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Current Issue: Volume 21, No. 11. Week of November 7, 2004

jeanne's first version of red and blue
Red and Blue
A People Divided: May We Heal!

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: November 5, 2004
Latest Update: November 9, 2004

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Topic of the Week:

A People Divided! May We Heal!

I wanted to put up a whole page of maps on the Electoral College Shifts, in the now familiar Red and Blue. It appeared at p. 16 of the New York Times on Wednesday, Novermber 3, 2004. But I couldn't access the page on site to link to it. So I dropped it into the unspeakable pile of papers on my desk and left it for later. Today, I went looking for it again, and found its link to Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential elections.

The election shaped our focus in class for almost ten weeks. I wanted to provide some closure, bring theory back to the forefront, and help us heal the frightening divide in this country by refocusing on transforming dominant discourse. On Wednesday and Thursday we did a pretty good job of that. I apologize that I snapped at Rudy when, after coming in very late, and snapping on gum, he spelled RESPECT for me four times just in case I didn't get it the first time. I shouldn't have snapped, but that was the end of two days of tense recovery, and Rudy's casual disrespect made it seem that he, unlike most of us, was totally untraumatized by the results. So I snapped. Sorry everyone. Teacher human, too, and as you all knew, had you been present, I had the mother of all headaches from a food allergy. That's not an excuse for snapping. Snapping is disrespectful and I shouldn't have done it. And that brings us to my Healing Lecture.

First, let's define respect for our classes a little more accurately. If you must come late to class, so be it; you are responsible adults capable of making such decisions. Respect dictates that you do your best to not interrupt whatever is going on in the class. Respect also dictates that if you are chewing gum or eating food that you do so with adult manners, and not chaw and snap, not yawn, not engage in behaviors that as chilren were used as means of rebellion against the good manners I'm hoping you were taught at home. If not, look around you, and develop an adequate set of manners to respect your colleagues.

We've had a problem in one class that some students assume they have rights they need to defend before anyone even violates the alleged right. If I say you can't invite someone to class, please don't challenge me right then to explain why. Please don't say, "Well, why can't I?" Again, that's a child's rebellious position. I am conducting a professional class in a university of the State of California. Last I saw, student rights didn't include telling me, with absolute certitude, what the curriculum would include. But I think student rights do include asking me, politely please, to be transparent in my choices for curriculum and to let students be heard.

I draw the line at your inviting someone without my full knowledge and permission to speak to my class. Please don't do it.

I draw the line at classroom announcements of "How could anyone possibly say . . . " Trust me they could, and that's offensive and disrespectful to the other who did say . . . "

I draw the line at classroom announcements of "I don't want anyone telling me . . . " If you are offended by the instructor's choice of curriculum, the appropriate response is to leave and speak later to the instructor, if the process is already going on. If the class is discussing suggested activities or invitation, one appropriate response is to state your feelings, and ask how your reactions would fit into the plans. I'm sorry, but nobody but me gets to dictate what goes on, and I answer to a higher authority.

All of us do or say something we wish we hadn't later. My principle response to that is try to apologize, to forgive, and to set things back on track. But this class is conducted in transparency. No one is silencing you. I am asking you to stop making the unstated assumption that your beliefs or your feelings are the only "true" beliefs or attitudes on the table. Express your own feelings and ideas, but express them as your own, not as the only appropriate ones, and please do so without suggesting that mine or anyone else's have less value.

Most of these issues arise from silencing in the past, and from some of your resisting that silencing. I understand. But when you hurt one another in your expression of your feelings, I, as a teacher, am obliged to seek out once again the appropriate balance for a classroom where all validity claims must be heard in good faith, with respect for the Other. I don't know how Freire handled this. But you can bet I'll be trying to figure out as I put together material on religion next semester.

These are the instances that came to mind for me as I write; how about you think about it, and add your insights, too?

Last night one of our students brought another student, devastated and in tears, by a classroom (not ours, thank goodness) attack on her choice of President, and, as I understand it, her religious feelings. They came to share in a naked space they knew would be present their feelings and the effect this adversarial position had had on the student in question. There's a message in there, folks. They brought someone expressing a right perspective to a naked space led by someone who is radical left. And we talked, and we apologized for the hurt and harm that had occurred right here on our campus, where I understand some of us had even been present. I am proud that naked space has taken on a reality of social construction that is permitting us to use it when we need it. I am proud that we are connecting across divergent beliefs to one another as members of our own local communities. These human connections are what will heal the rift in our nation, I hope. I have no channeled knowledge from beyond that anything will ever heal the effects of imperialism, war, exploitation, and greed. But I do have ontological hope.

It is in this spirit that I tried to conduct our classes on Wednesday and Thursday, in preparing us to take Transforming Dominant Discourse to a broader level now that the election no longer occupies so much of our concern and emotion. It is in that spirit that I am posting the links below. I would appreciate if you would visit Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections It's a wonderful site. Wish I had found it before the election for you. But . . . Dave Leip's maps show us the divisions in our country and in our state, and he probably has some for counties, too. A couple of specific links are below to guide you.

Please look carefully, deeply, and interpret sociologically. If our country, our states, our counties are this divided, no one has "the" right answer. These maps are mirrors of our confusion, our struggle to redefine our ethics and our values, our divide between major metropolitan concerns and more local neighborhood kinds of concerns. These maps explain better than my words ever could how desperately we need to respect and hear one another. How desperately we need to re-examine illocutionary discourse, the terrible reaction of rhetoric, a respect for the answerabilty of every one of us, and accountability through governance discourse and a workable system of law. We need each other. Somebody take these maps as inspiration for an exhibit so that people visiting our gallery will get it, that we need each other.

In searching for Dave Leip's atlas, I also came across a Wellesley website that is a remarkable resource. Research Resources for Campaigns and Elections Sorry I didn't locate this till after the electiion in 2004. jeanne

In conclusion I wanted to share with you Steve Lopez' column from the L.A. Times on Wednesday, November 3, 2004. And I wanted to remind you that this is not just a country, a nation-state divided, but families divided. We need to heal those divisions.

A House Divided, But They Can Stand It Steve Lopez' Points West Column. Backup.

And The Impossible Will Take a Little While By Paul Loeb. And take a look at his classroom study questions.

NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Discussion Topics:

Rescheduling of Classes from Tuesday, November 2, 2004:

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. You are also responsible for checking the class rosters on Collaborative Learning Reports:

  • 328cllst.htm
    what jeanne knows about what you're learning in Agencies Class.
  • 367cllst.htm
    what jeanne knows about what you're learning in Sociology of Law Class.
  • 370cllst.htm
    what jeanne knows about what you're learning in Moot Court Class.
  • 395cllst.htm
    what jeanne knows about what you're learning in Women and Poverty Class.
  • 595cllst.htm
    what jeanne knows about what you're learning in Grad. Women and Poverty Class.

  • 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

  • Home Page for Obesity Support

  • Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan
  • Link for joining tranform_dom:

    Click here to join transform_dom
    Click to join transform_dom

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?

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.

jeanne's Lecture Notes:

  • 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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