Learning That I Don’t Have to Tolerate Pain

One of the words that could summarize my life is pain: lots and lots of really bad pain. There have been many periods–years long–during my life where I hurt essentially all of the time. Given my body’s reaction to Neurofibromatosis, I can pretty much hurt anywhere. I have dealt with all kinds of nerve painContinue reading “Learning That I Don’t Have to Tolerate Pain”

The Power of Names

As I have written about before, no one is born voluntarily. Additionally, as soon as we open our eyes and see light and the doctor arbitrarily announces “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” we are involuntarily assigned a series of names that we are forever associated with. Changing one’s name is an extremely difficultContinue reading “The Power of Names”

Politicians, “Lies,” and the Urgency of Decoding

This afternoon CNN Reporter Rick Santorum (yes, you read that correctly) said that Barack Obama constantly singles out and criticizes people of Christian faith. He also said: …I take big issue because President Obama was probably one of the most vindictive presidents that we’ve ever dealt…One of the things that made it him hard for himContinue reading “Politicians, “Lies,” and the Urgency of Decoding”

Quotations about Television

All television is educational television.  The question is:  what is it teaching?  ~Nicholas Johnson I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.  ~Groucho Marx If you came and you found a strange man… teaching your kids to punch eachContinue reading “Quotations about Television”

“Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)

So many “teacher films” focus on the seemingly unprecedented abilities of White teachers to successfully reach and transform those who are apparently the most unreachable students in the worst neighborhoods. These students are typically poor and non-White, as well. Such films include Music of the Heart (1999), Half Nelson (2006), and Freedom Writers (2007)–to just name a few. “Teacher films” areContinue reading ““Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)”

Books, China, Exams, Gender, Stereotype Threat, and More – Things On My Mind, Series #5

Before going to bed this evening, I wanted to make a quick blog about a number of different things on my mind. I have read so many books the past few months that I can’t keep track of all of them! (I’ve started reading books on my iPad through the Kindle App and love it!) AContinue reading “Books, China, Exams, Gender, Stereotype Threat, and More – Things On My Mind, Series #5”

“As long as you teach history the correct way.”

Upon hearing that I am a college professor and frequently teach History, people sometimes respond with conditional and reserved words of enthusiasm. In some way or another, these people inquire as to whether or not I teach History correctly. What does that even mean? I usually respond that I teach according to evidence. And this does notContinue reading ““As long as you teach history the correct way.””

Medical Appointments and Post-Depression -a few thoughts

For those of us who deal with various chronic illnesses, regular medical appointments become routine. For example, for 26 years now, I average spending somewhere around 10-20 days a year at the hospital (the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center) to have various tests and see various doctors. This amounts to a sizable amount ofContinue reading “Medical Appointments and Post-Depression -a few thoughts”