The Joy Girl

  

A petulant smile, upper lip quiver, 

never-ending streams of jubilant free

pours the honeyed golden, emerald eyes

smoked in calm to hide the sparkle speaks,

“I want…take me…so much to give…but I fear,”

all in fragility, fresh and tainted only at the fringes,

circling the crystal center yet to form whole, complete,

she deftly ball-toes the river logs spinning a strange land.

Pratyahara

  
Cogs turn, whistles blow

feet shuffle, flee apace as

riders jump, arms akimbo;

leaves tremble, windswept 

ciliated born sussuration 

summersaulting walkways

of pavements steam, misty 

chlorophyl wafts green

lungful chunky clumps; 

engines hiss, track clacks

spine smacking clamor,

light beams rip clouds,

shredding skyward eyes,

tossing the bustle by

yard by yard, square on,

as chorus-ful chaos blooms

in the stillness of notice,

as I thread a hurricane’s eye.

Jazz in a Silent Movie

chet

 

Feet moving inside my heart, knees a jostle,

Jazzin’ up my earbuds in java land amidst

Caffeinated denizens sporting mute stares,

A secret brain wrinkle, wet and colonized,

Winking the orbital pulse, steady sockets,

Jitters at the base of the spine, so nearly

A sign, trembling imperceptibly, in a race

Frantic fingers tap, tap, tap, heads nodding

As screen-lit faces wait, lapsed and relapsed;

Barristas squat, twist, shake, pour and squirt

A macchiato merengue whipping up smiles

While Chet Baker croons “C’est Si Bon”

To a rolling silent movie, my morning perch.

 

 

credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/jvXywhJpOKs/hqdefault.jpg

Cultural Appropriation or Emulation: Does it Matter?

  
Published in the Mindful Word, please enjoy an article I contributed to the ongoing conversation about Rachel Dolezal, cultural appropriation and social media. 

For those of us who grew up in a Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, or Nepali household, our struggles to fit in are vastly different in magnitude, but the solidarity exists. So that’s why we are upset when someone wakes up one day and decides to exploit our turbulent identities as a disposable fashion—and by doing so be rewarded as a paragon of globalization and cultural acceptance. How dare they regard Indian fashion as effortlessly cool and chic while we make it look “fobby,” or a stubborn adherence to our culture that purports us to be “fresh off the boat.”


How dare they have a crush when we spent our entire lives trying to love.

Read more here.

Peace, 

Gaze

“The Coddling of the American Mind” in the Atlantic

  
I have taught college students to write, read and think for over 15 years now. Before that, I did the same for high school students. My job–teaching–particularly skills for college, and more importantly, life, impresses me as one of mind crafting. I teach students how to think, using the medium of the word. Others teach the same through other media, such as art, music, math or computers, to name a few.

Since writing starts with the word, that is where I start my classes each semester. I compare grammar to life. It starts with the word, which has an essence and a function, depending on its relationship to other words. I try to illustrate this by pointing to a student and defining the student as presumably human, male or female, but also in context of a classroom, a student, peer, son or daughter, just as a noun is a noun until it is placed next to another noun and then functions like an adjective.

It has always been a hit–until recently. In the last couple of years, I hesitate to use the example because once I get past presuming a student is human, I get tangled up in words trying to be respectful of gender identification. I now find myself saying the person appears as this gender or that but may actually identify some other way…and then it gets complicated for me. I start thinking that maybe it is wrong to even presume a student represents as human, now with people going bionic by choice, according to an article I read this morning.

I am the last person to be the most sensitive in any situation. I am not a clod or a jerk (at least I don’t think so), but I can be absorbed in my own world, the material I am teaching and not notice the effect of my natural expressions. I sometimes use profanity to make a point. I reference all kinds of beliefs and politics and history, my class encompassing words and ideas. The constant running through my classes, lately, however, is my fear of others’ sensibilities. I am wary of the trap of my own words.

A true gift, the recognition of these fears in the Atlantic article entitled “The Coddling of the American Mind,” which is a thorough investigation of the temperament and tendencies of the American college student as well as some reasonable suggestions to change the trends toward litigation and censorship based on what the author identifies as distorted thinking often bordering on psychological disorders, including adapting sensitivities on behalf of other groups and identities.

The authors define and exemplify micro aggressions, catastrophizing and trigger warnings, topics, words and imagery taught in classrooms or presented in the world that trigger traumatic experiences personal, racial or historical. For example, students object to the mention of rape and rape cases in a law school class for the emotional triggers to some students’ traumatic experiences. This is merely one type of behavior that crowds the classroom’s content and censors speech.

However, as the authors assert, shielding students from offense runs counter to the exposure students should be getting to new ideas in school, including ones that offend. Schools are not bubbles but training grounds for the world beyond school, as world inhabitants, of which there is much that offends.

Attempts to shield students from words, ideas, and people that might cause them emotional discomfort are bad for the students. They are bad for the workplace, which will be mired in unending litigation if student expectations of safety are carried forward. And they are bad for American democracy, which is already paralyzed by worsening partisanship. When the ideas, values, and speech of the other side are seen not just as wrong but as willfully aggressive toward innocent victims, it is hard to imagine the kind of mutual respect, negotiation, and compromise that are needed to make politics a positive-sum game.

The article is a fair treatment of the causes and effects of this educational and social phenomenon, including a recommended list of twelve distortions (reproduced below) to identify and teach in the classroom based on cognitive therapy practices that help individuals focus on a reading of reality that is not merely emotional. I know my falll class opener may start with this article for discussion.

 Common Cognitive Distortions
A partial list from Robert L. Leahy, Stephen J. F. Holland, and Lata K. McGinn’s Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (2012).
1. Mind reading. You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.”
2. Fortune-telling. You predict the future negatively: things will get worse, or there is danger ahead. “I’ll fail that exam,” or “I won’t get the job.”
3. Catastrophizing.You believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it. “It would be terrible if I failed.”
4. Labeling. You assign global negative traits to yourself and others. “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.”
5. Discounting positives. You claim that the positive things you or others do are trivial. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.”
6. Negative filtering. You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.”
7. Overgeneralizing. You perceive a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.”
8. Dichotomous thinking. You view events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.”
9. Blaming. You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”
10. What if? You keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens, and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers. “Yeah, but what if I get anxious?,” or “What if I can’t catch my breath?”
11. Emotional reasoning. You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.”
12. Inability to disconfirm. You reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts. For example, when you have the thought I’m unlovable, you reject as irrelevant any evidence that people like you. Consequently, your thought cannot be refuted. “That’s not the real issue. There are deeper problems. There are other factors.”

Science Meets Philandering

hardinginternal87873

I like today’s compelling Fox news story about Ancestry.com’s confirmation of President Harding’s love child. Some folks were vindicated and love shone on the day.

Of course my first thought questions the motivation, desire and impetus for such DNA testing to prove something that does not really matter in terms of inheritance or political effect these many years after the fact. Who even remembers Harding’s presidency?

But this passage is my favorite:

Based on DNA from Britton’s grandson and descendants of Harding, the results are 99.9 percent certain, Ancestry said. The findings were first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

I mean there is always that .01% chance of mistake. Then what? 😉

Define Mistress 

  
I certainly enjoyed the following Urban Dictionary definitions of the term “Mistress:”

***Something between a mister and his mattress.

***Spare pussy to have when your wife or girlfriend is either on the rag or just not in the mood to straddle the cock. Traditionally a popular stress reliever in France, which might explain why they rarely wage wars these days.

***The woman who is dominant to you and will gladly punish you at any time for any thing. 

see bitch

You missed a spot on the window… 

Bend over to be spanked!
***<ORIGIN> from the Old French maistresse, from maistre ‘master’

Noun 

1) – a woman in a position of authority or control.

<special usage> a woman who is skilled in a particular subject or activity. (possibly sexually)
2) – a woman having an extramarital sexual relationship, especially with a married man.
<special usage> a woman loved and courted by a man
3) – a woman that is the dominating role in a dominate/submissive relationship or arrangement.

***Side hoe
***mistress

a women who has a foot slave and allows him to worship her feet, ie kissing each toe, licking her soles, eating her toejam

mistress gemma wanted to punish her foot slave so took off her boots and smothered his with her sweaty soles, the slave was in heaven, she even then made him masturbate over her smelly socks

***female PIMP

***1.) a lonely female with no self-respect who willingly subjects herself to the marginal attention of married men 

2.) enemy to the institution of marriage 

3.) an example of female energy used for evil

4.) a married man’s co-conspirator 
5.) the puppet a married man keeps in his closet and pulls out only at night and only when no one else is around to witness its existance 

6.) one who will never experience real romantic love, and seemingly has no desire for it

7.) a woman with no value other than that of sexual gratification

credit: http://pre01.deviantart.net

Medicinal Embrace

  
“I hate when someone cuts me off, and then flips me off as if my very existence provoked the act.”

She nods, not lifting her eyes from the words on the screen, and mumbles a “hmmm…”

“But the worst part is that I get so angry about it, cursing out loud, speeding up, trying to make eye contact to give the person the stink eye and stab them with my utter disgust. Why would I even care? Why would I make myself so worked up?”

Still bathed in the glow of the screen and not looking up, she responds distractedly, “I don’t know.”

“And I immediately check myself and wonder how I could lose my cool like that, let someone just take me out of myself into the hate zone. My thoughts get ripped from wherever they were to this horrid place some stupid stranger took me to–with my permission. It frustrates me that I cannot resist…cannot NOT react.”

She looks up from the computer, and turns all the way around in her chair, 180 degrees, and faces her now–she with her back turned who rummages through the refrigerator as her complaints dissolve into questions that perplex the vegetables she picks up one by one–broccoli rabes, Japanese eggplant, and summer squash–examines and then shuffles to the far side of the shelf.

“Then my reaction to having reacted like an ass, an overly angry ass, is even worse, just berating myself for being out of control and habitually reactive. I mean I just want to let these things pass without getting my adrenaline pumping—just once. But the whole thing is just one big ugly pattern that I can’t change….ingrained, like….a disease…Have you seen the…? I think I put it…

Oh! I didn’t hear you sneak up behind me. Aw baby, that’s so nice…you’re so toasty warm. Just what the doctor ordered mmmm…”
 

credit: http://www.annashukeylo.com/