You know some things are just out of your control-they just happen upon you, or do they? Are we subjective to the circumstance or the environment or do we choose it? I find myself in a quite sticky situation. Without revealing family details, I have been gifted this young man. In the midst of taking this unexpected joy on, I find myself in constant turmoil with another whom has fallen to the depths of drugs, meth-the thief of souls. Do I choose the chaos and vague threats or are they thrust upon me by the demons of meth? I continue to deal with it when what I want is for this person to stop-just stop and choose your children instead of tormenting me and others for taking on the responsibilities of raising your children, just stop-stop using the drugs, stop threatening, stop dealing, stop interfering-just stop. Let the kids recover from the clenches of Meth-let them heal and stop-just stop causing grief to those that are attempting to help. Are we choosing this chaos or are we just victims of the situation?
“Aint I a Woman”
Imagine it is 1863. Beaten, sold, raped, separated, starved, and controlled, yet still strong enough to overcome all odds to speak as a black woman to an audience of white men and women about the necessity of equality for women and slaves-that is SoJourner Truth, and she is without a doubt someone that I aspire to model my actions after. I do not mean this because she spoke passionately about the equality of all humans (which is still powerful in itself). I aspire to be her reflection because in the midst of uncertainty and against all odds through her words she was able to inspire and motivate a world and it wasn’t just in 1863.
It was before that as she worked to become free. IT was when she won a civil rights suit to have her son that was sold into slavery returned to her after New York had abolished slavery. It was even after 1863 as she continued to motivate and overcome the negativity that her environment continually engulfed her in-she didn’t cave Here we are in 2013, and people still recognize who she is–she came from nothing. She came from being someone’s property-and she emerged from all of the fallout as a person powerful enough to move people 150 years later. I aspire to be like her and to model my own values after her leadership skills because she motivated change and her words are still influential today.
I admire her qualities because despite being seen as inferior in race and gender, she still became and did what she wanted to do. Religion and ministry should have been outside of her grasp, but she didn’t let that stop her-she did it anyway because she felt in her heart that she needed to-no one else’s judgment prevented her from achieving her own dreams and ambitions. SoJourner Truth was a woman that led from her heart for the good of humanity, and I wish to follow in her footsteps and remind all of those after me that the power lies within-and it is up to us to break through and beyond any barriers established in front of us.
As I have sat here staring at a blank screen for a couple of hours struggling on how to begin, where to connect to, determining what message should be expressed, it has hit me-quite literally staring right back at me…the blank page. I know you are probably wondering what meds I am on, but seriously, these chapters are metaphorically represented by my blank page. You see this document, this blog, was once blank, empty-initially, there were no limitations, there were no measurements. This page, this blog is my chess board, and it is wide open to a plethora of possibilities and it happened to have been clear of any obstacles or hindrances that could have impeded what is written. Better yet, it carries no baggage, no regrets, no vengeance, no expectations-other than what I determine is essential-what I realize I need to do in order to connect-not just with the assignment, but to connect intrinsically with the “art of possibility.” Now, as the words have emerged, I can battle with the letters or create something fluid and editable because there is no battle to conquer-no competition to prepare. However, although this was an epiphany, it isn’t the only realization or thought I have had since reading these chapters-I have been enveloped by ideas, contradictions, questions.
For example, these last four chapters kept prompting a connection within me to the first four chapters-perception and seeing new perspectives where blame is not a reality, only a minor obstacle that can be altered based on one’s choice, one’s power of choice and realization. Giving the “A” is how you tell the “WE” story, how to create a framework of possibility, how to become the board, and how to light the spark-it is all connected, just as (for the most part) we are connected by this seemingly insignificant blog. I mentioned Theresa Smith in my opening blog in response to reading the first four chapters in The Art of Possiblity by Rosamund Stone Zander because she gave me an ‘A’ through giving so freely to me the realization that I was worthy simply because I was a person, by emphasizing that my economic background, the life I was haunted by, the clothes I wore-that none of it had anything to do with my value. None of these things had the power to control me because they were just things and nothing more.
What I did not mention in that section was the reality of my life prior to that moment when Theresa Smith enlightened me to the possibilities at my fingertips, and here is where my contradiction with part of what I read emerges. I believe that we can be the chess board in many situations. I believe that we can be the framework for humanity just as she was for me, and we can help those around us rise above situations to see new potential and possibilities, but, perhaps it is my personal story that prevents me from connecting to the idea that all of us must wear the blame in situations and acknowledge our errors in problems or people that we encounter. Although I tend to void this topic as much as possible, I think that it may provide some basis as to why I am struggling so much with this concept. I was molested by a step-father for somewhere close to 10 years-the exact amount, I am not sure about because I can’t remember when it began, just when it finally ended.
I do not feel or believe that I should ever invite him into my life so we could discuss or resolve how he felt about the situation-I don’t care to, and I don’t think that anyone that molests a child and robs them of their memories can be permitted to be considered someone that I should give an ‘A’ to. Understanding why someone would do this does not alleviate the impact and ugliness that a child endures…now, with that said, does it mean that I have the right to play the poor me, card. No, I don’t believe that-I believe that my page is empty and what I write into my life is up to me and what I contribute to this final reading blog and to those around me is that we are all a book waiting to be written, and where we end up is only determined by our own actions; however, with each action, with each word, with each sentence, we can reinvent negativity into something as inspirational as the breath of a new born child.
After reviewing a plethora of choices, I have narrowed down my choice for publication submission to The Journal of Interactive Learning Research (JILR) and The National Council of Teachers of English-English Journal (NCTE-EJ). I picked the first publisher because the articles published are relative to interactive learning theory, design, implementation and the impacts associated with on-line learning. Since my Capstone projects involved an interaction between learners in an online discussion forum and critical thinking through critical feedback interaction, I feel that this platform fits with the message I have gained from this project. I believe that this could be an opportunity to share what I have learned and inspire other educators to try the same process and help create a world where learners are able to think independently. Publishing in this journal does not appear to have a set deadline regarding publication dates.
I chose the second publisher, NCTE, because my Capstone results demonstrate a significant increase in written and oral communication. In addition, there is an upcoming theme that my project will fit perfectly-Interdisciplinary Synergy: Teaching and Learning in Collaboration. In addition the publication date and submission dates means that I will have time to finalize nae perfect my submission prior to the publication release date of January of 2014. Learners, after implementing the critical feedback process, communicated in a fashion that inspired responses to discussion posts and open-ended responses to be more detailed, relevant, and rigorous. Since this project hinged on collaboration I feel that this domain would appeal to the audiences and possibly inspire others to utilize the process in my action research project within their classrooms.
I didn’t realize the extent of opportunities to submit for publication. I read the summaries on each website that indicated the types of publications and investigated the accolades associated with each publication. After reviewing a plethora of choices, I have narrowed down my choice for publication submission to The Journal of Interactive Learning Research (JILR) and The National Council of Teachers of English-English Journal (NCTE-EJ). I picked the first publisher because the articles published are relative to interactive learning theory, design, implementation and the impacts associated with on-line learning. Since my Capstone projects involved an interaction between learners in an online discussion forum and critical thinking through critical feedback interaction, I feel that this platform fits with the message I have gained from this project. I believe that this could be an opportunity to share what I have learned and inspire other educators to try the same process and help create a world where learners are able to think independently.
I chose the second publisher, NCTE, because my Capstone results demonstrate a significant increase in written and oral communication. Learners, after implementing the critical feedback process, communicated in a fashion that inspired responses to discussion posts and open-ended responses to be more detailed, relevant, and rigorous. Given that the audience that reads NCTE are English educators, I feel that this platform will truly benefit those that read it.
Ben and Roseanne Zanders book Art of Possibility touched me in so many ways. I sat down and read the book in 2 sessions before the class even started. After a very stressful year of new innovations at my school, my father going through cancer again, keeping up with my assignments and a class of students that I could seem to reach, this book opened my eyes. Maybe I had reached a few of those problem students, maybe I had not, but at least I had tried. After reading chapter 4 of this book, I have decided on new rules for my classroom next year. Each student must as themselves: “Am I a contribution?” Because that is what I will be doing everyday.
After reading the story about the girl and the starfish, I asked myself. Am I the little girl or the man, that asked what will it matter? I shared this story with my team at school on the Monday after reading the book. I do believe that it made an impression on the other teachers. I recommended the book to the other teachers and a few of them actually wrote down the title, I just hope they read it.
Watching the TED talk video re-enforced the lessons in the book so much and I could see in his face the power that his attitude gives him to change his part of the world. I went to a John Strebe presentation where he said to start small to change the way you teach. I’m going to use Benjamin Zander’s Art of Possibility to make small changes in my own life and I’m starting by asking myself often: “Am I a contribution?”
Your post about being consumed within our own turmoil and strife reminds me of a painting by Breughel titled “Landscape of the Fall of Icarus.” In the painting, Icarus is struggling in the water after falling from the sky because he flew too close to the sun-even though his father warned him of the dangers. The shepherd, man fishing, farmer, and the ship that passes right by do not notice a man drowning. It doesn’t matter that he fell to his death by his own choice because what is more powerful is that no one contributed to his life at that moment. Given the message in the book, he failed to understand his own possibilities, and those around neglected to invest in a new invention-compassion and concern. Within our hectic and crazy lives as educators, we do find that we forget we need to chip away the exterior to promote a new understanding and guide students into creating their own world, despite where they come from. I know that you are compassionate and you teach the whole student, and I hope that your colleagues and my colleagues will open their eyes and remember the “Art of Possibility.”
At first glance, you may have misread the title and thought to yourself, “Okay, this one I have to read-mutilation-what is this woman thinking?” Although I do not have mutilation in the title, it still will fit perfectly into my connections and insights into this week’s reading assignment. I don’t see mutilation within the message, but the ideas of how we move and progress and step away from challenges and stay within negative moments can definitely represent a figurative mutilation, but that isn’t the message to remember from within the first four chapters of The Art of Possibility by Zander. The message is to manipulate your moments, your events into something that can be beneficial.
I know, I know. It sounds like one of those self-help books that become as addicting as cocaine, but this one is different. I will admit that initially I was not pleased at being ‘forced’ to read The Art of Possibility by Zander and Zander in grad school, but after reading the first four chapters, I no longer see this assignment as a glass half-empty. Instead, I get the message-life is a half-full scenario. While reading chapter 1 about practices, I related. I have three older brothers and two younger brothers. Most of my brothers tended to practice belief that mirror the shoe salesman that claimed that there was no need to invest in Africa because no one wore shoes. They saw our lives as a hindrance-as unfair. They practiced the pity me story line; consequently, they didn’t graduate high school. They wrote their story line, and within their minds, they invented what their lives would become-a continuation of our family’s history. Initially, I practiced the same ideals, until someone showed me life and choices were up to me. The moments and events of my life are what I invent, what I choose. My life and the lives of students that I encounter on a daily basis is one concept that (although hindered by the modes of measurement) is essentially a “universe of possibilities (Zander).”
I wonder if my brothers and family would have struggled as much as they have if someone had just given them the ‘A,’ and chipped away at the measurements that encompassed them (us). If one person had provided them with this new invention by shifting their perceptions, I believe that drugs, alcohol, and failure would have not been so prevalent. I was provided this shift in thinking because Theresa Smith gave me an A-for me; she gifted me the art of awareness and adventure. By inspiring me to see this new world and show me that I can invent my own future, she taught me the value of contribution.
Oral Verses Written
At this moment, I am sure all that know me and read my posts, are finding this debate quite hilarious, given my tendency to talk; and some may claim that the amount of my oration tends to be synonymous with Homer’s epic tales The Odyssey and The Iliad. However, this is a debate for me. Do I wish to present my knowledge gained from my Capstone project to the educational world via a National Conference, or should I have my words written down and preserved for years to come and seek out national publication? Yes, I love to talk and share my thoughts (even when they may not be wanted), but for the past nine years or so I have been presenting knowledge about education in relation to English extension and learning development for Laying the Foundation and the National Science and Math Initiative. I thoroughly enjoy this and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge each time I present to teachers. I am comfortable with passing on lesson ideas, student success, and leaving others with the thoughts of “what if.”
However, sometimes these messages can be fleeting and they only empower those that attend the trainings or presentations. I know that not all will read educational national publications, but when I thought about the novels, short stories, poems, and articles that I have read, I realized that most were gifts from others-meaning that someone else recommended I read them. As I considered this aspect, I thought about how many others have been gifted this form of communication by the same process. When I am reading educational articles and something impacts me, I pass the article link onto others that may glean something powerful from the message as well. I don’t believe that I am as powerful as Bradbury or Hemmingway, but I do feel that the results generated from my Capstone Project can benefit an entire generation.
To critically think effectively means that the world can find solutions to problems and create ideas to expand our society. Based on this idea, I have thrown out the microphone and my love for speaking with the purpose of creating something worthy of written publication, so that perhaps someone out there will pass this gift onto someone else. The message can echo from educator to educator and hopefully the impact will generate a world of thinkers and contemplators.
Regina Grant’s Blog:
Fair Use and Free Speech in Documentary Film
Fair Use- legally quoting somebody else’s copyrighted music, pictures or words without paying or ask permission, if it benefits society more than its hurt the copyrighted holder.
According to Peter Jasz, Law Professor, American University, explained that copyright is not an absolute, but a conditional one. In our country under our laws in our constitution copyright exist for one purpose and one purpose only to promote the progress of science and use force. Because art doesn’t come from nowhere cultural progress depends on the ability of artists to make reasonable use of preexisting material and that includes copyrighted material. This is especially true today filmmakers who operate in media saturated environment in order to be able to comment on that environment in order to be able to depict that environment they need reasonable access to other people’s copyrighted material.
Attribution (by)- I didn’t know about the different symbols that creative commons possesses. Like the picture of a man, which is attribution is that you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or license
Sharealike (sa)-Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original
Noncommercial (nc)-Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.so copyleft.)
Non Derivative Works (nd)- Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.
Creative Commons is a license platforms that recognize that there needs to be an easy to understand and a way for content creators to communicate their sharing choices that falls between “All rights restricted and public domain.”
Larry Lessig-Ted talks about remix culture
He explained that the content of the industry was a terror created by this technology, because broadcasting is a new way to spread content and therefore a new battle over the control of the business that will spread content. One side builds technologies, such as one recently announced that will enable them to automatically take down from sites like YouTube any content that has any copyrighted content in it, whether or not there’s a judgment of fair use that might be applied to the use of the content.
Youtube video: Fair Use and Free Speech in Documentary Film produced by Center for Social Media School of Communication American University, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY-2YshuJ8o retrieved on 7/18/2009
Blip.TV video: A Shared Culture produced by CreativeCommons.org, retrieved from http://blip.tv/file/1192356/ on 01/13/2011
Blip.tv video: Mayer and Bettle explain Creative Commons produced by Creative Commons Australia and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), retrieved from http://blip.tv/file/1708858/ on 7/18/2009
TED Talk video: ReMix Culture by Larry Lessig, retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/187 on 01/14/2011
June 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm
The icons you included are excellent! I love these so much I copied and pasted them into a separate word document, so that I can create a chart to help me navigate Creative Commons. I enjoyed your knowledge about YouTube and copyright issues. I recently posted on YouTube our cheer and dance teams spring show performances where it was necessary to include remix of music that they performed to. These were taken down because of the mix of songs included. Now, what is interesting is that YouTube actually supplied me with new music options to still allow the videos to be posted.
I’m a Teacher, Not a Legal Consultant
One almost needs to hold a Law Degree to understand all of the copyright issues out there. Then again, if I had a Law Degree then I would just be contributing to the problem. Attorneys have made the copyright law much more complicated than I think it needs to be.
A friend once told me no great idea was ever original it was just modified by enough people that it became better. I’m not quoting… I’m paraphrasing, but it was so long ago that I’m not sure it is even accurate… Uh, oh! Did I just infringe on his rights? He didn’t write it down, so I guess not.
I am glad that Fair Use helps educators with this problem. The idea of passing down the stories of each generation is critical in the realm of education. The teaching profession would be horribly behind if Fair Use was not available. Imagine a classroom where you could not share anything that was not purchased only because that was the only acceptable form of permission. After all, permission is king when it comes to copyright.
I teach K-5 Music and I am constantly looking for new versions of songs, music arrangements, video performances, and new ideas for presentation of materials. Without the ability to glean from these resources it becomes a mess where I would need to have a legal consultation to be sure I’m not infringing on the rights of the original artists.
Now let’s briefly look at the other side of things.
I’m also a composer, musician, and writer. I want to be paid for my original works. There is a reason why musicians have to tend bar, wait tables, or… “Do you want fries with that?” Selling the original works, or at the very least being credited for the original work is the only way to increase exposure and gain progress in the industry.
This brings about Creative Commons. Maybe that’s the key. Share, give permission, and restrict what you, as the artist wants to… That’s the ticket!
How about we just use common sense? That is a novel and rare idea in law.
June 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm
I agree with your analysis of copyright and fair use. The idea of using common sense to guide judgment is priceless. Wesley’s idea of emphasizing using “Creative Commons Sense” is just as empowering and wouldn’t it be nice if we could find everything we could possible want housed in Creative Commons? However, what if there was something we needed that we couldn’t find? What would we do?
My suggestion is to follow your insight and add some of Wesley’s spark and use Fair Use Common Sense because if we wanted something and we couldn’t find it, imagine the time a teacher would spend with creating lessons that would connect to prior learning or even for that matter generate a personal connection. Given today’s media driven society, learners need engagement, and teachers need more time. Adding the creation of something that would blend perfectly within a skill or lesson would further consume educators. Fair use, creative commons, and plain ole’ common sense is the path that will allow us to further prepare our students for future success.