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|Thursday, December 25th, 2014|
HUAC called friendly witness screenwriter John Charles Moffitt:
"MR. MOFFITT. Well, to summarize, I think Mr. Capra’s picture, though it had a banker as villain, could not be properly called a Communist picture. It showed that the power of money can be used oppressively and it can be used benevolently. I think that picture was unjustly accused of Communism."http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28194-it-s-a-wonderful-life-comrade
Uh, is it wonderful life?
|Wednesday, December 24th, 2014|
|Dogged but non-doing old person on ice
I have not been skating much at all. This is in no small part because I prioritized helping Chun Woo's class out during a tough math segment.
Today I skated briefly, with t'lads! I like to make goals. Really tiny goals-- minima. I almost always beat them. I didn't know how sluggish I'd be about my body remembering the posture. (You skate with upright body and bent knees when you're a beginner like me.) I was pretty sure I wouldn't be very What-IS-This-Substance? I had a two-lap goal.
I was slow on my first lap. I had an odd kind of What-IS-This-Substance in which I could swizzle easily enough, but was scawed to step-and-slide. Since the muscles I use only for skating are extra-heavily involved in swizzle, it was tiring. But on the second lap I had the posture right away and could be reasonably quick. And I wound up doing four cheerful laps. Not much, but honestly better than I thought it would be. It had been a month since I skated, and then a month before that.
So I'm happy about that.
|Monday, December 22nd, 2014|
|Sunday, December 21st, 2014|
|!!! Lonely as a cloud
Richard Rohr says in this morning's newsletter that "a recent study at the University of Virginia said that 67% of men and 25% of women would sooner endure an unpleasant electric shock rather than be alone in silence for even 15 minutes."
I thought, how startling if true! But it was unattributed, and I was dubious. So I looked, and here is an article about the study
Dismaying to me.
I think of a set of questions I am asked in the ordination path about the practice of silence-- did I practice silence? did I have difficulty with silence?
I am thinking that perhaps a friendship with silence may be a large of part of being viewed as a mystic.
And-- probably via Rohr, I have a terrible feeling that in this place and time, talking about the value of focus outside oneself (and how valuable that focus is to those who have it-- how it makes them better!*) may lead to being viewed as a msytic, while actually having a focus outside oneself is viewed as senseless gibberish.
* That's irony, that is.
Once upon a time before race was invented, there were two North African woman, a noblewoman named Perpetua and her maidservant Felicitas. Both converted to Chritianity. Both were martyred. Perpetua left behind an account of her time in prison, and particularly of visions she had there. That is, there is such an account, and scholars agree that it is probably substantially by her, as it purports to be.
Depictions of Perpetua and Felicitas vary. The icon you can see here
is a favourite of mine. Other are less pleasing.
The glorious and sapient smart_ted
, who is writing about P&F, sent me two creepy images. This one
shows the racialized equation of white with aristo and dark with servant that's a regularity of US socialization. This one
eschews the standard racilization but compensates by giving white Felicitas gollywoggish features not shared by lovely Disney princess dark Perpetua.
* Let me know if you want a post about unfree labour in the ancient world, which was very different from US antebellum slavery. Moses Finley's Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology
is a wonderful source. (Not saying that any system of unfree labour is okay, BTW. But they differ. And the invention of race has a lot to answer for.)
|Saturday, December 20th, 2014|
"Included in [debate over the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014] is the ongoing effort to explain the persistence in gender pay gaps, with a popular explanation grounded in “choice.” According to proponents of the “choice” theory, women and men differ in some fundamental way, be it biologically or socially constructed, in their preferences for children and for time spent with children. The result of these gendered preferences is that when efforts to balance paid work and family seem insurmountable, mothers are the ones who make the workplace adjustment....
"Mothers and father feel equally happy about time spent engaged in paid work (substantially less happy than when caring for children), as well as during most of the 19 specific activities we consider.
"The essence of our paper’s findings is that we need to exorcize this `choice' theory from the list of proposed explanations for the continuing elusiveness of gender equality. We hope our research will help to shift the focus back to more likely sources of workplace gender differences in the US (some of which are described in the December 12, 2014 NYT article by Claire Cain Miller and Liz Alderman): employer demands for high work hours, gender bias in the workplace, persistent gendering of parenting into `mothering' and `fathering' (with the implied corollary that `mothering' is more highly valued than `fathering'), and the lack of public institutional support of the high costs (money and time) of child-raising."
|Thursday, December 18th, 2014|
|Discourse versus actual bite
"Mrs. Obama also said her husband `had his share of troubles catching cabs' when living in Chicago, and the president, for his part, said: `There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys.' He indicated this had happened to him.
"Mrs. Obama added another incident: `He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.'
"But the president wisely differentiated these slights of privilege — these upper crust indignities that might sound foreign and frivolous to people who don’t regularly dine at restaurants with valet service or attend black-tie dinners — from slights that are more common and consequential:
“`It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.'”
I was going to say, God, given the US reverence for celebrities and power, perhaps this is the only entrée of shock to comparison with actually being shot or incarcerated for decades.
But then I saw comments that came up in my cut-and-paste, which I erased so you aren't seeing them.
|A parable about the value of equations
This all came from a problem in which a baseball club of 97 members and a soccer club of 127 members were going to meet at a venue with tables that each seat 8 people. Students were asked to find how many tables were needed and write an equation summarizing their work. At the time, I thought the objective was a fully generally equation, with variables for baseball club members (b), soccer club members (s), the number of seats per table (n) and the number of tables required (t). In fact, the curriculum is more sensible than that, and was only pushing for (97 + 127)/8 = t. ( But here is the parable I told.Collapse )
|Now, brethren and sistren, may your loins tingle as you sing....
Precious Jesus, how I love You
How I lift high my voice with Your praise
Holy Spirit, I implore Thee
Drench my heart as my lips part Your grace
I am persuaded Lord, to love You
I have been changed to bless Your name
I am constrained by this great Gospel
forever to worship Thee
From a real church's actual service: smart_ted
secretaries for it.
|As a thing in itself--
there is something to be said for a language programme that asks one to translate "Il coltello è nello stivale."*
(I should be posting later today three times: giving my discussion notes on the first meeting of the Fourth Grade Math Club, telling the parable I related to Chun Woo about why equations with variables are useful, and the second post on accounts of formation.)
* The knife is in the boot.
|Tuesday, December 16th, 2014|
|Levels of abstraction
Right now the Math Expressions curriculum has kids beginning to learn to express equations in terms of letter variables, rather than just numbers.
This is where Chun Woo is encountering his first big levels-of-abstraction gap.
I know how blocked many of my college students were about letter variables. So I know it's a traverse for a lot of people. Chun Woo's actually doing pretty well.
But the ideas keep getting away from him, though he's good on manipulating data meaningfully to answer the question asked.
It is all painful.
I told a parable to demonstrate the usefulness of general equations.
About fourteen years ago I read a book that I've tried to recall citation on several times, since. It discussed the levels-of-abstraction issue in maths, and how students often just stop when they hit their first or second. Reading it made me hideously sad.
|Monday, December 15th, 2014|
|Concepts and books on "formation". 1
As for "formation"-- It's a term I first came across in this sense, in ordination. A bunch of different denominations refer to parts of their requirements as "[denomination name] formation." Fairly early on, I remark to a United Methodist seminary colleague that I didn't quite get what it meant, and she said cozily, "Oh, it just means getting closer to God." I asked, "Then why is it denominational?" No answer.
I have come to the conclusion that it meant imprinting particular social values and habits. And of course that's done more broadly, in many sorts of society, sometimes intentionally and always unintentionally. (Consider the varying institutions of private property rights, which seem inevitable to most of those raised in them-- "Don't touch that! That's mine!"-- as compared with the socialized property rights taught among traditional Inuit.) ( Some books I've been reading recently have me doing some comparisons in English-language formation. Nothing that counts as a spoiler, I think.Collapse )
|Friday, December 12th, 2014|
|Thursday, December 11th, 2014|
Sheeyun and I just watched the movie "Touchy Feely."
I feel almost indecently purposive.