Sunday, November 28, 2021

On Trying to Find Peace with Prem Rawat

Since falling into a pandemic funk, I've tried a variety of books and videos to try to get a little inner stillness in order to continue to function. Omicron and our region's rising numbers aren't helping matters! I'm crap at meditating, but Healthy Gamer's course (my notes) came the closest to getting me on board. The modules walk you through the background of breathing exercises, and how they work in the body, and I stayed with the lessons largely because the work to do is all thinking and learning instead of doing. When the course came to a close, and I tried the doing part, it quickly fell apart. I keep trying again from time to time, but I'm still looking for something that will help it all stick for me. A colleague loaned me Hear Yourself by Prem Rawat, which is all about calming that inner dialogue. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Still Going On about Masks!!

I've never been much of a rule-follower. I'm that teacher that lets kids sneak out early and shows movies with some questionable content (with kids forewarned and allowed to leave if triggered - none ever do). I go way outside of curriculum guidelines, allowing the class to guide the direction of discussion. In teacher's college, students in my first practicum told me a dirty joke. Back in school, other practicing teachers asked what I did: Did I give them detentions or send them to the office? No, I laughed. It was at that moment I vowed to be a teacher, not a cop - imparting knowledge without policing behaviours that aren't hurtful to anyone. I've always hated when schools feel like prisons, training grounds for factories with bells that tell us what to do, when, and for how long. 

But I do follow rules that make sense. And masks make sense. I even follow more than the rules suggest because our policies don't go nearly far enough to keep us safe.

So now I'm completely demoralized by suddenly being the enforcer in the classroom. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Srinivasan's "The Right to Sex"

"It is absurd to contend that vice, ecstasy, and passion would become impossible if man and woman were concretely peers" (xiii).  ~ Simone de Beauvoir

Amia Srinivasan's book rivals Kate Manne's fantastic Down Girl in the most exciting way. It's an absolute must read for anyone hoping to improve themselves and the world as we're led incrementally through issues around sexual tensions and traumas all with an intersectional lens. This is a collection of five essays that, she explains, "represent my attempt to put into words what many women, and some men, already know. This has already been the way of feminism: women working collectively to articulate the unsaid, the formerly unsayable" (xv). I mainly focus on the first and final essays, with the others laying further evidence for the primary argument.


She starts by looking at the 8% of sexual assault reports that have been classified as false based on a police officer's personal judgment. 

"Police officers were inclined to consider a report false if there hadn't been a physical struggle, if no weapon had been involved, or if the accuser had had a prior relationship with the accused. [Of the suspected false reports] none resulted in wrongful conviction. . . . Nonetheless, a false rape accusation, like a plane crash, is an objectively unusual event that occupies an outsized place in the public imagination. why then does it carry its cultural charge? . . .  Many, perhaps most, wrongful convictions of rape result from false accusations levied against men by other men: by cops and prosecutors, overwhelmingly male, intent on pinning an actual rape on the wrong suspect. . . . Over half of their cases involved 'official misconduct'" (3-4).