukie, OR. “Enjoy an evening of beautiful poetry in the friendly confines of the Ledding Library pond House.” You can hear Ms. Winter read some of her poems here: http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/poet/238/

Chinese New Year Cultural Fair 2012- Year of the Dragon”, Saturday, February 11, 11AM- 5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Pdx. I couldn’t find any announcement of what the admission will be, although it is usually minimal, but I did find a $2 off admission coupon here: http://portlandchinesetimes.com/images/coupon/NYF_coupon.jpg “This year’s event includes traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural activities, including lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese folk dance and music, and booths offering food, products, and services.” 

Kids Can Make Bread!”, Saturday, February 11, 11AM, Troutdale Library. “There is no better season than winter to have the smell of fresh baked bread in the house! Luckily, making bread is not hard at all. Join cookbook author Jean Johnson in this hands-on class and take home your own mini round of bread to bake. Class is suitable for all ages, with children under 10 accompanied by an adult.” http://www.measurefreehippiecook.com/

Al Andalus”, Saturday, February 11, 2PM, Wilsonville Library. “These sophisticated artists with extraordinary breadth and creativity soulfully merge classical, jazz and contemporary music with musical traditions from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.” http://www.andalus.com/

Chicamarimba Band”, Saturday, February 11, 2:30PM, Canby Library. “An all-women marimba band from Portland plays a blend of African and Latin American rhythms.” 

Music with Matt”, Saturday, February 11, 4PM, Woodstock Library. “Join kindie music scene favorite Matt Clark for a family music show! Children and adults alike will love his funny, off-beat songs, inspired by his personal experience as a father to two young boys.” http://mattclarkmusic.com/ 

Brick and Little Builders”, Saturday, February 11, 10:30AM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B. Suggested for ages 3-11; no preregistration required. “Brick Builders and Little Builders will be a combined drop-in program (bricks for older kids and little kids will be in separate areas). We encourage grown-ups to join their kids as they create with LEGO and Duplo blocks.” 

Hep Cats and Hound Dogs”, Saturday, February 11, 10:30AM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM). “Can a cat and a dog be friends? Join Red Yarn, aka Andy Furgeson, and his hilarious animal friends Hep Cat Eddie and Jim the Hound Dog in this lively musical puppet show. Mixing classic rockabilly and country songs with an interactive performance, this show is fun for the whole family!” http://redyarnprojects.blogspot.com/

Quizissippi Jr.- for kids!”, Saturday, February 11, sign up starts at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Portland’s only kid-friendly trivia event invites your whole family to “the best trivia on Saturday afternoons on Mississippi Avenue.” Questions for both adults and kids, multimedia clips, physical challenges, and plenty of great music mean a fun challenge and a good time for all. Teams of up to five players play FREE for fun prizes.” 

Book Bingo”, Saturday, February 11, 11AM, Beaverton Library Meeting Room B. Suggested for ages 4-10. “Kids and their grown-ups play Bingo using titles of popular children's books.” 

Backyard Beekeeping”, Saturday, February 11, 2PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “Learn beekeeping basics with Matt Reed from Bee Thinking. He'll discuss honeybees, popular beehive designs and the art of backyard beekeeping.” http://www.beethinking.com/

Honoring our Tualatin Namesakes”, Sunday, February 12, 2PM, Historic Winona Grange, 8340 SW Seneca St., Tualatin, OR. Donations requested. “Join with members of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribe for an afternoon of Atfaliti Indian cultural sharing about lifeways then and traditions still very much alive today. The Atfaliti Indians were part of the Kalapuya Tribe generally comprising the entire Willamette Valley until losing their separate identify in an 1855 treaty. This family-oriented event is sponsored by Tualatin Historical Society Refreshments will be served downstairs.” http://www.tualatinhistoricalsociety.org/calendar.html 

Stayin’ Alive: Winter Survival Shelters”, Sunday, February 12, 11AM- 2:30 PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR. Preregistration required; register online http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=5596 Cost is $6 per adult, $11 for two or more adults from the same household, under 18 free. There is an additional $5 day use fee per vehicle for park entry. “Take shelter! Nature provides for those with know-how. The driving wind and rain can be held at bay with simple skills that every squirrel depends on. In this family-oriented class, learn the basics of building a winter survival shelter that can keep you safe and warm without the aid of a sleeping bag or a fire. After this introduction, younger participants will have free time by the river (supervised by a parent/guardian) where they can build forts for fun. This class takes place outdoors at Oxbow Regional Park and will be led by Metro naturalist Dan Daly. Bring a sack lunch.” 

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, February 11, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history. http://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/events.html

Monster Jam”, Saturday, February 11, 2PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday, February 12, 2PM, Rose Quarter. Various prices. Every year, this is What could be more romantic on Valentine’s Day weekend than watching monster trucks crush things together? “Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, monster trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, monster trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.” http://www.rosequarter.com/EventDetail/tabid/146/rqeventid/735/Default.aspx

Sadih, Discovery of Terrestrial Light Celebration”, Saturday, February 11, 7PM-10PM, Multicultural Center of Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free, all are welcome. “Persia House is pleased to invite you to the annual Sadih Celebration for the year 2012. We dedicate this night to the Persian epic poet Firdawsi (circa 935- 1020). The program includes but is not limited to recitation and selected analysis of the interrelation of Sadih and the discovery of fire, moral values, power of knowledge in the works of Firdawsi but also will include a film about Firdawsi's masterwork Shahnamih, storytelling, naqqali, ballet of Zal and Rudabeh, dance performances of Zurkhaneh, welcome to Persia on big screen, audience participation, and more. Tea and cookies are provided. Please feel free to bring your favorite seasonal food and snacks to share.” http://persia.pdx.edu/Sadih-2012c.pdf Sadih, or Sadeh, is a very ancient Zoroastrian festival celebrating the human discovery of fire. Fire is deeply sacred to the Zoroastrian faith. 

Owl Prowl”, Sunday, February 12, 6-8PM, meeting at the Northeast Portland Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 N.E. Fremont St., and going to Whitaker Ponds (preregister by calling 503-445-2699) and Sunday, February 19, meeting at the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop, 11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. Beaverton, OR, and going to Tualatin Hills Nature Park (preregister by calling 503-626-0949). Cost is $5 which includes a $5 gift certificate to Backyard Bird Shop. “Meet at the host shop for an introductory slide show, then join us at a local site to look and listen for local residents.” http://backyardbirdshop.com/ 

African American Read-In”, Sunday, February 12, 2PM, Concordia University, Hagen Campus Center, 2811 NE Holman St., Pdx. “Local celebrities and community leaders read from works by their favorite African American writers at the 16th annual African American Read-In. Fiction and nonfiction for children and adults will be featured in an afternoon of good words from great works.” 

Mt. Talbert Bird Walk”, Sunday, February 12, 8AM-11AM, meeting at the Clackamas Backyard Bird Shop, 8960 SE Sunnyside Rd., Clackamas, OR. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-496-0908. “Mt Talbert is one of the largest undeveloped volcanic buttes in the Metro area. Explore this extinct volcano on a free, expert-guided bird walk with expert naturalist, Elaine Murphy. Amid two rare habitat types: oak savanna and wet prairie meadow you may see Pileated and Downey Woodpeckers, nuthatches, deer, and more.” http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/mt_talbert_bird_walk_february_11/ 

Birding at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden”, Sunday, February 12, 8AM-11AM, Crystal Springs, SE 28th Ave and Woodstock Blvd., Pdx. “Join Audubon Society leader Ron Escano to view the local wintering waterfowl at Crystal Springs. Here is a chance to learn your waterfowl, with close views of most of our Portland area ducks. We will learn how to identify waterfowl using black and white field marks. Meet at 8am at the Crystal Springs parking lot across the street from Reed College on SE 28th St. and we should be done by 11am. Dress for the weather and beginners welcome.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/csrg More about the park here: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=27&action=ViewPark

Wildlife Care Center Open House”, Sunday, February 12, 12PM-4PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. “What really happens behind the closed doors of the Wildlife Care Center? How do you help a bird with a broken wing? Where do owl pellets come from? What do you feed an injured beaver? Wildlife veterinarians, naturalists, educational bird handlers and volunteers will be on hand to answer these questions and many more! Join us for this free, family-friendly event!  Behind-the-scenes tours of the Wildlife Care Center. 
Guided tours of one of the busiest wildlife rehabilitation centers in the United States where over 3,000 animals are cared for yearly. Question and answer time with our wildlife veterinarians
. Stump our veterinarians with your questions as they regale you with stories and cases. Raptor education station
. Experience hands-on activities to help you learn more about raptors and their
 special adaptations for life as a bird of prey. Meet Audubon’s resident raptors and learn their stories. 
All our resident educational birds will be out on Sanctuary grounds with their handlers. Kids’ Reveling in Raptors Art Contest
. Art supplies provided and pictures displayed on the Audubon website after the event.” http://audubonportland.org/about/events/wccoh 

Portland Origami Paper Shapers”, Sunday, February 12, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors.” 

Oregon History 101”, Sunday, February 12, 1PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “Learn about Oregon's rapid transition from salmon fisheries to shopping malls, from tall timber to city streets. Historian Richard Engeman offers a condensed history of our state, with dozens of historic photographs and images - 300 years of history in just 90 minutes.” http://www.oregonrediviva.com/Oregon_Rediviva/Welcome.html Also see Feb. 21, when Mr. Engeman will be appearing again in Hillsboro with a 49 minute presentation. 

100 Years of the Oregon Bluebook Documentary Film”, Sunday, February 12, 2PM- 4PM, Beaverton City Library, and Tuesday, February 28, 6:30PM, Garden Home Community Library. “Please join us for a showing of the film, ‘100 Years of the Oregon Bluebook’. Director Darrell Jabin will be on hand to talk about how he got involved making the film and answer your questions. The Oregon Blue Book is the state’s almanac and fact book and since 1911, nothing has covered events in Oregon like the Oregon Blue Book. The 37-minute video showcases 100 years of the publication, and the process to recreate the original Commemorative Edition 1911 Oregon Blue Book. The video is filled with historical vignettes and interviews with Oregon's legislative leaders.” This seems like kind of an obscure topic, but it caught my eye because the film was created by local historian Darrel Jabin, a cool guy who has made lots of neat short videos  about Oregon history. 

Mammals”, Monday, February 13, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3, preregistration required; register online.  “Mammals are a unique and fascinating group of animals. Let's look at the characteristics they have in common and learn more about their adaptations and behaviors. Wear warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes for our outdoor adventure.” 

A History of Northwest Portland”, Monday, February 13, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy ., Pdx. “A History of Northwest Portland: From the River to the Hills, by local author Jane Comerford, is chock full of interesting pieces of information on the development of the NW section of Portland, Oregon. At 160 pages, it is an elegantly designed and well researched coffee table style book filled with over 150 historic photographs, some previously unpublished.” http://www.dragonfly-press-pdx.com/ 

Cinderella Ate My Daughter”, Monday, February 13, 7PM, Powell’s Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. If you have a daughter, check this out. If you’ve already talked to her about advertising and media, it might be good to bring her along. “Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somehow, since the exhilarating rise of ‘girl power’ in the 1990s, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source — the source — of female empowerment. Peggy Orenstein’s ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispaches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture’ reveals the dark side of "girlie-girl" values and offers a path forward for anyone trying to help a young girl navigate the rocky road to adulthood.” http://peggyorenstein.com/books/cinderella.html 

Urban Chicken Keeping”, Wednesday, February 15, 6:30PM, West Linn Library. “Learn about the ins and outs of raising chickens in your own backyard! Michelle Koeppe is a farmer and horticulturist and the owner/operator of Phasian Farms, a heritage poultry and vegetable farm located on Chehalem Mountain. With a background working as a zookeeper, a park ranger, and a veterinary assistant she brings a unique perspective to farming with an eye towards maintaining a balance with nature and using holistic methods. Though Michelle maintained a chicken flock while living in New Zealand a decade ago, her chicken zeal started when she worked with Pistils Nursery in Portland--the first business to sell chickens in the city limits. Now active with the Pacific Northwest Poultry Association, she is training to be an American Poultry Association certified poultry judge.”

"Eric Ode's Wild and Wacky Wednesday Concert!", Wednesday, February 15, 1:30PM, Stevenson Library, 120 NW Vancouver Ave., Stevenson, WA. "Join us for a wild time with author, poet and award-winning songwriter Eric Ode." http://www.ericode.com/index.htm

Elizabeth Nicholson and Bob Soper”, Wednesday, February 15, 12:15, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin, OR. “Bring your brown paper sack lunch and enjoy an hour of some of the best Irish music by some of the top players in the world! S and A Irish Entertainment presents Elizabeth Nicholson and Bob Soper. Irish harp, Irish fiddle, folk guitar and harmony vocals is what Elizabeth and Bob will bring to sing and play the love songs of the Celtic world! Duo partners for nine years, they also share the dual role of fronting the critically acclaimed international roots quintet Stringed Migration.” http://www.tualatinhistoricalsociety.org/calendar.html http://elizabethnicholson.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 http://www.stringedmigration.com/bios.html

Art-Works!”, Thursday, February 16, 3:30PM, Tualatin Library. Suggested for ages 5-11. Topic TBA, registration required: http://www.ci.tualatin.or.us/news/EventsCalendar.cfm?action=EventDetail&event_id=6588&startdate=2%2F16%2F2012 This month, kids will be learning some drawing techniques and experimenting with different hardnesses of graphite to see what different kinds of lines they produce. Then kids will have a chance to copy a unique design onto a square, which will be put together with all the others to create a single mosaic image. These programs have been of consistently high quality. 

Poetry Reading: Ursula Le Guin, Molly Gloss, Noel Hanlon, and More!”, Thursday, February 16, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. “We're excited to be joined by the members of this fabulous writer's group, whose members include Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, Noel Hanlon, Bette Husted, Barbara Drake, Kari Easton, and Caroline Le Guin. They will be reading poems generated from one of two prompts and will undoubtedly offer wonderful insight into the world of the writing workshop.” http://www.annieblooms.com/event/poetry-reading-ursula-le-guin-molly-gloss-noel-hanlon-and-more 

Art Right Off the Page”, Thursday, February 16, 4PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Room A. Registration required- call 503-350-3600. Suggested for grades 3-5 with adult accompaniment. They read a popular children's picture book, briefly discuss one of the illustrator's techniques, then the kids have a chance to draw and share their own stories. 

Heartstrings”, Thursday, February 16, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “The husband-wife-duo performs folk songs, traditional Americana and contemporary music on a unique collection of instruments. Join us for a lively, interactive evening of music at the Carnegie Center!” http://www.heartstringsduo.com/

Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet”, Thursday, February 16, 7PM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx. Come meet Robin Preiss Glasser, the book’s illustrator. http://www.robinpreissglasser.com/ 

Growing Up Biracial”, Thursday, February 16, 7PM, Portland State University Library, 1875 SW Park Ave., Room 160. “Join a panel of biracial adults from the Portland State University community as they talk about childhood experiences. With PSU Assistant Professor Ethan Johnson (Black Studies), graduate student Adrienne Croskey and student Kevin Thomas.” 

Birding at Oaks Bottom Refuge”, Saturday, February 18, 9AM- 12PM, meeting at the Sellwood Park parking lot on SE 7th Ave. and Malden St. at 9AM sharp. “Join Audubon Society leaders Patty Newland and Candace Larson for a bird walk around Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in southeast Portland. We'll explore wetlands and woodlands, talk about the history of this amazing urban wild space, and look for resident songbirds and wintering waterfowl. Expect to walk 2-3 miles on both paved and uneven dirt trails. Dress for the weather.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/ob

"Living in Space", Saturday, February 18, 12PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA. , and Saturday, February 18, 3PM, Vancouver Mall Library, 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 285, Westfield Shoppingtown, Vancouver, WA.  Suggested for ages five and up. "Join us for stories, science activities, crafts and a peek at an actual spacesuit."

Sauvie Island Bird Walk”, Saturday, February 18, 8AM- 11AM, meeting at the Northeast Portland Backyard Bird Shop, 1418 NE Fremont Ave., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699. “Expect to see grassland, upland, and riparian species, and some early fall migrants on a free expert-guided bird walk on Sauvie Island. Wildlife expert, Elaine Murphy leads this tour of the birding hotspots on this rural island just a quick hop from Portland. Open grasslands, cottonwood galleries, and its towering oaks offer stellar birding opportunities.” http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/sauvie_island_bird_walk_february_18/

The Fairy Dogfather”, Saturday, February 18, 2PM, Powell’s Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “In Alexandra Day’s ‘The Fairy Dogfather’, young Hector has trouble differentiating the letters d and g. Therefore, when he wrote a request to the universe for a fairy godfather, he shouldn't have been surprised when the Fairy Dogfather arrived instead. Like Carl in Day's classic Good Dog, Carl series, Hector's Fairy Dogfather is an emblem of mischievous but responsible caretaking. In Day's capable hands, he is also a unique character that will entertain children old and young.” http://www.gooddogcarl.com/ 

African Stories told by Massene”, Saturday, February 18, 11AM , Lake Oswego Library. “Originally from West Africa, Massene Mboup graduated college with dual majors in English and linguistics. He then earned a teaching degree and taught high school at the Lycee Maurice De La Fosse in Dakar. Since coming to Portland, he’s been a teacher at the Portland French School since 1999, is a soccer coach for the Portland Youth Soccer Association League, worked with the PSU Philosophy Department to develop a children’s curriculum, and is currently the school director of the International Leadership Academy, a Lake Oswego French immersion school. On top of all of these achievements, he is an author and a 'griot,' or storyteller. Children age 4 and up are invited to enjoy Massene’s unique and charming storytelling style. His African stories will be told in English, with a few words in French and Wolof thrown in.” 

The Great Electrifying Event”, Saturday, February 18, 10AM- 3PM, Bonneville Lock and Dam Powerhouse 2, Cascade Locks, OR. Free. “Visitors will learn how different forms of energy work through hands-on activities and films, and take a tour down inside Bonneville’s Powerhouse 2. Learn the basics of electricity and how it’s generated at Bonneville Dam!” http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/docs/d_columbia/_2012-GEE.pdf

Kids in Nature- Awesome Owls”, Sunday, February 19, 10AM- 11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10, preregistration required, register online.  “Spend the morning with a Tryon Creek Naturalist as we go in search of our awesome owls. Along the way we’ll learn about owl eyesight, owl flight, and owl hearing as we learn through interactive, hands-on activities. We’ll also learn what owls eat as we examine owl pellets.” Always highly recommended. 

Portland’s Past in Pictures: Goose Hollow”, Sunday, February 19, 1PM, Central Library, US Bank Room. “Dr. Tracy Prince will present a slide show of historical photos from her book "Portland's Goose Hollow," showing the earliest days of the frontier city of Portland. Scenes include the Great Plank Road (Jefferson/Canyon Road), rare photos of Tanner Creek running in its banks, Guild's Lake and Couch Lake, Chinese gardeners who terraced the steep slopes of the gulch to grow vegetables, horse drawn streetcars, cable cars, Rose Festival performances on Multnomah Field, and many other photos that give a wonderful sense of life in Old Portland.” 

PCC Year of the Dragon Celebration”, Monday, February 20, 11AM, Legin Restaurant, 8001 SE Division St., Pdx. Free, food will be available at a discount. “Attend Portland Community College’s celebration of the Year of the Dragon. The free family-friendly event features a lion dance, activities for children, music, arts and crafts, Asian dances, demonstrations, and more. For info, call 503- 254-0875.” 

Promiscuous DNA: The Invasion, Spread, and Impact of Mobile Genes”, Monday, February 20, 7PM, Venetian Theatre, 253 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR. If you think our genomes are mainly composed of genes, think again! Whole genome sequencing has paved the way for us to find out what we are in an entirely new way. This Science Pub will focus on the most recent discoveries in genome science, especially the prominence of mobile, parasitic genes that, in humans, account for more than half of the genome. The talk will also include exciting tales of rapid genome expansion, the rampant exchange of genetic material that occurs between species, and how finding out that most of our genome is full of “junk” makes us even more fascinating! Dr. Sarah Schaack is an Assistant Professor at Reed College working in the area of bioinformatics and genomics. Her work on mobile DNA, mutation, and the evolution of the genome has been published in premier journals, including Science and Nature, and has been featured in the popular cyber press, such as Science Daily.” https://sites.google.com/site/schaackwork/ 

Mythobolus Mask Theatre presents: “Wildlife Tales”, Tuesday, February 21, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “This unique dance and mask collective will use masks, colorful costumes, music and narration to present animal tales from around the world. Learn about the Makah tale, Clamshell Boy, The African tale of The Jungle Fruit Tree and the Mexican tale of Prietita.” http://www.freewebs.com/mythobolus/

"Welcome To Iran", Tuesday, February 21, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA. "Portland film maker, Art Wright, joined Jackie and Mike Spurlock on their November 2008 trip to Iran. In this video project, he explores the rich history and modern-day vibrancy of this fascinating and little-known country."

Oregon History 101”, Tuesday, February 21, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR. Free. “Public historian and archivist Richard Engeman boasts an impressive record when it comes to regional knowledge: most recently the public historian of the Oregon Historical Society, he has been researching, writing about, and sharing Pacific Northwest history for decades. For his appearance at Spoken Word, Mr. Engeman will present an illustrated, high-level flyover of Oregon's history in 49 illustrations and 49 minutes.” http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/Arts/WCAC/Events.aspx 

Robin Cody”, Tuesday, February 21, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Robin Cody was born at St. Helens and grew up in Estacada, Oregon. A graduate of Yale, he taught at the American School of Paris for a decade and was Dean of Admissions at Reed College in Portland before taking up freelance writing in 1984. Cody is the author of Ricochet River, a novel full of rivers, fish and Indian lore. In 2005, The Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission recognized Ricochet River as one of the 100 essential “Oregon books.” Voyage of a Summer Sun is the non-fiction account of Cody's 82-day solo canoe trip down the Columbia River, from its source in Canada to its mouth at Astoria. With Voyage, Cody won the 1995 Oregon Book Award for literary non-fiction, and the 1996 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. His most recent book, Another Way the River Has, is a collection of short true stories published by Oregon State University Press in April, 2010. Cody lives with his wife, Donna, in Portland.” http://www.robincody.net/

Scientific and Humanitarian Lessons from the Haiti and Japan Earthquakes”, Wednesday, February 22, 7PM, Mission Theatre, 1624 NW Glisan, Pdx. $5 suggested donation per person. Children welcome with an adult. “The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti was not particularly large. Magnitude 7 events happen dozens of times a year around the world. But this one killed a near-record number of people. What did scientists and the public know or not know about earthquake hazards in Haiti? Scientists knew that the area was likely to experience an earthquake of this size, but because such earthquakes had not occurred in Haiti for the past 240 years, public awareness was negligible. Building codes were non-existent, resulting in huge losses of life. On the other hand, the massive earthquake in Japan in March 2011 resulted in fewer deaths, while its tsunami wreaked widespread devastation. The people and government of Haiti were overwhelmed by the size of the disaster, and the world community rushed to provide assistance in unimaginably difficult conditions. Civilian, military, and non-governmental organizations from around the world were involved in a relief operation of a magnitude larger than that ever previously staged in peacetime activities. Their cooperation, in situations that made communication and coordination almost impossible, provides a fascinating story that continues today, as reconstruction of the damaged country continues. At this Science Pub, learn about the scientific aspects of both the Haiti and Japan earthquakes, including ongoing and future risks and implications for the USA, and an overview of the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Dr. Wayne D. Pennington is a geophysicist at Michigan Technological University, where he is also the Chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.” http://www.mcmenamins.com/events/98922-OMSI-Science-Pub http://www.geo.mtu.edu/profile/WAYNE.HTM

Chua Nam Quang Chinese New Year”, Wednesday, February 22, 7PM, Chua Nam Quang Temple, 3337 NE 148th Ave., Pdx. “Join Chua Nam Quang in welcoming the Year of the Dragon at a celebration featuring traditional dance, costumes, a lion dance, and Gum Lung, which features martial artists carrying the Golden Dragon throughout the Temple. For info, call 503- 254-0875.” 

Brazilian Paper Coiling”, Wednesday, February 22, 6PM, Gregory Heights Library. “In many countries, artisans turn simple scrap paper into colorful dishes, jewelry and various household items. In this workshop, artist Addie Boswell will teach two different ways to fold and curl magazine paper to turn it into beautiful bowls and coasters or unique bracelets and necklaces. Finished pieces can be sealed to protect the paper art for years.” http://www.addieboswell.com/ 

Backyard Birds and the Backyard Habitat Certification Program”, Wednesday, February 22, 6:30PM -8PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Preregistration required; email btrinh@audubonportland.org or leave a message at 971.222.6139. “6:30pm-7:10pm Backyard Birds with Cathy Schar. Photos and sounds of about 25 common backyard birds in the Portland area including resident and migratory species from hummingbirds to scrub jays. 7:15pm-8pm Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Audubon Society of Portland and Johnson Creek Watershed Council will be giving a presentation on the program and how you can participate.” http://audubonportland.org/sanctuaries/ep/byb2 

Sing Along With Charlie”, Wednesday, February 22, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM). “Charlie Hope is a singer and songwriter who performs children’s music that adults enjoy, too. Everyone will be singing along and grooving to the beat as Charlie performs classic children’s songs as well as entertaining originals. Her album, ‘It’s Me’, was awarded Best Children’s Album of 2009 at the Annual Independent Music Awards.” http://www.charliehopemusic.com/ 

Brick-Works!”, Thursday, February 23, 3:30PM, Tualatin Library. Suggested for ages 5-11. No registration required. “Through this program we hope to build enthusiasm for the library while stretching kids’ imagination through books, building, and social interaction. Come to this program and learn new building techniques, make friends and have fun building with LEGOS®.”

"Library Lego Lovers", Thursday, February 23, 4PM, Three Creeks Library, 800-C NE Tenney Rd., Vancouver, WA; Thursday, February 23, 6PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA; and Saturday, February 25, 2PM, White Salmon Library, 77 NE Wauna Ave., White Salmon, WA.  "Join us each month for a new Lego challenge."

Author Visit with Daniel Wilson”, Thursday, February 23, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “Robopocalypse Community Wide Read Event. Daniel Wilson visits Oregon City Public Library to share insights about robotic uprisings and answer questions about robots, robotics, how he came to write this book, and more! FYI, the movie version of Robopocalypse is slated to be released in 2013, with Steven Spielberg directing.” http://www.danielhwilson.com/ 

Biography Blast for Homeschool Families”, Friday, February 24, 11AM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B. Suggested for pre-K through high school. Registration required- call 503-350-3600. “"Biography Blast" homeschoolers will circulate among topic-related learning centers featuring crafts, research strategies, and literature about biographical subjects.” 

Shark Days!”, Friday, February 24, 12:30PM, Rockwood Library. “What is it like to be a shark? Sisbro Studios created a half hour children's film called ‘The Shark Riddle’ which features high definition footage of over 20 sharks. The movie was recently named Best Children's Program of the Year at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival! Join us in watching the film, learning about sharks, and for the chance to see a life-sized inflatable version of a basking shark.” http://www.sisbro.com/sharks 

Get the Buzz on Bees”, Saturday, February 25, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Do bees fascinate or frighten you? Learn about their magical ways with Brian Lacy, who's kept bees since he was 14 years old. Film clips, stills and stories will put you "in the hive" exploring the pivotal relationship between humans and bees. After the presentation, everyone will get a taste of organic honey in the comb, look into a real hive (no bees inside) and handle beekeeping equipment.” http://livehoneybees.com/presentations

Unique Animal Expo”, Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, 10AM- 5PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro, OR. Adults $8, Seniors $5, kids 5-12 $4, kids under 5 are free with a paid adult. There is a coupon for $1 off admission on their website: http://www.uniqueanimalexpo.com/ Very Max accessible. This is a pretty cool show. There are 114 vendors who are focused on unusual pets, and is a rare opportunity to see some of these animals up close and ask questions about their care. There is usually an exhibitor who brings wild animals from a rescue for display only. In past years these have included a camel, lemurs, and a Barbary lion. 

Birding At Vancouver Lake Park”, Saturday, February 25, 8AM -11AM, 6801 NW Lower River Rd., Vancouver, WA. “Join leader Ron Escano at Vancouver Lake Park. We will scope the lake for water birds, then explore the riparian woodland for wintering song birds, including the White-throated Sparrow. Meet at 8am at Vancouver Lake Park and we should be done by 11am. Dress for the weather. Beginners welcome.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/vlp More about the park here: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/parks_trails/parks/vancouverlake.asp

Birding Along the Gresham-Fairview Trail”, Saturday, February 25, 9AM-11AM. “Meet at 9AM at the Linnemann Station Springwater Corridor Trailhead. To get to Linnemann Station take Powell Blvd west past SE 182nd and turn right on Powell Loop. Go south and west along Powell Loop for 1/10 of a mile. Linnemann Station will be on your left along the Springwater Corridor Trail. You can also get to Linnemann station by cycling 14 miles east of Portland along the Springwater Corridor Trail. Join Audubon Society of Portland's Steve Engel, Bob Sallinger, and Bich Trinh and City of Gresham's Laura Guderyahn 9 to 11 AM on Saturday, February 25, for a morning bird walk along segments of the Gresham-Fairview Trail in West Gresham. We'll take a leisurely stroll along new trail sections taking in views of Grant Butte and the waterfowl in the surrounding wetlands. We'll talk about recent efforts to support parks, trails, and improved access to nature in East County while enjoying some of our local avian fauna. If there is time we'll also visit Gresham Woods via the Springwater Corridor and do some birding along Johnson Creek.” http://audubonportland.org/about/events/gresh 

Kids Knit!”, Saturday, February 25, 11AM, North Portland Library. Preregistration required; register online.  “Discover a fun new hobby by learning to knit or improving your current skills! Needles and yarn provided or bring your own supplies. For grade school-age children and up.” If you can’t make it to this event, but your kid would love to learn to knit, consider checking out one of Multnomah County Library’s regular knitting groups, most of which are open to people of all ages and abilities, for community and expert advice. Check them out: http://www.multcolib.org/events/knitting.html 

Make Your Own Monster”, Saturday, February 25, 2PM, Albina Library. Preregistration required; register online.  “Create crazy critters from recycled sweaters to keep you cozy through the winter. Local artist Dawn Grunwald will show you how easy it is to stitch up mini-monsters and embellish them with buttons, beads and fabric scraps. Just bring your imagination (and a pair of sharp scissors if you have them)!” Kids must be able to hand sew in order to participate. http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/about-mac/instructors/grunwald-dawn/

Dirt Time”, Sunday, February 26, 9AM-12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR. Free, but there is a $5 per vehicle day use fee per vehicle. “Join local trackers at Oxbow Regional Park to learn or improve animal tracking skills. All ages and skill levels, especially beginners, are welcome. Meet at the flood plain parking lot.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=5515  http://dirttime.ws/ 

Portland’s Food Carts”, Sunday, February 26, 1PM, Central Library, US Bank Room. “From Korean tacos to New York pizza, Portland’s food carts are transforming the way we eat! Join Brett Burmeister, owner and managing editor of foodcartsportland.com, to learn all about the history of Portland food carts as well as information for getting into the food cart business yourself.” http://www.foodcartsportland.com 

Lego Construction Zone”, Sunday, February 26, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Drop in to work on your creations with other LEGO fans. We'll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity.” 

Kory Quinn and the Comrades”, Monday, February 27, 6:30PM, West Linn Library. “Kory Quinn and the Comrades will perform a free concert. They describe their music as "Train Hoppin' Foot-Stompin' Hobo Blues" and Kory Quinn's hobo twang transposes the eternal troubadours like Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and Bob Dylan into 2012. Their most recent album, "Waitin' on a Train," is based on a cross-country railroad tour Kory took last year. The band is Kory Quinn on vocals, Bob Soper on fiddle, Paul Brainard on Dobro, Drew Norman on Banjo, Jay Cobb Anderson on Acoustic Guitar, and Julio Appling on Bass.” http://www.myspace.com/koryquinn

Gak Science Activity”, Monday, February 27, 4PM, Molalla Library, Conference Room. “Come in and learn with this hands on Science Activity.”

"Environmental Film Series: Soil", Tuesday, February 28, 6- 9PM, Vancouver Library, Columbia Room Level 1, 901 C Street, Vancouver, WA. "Vancouver Watersheds Alliance presents films and discussion with local experts. Snacks and drinks provided. Children welcome. This month: Go inside the wonders of the soil and hear the story of earth's most valuable and under-appreciated source of fertility."

Classical Violin and Cello Trio”, Wednesday, February 29, 7PM, Tigard Public Library Community Room. “Violinists George Shiolas, Casey Bozell and special guest cellist Levi Manselle will perform solo, duet and trio arrangements. They will play classical music by Tartini, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Bartok and Piazzolla.”

"Leap Into Juggling", Wednesday, February 29, 2PM, Vancouver Library, Children's Program Room, Level 3,  901 C Street, Vancouver, WA.  Presented by W. E. Care.  Ages 6-11. http://www.wecaresports.com/


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Interview with Wanda, the Feral Homeschooler

Wanda Vesana in a playful pose.  Wanda advises
that finger puppets are a great buy, as they are
 more adept at teaching geometry than parents.
You've probably heard of Feral Homeschooling by now.  It's a new movement that's sweeping the homeschooling community and gathering adherents faster than you-know-what gathers flies!  And Wanda Vesana is the one who started it all; the guru of the movement, if you will. We caught up with the mom everyone wants to know about at her home recently.  She told us all about her unique style of homeschooling, which is definitely a trend that's here to stay!

Laura:  Let's start at the beginning.  What made you want to homeschool in the first place?
Wanda: I kind of have a problem with authority.  I just didn't like the idea of some smarty-pants teacher telling Silas and Verna what to do. That's my job!
L:  So what's this 'Feral Homeschooling' thing, Wanda?
W: I know, it sounds like one of those horror stories about kids locked in closets for years at a time while their parents claim to be homeschooling.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  Everybody's got to have a homeschooling style, and I just couldn't find one that fit, and we're a bit...uncivilized? And I wanted to embrace that! So Feral Homeschooling is my new thing.
L: Couldn't find one that fit?  I thought you started out with the Charlotte Mason method?
 
Some of Wanda's current "hot reads".  "Always insist on quality
materials", says Wanda.  
 W:  Well, they have some neat ideas, but they put such a big emphasis on the whole 'living book' thing; that kids should not be reading textbooks and books that are mindlessly churned out by publishers, and instead should be reading books that are written by authors who are really passionate about their subjects.  That's all very well and good; but what really knocks my socks off, as you know, are books that got published only because the author really did something that made the publisher sit up and take notice.  I'm talking about posting a video on Youtube and having it go all viral! This is the hottest trend in publishing, and these are great books. My kids learn plenty from them.  Also I love the trend of teaching all subjects exclusively with comic books.  That's definitely got the Feral Homeschooling seal of approval!
L:  How about Unschooling?
W:  So, I understand that if we unschool, I can't tell my kids what to do?  Excuse me, but I have to ask, what's in it for me then? Plus I can't afford an Xbox.
L: Unit studies?  You like that approach, right?
W: That was okay when Silas was into trains.  We learned train words, train history, counted trains, listened to train music... he even learned his alphabet and numbers from the New York Subway.  That was cool.  But he was, like, three.  Now, he's into axolotls.  And Verna's into slime mold. There's, like, no documentaries to watch, no masterpiece paintings of these things to see at the art museum, no songs about them,  no wonderful body of children's literature to be explored, you know, like thrilling historical novels about 'Salavera the Slime Mold of Ancient Greece'.  And I couldn't figure out how to work long division into that.  At least we did try cooking with them, but that's as far as I'll go.
L:  Waldorf?
W: I make a point never to take advice about how to educate my child from dudes who talk to gnomes.
L:  I see...And you're not an Eclectic Homeschooler?  I thought that was kind of a catch-all for people like you who don't really relate to any one specific category of homeschooling.
W:  But that makes it sound like I'm some wishy-washy flake who can't make up her mind and stick with something that works.  Or like some hipster pairing a poodle skirt with a fetching cameo brooch. I do have a definite style, and it isn't "Eclectic".
L: So, what exactly is "Feral Homeschooling"?
W:  Well, I'm still working with my editor on the official manifesto, but I can give you a little overview.  I've boiled it down to four main principles.  The first, and most important, is an uncivilized approach to life.  Not being some namby-pamby conformist, you know? It's the "who-cares-what-you-think, I-know-I'm-awesome" attitude.  Second, having a sincere optimism about education- you can turn just about anything into an educational opportunity, no matter how bad things get. People always say you learn the most from your mistakes, so why hasn't anyone yet turned that into an official educational philosophy?  That's what I'd like to know. Third, for sure Feral Homeschoolers have a belief in direct experience as the best teacher of all.  And, fourth, high standards for literature and teaching materials in general.  Garbage in, garbage out!
L:  Tell me what you've been doing lately with your homeschooling.
W:  Well, I'm the kind of person who really prides herself on being able to turn lemons into lemonade.  Like when I got a speeding ticket and turned it into a civics lesson.  Also, uncle Jerry had to go to jail for a while, after getting caught with those mattress tags, and I thought that sure sounded awfully boring for him. So I got Silas and Verna to write him letters.  They sent him their favorite knock-knock jokes!  And they used their official 'Handwriting Without Tears' looseleaf, so they did a good deed, which is totally 'service learning', and improved their handwriting at the same time.  Brilliant!  So I always make the best of things.
L: I really admire that about you.  What's this pile of books? Is this what  you guys are learning about now?
W: Oh lord.  Well, my library card is maxed out, as usual, and some of these things are a bit overdue.  I have to go through them...
L:  Wait- isn't that papyrus?!
W: That's actually quite a bit overdue.  I think it was checked out from the library at Alexandria.
L: Whoa.  Um, so, do you guys have educational pets?


"Caring for an educational pet is very foundational to homeschooling",
says Wanda.  Pictured here is the family's pet lizard, Charlie. 
W:  Of course.  Educational pets are must for homeschoolers! You must have noticed the footprints in the glitter. Those were probably made by Charlie over there in that tank. That's another thing, I haven't gotten around to cleaning up after that last craft project.  Verna is just mad for glitter! Kind of no point to cleaning up after it though, you know, glitter just never seems to go away.  So why waste time?
L: Ain't that the truth!
W:  I'll say.
L:  Now, your homeschooling style is really all about 'direct experience', right?  Can you tell us more about that?
W:  Basically, when you homeschool, you're not tied to a classroom all day, the world is your classroom!  So you get out and have direct experiences.  It's way more memorable than learning from textbooks, not all memorizing just long enough to remember it for the test, but real lifetime memories.  That's what we really are into. Now, the kids at the public school learned about soil, and earthworms, etc.  They just learn about them from worksheets for the most part, so who knows what they even remember? We actually made a worm bin, and observed the worms.  And we went out at night with a red flashlight and caught nightcrawlers, which was totally a lot of fun!  And we wondered about them, because although they're absolutely colossal as far as worms are concerned, they're pretty small compared to us.  So how is it that when you catch one, and it's halfway down its burrow, and you're pulling on it, how can it put up such a fight?  Well, it turns out they have these tiny bristles in their skin they can poke into the soil to kind of anchor themselves in place.  And you can totally feel that when you swallow them.
L: So I hear you're thinking of starting your own homeschool blog?
W: Yes.  Now the thing you have to think about when you do any kind of writing, is, why will people want to read it?  And I took a look at some of the most successful homeschool blogs out there, like Pioneer Woman and SouleMama, and the thing about them is they're totally aspirational.  People see those gorgeous pictures of those happy kids in dappled sunlight with barn wood and felted animals all around them, and they just want their lives to be just the same.  I know I can do it too.
L:  I bet you can!  Can you actually felt?
Wanda's felted Opabinia.
W: Oh yes.  Actually, anyone with opposable thumbs and a sharp needle can pretty much felt.  It's not brain surgery.  And I have a particular eye for color and form that gives me a real talent.  Although, to be honest, it's kind of a pain if you have two pieces of wool that are pretty much completely felted already and you want to stick them together.  Then I just whip out my glue gun.  You can't tell in the pictures, and that's what counts.  If you felt, you can make such precious little animals!  And nature photography is totally a must for a homeschool blog,  and I've got, like, hundreds of soft-focus macro pictures of slime mold I really should do something with.  And really adorable pictures of Silas and Verna catching snakes together. In dappled sunlight and everything.
L:  I have to ask, how is fame affecting your life?
W: It's an awesome feeling to be such a role model for so many people.  Fortunately, I was prepared to deal with the paparazzi from the beginning.  I've taken a number of steps...Well, I probably shouldn't go into them too much.  But I have to protect the privacy of my children.  And now of course it's a number one priority to maintain my level of glamor, for those unexpected moments when the flashbulbs are bursting.  I'm hoping to really hit the ground running when my book comes out, "The Feral Homeschooler's Manifesto".
L:  Rock on, Wanda! And thank you so much for your time.
W:  You're welcome!

Since our interview, Wanda has decided that she's far too busy to write a blog of her own.  Instead she has graciously agreed to occasionally share her wisdom and guidance through guest posts.  She plans to institute a new tradition here at Stag Beetle Power of "Feral Fridays", when she will contribute posts when time permits.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tualatin Hills Nature Park

Examining a Queen Anne's Lace seedpod.
Wild rose hips.
Even in winter, wonders are to be found at Tualatin Hills Nature Park.  It's a green oasis in the heart of Beaverton, and you can hop right off the Max (Merlo Rd.) and be there.  The Tadpole Pond is gradually expanding with winter rains, and soon it will be teeming with eggs from the park's many newts, salamanders, and frogs.  Here are some pictures from our most recent visit.

Bull thistle.