Monday, October 29, 2012

Macklemore and consumerism

Checkout this video by Macklemore highlighting consumerism:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Volunteer Op: Habitat for Humanity Elgin

Hello Habitat Volunteers! The following is a list of tasks we will be working on Saturday at the Habitat House and the tools needed to complete the job. (Don't worry if you don't have the tool but if you do, bring it along) If you are interested in helping out, just let me know. Questions? Call me at 847-922-8276 We could use some strong teens as well. Over 16 only with parental consent. 1. Remove gutters and clean off dirt. 2. Bring gravel into basements - bucket provided 3. Remove woodwork and trim - crow bars, hammers 4. Dig post holes got signs - Digger provided 5. Create 2 post holes in basement for posts 6. Remove siding from entire house (timing not yet determined.). 7. Other items to be identified. THANK YOU!!! --- Laureen Reidelberger

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gratitude and happiness

Close your eyes.  Think of someone influential in your life.  Now write down who thought about and why you thought about that person.

Next, check out this video from Upworthy on how this creates happiness:

Now it's your turn, call that person and read what you wrote aloud! Why not?  I think for many of us, this is difficult to do, and at the very least, it is unusual to do because we don't like the vulnerability that comes with gratitude.  Gratitude forces us to admit that we need other people; we are not just individuals in control of our own achievements.  But, that is the message we get over and over again from our culture.  And the sad part (literally) is that the resistance to vulnerability makes us feel less connected to others and less open to feelings of love and belonging.  That is exactly what Brene Brown is talking about in her TED talk.  Click on the following link to return to the post about Tuesdays with Morrie and scroll to the bottom to finish reading it and watch the Brene Brown Video.  Click here to return.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Volunteer Op: Painting at Feed My Starving Children

Hi All!  Feed My Starving Children is opening a new office in Libertyville.  Normally, volunteers there make meals to send to malnourished children around the world, but this time, they need help setting up their new warehouse.  One of my student's moms is organizing about 10 students to volunteer to paint the new warehouse on Saturday, November 3rd at 9:30 A.M.  It is preferred if students bring brushes,rollers and painting pans. Because painting is dependent on the construction schedule, this could possibly get moved back, but otherwise this seems like a great way to get some hours and have fun and really do something that will help show respect to those living with very dire conditions in other parts of our world.  If interested, check to be sure that you are available and committed then please email Mrs. Jeanne Lapp at Tell her you are from my class and you wish to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sending a message about symbolic interaction...

This American Life episode 475: Send a Message had three stories that can help understand symbolic interaction.  Act 1 (about 8min into the show) is about a family that sees special meaning in a pair of knitted pants and a knitted dress.  Everyone in the family is affected by these items both physically and emotionally.  Are there items or actions that hold significance to you or your family?  Maybe it's who gets to carve the Turkey or who sits in a special chair or who gets to choose a show on tv?  This is just one family, but can you think about how certain items might might affect larger groups of people?  That is symbolic interaction.

Act 2 is about the symbolism of New York and what that means to those who live there and how that might influence them to act and think.  How might the place where you live affect the way you act and think? While this is an example of the sociological imagination, it is also an example of symbolic interaction - people from New York act and think symbolically based on their expectations of NYC.  This might also serve as an example of a subculture.  New Yorkers think of themselves differently.  They also have different norms: understanding the subway, walking, talking differently than the rest of America.  They are a subculture.

Lastly, the most powerful Act on the show was act 3 called soul sister (34 minutes into the show).  This segment not only speaks to symbolic interaction but it does so in regards to race.  This is a great example of the power of symbols in how they affect people and people's own image of themselves. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Community Service

Last night I went to St. Thomas of Canterbury, 4827 N. Kenmore Avenue Chicago, IL 60640. (Church: (773) 878-5507) It is in Uptown in Chicago. It is managed by Jim Eder. This was my 4 fourth time volunteering there, so I had some idea of what to expect. Nonetheless, it was still a great experience and it feel refreshing each time I do it. We left school at about 3:15 and returned at 8:15. On the ride down, I was busy thinking about all the stuff I have to do: grading, house projects, school stuff. But then as we exited the expressway and entered the city we started talking with our bus driver who was from that area. He was a retired CTA bus driver who grew up on the northside. He pointed out lots of historic places and told stories about the ares we were driving through. When we arrived at the Soup Kitchen, we jumped right into the service. First, I showed the students where to put their coats and bags and to get an apron. Then we setup the room for the dinner by placing bread in each bowl and salad on the table. Once the room was setup. Jim called us over and talked to us about the soup kitchen and the guests that they serve and what is required of us. He said there are only two rules: Keep yourself safe and act out of the goodness of your heart. After that, the guests started streaming in and he gave us each a job. I tried to help out when needed but otherwise stay out of the way so that students could do most of the service. I encouraged students to smile and be good waiters and waitresses. I washed dishes. I helped open milk. I bused the tables.