Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Week of October 28, 2002

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Dear Habermas
Current Issue

A Journal of Postmodern and Critical Thought
Devoted to Academic Discourse on Peace and Justice

Volume 14, No. 10, Week of October 28, 2002

jeanne's schedule - Susan's classes - KID's Version
Previous Issue: Volume 14, No. 9 Week of October 21, 2002
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Latest Update: October 31 2002

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jeanne's new world order

The New World Order - Unsilenced and Free

This week's painting came from a nightmare, every teacher's worst nightmare. I dreamt that I asked Shanell Polk and Denise Scurlock to explain something from one of their e-mails to me. They looked one to the other (they're the young women in the painting - Shanell with her zigzag plaits, and Denise with that perfect bouffant hairdo) and after a minute or so, one of them said: "I don't think we know." I was devastated. But luckily my husband woke me up. And then all day, I thought about that dream. Why was I so devastated? Whatever I asked could easily have been forgotten. And it would violate my refusal to impose method of showing learning. So waht was it?

Finally it all came together. The teacher who follows our class period had been abnormally perturbed by the chairs being out of order on Thursday. Actually, he kind of pissed off both me and Pat. But the more I thought about that on Thursday, the more I realized that he was merely trying to silence me and Pat, for we had made an inescapable statement about valid ways to teach. We had left the room in circles, for none of us could put the chairs back until the discussion was over, and it didn't end until well after I got there. We were to have been silenced by his telling us that our behavior showed bad manners and became animated when I didn't readily acquiesce. Dear me, such a lot of falderol over nothing. But before I finally left, I did get mad enough to ask one of the students what the class was. And Pat looked up who it was that taught the class: Staff. I wanted Pat to be silent, but Pat would have none of it. She kept entering a non-existent discussion about alternatives of innovative teaching. Gee whiz. And mostly all I wanted was out of there, 'cause I was sick.

Well, today as I pondered my nightmare and that scene over the chairs which must unfailingly face forward in neat rows, I realized they were all part and parcel to the silencing we have grown so used to. So I painted this to express Denise and Shanell breaking out of those crazy silences we impose on one another, and all those other little cages are the chairs sitting dutifully forward.

I don't know if you'll feel it, but there was something lonely, isolated, depressing about those cage/chairs, even though I dutifully dressed them in bright colors.I had to keep adding bright-colored arrows, in chaotic directions, of course, and I had to fill up the lavendar space that I would normally have found quite peaceful. This time I needed the space filled with activity. Maybe, just maybe, a part of what horrifies me about the classrooms we teach in is their lack of color, of joy, of chaos of any kind, of seriousness which pervades even spatial arrangement of chairs and the cleanliness of blackboards but skips lightly over the substance. And now see the importance of painting as expression. My first reaction to all this was just that the staff person was having a bad people day. Maybe his wife yelled at him. Maybe he doesn't have a wife. Maybe his boss fussed at him. What do I know? Pat was tired, too, and on a high from teaching how not to be silenced. Maybe this was all much ado about nothing.

But the longer I painted, and I kept on painting long after I thought I had finished. That's when I began to feel the unacceptability of even brightly-colored chairs all in rows. I had to add arrows. I had to sign my name as crawling out of the picture, to escape the scene itself. Something is wrong, and I clearly wanted out of there. So I crawled out, right along the left corner. And at one point, over on the left side just above where I crawled out, one of the arrows stretched out and started to crawl with me. My subconscious seems to be saying something about not liking the world order that staff member would like to impose.

For more of the story link to Refusing to Be Silenced; How to Get an A or B.

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

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New This Week NEW for the Week of October 28, 2002

    Announcements:

    Day of the Dead: November 1, 2. Help welcomed. jeanne Enjoy the Day of the Dead and/or Hallow'een. I don't think I'm going to make Olvera Street tomorrow, but my spirit will be with you. love and peace, jeanne

    It's 2:15 p.m. and I just crawled out of bed. I'm about to crawl back in. But first, there are some articles in the LA Times and the NYTimes that I want you to peruse . I'll try to find the energy tomorrow to put up their essays; for now, just the articles. October 31, 2002. Each one relates to at least one of our classes and can be conceptually linked, in all its complexity, to peace and social justice.

    Health: Check out Chana Dal and Help with Diabetes

      NEWS STORIES:

    • Hunger No. 1 Health Problem in World Backup.

    • Living Wage Issue Put in Voters' Laps By Martha Groves. "The measure on the Santa Monica ballot will culminate a years-long battle over mandating a base pay for workers in the city's tourism zone." P. B 1. October 31, 2002. Los Angeles Times. California Section. Backup. These are the "unseen" others we choose not to hear about. Take the time to read the story. Then think on the importance of stories to social justice.

      Merit Scholarships, NY Times. Photo by Tami Chappell. Tami Chappell for The New York Times
      "Kristin McKenna considered going to college in California before receiving a merit scholarship at the University of Georgia, and a car."

    • B's, Not Need, Are Enough for Some State Scholarships By Greg Winter. New York Times. P. A 1. October 31, 2002. Backup.

      Hiromi Yasui for The New York Times Hiromi Yasui for The New York Times.
      "Recent attacks on girls' schools in Afghanistan, as well as an anonymous letter, appear to confirm that Islamic militants have begun a campaign against the education of girls."

    • Attacks on Schools for Girls Hint at Lingering Split in Afghanistan By David Rohde. New York Times. P. A 1. October 31, 2002. Backup.

    • Elder Abuse Law November issue of the Daily Journal, Los Angeles' Legal Newspaper. Backup.



    How to Get an A or a B

    Index on Comments
    New Comments, not yet Indexed Link added October 20, 2002. Will try to update this weekend, but the flu might win. jeanne Oct. 31, 2002.

    American Society of Criminology Annual Conference
    Chicago, Tuesday, November 12 through Saturday, November 16.
    We have two sessions on Thursday and two on Saturday. Susan had the Wednesday session changed. Check the conference schedule for times.



    Theoretical Musings for Us by Us

    Stories of Lived Experience Lived Experience: Emancipatory Narratives

    . . . . . .
    Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times . . . . . . . . . . . Reuters

    • Discovery of similar lived experience across race with Eminem Link added October 28, 2002.

      Some of the comments from this article that might catch your attention:

      • " . . . He's rapping about life — you know, stuff that we go through out here. Some of it's a goof, but some of it's real, and it sounds like it comes from the heart, you know. A lot of us can relate to that."
      • "He needs to calm down with all that crazy white-boy stuff — that fight music, yo. That's gonna get him hurt. He's a good lyricist. He should concentrate on that."
      • "I don't like him," he said of Eminem. "He talks about killing his wife in his songs. I don't care what she did to him. That's wrong."

      So what are the limits on rap, and similar genres? Is it wrong? Period. Even to fantasize it? Where does fantasy begin and life leave off? Do our kids know the difference? Can you prohibit fantasy? Do you want to?

      What does it say to us that such race crossovers are possible? Does it matter whether the story of his life that Eminem tells is true? What is truth?

      What does all this tell us about criminology and the definition of crime? When men and boys and women and girls are locked totally away from the rest of the population, are their lives about fantasy or about reality? How do those two interact? What happens if society so distances you from your lived reality that only fantasy beckons? Is there a way to recapture reality one day? These are some of the deeper questions we haven't asked frequently enough of prisoners and those who manage them, and of our children and ourselves who manage the children.

    • Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy Cornell University. United Progressive Alumni They will host an alernative progressive alumni chapter for alumni who share their mission:
      "We are an independent organization of Cornellians dedicated to the continual transformation of our alma mater into a more inclusive, just, and democratic institution. We believe that the university and its administration should themselves practice the values impressed upon every student at commencement: Civic responsibility, ethical integrity, and commitment to a just community."

      I told you stories are important! jeanne

    Art Shenanigans

      late capitalism running after commodificatiion

      late capitalism running after commodification

      Now, what on earth do you suppose I meant by this painting and title? Well, actually I drew it in a fun-filled moment at Art's Deli when my brother-in-law hadn't quite decided on whether he just didn't want to eat, or while he was checking out the quality of the corned beef, or when he was finally sitting down long enough to tell the waitress (who had graciously come by three times) hat she didn't know what she was doing, since after all, she wasn't from New York. Gee, I bet that surprised her!. It seemed like a good time to draw. And, needless to say commodification came to mind, and all the complaints that go with it. Then I thought how we couldn't get my brother-in-law to sit still for more than two minutes at a time, how I kept trying to crawl under the table with my pet cheetah, and my husband's look of absolute dismay because he couldn't think where he should run. Suddenly, I got it. It was funny. There we all were, properly shepherded by Pat. Oops, no, Pat wasn't there that night. Well, so we were unchaperoned, and probably running in more directions than our family of cats, while my brother-in-law complained that it wasn't Cantor's. We have a word for this in Yiddish: OY !!!!

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    jeanne's first version of day of dead for 2002
    Day of the Dead - jeanne's first version: November 1 and 2, 2002

    Day of the Dead Essay Link added October 28, 2002.

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  • Sample Contents:
  • Animations by Pat Grugan

    An Animation of the Surplus Theory of Value This is a delightful animated cartoon, to which I was alerted by the Kapital Gang, a listserv. It is so beautifully done that even little ones should be able to understand it. Then you need to explain to them that we must treat each human, including all those who work for a living, with respect and dignity. Don't forget to add that, or your little ones may grow up thinking capitalism is a monster. The enemy is not capitalism. The enemy is us and the specific ways we have embedded capitalism in our lifeworlds.

    Now I'd like to see someone create a third leader for the animation. A leader who has digested Habermas and Mia Pia Lara and Paulo Freire, and lots of other theorists we consider. How could that leader transform the capitalist world presented here to a more just social world?

    There's also an animation on globalization. I think this one might make sense to children at middle school level. Share with me some of the explanations you would need to go with the animation to clarify the concepts for middle school children. Converesely, think about sharing these animations with adults who haven't yet grown used to a world that is trying to learn to be self-reflexive and question its own unstated assumptions.

    One of the Kapital Gang listserv replied to these cartoons:

    "The animations were good. But I'm not so sure about the text about out of every $100 turnover, manufacturing workers get only $17. The text implies that only production workers are workers. Capitalists won't employ people who don't produce surplus value unless they are really forced to. I find it easy to argue that teachers and designers produce value. I'm not so sure about lawyers."

    Defense of lawyers, anyone?

Site Teaching Modules Scholarly Resources

Topic Categories on Site. Classes, Workshops, and Lifelong Learning

Let's have a Chana Dal Workshop and a Menopause Workshopwhen we get back from Chicago. And don't forget our Peace March and our Financial Aid March, for which there's a new article up on merit scholarships. Maybe one of these shoudl be a town forum. jeanne

Classes and Lifetime Learning

Thesis Projects

  • Essays on Thesis Praxis

      Reference Essays:

    • Pulling It Together How to get started writing once you've done your research. From Pat Acone's thesis project: Collaborative Writing in Online Education. Link added August 16, 2002.

    • Getting Started How to recognize what you've really been doing when you thought you were trying to do something else. Berthena Kemp's thesis project: Our African Heritage. Link added August 16, 2002.

    • Recharging Along the Way Millie Coulter has thought of changing topics frequently. Not because she doesn't want to write on her topic, but because barriers, institutional barriers, keep getting in her way. This is the problem of finding your authentic self in writing your thesis. How do you make the thesis fit you in spite of external institutional constraints? Lin to be added August 18, 2002.

Workshops:

Site Teaching ModulesEvaluation of Site Teaching Practices

  • Reference:
  • Index of Site Teaching Modules
    With teaching essays, analyses of texts, discussion questions, field activities, and self tests.
  • Module List Each essay or article paired with its Practice Module. Notation clarifies when Practice Module not yet uploaded.

Site Teaching Modules Navigating the Site

Site Teaching Modules On-Going Project Evaluation