June 2015

The Other (One)

Rest Rooms White ColoredWhat’s wrong with segregation? I ask my students this when we talk about the underlying causes of the Tulsa Race Riots. To their credit, some variation of ‘separate is inherently unequal’ eventually surfaces, whether they know Brown v. Board or not. They understand intuitively that when two groups are persistently kept apart, one will likely get a better deal than the other.

But what if it COULD be equal? We have Men’s bathrooms and Women’s bathrooms – separate, but similar. What if we could guarantee consistent quality, and equal value? Would segregation still be bad?

"Why Teach?" (Response to #OklaEd Blogger Challenge)

Mindy Dennison#OklaEd blogger extraordinaire Mindy Dennison recently issued a challenge to fellow edu-bloggers to address the question, “Why Teach?” She’s already received a dozen quality responses taking a variety of approaches – including my personal favorite so far from the Marauding Mentor. MM details many common reasons for going into teaching and finds them delusional at best – “…but we need you…”

Boomers & Sooners, Part Four ~ Dirty Stinkin' No Good Sons Of...

Land RunIt was announced that these lands would be opened up through a ‘Land Run’ – an approach which certainly reduced paperwork and eliminated the traditional 5-year waiting period before taking title to a section of this last remnant of American frontier, now being referred to more and more often as "Oklahoma." It was a weird system even for the times – times far more interesting than usually credited.

Boomers & Sooners, Part Three ~ Who's Your Daddy? Why, It's David L. Payne!

Serious Teacher

If you’ve ever been a teacher, you may have experienced a moment like this:

One of your darlings is off-task and taking others down with her. After a few verbal redirections, you tell her to move to a seat further from her audience – probably near your desk.

Boomers & Sooners, Part Two ~ An Editorial and a Carpenter

Elias C. BoudinotElias C. Boudinot was the son of Elias “I Don’t Have A Middle Name” Boudinot, who’d helped to establish and edit the first Amerindian newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. The senior Boudinot believed acculturation (assimilation into white culture) was the best hope for the survival and success of his people. He was assassinated in 1839 for his role in Indian Removal, having signed the Treaty of New Echota convinced that a move to Indian Territory was inevitable and the Cherokee should at least secure the best terms possible.

I don’t know what it must be like to have your father assassinated by members of your tribe over violations of sacred beliefs, but I can’t imagine it does much for your love of the people or their traditions and values. I’m just speculating.

Boomers & Sooners, Part One ~ Last Call Land-Lovers

OU Drum MajorIf you’re from Oklahoma, or if you follow college football, or if you’ve ever been to OU, or if you have a pulse, you’ve probably more than once been subjected to the Hyper-Sousa-ish throb of the University of Oklahoma’s “Boomer Sooner.” If you’re truly dyed deep in just the right shade of maroon, you may even know the words:

Liberty, Part Two - On Your Mark, Get Set...

Freedom SunriseLiberty is a tricky concept. On the surface it seems so simple – you are either free, or you are not. You have options and opportunity, or you do not. In practice, however, ‘liberty’ is one of the most disputed topics in history and politics, even today – not because anyone opposes the term, but because we don’t agree as to what it means.