Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some people are mean

and that's about it.

For those of you on the border, check out some of the writings of Nel Noddings. She does work in the "ethic of caring". Although I don't agree with some of her major points, her respect for humanity and the earth is astounding.

Also, I want to take a moment to urge you to also consider the concept of democratic schooling. Michael Apple, Henry Giroux, and Paulo Freire would ask you to question your blind acceptance in the current structure of schooling.


1. Epistemological.What should count as knowledge? As knowing? Should we take a behavioral position and one that divides knowledge and knowing into cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor areas, or do we need a less reductive and more integrated picture of knowledge and the mind, one that stresses knowledge as process?

2. Political. Who shall control the selection and distribution of knowledge? Through what institutions?

3. Economic. How is the control of knowledge linked to the existing and unequal distribution of power, goods, and services in society?

4. Ideological. What knowledge is of most worth? Whose knowledge is it?

5. Technical. How shall curricular knowledge be made accessible to students?

6. Aesthetics. How do we link the curriculum knowledge to the biography and person meanings of the student? How do we act "artfully" as curriculum designers and teachers in doing this?

7. Ethical. How shall we treat others responsibly and justly in education? What ideas of moral conduct and community serve as the underpinnings of the ways students and teachers are treated?

8. Historical. What traditions in the field already exist to help us answer these questions? What other resources do we need to go further?

It's funny that some of the rudest, selfish, narrow minded people are those that are the least informed. Is your ability to diagram sentences really a reflection of your abilities? If that's all you've got, you're fucked.

One more thing, if Ann Coulter would become a scientologist, I think my fantasy baseball team would be complete.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Conference presentation

I just returned from the American Educational Studies Association conference in Cleveland, Ohio. While I attended other academic conferences last year, this was my first conference as a presenter. To say that I was anxious, nervous, and scared is the tip of my emotional iceberg prior to my presentation. My session started at 8:30AM on Friday morning. Consequently, the UNC social (bar crawl) began at 8PM on Thursday. My roommates wandered back to the room around 1AM, but I was in bed early. I just couldn’t party and network on an anxious stomach.

The presentation went better than I expected. If I may, I rocked socks! Attendees requested my paper and I received many compliments on my work and presentation style.

I’m looking forward to my next foray into the academy. My article is being published in a book edited by Paula Groves Price at Washington State University.

Here’s my article abstract:

Anna Todd, “Nice white teacher: The role of racial representations in popular culture and teacher education” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007.

This article examines the impact of the film Freedom Writers on the racial identities of white female teachers. By using Critical Race Theory, I examine the place of “white allies” and “colorblindness” (Cochran-Smith, 1995) in the film. Using Stuart Hall’s definitions of preferred, negotiated, and oppositional readings, I will analyze the figure of the “white female teacher” (1980). Henry Giroux conceptualizes popular culture texts as “public pedagogies” (2003), meaning that they “work pedagogically to legitimate some meanings, invite particular desires, and exclude others“ (pp.78). Freedom Writers is a recent popular culture text that constructs a representation of a young white female teacher. By analyzing scenes from the film and using a critical race lens, I examine how popular culture can be used to address race in teacher education, and the potential pitfalls. This article considers the power of media texts in the formation of teacher identity and race roles in education. I propose that this critique can be used as a pedagogical strategy for engaging pre-service teachers of all teaching levels in critical discussions of race and identity.

So hey now

Warning Statistics rant:

If you're in my statistics class and you talk through the majority of the class, do me a favor and zip it. I don't really care about your favorite cartoon as a child or what you did over the weekend. Couldn't you just text message each other? We already know you're not paying attention, you could do it silently. It's not just me. Don't you notice the ladies in the front that turn around and beam you with their cold eyes? Someone three rows over was ready to throw a shoe at you today.

You better wake up...I'd hate to have to pull off my size nine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seriously Utah?

Utah, our spike is bigger than yours. A state that envies Florida's phallic grandeur.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Motorcycle airbag jacket

Read this article in Stats...this jacket is pretty neato. Buy one for your favorite motorcycle rider.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

If you're reading this

tell me again why I'm busting my eyeballs reading? I estimate that I need to read my weight in articles in order to get caught up for Grossberg and ready for Cleveland. There must be a young, perhaps in the blastocyst stage, cynic out there waiting for my future wisdom.

Oh, one other thing...

Hey Dude-in-the-Oversized-Red-Truck-

When I'm enjoying my vintage Stevie Wonder with his sweet electric funk, don't turn up your weak ass psuedo country in competition. You cannot compete with the Wonder! Suck it.

Wish I had seriously never

learned about split infinitives. It's like this splinter that keeps me from enjoying life. I want to really forget. Perhaps I can forever protest that prescriptive grammar.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ann Coulter is a crazy fucktard

as if you didn't already know. Here's a recent quote...

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’”

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Absurd moments of joy

You may not realize it, but I'm a happy person. However, don't call me out or make me prove my happiness to you. In a recent conversation about moments of joy, someone asked "what makes you happy?" and "where do you find joy?" My innate response to this line of questioning is resistance. I have answers to these questions, but how can I share my joys with a group of strangers?

The knotty oak outside my office window makes me happy. I gaze into the craggy bark and fantasize about the scholar seeking respite by the trunk and the lovers sheltered from the sun. The tree has a history a's beautiful.

This morning I was attacked by a gang of two year-olds pretending to be lady bugs. As I tickled my way free from the miniature bandits, I seized upon their joy. This made me happy. Even more so, my own daughter sat back and worked on a puzzle while I played with the others. She seemed content to let them play with her mom. Her self-reliance makes me happy.

Climbing the stairs to my office, I pass a guy carrying a book bag, a diaper bag, and a baby in a sling. WOW! That was great. He said hi and I remarked, "Oh, hey baby," in my best happy mommy tone.

And yes, if you must have one more...bunnies make me happy. Will knows. I see a bunny and chirp, "ahh, a bunny!" Here's a conversation from today with an undisclosed person...

me: on the upside, bunnies make me happy

person: why you hatin'

me: bunnies are fun.

person: i like carrying their feet on my keys

me: no, bunnies really do make me happy
k and I were discussing it this morning
i like rabbits
they seem so happy, but i think they're really french
they smoke cigarettes when you aren't looking
and scoff at your art and sense of style

person: damn rabbits

I've got so much joy, you just don't know. I'm fortunate and happy, a little crazy, but that makes me fun.

I like

bad dancing
petty theft
drunken laughter
my daughter
& that guy I live with
happy babies
polite men
watering plants
falling leaves
blooming trees
cop clothes
teacher glasses
friends that know what you're thinking
& friends that know when to leave you alone
that show californication
david duchovny
military uniforms
celebrity magazines
personalized stuff
bike riding
warm water
being pregnant
the smell of books
my daughter's hair
crying at movies
french onion soup
moose tracks ice cream
making pizza
road trips
the zoo
the silence of snow
making people laugh
will's beard
reading the newspaper
shopping at thrift stores
refinishing furniture
mowing the grass
the upper west side
the fact that Will and I can spend every minute of the day together and still smile
walking across campus
the cafe in the Met
pepper on my poppykash
that every year gets better than the last.