Monday, August 31, 2009

Education and Technology – What Century Do You Function In?

Technology can solve problems. Technology can also create problems or reveal existing situations that have nothing to do with the tool used to reveal structural faults. The way we perceived our lives and what we believe to be important is changing; Can you feel the tremors of change?

A technological change can be positive and possibly negative. For my jumping off point I started with Lisa Nielsen's blog The Innovative Educator. Lisa's blog is filled with great educational ideas, technology, concepts and resources, some of them free.

It occurs to me that there would be a lot of schools and school districts that would have no concept of what Lisa is talking about. More to the point, there isn't money to implement five percent of the least expensive ideas she is bring forth.

Free E-Textbooks - What’s Not To Like?

Let me give you an example of my concern. I heard a broadcast on NPR about California approving 10 electronic math and science textbooks. The textbooks are free. Got 30 kids in a class that need textbooks? Not a problem. Kid left USB stick at home? Still can download the textbook.

In favor of e-texbooks:

  • Free e-textbooks saves school districts a lot of money and distribution is a heck of a lot easier.
  • Textbooks can be updated to reflect real world changes without a two or three year time lag.
  • There is the possibility of using animation or constructing animated homework projects to practice math and science concepts.
  • Parental math wars? You could offer two versions of the textbook, perhaps in the same e-textbook.

Concerns:

  • Free is not always free. Yes, the textbooks are free but how will the students access the textbooks? Online? Will it require functional computers in the classroom? Apple, Linux or Windows? Who provide technical support? Replacement for vandalism and theft?
  • What kind of e-textbook will it be? PDF, text or a proprietary format? Will it time out?
  • What about an electronic book reader like the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader PRS 700 or the Bookeen Cybook Opus? Have your priced those devices? Also factor in the cost and the replacement cost.
  • Not all teachers are tech savvy. Some teachers don’t want to be and you can’t make them. How does a teacher incorporate an e-textbook into the lesson? Will he/she read from the screen? Will their be a projector to show an image from the electronic book? How will they have to teach differently?
  • For profit textbook publishers are preparing e-textbook editions. Will for profit e-textbooks morph into being multimedia textbooks? A school district this year does not want evolution? Fine, they take it out the textbook. New school board? Evolution is back in the science book.

Don’t get me wrong. E-textbooks are great idea. California must make use of new technologies. Innovation by its nature will require a change in attitudes, processes and teaching methods. It will also require money or creative ways to make the materials accessible to staff, parents and students.

And Speaking Of A Change of Attitude

Lisa posted this video of Peggy Sheehy’s students telling you what they want and need in an education. The name of her post and this video is No Future Left Behind.

Yes, the video does rattle the bones. For the record, these students will be adults when we are Seniors. I say let’s get on their good side now. By they way, if you are not a parent you are not exempt from knowing about or having these skills. If you are a parent you don’t have much choice in this; your children will force you to change.

How do we do that on a tight budget? How do we do that with a growing cultural individualistic mentality that does not want to pay for other people’s children unless it benefits themselves personally?

Clearing the Path

Like the kids in the video said, outside of the classroom innovation is happening whether you acknowledge or not. There are educators who understand and are preparing the way for the rest of us. The Women of Web 2.0 are working, discovering and exchanging information about just how technology supports education. EdTechTalk also host the Parents As Partners and the Teacher Teaching Teachers podcasts.

Sarah Stewart at Sarah’s Musing is a health educator who writes about open education, transition from her prior teaching style and Second Life virtual birthing pains.

Tom at Bionic Teaching is working on a rubric about what is a 21st century classroom and what are the skills needed such as literacy, creativity and the ability to find and evaluate information. The Tech Savvy Educator ask questions about how do you implement all the new cool stuff like gaming into 45 minutes of instruction?

More Thoughts

It has been said before but we need to make school the place where you have to kick them out at 3 p.m. of instead of having them escape at their earliest opportunity.

For some of you I understand, you want to yank out the technology and put into place a highly controlled, disciplined task focused curriculum. You know for a certain population of students, that might be necessary. But you can’t shelter them from their world. It will find them. Rote learning will not provide for their survival. Or yours for that matter.

Honestly, the next generation will figure this stuff out on their terms. You might not like their terms so this is my modest attempt at self preservation. We need to engage with the tools and technology they are using to transmit the more desirable aspects of our culture and respective heritages.

How shall we move forward?

Gena Haskett is a Contributing Editor at BlogHer and that is where this post originally appeared.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dan Roam and Tony Jones Slide Presentation on Health Care

Dan Roam and Tony Jones, M.D. have put together a slide presentation on their perspectives of the health care debate. I may quibble about some of the items but it does point to one thing I keep saying and it gets dismissed.



I want health care access and reform but we are actually talking about health care insurance reform. I'm not giving up on either but crazy is as crazy does.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Public Health Movie From 1944 - Learning From The Past

This was a public health movie about encoraging soldiers to get treatment for venereal diseases. This was something you did not say out loud in the 1940s. The movie tries to talk about the topic without talking about the topic.



This means no discussion of sex, how you contracted the disease or how to prevent it. Yep, a sex education movie without sex being mentioned once. Now besides the fact that it has Robert Mitchum and Noah Berry at the beginning of the movie, there are other reasons why I am positing this PSA.

I had heard of the Jean Hersholt Awards for years. Had no idea of who the guy was. The actor playing the doctor is Mr. Hersholt himself. This was also the guy who help to build the Screen Actor's Hospital and other humanitarian acts.

The final reason that I wanted to post this movie was that toward the end of this 20 minute movie there is a segment about health care overseas. The film mentions that anyone at any time can go in, get tested and treated without a fuss or a commotion. The rate of disease was far less than the United States at the time.

If I need a sledge hammer to make my point I'll go get one. We've got work to do. We have 50+ years to catch up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ethical Castaways – A Blog Noir Tale of Content, Respect and Responsibility

It was a dark and stormy night at the Castaway Bar and Grill. Mookie the bartender was polishing the beer into the counter top as he bounced to a remix of Baby Got Back and Feelings. You could hear the barflies drink gulps of regret as they caught threads of Twitter static. It gave me the creeps; watching them hope for redemption in the tweets of possibilities. And then she walked through the door.

I chunk my Psycho Berry smoothie as my client swung her swag. You could tell she had been around; the woman had logos on everything. Even her sunglasses had a slogan, “You can’t hide from 3x Intensified Tide! ” I felt a brain freeze coming on as she slid into my booth.

“McGuffin, right?”

“Yeah. How can I be of assistance?”

“I need help with my blog. I've made some mistakes, silly ones you might say. I need help in extricating myself from an unfortunate situation.”

Yeah, I smiled sarcastically. I heard. People are talking. Go on.”

The dame looks around as she leans into the table, “Well, I don't want to be known as "that kind of blogger." I'm just a…”

“Stop right there! I don't want to know any more about you than I have to. Let's cut to the chase sister. I’ve seen your blog. It ain’t horrible, I've seen worse but yeah, you need to get a grip. Your content is all over the place. You’ve been mixing factual and sponsored content like scrambled eggs. From the look of the logos you flash on your blog I’d say you’ve been spending extra bonus time with PR, haven’t you?

“I got caught up with some action, I might have technically crossed a line or two but I’m here, right? I want to do better. I’m ready to listen.”

I suck up some smoothie as I pass her the folder.

“So you say. Let us begin shall we?”

Content – Roll Your Own

“First off, I don't want you sponging content from other people’s blogs or companies. You cut that crap out now, you hear me? It is ok to quote but you’ve lifted whole chunks of stuff, ‘taint Kosher. Plus, others are getting wise to the game. People in the know can punch a phrase into a search engine and surprise, fifty posts show up with the exact same words. Spammy if you ask me.”

“So in the future I would not expect to see canned content on your blog.  My sources tell me that there is new web based application, something called Attributor, that can track wayward post back to the Mothership looking for copyrighted content. It would be unfortunate if you was bit financially by a spider.”

I showed her the print out from FairShare. Her lips trembled a bit.

“I want you to read WashWords 5 Old News Secrets to Make A New Blog Sing to help you write good content and stay on the good foot. You will also read Lisa Braziel's 6 Steps to Develop Content for Social Media Campaigns. only you will exchange the word blog for company. I also want you to soak up some of Copyblogger's post on A Three-Step Approach to Strategic Content Development.”

“Jeeze that’s a lot of reading, but yeah, anything to get the heat off. I’ll do it, sure no problem.”

Respect Your Adversaries and Competition

“Next you will no longer refer to people you disagree with as a rectal hernia waiting to happen. You don’t have to love them or even like them but you do have to come from a place of respect. Now, I do not say this lightly. Notice this dent upside my head. Besides, you need them.”

“I don’t need those heifers. Always popping their chops. They are jealous biddies sticking their nose in other people’s business. What do I need them for?”

“I manage to suppress my nature tendency of wanting re-aligning her bridge work. “I'm hooking you up with Joella at Blog With Wings.  I want you to read her post on studying your competition; what they do well and what you do better. I also want you to read her post on writing in a conversational style because frankly when you do write it sometimes has the taste of three day old toast. You ever try to eat three day toast?”

“Alright, I get your point. Go along to get along, right?”

“Wrong!, I said respect, not self sacrifice. Object to the idea, not the person. Explain why you think it is a bad idea without questioning heritage, birthright or I.Q. Comprende?”

I could see she was shaking, so I asked Mookie to hook her up with a Mango Sunrise. If she was having trouble with this I’m not sure how she was going to take my next suggestion. The dame wrapped her mouth around the straw and indicated I should continue.

Responsibility, Transparency and Ethics, Oh My!

I pulled out the Blog With Integrity printout and slide it across the table. She went internally ballistic. The dame looked past me gazing at the Twitter stream. She started to tear up again. "I'm not leaving cash money on the table!" I had to say this the right way or risk sending a blogger back to the dark side.

“I'm not asking you to; no thinking blogger would say such a thing. Look, behind the monitor you have real people coming to your blog. You have some responsibilities. How much you want to take on is up to you. You need to recognize it ain't all about you. Your are part of multiple communities not just the Land of Me. With blogging comes responsibility. That is why we are here. You want to make positive changes for the long term. You don't want to flame out. Am I right?”

Sniffing, she nodded her head and sighed. “Yeah. it has been challenging being misunderstood.”

“All I'm saying is be true to your blog. You build credibility and credibility leads to trust. Trust can lead to Steady Freddie money. No promises but no bull either. It is a process. A journey, not a sprint.”

“Now back to this thing about integrity and pledges. One size pledge does not fit all. If you had read the About page it says so. For some bloggers it is a one time only statement that you have advertising or promotional content. For other bloggers they have are visual indicators when sponsored content appears. You can choose like Queen of Shake Shake not to have any declaration at all because she doesn't need no stinking badge or pledge to be ethical.”

“I'm just asking you to check in with your ethical compass and make sure it is in alignment with your personal and business belief system. At least look at the site to get a sense of what you might want to consider or reject in constructing your own ethical guidelines. If you don’t want to do that then perhaps you should visit the Responsibility Project and watch videos of BlogHer09 conference attendees talking about Responsible Blogging.”

“This discussion isn’t going away. Read others bloggers like AliJennie and  Kelby Carr have written. Take a look at CyberJournalist.net’s writing from a few years back on blogging ethics. I'm not sure why journalists want to weigh in on what bloggers do when some of their workplaces are kinda skeezy in the ethics department (Travel, accepting packages and presenting content from advertisers without attribution comes to mind.). Like I said, don’t hate, evaluate. Some of the ideas are good, like linking back to original sources, separate factual information from advertising content and admit mistakes and correct them promptly.”

“Mookie, fix me a Passion Power Blueberry smoothie to go. Anyway, it is all here. Read it or not, your choice.”

Disclosure and Transparency in Action

Liz Gumbinner and myself are Contributing Editors at BlogHer. Upon my request, Liz did provide me with information about the Blog With Integrity website and link suggestions. My personal opinion is that I support most of concepts of the pledge but I choose not to display any badge at this time on my personal and informational blogs.

Gena Haskett is a Contributing Editor at BlogHer where this post originally appeared.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's A Raggy Waltz on the Finally Friday Freakout

I am jazz ignorant. I know it. I use to try and listen to my local jazz and blues radio station but it is a little out of my broadcast area. The only other source of jazz is midnight on Sundays and I'm lucky if I can make it to 11 p.m. I know what I like but could not identify the style of jazz if you paid me.

Smooth Jazz don't cut it because it more mush of many musical forms. I don't hate it but I don't seek it out either. So it was cool to find this clip and hey, I even recognized the name of the performer.



From the 1963 movie All Night Long this is Dave Brubeck and company in a lovely scene from a movie I have never heard of or seen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Open Congress – Please Read the Actual Health Care Bill

Ok, I know that the newspapers and the media told you that this has become a non-issue that there will be no public or single pay option. That is a lie. It is still a big deal.

But we have to participate. You and I as citizens have some responsibilities. One of them is to be informed an the other is to speak.

What I am asking is not easy. Read the actual bill. You can do so at Open Congress.org


Open Congress.org copy of the Health Care Act of 2009 Bill

I’m not asking you to support or condemn the bill. I’m asking you to make an effort to read it and find out for yourself. There are a lot of pages. Yes, it will take some effort.

BlogHer is working with the Sunlight Foundation. Nancy Watzman will be posting information that can help you to understand what is going on.

You, American citizen, are still responsible for learning for yourself, not what shock jocks, political pundits and people who don't need health insurance because they are wealthy will tell you.

Make the effort.

If you don't want to go to Open Congress.org then hippy-hop over to The Library of Congress - Thomas.gov and search for HR 3200

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taking A Moment To Be A Better Flashlight

I have been less personal here on the Stoop for a while. I had life happen. It is still happening. I can tell those of you that have more of it to live than I've got left is that you do the best you can and keep moving forward. Or rest when necessary. But the forward thing, yeah direction wise that is the way to go. Forward isn't always easy.

I don't know if you did this but when I was a kid I wanted to know how the world got so messed up. As a teen that shifted into being able to see some of the messed-uppers in action and figured they would die off so that the rest of us that had a clue could get to work.

What I did not count on was that it would be so easy for good people to do nothing. To be distracted by survival, responsibilities, trivia, and 50 million other legitimate reasons for shutting off the world and looking for peace. Yet sanctuary ok to visit, even on a daily basis but at some point you have to be a part of the world and the communities you are connected to.

This is not easy. This is also not what I want all of the time. Sanctuary, good. World? It depends.

I was talking to my friend who is a good man. I don't tell him that often enough. Yeah, anyway we were talking and I was telling him that I want to just find a deep cave.

He said "I did not want to do that."

I said, "Yes I do, I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it. I don't understand the tolerance for violence, for stupidity being hailed as a badge of honor. I don't understand socialism used as a pejorative when almost everything that happens in this country is connected to another person, a community of people, a frigging Union in fact and health care is considered an enemy of capitalism. This is not the change I signed on for; there is so many positive things that can be done but if you have to fight this hard what is the point?"

To paraphrase: "The point is that change is disruptive. People don't like disruptions for the unknown. Some would rather die than step forward if moving forward meant stepping into the unknown. You have a tendency to step into the unknown, into the possible. Sometimes you get hurt and sometimes you come back sharing the future. "

"I can't help that, it is what I do. I accept that about me."

"Yeah, and that is a good thing. Except when you get angry and impatient with others who are afraid of taking a single step. You don't need a cave. You need a better flashlight."

Grumble, grumble (Damn, he's right.) grumble.

Illumination. That is why a lot of us write, blog, video and record. We want to illuminate some aspect of our world. Of our lives. Our interests. We connect with each other and we step into new flows of energy and points of view.

So I am going to try to be a better flashlight. How do I do that?

Yes, I need work on the grammar/spelling thing. Lawd, I know. Need also to find better ways to explain things to fearful people. I can't do anything for the willfully stupid. I have accepted that for the time being.

I know that I need to put in my two cents about health care but just waiting for a sign on how to do that. Don't want to add to the noise, need facts and substance. I don't know. I just know we can't leave this to Congress.

Health care ain't political with me, it is damned personal.

When I can ride the bus and hear a homeless person who is clearly physically hurt say that they would die than step foot in a county hospital it is bad. Because homeless or not you know there would be a 24 to 36 hour wait for service.

Neighborhood clinic will not see you without an appointment but they will refer you to the county hospital. Area hospitals will not see you unless it is life threatening and they only patch you up to get you out of the door ASAP.

People can't afford the doctor or the Nurse Practitioner in the Drug store because you are not going to be paid for another week and a half and there is the rent, mortgage, kids, food, phone, gas, electric, utilities waiting for your attention.

So yeah, there is a problem here. There are solutions. We can do this. I'll put a hold on my cave reservation but folks need to get to stepping.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wade In The Water Remix on the Finally Friday Freakout

Creation begets more creation. It can't be stopped or legislated. The participants in the video are generations apart but the constant is the beat, the beat, some drums and more beat.



The singer is the great Marlena Shaw who album I still have in vinyl form. She sustained me during the dark days of tribulations and clogs on escalators.

The performers in the early part of the video is the Berry Brothers, who I don't have a clue who they were but somebody was inspired by these gents. I've seen latter day interpretations of this kind of dancing. I figure some choreographer plucked a few steps from these dudes for certain.

The other performer is the great dancer Eleanor Powell. Put them all together and you have an appreciation for them all. Enjoy and feel free to say "Wow."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Women of the Dance

There are certain songs that I must dance when they are played. The music forces me out of my chair and commands me to move my body in defiance of a culture that tells me I’m too old to shake that thing. Mainly I dance with myself and every once in a while with Billy Idol. For Merce Cunningham I imagined that every day of his life he was commanded to move his body in dance.

Like many people, I had heard of Mr. Cunningham's name. Because the lack of representation of artistic dance on television and movies I would not have been able to tell you the nature of his work. At the dance company he founded website I was able to read his biography and to sample a short video clip that showed his evolution as a dancer/choreographer.

This lead to more questions so I also visited the art portal Ubu Web, I got an additional overview of his career and discovered this video, Septet Excerpt 1964:

What inspired me from my brief research about Merce Cunningham is that he kept on dancing and learning right up to the end of his 90 year  life. He did not allow anyone to dictate how his life should be lived. We do not have to stick to paths that no longer serve our spirit. There are choices to dance to our own beat.

Dance Blogs and Bloggers

Dance is communication, sexuality, freedom and conformity, order and disorder. I try not to distinguish between professional dance and social dancing. It happens too often that one becomes the other. Innovation happens on the street level as well as in the great dancing schools and companies.

I can go days without dancing. This is not true for other people. For some people dancing is just one step removed from breathing. It is their life force and they know it. Their daily challenge is to find a way to incorporate dance and dancing into their day to day routine. Exploring dance blogs and websites can open visitors to styles of dance, performances, the business of dance and dance bloggers.

Carrying The Culture Forward

Anjali Nandan practices a dance form called Bharatnatyam, at Online Bharatnatyam she educates about the dance and has video examples of not only how to perform the steps but the reason behind each movement.

Dance Bloggers is a centralized spot for all kinds of English language dance blogs. From here you can find explorations on movement, learning African dance,  or a wee bit of Burlesque.

For the Love of Dance

Maria at A Time to Dance started her journey to dance later than most professional dancers but with no less of a passion than a teen. She is a dancer/educator who:

I became passionate about dance in my mid-twenties. For most other pursuits, this would not be considered late in life, but for dance, I consider myself a late bloomer. My first dance love is salsa– it was the initial “seed” that made me realize that my best tool for artistic and personal expression is my own body. That opened the door to the study of other types of dance, including hip hop, jazz, ballet and modern. I have been seriously devoting myself to the study of modern dance and dabbling in choreography over the past year.

Tonya Plank at Swan Lake Samba Girl works hard to make time to dance. She is a self described an amateur competitive Latin dancer, in addition to being a writer and a public defender. Tonya writes about dance in New York and beyond, has very interesting photos on her blog (I didn’t know dancers could look like that!) and reviews dance performances.

In the Profession of Dance

Nichelle Strzepek at Dance Advantage writes about what a person can gain from a dance education and what it means to be a professional. You don't have to be a dancer to appreciate:

Even when someone is simply not doing his best, and even if it is negatively impacting you or others, it is still not appropriate for a professional to publicly point this out to others.  It’s not nice!  No one can truly walk in another person’s shoes, therefore it is always best to remember the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Dance Mine is a collaborative blog from Janie a ballet dancer, and Sanna who is a Performance Specialists. Together they write on the profession of dance and tips on managing the body, mind and spirit as well as the career.

How Does a Modern Dance Company Get the Word Out on Their Performances?

If you have alternative newspapers in your area you might see the event listed in the Calendar section. One effective way is to have a blog like the Shen Wei Dance Arts Company's blog that let's fans know of upcoming performances. The Elisa Monete Dance Company also has a blog that keeps their audience informed and they have videos that display portions of the company's works.

Dance is more than a competition to be scored. If all you know about dance is Dancing With the Stars, and I’m really not knocking that television program, I invite you to take a little time to dip into the world of dance and dance blogs.

This post originally appeared on BlogHer where I am a Contributing Editor.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Chick Habit Josie Style - the Finally Friday Freakout

I've started collecting DVD movies of animated superheroes and graphic novels. I haven't stepped into Anime yet but it is only a matter of time. Anyway music + animation = the yeah, yeah, yeahs from me.

I've kept this one in my play list for a while. It is an short clip of latter day Josie and the Pussycats directed by Quentin Tarentino. The song is called Chick Habit and the singer is April March.



Now there is almost nothing new but inspiration. The original song was in French recorded by France Gall in 1964. Here is her version:



So the lesson for today is mashups can be good and that they can be educational. I have expanded my world and increased my music appreciation.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Conflict Resolution Skills For Adults Acting Badly

It has been a summer of adults getting themselves into trouble verbally or socially. And no, I’m not necessarily talking about Crowley, Gates or Obama. Here is the deal. I became angry with myself. In one social situation where you would think I’d blow a gasket I was calm and rational. In another situation two days later I acted in anger at the mention of two words.

Two freaking words that I have heard for years. Never had an effect on me before that moment. No, that is not true. The words irritated me but I rationalized it away. Then kaboom!  It concerned me a whole lot. There were people that I wanted to introduce myself to that I could no longer do so because I went off. 

Let me tell you something. As much as well all try to be on our best public behavior sometimes you muck it up. Ask those three guys, who hopefully will have more than a beer, about how ego, time, space and communication misunderstandings can trip you up.

A 2007 post from Margaret Mason at 43 Folders is referencing the book The Four Agreements, which I have not read, so I’m taking what she is presenting at face value.

Words have immeasurable power, so use them with care. Say only what you mean, and remember your opinion isn’t fact. Silence is better than saying something you’ll regret.

Well, I blew that one straight off but I’ll try to remember that for the next time I’m in churn mode. Knowing better can help but it isn’t an automatic balm to ensure human perfection. That is the thing, we are not always perfect but there are troops read to jump down your throat if you don’t act the way that they expect you to. You can’t. Not all of the time.

I really wish there was a public space that would allow people to see the spectrum of a person life instead of focusing on the surface. When I read comments about race, police, politics or validation of points of view is like swimming with piranha; ready to gum you to death at the first drop of blood. 

In case you didn’t know there are a bunch of immature people on the planet. Sometimes that maturity is fluid and mistakes happen. Sometimes folks are stuck on juvenile stupid for life. So what do we do? Instead of shaming someone back to the tenth generation? 

According to Dr. Margaret Paul, we are to keep our hearts open and make the choice of engagement or disengagement.

Carolyn at The Grown-Up Child.ca talks about how she learned to shun others as a technique of conflict resolution. There are times when I have acted in similar ways when I have felt there was no other alternative.

And it does seem to be such a powerful thing, doesn’t it?  Taking your knife edged sword and severing the threads of a relationship.  To me it brings images of someone standing on one side of a rope bridge cutting the bonds one by one while the other on the bridge is forced to run for the safety of land. The swordsman turning their back on the chasm between them and appearing not to care as the other person aches to connect.

I agree with her, it should be used as a last resort. There are some people that you really do have to cut all contact with but that should be at the end of all other options. The reality is that most of the time you will have to interact with the person or persons that is causing you grief.

Tammi Lenski at Conflict Zen writes about how to control and manage your personal hot buttons. There is a passage in her post that I keep working my way through my issues:

Your hot buttons trip you up in conflict because they cause you to misinterpret, close down, lash out or take a side trip down the blame road. They also trigger a set of emotional responses that can escalate the conflict. When you’re triggered, your brain may experience what’s called a “neural hijacking.” The brain perceives a threat, proclaims an emergency and moves into action. This hijacking occurs so quickly that the conscious, thinking portion of the brain does not yet fully comprehend what’s happening.

It was true, I heard those two trigger words and my anger jumped over my normal internal breaking system. There was a jailbreak dash for my mouth. Tammy explains skills that can be used to keep trouble from slipping out inappropriately.

I’m spending the rest of my free time hanging out at the University of Colorado at Boulder – Conflict Resolution Information Source There is a tremendous amount of information at this site. I could spend three week highlighting resources.  I’m printing out post by Heidi Burgess post on Active Listening, Anger Management and De-Escalation.

I also will read and review How to Resolve Conflict from Chris Witt. He list ten steps that can help resolve disputes with most people. There is also a list of resolution techniques at Pick The Brain.

I’ll also dig into my pile of self help books, videos and maybe buy myself a Zune or iPod. Ok, the Zune or iPod does not help with conflict resolution but it would make me feel better. Ok, not really but I would get to practice conflict resolution with my inner skinflint. It is all about listening, validation and searching for best solution or resolution of the problem.

Gena Haskett is a Contributing Editor at BlogHer where this post originally appeared.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Korean BBQ Festival & Cook Off - Summer of Staycation 8

'Cue? as in BBQ? A festival about the smell, the smoke and dare I say it, the joy of eating hot juicy seasoned meat? Er...to my veggie and vegan friends, skip this post.

I'm an Omnivore and I do slip over to the dark side every now and again. I did buy snow peas and carrots yesterday. It is a process, okay? I might not even make it over there, I'd have to take four buses or a train or two on a Saturday. It is supposed to have some serious K-BBQ masters though. I do like pickle Kimchi.

Where was I? Oh yeah on Saturday, August 8th from 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM there will be a Korean BBQ Festival in Koreatown or thereabouts. The skivvy on the location is:

Parking Lot at The Summit on 6th
3223 West 6Th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020

I got the scoop from Yelp with the details on Facebook.

I don't do Facebook. Sorry. No. Not even for potentially good to excellent'Cue.

To be specific, the Festival is free but if you want to scarf upper level Korean Beef Tacos you need to bring cash money.

Hey I do what I can but for $5 - $7 you can wrap your mouth around something hot.
In a culinary way of course. This is a family event.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Condoms , BlogHer09 and Your Voice in Health Care

I sat at the Birds of a Feather Education table for lunch. I met folks. I hoped that I listened more than I talked or ate. I didn't get the chance to meet everyone. Soon lunch was over and I noticed that there were condoms on the table from Planned Parenthood.

I was afraid one of the Waitstaff might throw them in the trash. I started to gather them up when an older gentleman asked me what they were. I smiled and said "Condoms." He asked if he could have them, he wanted to give them to some of his young "knuckleheads" in his neighborhood.

I said "Absolutely!" and gave all of them to him. He said he was working on trying to make those knucklehead understand they got to use them.





Sometimes we forget that there are more good people doing good things than bad. We are all agents of change.

If you haven't already please read the health care post by Lisa Stone at BlogHer and put in your two cents.

The time to speak up and act on your beliefs is now.