May 22, 2015

Book Buyback and Rental Book Check-In Event

Our annual book buyback and rental book check-in will be held Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the cafeteria.

Books have the most value when they will be used again next year at our school or at schools across the country. This is the best time of year to sell textbooks because demand is highest.

Buyback is important to our school and to Follett to build book inventory for next Fall. A book bought back from our families stays in the Follett “pool” of books, and then is available for the next student at a lower used-brook price.

Reminder: Any books rented from the bookstore are due by 6/6/2015. You can check in these books in-person at the buyback event, or log into your bookstore rental account, print a label and return by mail.

Get more information about our Book Buyback or our Book Program.

The booklist for next fall will be posted over the summer. Let the bookstore keep an eye on the calendar for you! Sign up for a reminder message when books become available.

If you have questions, or need help, contact Follett at (877) 827-2665 or K12CustomerService@fvb.follett.com.


May 21, 2015

Students enjoy fresh honey direct from hive – It doesn’t get better


Students enjoy honey fresh from the comb.


Bee Scales Wall O’ Honey


Rugby players love fresh honey.


Fresh cut honey right off the comb.


Mr. Koller approved honey.


Loco Bee Keeper wants you to stay away from his honey. JK


Clay Club Donates to Potters for Peace Clay Water Filter Program

The O’Dowd Clay Club recently donated $413 to the Potters for Peace Clay Water Filter Project. These funds were raised during the club’s Pottery Luck event held in March.

As stated from the Potters for Peace website:

Every year 1.7 million people, mainly children under the age of five, die from diarrhea which is caused by unsafe water. The objective of the Potters for Peace Water Filter Project is to make safe drinking water available by helping set up workshops that will produce ceramic water filters made from local materials. These filters are low-tech and low-cost and eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-born disease agents.

Since 1998, Potters for Peace has been assisting in the production of a low-tech, low-cost, colloidal silver-enhanced ceramic water purifier (CWP) throughout the world and ceramic water purifiers based on the Potters for Peace technology package are now produced at over 50 independent factories in over 30 countries. These filters are the highest-rated product for rural point-of-use water treatment (Smart Disinfection Solutions, 2010).

Here is a link for the video “Road to Hope” which shows the important work that Potters for Peace does.

The Clay Club is looking forward to next year as it plans for more fun and selfless service through the wonderful medium of ceramics.

Clay Club-The Clayiest Club on Campus


May 19, 2015

O’Dowd Students Help Raise $42k

Three O’Dowd students just completed terms on the East Bay Jewish Teen Foundation board. Meredith McCleary ’15 served for two years, and Maddy Farrington ’17 and Hannah Reback ’17 each served for one year on the 26-member board.

The Jewish Teen Foundation trains teens in philanthropy and achieving positive change guided by shared values. Over the course of the year, the teen board develops its own mission statement and requests proposals from non-profit organizations locally, nationally and internationally. This year’s mission was “to improve the health of disadvantaged individuals and communities through preventative education and direct action.”

After evaluating proposals and selecting recipients, the young boardmembers also raised all the money that funds the grants. This year, the EBJTF raised over $42,000 (a record amount), which was awarded to six different organizations in a Grant Celebration on May 14th. The recipients included two Bay Area organizations: one providing medical care to women and children, the other educating teens about healthy relationships and supporting victims of domestic violence; a social services agency in Washington D. C. working with Holocaust survivors living in poverty; and groups in Guatemala, Ukraine and Israel serving impoverished youth and families.

The girls all enjoyed the experience of having a positive impact on peoples lives, while working together and establishing friendships with other teens from communities across the East Bay.


Spring EWaste Drive


O’Dowd Receives All-Terrain Wheelchair

Nature lovers with physical challenges can get around O’Dowd’s Living Lab with ease these days. That’s because the school recently received an all-terrain RoughRider wheelchair designed to handle rugged terrain – thanks to a persistent effort from Chris LeBoa ’15.

LeBoa ’15 was inspired to personally seek a grant that allowed for the purchase of the specialized wheelchair after helping longtime Living Lab supporter, David Nesmith (also known as Chicken), navigate the Living Lab after he suffered a stroke.

“I realized it is almost impossible to go over mulch paths in a standard wheelchair,” LeBoa said. “I wanted to get an all-terrain wheelchair for him as well as any disabled student to use.”

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

So LeBoa invited Bob Coomber, the only man to summit California’s 3rd highest peak, 14,246-foot White Mountain, in a wheelchair, to visit the Living Lab and advise which type of wheelchair would work best in that particular environment.

Later, LeBoa secured an $800 grant from the VF Foundation (VF Outdoor) in Greensboro, North Carolina, that allowed for the purchase of the RoughRider wheelchair.

Nesmith took an inaugural ride in the RoughRider on May 16, during the final Living Lab workday of the year.


May 18, 2015

7 Things About Jeff Beeby


Beeby in raft on science trip to Galapagos.

This is an installment in a series of profiles called “7 Things” about O’Dowd’s terrific faculty and staff that is regularly featured on our website. Visit http://www.bishopodowd.org/7things/ to see more.

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

Throughout my life, I’ve had many opportunities to teach and coach, and I’ve always felt fully actualized during these times. With my gigs prior to teaching, it often seemed I was in an aquarium and real life was what was happening on the outside. At the end of a day of teaching, I feel I am making a difference, I am helping our planet, I am totally used up – in a good way.

What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

I teach Earth and Space Science and Engineering Physics. I started teaching here in 2004. One of the many things that makes this school special is its focus on the whole person-not just the academics. I love to help out with our retreat programs, the Living Lab, field science trips, etc.


Beeby with student on annual hike to Angel Island.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?

The advice to “be as conscious as you can be in the present moment because the present moment is all that there is” was a game-changer for me.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love my students. I love what I teach. They are both a continual source of inspiration for me. I especially love connecting students with the natural world.

What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

Ninety-six percent of our universe is comprised of dark matter and dark energy. And yet, at present, scientists cannot say with any confidence what these are. We think we have a handle on the remaining four percent – planets, stars, galaxies, atoms, etc., but we are learning more about this four percent every day. And there is growing support for the notion that there may be an infinite number of multiverses, each one having its own unique set of physical laws. For me, these are humbling facts that beg the question: what do we really know? (For some reason, this all makes me feel simultaneously insignificant and calm.)

What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

I think that folks would be surprised to learn that I’ve held quite a wide array of jobs in my life. A partial list of these includes: paperboy, dishwasher, musician, farm worker, crisis-line counselor, civil rights attorney, fork-lift operator, gun club employee, grocery store clerk, clothing store manager, computer consultant, title analyst, wilderness guide, corporate counsel, teacher, baker, carpenter, tennis coach, environmental lawyer, lumberyard foreman, fruit packing house technician, etc.


Beeby the bee keeper harvests honey.

If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

Anton Brammer (my office mate). He’s my hero. Anton says that I’ve set a low bar for myself, but I know better.

Bonus Questions

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

I love all types of music. I just saw an amazing performance by DakhaBrakha, a spectacular world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Lately, I’ve been listening a lot to FIP radio out of Paris-an eclectic mix. I also love (thankfully!) the music that my wife makes in her two bands: True Life Trio (www.truelifetrio.com)and Janam (www.janamband.com). Finally, I fancy myself a percussionist and have been playing a lot of cajon (box drum) since the beginning of the year.

What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

I really enjoy watching Steph Curry play-with or without the ball. This experience is especially delightful if you are lucky enough to be in earshot of Thien (Pham) and Brianna (Loewinsohn) screaming “dunk it!”


Holocaust Survivor Speaks in Ms. Sussman’s Class

Holocaust survivor Gloria Lyon met with students in Bonnie Sussman’s Holocaust class last week, sharing her amazing story of survival.
 
Gloria was born in a part of Czechoslovakia that became part of Hungary in 1938. When she was 14, Gloria, her two brothers, her sister, and her mother and father were deported to Auschwitz with the Jewish transports from Hungary.
 
In Auschwitz, she worked in Birkenau across from the crematorium sorting the clothes and baggage of newcomers. During one of the many selections at Auschwitz, Gloria was selected by Dr. Joseph Mengele to be gassed. On the way to the gas chamber, the guard, a Hungarian man, suggested that the women jump from the truck. Gloria jumped and hid. She survived seven camps, including Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbruck.

In the spring of 1945, Gloria was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross and sent to Sweden where she lived for over a year. It was 17 years before she and her surviving family members were briefly reunited. Gloria began speaking publicly about her experiences in 1977 after she saw a brochure claiming the Holocaust never happened.
 
“It is important that we educate our children about the Holocaust and teach them that racism must be eradicated. We must learn to live with each other. We must find love for each other,” she said.   

Gloria Bio:
Gloria was born in a part of Czechoslovakia that became part of Hungary in 1938.
When she was 14 years old, she, and her two brothers, her sister, and her mother
and father were deported to Auschwitz with the Jewish transports from Hungary.
In Auschwitz, she worked in Birkenau across from the crematorium sorting the
clothes and baggage of newcomers. During one of the many selections at
Auschwitz, Gloria was selected by Dr. Joseph Mengele to be gassed. On the way
to the gas chamber, the guard, a Hungarian man, suggested that the women jump
from the truck. Gloria jumped and hid. She survived seven camps, including
Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbruck.

In the spring of 1945, Gloria was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross and sent to
Sweden where she lived for over a year. It was 17 years before she and her
surviving family members were briefly reunited. Gloria began speaking publicly
about her experiences in 1977 after she saw a brochure claiming the Holocaust
never happened.

“It is important that we educate our children about the Holocaust and teach them
that racism must be eradicated. We must learn to live with each other. We must
find love for each other.” – Gloria L.


May 15, 2015

2015 Spring Concert Playlist

Watch the playlist on YouTube


Sean Hennigan ’16 and Andrew Shaw ’15 Achieve Rank of Eagle Scout

Sean Hennigan ’16 and Andrew Shaw ’15 of Troop 6 Piedmont Council were recently recognized at a special Court of Honor for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Both Sean and Andrew installed their projects on the O’Dowd campus this year.


Photo by Donovan Rittenbach

Sean’s Eagle project involved building a 24-foot by 20-foot redwood trellis supported by drilled concrete piers in the Living Lab. The project is being used for outdoor classes, for harvesting and cooking vegetables grown in the Living Lab, and as a shady place to hang out. Around school, it has been nicknamed “The Arbor.” The trellis is sited in a very quiet area just above the vegetable garden and faces the bay with great views.

Andrew’s Eagle project is located at O’Dowd on the lawn by the Chapel. It includes two wooden benches with metal frames and a receptacle converted into a table with a mosaic on top that he designed with the help of local artist Laura Holl. He added a large rock by the tree and attached a plaque he designed that honors his father, alum Brad Shaw ’83. This previously decorative space is now used by the Campus Ministry Team as well as by student study groups during the school day.


Photo by Donovan Rittenbach


Photo by Lisa Coffey-Mahoney


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Finding God in All Things

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