Wednesday, February 27, 2019

My Father and War of the Worlds

Hello Reader,
Got Father?

Years ago, browsing in the community college library, I learned of a magazine, one specifically for men rather than being unisex, that allowed one amateur article per issue. Of the amateur submissions, half were about a man’s father. For many, dear old Dad is something to reflect and write about, something important.

So when I made a manuscript of poems around the topic of Martian invasion, of course my father would figure in there somewhere.

In this poem the danger is still far off. I suppose this symbolizes, in the actual world, my father being at last beyond the slings and arrows of worldly troubles.

Father, Using Wheelchair

My father, 
in his wheelchair,
resides beyond reach of the Martian advance.

He never
reads the paper,
or hears about Martians destroying the land.

Father strode as Cub-leader, Scoutmaster and Cadet Corps officer.
He knew a lot,
about the world.

Of course,
once I wished he knew more about my world,
and my life.

Father thinks: 
My brother
is sleeping in the next hospital bed.

My father, 
has my love,
beyond reach of my doings and dreams.

When parents become more loving in the later years it is not because “they are faking it” but because their lives are easier as burdens fall away. Children gone, job gone, house smaller, expectations more realistic… I try to judge them by the present, not by what they said or believed back beyond the statute of limitations.

My Three Dads

My dark haired dad
is permanently mad at me.
The wood stove glows red through the cracks.
Dad nicely holds the blast door shut
until I make another mistake.

My grizzled dad,
one day when I visit,
before I have learned to bring a pocketful of stir sticks,
gets real mad when I waste a spoon
stirring my instant coffee.

I act natural,
and soon take a walk.

Hours later,
I tell him I am mad at him being mad.
Mother answers he’s not mad,
he’s just impatient.

My white haired dad smiles
and says, “Sure you can.”
He believes what I say,
and he believes in me.

Sean Crawford

~Speaking of families, a recent Cannes Film Festival winner that may have already left your town (since it has subtitles) is Shoplifters, starring some of Japan’s best actors. They rescue/kidnap an abused girl; later the new “mother” says something like, “We have to raise her to have concern for others, or else she will end up like us.” 

The girl’s real parents don’t even report her as missing… Of course with the her love and fear of her real mother, the little girl says about her bruises, “I fell.” When all is said and done, which mother would you think she chooses?

~For your slowww blue days, here’s a (link) music video, by Winnipeg’s Crash Test Dummies, that did not make the top ten on the charts in Canada. Wth a “resigned refrain,” it’s about isolated children; at least the children smile big and bow at the end. The song is Mmm mmm mmm mmm. (They are the band who did the mournful Superman's Song)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Down on Democrats and Liking Alita

As for Alita: Battle Angel

Moviegoers give this film 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, while critics give it 52%... Does anyone see the problem here?

My problem? I am remembering how as youths we said, “Don’t trust anybody over thirty.” I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe in the establishment right now, be it film critics or Washington, and I can’t believe in social justice warriors, either.
Sean Crawford

Hello Reader,
Got human nature?
Not me, I still don’t get it.

Extreme rightists might say that because I’m a university graduate, who had written for the student newspaper, and am still a writer today, then I would be a leftist or a snowflake or something. And sure, I have twice been asked to join the (socialist) New Democratic Party, and once was asked to join the Liberals. That’s while up in Canada. Supposedly then, if I went down into the US, I would think of joining the democratic party—No! Not this week!

Down on Democrats
I never thought I would lump US democrats with racists and sexists, at least in terms of functioning: Well, I live and learn.

Since racism hurts so badly, let’s start with sexism. In the 1940’s and 50’s there were the (slang term) Sad Sack comic books—he was in the non-glorious army: Because war-time was so recent, the humor of those years was non-glorious. In one old issue from my boyhood, Sad Sack and a buddy daydream about what would happen if the softer sex were in charge of the army, instead of the ladies being off in the Women’s Army Corps. It was silly, as you may well imagine, with the soldiers being gently allowed to sleep in, and take it easy. 

In the 1950’s there was a science fiction short story where a fellow lands in the future, in a time and place where women have taken over. I recall a scene of a man with a beard and cotton dress on his knees scrubbing the corridor. All the 1950’s roles of women are performed by men—but at least there’s no war.

(Let’s by-pass the 1960’s where male activists, or social justice warriors, had the ladies, in their liberated slacks and jeans, fetching coffee. And let’s bypass the ongoing years where many Yankees thought that allowing Gays in the peace-time army would mean some men on parade wearing dresses. (This despite the leadership by example of nearby Canada, and Europe too)) 

In the 1970’s there was that movie about the southern union organizer, Norma Rae. An illustrative scene showed Blacks being beaten up by their White fellow workers, right after a rumour claimed Blacks were going to be in charge of the proposed new union, meaning: in charge of Whites… 

What we are talking about here, in three different settings—army, civil and union—is an inability to imagine equal rights. Easier to imagine a “flip flop,” where the underdogs are not raised to equality, but raised up over top. Call it a poverty of imagination. Until this week, I would not have thought democrats would be as equally impoverished as racists.

But this very week I read a news story where folks thought that President Trump’s wall was to keep out not just illegal immigrants, but legal honest folks too. Reading this, I call “Flip flop!” I heard on the radio an angry chant to the effect that we will always allow refugees. Again I call “flip flop!” because the US, Trump included, has always allowed refugee folks in broad daylight, especially from communist nations, folks who honestly admit who they are. Not like illegals who don’t claim anything but slink in the shadows. So yes, I call flip flop. 

I don’t get it: Do democrats confuse illegals with refugees, and with legals too, out of some strange emotional impairment or hatred or racism? I don’t know. Sadly, I’ll never be a writer of classic English literature because I don’t know people. Until this week, I would not have guessed democrats were—I dunno, hatred challenged?

Could their hatred of their government—and yes, I know democrats hold the majority of seats—be causing toxins in the blood going to the brain or something? There’s my new lesson: Rightist or leftist, army, civil or democrat, “hatred hurts the brain.”

As for me, I was once told “Sean, you out-liberal the liberals.” Maybe so, but if tomorrow I went down south I wouldn’t join the democrats. Not this week. Easier to just stay home and watch movies. Which reminds me: People who should be natural allies for Women’s Liberation are bashing the show about the battle angel, Alita.

Liking Alita: Battle Angel
I was on Youtube, viewing one person’s defence of the above live action science fiction feature film: Specifically, he was replying to various tweets by social justice warriors. The Youtube commenters? All were on his side. I was amused: It seemed like every second commenter was concluding: “From now on, every movie the social justice warriors disparage, is a movie I will rush to go see.”

The comments under the OST soundtrack are full of people who disagree with professional film reviewers. For example:
Phil Anderson

Saw it over the weekend with my daughter and we BOTH loved it. The action was amazing and watching Alita learn and grow and adapt to her instincts was wonderful to watch.
And i think that EVERYONE in her world underestimated her.

Many paid movie critics have a low opinion of the flic; the one on the Roger Ebert site gives it 2 and 1/2 stars out of 5. I like what a commenter on Ebert’s site experienced, after the reviewer had lowered his expectations of the (PG13) show: (Note: the review was not by Roger, may he rest in peace)
  • Sam Mills Sam Mills a day ago
    Saw the film last night. I loved it! More than the people I went with who were expecting to love it and said it was "okay". I was expecting "okay" and I loved it. 

There’s a lesson: If you keep in mind the show is just normal Hollywood, based on a normal (but above-average) Japanese comic book series, then you won’t expect it to be better than any other James Cameron strong-female-lead movie. (He co-wrote the script and produced it) While the comic was good enough to be one of the first to be translated, back when Dark Horse comics pioneered bringing over Japanese works,  the film is not intended to be Hamlet, or Interstellar, or Arrival. On its own terms? I liked it. I’d see it again.

Movie Appreciation 
In a sense, it’s a coming of age show, about a feisty heroine determined to have agency, to learn and grow. In the first minute of the film, in a world where cyborgs are common, Alita is mysteriously discovered by Doctor Ido (Eedo) on a scrap heap, being only a head and part of a spine. When activated, she has no memory of her past. Feisty, she wants to find out. Her new body, originally intended for Doctor Ido’s young daughter, is symbolically young. Not romantic, but still pretty.

Remember youth? I do, maybe because I left home for the big city as a minor, giving me vivid memories.  “Naive” means “unexposed” to life: You find out the hard way how long food lasts in the refrigerator; your uncle Polonius may advise you to “neither a lender nor a borrower be,” but chances are you learn that the hard way too; and you find out about friends. So often on TV a group of young people shows someone at some point joyfully saying, “We’re like family!” In youth we all “want to believe,” and all too soon we discover “only the good die young.”

All this time we are wanting to know who am I… am I normal… and even, am I human? 

Young Alita’s “love interest,” therefore, is not meant as a breathless kiss-kiss romance but as being what freelance journalists call a composite character, standing in for a newly arrived youth’s friends, including best girlfriend and a platonic male friend too. Hence Alita’s keen selfless interest is better likened not to romantic passion but to a naive teen crush. Remember? Quite believable to me, even if other critics frown. 

I read a professional critic’s report that the whole theatre laughed when the boy looks past her mechanical arms and answers Alita fearful question: Yes, she is human, “the most human” to him. Well, sure, that’s exactly how the youth I remember talked. Corny but earnest. Nobody in the theatre I attended laughed just then. Perhaps the critic who heard that laughter was at a film festival among old establishment people too sophisticated for their own good.

Later in the movie Alita does her cyborg thing and upgrades to a new body, one which she “subconsciously” envisions as older and prettier, in both color and shape, but not precisely as plain as the average full-grown teenager’s body would be, according to the precise insurance actuarial tables. And here is where the social justice warriors get their knickers in a twist. I would say to them: Relax! 

If Alita envisions herself as full-grown then maybe, centuries ago, before she went to the scrap heap, she did indeed have a full-grown body. As Alita does in the comics. As Greta Garbo did in the 1940’s, Marilyn Monroe in the 1950’s, and Rachel Welch in the 1960’s. As it happens, Alita isn’t half as curvy and stacked as Marilyn, but still pretty. 

Hollywood fantasies are sexist, and so is Alita, say the critics who might be feminist wannabes, but surely lack perspective. Well, I see Hollywood beauty as inevitable, as surely as Fabio replaces me on the cover of every Harlequin romance. You might as well say it’s sexist when the actor who played Luke Skywalker, one day in a toy store, picked up an action figure of himself, widened his eyes and said, “They’ve got me on steroids!” Of course the pre-teen boys who play with toys don’t even know the word “sexist.” But I wish more adults did: They tell me the average social activist does NOT self-describe as feminist. Such a pity. 

Alita is feisty, and so of course she will figuratively and literally (new body) grow beyond what her uncle-figure, Doctor Ido, wants her to do. In a fast two hour movie, a single disagreement is enough to symbolize this.

On the Internet I read much talk about Alita’s big eyes being controversial. But I don’t think the average movie goer sees anything wrong. Like sitting off to the far side of the screen, you quickly adjust. Japanese big eyes go back to the black-and-white years of an old scientist’s Astro Boy, back to when animators in Japan were inspired by the eyes of Bambi and other Disney characters. If I lived in a fantasy future I would tell any girl who fearfully asked me about her eyes, “All the better to enjoy you, my dear.”

I like calling people “dear.” I should do so more often. Quite unlike social justice warriors and democrats, I would rather softly sing Kume by yah, or even, God forbid at my age, savour the howling of a loud heavy metal band, anything rather than squish my brain by indulging in hatred and outrage, and rushing off and stumbling to worship at the altar of the latest flakey ephemeral tweets.

Sean Crawford
Q: How many Social Justice Warriors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one, they rush in to help as soon as you tweet—but you end up changing a lot of brand new bulbs.

~Coincidentally, as regards Hollywood’s moving pictures versus the written word, today I am getting hits on my archived August 2015 essay on Plain sf and Media sci-fi.

~Link to current BBC article on Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminists

~LATE BREAKING NEWS ON CANADA HAVING “DEMOCRATS” TOO as the establishment in Ottawa seizes on distractions, such as calling Albertans "white supremacists" to avoid dealing with the issues of oil development and pipelines.
This morning’s column by Licia Corbella, in both of Calgary’s daily papers begins, 

“The bigotry against western Canada just keeps on rollin’. How else to describe the commentary on Twitter and in some other media coverage in Ottawa on Tuesday over the United We Roll convoy of some 200 trucks filled with people from across Canada protesting against federal government policies that harm Canada’s resource sector—particularly oil and gas.

On CBC TV’s Power and Politics, the reporter who was invited to the show to talk about the rally on Parliament Hill following an almost five-day, 3,200-km drive didn’t even mention the carbon tax, or Bills C-69 or C-48, which are the main causes of concern and reason behind this convoy. It’s troubling and, again, so very bigoted.


NOTE: Bill C-69 is the one that will make it impossible to ever build new pipelines, and to ever get Canadian oil and gas to non-North American markets. It’s an open secret, documented in the newspaper but not officially “news,” that Yankee imperialism, i.e. big oil, is funding the anti-pipeline efforts in Canada. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bullies and Teachers

Hello Reader,
Got bullies?
Got criminally stupid teachers?

…Dear reader, as you are scrolling the testimony of children, before you angrily throw your tablet across the room, rest assured I offer a new constructive idea that teachers have NOT tried…

“What do you have to lose by trying something new…? What the hell do you have to lose?”
Presidential candidate Donald Trump, 2016 in Michigan.

A testimonial from the book below, page 106: 

“… The bullying went on all through school. Even some of the teachers would bully me. But in grade eight, one teacher recognized how bad things were. She even hid me in her classroom so I could escape from the kids who were attacking me…

…Mom practically lived at the school, in the principal’s office. Eventually the school apologized to us for something, but an apology doesn’t mean very much. What about handing out real punishments to the kids who bully?…

Because of all these attacks, my old injuries from other bullying never healed properly. My arm is still messed up so bad. I can’t play my guitar or my violin. I wear a brace on my back. I get terrible headaches from the neck injuries. Even now, since leaving school, I’m sick probably once a week from the stress.”
Katie, age 16

Before me is an excellent Canadian book We Want You to Know subtitled Kids Talk About Bullying. First person stories, usually with a photo, each followed by a short question list of What do you think? The book is divided into sections to allow easier digestion of the material.—but the reading is bad for physical digestion: I found myself gritting my teeth at the stupid teachers.

The writer is Deborah Ellis, an internationally acclaimed author who has won many awards, including the Governor General’s Award.

As a library denizen, I had merely flipped through random pages—and was shocked. Both as a blogger and as a citizen, I knew I would have to return to the library and do a statistical analysis. So I did, although my survey is more rough than proper. 
Some tallies:

Teacher (and principal) was useless: 9 
Teacher tried, but wasn’t effective: 3
Teacher didn’t believe a victim, even a victim with a black eye: 4
This count includes a story where teachers would NOT disbelieve a bully’s rumour that a student had AIDS, even though they called the student into the office twice to ask, and even though the student (straight and clean) resorted to being tested.

I should have tallied “teacher blamed the victim” because that actually happened several times.

At last, some good news, Teacher succeeded: 2 
That’s right, the bullying was stopped a grand total of twice.

Teacher in denial or would not “see”: at least 8

Deny, deny, deny there is any Denial 
It’s this last tally that has me curling my lip in contempt. Call me an idealist, but I think every teacher is responsible for attaining a minimal standard of mental strength and morality. (Yes, I know teachers often need stress leave) 
William Blake wrote:
 … I shall not cease
From mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep
In my hand…

Here’s some quotes on teachers and principals “in denial”:
(page 83) The whole time this was happening, a teacher was close by, watching the whole thing….So when Mom got out of me what had happened and saw the damage done to my back, she called the teacher up. The teacher said she thought we were all just fooling around. A group of kids, all of them twice as big as me, surrounding me, and I’m yelling and trying to get away—and she thought I was having fun? She just didn’t want to deal with it.

…One time, the principal called me into her office and made me go over every detail. She questioned me as though I was lying, as though she was a cop trying to get me to confess something.

Nothing happened to the kids who attacked me. Maybe she talked to them, but that’s it. They bullied me worse afterward.” 

From another student, (page 86) “One day in math class some guys behind me were calling me names. I could tell that the teacher heard it, but he didn’t do anything, so I grabbed my math book and threw it at the kid’s head… I was made to apologize…That’s when it really took off. This guy got all his friends to make fun of me and throw things… I told many teachers this was going on. I failed most of my classes because I never went. I’d go to school and read and look at magazines and wait for the day to end…

None of those teachers would walk into a workplace day after day, month after month, with people calling them names and throwing things at them. But they’d tell me again and again, “Oh, just ignore it…”

My mom wanted me to switch schools, instead of doing correspondence, and I’d like to go to a school and have friends, but I just can’t be around people anymore.”

(page 63) “…but they don’t step in. They’ll see this and that happening, but they won’t stop it.”

Another student’s story, (page 65): “Sometimes I’d tell the teachers. The teachers barely do anything. I’d get pushed right beside the teacher, and the teacher would quickly turn and look the other way.”

(page 99) “I have a mild form of cerebral palsy… Except for in Mrs. Gillespie’s class, kids would attack each other right in front of the teacher, and the teacher would pretend not to notice. If you don’t see, you don’t have to do anything, right? I remember being in class one day, kids throwing things at me and hitting me—So I just walked out.

Some of the stuff that happens in really dumb and unnecessary. When I got to high school, I was assigned a locker right in between the two boys that bullied me the most in grade school. What are the chances? It took a lot of phone calls from my parents to get that changed.”

This is not in a “big bad city.” Deborah Ellis: 
“All the kids interviewed in this book come from my little corner of Southern Ontario. This is a lovely part of a lovely country, and if bullying is happening here, then it’s happening everywhere.” 

My lip is getting sore from curling. Sometimes the teachers can be quite creative with their denial: 
(page 58) “My mom and dad went to the school a few times to talk to the vice principal and the principal. They were sort of supportive, but they never called it bullying. They have a zero tolerance for bullying, but it happens. And when it happens, they don’t call it bullying so they can say that bullying doesn’t happen.”

From the Beginning
To paraphrase the Buddha: “When a society is ready, the knowledge that something exists will appear.” Perhaps we weren’t quite ready yet when two Columbine high school students massacred their tormentors. But suddenly, perhaps grudgingly at first, all across the continent we admitted bullying could happen, and have consequences. In the US, a few isolated voices even called for a “war on bullying.” Good thing the US didn’t go so far as to declare war, as it would have been one more chance for the US people to be losers… 

(I am old enough to remember when failure was not an option once Americans declared war)

… Perhaps we still aren’t ready, even after years of anti-bullying efforts, since the book before me has to explicitly state, “Bullying is not inevitable. It doesn’t have to be a normal part of childhood… We can find ways to support each other, learn from each other, and create…

Since my day, according to reports by kids in the book, there are now anti-bullying assemblies, sometime complete with skits. I doubt they are any more effective than those assemblies in my day that pleaded with us to intervene if we saw someone vandalizing. 
(Incidentally, at my school, vandalism included the main girls “smokers” washroom having every steel stall door ripped away) 
Of course we all thought our teachers were crazy to suggest we intervene. Today the assemblies are probably as useless as ever: Obviously they didn’t help any of the kids testifying.

I wonder how many boys and girls, bullied and sexually assaulted, end up losing their innocencegrowing up to be well groomed, well employed, socially skilled adults moving among us, adults who are social isolates because they have lost something along the way… A kid above says, “I just can’t be around people anymore.”

From Hopeless to Hope
I remember a feature documentary on bullying I saw at a repertory cinema (the Garneau) in Edmonton where afterwards teens came out on stage to talk to their peers, not to us grownups, as they had little hope in us. What struck me from the movie, besides a teacher “trying” but being useless, was how the teachers were so ignorant. At the time I didn’t think to say, “in denial,” I merely would have said that, statistically, one or more teachers in the school would have been a victim of bullies in childhood, but somehow nobody was about to tell the other staff. Hence no experienced teachers shown on camera, and hence the “trying.”

“Physician, heal thyself.” Before teachers mind-read bullies to excuse them, and ignore victims, they need enough integrity to do some prolonged work teacher-to-teacher… After all, an effective army always trains the leaders before training the rank and file. And more: At leadership school the army has the trainees go through the same group punishment that they might have to later inflict on their troops. Like an officer returning every salute. It’s an integrity thing. Like teachers having integrity to surmount their denial before preaching to students.  

Integrity, for example, means when the provincial government was starting to do unbelievably degrading home inspections on people with disabilities, (Word of mouth in the disabled community quickly spread) I said to the government: The inspectors should first have their own homes equally inspected—by government strangers, not by their known government colleagues.

…I shall not cease
From mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep
In my hand
‘till we have built
(the key word, for teachers, is “we”)

An “Outside the Box” Idea
Obviously at schools there would be lots of “concurrent” anti-bully activity, but nevertheless I suggest that figuratively “before” the teachers do assemblies and wall posters they engage in a full year of meetings, separate from the students, to “support and learn from each other, and create…” 

Hint: to build trust, teachers should be advised they need not self-disclose having survived bullying… but such honest sharing may spring out naturally after, say, at least six months, when support has given each teacher the emotional energy to NOT have the denial portrayed in a Bob Dylan song, “How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see.” 

My belief is that teachers should be taking anti-bully action in halls and playgrounds, of course, but not through their sheer willpower, not like the Foreign Legion through gritted teeth saying, “March or die” but instead by being inner motivated like the tough Green Berets who emerge from the jungle to gladly give kids candy. 

I believe that, despite the testimonies about integrity-challenged teachers in the book, one day all teachers could be acting with the sort of inner professionalism that manifests after an entire faculty comes to be first willing to do the right thing, and then determined to do the right thing, knowing that fellow teachers are alongside, forming the bonds that lift the spirit. And yes, I think this just may take a full year or more if done properly, using research that is decades old. (But still not widely applied)

This could result in teachers manifesting better tools to talk to children—Hey, why aren’t teachers being convincing, in terms even disfigured, awkward children could understand, that bullying isn’t their fault? (Like the tool of three-C’s we teach teens about their parent’s alcoholism: You didn’t Cause it, you can’t Cure it, you can’t Control it… and… As with drinking, here is no reason to insist the victim “have to” figure the bully out: A bully bullies because he bullies) 

Without tools, the hapless child may be like the army hero in David Gerrold’s Chtorr Wars: The hero is an adult before he realizes that, back in high school, a bully who shook his self esteem with an accusing story-description, was in fact using a description from a TV comedy routine. Let’s not go into denial by claiming the kids already know all the educational fables and tools. Gerrold’s hero didn’t. There are new babies being born every year who don’t already know every concept, not in terms they can relate to and then internalize.

Nothing Succeeds Like Success  
Note on teacher and peer training: 
My disabilities agency once brought in a world-class training organization called Custom Learning Systems Group Ltd. 
(created by a former MLA, or, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Brian Lee)
to have six local agencies cooperate in training to become“world-class,” training that first trained the peer trainers, (I was one) and would require three years of agency-wide small support meetings and periodic train-the-trainers training, at a proper pace and sustained momentum and hear-things-six-times peer support… —but the provincial government shut us down by “changing their minds” about funding.

This same training is used in big for-profit hospitals in the US where hospital accountants can see that ca-ching! turnover is reduced; ca-ching! absenteeism is reduced; ca-ching! training time is therefore reduced; ca-ching! quality goes up and profits are increased.

A possible objection: What if the principals and teachers are too extended (stressed, beaten down) to try anything new? Is teacher training to stop bullies hopeless?
Answers: Secondly, what Yoda said: “There is no “try,” either do or do not.” 

Firstly… Consider a “hopeless” big far flung aluminum corporation that was “doomed” to have labour strife, rising costs and loss of marketshare. The brand new CEO appeared at the stockholders meeting. To their surprise, he did not mouth the usual expected platitudes. Instead he announced, and meant, a “focus on safety.” Shareholders and executives alike were mystified at the CEO for his “sideways” effort. It would be a lengthy effort, one that included firing big senior executives who allowed accidents.

Similarly, it might seem downright mystical to help the bullies and victims, “sideways,” through helping teachers first but that is indeed what I am proposing.

The CEO’s strange safety metric somehow helped the metrics for stress, turnover, absenteeism, costs and more. Labour and management, who had been deeply suspicious, came together, and market share increased. 

Similarly, I would hope that a lengthy effort focused on teachers, for their anti-bullying and anti-denial, would result in bonds that uplift, with an increase in the school equivalent of market share, whether that be learning, reputation, funding or happiness.

God save the queen.

Sean Crawford
North of Montana

~Here is Blake’s poem, as simple as singing in a church basement, by Billy Bragg

~Not being qualified to train teachers myself, I could at most serve on an advisory board with teachers who are “on the ground.” 

~For suggesting resources for group development and teacher training, I am out of date, sorry, but I can recommend the excellent textbook my college mentor (see January 2019 essay) used: Dynamics of Groups at Work, by Herbert Thelen, University of Chicago Press, 1954, 374 pages, based on empirical research going back to the 1940’s. Q: How excellent? A: I absolutely refuse to loan my copy.

Related essays:
~Saving Tomorrow Land (with bully footnotes) is archived August 2015.

~An essay on moral development, and me at my school where even athletes (jocks) feared to tread is Ex-Convict Bill Sands and Me archived August 2013.

~Did you grow up with the new math? Well, in my province they want to bring in a “new, new math” but of course I’m only John Q. Public: Who am I to snarl Stupid New Math archived March 2014.