January 5, 2021 – Newsletter

| January 6, 2021

It feels so good to write 2021 and put 2020 behind us. Though the last year was dark with fires, COVID, and economic uncertainty there were times of light and laughter. Autistry ended the year with stunning success stories.

We supported 20 students taking several different courses at College of Marin and…all the students not only passed but most passed with As!

A huge round of applause for our Drama students, the COM professors Molly Noble and Lisa Morse, Autistry staff Gabrielle Haggett-Molina, Phil Lewis and Benji Harrington for a wonderful online theater experience. The students performed scenes from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown directed by drama major, Michelle Samuels. The students also performed monologues for their course final. We look forward to more collaboration with the COM Drama Department in 2021.

Drama Class Monologues

And kudos to Program Manager Claire Watry who lead her team (Cindy Clogston and Ellie Lastra) in supporting seven Autistry students taking English 120. All seven students ACED the class! These guys studied very hard, never missed a class, and helped each other by reviewing each other’s work and giving helpful feedback. Many of them are going on to take Creative Writing this spring semester. We are looking forward to the stories they will tell.

Shelby Green and Rhoda Robertson guided three students through the new STSK:Math class. They practiced everyday practical math and learned how to write a budget and how loan payments work (yes, you end up paying a lot more when you factor in that interest!). They each did a final project where they shared a portion of the class that they liked or wanted to learn more about. One student chose to do a presentation on needs and wants and how best to manage them (I could use that advice!). Another focused his presentation on budgeting. And one student, wrote a song that encourages growing your own business and gave advice on the best ways to do that. Practical projects that were made fun!

Shelby and Claire also supported one of our students as she followed her path toward becoming a medical assistant. She took Medical Terminology and Medical Administration Procedures. These are not easy classes but she aced both of them and will not doubt continue this success in 2021. The healthcare industry needs this Autistry student!

We continued the paid internship program with the horses at Cadence Farm because, hey, plague or no plague horses need to be exercised, need to eat, and they keep on pooping! Our interns are doing a great job and are becoming skilled equestrian support workers.

Working at Cadence Farm

Sara Gardner and Dan Coppock added to their Cadence chores by supporting four students in a very demanding Multi-Media class focusing on PhotoShop. The students created movie posters, book covers, and fantasy self-portraits – Alter Egos! Elf in the Meadow, Raging Unicorn, and the Angel in the Outfield:

Alter Egos

Sunday we started the year off with a battle royal! Our Dungeons and Dragons players had landed themselves in prison. In order to win their freedom they had to outwit their Goblin guards. In a series of clever games, masterly role-playing and lucky D20 rolls, they are now poised to break free. More to come next Sunday as we continue this weekly adventure led by Dan, Michaela Callahan, Samantha Gardner, and Tamera McNeil.

Goblins Attack!

Presidio & Ferries 28

We plan to resume paid internship activity at the Western Railway Museum as soon as COVID passes and the facility opens up. Dan is now on the WRM board and enjoys meeting with other train enthusiasts online to discuss museum issues. He has also designated a project for Autistry – rebuilding the Presidio and Ferries 28, a double-ended, single truck trolley car which resembles a short version of a California Street cable car. It is a mere hulk so lots of work to be done!

Looking forward to a great new year!