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Saturday, February 17th, 2001
4:56p - Class Projects -- The Wind (3/16/10; WC 693) Q


http://www.livejournal.com/users/pandemo/65996.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/summercircles/13761.html


Class Projects -- The Wind



Why wind energy?

Wind is abundant. Scientists estimate that U.S. wind resources

can supply more than three times our total electricity needs.

Wind is domestic. Unlike oil and, increasingly, natural gas, wind

energy does not need to be imported, and helps to reduce our

dependence on foreign countries.

Wind is inexhaustible. Unlike fossil fuels or uranium, wind

energy is renewable and can be used without reducing the

birthright of future generations.

Wind is clean. While displacing greenhouse gas emissions, using

wind also avoids other harmful fossil fuel pollutants such as

mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, making our air and

water cleaner and healthier.

    -–American Wind Energy Association,

    "Wind Energy and Climate Change"


That afternoon, back to the library go the most literate nine, Paul Peter, and Alberto, who loses no opportunity to visit the shrine that so inspires him.

Taking the digital camera, Despina shows both Alice and Alberto how to empty the different photos onto the computer. Laying down $5.00, Despina has him try out some of his math skills. "Now, if each printed photo costs 25¢, how many pictures can you choose to print?"

When nothing immediately pops out, Despina helps Alberto think it through a bit. "How many photos can you print for $1.00?"

"Four. That means I can have four photos five times. TWENTY!" His grin is infectious.

Shaking her head, Alice wonders, "Hard to believe he's only four when you listen to how his mind works. Last time when he exited the stacks after you all had left, he called it un verano vivace."

"A lively summer? Half in Spanish and half in Italian... That's an odd pairing. Where'd he pick up an Italian musical phrase?”

"¿Quién sabe?" she says in Spanish, but shrugs her shoulders, gesturing palms up in an over-exuberant parody of the way Italians speak with their hands.

Despina laughs. “I'll try to count noses better this trip."


The search for electricity turns in unexpected directions nearly at once. While Despina has envisioned contacting the town's electric company and checking into the price to hook up the entire area, the students seem to have a more instinctive feel for what is doable.

"How does the town get its electricity?" she prompts.

"Town electricity is for town folks. Nobody wants to bother with us Injuns," Juan pronounces with disgust.

"Who's checked that out?" she pushes.

The foot shuffling tells her not only has nobody done it, but nobody is going to beat a dead horse.

What a shame for ones so young to be so conditioned to accept the status quo.

"Sarita, since this is your project, and you have very pretty hand writing, why don't you contact them?"

Sarita 's not as headstrong as Juan, but equally bright and talented.

The librarian helpfully pulls up the company address. Sarita dutifully copies in into her notebook. The resignation about her shoulders is the only sign that she feels it is a waste of time.

Line charges, the average rate from around the country, the cost per foot for installing new lines, the various plans to amortize the expenses offered by various companies, the common cost of electricity per kilowatt hour, and California's wind turbines all get checked and calculated. Enthusiasm grows. Wind energy appeals to their spirits in elemental ways.

Mother Earth News turns out to have the most cost-efficient windmill. Juan volunteers to write the letter to that company, requesting a current price list.

"Five minute warning," Despina calls out. Paul Peter borrows the truck keys, promising to be back by closing.

As Despina exits the library, students in tow, she sees Paul Peter carefully resealing an official-looking letter. Unabashedly, he confides, "A San Francisco art gallery would like to feature Guillermo and his artwork in their shop. They want to know if one of the boxes would be for sale."

Despina wrinkles her forehead. "How'd they get wind of it way out there?"

"One of the officers of the gallery saw some video of several from behind the houses, and one of the ones he was interested in happens to be Guillermo's."


Last updated 3/16/10 Corrected status quo. 2/23/10 Changed him to< i>Alberto.</i> Added < i>Despina wrinkles her forehead.</i> 2/12/10 Made Despina’s conversation more realistic with contractions: That’s an odd pairing. Where’d ; added with us Injuns; removed That response from Massachusetts comes before Sarita's local one. Despina could have done without the sneer that goes with his success, but, the project grows. 2/6/10 removed paragraph break between math skills. "Now, if each ; 8/8/08 - changed paring to pairing; added Where did he pick up an Italian musical phrase?”

"¿Quién sabe?" she says in Spanish, but shrugs her shoulders, gesturing palms up in an over-exuberant parody of the way Italians speak with their hands.

Despina laughs. “; 1/2/06 Cu's speech about dust and PP reading the letter; 8/13/04 -- 4/5/02 Removed from Class Projects -- The Wind.

Word Count: 693

Reading Level: 5.8


current mood: cheerful

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