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11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 TEXAS Nature PROJECT Connecting Learning and Life through Nature Education = before driving away. I squint at him, feeling terrible. “Is he mad?” I ask. James shrugs. “Let me put it like this, I’ll probably hear about it when I get home. My uncle is also my landlord, so I am sure I’ll hear about it from him and my auntie I groan. “I am so sorry:’ James shrugs again. “It’ll be alright:’ We watch his son crush ants on the sidewalk with his car. James swoops him up and over his head, and the child shrieks with delight. Eventually a police officer pulls up. From Ateven and me, she asks for license, registration, proof of insurance. I find everything but a current registration, and instead give her the expired one in the glove box. From James and Erika, she asks for all that, then asks where they were going, whom the car belongs to, why did they have it, where did the children live, where do James and Erika live, where do they work. She takes the information and returns to her car. After some time she calls me over. “Do you have current registration? This is expired:’ she says. I make a face. “Probably?” I tell her uncertainly, “but I don’t know where:’ She nods and says. “Well, you have the sticker on your plates to show you are registered. But you have to keep current registration in your vehicle:’ “I know:’ I say. “I just started this job. I didn’t realize it wasn’t there:’ “So what happened?” she asks. At this point I need to clarify some things. James and Erika are black, in their 20s, cleanly dressed. Ateven and I are white, slightly older, and filthy from work. The police officer is white, female, and maybe in her early 40s at most. I tell what happened. “I pulled in. There was no one behind me. At some point he must have pulled in behind me, but I didn’t see him, so when I went to back up I hit him:’ The officer shakes her head. “Mmmhmm. He told me he was already there. He said you hit him:’ She says it as though she caught James in a lie. I look at her, confused. “Yes,” I say. “I hit him. He pulled in behind me at some point, and I didn’t see him, so I backed into him. It was totally my fault.” She nods. “Well, I’m going to have to give you a ticket, but I am going to give you the cheaper of the two I could give you. That’s all I can do for you.” She says this nicely, and it is clear she is trying to help me out. I thank her. She nods. “He is going to be sorry he called the police she says conspiratorially. “What?” I say, alarmed. “He didn’t call the police. He didn’t do anything. I hit him. This isn’t his fault:’ innIniiinfflinnnumlimuillinnwilminfinumnfflulnwillIniumni If you share our commitent to perserving the beauty and diversity of our state’s natural ecosystems for future generations, please make Texas Nature Project your funding prioritiy \(and QUESTION: How do you make an Oil Executive really angry? ANSWER: Support Texas Nature Project! Texas Nature Project is a new nonprofit offering one-semester, for credit nature immersion learning experiences for students of all majors enrolled in an accredited Texas college or university. The coming generations will face challenges unlike any before faced in human history, challenges like climate change, diminishing aquifers, energy resources, forests, fish stocks, and landscapes. Our nation has long turned to its college graduates to solve its problems. Texas Nature Project students obtain the experiences, skills, and knowledge required to forge a new relationship with nature; one that respects nature, recognizes our continuing dependence on it, and reorders our priorities to live in harmony with its sustaining power. It is not possible to excite a wonder and respect for nature from the inside of a classroom. We must move students outside of the classroom and let them experience first-hand the beauty, joy, mystery, and power of the natural ecosystems that support our quality of life and make our state such a wonderful place to live, work, study, and play Unique TNP Holiday Gifts: For a $25.00 donation, you can have an “Old Goat” or “Jackass” named in honor of a friend or family member. A Naming Certificate will be forwarded per your instructions. For a $100.00 donation, have a tree planted at our ranch in honor of a friend or family member. For a $25.00 donation, select either Naturally, I’m a Texan or Naturally, we’re Texas t-shirt. Donations accepted via our website at www. texasnatureproject.org or by mail at: Texas Nature Project, P.O. Box 300, Mason, Texas 76856. Schedule a speaker or tour of our 100-acre Hill Country ranch, by calling our CEO, Dr. Sherra Theisen, or our COO, Jan Schultz at 1-325-347-5978 till gifts will be forwarded within ten days of receipt of di donation. Contact COO Jan Schultz or CEO Dr. Sherra Theisen, [email protected] 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 30 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 30, 2007