Sunday, November 30, 2014

Good people, ideas, and writings

Readers of this blog will notice a range of topics presented. No singular theme. No specific point of view. Just ideas or writings I want to share.

If they originate somewhere else, fine. If the author is someone I know and respect, all the better. Following are excerpts of recent posts from three people I know personally, follow faithfully, and admire tremendously.

1) Roderick Carey
Educational researcher, writer, and teacher educator

Reviving Hope in Troubling Times: Ferguson and the Futures of Black Boys

"Right now, Ferguson is top of the news cycle. Reports focus on visuals that attract viewers, and it's the stereotypical stuff: low-income blacks shouting angry slogans or protesting in the streets. Viewers, listeners and readers are left to make sense and meaning of Michael Brown, of Officer Wilson, and of Ferguson.

"Let's not fall into the trap of accepting what the media shows us. Let's look beyond these images to revive hope that things can change. Let's look beyond individuals, to the structures and systems within which they work. Let's lift our critique off of people and onto the cultural norms that strike fear in individuals such that they view black boys as heinous criminals instead of promising youths deserving of attention, love, and opportunities."

2) Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE, RYT   
Hunter Yoga

6 Steps to Bring Peace to the Table this Holiday

"When families get together, we bring lots of baggage with us. We bring old habits. We bring our stories and expectations for the other people. We bring defensiveness.

"It can be a stressful time to say the least.

"But it doesn’t have to be. We have enormous power to change the dynamic. We can participate in the status quo or we can become part of the change."

3) Paul Wilke
Founder/CEO, Upright Position Communications

Netfunning: 12 Trusty Networking Tips

"Networking. You either love it or you hate it. Actually, that’s not true…it’s more Yoda-ish than that. It’s more a case of, “Do or do not. There is no try”. Just because it isn't called netfunning, doesn't mean it has to be a chore."

Each post reflects a different interest. And each one interests me in a different way. To read the full posts, or to find out more about each person, follow the links above.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How old are you now?

One day I see a rack of birthday cards for 100-year-olds. The next day I’m at a one-year-old’s birthday party. Talk about polar opposites.

I didn’t used to think about age much. But when a great grandniece entered our family last November, pictures were shared each month to mark her growth from tiny baby to little girl.

My mother never celebrated her age, preferring to keep it secret. When she found herself in the hospital one night, the nurse asked for her birthday. “July 3,” my mother said. “What year?,” the nurse pressed. To which my mother replied: “Every year.”

I get her point. Too many people associate numerical age with preconceptions. Years ago, I saw an ophthalmologist who, after asking my age, immediately recommended bifocals. He hadn’t even examined my eyes. He is now my ex-ophthalmologist.

When I had Maddie, my spotty dog, people would always ask her age. Whatever I answered, the number would elicit a shake of the head as if age told all. After Maddie hit double-digits, she would turn her back when passersby asked her age. Neither of us wanted to hear the stories that were sure to come about their old pets and when they passed.

I’ll admit I’m getting a little touchy about my age. It’s not that I mind the years; I just mind the influx of junk mail trying to lure me into “lifestyle” communities for independent living. Or mailings about prescription drugs I surely should be taking. Or special offers for medical equipment. 

How fair is that when my deceased mother-in-law is still getting catalogs for river cruises?

They say age is only a number, but it’s a number too many people use as proxy for an individual. I may be showing my age, but the reality is I’m as young as I’ll ever be.