Sunday, December 2, 2012

Toys for Tots

Senior Erica Lee has organized an effort at TECHS to collect new and gently-used toys for Toys for Tots.

Thank you.

Food Drive

TECHS is once again participating in a campus-wide food drive.

We collected around 200 pounds with the Ohio State/Michigan contest.

The next event will be a contest to see which advisory can collect the most canned and non-perishable food goods (per capita).

The good people at Vito's have agreed to treat the wining advisory to a pizza lunch.

The food is going to The MLK Kitchen for the Poor

Some TECHS students and I also have an ongoing relationship with the Seagate Food Bank and may be volunteering there over break.

Monday, October 22, 2012

1Matters Homeless Project

Please check here for activities related to a nationally recognized Toledo-based homelessness awareness project. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

UT Homecoming Parade

UT Homecoming Parade
Saturday, 6 October 2012

Parents and Students are Welcome
(siblings too!)

  • The parade will step off at 11 AM
  • Please arrive by 10:15
  • You will be done around 12:30

We need some new parade chants to promote TECHS.
Win a TECHS shirt if you come up with a good one.
Get service hours.

Get service hours by marching and/or contributing bags of candy or cash contributions to buy candy.

Meet in the parking lot shown below.

Last Year's Parade

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Walk

Dr. Wheatley has pledge forms.
Service hours for students and parents.

Meet at Ottawa Park at 9 AM
The walk starts at 10 AM

I'm not sure where the route goes through Ottawa Park but you might also be able to make the UT Homecoming Parade which starts very close to the southwest corner of Ottawa Park.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Clean Your Streams Update

The Clean Your Streams event is 15 September 2012, 
one week from Saturday.

Sign-up Here

Please Note:
You will be cleaning the stream bank, not the stream itself.

The original blog post is here with information.

I rang up the organizers and learned some new things:

Registration at Sites: 8:00 - 8:30
(lots of TECHS people will be at the UT Law School site)
Orientation: 8:30 - 9:00
Clean-up: 9:00 - 11:30
Bus to Lucas County Rec Center for food, T-shirts, etc. 11:30
Bus back to clean-up site: ~ 1:30

Of course you can travel to the rec center on your own, or get picked up there, or not go at all.

This event is open to students, parents, siblings, etc.

Any participants under age 18 must have a signed release form.

Do you can download this form at my website directly under the sign-up form.

Map to The Lucas County Rec Center in Maumee.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Detroit Jazz Festival

Here is a premier FREE cultural event for you.

Detroit Jazz Festival

The Detroit Jazz Festival is four days of the best jazz you will find anywhere in this country and it is free (you might get nicked for $8-10 for parking). I go every year.

This year I am going on Friday night to see Terrence Blanchard at 7 PM and the great jazz legend Sonny Rollins at 8:45. A warning though, it will be crowded because those are big names and there is only one stage performing on Friday. 

Wynton Marsalis will be there Saturday and on Sunday you can see Wayne Shorter and Joe Lovano. Plus dozens of other acts.

Schedule pdf

Sonny Rollins is 82 but he is still a master.

Here is Sonny Rollins when he was younger.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

League of Women Voters Forum

From the Press Release
The Toledo Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW/Toledo), along with the League of Women Voters of Toledo Lucas County (LWV-TLC) will hold a Candidates’ Forum, Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 7-9 p.m. at the Scott Park Campus of the University of Toledo, Nebraska at Parkside, Toledo. The event is free and open to the public.
Featured legislative candidates include Marcy Kaptur, Angela Zimmann, and Barbara Sears.   The event will be moderated by Kristian Brown of WTVG.  Both AAUW and LWV are non-partisan organizations pursuing  equity –A Voice for ALL Citizens—thus many of the issues discussed will be “women’s issues.” Co- sponsors of the Candidates’ Forum  include the ACLU, YWCA, and the University of Toledo Women’s Center who will set up display tables at the event.  Light refreshments will be served.
Because  the AAUW and LWV hope to get-out-the-vote as well as to educate, they are inviting inactive as well as active women voters, members of women’s organizations, and of course the general public to the Candidates’ Forum.  Attendees can register to vote, and legislators can socialize with their constituents. Questions?  Phone Chairwoman Michelle Radtkin at 419-787-8258.

Authors! Authors!

authors! authors! Series at the Stranahan Theater.

These are often quite good.
Note that Stan Lee the creator of Spiderman is on 27 September 2012 (which is also a TECHS parent conference evening so plan accordingly when you schedule your time if you want to see him).

All talks are at 7 pm. 
$10 (discounted student tickets, not sure how much)
Tickets at all Toledo Lucas County Public Library branches
(Stan Lee may sell out, act now if you want to go)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

International Festival, 15-16 September 2012

International Festival, 15-16 September 2012
(maybe do the stream clean-up on Saturday and this on Sunday)

This is a fun event. 

You will learn a lot and eat some

Clean Your Streams

Here is a great Service Opportunity!
Students and Parents Welcome.

Please Note: We will cleaning the banks of streams (in this case most likely the Ottawa River)

Where and When:
You can go to any of the sites on the flyer.
I'll be at the University of Toledo Law School parking lot. 
Check in starts at 8 AM. 
Orientation at 8:30.
Free picnic afterward

We will register the TECHS group with the organizers but you can register here so that we can tell them how many are coming.

More information.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sacred Steel

Sacred Steel
One of the goals of Rocket Stages is to get kids to experience new things outside of their normal day-to-day lives. 
Here is an opportunity to do just that. Two years ago I chanced upon an event that celebrated a religious musical tradition that I knew nothing about called Sacred Steel.
I saw a flyer and decided to attend an event. It turned out to be a remarkable musical experience. A handful of our students also attended and were gladly welcomed.
Please note that this event is sponsored by a religious group and is being held in a church but we are not promoting it as a religious event, but simply as a fascinating look at a subculture and to enjoy some great music.

Here is a piece of video I shot two years ago.
The Friday event is usually the younger up-and-coming bands and then the superstars play on Saturday. 

Navy Week

Navy Week
There are a number of activities related to Navy Week and the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 going on in Toledo this week, including a visit Thursday by the USS Niagara, a replica of Oliver Hazard Perry's ship in the Battle of Lake Erie. The ship is very cool and I have sailed on it.

The Blade has run a few pieces on the upcoming events.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Austin Morrin is in this production.
Support his efforts please.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some April Cultural Events

Arabic Workshop to celebrate diversity, share culture

April 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2420.

Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue to address religious perspectives on environment

Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room

Harry Potter Lecture
“A Draught of Mandrake: Wizard’s Herbal Cures”, Thursday, April 19, at 5 p.m.  
Mulford Library Room 405
Note: The Mulford Library is on the Health Science Campus

Andrew Phelps Lecture on Video Games and Education
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Maumee Valley Country Day School
7:30 PM

Poetry Reading
Monday, April 23  4 PM 
Canaday Center (5th Floor Carlson Library)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Parent Night on Bullying & Harry Potter's World

Here are three upcoming cultural events at UT:

Parent Night on Bullying
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Rocket Hall 1520
7:00-8:30 PM
Info here

Harry Potter's World Exhibit
Exhibit through April at the Carlson Library

Harry Potter Lecture Series
“Harry Potter as Monomyth” Thursday, March 22, at 5 p.m. 
(Carlson Library Room 1025)
“Harry Potter and the Law” Thursday, March 29, at 5 p.m. 
(Carlson Library Room 1025)

“Harry Potter: Monsters, Myths & Medicine” Thursday, April 12, at 5 p.m. (Mulford Library Room 405)
“A Draught of Mandrake: Wizard’s Herbal Cures”, Thursday, April 19, at 5 p.m.  (Mulford Library Room 405)
Note: The Mulford Library is on the Health Science Campus

Read all about the Harry Potter Events Here.
Please notice that this fine article was written by 
Feliza Casano (TECHS c/o 2009)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Some TECHS Spring 2012 Service Projects

Some Spring Service and Volunteer Hour Opportunities for 
TECHS Students and Parents

Saturday, 24 March 2014
UT "Big Event"

We did this last year and dug a community garden in North Toledo.
We were done by about 2 PM.

Please note this project is the same day as the POL contest in Columbus.

Saturday, 14 April 2014
City-wide Litter Clean-up
  • We are trying to get 100 kids and parents to sign up for this one
  • 2-5 PM
  • Free t-shirt and wrist band (local businesses are offering discounts if you wear this shirt)
  • Bags and gloves provided
  • Free food afterward (Vito's)
  • Email me or sign-up in Nissen's Room

Check out their website.

Saturday, 21 April 2014
Global Youth Service Day

Last year we cleaned up and mulched Highland Park.

There was a big picnic at the Toledo Zoo afterward.
I don't have any details yet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Charles Dickens and Authors!Authors!

Charles Dickens Lecture
In observance of the Bicentennial Birthday of the late Charles Dickens (1812-2012), please join scholar Dr. Melissa Valiska Gregory for an informative talk which focuses on the enduring popularity of Dickens’ famous novels, while exploring his journalism and literary collaborations from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 20 in the McMaster Center at Main Library, 325 Michigan St.
In observance of the Bice
Dr. Gregory , Ph.D, is an Associate Professor as well as the Honors Advisor for the University of Toledo’s English Language and Literature Department. She specializes in 19th century British literature and has published articles on both Victorian poetry and the novel. Dr. Gregory has edited and introduced three of Charles Dickens’ collaboratively written Christmas stories for Hesperus Press—The Wreck of the Golden Mary (2006), Somebody’s Luggage (2006), and Dr. Marigold’s Prescriptions (2007)—and has also coauthored an original brief biography of Dickens (2008).
Also, enjoy a special exhibit in Main Library’s Humanities department titled 200 Years of Dickens: Author of Social Reform . This display, on view now through March 31 , focuses on “Dickens’ London” and the author’s history as a reformer and social activist.
This program is FREE and open to the public.  Be sure to check out materials on Dickens at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Authors! Authors!
This year's series is really strong. Check it out here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monroe, MI Black History Blues Series 2012

Monroe Public Library 
Black History Blues Series

These are really good events. I have been attending for years.

Events are free and open to the public.

Transportation for students available to some of these.

Full 2012 Performance Schedule:

“Tuesdays are Bluesdays” throughout the series as each Tuesday evening features a free concert at a Monroe County Library System facility.

Tuesday, January 31
Detroit multi-instrumentalist, educator and storyteller Rev. Robert B. Jones, Ann Arbor harmonica legend Peter Madcat Ruth and series creator Tim McGorey reveal “The True Facts,” as insider stories, rare video clips and plenty of acoustic roots music relates the unique and unlikely story of 25 years of Black History Month Blues in Monroe County.
7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.

Tuesday, February 7
Samuel James, one of the roots music world’s hottest young artists, has been called “part Bill Withers, part Tom Waits, part James Brown, part Leo Kottke, and part P.T. Barnum.”  He refers to himself as a troubadour, mixing impeccable, dynamic musicianship with compelling storytelling and songwriting.  (He’s even been known to show off his dance moves.)
7:00 pm, Carleton Branch Library.

Samuel Jones


Tuesday, February 14
Mark Valentine’s Day at “LOVEFEST 2012,” starring a pair of Michigan’s most highly acclaimed musical (and life) partners.  Ann Arbor-based blues guitarists/vocalists Shari Kane & Big Dave Steele and Lansing-area singer/songwriters Rachael Davis &Dominic John will team up for an evening of songs and stories of love, heartbreak and all the bittersweet places in between.   7:00 pm, Dorsch Memorial Branch Library.


Wednesday, February 15:
 It’s MOOZAPALOOZA! when Nashville-based Farmer Jason makes his triumphant return to the Ellis Library.  “Twin brother” of Americana music legend Jason Ringenberg, Farmer Jason’s performances are rocket-fueled tractor rides for “kids of all ages” with plenty of audience participation.  Celebrating the release of his third CD, Nature Jams, Farmer Jason writes songs inspired by life on his farm (“Doggie Dance,” “Guitar-Pickin’ Chicken”) and his hikes in the forest (“Punk Rock Skunk,” “Moose on the Loose”).
7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.

Farmer Jason


Thursday, February 16
Guitarist Johnnie Bassett and vocalist Alberta Adams, the King and Queen of Detroit Blues, return to Monroe for a special intimate performance at the MCLS branch library where the Blues Series began in 1988.   Over the course of his 60+ year career, Bassett has performed with artists from Big Joe Turner and John Lee Hooker to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Tina Turner.  As a solo artist, he’s recorded several critically acclaimed discs and received the Detroit Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.  Alberta Adams, 94 years young, has been performing since the 1930s, tap-dancing and singing with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan and Lionel Hampton and recording for Chess and Cannonball Records.  Bassett and Adams will be joined by Detroit’s R.J. Spangler & the Rhythm Rockers.  This concert is sponsored by The Jazz Foundation.
7:00 pm, Navarre Branch Library.

Alberta Adams
Johnnie Bassett
RJ Spangler and the Rhythm Rockers (with Alberta Adams)


Tuesday, February 21
Blues and boogie-woogie piano with Mark “Mr. B” Braun, a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists, like Little Brother Montgomery and Boogie Woogie Red, he sought out and received lessons from before their deaths.  Collaborations with acts like John Hammond, Marcus Belgrave and Duke Robillard and appearances on “Mountain Stage” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” have only expanded the audience for this Michigan treasure. 
7:00 pm, Bedford Branch Library.

Mr. B


Saturday, February 25:  
“THE BIG GIG!” is Monroe County’s 25th Annual Black History Month Blues Concert, a star-studded evening featuring a once-in-a-lifetime lineup of Blues Series alumni.  Rev. Robert B. Joneswill (for the 25th year) host and kick things off, and in 2012 he’ll be joined by the likes of Peter Madcat Ruth, legendary Muddy Waters Band guitarist Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, the “Music Makin’ Mama” herself, pianist/guitarist Ann Rabson, mandolin virtuoso Rich DelGrosso, boogie-woogie piano powerhouse Daryl Davis, Detroit blues divaThornetta Davis, roots rock power trio George Bedard & the Kingpins, and drummer Mike Shimmin and bassist Dominic John.  (And, it’s more than likely, a surprise guest or three before the final bows are taken.)  
7:00 pm, Monroe County Community College, Meyer Theater

Bob Margolin
Ann Rabson
Rich DelGrosso
Daryl Davis
Thornetta Davis (my video at the Detroit Library)
Thornetta Davis (my video from UT MusicFest 2010
George Bedard


The Big Gig! is an extremely popular event—no ticket is required, seating is general admission, first-come, first-served until venue capacity is reached.  Doors open at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, February 28
The silver anniversary festivities conclude with a fond remembrance of one of the most entertaining and intriguing artists in Blues Series history, Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, who was the last surviving African American string band musician when he passed away in 2003.  Howard’s music, life and legacy will be celebrated by his son, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, guitarist Ray Kamalay and multi-instrumentalist John Reynolds, with special guest Rich DelGrosso, all of whom played with Howard and have tons of anecdotes to share.  7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.


For more information on the Black History Month Blues Series, phone (734) 241-5277.

Saturday Morning Science

Sat Sci Flyer Spring 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Claude Black Benefit Jazz Concert at UT

There will be a Benefit Concert for Claude Black at the UT Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, 31 January 2012, at 8 PM.

Claude Black is local legend as a jazz pianist who is currently hospitalized. He is also a decent and kind human being. He has performed for TECHS students as part of the Murphys who backed Jon Hendricks for two concerts that were exclusively for us.

Here is an article from The Free Press

This is highly recommended.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

UT Center for Religious Understanding Lectures

UT Center for Religious Understanding Lectures

Free and open to the public, and captured whenever possible on WGTE’s KnowledgeStream website.
Thursday, February 16, 7-8:30 pm, Law School Auditorium. “The New Atheism: A Catholic Response.” The Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies, by Peter Feldmeier, Ph.D., the Murray/Bacik Chair of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo.
Tuesday, March 20, Tuesday, March 20, 7-8:30 pm Law School Auditorium, "From Mahavir to Mahatma Gandhi: The Jain Traditions of India." The Annual Lecture on Eastern Religious Thought, by Dr. Pankaj Jain, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North Texas. Cosponsored by the Hindu Temple of Toledo.
Wed    Wednesday, April 18, 7-9 p.m., place TBA: Annual Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Dr. J. Denny Weaver, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Religion at Bluffton University and the Harry and Jean Yoder Scholar in Bible and Religion, with reflections by leaders from Jewish and Muslim perspectives, followed by small-group table dialogues and refreshments.
Visitors parking in the closest University lot during these lectures will not be ticketed.  For information on campus buildings and parking locations, visit  For additional information, contact Peter Feldmeier,, or