Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
I think the time is right to bring back the tradition of wearing the dunce cap. John Duns Scotus ( yes, exactly like SCOTUS) created the dunce cap as an educational tool. He was born in Scotland in 1266, so he might well have been hanging out with my ancestors, perhaps even influencing their upbringing. Both of my parents have Scottish ancestry. The Subtle Doctor, as Scotus was known, was a famous philosopher, teaching in Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris before his fall from grace.
It seems the doctor was stabbed to death for his school of thinking. His students used their pens to kill him because he was trying to “make them think”. Now we have to ask ourselves which one of these “schools of thought” was crazier than the other, and also is the pen mightier than the sword.
For modern use I think we just make corrupt officials who are caught breaking the law to fashion their own caps out of construction paper. They all need to sent to sit in the corner for public humiliation until they repent of their stupidity. Do you think this could work, gentle reader?
The daily reports of violence make life in America scary and real. I see the trend that has been targeting young black males, but I am a little old lady, as WASP as WASP can be. I do not trust the police as far as I can throw them. They make my neighborhood very unsafe by refusing to respond when crime is reported. I don’t fear brutality, but everyone where I live has suffered years of police mendacity that has destroyed any trust there might have been in our local law enforcement agencies. The new sliding scale introduced for the unprecedented Hillary e mail case is all about intent. Now it is more important to decide if the entity meant do violate laws rather than to know if laws were broken. That is how there can be a homicide with no person who committed it. The crazy trend to reach a verdict without any trial or jury, by letting the FBI decide, or by letting cops murder people without even arresting them has gone way too far. We are not safe in our homes or on the streets of our cities. The system is not rigged, per se, it is just entirely corrupt. It is not a matter of good cop/bad cop. It is a dysfunctional system that is not attached to justice, but to a separate reality in which there is no law but their opinion. My Puritan ancestors would plotz to know what has become of their nation.
What would the ancestors do?
We can never go back to colonial America to find out how we lost our ethical boundaries and our civil rights. Murders by cop are live streamed to the world today. I have not watched this last one because I saw the one from Baton Rouge yesterday, and I can’t take in another one. The victim’s mother has decided not to watch it for her own mental health. We need to find a way to stop the bloodbath. I am calling on all my relations to give me insight into this crisis.
This excellent production from down under shows how bullying can be contained by communication. I found the twitter account @UnMakeaBully, a brilliant collaboration of students around the world creating anti-bullying content. Their creativity and first hand knowledge of school bullying make the kids own content the ideal catalyst for reform. This piece highlights students’ unwillingness to reveal the truth to authorities. They have a cultural belief that snitching is a betrayal of their other student colleagues. They maintain a stone wall because of peer pressure. By finding the rapport with the kids, the school authorities can change the situation for the better. I am a huge fan of this movement. Let’s stop little bullies from becoming grown up bullies.
The group maintains an instagram account where they showcase the productions and the students who participate in them. I am happily impressed with the very creative solutions these young people are finding and promoting. If there is a starter drug for a lifetime of violent tendencies, it must be school bullying. It is an excellent place to start to reduce needless violence in our society. “Don’t Wait” is the group’s motto. I could not agree more. Please check out this group for more innovative ways to bring bullying (child as well as adult) to heel.
Today we enjoyed the beautiful weather for family fun at the Tucson Village Farm Harvest Festival. This wonderful working and teaching farm regularly hosts kids on field trips and in special camps. Kids as young as toddlers come with parents to learn about gardening through educational programs designed for them. Food to eat from the site is always included and is often a hands on part of the kids’ experience. I have been to the garden when kids were in a class. The reaction of the students was unanimously delighted. The environment is perfectly created to make the educational impact young students need to improve diets and maybe even the health practices of the entire family. Today many families came out to be part of the festivities which were delightfully focused on farming fun.
University of Arizona students on the farm staff were on hand today selling produce, directing traffic, and being helpful and informative. They were clearly enjoying this day of celebration with the public. The ratio of very young children to adults was high, and the youngsters were all having a real blast. Special activities such as popcorn shucking were ongoing during the day to give families a chance to do some farming/playing with the kids. I believe the farm always does a good job of fulfilling the important educational mission they undertake. This party went above and beyond the everyday excellence. Staff and volunteers did an excellent job of planning and executing a wonderful public event.
Our cyber world includes unhealthy relationships of all kinds. I am pleased to be free of bullying and the kind of scary stalking that happens on-line. I have many public profiles and none has been hacked or used to attack me. I have, however, been witness to some questionable bullying in public which I remember and avoid forever after. October is Anti Bullying Month, and as people come forward to discuss this subject more openly in public it is obvious we need more than just a month to remedy this crisis. The relative anonymity, and/or authenticity of on-line relationships is bringing out the very worst in some people’s personalities. I don’t believe many of these wimpy cyber bullies and stalkers who insult and badger others would have the nerve to be so bold in person. Still, the offensive transactions often take place in public streams. What can those of us who are observers of this behavior do to stop it in our on-line relationships?
I think it would be so fine if we had an internet Officer White, who would take the bullies to internet detention to school them. His advise is as good for the trolls and the stalkers of profiles and blogs as it is for elementary students. Officer White breaks it down so we all see that we have a responsibility:
The fact that education is so widely affected by this horrible trend is a national disgrace. The tolerance for the acts or threats that terrorize individuals and groups at school must end. Education has little chance to flourish in such a toxic environment. Adults need to set good examples in our own behavior and commitments as well as guide young people to treat each other in our institutions of learning with civil respect. Power should not be handed over to bullies in society. There can be no happy results to that strategy. The victim, however, is an archetype all of us will play at some time during our lives. All of us have the experience of abuse of power on both ends, even if it was only in childhood with siblings. We take advantage of others, and also allow others to take advantage of us. It is part of learning how to survive to adulthood. Those of us who have made it to adulthood owe it to the young people to set a safe and sane example on the internet. How do you stay safe, Gentle Reader? Have you experienced bullying as a result of your on-line presence?
My grandmother, Olga Scott Morse, was a teacher of business skills. She graduated with her masters in education after she had four kids. She left them at home on the oil lease with their dad during the week to attend classes at Oklahoma State University. I believe that in the 1930s this was a bold feminist move. After graduation from OSU she taught typing and shorthand at a junior college near their home in Tonkawa,OK. Learning to type was a bold femenist move, believe it or not. Her students learned shorthand and typing and other current secretarial skills. The school to day is called Northern Oklahoma College. I stopped at the campus when I went to Oklahoma on an ancestry hunt a few years ago. I found her name in an old yearbook in the library, which was fun. I also looked through a lot of photos from the history of the school, where my dad and his brothers were students, but I did not find them. I walked around on campus, taking a break in my drive. Later, I found a picture of her with her students in the 1930’s in front of the central building at my uncle’s house in Wichita. I easily recognized the building since I had just been there.
Her mother, Sarah Helena Byrne, was a teacher and her great-grandfather , Amos Nichols,was also. My father was a university professor. The teacher archetype is all over my father’s family. I wonder if this is a DNA situation or all the reading and discipline that teachers represent. She was a farmer when I met her, having long since retired, but I remember her typewriter on the farm that had black keys..no letters. She could wail on that thing, but she had little reason to to so. I asked her to because I liked to watch her do it. She was a woman of many skills and talents, including flower and vegetable gardening. Most of the fruits and vegetables we ate in the winter in Pittsburgh were grown on my grandparents’ farm in Arkansas and frozen. I picture her in a sun bonnet, like all her friends wore, on the farm. Visiting the college where she taught before I was born was a really cool experience that showed me a part of her I never knew. For her day and place she was super highly educated and accomplished.
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
My hero was interviewed by PBS’s Charlie Rose tonight. Sandra Day O’Connor was feisty, and classy and well spoken. Yesterday she was on NPR radio, making the publicity rounds. She is promoting her new book, Out of Order and her project, iCivics. She points out that we have public education to teach the students to be good citizens, but there is no longer civics instruction in public school. Her humility is as impressive as her continued public service. She does refer to herself as a retired cowgirl, which is typical of her style. Her mission to keep the government of the people, for the people, and by the people from perishing from this earth is a Supreme gift to the American people of the future.