Friday, October 30, 2009

Paulo Freire Poem

I found this incredible poem in Freire's book Daring To Dream: Toward a Pedagogy of the Unfinished, published by Paradigm Publishers in 2007

"Some time after his arrival
the foreigner said to the men in the valley
one dusking afternoon:
Thus far I have spoken to you only
of the songs of birds and
of the tenderness of the dawns.
It was necessary to undertake with you some
fundamental learning:
to feel out the uncertainty of tomorrow,
living out the negation of myself,
through a work that is not our own.
Only so, speaking to you would be a form of
speaking with you.
Now I can tell you:
We do not believe in those who proclaim
that our weakness is a gift from the Gods,
that it is in us as the fragrance in the flowers
or the dew in the mornings.
Our weakness is not the ornament
of our bitter lives.
We do not believe in those who state,
in hypocritical intonation,
that life is really like this
-a few having so much,
millions having nothing.
Our weakness is not a virtue.
Let us pretend, however, that we do believe
in their discourse.
It is important that not a gesture of ours
reveal our true intention.
It is important that they leave happy in their lie,
certain that we are things of their own.
We need time
to prepare our own discourse
that will shake up the mountains and valleys,
rivers and oceans
and that will leave them stunned and fearful.
Our different discourse
-our action-word-will be spoken
by our whole bodies:
our hands, our feet, our reflections.
All within us speak
a life-bearing language
-even the instruments that
our hands will use,
when, in communion, we
shall transform our weakness
into our strength.
Poor us, however, if we cease to speak
simply because they can no longer lie.
Therefore, I tell you:
Our liberation discourse
Is not the medicine for a passing illness.
If we go silent as the present lies quiet down,
new lies will appear,
in the name of our liberation.
Our different discourse
-our action-word-
As a true discourse
will be made and remade;
it never is or will have been,
because it will always be being.
Our different discourse
-our action-word-
must be a permanent one."

-Paulo Freire
April 1971

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Quote

"There is no tolerance without respect, no respect without knowledge."

Dream 9/31/2009

I climb stacks of records. Public records. All the way to the sun. The higher I get and the closer to the sun, the older the records become. The earliest are when humans started to ask what the sun was.
I'm terribly sunburned. I am really close to the sun. I have given my life to the quest of conquering the records of our species' past. I am really sunburned.
I take some photos of the sun. No one has ever taken such amazing photos of the sun. This holds true even in the face of their bad quality. It's the context. Get it?
Riley is on a balcony on the other side of the sun. I don't know what planet or body he is on. It doesn't matter. He takkes pictures of me. The flash hurts my eyes. This is funny becuase I am really close to the sun.
I make it down from the stack of records.
I stay at Hostal Residencial Sucre. I actually stayed there in Quito, Ecuador, for over a month.
At the hostal, someone steals my camera. It is called the Little Blue Camera That Will. I yell. I yell becuase they've stolen the photos of the sun. The same photos that would have changed the course of the world.

Dream 9/15/2009

Friend, Chris, hereafter CL, shows part of a movie. It is the opening scene of the film. We are a group of 19 or 20. Most of us know the movie. I don't. It is late evening. Dusk. We are in a beautiful spot. Earlier, Kate and I tried to decide where to place the hammock. The scene is some really powerful speech. During the thing, I lay on the ground. Someone is talking. I miss the words in the speech. The talking ruined the speech. Later in the film, there is a little spaceship. The little spaceship is in a descent. It smashes the ground. Little dudes get out via ejection. They fly into a ravine. It is explained that they died really violent deaths. CL explains this as a desire to canonize and martyrize them. This wouldn't, naturally, be as effective if they survived for a time, were happy again, maybe even successful at fixing their little ship and escapping. At the end of the explanation, the movie is stopped. I comment that I would like to see it again sometime. A feller throws us all Snickers candies. For some reason, we're all really close. I really love all these people.

Notes of Race to the Top Program

Part of American Recovery/Reinvestment Act of 2009 (referred to as the State Incentive Grant Fund).
$4.3 Billion for competitive grants to states
4 "Assurance" areas:
-Implementing standards/assessments
-Improving teacher effectiveness and achieving equity in teacher distribution
-Improving collection of and use of data
-Supporting struggling schools
50% of funding must go to LEAs
-Absolute Priority-comprehensive approach to the 4 areas aforementioned
-Proposed Priority-emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
-Invitational Priority-expansion and adaptation of statewide longitudinal data systems
-Invitational Priority-coordination and vertical alignment
-Invitational Priority-school level conditions for reform and innovation
There cannot be barriers linking student achievement to teacher effectiveness
Provide alternative certification path (including "Significantly limit the amount of coursework required or have options to test-out courses;)
Compensating and promoting (809)
Effective teacher-means a teacher whose students achieve acceptable rates (say at least one grade level growth in one academic year) of student growth

Find America COMPETES Act

Dream 9/3/2009

Listening to De Contrabando by Jenni Rivera. I am with Raquel Welch, hereafter RW. My friend Justin is with me and RW. We are fighting ghostly horsed warriors.

We three board a plane. The plane has had it's head cut off. That is to say, it is a drop-top. It is short and stubby. The plane flies to the battlefield. We land on a cliff. The ass of the plane is hanging off.

In the plane and on the battlefield we conduct battle with the Mother Ship, hereafter MS. We defeat the MS.

Dream 8/31/2009

We're playing a video game. It starts off killing dinosaurs. I am Lil' Wayne.

In another part of the game, we have to find and kill an old man. Neil, for some reason, is going to be the killer. He stabs the old man int he midst of some Mexicans. It doesn't work.

He then puts a bag over the man's head. It doesn't work.

Consumer Comfort

Think about how comfortable we are made as consumers. Think about restaurants, street signs, advertisements, storefront signs, business descriptions. Think about this in comparison to how you felt in Ecuador, strolling the streets of Quito Viejo, searching for a locale that served vegetarian foods. Pretty incredible.

Dream 8/21/2009

I'm listening to a fatso lady on CNN interview.
I'm playing with games on my laptop.