Flight of the Dragon
Entering Our Fifth Year...
After the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, The Peace Dragon was created in 2009 to honor those who lost their lives and serve to inspire a whole and balanced way to see, speak and act with peace, truth and love as our guides. Join us in our review of the first four years on this loving journey.
Our first year was adventurous!
- The first day I could stand, I spoke at Hillsboro high school and taught the first peace dragons to high school students in Christian Sawyer’s Human Geography class. Students shared their desires for peace and forgiveness in their countries.
- The first drawing session was in Kelowna, Canada at the Anne McClymont Elementary School. We missed the dragon boat races by a few days, but we were there to celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21st. Almost five hundred students marched around the school with their Peace Dragon Bags. My hosts, Larry and Bernie Koftinoff, were members of the meditation group from Mumbai.
- Performed Every Heart: A Peace Dragon Tale at the Southern Festival of Books, children’s tent.
- Kirsti Manna, whose credits include friend, creator of Songwriter Girl, songwriter and children's performer, co-wrote the first song for our musical, Every Heart. She performed it with Cara Pugh at the festival.
- A motivated group of Dragon Dancers from DancEast took to the stage and performed their version of "Every Heart" with grace and compassion and awesome make-up!
- Kia Scherr – who lost both her husband and daughter, Alan and Naomi in Mumbai– led our peace parade at the festival.
- Shanti, an oil essence, was created for The Peace Dragon by Attarwalla and intuit, Sabeena. The beautiful scent is used to instill peace with its scent and raise funds through its sale.
- The First Peace Dragon T-shirt is presented to Moshe in Israel. Both his parents were killed in the Chabad House in Mumbai. His Indian nanny carried him to safety.
- Dragons drawn in Nashville, New York and Canada.
Return to Mumbai with 500 Dragons!
- The Peace Dragon traveled to Mumbai, India with 500 peace dragons drawn by students in the United States. Each had a greeting and message of peace to a new friend in India. Drawing with students from The Bombay International School, The Cathedral and John Connon School, Hill Spring International School, Udychal School, St. Joseph College and WeCan orphanage, 1,000 dragons came home!
- At the Memorial presentation at the Oberoi hotel, a mixed media Peace Dragon was presented to the Oberoi. Over 1,000 paper heart shaped scales decorated the fabric body of two dragons who came together as one, cradling the earth in their hands. Each heart had a message written by David Lipscomb High School students from the USA and The Cathedral and John Connon High School students.
- Cut the opening ceremony tape at the Jai Vakeel school open house, the first school to care, teach and train children in need of special care in India.
- Attended a Zorastrian Parsi Navjote, and watched a young man receive his rites of passage into priesthood. They have a simple and beautiful creed: Be good and do good all the time. A muslin shirt worn each day has a pocket over the heart, to be filled each day with good acts.
- First stories, recipes and interviews collected from Vanderbilt’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows.
- Speaking at Vanderbilt to the Humphrey and Fulbright scholars, the beginnings of the Peace Master Class was born!
- Dragons drawn in Nashville, New York, Iowa, Chicago, and India.
Three's a charm!
- Presented Class to FBI Anti-terrorist task force, Women's health organizations, Rotary, and community groups.
- Talk Nice Tuesday created, to change conversations in the world.
- Version three of Peace Master Class finished and sent to final editing... we hope!
- Dragons drawn: Philippines, Nashville, Grand Rapids (x2), and Brazil reaching over 16,000 dragons drawn in the world!
- Peace Dragon walks her talk at Grand Rapids Tedx. Two weeks prior to speaking, visited Central Woodlands, Knapp Forest Elementary, Orchard View Elementary, Northern Trails 5/6, Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy. We drew over 1,000 dragons.
- At Tedx, was transported to student satellite location and received standing ovation. Met with students and teachers in commons to talk peace, art and dragons! Student art displayed on beautiful metal trees and in the actual talk.
- Return to Grand Rapids to draw more dragons at Central Woodlands and present their school with the step by step cards to draw their Husky mascot. Continued to draw dragons at PineRidge, Northern Trails, Ada Vista, Godwin Heights, Middle, and North and West Elementary.
- Presenter for teacher in-service day on the three powers of peace: View, Voice and Choice.
- Keynote speaker at G.I.N. conference in Sao Paulo with full sessions and standing ovation!
- Reconnected with several student groups presenting peace in Peru and Brazil. Provided supplies and financial support for the arts projects in Brazilia.
- Guest Speaker at Peace organization Unipaz, coordinated through my friend and 2012 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Sonia Dias. Committed to connect for future programs.
- Keynote speaker at conference of Professores with the Secretary of Education. Event was coordinated through efforts 2012 Fellow Sonia Dias, and Guilherme Bueno de Camargo, class of 2013.
- Interviewed by local public television station for TV Cultura about education. Coordinated through fellow Guilherme Bueno de Camargo. Key point from the Peace Dragon interview was the urging of governments to pursue education accessible to all, compliment academic goals with peace skills, particularly a compassionate view, voice and choice – concepts from the Peace Master Class,with the goal of happy and productive graduates, who seek solutions and service to the world's challenges.
- Peace Masters sworn in and dragons drawn, hosted by 2010 Hubert H. Humphrey fellow, Soraya Faculo.
- Spoke and drew dragons with all grades in Principal Soraya's school, Cordillera Regional Science High School, where she had to come and see what all the laughter was about! Brilliant dragons and student insights presented.
- Spoke of change and teamwork with teaching staff at Cordillera and Anti-Bullying program. Drew dragons on recycling bags.
- Benguet University hosted a full day Peace Dragon event, where we covered creative solutions, and peace as the default mode, and positive solutions in teaching. Taught the outgoing class of teaching students in the morning, and the faculty in the afternoon.
- Traveled to Bontoc, and taught peace dragons with grade One students. Handed out pocket peace dragons.
Singing it out!
So far this year...
- Invitation to speak in China accepted and heading out the door in November.
- Read "Victor Impact" statement in court, facing David Headley, man convicted of plotting and planning Mumbai attacks. The Power of Voice at work!
- Compassionate Nashville Education Mentor: Looking to connect all schools with a Compassionate Charter created by the teachers and faculty of the schools. Working with school librarians to crate viedoes and activities.
- Ran two games at Nashville's first entrance into the Compassionate Games.
- Webinar with Pakistan for SPELT, coordinated with Lubna Mohyuddin, 2011 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows. Topic? Storytelling for peace.
- Spoke via Google hangouts to Uruguay for Peace One Day. The focus was "Who will you make peace with"– so my speech? It starts with You.
- Speaking has become a regular act as every talk leads to the next. The Dragon has spoken to all ages, and all different types of groups from parents, teachers, law enforcement and security, nurses, elder care, women's groups; from kindergarten through college aged students. The peace curriculum has something to bring to every party.
- Spoke in Charleston at the request of student Cara Pugh, friend and former carpool-ee. She started a student organization "A Different Perspective" to promote diversity in her school. Worked with students at a foster center, and was "Show & Tell" for Warren Pugh's pre-school class. He told his mother, "Miss Linda is Love!" That's all I needed!
- Worked with Students at SWA teaching peace master techniques, and the comments were:
- would highly recommend you to others
- you brought them new insight
- you were an inspiration to them
- glad to have a teacher that listened to them and got them
- you were always smiling :)
- they learned how to handle situations and not let others or their emotions control them.
- Submitted "Continuum of Peace" Grant with TTU and amazing group of students, Justin Sweatman-Weaver and Kaitlin Salyer, with Professor Ada Haynes and George Chitiyo looking to teach peace to students from the Philippines and Brazil and US, to in turn, create stories to teach forward
- Spoke at two Rotary clubs around the state. The Rotary club has a four-way test for things they say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?.
In the Wings:
- Return to New York, Grand Rapids and SWA in the beginning of the year
- Plan four: Revise of Peace Master Class. One more time – but putting the best foot forward is the always the smartest way to work! Website will incorporate bite-sized portions for implementation of class. Web animations to be introduced. Peace Tales, our nternational stories will be posted in written and audio form, so listening and reading comprehension can be exercised with students. Also introduces the emotional understanding of pitch and tone for students to become aware of when talking to each other!
- A Taste of Peace: Comfort Foods from Around the World will also headline a column front and center on the website, with guest chef bloggers, and introducing Peace Meal Ideas/recipes where friends gather for a meal with a purpose, bringing supplies, donatable items for a cause of their choice.
- New line of dragon items being created to sell online to support programs!
- Larry Roberts, a father of seven and returning student at TTU, has worked on creating our two apps, one which will release online on the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks.
- Working with Shirley Amitrano (fellow Mid-South SCBWI member and former critique group partner) on Spark: Managing Your Emotional Fire app. This will aid teachers, parents and students in creating an awareness of anger patterns and how to turn them into a spark for fuel not fire!
- Grand Rapids picked up the mantle and used the pocket peace dragons to send to the Oklahoma victims after the tornadoes hit their towns. Big thanks to Lila Pursely, Dalin Clark and family and Terri Driscoll who started the ball rolling!
- Christopher Wilkinson from Venezuela picked up on Talk Nice Tuesday for their school as part of a week of activities. Alejandra Bello created the activity, inspired from the G.I.N. conference in Brazil.
- Cara Pugh started her group "A Different Perspctive" based on what we shared in carpool, and the Mumbai outcome.