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Friday, October 27, 2017

Interview with Melissa Shang: Wheeling through Middle School

Young writers are doing great things. Welcome to an interview with Melissa Shang who wrote Wheeling Through Middle School when she was 8th grade. It explores the impact of bullying on a girl in a wheelchair while it introduces a mystery. The book draws from Melissa's own experiences.

1.  What is your name and the name of your book?
My name is Melissa Shang and the name of my book is Mia Lee Is Wheeling Through Middle School.

Melissa Shang, author of Mia Lee Is Wheeling Through Middle School
2.  What is your book about? 

Mia Lee Is Wheeling Through Middle School is about a sixth grade stop-motion filmmaker in a wheelchair called Mia Lee and her experiences during her first year of middle school. In this book, Mia makes new friends, runs for Video Production Club president, and has to deal with a middle school mean girl. When Mia’s campaign posters get stolen, Mia and her friends are on a mission to figure out who stole them, and get themselves into exciting adventures along the way.

Cover for the book, Mia Lee Is Wheeling Through Middle School
3.  How did you get interested in writing?  Why did you choose to write about a middle school girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility?  
I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I remember going to the library every week to get new books. I love how reading gives people of all ages the ability to go into a new world and experience different things while physically never having to leave the house. Through reading so much, I started gaining an appreciation for the art of writing. However, out of all the books I’ve read, I’ve never read a story starring a girl with a disability. So many people don’t know anything about disabilities and what it’s really like to have a disability because they don’t see them represented in stories. And I wanted to change that. So I wrote Mia, the main character, as someone who used a wheelchair like myself. Instead of seeing the wheelchair from the outside, readers actually get to understand Mia’s perspective from the inside.

4.  Is your book drawn from personal experience?  How much? Why?
 Most of the book was drawn from personal experience starting middle school. For example, Mia’s friends Caroline, Rory, and Daniela were based off of my friends in middle school. Caroline is based off of my best friend Cassie, who I’ve also known since first grade. Also, like Mia, I love to film stop-motion videos of my dolls and post them on Youtube, and obviously, I also have a disability. While I wanted to keep the book as true to my life as possible, I also wanted it to be interesting and entertaining. I don’t normally solve that many mysteries!

5.  What are some of the most challenging aspects of middle school?  Have you observed bullying?  What kind? Is there anything that can be done? 
While I didn’t have direct experiences of bullying in middle school, the biggest challenge in middle school is making friends while being yourself. A lot of kids in middle school get really caught up with fitting in and being popular that they forget to be true to themselves. My main advice for middle school is to be open to new experiences while not forgetting to stay true to themselves. You see this with Mia and Caroline when on the first day, Mia just wants to move on and forget all their old traditions, but Caroline isn’t willing to try new things. Having a balance of both is the way to go.

6.  Do you think that Mia Lee Is Wheeling Through Middle School is just about kids with disabilities, or is it about something else as well?  What might those things be?
 Mia Lee is Wheeling Through Middle School is definitely not only about kids with disabilities. A big part of Mia Lee is Wheeling Through Middle School is actually about friendship and the way friendship can change as you grow up. Mia and Caroline started off as best friends forever, and Caroline was really afraid of losing that. However, by the end of the book, Caroline and Mia are part of this great new group of friends and their friendship has reached this new level. I think this is something that a lot of kids go through, with or without a disability. It was just important to me to show that kids with disabilities go through it as well.

7.  Are you working on anything now?
Right now, I’m in ninth grade, and I just started high school in a completely new school district after my family moved. I’m currently focusing on adjusting to high school, making new friends, and getting good grades, but I’m always looking for ways to stand up for people with disabilities and make my voice heard.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Making Money in Mature Fields Symposium: AAPG/SIPES Fort Worth

Don't miss a packed agenda with speakers focused on sharing new knowledge and experiences in making money with mature fields.

A Joint SIPES/AAPG Symposium Sponsored by SIPES Fort Worth Chapter, October 30, 2017

Hosted by TCU Energy Institute
Dee J Kelley Alumni and Visitors Center
  • 12 30-minute Technical Sessions
  • Up to 6 Continuing Education Credits
  • Continental breakfast and box lunch
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments
  • $50 per person all inclusive
  • Tell all your friends!
Dee J Kelley Alumni & Visitors Center
2820 Stadium Dr, Fort Worth, TX

Symposium Speakers

Morning- click graphicto enlarge

Afternoon - click graphic to enlarge


AAPG Advanced Surface Logging Course in Houston - space limited / sign up here

A low-cost one-day course in surface logging (analysis of all the fluids, gases, and sample cuttings that come to the surface while drilling a well) will be hosted by the Petrophysical Technical Interest Group (Directors: Matt Boyce and Kirin Gawankar) on November 3 at the Southwestern Energy campus in Spring, Texas. The cost for the course is $200. Space is limited.

To pay via PayPal, please click here.

In recent years, surface logging technologies have greatly evolved and has seen some great advances in high quality data acquisition, measurements, technology and interpretation techniques which provide valuable inputs towards formation evaluation both in unconventional and conventional drilling wells. As the industry adjusts to the new lower price of oil, experts strive to optimize the cost of projects, without compromising on the data collection. Many operators drilling in both conventional and unconventional plays are now switching to advanced surface logging, which is a value driven approach for collecting high quality surface data and utilizing it for reservoir characterization purposes.

Advanced Surface Logging techniques deliver high quality measurements and data in real-time and deliver valuable information at a fraction of the cost of the traditional well logging suites, utilizing proprietary, sophisticated equipment on-site. This workshop will bring the attendees up to date with the latest academic and case-studies from the field, of the advanced surface logging technologies.

The course will cover:
  •     Basics of surface logging for formation evaluation while drilling
  •     Reservoir characterization from Advanced Mud Gas Logging
  •     Real-time Isotopic Analysis δ13C of C1, C2 and C3
  •     Source Rock Characterization
  •     Inorganic geochemistry of rocks
  •     Headspace and Interstitial gas measurements and analysis
  •     Bit-Wear Analysis
  •     Fracture Analysis from Advanced flow measurements
  •     Tools and Techniques for Wellbore Stability and Cleaning
  •     Drilling Optimization

Date of Event:   November 3, 2017
Time: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Southwestern Energy
10000 Energy Drive
 Spring, Texas 77389

Who should attend?

Geologists and engineers.

How to register?

Send an email to

Pay for the course via AAPG's PayPal account. 



08.00 – 08.05 Welcome and safety moment – Matt Boyce

08.05 – 09.00 Introduction to Surface Logging techniques for Formation evaluation – Isaac Easow

09.00 – 11.00 Reservoir characterization from Advanced Surface Logging – Isaac Easow

11.00 – 11.30 Fracture Analysis for Reservoir characterization – Barzin Chiniwala

11.30 – 12.00 How can surface logging aid operators in drilling and completions – Matt Boyce

12.00 – 13:00 Lunch

13.00 – 14:00 Tour of the Advanced Logging Unit – Paulo Esteves

14:00 – 15.00 Innovative Drilling monitoring and optimization Technologies – Barzin Chiniwala

15:00 – 15.15 Closing discussions/Questions

Isaac Easow, GEOLOG Americas

Isaac Easow joined the O&G industry in 1991 as a Mud-logging Geologist with Geoservices after completing his Masters in Geology from University of Mumbai, India. He worked as a field engineer in various oilfield drilling locations in India, Indonesia and the Middle East as well-site geological logging engineer, pore pressure evaluation engineer and gas while drilling specialist. Since 2006 he joined the gas while drilling interpretation team to support real-time operations in North America, Latin America and West Africa. Since 2011 he has focused on interpretation and operations support for unconventionals in North America working with Geoservices and the Schlumberger group. In late 2014 he joined Geolog Americas and started his role as Advanced Technologies Champion providing real-time interpretation support for Reservoir Characterization services for both Unconventionals and Conventionals in North America, based in Houston Texas.

Barzin Chiniwala, Geolog Americas

Barzin Chiniwala is the Business Development Manager for Geolog Drilling Technology Services, currently based in Houston and focusing on promoting and executing drilling optimization services for U.S. Unconventionals and as well as global Geolog operations.

Barzin joined the Oil and Gas industry in 2001 as a Mud-logging geologist with Geoservices. He worked as a field engineer in different geographic locations for various operators in India, China, North Sea and Angola. 2006 onwards, he took up various Operations Management positions for the North Sea, based in the Aberdeen, U.K. In 2011, he joined Baker Hughes Drill Bits Technical Sales Team in UK, where he was responsible for drill bit and under-reamer sales to some of the major operators in the North Sea. Following that, in 2013, Barzin took up the global Product Manager Role for PDC Cutters and Bits, based in Houston. In 2015, with the benefit of comprehensive mud-logging and drilling knowledge, he took up the role of a GEOLOG Business Development Manager for Drilling Technology Services, based in Milan, Italy. A year ago, he moved to the GEOLOG Houston office to be able to work more closely with Global clients.

Barzin Chiniwala holds a M.S. degree from the University of Mumbai, India in Applied Geology.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Farewell, Silver Bird Presented at Library of Congress

Karolina Kolmanic's Farewell, Silver Bird, a story of love and danger set in Slovenia during World War II, has been presented to the Library of Congress by Vladimir Kolmanic, who is a member of the Slovenian diplomatic corps in Washington, DC.

Vladimir Kolmanic

Karolina Kolmanic, Farewell, Silver Bird

To order a copy, please visit this website.

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