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Expanding Oneself…One Experience At A Time

I love new experiences.

They nourish my soul…like they make me feel alive in a way that simple day to day motion does not.

My desire for new experiences has taken me all over the world, and served me well.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a multitude of experiences that many even older than me haven’t.

And when you had a desire for new experiences with a little dose of courage, there’s not much you can’t do.   Continue reading

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Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Was watching the video exchange between Donald Trump and Jorge Ramos, as well as the exchange between Ramos and the gentleman in the hallway. I then sat and thought a minute about conversations I’ve had recently about how popular Trump is, and what exactly that means for America as a whole. It immediately made me think about conversations I’ve had with adults and students alike, both in and out of the classroom, about former politicians who’ve run on platforms of hate and hate speech. Most notorious of course being Adolph Hitler. I know I’ve often found people finding it extremely hard to understand how platforms of prejudice, racism, xenophobia and hate reach national status. Well, now we’re getting a glimpse. It starts small, and subtle.

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Strange Moments: The Kid With the Dum Dums

:So I went to this really cool event in Chicago called ACTIVATE: Couch Place.  It was basically an outdoor dance party/art exhibition…staged in a pseudo alley in the downtown area.

I rarely drink, but I had 2 glasses of wine.

In rapid succession.

Which may have left me feeling buzzed.  Which in and of itself is sad.  2 glasses of wine.  I have the alcohol tolerance of a skinny 5th grader.

But beyond that…wine makes me feel…

….weird.

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A protester sits in the road while rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner encountering a line of police as they make their way west on 42nd Street near Times Square, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
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The Unforgotten

I’ve been thinking of posting about this exhibit for some time now, but following the horrific event in Charleston South Carolina, I figured this was probably an appropriate time.

The Unforgotten is an amazing piece of art, that transcends what it actually is, into something much more. As I heard the news emerging out of Charleston, I knew 2 bits of information would be inevitable to cross the television.

1) The number of victims
2) The name of the murderer

And that is all people will really remember.  That is the train of thought behind the exhibit The Unforgotten.  In these events, we always remember the name(s) of the killer(s), and yet we reduce the victims to numbers, perhaps ages…but ultimately statistics.

So a group of people decided that they would attempt to change that.  They would make sure that the victims of gun violence would remain “Unforgotten,” by celebrating them as people.  The best way to make that impact…is to have them there, at least in spirit, and more poignantly, in a physical form.  It is that point that makes the Unforgotten so genius.

Now, I’ve had the occasion to see this exhibit twice.  It’s amazing striking…powerful.  I hate using that word “powerful”….it feels so cliche…but in this case it is so appropriate.  The first time I saw them, I immediately teared up.

The statues are, in most cases, wearing the actual clothes of the victims.  The statues were also built to scale, in terms of height and size of the victims.  I also had the occasion to be present when the families of the victims saw the statues for the first time.  Overwhelmingly, you heard the repeated refrain “That’s him.  That’s her”. The creators spent time to try and get the feel of the people, down to the way they stood, the character they would present if they were standing or sitting out in public.

Which is what makes this particular exhibit so very sad, because they aren’t sitting or standing out…and they never will again.  Most of the victims in this exhibit were teenagers, teens being the group most disproportionately affected by gun violence, although the oldest victim was one month away from retirement, and a police officer no less.

This exhibit will be on display yet again at the Annual Saint Sabina End of School Peace Rally and March tomorrow, June 19th.  If anyone has the opportunity to go see it,

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I also encourage you to go the Unforgotten website and read the stories of the victims represented in the exhibit.  Spread the video, the site and information to others.  Then, sign the accompanying petition on the site.  It will help to combat illegal gun use and gun violence.

Finally…in the upcoming days, you’re going to hear a lot of news coming out of Charleston, concerning the shooting.  And you will hear the name of the shooter…over and over.  Make sure that you take some time to see and/or hear the names of the victims.  In this situation, they are the ones who are truly important.  They lost their lives to a senseless act of violence, and we owe it to them to remember them, and to make their deaths stand for something more than just a senseless, horrible act.  We need to make sure that they too, remain #Unforgotten.

Courtesy of www.ripstyle-brand.com
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A Video….And A Conversation On Race

A friend of mine posted the above video. She also posted the following.

I’m interested in the opinions of all races on this matter. Please let’s not start a negative debate or race war… I only wish to hear opinions as to what you feel the cause of this could be because it seriously hurts my heart to think children (of any race) would feel this way.
My question:
Would this be the response of any child from any race from how they are raised (what they see and hear from their parents/close circles either directed at them or towards others)?
Or is this the result of what society, the general population, television, magazines, etc. somehow imply (almost in the same way girls/women are “raised” by society feel they aren’t beautiful if they aren’t super models)?
Is it a mix of everything?
Other thoughts on it?
How can we fix it?

So, first, let me encourage you to go and watch the NBC special that this short segment is from. They have it on their website in four 20 minute segments.

NBC News: A Conversation About Race

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Sooooo Pretty!!!!  This is Ingrid Michaelson.