Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I love the holidays. Yesterday I saw three different people cut off an elderly woman three different times for three different parking spots AND at least two of the perpetrators saw the others ace this woman. The older woman was waiting for a parking spot at a local shopping area in Carrboro, NC. I actually said something to the last person who snaked her and the response (she was a college-age female) was that she was "here" before the woman was. Of course, there was a parking/security guard watching all of this; he intimated to me that his role was to make sure cars did not get broken in to, not to regulate traffic. Now for context, this is a very small lot (maybe 60 spaces) in a small "progressive" town next to Chapel Hill. The stores there are anchored by a local co-op (i.e., Weaver Street), an outdoor shop, and a fusion restaurant that's owned by the co-op's president. I could go on and on about these places and what irks me about them, but I won't. Suffice it to say that this is quite often thought of as a spot where "hippies", "liberals", and "individuals" hang out. From my experience it is local grocery store for wealthy residents of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as well as a culturally sanitized space for white college kids to try their neo-liberal starter kits out.
For all practical purposes, it's a consumptive space with attendant ethos and consciousness. It's not anti-hegemonic and it's actually quite normative. Everyone gets along if they make purchases, don't feed the birds, and don't dance on the grass (I'm serious about this one). And, I'm not really sure why it's called a co-op, other than "members" occasionally get discounts on wine tastings and baked goods overstock. Shopping for holiday gifts amps the neo-liberal penchant for consumption just like everyone else, only the gifts are "green", expensive, and destroy resources "sustainably". It's still a violent act and attitude.
What would be a peaceable and peaceful alternative? And, how might a consciousness that's different spring to life in place of what we've got? Quite possibly, it has to happen in schools and other institutions (though these are still apparati of the dominate culture)...again, back to my question of "What are we educating for?". Nel Noddings' new book, Peace Education: How We Come to Love and Hate War, is an incisive treatise on the very psychosis that consumer culture gives us. I'd extend her analysis to suggest that this system of relating to others, the world around us, and the environment pretty much sets our consciousness up so that all there is to do is to objectify, consume, and desecrate. Philosophically, epistemologically rather, the frenzy/frustration/panic that makes one snake parking spots, flip drivers the bird (I got that one today too), rape, kill, ignore genocide, and bomb multiple countries simultaneously is the same consciousness that makes the ideological systems of our world function. It also makes us OK with destruction of the environment and the very land base that supports us.
Just some afternoon thoughts and ruminations as I try to figure different ways to be, and to think through what curriculum should be doing. More peaceable attitudes seems like a better inclusion than learning how to cite in APA format or what new ways tablet computing can be using to support digital humanities. Grinch out.
Friday, December 16, 2011
I start with a simple question: What sort of consciousness does it take to change the world? Yes, we need a changed world, now. But, too, what sort of consciousness has it taken at various times throughout time and space? And, how might we map such paradigmatic shifts in thought onto current times? One could even posit that, with 2012 mere days away (and 12/21/12 about a year away), this is an extremely apropos time for such meditations and (conscious) actions.
For me, it's this critical preoccupation with the environment and the ruin we are currently inflicting upon it. But, too, one can't simply say I want to stop environmental and ecological violence but neglect other atrocities (that are most always inextricably linked to our assault on the natural world and non-human others). It's a matter of social justice, if you will, where one cannot choose to dismantle certain forms of oppression (e.g., racism) while letting other forms of oppression slide (e.g., sexism). It's all things at once, all directions at the same time...better yet, seven generations forward and back...all our relations.
All that said, what would be the practice, beliefs, and texts and that would make this happen? What would not be? For me, pretty much everything our dominant culture is doing currently falls in to the "don't do this" category. Historically, there were other ways of being and ways of knowing that seemed more sustainable, but there were transformations or cataclysms or colonizing/colonializing that shifted or obliterated these paradigms. In broads strokes the eraser was imperialism and materialisitc conquest, but there' s a deeper seed---one that maybe was created to support imperial pursuits or vice versa. That seed is ideological in nature and had the effect of committed violence upon cultures and religions, peoples, non-human others, our natural world and its possibilities. This ideological seed (e.g., rationalism, Christianity, etc.) became a consciousness, a pathos, a contemporary compulsively destructive and violent psyche. It's a consciousness that will end us, probably sooner than later, if there's not some rerouting.
For next few blog posts, I'll try my hand at ruminating on how we might alter our consciousness and I'm open...I'm open.
Monday, November 21, 2011
I like it because of the slouching toward social science inquiry (our final course unit). There's a poll to assess the effectiveness of the Rose City's sustainability efforts...some of my students have used similar survey methodologies themselves and I'm interested in their comments.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This seems really cool, and much needed. Colorado has an environmental literacy plan, a coordinated strategy between PreK-12 teachers, environmental education providers, and leaders that aims to:
- Restore and increase field experiences as part of the school curriculum
- Improve state-wide access to existing environmental education programs and materials
- Make connections with Colorado Academic Standards and 21st Century Skills to support classroom instruction
- Create opportunities for enhanced and ongoing professional development of educators
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Read Bill McKibben’s blog post at: http://tinyurl.com/ydxo5v6 .
Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.
• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
What questions do you have after reading the article?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
energyNOW! Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan moderates a discussion on clean energy innovation with Grist.org's David Roberts, McKinstry CEO Dean Allen, Ross Macfarlane of Climate Solutions and Bill Rebozo of GridPoint. The event was co-sponsored by energyNOW and Grist.org.
Panelists discussed topics including the definition of clean energy, whether government can spur innovation in energy, the reliability of various energy sources and the smart grid. They also took some questions from the audience.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
On a more useful notion of text for these times:
“One of the formal criteria of humanistic scholarship is that it be concerned with the scrutiny of texts. A text is information stored through time. The stratigraphy of rocks, layers of pollen in a swamp, the outward expanding circles in the trunk of a tree, can be seen as texts. The calligraphy of rivers winding back and forth over the land leaving layer upon layer of traces of previous riverbeds is text.” (p. 71)
Snyder, G. (2003). The practice of the wild: Essays. Washington, DC: Shoemaker & Hoard.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
After you've tried this little exercise you may want to check out any number of resources, and even post what you find here. I've got a couple below.
The Global Water Policy Project and "Water: Adapting to a New Normal"
Adopt a Watershed web site