It Was Almost Too Much Yesterday: The Paradox of the Introverted Dr. Plastic Picker on KPBS
March 17, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Just about 30 minutes until I have to be at one of the dwindling number of middle management early monthly meetings I have to go to. I forget why I ever wanted to be at this particular meeting when I was younger? I think back then the personal dynamics of those older that were in charge was interesting to me, just like sitting in the high school cafeteria as you watch the different cliques walk by and place them in the social hierarchy. But this particular group has lost my interest and I’ve decided to move on to more interesting people and work.
But yesterday was almost too much for me. It was an epic day. Two years of slow work an coordination and ideas flowing back and forth between my office and Dr. AF. #WeBorrowTheEarthFromOurChildren is a reality. The Youth Arts Exhibition on Climate Change was made real, as the art work was displayed and the children artists came and KPBS came.
Dr. AF was interviewed. I was interviewed. Our teenage son who headed the poetry section, and two eloquent child climate #artivists spoke about their work. It could not have gone more perfectly. I’ve rewatched my interview and the other speakers, and the authenticity and the passion and the message that climate change is real and it’s a crisis that needs to be addressed now landed perfectly. I’ve talked so much about the intersection of climate and health, and those phrases came out easily and naturally. “Climate change is a pediatric public health crisis.” “Kids understanding so fundamentally what we adults make way too complicated.” “This is an existential crisis.” “Adults need to do more, the kids showed up.” We could not have orchestrated a better session. But the funny thing, is that it was not orchestrated at all. My email to the group being interviewed was as follows.
Thank you on behalf of Drs. AF and and myself for agreeing to be part of the American Academy of Pediatrics Youth Arts Exhibition and Interview with KPBS. Please arrive to the interview this Wednesday, March 16 at 1:00pm at the Studio Door. The Studio Door is located at 3867 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103-3113 between University Avenue and Robinson Avenue in the Hillcrest Neighborhood https://thestudiodoor.com/visit
Our exhibition is titled
with Cornel/Henry Art, American Academy of Pediatrics San Diego and San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air
We will have present
M.S. (17 yo, 2D artists), MY (12 yo, 2D artist), TJY (16 yo, youth poet, children’s arts council volunteer) Dr. AF (Cornel/Henry Art and Studio Door and AAP) Dr. Plastic Picker (AAP San Diego Climate Change and Health Committee, and Founder San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air, and aka @drplasticpicker on Instagram/blogger)
Be ready for some simple questions like
How are you involved in this arts exhibition?
How did you find out about this art exhibition?
What are your thoughts about climate change and environmental health?
More importantly please be yourself, as this exhibit is all about the youth of San Diego and amplifying your voices and art and helping to raise public awareness about climate change. Dr. Andrei has been hard at work and your pieces will be prepped and up. We think it will be about an hour or so. If anyone is free afterwards and would like to get coffee (or noncaffeinated drink for the kids) and pastry afterwards at Bread and Cie , I am happy to take anyone who is free out for a quick snack.
Looking forward to meeting and seeing everyone! Thank you for making time for us and for climate awareness! And remember to relax and we’ll have fun and show San Diego that fighting climate change can be fun and joyful work. It can be as simple and powerful as a drawing , a photo and a poem. And indeed, I know your contributions already have made a big difference.
Drs. Plastic Picker and AF
And every part of yesterday was magical. We AF and I got out in clinic at time, even though we had patients with still things in their ears. Our colleagues graciously covered for us the last few minutes. We chatted and made connections with the entire interview group. We saw the outlines of how the exhibit is going to look. We were interviewed. We were amazed at each other’s passion on plastic pollution, climate change, art and activism.
And with that, it was too much for me. We had lunch afterwards at Bread Cie in Hillcrest and the paninis were beautiful. We made plans to finish this project. I was so happy for the earth and so happy for everyone who played big and small parts in this.
But the paradox dear readers, is that I’m an introvert. I’m an introvert who was an KPBS with Beth Accommondo and talked about my love of children and the eart, and my deep seated fear that we are too late. The time to act is now, I said. Dr. AF said he could hear the tears in my voice. It was measured and the final interview I’ll let the blog readership know. But I was tired and I curled up in bed and let the kids clear the dinner table last night. I had to curl into myself and retreat.
And this morning, I’ll be quiet in my work and pack for our Girl Scout camping trip to Joshua Tree. I’ll just be a mom this weekend and a troop leader. Sometimes being Dr. Plastic Picker is too much.