July 19


Week 2, Day 9: I’ve got Pop Rocks on the Brain … and I’m not talking about a craving

Suggested Optional Pre-work Before Reading this Post:

Supplies needed:

1. Pop Rocks, flavour of your choice (yes the 80s candy)
2. Pen

3. Paper

Pour the pop rocks in your mouth, and make a list of all the thoughts you have about the quick experience.  Might look something like this: 

[Image removed]
Impressive brainstorm created by K-1 graders during creative writing class. This was not part of the PULSE assignment, but when I searched for “pop rock images” this came up on a teacher’s blog. The results fit perfectly into my blog today, and the exercise is a great example of an education tool so I wanted to include it. And also give credit to this great class!


Now, imagine many of those feelings not on your tongue, but as explosions of ideas in your brain. That is how I am feeling this week.

This second week produced meeting upon meeting of new faces, stories, ideas, and learnings.   Our conversations morphed into endless notebook pages detailing accomplishments of the Ed Fund and hopeful visions for the future.
I’m in awe of the possibilities, and to steal a quote from one of the kindergartners referenced in the caption above, “it feels like there is a party in my [brain]!

My list of sensations from the pop rock exercise includes:
…exciting, fast paced, continual, non-stop, always popping, exhilarating, unfamiliar, fun, intriguing, refreshing, novel, millions of pieces,  a treat, a quick burst, unexpected, independent yet related parts, little pieces working together to create an interesting experience, put a smile on my face…

Cliff snapped a photo of Nancy and I reviewing all of the ideas that we finally got to put on paper.

While it may sound off the wall or harebrained to bring up penny candy from the 80s, Pop Rocks mimic the flow of our brainstorming sessions to determine how we can impact the programs of the Math and Science coalition.The analogy offers you, an outsider, a way to grasp the pace and vitality in the room, otherwise indescribable.  The bits of thoughts fly around the room like the candy on your tongue: ideas  bang; reactions pop; sidebars zing;  reflections sizzle; all followed by an aftermath of calm when meetings ajourn, melting together into a new flavour of work at a non-profit.

Together, my partners at the “Ed Fund” and my fellow PULSE volunteers will prioritize the vast list of prospective projects.   While I will resist letting go of any of the ideas, “with pop rocks on the brain,” I eagerly await to see which project I can get started on.  And like any good sugary snack, my second week here has left me hungry for more!