Required Viewing for White People

January 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Are you white?  As per my personal action plan, I want to talk to you, white person, about issues of race and racism in our society in the hopes that we can all do a better job of being not-racist, even by accident (aka “racially biased.”)

I found this video really moving. [As usual, I can’t seem to embed video in WordPress. You can either click through the links to see the videos or click here to see a prettier version of this same blog post over on my website]

Take a look and then think about the discussion questions below:

  1. How did this video make you feel?
  2. What rules do you regularly follow to get home safely?
  3. If you were stopped by the police, how do you think you would feel?  How successful would you be at remembering and following all ten of these rules?
  4. To whom do you think the makers of this video are speaking?  How do you think the way the intended audience of this video sees and/or navigates the world might be different from you?  How might it be the same?
  5. Why do you think the woman in the video starts to cry?
  6. What questions do you have for the people who made this video?  How do you think you could find the answers to those questions on your own?

Here’s another video.  I saw this one back in mid-December and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

  1. What do you notice about how this man does and/or doesn’t follow the Ten Rules for Getting Home Safely outlined in the first video?
  2. How do you think this man feels while interacting with the police?  How can you tell?
  3. How does the man change during the course of the video?  What do you think he’s thinking when he is first approached by the police?  What do you think he’s thinking at the end of the video?
  4. I find the sound of his voice particularly haunting; what do you notice about his voice?  What do you think you’ll remember most from this video?

I’d love it if you wanted to post any or all of your answers in the comments or if you would share any other thoughts you have about or prompted by the video.


Resolved! 2015 Edition

January 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year!!


Even though we’re already a couple weeks in, the first blog post of the year feels like the perfect place to tackle the well-worn but somehow still compelling subject of resolutions!

I make resolutions all the time, but that doesn’t exempt me from making them at New Year’s as well.  This year I have three:

1. WATER.  I’ve made a version of this resolution every year but never with much success.  This year, instead of resolving to “drink more water” or even to “drink 8 glasses a day,” I’ve resolved to drink 4 glasses a day.  It’s half as much as the recommended daily allowance but it would still represent an increase for me on most days.  Also, when I tried to drink 8 glasses a day, I’d loose count, but 4 I can keep track of without really trying which makes the goal more concretely achievable.  And if I can form this habit, I’d love to add more glasses as the year progresses.

2. ROUTINE.  You know that Flaubert quote: “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”  2014 was a year characterized by disruptions.  This year, I want to stick to a schedule as much as possible so that I know, where I am, where my kid is, where my husband is, when he’s coming home, what time we’re all sitting down for dinner and when I’m free to leave the house to get something done or do something fun (and when I can be violent in my work!)  My husband’s work schedule (oh, and my own project) are already working against me in 2015 as far as hitting our marks every day, but that’s okay.  Like my water-drinking resolution, waking up and knowing what to aim for is more than half the battle, and it takes time to form new routines and habits.  Just knowing that this is a big priority for me right now clarifies so many decisions, it’s already paying off even while I keep trying to really succeed in achieving it.

3. LEAVE THE HOUSE – PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY.  When you have a kid, most people expect you to disappear, and when you have a hard time showing up for parties and dinners and events, people tend to chalk it up to the fact of your being a parent.  2014 might have been the year that I started to re-connect more regularly with my arts colleagues: attending more shows, participating more in others’ projects, just being out in the world . . . but events conspired against me.  Instead, 2014 found me spending a lot of time more-or-less alone.  I miss participating in the arts community, I miss my friends and it kinda bugs me when people blame my kid for something that’s not his fault.  This year, once I get a handle on the schedule (see above) I aim to start more-regularly scheduling outings of both the professional and social variety.

How about you?  What are your resolutions and how are they going?  Let us know in the comments!!

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