Something that inspired me and has persisted as an interest into adulthood is the potential of recycled materials. I have always enjoyed making things with my hands and have trouble keeping them still. As a child, many of the library books I checked out were of the “how-to” variety. I would get a book on origami or making doll furniture or kitchen chemistry and would do things first “by the book” and then would create my own variations. Since I came from a working class family, and there was never much disposable income, I would scrounge materials to use for my products and experiments. Both my parents smoked and I loved getting the leftover large and small match boxes. You could stack the little ones and make a chest of drawers. The larger ones would make a nice bed for a small doll. I also used left over fabric (my mother sewed many of our clothes) to make little dolls and doll clothes. Old newspaper was great for origami and topological experiments. I would use my little sister as my “subject” for my science experiments—like “does an onion taste like an apple if your nose is closed?” As I came to teach teachers, I would find simple forms they could do for or with their children. For example, you can fold a paper cup from a square of 8 ½ x 8 ½ notepaper. You can use the leftover strip to make three little finger puppets of the same design and a double fold of newspaper to make different kinds of hats and holders. For 15 years I worked with teachers from rural areas of Central America and the Caribbean and my explorations with beautiful trash became even more important. Many of them had no potable water, no electricity, no books, etc. The natural environment and recycled materials came to be major resources for them. My colleagues and I helped them use beautiful trash to make props and games for math, original books based on their own lives and cultures, puppets to retell stories, airplanes to test scientific hypotheses, and even products to sell to raise money for their schools. I still play with beautiful trash—e.g., at a restaurant, I’m twisting the papers from drinking straws to make little people or flexi-hexagons while I wait for my order. I love raw materials, finding their possibilities, discovering how just changing scale or making slight modifications can create new forms.