“Bus is coming, it’s time to leave
the summer’s gone, and so are we…”
“Let’s go shut it down in New Orleans…”
“Miami” – Counting Crows
It’s hard to say goodbye to the extensive time off I’ve had these past 2 months. When I first started teaching, I worked every summer, as well as an extra job on weekends or in the evenings to catch up and pay the bills leftover from divorce. Summers and evenings during the school year were spent slinging coffee, teaching, or both. But for the past few years, and especially now that I’m dealing with Lyme, summers are truly “time off.”
Since we are heading back sooner than soon to teach the young minds of America, my brain is shifting into overdrive. I’m thinking about overhauling one of the courses I teach. Without boring you too much with the details, the overarching theme is the American Dream. It’s a great theme. BUT, I’m seriously wanting to spice it up a bit. We’ll see.
Anyway, I would like to be able to share some of my ideas and get some feedback from you periodically. So, I am creating a new category for these posts. What might these posts entail?
1. Cool stuff related to the content that may come in handy for me later on ( and Lyme is sincerely stunting my short term memory right now)…
2. Ideas for teaching visual rhetoric and argument. I need to
do way more of this with my students.
3. Just writings, songs, authors, art, whatever related to the content I teach, and things I like and love. Like Henry David Thoreau. Or Ralph Waldo Emerson. Or….
4. Lessons I find that are awesome and that I can modify – maybe – to use in my classes (with permission of creators, of course).
5. Ideas for integrating yoga poses. This one is a stretch (and yes, pun intended!) But, I’ve read some research that using yoga with students can be a positive! More info needed along with a lot of consideration for logistics, student participation, etc. This may not be something I can really do this year.
I just wanted to give you a head’s up that I will be doing these posts randomly so you aren’t like, Say What? Yes, I will continue to blog mostly about my journey with Lyme.
With this American Dream stuff though, I will need some help. So get your brains in gear, too!
Hoping your evening is going well. Here’s some Counting Crows for your segue into sleepy time. Peace -b
At some point while thinking way too hard, I remembered one of my favorite stories as a kid was a Dr. Suess tale….
Hello my fine feathered friends,
I can’t talk about Orlando. I am absolutely at a loss for words. After a couple days of following the news, which presently seems to also embed social media posts such as Twitter feeds, and other very well developed thoughts (*cue sarcasm), along with the comments going around about this tragedy, about the President, about different groups, different religions, well, it is all very exhausting don’t you think? I have seen an outpouring of positivity and support for others and then….well, there’s always the “but” or the “butt___”!
**Please believe me when I say that I am in NO way saying anything about the character of the anonymous person who authored the original FB post to which I responded. I only use this as an example of clearly illogical thinking (again, not as my personal opinion, but when applying the elements of Argument) and not as an attack on anyone’s character. However, the presumed argument made in the Facebook post below about Muslims and their responsibility as a religious group for terrorists seems to be indicative of how much or how little we all are reflecting on not only this tragedy, but also on the state of our political and social values. (Yes, I know there are also other arguments implied in this particular post but I only addressed the one. It was enough to chew on and ruminate about for quite a spell).
Facebook post- June 15, 2016:
Here he [President Obama] goes on his RANT about innocent Muslims… At this point any intelligent person would be wary of allowing unknowns into our country!!!! He’s a winner… cannot wait until he is out of office… If Muslims do not want to be targets of discrimination then they should fight harder to irradiate [eradicate] the evil among them… They DO NOTHING when they see some becoming inducted into terrorism
(The connection between us is that we are FB “friends” is through shared health issues).
When you see a star, * please insert any other religious group, or for that matter any group based on gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic level, etc.
“Using your (the FB poster’s) above words, “If Muslims do not want to be targets of discrimination then they should fight harder to irradiate the evil among them… They DO NOTHING when they see some becoming inducted into terrorism”, I would like to address one of the underlying implications of your idea.
“I would counter then, using your own logic as stated above, that we Americans, or here’s a much better analogy (a comparison) that we as Christians (or use any other religious sect), behave the VERY same as your description of innocent Muslims above. I am guessing spell-check took its toll with the iradiate” rather than “eradicate.” We as *Christians (use any religious group if that suits better say, Jewish, Buddists, Mormons, etc.) stand by, and we watch silently as people, mostly from a low socioeconomic environment and mostly young people at that, are being “inducted” into large and established hate groups (one example is the KK), into nefarious gangs, here, right here, all across America.
“I believe hate groups as well as gangs can, and are labeled, especially with our modern rhetoric, as Domestic Terrorists. And yet we as *Christians (insert any religious or really, any other group here in the argument presented!) stand by, allowing our own young people to be recruited, molded and trained, to be taken into the “flock” if you will (pun most definitely intended). We also arguably do not lift a finger to stop this; then we stand by and allow these people, groups, as well as individuals to do EVIL here in our own country.
“Are we to hold all *Christians responsible for actions of others who claim to be *Christian and who do harm? If so, then logically, the conclusion we should come to after reading your post is that (again, based on your position above about Muslims who are not terrorists and who do not want to be discriminated against due to their religious affiliations) in essence then you are also saying the very same thing about *Christians ( or really any defined religious group) who do not root out evil within their own communities are responsible for discrimination against them as *Christians because the group as a whole failed to make sure that all *Christians behave accordingly? In other and in more words, you are stating that is essentially alright to discriminate against a group of people based on religion. So very Interesting. I could go on about how we have religious freedom here, how the group cannot be responsible for the whole, how every group assembled will have all kinds of peoples as memebers, and yada yada, yada, but this post is already way too long as it is.
“Respectfully, there is no logic in the above statement once one tries to use the same premise with other religious groups. I know this is a long response, but I am really hoping that you can perhaps take a minute to see the flaws in your argument, to see the underlying and discriminatory justifications in your argument, as well as perhaps to see all of this in a different light orfrom a different perspective.
“Maybe I should have just shortened my response to your post into the concise, yet very effective and ever-trusted idiom, ‘try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes….'”
That was what I responded sans the sarcastic tone at times, (those are only for your benefit) along with a few minor edits I noticed while jotting it up here. Even after responding, all of it lingered like a bad taste in my mouth (alas, another idiom!). So, I continued to dig deep on this and what all of this means for us as a nation as well as as individuals. Only my own opinion of course.
At some point while thinking way too hard, I remembered one of my favorite stories as a kid was a Dr. Suess tale. I would like to encourage everyone, if you haven’t already, to read Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches and Other Storieswith a focus specifically on “The Sneetches” story. Nutshell, the plot consists of Sneetches with stars on their bellies and Sneetches without stars on their bellies. Sneetches with stars think themselves superior to those without and will not engage with the Others. A charlatan arrives in town with a machine that puts stars on bellies for a small fee. Then, he creates a machine to take the stars off for again, a nice fee. This continues on and on, until all of the Sneetches are penniless and completely mixed up. At this point, the Sneetches cannot tell one from another and realize that they are all the same. The charlatan makes off like a bandit, but the the Sneetches end up friends.
Relating such a heavy idea, the idea that it is alright to discriminate against certain religions for ANY reason, to a children’s story is not done in a flippant nor sarcastic way. Sincerely, I think the Sneetches tale could provide many of us with all kinds of awesome lessons and experiences we could apply to our present day lives.
You are so right, dear reader, nothing in this post has to do with Lyme disease! Oh, well other than the fact that the supposed original argument could in fact be stated about the “group” of people who suffer from Lyme disease. That we as a group are utterly and totally responsible for every single person’s behavior and if that behavior is abhorrent, the rest of us with Lyme disease “deserve” to be discriminated against.
Enough of me postulating and puffing up my chest. You can probably conclude that I miss preaching, eh, I mean teaching! I hope you and your families are safe, happy, and open-minded. Let’s all get out there and do our best today.