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  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post Leaning on people for information June 16, 2011 - 2:10pm
    Life has been pretty busy for the last several months. Sometimes stressful, but mostly pretty good. Teaching, marking (I've discovered that creating tests/exams is my least favorite part of teaching. Worse, even than marking), and coming up with...
  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post The more things change... March 9, 2011 - 4:06pm
    The other day I happened to overhear a rather ignorant and self-centred comment from one of my students, one that is typical of the 19-year-old he is.   It reminded me of a couple years ago when I was working in a local grocery store. I and...
  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post When did that happen? February 16, 2011 - 8:18pm
    A few days ago, a couple of women in one of my Math classes were talking while they were waiting for class to start. The first was telling the second about some major dental work she'll have to do soon. The second woman made a comment that she would...
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Stupid and Lazy? Really? February 8, 2011 - 5:50pm
    Hi Christine, Yes, I think your example illustrates the concept nicely. Creativity is expansive, security is closed and contracting; they can't co-exist. I think a lot of people aren't really aware of their own values; it's alwasy easier to...
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Stupid and Lazy? Really? February 6, 2011 - 6:42pm
    Hi Christine, I've found that even at the Masters level when we had group projects there were social loafers who took credit for the group's work, but didn't contribute their fair share. There are fewer at that level than at grade school or...
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Stupid and Lazy? Really? February 6, 2011 - 6:26pm
    Hi Sarah and Glenn, Since my students are all First Nations, long-term colonization issues and poverty are definitely factors, and there's pretty much nothing I as an individual can do about that. And Glenn, you're also right that many of my...
  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post Stupid and Lazy? Really? February 3, 2011 - 4:58pm
    I was reading a post by Seth Godin (at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/01/three-ways-to-help-people-get-things-done.html) in which he was talking about motivating people to do work and get things accomplished. One way is to yell and...
    Comments
    • Hi Christine,

      I've found that even at the Masters level when we had group projects there were social loafers who took credit for the group's work, but didn't contribute their fair share. There are fewer at that level than at grade school or undergraduate level, but I certainly experienced working with such people in groups during my MAIS degree. That's why I always hated working in groups all through my school career, and is probably why team work is difficult even in a business setting where social loafers can be fired. As a highly individualistic culture, group pressure just doesn't seem enough to get all people to carry their fair share. Even my First Nations students, though their culture is more collectivist than mainstream Western society, have their share of social loafers.

      I've talked a bit in previous posts about the Schwartz Values survey - which is really about motivation, what larger purposes motivates people, and one of the ones that has been linked to highly creative people is benevolence, with power and security values being negatively associated. In other words, highly creative people want to help people, and work for the greater good, while people who work for their own power and security are not creative. Something to think about, huh?

      Schwartz also says that people's values (and motivations) seem to be quite stable over time, though as far as I know, no one has systematically studied whether people's values change either with experiences or through concerted effort on their part. Which suggests that it simply doesn't work to try to motivate people, because if they don't find their own values and motives, it's not going to happen. And that kind of answers my question in the negative, doesn't it?

      But I don't like that answer, I'm going to go look for another one. I hope it's out there.

      Heather von Stackelberg February 6, 2011 - 6:42pm

    • Heather- very interesting re Values survey. Thinking of my own life, I'd say that the premise re "security" is accurate; when my family was harmed by a criminal act, I found I put away my painting...for years. No creativity was available, whilst I attempted to re-establish security. This likely addresses the issue of stability of values & impact of experiences--although arguably I might have always prioritised security & this was only emphasised in crisis. Food for thought, for me. A key thought you put forward--are students genuinely aware of their values & motivations? after all, one goal of educating is to raise critical thinking/awareness skills.

      Christine O'Fallon February 7, 2011 - 2:52pm

    • Hi Christine,

      Yes, I think your example illustrates the concept nicely. Creativity is expansive, security is closed and contracting; they can't co-exist.

      I think a lot of people aren't really aware of their own values; it's alwasy easier to identify other people's values than your own, I've noticed. There are a few places online that have a version of Schwartz's survey you can take and they tell you your results. I have one site bookmarked somewhere, but I'd have to go looking for it. What it means in your specific circumstances takes some thought, too.

      Teaching critical thinking and awareness is almost as tricky an issue at teaching self-management, I think. Some people will pick it up with a little help and prodding, some people seem to be almost willfully oblivious.

      But I might also be a bit overly cynical at the moment because I'm tired...

      Heather von Stackelberg February 8, 2011 - 5:50pm

  • Hi Caroline, I'm glad you liked the post. I've actually never been to a yoga class, I'm an entirely self-taught yogi...weird, I know, but time, money and opportunity have never come together at the same time for me to get to a class. I'm hoping...
  • Hi Sarah, Thanks for the link - the author was making much the same point that I was, though more articulate and less rant-like .  Modern women seem to be better than our mothers and grandmothers at not buying into the patriarchal crap...
  • It's been almost a month now of teaching, and I've mostly gotten used to the new rhythm of my days, but it also means my days are spent walking slowly around a classroom or sitting on my butt reading or writing. And I'm feeling the lack of exercise....
    Comments
    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for the link - the author was making much the same point that I was, though more articulate and less rant-like Smile.  Modern women seem to be better than our mothers and grandmothers at not buying into the patriarchal crap regarding what we can and can't do in terms of education and careers and so on, but why, oh why are we still buying into the patriarchal crap about what a woman is supposed to look like?

      I guess the only answer is that change takes time. Baby steps. But I still plan to rant from time to time...

      Heather von Stackelberg January 29, 2011 - 6:26pm

    • Hi Caroline,

      I'm glad you liked the post. I've actually never been to a yoga class, I'm an entirely self-taught yogi...weird, I know, but time, money and opportunity have never come together at the same time for me to get to a class. I'm hoping that will change eventually. I like that mantra too. I've had varying success with using mantras for focus; sometimes they work really well, sometimes they just annoy me.

      I wish you success at your practice, too.

      Heather von Stackelberg January 29, 2011 - 6:30pm

    • I like your ranty version. :) More fire in your belly.

      I'd add - a rant of my own, I guess - that women, despite being granted little room for self-awareness and reflection, are subject to pretty intense scrutiny from everywhere else: what women eat, don't eat, wear, don't wear, say, do, express, repress, feel etc is constantly examined and debated as reasons for our various "failures" to live up to whatever we're supposed to look like, be like, be to other people. Talk about exhausting!  

      sarah beth January 29, 2011 - 7:32pm

  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post In a world created by a drunken god January 18, 2011 - 5:52pm
    Today I had the priviledge of seeing a performance of the stage play "In a World Created by a Drunken God." It's one of the perks of teaching at Yellowhead Tribal College, and an excellent one, I might add. Even though it put me behind a day in both...
    Comments
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog The flocking Bohemian waxwings January 10, 2011 - 4:12pm
    Yes, Mountain Ash berries actually are the brussel sprouts of the bird world. My dad has some funny stories about how the berries are left until spring - and by that time they've fermented on the tree, and he gets drunken birds flying around his...
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Tired... January 7, 2011 - 5:28pm
    Oh that's cute. Almost too adorable for words.   I expect it will get less exhausting as I get used to the schedule. The only problem is getting myself going in the mornings until them. I have to say, I love my cappuccino maker...
  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post Tired... January 6, 2011 - 5:23pm
    I've had two full days of teaching math, now. It's been fun, actually; more fun and less anxiety-inducing than I expected once I got going. I'm quite happy with my students, too. They seem, for the most part to be intelligent, focused and ready to...
    Comments
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Feminism for a new decade January 4, 2011 - 4:31pm
    Hi Sarah,   That is fairly jaw-dropping...it just didn't occur to them that a woman might have a graduate degree? Where have they been for the last few decades?   But with that said, the last statistics that I saw was that women have...
  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post Feminism for a new decade January 3, 2011 - 1:19pm
    I'm finally back from my holiday internet hiatus, and I spent some time today browsing my favorite blogs. The one post that really struck me was the one by Grant McCracken talking about feminism in Japan. The whole post is at: ...
    Comments
    • An anecdote: I took my Galpal to a very traditional and conservative xmas party over the holidays. Our feminisms aren't exactly separatist - we do know and love quite a few men - but they're definitely a bit insular: we know and love only Good Feminist Men. It is a myopic view of our own culture that allowed us to be completely stunned, when we were playing a party game (each guest had trivia about another guest hidden under their plate, and had to guess who it was about), and the fellow who received a fact about the ludicrously overlong name of Galpal's degree asked every man at the table if he had a masters degree, then looked at our host and said "I don't know who it could be." Our jaws hit the floor a second time, after dinner, when all the men handed their dirty plates to their female partners and retired to the living room, and nobody said a word because it was just normal.

      I feel like feminism is always playing catch-up. We leap out of one patriarchal box, where gendered oppression is normal and natural, and into another one - often also racialized and divided by colonization and class war - where it's somebody else's daily collective struggle, not our own. Feminism for a new decade is a beautiful idea; I'd love to find that feeling that we're acting in the present and actually determining a few realities of our own.

      That said, young women in Japan dropping out of the heterosexual agenda = fabulous, good for them!! 

      sarah beth January 3, 2011 - 3:41pm

    • Hi Sarah,

       

      That is fairly jaw-dropping...it just didn't occur to them that a woman might have a graduate degree? Where have they been for the last few decades?

       

      But with that said, the last statistics that I saw was that women have outnumbered men in earning undergraduate degrees for about ten years now - about three years ago the split was about 55-45 in favor of women and rising. But the number of women earning graduate degrees was still significantly lower than that of men, with fewer than 40% of graduate degrees going to women each year, if I recall correctly.

       

      Since graduate degrees have a fairly tight link to higher earning power and higher social power, women in general have a way to go. Especially since I've also heard stats saying that women are much more likely to drop out of a graduate program than men, because other life demands (such as much higher expectations for caregiving of children and elderly parents) take too much time and they can't get the school work done.

       

      I'm also not sure whether to laugh or cry when I see Sarah Palin, a "career" woman, promoting a party and platform that says that a proper woman's role is at home, with her life centered around her husband and children. If the women involved with the Tea Party in the US aren't an example of the oppressed internalizing the oppressor and oppressing themselves, I don't know what is.

       

      I wouldn't say that young women in Japan are opting out of the heterosexual agenda so much as the patriarchal agenda, but yes, I'm cheering them on, too. I wonder how long it will be before the patriarchs actually notice what they're doing and why...

      Heather von Stackelberg January 4, 2011 - 4:31pm

  • Heather von Stackelberg published a blog post Keeping up with the pace of change December 10, 2010 - 2:58pm
    I just read a post by Grant McCracken (at http://cultureby.com/2010/12/the-time-warp-room-and-other-medical-breakthroughs.html) in which he talks about a room in a senior's lodge that is completely outfitted with furnishings and technology that is...
  • Heather von Stackelberg commented on the blog Weird, huh? December 7, 2010 - 4:44pm
    Oh, that's funny. Thanks for the link.
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