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posted by [personal profile] caramida at 07:31am on 16/11/2010 under ,
It occurs to me that the students who today ask why their work wasn't graded over the weekend, are the same people who, ten years hence, will complain how teachers have it easy because they only work six hours a day.
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posted by [personal profile] caramida at 09:15am on 06/05/2008 under , , ,
We've already got tickets to see Girlyman at the 8pm show at Freight and Salvage on Friday night. They've added a second show and I was wondering if any of y'all might be interested in seeing the 10:30 show. If so, I'd be up for seeing it again, for the fun of it. Advance tickets cost just a little bit less than $20.

Anyone? Bueller??
Music:: How to Open My Heart in 4 Easy Steps - Erin McKeown
Mood:: 'amused' amused
location: Lewis 100
caramida: (politics)
posted by [personal profile] caramida at 06:24am on 06/05/2008 under , ,
I don't have the time to write an essay on the importance of teachers and teaching. Though people laud teachers from time to time, and many of us can remember a specific teacher (or several) for whom we are grateful, it still happens that teaching is an undercompensated job, often in poor working conditions, for little recognition for the majority of teachers.

Some people say 'if you can read this, thank a teacher,' and that's all well and good, but really, if you can spare it (even just once), I humbly suggest that if you can read this, thank a teacher and then give them $501.

Talk is cheap.

1 Please exercise caution, and don't try to give cash money to someone who is currently teaching you. It might be misunderstood.
Mood:: 'determined' determined
location: home
caramida: (Default)
Note: I had originally intended this for the [acad] filter, but it seems to have grown a life of it's own, refusing to fit within the filter, or within any filter. Oh well, so it goes.

The following quote comes from The Concept of the Foreign: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue edited by Rebecca Saunders. This comes from Saunders' introduction.

"However widespread and consequential, the concept of the foreign is perversely difficult to define. There are, as we shall see, reasons for this: its relativity, its equivocal valuation, the heterogeneity of the terms that constitute it, its recidivistic metaphoricity. Derived from a Latin term meaning "outside" (foras), the word foreign designates a quality or an entity conceived relatively: the foreign is always relative to the inside, the domestic, the familiar, a boundary. No entity is inherently foreign; s/he who is a foreigner in one place is at home in another; as the familiar is altered or a boundary redrawn1, so to is the character of the foreign: it is a linguistic and conceptual container with infinitely variable contents. Symptomatic of the relative nature of the foreign is the necessity of defining foreign negatively, a symptom exhibited by virtually any dictionary: to be foreign is not belonging to a group, not speaking a given language, not having the same customs; it is to be unfamiliar, uncanny, unnatural, unauthorized, incomprehensible, inappropriate, improper. As much the detritus of conceptualizing as a concept proper, foreignness must thus at times be approached à rebours (indeed one may be called on to comprendre à rebours: to misunderstand, engage in an anti-understanding.

Not only can foreignness not exist in a vacuum, it can't exist without something to compare it against. Actually it's the necessity of comparison that makes foreignness so powerful. Just as nationalism requires an outsider2 (I'm tempted to throw in the word utlänning just to sound pretentious), so does the definition of outsider require something considered to be 'in'. This allows one to be foreign not only in another country, or even in one's own country, but amongst one's own peers, if one is somehow now on the outside looking in.

As someone who was raised Seventh-Day Adventist, I am foreign to people outside that particular branch of Christianity. I'm foreign to that church, as my beliefs do not coincide with any generally accepted Christian dogma. I am foreign to the nation because of my homeland in California, and to California because of my experience growing up in small-town Humboldt County. I'm foreign to the hippies in Southern Humboldt because I don't smoke weed, and because my family is from logger stock. I'm foreign to working-class Humboldt County because, well because I am. Partly, because of my welfare upbringing, and partly because I try to eschew provincialism which often, but not always marks much working-class thought, at least to my limited experience, at least in Humboldt County. I am foreign to the city because of my rural roots, and I'm no longer rural enough to fit in up north anymore either.

Foreignness isn't just about locality, but also about belonging, about class, race, food hangups (at least in my case), and about finding oneself in a place where one does not quite fit. Fortunately, I have largely been able to find a sort of fitting place amongst other folk, who for one reason or another, also don't quite fit. My people are foreigners, freaks, geeks, queers, and oddballs. We band together for mutual protection perhaps, but also because we see in each other, and in ourselves, that at heart, we share more important things than similar experience, similar tastes, and similar backgrounds. We're square pegs in round holes. We're monkeys in the wrench. We're strangers, as it were, in a strange land.

But it's not such a bad thing, really. I would not want it any other way.

1cf. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
2 Something Gelvin talks about in Modern Middle East: A History when discussing Egyption, Algerian and Balkan (various) nationalism movements in the Ottoman empire.
location: funnily enough, I'm home.
Music:: Blue Moon of Kentucky - Ray Charles
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posted by [personal profile] caramida at 11:29am on 25/07/2007 under , ,
With grateful thanks to [ profile] rhiannonstone for the link.

What did you make last year?

Must learn more about this Taylor Mali.
location: the Chancery
Music:: Little Boxes, the Valvina Taylor version
caramida: (banksy)
posted by [personal profile] caramida at 08:49am on 13/12/2006 under ,
Happy Birthdays to the inestimable [ profile] sylphslider, and the ineffable [ profile] mizginny. These two individuals are excellent examples of humanity. Here's some food for thought for today:

As a futurist, I've often licked my chops over rather grim possibilities. But my lasting fondness for the dark side is a personal taste, not an analysis. I'm frequently surprised, and when I consider the biggest surprises, I'm heartened that they were mostly positive. The Internet, for instance, crawled out of a dank atomic fallout shelter to become the Mardi Gras parade of my generation. It was not a bolt of destructive lightning; it was the sun breaking through the clouds.

Everything we do has unpredicted consequences. It's good to keep in mind that some outcomes are just fabulous, dumb luck. So mark my last little act of prediction in this space: I don't have a poll or a single shred of evidence to back it up, but I believe more good things are in store, and some are bound to come from the tangled, ubiquitous, personal, and possibly unpredictable Net.
- Author Bruce Sterling in Wired Magazine
Music:: Here I Am, by Lyle Lovett
location: arbeite (beside the skeletons of trees)
caramida: (starwars)
So, I walked into my FLGS (Engdame, btw) with tasty birthday gift cards buring a hole in my pocket (thank you to [ profile] jenderqueer and LA&B!), looking to see what I might find.

I'm a geek. )
Music:: Imperial March, by John Williams
Mood:: 'goofy' goofy
location: arbeite (where my boss is an imposing figure in black)
caramida: (human rights campaign)
[n.b. This is a slight re-write of a response from comments in a prior journal entry.]
What are we supposed to do? How can we possibly fix America's race problem? Perhaps trying to meddle with a bad situation could lead to unintended consequences that would spell ruin for the nation. How can it be moral to take something from someone who earned it, and give it to someone who didn't? Wouldn't it be best to just be good to people individually? We can't be responsible for the horrible actions of bigots and detestable people? They're valid questions.

I'm not certain what should be done. I've not yet studied the problem enough to have a strong opinion, but here are some ideas. You can feel free to shoot them down, but I'd prefer to challenge you to suggest something that you think might work better.
  • Perhaps a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a la South Africa. I don't know if it would help to open up the subject of race in America to wide examination, but the standard White reaction of pretending the problem is only a problem when African-Americans and others bring it up fails as a solution. To paraphrase [ profile] vito_excalibur, as long as persons of color keep quiet about race, there is no race problem...for whites.
  • I have no problem opening a discussion about reparations. I was raised in an almost exclusively white county, by northern Europeans of peasant stock who all came to the US after 1870. Nobody in my direct line lived in the South before Brown v Board and the Civil Rights era, but I recognize that I am privileged as a result of my birth as a white male in California. If we as a society claim to preserve life, liberty and property, then we as a society might justly ought to see compensation justly due when someone is improperly deprived of one or more of those. The country has failed to uphold the Constitution, a contract made by the people of the United States with the people of the United States. When the government unjustly mistreated--at Manzanar, for example--American citizens of Japanese descent, it (eventually) admitted its liability, and sought to pay reparations. Those reparations were paid with the taxes of all Americans (including those who came to the US after 1945). If we didn't exempt my high-school Civics teacher from paying his taxes toward reparations (who arrived from Hungary in 1951), why should it exempt me from paying reparations to African-Americans (or their issue) whose lives, liberty and property were unjustly deprived.

    Failing that, who should pay? Well, I suppose we might also look at those 'people' still extant who directly profited from slavery, for example. If a corporation is a person, and a person must be responsible for actions he/she takes, or actions taken under the authority of that person, then we perhaps might undertake a strict accounting of Chase, or Bank of America, who bought, sold, lent money for, and insured slaves.
Hell, I don't know. But I do know that what has happened, and is happening today is criminal. When we shrug our shoulders and say, "Sucks to be them," and not do anything about it, we're accessories after the fact.

And I don't mean such to say that you aren't doing anything. I recognize that treating people individually with respect is far from nothing. Individual action is important. Still, this as with so many other things, is bigger than any person can do singly. Isn't that what we have government for? I can't singly protect my family from the depredations of North Korea1, but I pay my taxes so that my government can use my resources and others together to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

1 Ok, not the best example.
location: arbeite (shaded from the noonday sun)
Mood:: 'not working on a history paper' not working on a history paper
Music:: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, (trad.)
caramida: (hrc)
posted by [personal profile] caramida at 11:58am on 06/10/2006 under , , ,
There's a lot written this week about gay rights, human rights, the oppression of blacks, hispanics, queers, women, feminists, and more. There have been smart people speaking up about it, there have been smart people speaking up about people who speak up, and there are always trolls. Read more... )
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
location: arbeite (beneath the falling leaves)
caramida: (cute)
posted by [personal profile] caramida at 11:01am on 07/08/2006 under , , , ,
Sometimes, what with all of the frustration, anger, hatred, sin, pain, famine, war, and just plain hurt in the world, it can be easy to forget that there are occasional bright spots.

It is sometimes neccesary to seek after those bright spots just to have enough perspective to understand that the whole thing is worthwhile. To that purpose I humbly offer for your consideration... baby animals, bright sunrise on a frosty morn, the refraction of light by a prism, backrubs, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, tomatoes fresh from the vine, a genuine smile on a friend, monkey bread, happy children, La Dolce Vita, snuggling, and Jon Carroll.
Anthropologists sometimes get it wrong, in part because it's so much fun to lie to anthropologists.
How about you? Riddle me this dear reader, what things bring you uncomplicated joy?
Music:: Seasons in the Sun, covered by Too Much Joy
Mood:: 'happy' happy
location: arbeite (with a view of the Lake)


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