Ouch.

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My youngest son attends a really special little school - like a dozen kids per class kind of little. The play area for the school is one of the things that ultimately sold us on the place - There's a creek running through it, giant trees, an outdoor "theater" - up top there's a new basketball court bordered by a "poetry fence" (kids hang/rearrange wooden plaques with words painted on them) - it's unique. However, a plan is afoot to introduce a synthetic turf field for the kids to play safely on a uniform, softer, sanitized surface. (Gah!)

Photos by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer The heart of the problem, Max Liboiron said, is that the oceans are downstream from literally everywhere, so plastic debris ranging from discarded water bottles to stray supermarket bags washes into streams, flows down rivers, and eventually to the sea. Liboiron, who spoke at the Peabody Museum as part of the "Trash Talk" series, shows a sample of plastic-filled ocean water.

Photos by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

The heart of the problem, Max Liboiron said, is that the oceans are downstream from literally everywhere, so plastic debris ranging from discarded water bottles to stray supermarket bags washes into streams, flows down rivers, and eventually to the sea. Liboiron, who spoke at the Peabody Museum as part of the "Trash Talk" series, shows a sample of plastic-filled ocean water.

I organized my data on how microplastics from such a field will make their way to the creek, as well as the latest information about the bio-accumulation of toxic chemicals in our bodies over time. I put it all in my awesome paper-board binder (guidedproducts.com) - beautifully highlighted with my new pencil highlighters, and biked on over to the school's Focus Group Meeting.

I had this.

I spoke with the other parents, the board members, and the School Director about a range of school issues - it was all going so well. 

Then it came time for me to weigh in on the astro-turf proposal. It did not go anything like version I had rehearsed in my head.

Instead, I played the part (rather convincingly) of the hysterical environmentalist.  I went from rational and informed, to rattled and inflamed. 

My take away is the need to recognize when a person, or a group of people want something, they're not going to be keen on "highlighted data" that is contrary to what they want and believe

What I SHOULD have done, is have the beautifully highlighted data as backup - I could have done a cursory mention of the risks, and then put my enthusiasm and can-do attitude into presenting an alternative.

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Duh. Time to reset, and work on the positive, attractive alternatives.

I've got this.