Being “voted off the island” is a cultural phenomenon that has sprung up in the last decade, especially in television shows like The Apprentice, Survivor, and American Idol (I don’t watch any of these shows, by the way, I just here that contestants are voted off!). TV shows that demonstrate collaborative group process? Non-existent. They would not make for good television, or so the ad-men tell us! So when it comes to teaching group process, we don’t have many cultural examples to relate to, and we might be dealing with students who possess a distorted view of “real world” workplaces, where employees who don’t contribute their fair share are simply “voted off the island.”
I want to share my most recent experience with group process as an instructor in a motor development course. Ultimately, my faith in group process has not been shaken, but through reflection and discussion, I have devised a few best practices that I will be employing in future group assignments. What follows is an account of student successes and some areas where students struggled.
Continue reading “Group process in the classroom: True collaboration, or Survivor?”
I am really torn about this debt ceiling debate. On one hand, I see a noisy Republican majority in the House who doesn’t care if the government shuts down, a reckless attitude that ignores the impact that this will have of millions of people’s lives. On the other hand, the Fed’s desire to continue raising the debt ceiling has been somewhat callous and ignorant. The sub-text here is that there are two separate debates: one political, one economic. The political debate has been a theater of incompetence; the Daily Show on Monday, July 25th, characterized it with a YouTube video of a skunk with its head stuck in a peanut butter jar. The economic debate has not been very visible at all — carried on in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Continue reading “The debt ceiling debate that we don’t hear about”
This clip from the Daily Show gives a little more background on the case (humorously).
Rupert Murdoch has his ass in hot water, Jim, and let me tell you, there isn’t one piece of me that’s rooting for him to come out the other end unscathed. Should the bureaucrats for whom he has shown so much contempt decide to grind him into hamburger, so be it. Bureaucrats are old, angry dogs that sleep in the sun all day, generally too tired to fight until they are poked with a sharp stick one too many times. And when they devour you with the full force of government power that they wield, no diatribes about freedom of the press or strong-handed government interfering with the workings of business will rally enough sensible people to stop the carnage. Didn’t your mother warn youabout poking old dogs with sharp sticks?
We’ve been analyzing spaces as part of a class I’m taking (qualitative research methods), and we’ve been examining how a space fits into one of the three spheres described by Habermas. Habermas talked about the economic sphere, the public sphere, and the private sphere. For example, a Wal-Mart clearly lies in the economic sphere – it’s a place where you consume, and that message is clear from the minute you walk into the store, with prices displayed prominently and the resounding beeps that Wal-Mart registers make. Habermas contested that the economic sphere is gradually encroaching on spaces that were previously … Continue reading The Economic Space of a Children’s Hospital
This week I want to examine two talks on TED. Both seem to deal with the subject of waste. Dan Phillips uses building materials that would otherwise be wasted in landfills and make homes out of them. Jason Fried campaigns against the senseless waste of time created by the company meeting. Dan Phillips http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf Dan Phillips has made his living constructing affordable homes from materials that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. The homes have lots of character, “warts” and things that don’t look perfect or regular. Phillips counters that our desire to have houses (and most things) look … Continue reading Two TED speeches on waste
Just watched this gritty documentary on dancing, fatalism, and pill-popping in coal country W.Va. Best part, hands down… one of the dudes shaking a bottle of pills, “that’s the Boone County matin’ call.” The movie chronicles the White family of Boone County, WV, who seem to be a relic of the Hatfield-McCoy era. The movie is marked by rampant drug use, mostly snorting prescription pills like Xanax and Vicodin, and lots of casual pot smoking. This goes on during most family gatherings. In the final scene, where they are having a party out at a city park, the little kids … Continue reading Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia
Main St. Anytown U.S.A. http://www.thedailyshow.com http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:371595 Most states (47 of 50) are out of money and looking for ways to generate revenue without increasing taxes or changing tax structures. The fear seems to be that if taxes are increased, businesses and people with higher incomes will leave the state and relocate to other states where taxes are lower. I think this argument is too simple. It’s impossible to have low taxes and a high standard of living. A high standard of living means good schools, affordable health care, transportation infrastructure, clean and safe neighborhoods. That has a cost. It’s a … Continue reading From the Daily Show – Revenue Crunch for States