A Day of Lessons in Stereotypes – Some Examples From Teaching Communication

Today has been an interesting lesson in stereotypes. Lesson one: I had a guest speaker from Deaf Services in BR come to my Interpersonal Communication class. He was dynamic and interesting, and the students loved him. Before his visit, I decided to learn a little more about Deaf culture. The capital D is important to people in the Deaf community.…

Confessions of a Facebook slacktivist

I was playing on Facebook Facecrack tonight when I noticed how many groups, pages, and causes I’ve joined. The accumulated weight of my mouse clicks shocked me not only because of these groups’ sheer purposelessness (i.e., the various Farmville hate groups) but also because joining generally leads to nothing fruitful even when the groups are actually meaningful to me (i.e.,…

Reality Check on Health Care

See? It just proves it! Today, in the wake of the “historic” bill signed by the “historic” president, the liberal blogosphere has been crowing over the health care bill. I find this disturbing. People are cheering because the bill was resuscitated after its near death and they applaud that the bill went through with enough votes that Democrats didn’t need…

Link-o-mania – Collectible Edition

1. Hostage: A Love Story — Very funny video starring Zachary Quinto who takes a woman hostage and then marries her. 2.  The Orangutan and the Hound — This is a lovely story about the friendship between an Orangutan and a dog. I LOVED this video. It reminded me so much of Donna Haraway’s work, since she’s written about primates…

Look! A Link!

Link: Aimee Mullins on TED talk on “Disability”

The Opportunity of Adversity — An amazing video of Aimee Mullins’ presentation at TED. Mullins is an amputee who’s made a name for herself as a model, athlete, and inspirational speaker. Her talk addresses how the idea that she’s “overcoming adversity” diminishes her. It’s a great illustration of the power of language and our stereotypes about people with “disabilities.” I intend to use it in class next semester when we discuss language. I surfed over to the TED site to learn more about the presentation and I found one of the comments interesting: Mullins wouldn’t be as effective if she weren’t pretty.

Michael Bader on Empathy for Tea Party

The “problem” is that Tea Party activists move from legitimate feelings and normal longings to paranoid political positions that are dangerous and cruel. But because these positions serve an important psychological function, because they resolve an emotional dilemma, they can’t be changed by rational argument.

- Michael Bader, clinical psychologist, Alternet, Why we need to have empathy for Tea Party lunatics

Look! A Link!

Prayer Warriors and Jesus Camp

Heads Up: Prayer Warriors and Sarah Palin are Organizing Spiritual Warfare to Take Over America — This is simultaneously amusing and disturbing. In the documentary Jesus Camp, camp leaders wanted to train Christian children for the Army of God, just like Islamic children are trained. Ted Haggard, the disgraced preacher who was a key figure in Jesus Camp, was central to organizing the spiritual warfare movement. It’s amusing to think that this movement is praying to rid battleground cities of their demons. But then..it isn’t so funny after all.

Threes: Embracing the Mundane

Someone pointed out to me that I should take time to observe and even appreciate the little things around me, like the changing seasons or paint peeling on the wall. My response? Seasons don’t change in BR and really? Paint peeling? Ok, ok. I get the point. So, not so much gratitude as things that I was present for today:…

Public Speaking Karma Rawks!

After a challenging semester of public speaking in the fall, I have learned that faith sometimes gets rewarded. This semester my public speaking class is simply awsum! There is no other way to describe it. EVERY SINGLE STUDENT was ready to give speeches today. I noticed early on that our discussions are great, the students are responsive in class, things…