Link to What's New This Week. Issue for Weeks of December 23 and December 30, 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 15, No. 2, Week of December 23 and December 30, 2002

jeanne's schedule - Susan's classes - KID's Version
Previous Issue: Volume 15, No. 1, Week of December 16, 2002
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Latest Update: December 28, 2002

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takata@uwp.edu

TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
We Keep Going Back to Dichotomies

jeanne's self-portrait as teacher trying to cover left and right.

There is no single perspective.

The whole Trent Lott affair has brought out the teacher in me. Many of you have agreed that this semester you have learned that you must seek "truth" on your own, making judgments about who is to be believed and supported. That doesn't mean those you choose to follow are necessarily "right." It means they share with you a perspective with which you can comfortably live. More soon. Gotta go now. jeanne

New This Week NEW for the Week of December 23, 2002

Announcements:

TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
We Keep Going Back to Dichotomies

    Left/Right and Where The Balance Fits Today

    The whole concept of left/right has confused some of us ordinary folks for quite a while. Never mind that David Horowitz of the Radical Left in the 60s is now a Right Perspective enthusiast. Never mind that Republicans keep taking over the left perspective better schools issues, but from the opposite end of routinize, regurgitate, and replicate the models. Everyday folks are regularly fooled by the location of school related barriers. And every budget in the country starts chopping off the school budget as soon as there's a crisis, never, to my knowledge, created by the children whose resources are cut.

    So one of the major issues we'll address in Sociology of Reality is just where left and right are in that reality in which we live. What prompted this was an e-mail telling me that I had misplaced libertarians in the left-right balance. So be it. I'm not a political scientist, and it was never my intention to acccurately place all political aand theoretical positions in a clear overall pattern. I don't believe there is any such clear overall pattern. I have heard left perspective scholars tell one another that they so disagree with another scholar that it is not possible to talk to him! Pray tell, if we of the academy cannot hold illocutionary discussions, who can? And if not, what then is the mission of the academy, for without illocutionary understanding of all perspectives we cannot defend as primary mission truth, which is what I thought we were trying to approximate, to the extent that such truth is knowable.

    This is a very real and difficult question. But our site reaches afar, and I trust that many will help us work these issues through.

    Issues and articles up this issue:

    1. Environmental Hazards

    2. Competence. Whose?

      • Wall Street Journal Article on Mr. Yosuf, a proposed suicide bomber. Will post shortly, along with perceptions on left/right and how we draw them today. jeanne. December 30, 2002.

    3. Domestic Violence Amongst Youth

    Thesis Materials:

    Reinterpretation of Theory:

    Two week time-out on theory. I'm taking a holiday break. jeanne. December 22. Oh, well. so much for the holiday break. jeanne December 24, 2002.

    Education and Its Discontents

    1. More Schools Rely on Tests, but Study Raises Doubts By Greg Winter. New York times. December 28, 2002. At p. A 1. Backup. In included ths article so that you will notice the extent to which the issue is covered by widely different papers, and all over the country. Such frequency of coverage and diversity of area suggest that the issue is growing in importance. It's a little like keeping an eye on the dissenting opinions as a gauge of when the law on a given issue is about to change.

    2. This piece is based on a review of the Wall Street Journal Article - front page - December 24, 2002: Standard Deviation: Student's Dream, Principal's Dread; The Test Not Taken. By Daniel Golden.

      The article is about the parents' right to opt out of the federally-mandated testing for "accountability." We don't need to remind you of our opposition to testing as a single overall measure of learning, which is the way it is most often used in today's conservative educational environment. Many of us, on many levels are opposed to testing, particularly to the extent that we understand the concept of measurement. Steve O'Donnell. California State University, San Marcos. Kids who are overtested. Teachers who are outraged by the time lost to "teaching to the test." I'll summarize and comment on the article soon - maybe tonight. But we need to include it in our references on evidence of learning. jeanne. December 24, 2002.

    3. Making It Better: The Cost of Repairing and Maintaining A Just Educational Infrastructure This essay is based on an New York Times article by Jacques Steinberg in the National section on December 25, 2002: Comeback School Holds Its Breath By Jacques Steinberg. Backup. Discussion issues included in essay. Link added December 25, 2002.

    Grades and End of Semester:

    Grades were truned in on December 18, which is when I thought they were due. I goofed. Sorry. They were due on the 17th. But they're all safely in. Because I continued to upload your comments and write on them, I'm still not finished. But I'm taking a few days off. Christmas, you know. Pat and I went over every thing that we had. but there were over 200 students, so we could have made a mistake. Remember to check out Grades and How to Get Them. If you think there is an error in your grade, please be sure you look at the How To files before you come to see us. jeanne. December 20, 2002.

    Grade procedures and examples were up before Chicago, so I'm assuming you're all up to date. And the e-mail is working again. Tonight, Monday, I managed to get up Veronica Sanders' digital painting of Thoughts for Trent Lott. It's taking ages, and the medicine is still making me terriibly sick. The doctor's sending more. May it stay down. And please don't worry about me. I'm OK, except that the arthritis and scoliosis are so severe I'm having trouble hobbling around, and even typing at the computer. I'm having to take it in slow steps, and I'm not good at that. But the doctors promise that legs, feet, and hands will work again. Soon. jeanne. December 17. 2002.

    Records of Learning

    I didn't get everything posted because there was just too much to get up. Will finish posting them all in a day or so. jeanne. December 20, 2002.

    Health:

    1. Depression and Understanding It

      Who's Afraid Like Virginia Woolf? By Stephen Holden. Review of movie "The Hours," with Nicole Kidman. Backup. Review up soon. jeanne



Theoretical Musings for Us by Us

  1. As we consider the dichotomy of thinking, black/white, right/wrong, republican/democrat, good/bad, we come to recognize that few of us fit reliably and consistently in either of the extreme categories. Most of us fall somewhere mid-range, and some of us move all over the range as we move to different issues. There just isn't an US and THEM anymore. I'm planning to discuss the role played by the child in Africa who inspired a chunk of Jack Nicholson's Glimpse of African Poverty Via a Hollywood Film By Marc Lacey. NYTimes. December 21, 2002. Backup. And I want to include with that the Chevron deal with Nigeria.

    How can we apply concepts of illocutionary discourse? Did Chevron have any such discourse prior to current evens in Nigeria? What does Chevron's executive mean when he agrees that there must be standards? Does this situation fit patterns of colonization? Or is it more complex? How does sovereignty trip over colonization? We'll start in with these discussions over the site, right after the holidays. jeanne. December 22, 2002.

  2. Homeless Say Thanks With a $3,000 Gift Associated Press. Los Angeles Times, December 25, 2002, Nation Section. Backup. Illocutionary Acts: Refusal to Be Complicit Essay and Discussion Questions. Link added December 25, 2002.

Stories of Lived Experience Lived Experience: Emancipatory Narratives

Norimitsu Onishi/The New York Times

As Oil Riches Flow, Poor Village Cries Out By Normitsu Onishi. December 22, 2002. New York Times. At p. A 1.

Backup:As Oil Riches Flow, Poor Village Cries Out
Backup 1.
Backup 2.
Backup 3.
Backup 4.
Backup 5.
Backup 6.
Backup 7.

Essay to go up shortly. I'll want to use this piece in Sociology of Reality in the Spring. jeanne

Art Shenanigans

  1. Thou Shalt Do No Harm

      jeanne's first version of Chevron in Nigeria.

      "Wellington Ojogor, known as the eghare aja, is the traditional leader of Ugborodo and says the creeks dug by American oilmen will destroy the village." NYTimes article, at pl. 15 of the International Section on Sunday, December 22, 2002. This is a very long article, and a very touching one. Someone gets hurt in the development of the modern gross national product. Here is an example in which it is clearly the poor who have been hurt. Theit village is sinking, and will ultimately disappear as viable land. Cheveron claims the stream was already there, as it undoubtedly was. That does not mean that the villagers are not right about the disastrous effect that drilling and manipulating the stream has had on their land.

      There is a basic conflict here in terms of how we manage natural resources. When the oil is all used up, what will happen to Ugborodo and other villages like it. Have the profits from oil been put into the generation of future production that will strengthen their economy. Of course not. The profits have gone to Chevron and to administrative czars in Nigeria who have enriched themselves. Does sovereignty include that right for leaders chosen by whatever means? Who in hte world speaks for those of Ugborodo, the poor who once depended on the land that was shared communally. At what point to we become complicit in this reality? All questions for Sociology of Reality in the Spring.

  2. The Art of Reading

    When the Going Gets Tough, Learn From a Book By Lawrence Van Gelder. New York Times. Sunday, December 22, 2002. Backup 1. Backup 2.