Review: The One I Love


Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 7.36.42 AM

Since we watch a lot of movies I thought why not take a moment to share some of my opinions on them. The One I Love begins with a comment stereotype of couples in a marriage that turned sore. They seek therapy after the husband had an affair and it leads them to a get away that will change the coarse of the marriage. At some point in the movie the character realize there are two pairs of the same (or mostly same) couple. This wasn’t explained in the movie and I kind of enjoy being left to wonder. At the end Ethan #1 chooses Sophie #2 to leave with him it made me wonder if Sophie #1 wanted to stay with Ethan #2. It seems realistic for Sophie to be attracted to a slightly different version of her husband especially when their first marriage was not going so well.

If you’re looking for a little something to watch with just enough twist to keep you watching, a realistic love story and an ending that is predictable and yet settling, I would recommend checking it out.

So You Want to Be a Storyteller?


Sam S. Mullins: a blog about anything

Really? Even if people won’t want to date you ever again for fear that you’ll one day talk about them on stage? You’re sure?

Okay. Welcome aboard.

Here’s a cheap glass of wine. Where we’re going, you’ll need it.

I’ve got to tell you – I think you’ve picked a great time to get into the story game. I mean, with the success of storytelling podcasts like The Moth, RISK!, Definitely Not the Opera, Snap Judgement and This American Life millions of people are now aware of the phenomenon of modern storytelling. Just about every city in North America now has a regular storytelling event, and there seems to be more opportunities for storytellers than ever before. For raconteurs like us, the getting has never been good-er.

But before you start speaking your heart into the crackly microphone at the local roti place’s storytelling event (at which no one is there to actually hear stories [they’re just there…

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Reflections on Standards in Teacher Education and where it leaves me.


In the article “The Standards Made Me Do It: Reculturing Teacher Education to Redeem the Curriculum” by Kevin Talbert and Terah Moore the authors create the scenario where the teachers defend their lackluster education practices with the imposed standards. They say that “teachers become dummified, minimized to generic statements crafted by others”. In my hypothesis the behavior and standards of what teaching entails are taught much earlier than in the university or the training classroom. I think these behaviors are taught over years of the child’s school experience.

Last semester I spent many hours watching student-teachers on video and reading their papers. They are very steadfast to acting out teaching similar to their mentoring teacher and what they saw as a child in school. The mandatory in-field work that student-teachers have in their certification programs reinforces these behaviors learned as a child. The standards have indeed been used as an excuse for teachers. Truly, in many ways standards have stripped down the teaching profession.

The state’s influence on education is stronger than the intellectual stimulation of the university. Even through many hours of study and work, student-teachers rarely disregard their ingrained ideas in favor of an exploration of what is relevant to students and how children prefer to learn. Talbert and Moore say, “[T]heir preparation as teachers…has betrayed them.” Many teachers give the profession a try for a few years and then quickly retreat. I’ve found that teachers aren’t adequately prepared for the work of the job. Young students naively enter a degree program with optimistic ideas of helping kids, when in reality teaching is no longer about children or for children. How disappointing.

The authors go on to claim, “In our experience, teacher education students are rarely asked to consider issues of ultimate significance.” This is also my experience. What is education for? What are these tests telling us about our students? Will this work prepare these children? What are we preparing them for?
It feels like no one wants to confront these questions because the answers will lead to the deconstruction of institutions, power and money. That’s about as anti-humanitarian you can get in an institution that proclaims that exact opposite.

Where does all this enlightenment take me? Seeing the corruption, speaking out about the inequalities, and wanting the long-term disservice that education has offered to change, has brought me many hours of introspection. Having this knowledge hasn’t led me to action and it doesn’t lead most into action for change. It’s led me to a frustrated view of humanity. Helplessly watching universities, social institutions and media continue to manipulate us.

What made “Serial” work


Tommy Tomlinson

ALERT WARNING ALERT: Spoilers from the last episode of “Serial” below. STOP NOW if you don’t want to know how it ends.

Here’s my Journalism 101 question about “Serial“: If Sarah Koenig had done the exact same reporting without anyone seeing it, and she took what she found to NPR — or most any other publication — would they have published the story?

Probably not.

She didn’t find enough doubt to spring Adnan Syed. She didn’t find enough evidence against the mysterious Jay, or anyone else, to reopen the case of the murder of Hae Min Lee. She said what she believes — “most of the time, I think he didn’t do it” — but in the end, she had to shrug her shoulders.

At most publications, including the ones I’ve worked for, I think most people would’ve stuck her notes in a drawer and moved on.

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First meal


I’ve been putting off cooking while I finished up school. Today is my first meal for the season. I made brownies, beef roast with veggies, stuffing and warmed up some butternut squash soup. I really enjoy changing up recipes to make them just a bit more special.



New Mexico: Revisiting the Land of Enchantment


Duck Pie

View from the High Road near Chimayo View from the High Road near Chimayó

I’m far from the first person to wax lyrical about New Mexico, and, so long as the chiles ripen and the highways go on endlessly, I’m sure I won’t be the last. People have been discovering the magic of this spectacular corner of the planet for eons, but the magic never ceases to amaze.

For me, New Mexico is travel. My first real experience with travel, when I was five-and-a-half, was a two-week journey around New Mexico. Some of my strongest, earliest memories are of that trip: absorbing the vastness of a mostly treeless land, staring at clouds, road-tripping, scrambling up mesas to 1000-year-old Pueblo cities, descending into valleys filled with centuries-old Spanish towns, watching faith-filled pilgrims collect sand at a two century-old sanctuary, waking up to breakfasts of blue corn enchiladas doused in red chile.

Me at Taos Pueblo, age 5 (Photo: A.S.Graboyes) Me at Taos Pueblo, age 5 (Photo:

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It’s everywhere but we can’t see it. Racism.


Here are a couple of articles from Wednesday’s paper that perpetuate the problems within our country:

“A Look at Looking Different”
To be different, there must be a same. We all look different and the same. This title is supporting a binary view that is harmful. Possibly it’s a societal abnormality to think there is a “normal”?

“A Longtime Umpire Says He Is Gay” sits at the top of the Sports Wednesday section while at the bottom of the page is the article “2 Witnesses at Winston Hearing Said to Have Refused to Testify” In the article Scott is elevated on his umpiring abilities and history of great work. Then WHY is his sexuality published as news? You know why.

Where’s the coverage of historical events in race relations? After the many pages on college costs you can find an article on A17 called, “As Guard Begins Pullout, Stepfather of Ferguson Victim is Under Investigation” Really?

These are from The New York Times but there are many news sources that are just as discriminatory.

To The PTA Moms at My Son’s School


Thanks for this. I’ve tried to be part of PTA but found the same issues arose. I ran screaming and never returned. It’s unfortunate for the children to have parents like the ones you quoted. I hope for change.

Raising My Rainbow

Last week I published a blog post about things said during a PTA meeting I attended at my youngest son’s school. I wanted to shine a light on the homophobic, transphobic, insensitive, hateful and hurtful things that some moms said during the meeting and show that as far as we have come in LGBTQ acceptance and equality, there is still much work to be done. And sometimes that work needs to be done in heavy doses at places much closer to home than we’d like.

Almost immediately, PTA moms from our school started commenting, messaging and reacting viscerally on social media.

As they did, I stared at the PTA tagline: Every child, One voice. I’m not convinced that our PTA as a whole cares about every child and some of the voices I heard that night are not voices I want speaking on behalf of my child. That being said…

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On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way


The Belle Jar

I have an uncle who was a cop.

His kids, my cousins, were around my age and when we visited our family in Québec every summer I practically lived at their house. As soon as we got to my grandmother’s house, all rumpled and grumpy from our eight hour drive, I would start dialling my cousins’ number on her beige rotary phone. I spent the whole damn school year waiting for summer, and my time with my cousins, to come; we wrote each other letters all through the dreary winter, hatching plans for new summer exploits. Life with my cousins – swimming in their pool, family barbecues, playing hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s mammoth hedge at twilight – was lightyears better than my boring life in Ontario.

Pretty much every summer my uncle would, at some point, take us to visit the police station. He would pretend that we were criminals and…

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