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Current Issue: Volume 21, No. 10. Week of October 31, 2004

jeanne's first version of Commodity Elections
Transforming Cultural Birds: YES!

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: October 30, 2004
Latest Update: October 31, 2004

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Topic of the Week:

Transforming Cultural Birds: YES!

Message 419
From: Darcy Alsop
Date: Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:59 am
Subject: A funny story

Hi Everyrone,
Just thought I'd share an experience I had on Wednesday morning with you. I'm sure that all of you with children can relate to the chaos that is dropping off in the morning, right? Well, I am guilty of double-parking and getting my son out of the car, however I hopped right back in and got moving (as do so many parents at our school). Anyway, I got honked and sneared at. That hurt "my little dog" and I came out fighting and promptly gave both of these women the finger, in front of the school no less. Am I proud of this, ABSOLUTELY NOT! It get's better. One of the women I apparently offended and blocked for about 1 minute pulled over, got out of her car and walked about 3 feet into the street waiting for me to drive up. I did and as I rolled down my window to apologize for my ridiculous and childish behavior, she starts screaming at me. This goes on for about 1-2 minutes, all the while I'm trying to explain why I was parked like that, etc. She finishes off by telling me that I'm blocking traffic AGAIN~ and then storms back to her car. I was so upset. I drove away and barely held it together long enough to pull over. I thought about it and went back to see if she was there. Her car was but she wasn't inside. Visions of this woman telling the front office and principal about the incident danced in my head! I wrote her a note and fully explained the situation, apologized but said that we really should not have yelled at each other and there may have been a better resolution. OK- there is a point~ I calmed down, thought some more and wrote a letter to the principal. I told her what happened and offered a solution. You see, there are no parking/drop off regulations. It's sort of a free for all and there are tons of people doing the exact same thing I did that day. I'm sure I'm not the first parent to get into it with another over morning chaos. I suggested that a system be implemented so that the mornings will run more smoothly. They need someone out there directing traffic and creating a specific loading/unloading zone. I felt like I took action and felt great about it. I'm learning so much from Soc 328, about myself and social agencies! I was able to recognize my behavior quickly and then take responsibility for it. -Well, I never heard from the other woman so she probably feels bad (or stupid) about making such a scene and I've yet to hear from the principal. It's frustrating but I intend to make this happen. Thought you all might find my small act of trying to transform a very small dominant discourse a little inspiring and perhaps slightly amusing. I mean how often do you see a soccer mom give someone the bird?

~~~Rock the vote! Only 3 more days!

You'll find Darcy's story at Yes!. It strikes me as raising several important issues:

  • We can change the dominant discourse accepted way of doing things, if we care enough to do something.
  • There's always another way to see things and to prioritize. I was amazed that anyone would object to a mother's seeing her child safely into school, given the fears we have learned for children's safety in the present world.
  • There is often a need to prioritize when streets serve for parking, delivery and distribution, for passenger pickup zones, and for simple driving. Social issues just keep popping up all over the place, when you least expect them. Sherry, are we going to tell UPS and FedEx that they can't double park?
  • Stepping back and taking the affect out of the incident always helps. Too bad Darcy's counterpart didn't respond to that effort.
  • Doing something constructive is always the best possibility. Get protection out there for dropping the kids off! Organize it, and avert some of the awful tragedies that have occurred because we never did prioritize all these activities on one small street.

  • I just uploaded to transform_dom the Democratic Party's instructions for protecting your vote. There's gonna be a lot of double parking on Tuesday, and double talking, and double entendring. Once you've given them the bird, back up, rethink the situation, check out the Democratic Party's suggestions, and find some means of action. It's empowering, and even if it doesn't work this time, you've gotten lots of practice for next time. Yes! jeanne


NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Discussion Topics:

Rescheduling of Classes for Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Because many of you are helping others vote, because our class times conflict with voting in heavy traffic and long lines, because many of you have expressed considerable stress and anxiety over this particular election, we have decided not to meet on Tuesday. We will offer workshops at various times and days over the next few weeks to permit the lost time to be used for discussion of the election as a social justice event. jeanne

Backup of photo Doug Mills/The New York Times, after campaign in Wilmington, Ohio.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
"Remnants of a rally in Wilmington, Ohio, after President Bush moved on to the next stop today."
Remnants, yes
that's how I feel
wrung out
still passionate
but I can't get up and yell

Not a bad idea
to lie right down and rest
here in the midst
of democracy
trying its best
to reinvent itself.

Wednesday I'll get up
and start all over again
for freedom.


Relying on Others for Information

The New Yorker Endorsement of Kerry The first time the New Yorker Magazine ever endorsed a Presidential candidate. Think about it. jeanne's not the only one scared of four more years. Backup.

One of the ways that we gain information in this uncertain and highly contested everyday world is by listening to those we have come to trust as quasi-authorities. By quasi-authority I mean that we don't assume that everything this authority says is true and right and the only plausible answer. Instead, we know that lots of times we agree with their positions and their conclusions. When we haven't time to keep up with the onslaught of information we have experienced, as in this bizarre election campaign, then we consider their opinion seriously, giving it weight because of our trust in what they generally conclude.

For me the New York Times and the New Yorker Magazine and the New York Review of Books are such sources. My mother was a New Yorker, and she passed a great deal of her family culture along to me, so that I fit in best, if I fit in at all, with that culture. The Los Angeles Times I also subscribe to and agree with lots of times, but not with all it's viewpoints. I have problems with their cartoonist Michael Ramirez. That's what I mean about needing to know your trusted source pretty well, whether it's a newspaper, or a colleague, or a teacher, or a friend, or a cartoonist, for that matter. (For example, I don't think Alicia would or should depend on her Aunt for political justice information. Message #430 at Home Page for transform-dom.)

Even if you can't find the time to read a paper regularly, the Internet makes a tremendous range of material available. check out the resources on our home page and included on every issue. Then, when you need information in that area, consult those with whom you know that you will probably agree. Theoretical Reference: William A. Scott, Values and Organizations, 1965.

Lots of Good Links and Discussions on the Election and Social Issues on Transform_dom and Transspan Check them out.

Notice that instructions for getting to those sites follow this just below. One of the worst mistakes we make in communication is to assume that the Other has heard and processed whatever we said to him/her. If I assume that by now, the tenth week, that you know how to get to the transform web home pages, I'm assuming that you were present, cognitively as well as physically, and that there was no interference from later learning that made you forget, if you did know how to get there. We are so caught up in our own psychological life spaces (Kurt Lewin) that we forget that there are other priorities and agendas in other people's life spaces. I'm trying not to do that.

Joining and Participating in the Yahoo Groups
on Transforming Dominant Discourse

I know that the elections have taken time from our traditional class activities. They are important. I accept that. But PLEASE do not forget that you are responsible for following the weekly issue of Dear Habermas, AND for participating in some manner in the class and/or Transforming Dominant Discourse discussions. AND the day after the elections is the day to start getting your project for Naked Space ready.

  • Home Page for transform-dom You can read all the messageson Transforming Dominant Discourse from this page. Just click on messages in the left hand frame. You can read the messages, even if you're having difficulty signing up.

  • Home Page for transspan You can read all the messages in spanish on Transforming Dominant Discourse from this page. Just click on messages in the left hand frame. You can read the messages, even if you're having difficulty signing up. And you're welcome to put up messages for friends, relatives, community messages, who want to join the discussion but are not used to the computer. You can print the responses for them later. Make technology work for freedom and democracy

  • Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan

Shared Projects for Transforming Discourse:

I Lost my Answerability Somewhere

Understanding social justice and criminal justice: Telling Police What They Want to Hear, Even if It's False Backup of Los Angeles Times Article on Confessions. Where is the naked space in the criminal justice system? Does that matter?

Sometimes It Takes Two to Answer

Renee Decter posted this poem in message #451 on Home Page for transform-dom:

By Marge Piercy

What can they do to you? Whatever they want. They can set you up, they can bust you, they can break your fingers, they can burn your brain with electricity, blur you with drugs till you can't walk, can't remember, they can take your child, wall up your lover. They can do anything you can't stop them from doing. how can you stop them? Alone, you can fight, you can refuse, you can take what revenge you can but they roll over you.

But two people fighting back to back can cut through a mob, a snake-dancing file can break a cordon, an army can meet an army. Two people can keep each other sane, can give support, conviction, love, massage, hope, sex. Three people are a delegation, a committee, a wedge. With four you can play bridge and start an organization. With six you can rent a whole house, eat pie for dinner with no seconds, and hold a fund raising party. A dozen make a demonstration. A hundred fill a hall. A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter: ten thousand, power and your own paper: a hundred thousand, your own media; ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time, it starts when you care to act, it starts when you do it again after they said no, it starts when you say WE and know who you mean, and each day you mean one more.

Life Space and The Front Porch Art Crawl

One of jeanne's versions of Kurt Lewin's Life Space
My Psychological Life Space and Welcome To It! (Thurber reference)
I have no idea why the dairy cow is there; I just know that she's important.

As we weather this election, lots of life spaces, with lots of different issues and lots of different valences or priorities, are coming together in what could become the seeds of newly transformed dominant discourse. Try using this image to color your preferences differently, resize them, rename them, and generally redraw your own life space. Then asked parents, spouses, children, friends to join with you and create a whole scrapbook of life spaces out of this election and our coming together.

Review the theory on Kurt Lewin and Psychological Life Space. It helps me understand communication lots of times. There are myriad other theories that work. As you come across them, pick the one that works best for you. You can locate stuff on James Thurber by entering James Thurber "My life and welcome to it" as a Google search. And youll find more on this topic under Rhetoric and Reason and Ideology and Governance Discourse and . . . where I accidentally started over after Halloween Trick or Treat.

The Front Porch Art Crawl Here is an example in which our Naked Space Exhibit takes on some of the same concern for an academy-community bridge as a Learning Center in St.Paul, Minnesota. This project will revolve around contacting them, adapting as much as we can from their project, and sharing our project with them.

First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry "The First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from May 5-7, 2005." Call for online submissiion of papers. I will set up a planning group. Deadline for submission: December 1. Happy Thanksgiving. jeanne

Voting Information

Dr. Seuss Political Cartoons

  • Propositions - Recommendations and Analysis in Detail: League of Women Voters of California
  • Propositions 60 and 62: Primary Elections Berkeley
  • Proposition 66: Limitation on "Three-Strikes" Law Berkeley
  • jeanne's Lecture Notes:

    • Chronological Index to Lecture Notes

      Lecture on Catastrophic Illness: Middle Class: After a spill in West Virginia, insurance problem surfaces and some riders want guild's finances reviewed Los Angeles Times. Sports Section. October 22, 2004. Backup.

    • An Artist's Statement by Knut LSG Hybinette Knut has caught in this simple statement much of what we teach in transforming dominant discourse. Be sure to check out his work for the October Exhibition. jeanne Link added October18, 2004.

    • New Shared Reading on the effect of Clinton's sex play on the present election: How important is Clinton's sexual philandering in the 2004 election?
    • Lecture on a project I'd like to try: In issues of gender and poverty and incarceration and race, I would consider setting out social constructs like bits of a jigsaw puzzle and looking for different patterns that might emerge if we use deconstruction to reconfigure them. I'd actually like to build the jigsaw puzzle as an interactive activity for the gallery exhibit on November 30 and December 1. Anyone willing to play with me on this one? More up soon.
    • I'd really like to create a movable sculpture with pieces we could move around like giant chess pieces and in the process reconstruct the cycle of poor school, ghettoized community, limited paths out, incarceration, out and back into the cycle of poverty and class and race as an interactive activity for the gallery exhibit on November 30 and December 1. Anyone willing to play with me on this one? More up soon. as an interactive activity for the gallery exhibit on November 30 and December 1. Anyone willing to play with me on this one? More up soon.
    • Some classic theory we need. One-sided and two-sided arguments, the American Soldier, and relative deprivation. Certification vs. education and the conceptual link to competence. A nurse makes a mistake at MLK, and her need for air traffic controllers. The strength of marriage and family roles, and how they affect our lives as unstated, almost iconic, expectations and assumptions.
    • Lecture up soon on George Soros on Why Not to Elect Bush
    • Lecture up soon on An Inexplicable Vote for Death Editorial from the New York Times, October 9, 2004. Backup This is one of the major social issues in the election. Where do you stand on mistakes that you made and how you correct them? Bush never answered it in Friday night's debate. He doesn't make mistakes. Here's one. The judges are appointed by the President on the Federal Bench and the U.S. Supreme Court, this man's last resort.
    • Lecture Notes on Joan Didion's article, "Politics in the 'New Normal' America." Uploaded Saturday, October 9, 2004.
    • Background Theory for the Discussions We Were Having White privilege; Bush as "stupid"; "we know they're going to close MLK, so why bother?; not enough nurses in California, so hospitals in danger of closing; obesity, agency and the social construction of control; nation-state and sovereignty and international law. Lecture notes from Thursday, October 8, 2004.
    • Truth and Constitutive Theory Lecture notes from October 6, 2004.

  • Mentoring
  • Academic Support

    Using Academic Language Effectively

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

    and Careers

    • Resumes:

    • Letters of Recommendation:

      • Letters of Recommendation: How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.
      • Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne


      jeanne took out W, whom she doesn't miss, and put in VOTE in Ward Sutton's Ney York Times drawing.
    • jeanne and the 2004 election
      minor modification of Ward Sutton's NY Times drawing


      from an LA Times article
    • Human's Ancestral Tree Adds a Twig

      See how much we "know!" So Munchkins could have been some of our ancestors. Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead.

      National Geographic Photo on October 31, 2004

    • Tales of Halloween
      Visit National Geographic for Learning and Fun

    That Was Fun! Sneaky Strokes and Flying Good Dogs

    Flying Dog is also a painting by Zhang Kai. Best I've every come across to illustrate our site with magic numbers and unicorns and whipped cream cats and now, flying dogs:

    Flying Good Dogs: Whenever something happens in class that works out well, that inspires you, that helps in studying, whatever, take a few minutes to send us an e-mail. We'll post it where all of us can learn from it, including other teachers.

    You can also send an email to the Who to Take Site:

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