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Dear Habermas

Blue Plane . . . Totality in Turkey

Jeanne and Arnold on Their Way to the Total Eclipse

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Current Issue: Volume 26, No. 8 , Week of March 19, 2006

We're All in This Together

jeanne's first Self Portrait as a Plucked Chicken

Jeanne, Plucked, Clucked

NEWS and Announcements for Dear Habermas Site Map
News and Announcements from the Department of Criminal Justice, UWP
News and Announcements from the Department of Sociology, CSUDH


California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created:March 17, 2006
Latest Update: March 20, 2006

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Topic of the Week:

or Life in the Fast Track

Now that we've got the picture of how learning develops, and those who were in class on Wednesday all seemed to have that picture, it's time to look at what we know about learning and how that learning adds to the frontiers of knowledge, how and when we learn to add, in our capacity, to the body of learning, and how we communicate effectively with one another to implement that learning in the building and maintenance of our human community. The technical term for all that is social capital, a variation of which Bush has been calling since 2004, his "political capital." Kind of like "I won; it's mine now; and I'm gonna spend it however I like."

Well, it ain't quite that simple, W. For one thing, what you use up in resources, you'll need to replace. Otherwise, one day you run out of resources, like air, oil, water. You know, the stuff we all need to live. For another thing, if you try to turn us all into robots who do what they're told and never answer as an Other, there's a small glitch you haven't considered. We've learned to think like robots, and one day you'll find that robots don't create new ideas, develp new products, discover new infrastructures, and succeed in nation-building and nation-growth.

This second phase of our semester is going to be devoted to understanding how not to grow up to be a robot. And in this goal, we don't intend to leave any child behind. Not even one who is 79 years old. (Brenda's story.) I would like to see all our schools reassess their use of testing and spend ever so much more time reading and writing and working on science projects and the math that goes with them. But that's a long term goal. It ain't gonna happen any time soon, folks.

What can and must happen is that we use our collective power to reach out to one another, to care about the other, to say vehemently, when we're not feeling timid and insecure ourselves, that exploiting and shoving aside the other competitively does not fit who we want to be. This semester I am asking that we each do that in our own geographic space, whether that be in a quiet room, safe from all others, or in a church, or in a supermarket, or in a classroom, surrounded by others.

The hippies' giving of flowers was a lovely gesture, one that has traditionally been reserved for the relatively well-off. Flowers die quickly, and they're being produced in sweat fields for us to celebrate our Valentine's day. But there are always other ways. Pat and Susan and I have taught you how to use paper to creat boxes and cards and bookmarks and flowers that will carry a similar message and last a little longer, and not cost so much to us or to those who make them grow. A card that will stand up on nearby table or desk or counter will last for weeks and bring the memory of a smile and a gesture of kindness for much longer. And if the little saying reminds of an issue we talked about, we hope the gift will bring back to awareness that issue. The more we talk about it, the more we become aware of all these issues, the closer we come to listening in good faith to one another.

Knowledge reserved to oneself leads more readily to the arrogance of "knowingness" than does knowledge shared. I learn from my students while my students are learning from me. Learning must be interdependent or it will become rote and stuffy and fail to quicken our interest. Besides, learning is fun. Patricia Hamilton and I sat here earlier today polishing her thesis. Every now and then, rushed and tired, with more to do than I can possibly manage, I looked up with a grin on my face: "Isn't this fun?" And it was. Sure, it's hard work. But it feels so good when the work is done and it sounds good and looks pretty. "Look what I did!" Sure I needed help. I needed someone who knew what a thesis is like to show me, to share with me. But in the process of that sharing, we're having fun.

And yes, I lose patience and cluck at you like a plucked chicken when I can't find you and don't know what and how you're learning. So tell me what and how you're learning. Post on transform_dom. Share ideas and questions with each other. Find some of the fun in learning. No, I won't punish you if you don't. I'm not the Knowledge Fairy. But if you don't push yourself just a little to find some of the fun, you'll miss it, and then you'll miss so much more in life.

Trust me. Learning is fun. And when it's not, you're doing something wrong. Try illocutionary discourse. It's the best means I know for discovering that fun. I bet you'll even like some of the others you discover.

love and peace, jeanne

NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Events Discussion Topics:

Follow transform_dom.

  • Field Activities Time Coincides with Spring Vacation

    I'm off for two weeks to videotape the total eclipse in Turkey. The good news is that one of those weeks is Spring Vacation. I have asked that all students in No Child Left Behind arrange with Sabra Trevilla at the Challenger Boys and Girls Club for a tour of the facility. We will be working with them as part of our community outreach in civic responsibility, leading towards better community governance, and, hopefully, a more loveable world. Nikki Johnson, their Director of Administration, has asked that we come in small groups. We'll manage those groups over tranform_dom. Post a date and time you'd like to go, and Sabra will get back to you, and make sure that small groups connect.

    Ask questions when you visit, bearing in mind that we will work through visual sociology, meaning we'll want to share our art activities with them, and that we'll want to help with tutoring, especially the basics, like reading, writing, math, and science. To that end my video taping of the total eclipse should be fun material to work with.

    Some of you will want to spend your community activity field time with other organizations, schools, or groups. But this tour will give us all a base point for comparison. So please try to go sometime during the next two or three weeks.

  • Reading and Discussion over Break

    Finally, some time today, I will post Issue No. 8, Week of March 19, 2006. I've been racing around getting video supplies and learning which ones I'll need. Oh, and I've learned to count from one to twenty in Turkish. Any more than twenty, and I'm outta there.

    I probably won't get all the discussion questions up, but I've posted lots of material on social and emotional literacy and juvenile boot camps (some of the kids we've left behind). Susan, maybe you could post information on Holes. Lots of your students have read it, but mine may not have. It's a great novel for young people, and it will really help you to understand this issue.

    Please read and discuss these materials over the next couple of weeks. And think about how they relate to No child Left Behind.

  • Art Projects

    Pat will arrange to meet with you, if you let her know that you'd like to work with some of our art projects. Post a query on transform_dom, and find a time when you can get together conveniently.

  • How to Join Transform_dom On Yahoo.

  • Grade Corrections, Fall 2005:

  • New Office: SBS -B325 No phone, sorry.

    Visual Sociology

    • Turkey, Seen Through jeanne's Imaginary

      jeanne's imaginary of Turkey

      Mountains and Sea Juxtaposed

    Lectures, Notes, and Texts

    • Topics

    • Discussion Questions

    • Lecture Notes Lecture notes on the substantive concepts discussed. These are not a "substitute" for actual lectures in class or workshops, but I have tried to cover the main concepts so that absence from class will not critically deprive you of the substance of our discussions. The discussion questions are for your own understanding of how well you have grasped the concepts. You may pose any of the questions on transform_dom, where we'll all be glad to discuss these issues. If you are confused, please make sure you clarify the concepts with jeanne when she is available in the office and in class.

      Index of Theory and Application Lectures in Chronological Order, Spring 2006 This index has topics I proposed through lectures prior to Week 7. At that time we were able to post materials from transform_dom itself. For the rest of the Spring semester please refer to:

      Topics for Spring 2006

    Academic Resources

  • SquiggleResource Literacy

    • Urban Legends Reference Pages. They post rumors and scams and phony e-mails circulating, to offer you a quick check. It worked for me. I entered "Fat Boy" as a google seacrch, and when I saw the link, I knew it would help, and it did. To not check your sources is as grievous as to plagiarize someone else's information and writing. A Page from Urban Legends As an Example.

    • Good quick reference site with many of the artists, art schools, and visual approaches to present social issue that we discuss. Added April 8, 2005.

    • Plagiarism Watch site. The intelligent and effective use of resources means that you have to be careful not to plagiarize other people's material. We have several files on plagiarism, but I think the one that might make the most sense to you is this complaint on They give you samples of sites that have taken their material without citation, even at colleges, and they also give you examples of sites that have used their material with proper attribution. I find the irony poetic, and hope that their message will get through to you the importance of attribution. Dr. O'Connor on his Mega Criminal Justice site led me to and noted that others frequently hack into the site. For that reason I have created a backup copy for your use in case you cannot access the actual site. Please be sure to attribute any citation to jeanne Backup. Quackwatch, a website maintained by Stephen Barrett, M.D.

      "Quackwatch, Inc. . . . is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere. Founded by Dr. Stephen Barrett in 1969 as the Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud, it was incorporated in 1970. In 1997, it assumed its current name and began developing a worldwide network of volunteers and expert advisors. . . . "

    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

    • Career Options You Might Not Have Considered

      • visual media and their interdependence with other means of knowing to understand that we are not totally rational creatures deciding things apart from our feelings and values. Wolfowitz (new President of the World Bank to aid developing countries AND principle advocate of the Iraq War) might feel very differently when he is exposed to visual and aural images of the poor developing countries that have not before been his primary concern. So we want to know how best to present those developing countries visually. And we might find that we can have a career doing that sort of thing, so it does reflect on us as individuals. Added April 2, 2005.

    That Was Fun! Sneaky Strokes and Flying Good Dogs

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

    • Icons and acronyms and what they mean in Internet Speak

    • Index of Nice Things We've Said to Each Other

      • I Was Scared of Statistics

      • It Feels Good to Make a Difference

      • The Site Goes On - You're Always Welcome Back
        • From Angelique Hawley on December 16, 2005: Message No. 9072 on transform_dom.
          Merry Christmas! Jeannne and Pat and all the marvelous students at CSUDH that has shared in "Naked Space"

          I wish I had a lot of money so that I could reward all of you properly. Transform_domDigest is so wonderful.

          I can recall when being one of the first users in 2004 and I see we are at digest 594. my how time flies when we are learning and having fun.

          Jeanne you and Pat are the bomb!

          I continue to read the digest although I am not taking any of your classes now. The digests have been more informative than the school paper. Please continue to keep it going.

          Get rest ! I hope to see you .

    • Flying Good Dogs: Whenever something happens in this or any other 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.