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jeanne's first version of the tsunami.

The Tsunami

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: December 19, 2004
Latest Update: December 31, 2004

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Topic of the Week:

Discovering Our Humanity in Natural Disasters

From the New York Times on Thursday, December 30, 2004: Editorial, at p. A 22:

The One Face of Grief

In most natural disasters, we glimpse the suffering of one region, one people, often a single city with victims of a single nationality. But in the aftermath of last Sunday's earthquake and tsunamis, we are witnessing something that hasn't been seen since the end of World War II: a nearly global catalog of woe. The islands and coastlines of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea are home to an astonishing index of human diversity, made still more diverse by the tourists gathering for the holiday season. Before Sunday, it would have been hard to imagine a natural disaster that affected both aboriginal Andaman Islanders and northern Europeans. Now we know what it looks like.

Here, so far from the devastation, we naturally focus on the death count, now reported to be more than 80,000, and it will certainly keep rising. The victims include people of every age, but especially children. They include Indonesians, Thais, Indians, Sri Lankans, Burmese, Somalis, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, British, Americans and many others. Out of all that diversity, the tsunamis created a single, simple division, between the living and the dead.

At first, the concern of the living was naturally for the dead. But to avert a far worse disaster, the living must now look after themselves with all the aid the rest of the world can provide. The World Health Organization has stated that the greatest risk of disease doesn't come from the decaying of the numerous corpses. It comes from the way the survivors are now forced to live - without fresh water, without adequate sanitation and, in many places, without shelter or enough food.

It is not merely a symbol that the civil war going on in western Sumatra has been suspended in the wake of the disaster. It is a sober setting-aside of differences for a more important, more immediate cause. This relief effort is going to test all of us, all around the world. Right now, the problem is getting supplies into the region and figuring out where they are needed most, a task made all the harder by the geographical scope of the devastation and the fact that so many places are still out of contact.

There is only one face of grief - no matter how many languages and skin colors there are among the survivors - and there should be only a single face of determined, compassionate outreach, worn by the rest of us wherever we live.

We may never find consensus, but there is at least a beginning in this phrase: "There is only one face of grief." jeanne

In one of the newspapers today, probably the NY Times, there was a letter to the editor, addressing the warning system for tsunamis. The author suggested that if you announced a tsunami on the way, half the people would run down to the beach to see what a tsunami looked like. Yep.

NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Discussion Topics:

  • Grade Corrections as of January 6, 2005.

  • Susan Sontag, Social Critic With Verve, Dies at 71 Margalit Fox. Backup. Susan Sontag was an iconoclastic critic of dominant discourse all her life. You would have understood her in those terms. The New York Times published photographs of her by Annie Liebovitz, a famous late 20th Century photographer, whose name you should also know.

    The First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from May 5-7, 2005. "Due to the growing interest in new conference panels and increasing volume of requests for submission deadline extension, the deadline for submissions of open-panel session proposals and all papers to the First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry is now extended to January 15, 2005." Suggested conference topics are suggested. I would like to go, but don't know if I'll have the time. jeanne

    Learning Records: Grades online on ToroWeb.

    You may continue to correct or send materials that you would like included with your learning record. With 300 students I know I missed some messages and some activities that we should include. 9 students have already contacted me for corrections. I'll get those done as soon as school opens on January 3, 2004. When I listed a grade less than In A on the learning records, I also said "until you contact me with evidence of learning." When I gave an F, it was simply that I couldn't find any record of contact. Doesn't mean I don't have one. Just couldn't find it. jeanne

    • 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 messages 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.

    • 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

    Ideas for the Spring 2005 Naked Space Exhibit:

    • Shaheen Brown has suggested a project for next semester's Naked Space Exhibit on Famous Blacks We Should Have Heard of, But Didn't. I'd like to suggest that that would make a great group project to which lots of us could contribute bits and pieces about those whom we do know, including some local people whose names we ought to recognize, and probably don't. I'd also like to suggest that we have the very same problem with Hispanic culture being revised right out of our local histories. Good idea, Shaheen. See Messge No. 2499.

    • Life Space and The Front Porch Art Crawl

      My Life Space and Weclome To It - references Thurber and Kurt Lewin

      • 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.
      • On Tuesday and Thrusday of this week, I'm going to ask you to map out your own life space with concerns that you are feeling with dominant discourse. We'll work together, make suggestions to each other, and I'll try to shape the site around those concerns in the coming months. We can share your life space drawings over transform_dom.

        You know, the end of school was so hectic we didn't get to try this. Dashaun's Respect Project was so successful on an outside table, we could do something like that this Spring with the social issue of families. We could even make cards to pass out with an Internet address where people could get more information.

      • Archaeological Collage

    Jeanne's Lectures During Winter Break, 2004

    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


    • The Successes of Cartooning: Roz Chast Cartoonist for the New Yorker. "Her drawing style looked almost calculatedly sophomoric, and her "gags" (a very inappropriate term for Chast's work), seemed to celebrate the insignificant trials, tribulations and feats of those people who didn't experience their own Warholian 15 minutes." Ken Johnson, art critic for the New York Times, says in a review on December 31, 2004, at p. B44:
      "In a cartoon from 2004, a typically nondescript woman sitting on a sofa under title words that read "Mid-Life Crisis: The Clouds Before the Storm," thinks, "I bet if I really wanted to I could bicycle across Canada." This is delightfully silly, but it is profound, too, because it so neatly captures the spiritual plight of the American middle class. Who has not fantasized an escape from the quiet desperation of modern life through an act of heroic ambition? Ken Johnson"

    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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