Teaching issues of race and other identity categories presents a challenge in a racially mixed classroom. Student responses to race-related topics are unpredictable, and can send irretrievably shut down classroom dynamics for the rest of the semester. Last semester, for instance, as some intentionally provocative students claimed that black people really do like fried chicken, others genuinely bought into the stereotype, and the class deteriorated into a discussion about fried chicken, rather than the point of stereotypes. Reigning in these kinds of conversations get increasingly difficult, and conversations get more uncomfortable and tense as conservative rhetoric toward people of color gets more hostile. If the
Maslow’s Hierarchy rewritten for robots. Very funny.
The Black Doll, White Doll test was used in the Brown vs. Board of Ed case to contest desegregation. A 17-year-old high school student made a documentary, A Girl Like Me, revisiting this test today to see how much things have changed. Not much. The clip is great to show in class for discussions about race and identity. It’s useful for talking about how communication influences perception and the self. The Black Doll, White Doll test asks black children to choose between a white doll and a black doll, asking questions such as “which doll is the prettiest” (they pick the white doll), “which doll
Getting students invested in a public speaking class on the very first day can present a challenge. They see fear, a job skill, and something that they can wing through if only they can get over their nervous stomach and stand up in front of their peers without puking. How do you teach a student the value of a speech class? Here’s a fun activity for early in the semester that I’ve used successfully: 1. Assign students to search the web for the cheapest public speaking lesson, class, seminar or workshop. The class cannot be from a college or university such as a continuing ed
Driving home to Baton Rouge from vacation in Tampa, and blogging from a wi-fi hotspot generated by a Palm Pre, we’re stuck in a traffic jam outside of Gainsville for almost an hour. An 18-wheeler jack-knifed across two lanes.This makes me think about what I miss about Tampa, a place I called home for ten years. In no particular order: 1. Disney – Grueling in August, when we usually go, but magical during the cooler weather. (Magical is cliche, but apt.) 2. Orange blossoms – Not only do they smell divine, they smell of divinity. 3. Cuban food – From the dive at the strip