Thursday, January 29, 2004

George Lakoff (UC Berkeley) has written about the effect of language choice and the political process. Fascinating how manipulation of language can create the desired message and persuade people of a particular identity of a person. In fact, Lakoff says that what people want in a candidate is a clear identity of the person, not his/her position on an issue. Who is the person and what will s/he do in a particular situation.

This is so connected to the effective ways of teaching and learning. Students respond when they are motivated. Motivation comes when the student feels engaged in the subject being taught. Engagement comes when we provide the opportunity for students to see themselves in the subject matter, or to imagine how the subject matter touches their lives in realistic ways. How they behave in the context of the subject matter gives them ownership of understanding how it impacts their lives, a way to identify with the subject matter. Similarly, the candidate speaks to us when we can see how we can identify our thoughts, beliefs, desires for action through the candidate who will be acting in our interests.

Every word is defined relative to a conceptual framework. Therefore, if we talk about "gay marriage", we must understand that most people think about "gay sex" (marriage presumes sex--the framework of marriage includes sex). That is what many people object to, that gay couples can marry and therefore engage in sex. At the same time, most people do not believe that gays should be discriminated against. If we were to talk about the "right to marry", we might not have the initial reaction of revoltion. Or how about the "freedom to marry"? If this were the focus, we might have a meaningful dialogue, and at least force "anti-gay" discussants to reveal their prejudices.

I have not before heard the term hypergraphia (or hypographia?). Alice Flaherty has written about the effect on behavior of not being able to write ("much housework is accomplished by the blank white page"). An NPR interview with her today was most revealing. Motivation is necessary in writing; the process of writing (even though not brilliant or particularly skillful)actually creates more meaningful writing over time. It gets back to the idea that so many writiers reiterate: you need to write every day, preferably at a certain time of day, for a given amount of time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

It is amazing to me what Martin Luther King dared in his life! I watched the PBS special on his last four years that aired Monday night, and was truly surprised to learn the many ways in which he took risks and was selflessly attempting to bring civil rights to ALL. Furthermore, he was more importantly a human rights advocate. Thus, he sought ways to end conflict and bring diverse peoples together and was not afraid to venture into unwelcome territory for those goals.

Once more our President squeaks by with accolades for many in the public who are satisfied with simplistic takes on our econony, the war, and huaman rights. It was notable that Kerry and Edwards remained in the news since their performances in Iowa were unexpected, and I believe, good news for Democrats. The State of the Union was therefore not the only news of the day, in spite of the Administration's attempt to draw attention away from Iowa results by having the President speak the day after.

We've found a new recipe for beef stew--in Cooking Light--that is even better than Mom Stoffels'. Also, a beef barbeque recipe that is lower fat than my favorite.

Martha Stewart is in court as they choose a jury. Cannot believe how the media picks up on non-related issues--such as her $12,000 Hermes bag that she carried into court with her. No one said she should pretend she's not rich.

Routines are amusing: Once a week, John and I gather our pill box and the individual pill boxes that we use each day to fill them once again with our vitamins and medicines. Takes at least 20 minutes to organize and accomplish and we're set for another week. :>)

Saturday, January 17, 2004

I haven't blogged for a few days; but I have been journaling after I exercise in the notebook next door.

Talked with Katy yesterday and they made it safely home from Florida. Have looked at a couple of houses and are having their house toured by friends of Brian and Laynie (sp?).

Katy and the children are leaving for Oregon on the 23rd, returning the 9th on a red eye. They will have a wonderful time, I am sure, albeit a long time to be away from home.

Must call DD and A and ask about the car and see how the picture looks on the wall.

Snowing this morning. Not sure how much we will get--2 to 4 around the state. More in Kzoo where we plan to meet Karen and Richie for dinner tonight at Bravo. It's 19 degrees this morning. There are fishermen on the ice.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Today is cold (30's) and rainy, with a bit of wind and dark clouds. Good day to watch a good "old movie."

Visited Carroll and Peg yesterday. They are doing well and the funeral plans are moving apace. Called Jack to let him know plans and he said he and Jan will attend on Wednesday. Funeral is at 11, followed by Girard Cemetary burial followed by lunch at church with Sonya's circle providing lunch.

Will take in pictures that John copies for the family when I see Richie this afternoon. Hope they appreciate the favor and that they are happy with the results.

Started my exercise regime again today. Toe and hip are causing some pain, but I think it better to exercise than not, after all. Want to start keeping track of our eating again so that we lose a bit before the spring comes.

Want to plan a visit from Pam, Jane, Sue and Joyce. Will e-mail them to ask about this Friday and next Friday.

Will get into reading the WSJ's we received while in New York. Also want to complete the journaling about our New York trip--a most enjoyable time.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

On January 11, 2004, Auntie Mary died.

Remember: Daddy called Mommy at 237 West Chicago when they were dating. Auntie Mary answered and Daddy said, "Hello, honey." Auntie Mary called to Mother and said, "What shall I do? Stan called me honey."

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