Party Time (all photos courtesy of my dear friend @nibblinggypsy)
Part of the fun of having so many good friends from different phases of our lives is bringing them together over a common interest to form an even bigger, more awesome group of friends. And with us, said common interest is pretty much always good food and perhaps a liiiittle bit too much good wine. Last weekend, we got a great motley crew together, our hostess chose the theme "exotic comfort food," and each couple prepared a course and brought a wine pairing. It worked so well, let's just say this group will definitely be eating and drinking together again!
In my previous nonprofit fundraising career, I spent a couple of years managing the annual fund and donor relations for the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Part of our mission was to support East Palo Alto Academy, a charter high school that remains the only public high school in the Ravenswood School District. Over the years, EPAA has grown and thrived, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to tour the campus last week. I was so impressed by everything, from the dedicated faculty to the sparkling campus to the students themselves, all of whom are on the path to college readiness. Most EPAA students face challenges you and I could never imagine, but the school is built to provide them the social, emotional, and academic support they need to be succeed and thrive. I donate annually, and I invite you to learn more and do the same!
I've been assigned to jury duty many times, but recently I was actually called in for the process of jury selection. I found it fascinating to watch our justice system in action, and many questions were asked of prospective jurors that made me analyze my own innate biases and morals. About a day into the process, I felt ready to open my mind and be ready to serve on the jury - and then the DA started asking some tough questions that hit home personally and I knew this wouldn't be the case for me. In the end, the jury was selected before I was even called up for questioning. Who knows when I'll be called again - but next time I'll go into it with a lot less eye rolling and a lot more willingness to do my civic duty.
A Dose of Culture
For a few years now, I've gotten season tickets to the San Francisco Ballet with a small group of girlfriends. We're all casual dance fans rather than serious ballet aficionados - we grew up taking ballet classes or going to the ballet with our mothers. It's more of an excuse to get a little culture, and of course have dinner together beforehand to catch up! The most recent production on our schedule was Coppélia, which I had actually never seen. It's a light, colorful 19th century story ballet, and so fun to watch on the beautiful dancers and gorgeous sets and costumes of the SF Ballet.