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A Passel of Cats
And Hope for the World
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Previous Issue: Volume 23, No.10 , Week of March 27, 2005
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 1, 2005
Latest Update: April 7, 2005
Topic of the Week:
A Passel of Cats
And Hope for the World
Last semester these little guys didn't know each other. We rescued the black and white and the little gray and white at the vets, and the big guy on the left just walked in one day and rescued us right back. The two from the vets had bonded in their cage. Would they accept this guy from the wild hills who acted tough,but was really very much in need of loving? This morning they were all asleep on our bed, a splatter of long stretched out legs, and one curled up Pharaoh. They expanded their bonds to include each other. Why can't we? We're supposed to be smarter and have souls and all that stuff that makes us "superior."
I included the hasty drawing I did of them as this week's topic painting because both Arnold and I commented on the extent to which their bonding with one another (all different ages and litters, not previously known to each other) seems to say that inclusion works. No theory. Not rational. Just an image that says, "Hey, maybe humans could love each other, too."
NEWS, Announcements, and
Current Discussion Topics: Learning Records for Spring 2005 Adding slowly to learning records from messages on transformdom. sorry for delay. This will take a while, but if you'll send me your messages numbers, it will help me get it up faster. Please be patient with me. I'm retired this semester. jeanne Learning Records with Grades for Spring 2005 I'm trying to set up a record sheet that will let you know that I have adequate material on learning records to justify your grade. If I put up a B that may just mean I need more material, not that there was something wrong with what you submitted. I'm including brief comments. Mostly today, I just set up a template for doing this. If you've got a message on transform_dom that would you would like me to use for grade evidence, just send me the message no. at jeanne. Otherwise, I'll just keep going through the transform_dom discussions in reverse chronological order. jeanne Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan- Former nun. Writes extensively and with great insight on many religions. Many books. Good writing. Requires some background understanding.
- Link for joining transform_dom:
Famous People and Concepts We Should Have Heard Of, But Often Haven't.
this section is new, and I seem to have left the material from the Week of March 27 on it. since I indexed it to this file, I'm not going to chage that. Sorry for the repetition. jeanne
Jonathan Lear- Psychiatry and Twentieth Century Thought - University of Chicago. The Arrogance of "knowingness." Suggests that we are often not always rational, but after the fact try to think up a rational explanation that fits our prior behavior. Uses the wolf man story from Freud to illustrate this. Maria Pia Lara- Maria Pia Lara, a Mexican (female) philosopher says that before we can begin serious talk with each other about how to govern this crazy world, we need first to just listen to each other in good faith, meaning with a genuine effort to understand how the other got to that way of thinking and what matters to him, her. Pia Lara claims that in the very process of this kind of attempt not to persuade or come to an agreement, but just to understand, we come a little closer to being able to relate to each other in human and just ways. Hard to get darn near anything done when we don't work at that basic understanding of the other first. Bakhtin- Russian literary critic whose work had had great influence in the understanding of the other.
mythos and logos- from Karen Armstrong's Battle for God. Mythos is the stories that we have inherited throughout the eons, sometimes in words, sometimes in remembered myths, sometimes through art (fertility goddesses and such.) Logos is sceintific knowledge with evidence that can be ascertained in a variety of ways, prefereably meeasured objectively, though all measurement is biasd by perspective. Karen Armstrong points out that we have treated mythos and logos as though one or the other is right. Not so. Both mythos and logos make up integral parts of our knowledge. Mythos puts the flesh of the story on the skeleton of the scientific facts of logos. the golden age of the past or the golden future- from Karen Armstrong's Batttle for God. Armstrong describes fundamentalist religions as looking back to the golden age of the past, whereas non-fundamentalist religions are looking forward to modernism and the future. This explains the basic conflict between modernism and fundamentalism, where the fundamentalists are opposing the very change that modernists are seeking. These terms are important to Armstrong's discussion of religion, and relate strongly to religion as a present social issue. forgivenessas opposed to retribution and punishment - another basic conflict between religious perscpectives in present social issues. Do we want to incarcerate those who committed the frauds of Enron or do we want to seek more creative approaches that might lead them to thank those same skills and use them for the benefit of the whole community. This, of course, leads to a re-examination of our whole correctional system in terms of its humanity and its usefulness to the rest of the humans in the community. Wolfowitz, as new World Bank President, might need to reconsider this issue as he asumes leadership in the name of the poor countries of the world. illocutionary discourseMaria Pia Lara - Maria Pia Lara, a Mexican (female) philosopher says that before we can begin serious talk with each other about how to govern this crazy world, we need first to just listen to each other in good faith, meaning with a genuine effort to understand how the other got to that way of thinking and what matters to him, her. Pia Lara claims that in the very process of this kind of attempt not to persuade or come to an agreement, but just to understand, we come a little closer to being able to relate to each other in human and just ways. Hard to get darn near anything done when we don't work at that basic understanding of the other first. answerabilityBakhtin is a literary critic, Russian, who said that the main questions is not "what should I say to convince the other of my position," but "what should I say, when I know the other can answer me": answerability. Lots of times we forget that the other is having feelings, reactions to what we say and do, but often we don't listen in good faith to try to understand what the other is answering or would answer if he/she had the skill to do so in ways we could understand. Don't think you'll find answerability in most dictionaries, at least not wth this explanation of the term.
Jeanne's Lectures for Spring 2005
- Fall 2004 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Winter Break 2005 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Spring 2005 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Jeanne's daily blog I'm following Armando Garcia's suggestion and adding to my lectures a daily blog on my responses to current events and my need to tie them into our theory and discussions. First entry: April 6, 2005. Format for the file is jblog for jeanne's blog, then day, month, year with two digits each. So today's blog is jblog060405 for April 6, 2005.
- jeanne's world on April 7, 2005. News about putting up grades for independent study. Don't miss it. jeanne
- Interdependence of Disciplines within the Liberal Arts Tradition The importance of cutting across disciplinary boundaries if you are to adequately understand the present context of our infrastructure. Added April 2, 2005.
- Wolfowitz and the Presidency of the World Bank Principle of interdependence of disciplinary approach in "blue sky" research applied to current events that really do affect us all. Added April 2, 2005.
- The Bounds of Religious Art as a Present Social Issue Short lecture on how religion and values of hate and forgiveness permeate our treatment of the visual iconology of our religions. Relates to NY Times article on Russia Fines Museum Aides for Art Said to Ridicule Religion. Added April 2, 2005.
- Religious Art as a Present Social Issue Lecture relating to the acceptability of wearing religious art and the bounds we set to that.
By Tifenn Python for the LA Times on front page of Calendar, April 3, 2005.
Background modified by jeanne in accord with what she was seeing. April 3, 2005
The coloring and the bars on the clothing that substitute for the prison bars struck me as powerful and perhsps able to stimulate considerable discussion on incarceration.
The New York Times
Posters depicting Jesus on a Coca-Cola ad were damaged by vandals,
who painted the word "vipers" on the larger work.
- Russia Fines Museum Aides for Art Said to Ridicule Religion By Steven Lee Myers. Published in the NY Times: March 29, 2005, at p. A 7. Backup
- Wearing Their Beliefs on Their Chests By Ruth La Ferla. Published in the N Y Times: March 29, 2005, at p.A 16. Backup
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marilyn K. Yee for The New York Times
A Derek Lam blanket wrap with an embroidered cross. . . A necklace with Chai
The Derek Lam blanket actually bothered me a little because it felt like a formal religious vestment, so that wearing it was like usurping the role of the one who carries the formal authority to wear it. I m not comfortable with censorship, but neither am I comfortable with the usurpation of another's rightful authority. Then, of course, we have to talk about the meaning of rightful, especially in the visual. What about you? Remember when there was such a hue and cry about the use of the American flag as wearable art? Now it's kind of ordinary.What about the indigenous peoples who find "white folks" painting tents and indian maidens in Yosemite art classes? jeanne
We live in fascinating times, when, as in all other ages, tradition is challenged, but also when cultures, local and nation-state, ethnic and global are finding themselves like that passel of cats, all thrown together in some of the present social issues. Two articles in the main section of the NY Times on Tuesday found the visual images of what we believe, the values we hold, the gods we worsip or reject as newswrothy. I'm used to dealing with Russian religious icons, with Christian iconology, with Islamic art and its wonderful calligraphy. But I'm not used to finding these issues all around me.
It is good, I think, that we begin to heighten our awareness of the deep roles religion plays in multiple aspects of our lives.
- A Range of Sources on Global Info
Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times - The National Review
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Sierra Club - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal - The Weekly Standard - The Nation
BBC NEWS | Americas - truthout - Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - La Opinion - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor - Palestine Report
Indymedia - Mother Jones - BBC News - New Profile - KPFK Progressive Radio
Progressive Sociologists Network Environmental Working Group
- How to Navigate the Web Site
- Mentoring Help for New Students with Frequently Asked Questions
- Mentoring Help for Returning Students with More Frequently Asked Questions
- Shared Reading Suggestions
- Home Page for transform-dom You can read all the messages on Transforming Dominant Discourse from this page. Just click on messages in the left hand frame. You can read the messages, even if you're having difficulty signing up.
Syllabus for Independent Study: Religion as a Present Social Issue January 30, 2005.
Learning Records from Spring 2005 Just started, on the basis of transform_dom discussions. This will take a while. I didn't work on learning records with all the confusion at home this week. Will get back to it shortly. jeanne
- Most recent list of Learning Records from Fall 2004
- Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan
- Link for joining transform_dom:
Preparing for Graduate Study:
- Test Prep Preview Joshua L. Stewart, recommended this site because it has free practice tests. If you're thinking of taking the GRE, the LAST, or any other graduate entry test, this might be a good place to gather some early information. Joshua suggested it for Praxis Practice, but a quick first look suggests they don't mean by praxis what we do. Check it out, anyway, if you have some spare time. jeanne
- Resource Literacy
- Plagiarism Watch www.streetgangs.com site. The intelligent and effective use of resources means that you have to be careful not to plagiarize other people's material. We have several files on plagiarism, but I think the one that might make the most sense to you is this complaint on streetgangs.com. They give you samples of sites that have taken their material without citation, even at colleges, and they also give you examples of sites that have used their material with proper attribution. I find the irony poetic, and hope that their message will get through to you the importance of attribution. Dr. O'Connor on his Mega Criminal Justice site led me to streetgangs.com and noted that others frequently hack into the site. For that reason I have created a backup copy for your use in case you cannot access the actual site. Please be sure to attribute any citation to streetgangs.com. jeanne Backup.
Using Academic Language Effectively
Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:
- Letters of Recommendation:
- Letters of Recommendation: How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.
- Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne
- Career Options You Might Not Have Considered
- visual media and their interdependence with other means of knowing to understand that we are not totally rational creatures deciding things apart from our feelings and values. Wolfowitz (new President of the World Bank to aid developing countries AND principle advocate of the Iraq War) might feel very differently when he is exposed to visual and aural images of the poor developing countries that have not before been his primary concern. So we want to know how best to present those developing countries visually. And we might find that we can have a career doing that sort of thing, so it does reflect on us as individuals. Added April 2, 2005.
Sneaky Strokes and Flying Good Dogs
Flying Dog is also a painting by Zhang Kai. Best I've every come across to illustrate our site with magic numbers and unicorns and whipped cream cats and now, flying dogs:
Flying Good Dogs: Whenever something happens in class that works out well, that inspires you, that helps in studying, whatever, take a few minutes to send us an e-mail. We'll post it where all of us can learn from it, including other teachers.
You can also send an email to the Who to Take Site: