Artfully Creating the Right Group Dynamic | Teaching Tolerance

Artfully Creating the Right Group Dynamic | Teaching Tolerance


A to Z for Moms Like Me: Don’t Eat Pete!

A to Z for Moms Like Me: Don’t Eat Pete!: This is a really fun game with kids, especially for ages 3-5, but even my 7 & 8 year old love it! Here’s how you play: Everyone sits aroun…

Pinterest as an Educational Resource

 I have only just recently learned about Pinterest, and now I’m addicted! Almost as much as with Facebook! I did not know that Pinterest could be used in education until I saw this infographic below. I think these are wonderful ideas and I’m going to start creating some new boards and pins right away! Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the terrific, hard working moms out there! 馃檪

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest
From: Online Universities Blog

Fear of Immigration? or of change?

  The following was an editorial posted and shared on facebook. This was our discussion regarding it:
This is a very good letter to the editor. This woman made some good points..
For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper……………….

Newspapers simply won’t publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which does not agree with the philosophy they’re pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help it will get published via cyberspace!

From: “David LaBonte”
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written

in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States , people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a
future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900’s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work
and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

Rosemary LaBonte


I sincerely hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!!

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  • Brenda Harrison

    What she doesn’t spell out is how impossible it is to become a citizen now or how difficult it just to get a green card to work in this country..I am 2nd generation American..My grandfather only waited 5 months to become a naturalized citizen…and he didn’t speak english very well and my grandmother never learned English but their children did..isn’t that what matters?these people are just trying to feed their families at any cost! I would too

    13 hours agoUnlike 1
  • Daniel O’Grady

    Okay…no. While I agree that people should come here of legal means if possible, that’s not always the case.first off, juan gomez and his family come here to work shit jobs, for shit pay, because we don’t want to. Personally, until we all start picking or own fruit and vegetables, washing or own cars, landscaping our own yards, building or own houses, and bering nanny to or own kids…then we can complain. As for this womans “history lesson”? No.
    Her assumption about immigrants in the 1900s is more steven spielberg then reality. A good percentage were illegal or stowaways. They didn’t change names to fit in, they were forced to. They made no pledges to uphold laws, organized crime was something the islands, irish and french brought with them. They did not make english a rule, hence the reason peoples grandmothers even today still don’t speak english, not to mention the formation of country/language specific burroughs in big cities.

    The ideas of a japanese man fighting on or side in wwii is preposterous. First off, the military was extremely segregated still, and second, we shipped all the japanese americans off to internment camps. As for germans? Many shipped of to germany to fight for the motherland, AT THEIR parents insistence. There are hundreds of stories of men having to kill men they knew growing up, or send to pow camps, because they were german soldiers…

    But really, what I don’t get is how this person makes such a distinction as to call them different types of immigrants now? Or forefathers escaped tyranny, famine, oppression and poverty. Hell, the likely hood that the first O’Grady to come here was illegal is almost 100%. The people running the border today are escaping the same things.except a cuban can’t ask permission to leave, and mexican/south americans can’t afford to. Have you read the citizenship test? You’d fail it. I would to. Hell any american would, AND IT’S OR COUNTRY THE QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT. The legal way is hard, nigh impossible, long and expensive. For a man or woman watching her children starve, or her sons threatened to be forced into a guerrilla militia, or die from cold or great, there is only one choice. Flee to the one country that has arms open. We were built on immigrants, immigrants just like todays. The only reason people see then differently is no one wants to think their family was the same, and movies have painted the early immigrants in a very romanticized light.

    13 hours ago via mobileUnlike 3
  • Brenda Harrison Applause Daniel!!!

    12 hours agoLike 1
  • Gypsy Anna

    Daniel you made very valid points, that I too was thinking of as I read her letter. She over-glamorized the immigrations of the past and completely left out how the “different” ones were treated when they got here, or even how some were forced to come here and were treated like mere animals, bought and sold for slavery to support the European immigrants. In fact, the only immigrants that had it well, were the white European immigrants who were lawyers and statesmen, and endowed with money to start up the big plantations, the banks, the factories, etc. The Irish were treated horribly, as were the Chinese, as were the Native Americans and Mexicans. Sadly, nothing has really changed except the process of legally entering the country, it is much more expensive and can take YEARS before being granted. When you’re desperate to feed your family you don’t have years to wait. You need work now, and in America, there are plenty of jobs available that others have no desire to undertake. Even now, with the economy as bad as it is, not many will take on those jobs, so they are still available for those who are willing to work hard to feed their families. If we want change, then we need to make it easier, not harder, for immigrants to legalize their status, so they can be part of this country–vote, community involvement and volunteerism, learning English, and living without fear of being caught and deported would allow them to truly contribute the gifts and talents to their communities, they could become fully involved… and maybe that’s what the real issue is, where the fear of allowing immigration to be made easier. Kind of like parents of the Mormon religion telling their children not to associate with the child down the street because that family ISN’T Mormon. We fear change. We fear the new and different.

    12 hours agoLike 2
  • Brenda Harrison Wow…Is that Mormon comment common??? Or is that in the past???

    12 hours agoLike
  • Brenda Harrison have some really smart friends!!!

    12 hours agoLike
  • Gypsy Anna Still going on, actually. My youngest daughter, (she is 21 now) faced that kind of treatment everyday at school. Girls who were Mormons would be “encouraged” by their parents not to associate with her because she wasn’t a “member”. But, this seems to only happen in Utah, because we didn’t face that kind of treatment in Washington state.

    12 hours agoLike 1
  • Michelle Best I agree with my mom, It’s really only a Utah thing and I believe that it’s because that’s the majority religion here. In washington Mormon’s are a minority and need to accept all regardless for fear of being cast out the other direction. I am just grateful for the way that I was raised – to accept everyone for WHO they are, not what they believe in or look like. Thank you parents.

    12 hours agoUnlike 2
  • Daniel O’Grady Well….I remember in CA, when I stopped going to church/seminary, one of the girls actually used the whole “hes not one of us anymore” thing, and in WA we totally ostricised people at school…I remember Lee telling me that being friends with Ross was bad for me because he was “christian” not Mormon…>_>…but he’s a whole nother bag of weird potato chips….if you know what I mean

    10 hours agoUnlike 2
  • Brenda Harrison I thought Mormons were christian?

  • Gypsy Anna they are, and when they are truly living their religion, there is no “holier than thou attitude;” merely one of gratitude, charity, worship, and devotion; just as Jesus taught us by example and word. But, just as with any group, be it religion, race, community or whatever, there will always be those who are afraid of the “outsiders”… they want things to stay the same and not risk change. Change, to them, is not a means of personal growth, but something to be feared and kept away for as long as possible. Outsiders represent new ideas, new cultures and customs, new music, new ways of worship… To those who are afraid of change, it is like shaking their whole world up, and that’s something no one likes! We all like to feel comfortable, safe, secure and have our lives somewhat predictable most of the time and when you are among people you know and share so much with, you get that feeling of security, of belonging. Allowing “outsiders” to penetrate their ranks is not something that can be allowed for those to whom change is so terrifying.

Put the "people" back in the government of the people by the people!

Debate going on in History class

by Gypsy Anna on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 12:03am 路

We have an interesting debate going on in our history class right now about the OWS movement occurring right now and whether it is history repeating itself. I’m going to post some of the comments and my replies. Maybe someone reading this has the same questions or viewpoints that are being expressed in our class right now.

Subject: Do you know what you are talking about? Topic: Popular political movements Author: Susan Lewis Date: November 19, 2011 11:28 AM

I find this particular movement less interesting than most. I guess because I am an older student and have witnessed several different movements over my years, I am always curious to find that many of the movements lack direction. Almost all of the participants that have been interviewed so far, have had little understanding or are able to articulate what the purpose of the movement is. It’s almost like the game “follow the leader”, I find it captivating that most of those participating seem to feel like they should be a more entitled generation somehow. While I understand the overall theme, I think there is certainly some under-sightedness on the part of the younger generation of the United States. I don’t really see a parallel of the nineteenth century reform movements. While we definitely have some issues in health care, economic issues and foreign policy, it pales in comparison to the inhuman working conditions in the nineteenth century. Also, take at a look at the movements across the globe, fighting for freedom and independence is a little difference than trying to take down wall street. Please, go get a job, stop camping out and smoking pot and stop whining. Just an example, I had a career for 20 years, I took early retirement, then my spouse became ill. I am back in college a second time and starting over in a career, I am not out camping saying whoa is me, I have picked myself up by the bootstraps and started over. I doubt wallstreet could have controlled my family’s fate. Oh, also, did I tell you that I provide for two disabled children. I doubt that most of the campers, have any idea what hard is, especially if they have time to sit day after day camping out in the park…..Who’s paying for that…………sorry no sympathy for the want to be “hippy” movement.

My Reply:
Let me know if you are actually able to land a job after you’ve completed schooling. My bet would be, that if change isn’t made soon in this country to get the economy stabilized and growing (fairly) again, you will end up jobless and maybe even homeless just like many of the people who used to have jobs and now cannot find one. Some of them also, have gone back to school for the same reasons you indicate you are in school.

Stereotyping a group of people is already one strike against a prospective employee in landing a job in today’s marketplace. It is not at all professional and it certainly isn’t the truth, ever! It just exposes a form of closed-minded bigotry, that is not wanted in today’s global workforce.

Did you know that there are disabled people living on the streets because the government automatically denies applications on the first go-around unless done by an attorney (unless it involves children–children are well provided for in all government programs–adults without children are not valued) and it takes years to follow through on the appeal process; therefore, unable to work, no income, they lose their homes, move to the streets and try to survive the best they can, but at that point hope tends to disappear, and without hope there is no motivation to keep trying. They get lost in the system and become invisible to society. If they’re down there occupying and helping the protest movement, then good for them.

But, the disabled, homeless adult is only one type of person fighting for our country, for the rest of us. Unless you are one of the wealthy 1% in this country, then you are part of the 99%. You are part of the population the movement is trying to protect and help.

So for anyone to sum up the lives of the individuals occupying public places, exercising their constitutional right, as “all hippies” with nothing better to do with their time then to sit around and “smoke pot” is nothing more than a stereotype. Remember, not everyone is the same, nor are their circumstances. Stereotyping is ignorance in action, and will only hold you back from the truth.

Subject: OWS Topic: Popular political movements Author: Michael Smith Date: November 25, 2011 1:14 PM

It sure is interesting to think about history repeating itself and even see it happening before us. Sometimes you wonder why we can’t just realize it and make corrective action. However, in the heat of the moment and influence of people all around us and pride within us, sometimes that mental “stepping back” to look at things from the big picture is not as easy as it may seem from an onlookers point of view.
In late history there was much talk of laissez-faire and that balance between financial institution interference versus aid. Currently crowds and strikes, boycotts and contention illustrate the effects of such an imbalance. Yes, history will repeat itself.

My Reply:
I fully support the initiatives of the OWS movement and yes, as I’m reading our textbook, I see so much familiarity and similarity that history is definitely repeating itself. And the group in power are using any means to protect their position and wealth, including violence, and that also is history repeating itself. I am disappointed in students who speak about the movement, who obviously have not researched the topic with an open mind and looked at both sides. It seems as though they are simply spouting off on things they’ve heard from others who also do not know the facts and history of the movement. This movement in fact is a revolution on the verge of happening. History is writing itself today, and so many people don’t even realize it. They listen only to the false rhetoric being promoted in the media, rather than actually researching it themselves. It is also a repeat of the 60s riots and protests, in that violence by the police is being used against nonviolent protesters whose actions are constitutionally protected. We do have the right to assemble peaceably to protest and seek redress of wrongs committed by the government. This constitutional right usurps any and all state or local laws that may prevent protests, violate curfew, or allow congregation in public places. Like I said, this is history in the making and it’s not just our country, but this is happening world-wide. I encourage everyone to thoroughly research the movement and then decide if they are one of the 99% seeking change in the balance of power in our government and seeking accountability of the financial sector for the economic failure, and seeking to remove the moneyed powers that influence government legislation–to put the people back in the government of the people by the people.

Subject: Re:OWS Topic: Popular political movements Author: Robin Wills Date: November 27, 2011 4:16 PM

What exactly is the purpose of this movement in your opinion? As one who has talked to some involved in this movement I have gotten many answers. There seams to be no consensus on what exactly they want to happen. Close Wall street? Get the 1% that holds most of the money to give it away? There seams no real purpose but to bring attention to the movement with no word on what they are really trying to accomplish.

My Reply:
There are many complaints, with everyone seeming to say something different,you are right. There are also many other groups linking up and combining their own causes with those of the Occupy Movement, precisely because OWS is not targeting simply one problem, but a whole mess of problems that have been created by our government in its current state. But, in my reading of the information about the movement coming directly from the NYC General Assembly and the Occupy Wall Street Organization, (I’ve added links here that will get you started in your research of the movement, if you are interested.) I feel the greatest consensus (in our own country) involves giving the government of the people BACK to the people (the 99%) to control. We need to eliminate control of legislation and law-making that is currently being done by the top 1% (or the wealthy citizens, corporations, and banks) who not only have all the money, but, because of that, they also have all the power in this country. Most of the 1%, are only interested in maintaining and growing their own wealth, and not worried or concerned about the state of our current economy and this 1% are the ones controlling our legislatures through their lobbying and campaign contributions, as well as through outright corruption, bribery and influence. Get the 1% OUT of the governmental process and give our country back to its people– the 99%. We the people need to be the ones to make the decisions on laws and legislation. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (I don’t remember who said that, but it is very true.) Our government in its current state is CORRUPT and only by radical means such as the large group protests and occupations will the public and those currently in control be forced to take notice… the public needs to wake up and start looking around itself and noticing, “yeah, things could be better– we DO need to take back control of our government and we need to protect our own constitutional rights before they disappear completely.”
That’s my take on it, anyway.
Occupy Wall Street:
New York City General Assembly:


Take the time to research and find out for yourself what your opinion is–AFTER you know all the facts. Never assume that by listening to local and national media that you are getting the FULL story–both sides.

Earthing: A simple (and free) way to reduce pain and inflammation

Earthing: A simple (and free) way to reduce pain and inflammation

The four noble truths as laid out by the Buddha.

The four noble truths as laid out by the Buddha.
by Inspirations by Sudhir Krishnan on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 8:23pm

1. Life means suffering.
To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a “self” which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call “self” is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state ofNirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
There is a path to the end of suffering – a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely “wandering on the wheel of becoming”, because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.

At a high level, the eight fold path is as follows. Taken together, it aims to develop wisdom, ethical conduct and mental development.

1 Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

Paper Flowers, balls and book folding by Rhymes with Magic

Rhymes With Magic: 

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