I have had a busy couple of evenings. Yesterday evening, February 22, 2012, I was at the Mentor Mixer for The Berkeley Startup Competition, which I have been involved with for years. The mixer was held at the offices of Morrison & Foerster at 425 Market Street in San Francisco, California USA. I am a mentor to one of the semi final teams this year, and I was at the mixer to meet my team for the first time.
On my way home on the Muni Metro, I had the good fortune to meet a very impressive young woman named Devon Ivie. She complimented me on my favorite red velvet jacket. We got to talking and it turns out we attended high school in San Francisco at the same place. It turns out she’s still in high school, though she graduates in May. Ivie told me about her involvement with San Francisco Mock Trial, which is an educational project where students pretend to be attorneys during a fake trial they conduct. She told me the public finals were to be held today, February 23, 2012, just steps from where we both boarded the subway train.
I did a Google search when I got home and found the Facebook page for the Mock Trial and asked a question there as to the exact room number where the event would be taking place at Golden Gate University, which teaches law among other subjects.
I received an answer so I decided to attend as a blogger, with the intention of covering the trial as a reporter of sorts.
I brought my Canon 5D Mark II camera with a 135mm telephoto lens, which I used to capture stills and video clips. Tonight after the trial concluded I selected the still photographs you see here. I uploaded to this blog the full resolution 21 megapixels shots and added captions, which took hours. Since it’s late, I don’t have the energy to write a proper article about the trial right now. But I wanted to get the pictures posted tonight so that both teams would be able to see them tomorrow, a Friday.
I don’t randomly attend events strangers on the train tell me about. I was compelled to attend this event because when I went to high school, the school I attended was named McAteer High School. McAteer was a deplorable educational institution that was so bad the city of San Francisco eventually shut it down. The campus reopened later as The School of the Arts, or SOTA. Devon Ivie is a student at SOTA. She was an attorney for the prosecution in a murder trial at the mock trial tonight. She was outstanding, as were her fellow attorneys.
Ivie told me SOTA was competing in the city wide Mock Trial finals against Lowell High School, which is generally considered to be the best public high school in San Francisco. I was and remain impressed.
I attended the Mock Trial because I wanted to see SOTA students in action, to witness first hand how a dreadful school can be turned around into a place from where winning teams regularly emerge.
I had a fantastic evening at Mock Trial tonight. I met a teacher from Lowell and spoke with him for 20 minutes about the state of the education system in the United States. I met two additional SOTA students, including one on the subway coming to the event.
I got to meet one of the coaches for the SOTA team and I got to say hello to my new friend Devon Ivie, shown here in the 4th picture from the top of this post.
Within the next few days I hope to be able to write a proper article about tonight. Please subscribe to my blog to keep up to date with this and other stories I write. I am on Facebook, so please friend me there. My status updates frequently provide quick summaries and links to my blog, so friending me is a quick way to stay abreast of my blog without needing to visit it directly.
I posted these pictures to an album on Facebook. If you know people in these pictures and are on Facebook, please visit my album and tag the people so I can update the captions on these pictures. Thanks!
[Note: These pictures were tagged on Facebook after I posted them there. The pictures are publicly viewable on Facebook, so I copied the names of the tagged individuals to the captions underneath these pictures today, February 25, 2012. If you are identified on this blog post and prefer to have your last name removed, send me a message and I will edit this post. This post is not meant to invade your privacy. I would be thrilled if it helps you get into college or get a great job.]