Back to Unschooling: “Think, Analyze, Write”

28 08 2010

Not to defend it exactly, but JJ’s top-five university bachelor’s program in news-editorial journalism in the early 70s, worked pretty much the way this younger critic describes as ideal: constant thinking, analyzing and writing for real-world experienced professors, the work heavily weighted toward history, culture, political science, government, law, economics, research and investigative techniques, even one required course on “cybernetics” to acquaint us with the basement-sized mainframe in Weil Hall —
which considering we still used manual typewriters in the J-school instead of electric, was cutting edge if not almost fancifully futuristic. (That was also my first exposure to Marshall McLuhan.)

I nevertheless take her point. Indeed I’d extend it more generally to formalized, factory model “schooling” at any level. Read, think, analyze, write no matter how old you are or where, with whom, doing what. Make learning and your life’s work a wild ride you wouldn’t trade for anything! Read the rest of this entry »





Favorite Daughter Cast in First Musical Theatre Lead!

25 08 2010

She’s now in rehearsal to play the shy, word-loving middle schooler Olive Ostrovsky in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Award-winning regional community theatre. Hilarious show yet also deeper, very much about schooling versus actually learning how to live, not being perfect and not necessarily following the rules, and exploring how no matter where we are or what we do, we become ourselves through real relationships . . . AND she has a pas de deux plus two solo vocals!

Here’s the dramatic one, which she sings to/with her loving but absent and apparently somewhat self-absorbed parents, “I love you” and “How I wish you were home.” (Olive is pictured here as the pink-overalled competitor number 11)

Here’s a (rather jumpy, sorry) live-action version:

Count on hearing much more in coming weeks from Olive’s proud IRL mama, who also “always knew she was a winner.” Life IS pandemonium!

Hey, do you think I should mention her “olive oil” essay to the director for the playbill?
😉





We Need to Sing Our Epics or Lose Them

20 08 2010

For any nation in any age including here and now, the ultimate war is over competing narratives, conflicting power of story.

Snook, as faithful readers can attest, is all about narratives and the power of story — in education, relationships, science, politics, work and play, war and peace, in the meaning of life itself. Search this blog using the phrase “power of story” to stay busy reading and thinking for many hours. Add music/musical theatre and “thinking and feeling” to your search, and plan on making this your new homepage indefinitely. 😉

We’ve animated Snook with epic discussions of the Great Derangement of Matt Taibbi, the language stories and Political Mind of George Lakoff, the political right-speak realism of Frank Schaeffer, the situational ethics of Philip Zimbardo and his Lucifer Effect, Harvard’s Howard Gardner on educating kids to love truth and America instead of fighting over it, Don Beck and Ken Wilber’s memes, Richard Florida and his “creative class” plus meaningful movies from Milk and Mindwalk to Hairspray and Madagascar, not to mention Harry Potter and Stanley Fish, plus the leading science lights of edge dot org.

(More Mindwalk and Harry Potter. More Stanley Fishing for meaning of life memes. And the beat goes on . . .)

But nobody tells the story of story better than this new offering from another expert, one with a name that sings a story too, Read the rest of this entry »





Why Nance and I Never Took a Dime for This

18 08 2010

Just to be perfectly clear! 😉

It’s a tricky balance, the advertiser boycott. How antsy and fearful do you want advertisers to be when there’s potentially provocative content at issue? How cautious do you want networks to get? Reasonable minds can disagree.

But the First Amendment doesn’t guarantee that speaking your mind will have no economic consequences. [It can] . . . be, let us say, commercially risky if you’re aiming for a broad audience — or if your sponsors are.





How the Mosque Fearmongering Got Going

16 08 2010

Like the right of the First Lady and her nine-year-old daughter to visit Spain for a few days, much less the right to marry in California while gay even if white conservative Christian activists determined to take over State via Church slam their very existence as “tacky” or “unwise” oh, or “disrespectful” (code for offensive to real Americans), uppity rival religions anywhere in this great nation obviously can’t count on the Constitution in the same way those same white conservative Christians demand as THEIR god-given right.

Glenn Greenwald:

This is one of the most impressive and commendable things Obama has done since being inaugurated . . . what makes it particularly commendable is that there is no political gain to be had from doing it, and substantial political risk.

Justin Elliot: “[N]early 7 in 10 Americans now say they oppose the project. How did the Cordoba House become so toxic, so fast?”

See the Salon timeline of orchestrated mass hysteria on a cracker, a la Joe McCarthy:

To a remarkable extent, a Salon review of the origins of the story found, the controversy was kicked up and driven by Pamela Geller, a right-wing, viciously anti-Muslim, conspiracy-mongering blogger, whose sinister portrayal of the project was embraced by Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.

Here’s a timeline of how it all happened:

Harry Reid Says Mosque Should Be Built Somewhere Else

Angle and Vitter Issue Unasked-for Opinions on “Ground Zero Mosque”





The Season After Summer? Back-to-School, of Course

16 08 2010

“The keeper of my time is my keeper.”

“If love of money is the root of all evil, the taming of time must surely be its minion. . .”

There were always five natural seasons, not four, immutable as day to night to day again:
Spring
Summer
Back to School
Autumn
Winter

So was it written, so shall it be done, amen?
That’s why it seems to me now that this time of year is the most natural time for a Culture Kitchen classic: We the Clockkeepers and Our Tyranny of Time:

Have you noticed Big Government and Big Business have effectively taken over all our time, one way or another? — colluding to Read the rest of this entry »





Librarians Save the Day! Eleven Movies with Power of Story Power

16 08 2010

Favorite Daughter will love, love, love this: Librarians Save the Day!

While writers might seem more glamorous, librarians are the quiet heroes of the literary world. They stand up against censorship, they uncover ancient mysteries, they laugh in the face of computerization and stop the corporate world dead in its tracks.

From Katharine Hepburn to Rachel Weisz, we’ve rounded up films that give librarians the center stage. Remember these?