MLK to Me the white lady.

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MLK, Jr. had a dream that one day all sons will be together in brotherhood. He speaks of liberation from injustice and oppression. He speaks of a place where children will be judged by their character. He dreams that white children and black children will hold hands. He dreams of crooked places made straight and we will all see them together. He speaks of faith that allows us to work together, to pray together, struggle together. His utopian dream is still just that, a dream. It’s from my heavy heart that I write today how far we have come but so much farther we have to go. His words resonate down to my core, they make me angry and devastated, they make me hopeful that some day we will be free at last from our old ways. Whether we’re referring to equality of races or classes these are pressing issues that we need to examine within our cultures. Small steps are all that’s needed. Small steps will still take us on large journeys.

Review: Black Mirror

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I’m on the second season and really adore these self-contained episodes. They’re produced and acted very well. The stories have just the right mix of tech and instinctual behaviors. The social commentary found in these episodes will leave you wanting more. Don’t get too wrapped up, there are only 6 episodes on Netflix.

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Review: The One I Love

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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?

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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.

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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

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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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