How Preparing for TEDxRoseburg Was a Lot Like a Nickelback Song

I have many identities. Some feel truer than others. I used to think I was weird because of this, but my studies and my experiences with a wide variety of people lead me to believe I am nowhere near alone. In fact, I might be weird if I was the same person everywhere, all the time.

We have selves: creative selves, spiritual selves, emotional selves, work selves, academic selves, secret selves and more. Don’t believe me? Think about how much a couple (romantic selves) change when their child walks into the room (to parenting selves). Think about how you answer the phone. It depends on where you are, who is calling, what time of day it is, who is with you, and a host of other factors.

Preparing for my talk, The Other Statistic, at TEDxRoseburg was a journey through past selves and a big question mark for the future self.

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You Can Agree with Me, Or You Can Be Wrong

Yesterday I posted a meme on my Facebook profile that led to a mini-conversation with a friend of mine—a person I care for and respect immensely even though we have drastically different political opinions. The conversation was around whether someone has to agree or be labeled or stay silent. I think this is an important dialogue because I believe that people on both sides of the political coin feel like “the other side” feels this way. I also think that this feeling is largely to blame for many of the challenges we face in today’s society.

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The Price of Getting Our Green On in Corvallis

In Corvallis, the Sierra Club is trying to push through a ban on plastic bags combined with a fee on paper bags to “encourage use of reusable bags.” It makes a certain sort of sense on the outside. We all love the environment and want to live in a clean city. But we also want an equitable community and the only way to create an equitable community is to carefully consider the implications of our policies on every part of that community.

This means that as much as a bag ban might make environmentalists and street cleanup crews happy and as much as it might make business owners and many consumers unhappy, it could also have very tangible effects on the people in our community who live in poverty. In all of the hullaboo around this controversial policy recommendation, this is the one population that hasn’t even been mentioned.

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Education Reform without a Price?

On Facebook this past weekend, I was pointed to an article about Tom Luna’s plan to reform education in the state of Idaho. This caught my attention because 1) I am an educator who studied education reform intensively during graduate school, 2) the reform in question is happening in a state that I left precisely because of the education system, and 3) education is a central component to parenting for any child, but especially for children with disabilities.

While the article itself focuses on the many for-profit education companies that have contributed to Luna’s campaign, I’m looking at the specifics of the “Students Come First” legislation. There are too many to cover in one post (at least without boring you). I’ll take a look at three of them.

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NaNoWriMo #4: On Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

While I started the month honoring contemporary novelists – and fully intended to continue doing so throughout the month – I find that I cannot separate the novel from its history. Similarly, I cannot honor contemporary novelists and the impact their words have had on me without acknowledging the tremendous impact that historical fictions have also had. So I come to one of my favorite novelists and one of my favorite novels, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. To say this novel profoundly impacted my perspective on life would be a drastic understatement.

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