How does this thing called work, work?

How does this thing called work, work?
is it separate from your life,
such that you leave yourself, and go to it,
or,
like a name it is always with you?
and,
do you leave it and go back to yourself?
what is the work that is not,
overrated,
not underappreciated,
as a stand-in,
working its way through life?
what is the meaning of work?
can you really ever leave it?
will it ever leave you,
alone,
to gather its lessons?
is it ever done,
or,
undone,
overdone,
or,
linger too long for its own good?
can it be completed,
in,
a complete lifetime,
is it a work in progress?
do we progress at work?
do we work out its meaning?
does it mean what we work it out to be?
will it out-last us?
at last be us?
is it inside of our purpose?
the purpose out-side of our purpose?
in the way of a life?
a necessary way to live life?
given the same pay to not go,
would you go to work?
no,
then what would you do?
are we in the work,
or,
is the real work in,
beside,
is,
us.

 

“Study of Studies September 2013” ….“Is There Really Such a Thing as a ‘Workaholic’?”………  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/the-work-addiction/309437/

 There’s still no medical definition, but psychologists try their best to separate dedicated employees from true addicts.

 The Studies:

[1] Spence and Robbins, “Workaholism: Definition, Measurement, and Preliminary Results” (Journal of Personality Assessment, Feb. 1992)

[2] Griffiths and Karanika-Murray, “Contextualising Over-Engagement in Work” (Journal of Behavioral Addiction, 2012)

[3] Sussman, “Workaholism: A Review” (Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 2012)

[4] Robinson et al., “The Relationship Between Workaholism and Marital Disaffection” (The Family Journal, July 2006)

[5] Carroll and Robinson, “Depression and Parentification Among Adults as Related to Parental Workaholism and Alcoholism” (The Family Journal, Oct. 2000)

[6] Sussman et al., “Prevalence of the Addictions” (Evaluation & The Health Professions, 2011)

[7] Doerfler and Kammer, “Workaholism, Sex, and Sex Role Stereotyping Among Female Professionals” (Sex Roles, 1986)

[8] Kemeny, “Driven to Excel: A Portrait of Canada’s Workaholics” (Canadian Social Trends, Spring 2002)

[9] Hamermesh and Slemrod, “The Economics of Workaholism” (The B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2008)

[10] Araki and Iwasaki, “Death Due to Overwork (Karoshi)” (Journal of the Japan Medical Association, Feb. 2005)

 

 

 

India: The super-powers arms hustle kills economic development, but it also kills people.

“NEW DELHI — Approximately 18 sailors were feared trapped inside an Indian submarine berthed off Mumbai after an explosion and fire early Wednesday, the country’s navy reported, as divers worked in the waters around the damaged ship trying to craft a rescue. The explosion erupted shortly after midnight local time, leaving the diesel- and electricity-powered submarine mostly submerged at the dock, the navy said in a statement. Grainy social media images showed a huge white-and-yellow fireball illuminating the sky like a premature dawn, followed by a fire that blazed for several hours. The base where the accident took place is a secure area off-limits to reporters. Defense Minister A.K. Antony told reporters in New Delhi that many sailors died in the incident, without providing details. “It is the greatest tragedy of recent times,” he added while en route to Mumbai to oversee the rescue and recovery operation…” –L.A. Times

Not sure why India would need a submarine… After all, their #1 enemy (so they believe) Pakistan, is literally right next door. I say that both India and Pakistan’s # 1 enemy is large impoverished sections of their populations. They also have the huge cost (financial and technical), of maintaining nuclear arsenals; (That’s like Canada and the US believing that they could hurl Nuclear weapons at each other, and the destruction would be restricted to their respective borders!) Both countries could make huge progress by simply cutting their military budgets in half and diverting those funds into energy production, housing, health care and education. And now we have this sad incident; what a tragic waste of human life, financial resources and technical knowledge that could be directed toward the development of the country. The “arms race” between India and Pakistan hinders both countries from creating a more productive economic sector that could lift millions of their suffering citizens out of devastating poverty. It also misdirects Pakistan’s military efforts and attention away from religious (Taliban) extremist both internally, and on their border (Afghanistan). And shame on Russia for engaging in the “super-power” arms hustle (selling antiquated military equipment to “developing countries,” that is always 10 years behind the capabilities of the superpowers.) Truth be told, an old obsolete diesel-powered  submarine doesn’t have the stealth capability to sneak up on a row boat; let alone a modern “stealthy” nuclear sub.

Confusing yourself with the door will get you sent through the door.

“Hugh Douglas Fired From ESPN After Allegedly Calling Cohost ‘Uncle Tom’……During an after-party at the House of Blues in Orlando, Douglas drunkenly threatened to beat up Smith three times, a source who was present told The Big Lead. He also allegedly called Smith a “House N—–,” the source claimed….”….Huffington Post Sports

 

 

              I remember my time as an undergraduate at CCNY reading a book that was back then required reading: The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee. And of course I picked up my copy on one of my weekly visits to the Liberation Book Store on Lenox Ave. in Harlem. At some point I will talk in length about my weekly “recharging” sessions in that small but sacred space created by Sister Una Mulzac. But back to this idea of “spookism” and the “art of door sitting.” Whenever I hear about one of these situations I always think about the unfair (and yes, life is not fair) charge I received; along with many of my African-American adolescent contemporaries, to be: “twice as good”, “study twice as hard”, “work twice as hard” and to be: “twice as careful”. All of this to have the “chance” of being successful in America. It did not occur to me then (but does now), of how much of  a tremendous burden to place on a young person; but the strategic purpose of that advice can’t be diminished; for it was offered in response to a national social/psychological culture that did (and still does) presumes and expects the least from, and out of me. If our Black parents and elders of the 50’s-60’s were guilty of anything, it was trying to at least get us to adulthood alive and educated. They held no illusions about the American dream. I guess the most freighting thing I find in too many young parents of students today, is their absence of suspicion concerning the intentions of educational systems; I often wonder if they are even aware that the successful education of their child is either last, or not even on the list of priorities held by the majority of public education’s stakeholders; that is conservatives, liberals or the so-called “new reformers. We need parents with an attitude of “healthy cynicism”, so they can arm their children with a thoughtful and politically aware consciousness about the reality of: Living and succeeding in America.

       I wonder if Hugh Douglas received his parental “inoculation” against the price of acting badly. Too many of these folks who sit by, or near the door, get confused. They think that because they can act, sing, dance, throw, jump, catch, run, etc.; they are therefore subject to a different (dare I say house servant) set of rules. People acting like “stars”, when in reality they are employees. Too many (and there are exceptions) are in many ways “leasing” their celebrity status in exchange for good behavior, and the self- neutering of any progressive political expressions. And at times I think they actually get “things twisted”, and believe they can act without reflection and caution. To be Black in America (that includes seeing the daily overt and subtle disrespect of an American Black president) should produce a constant state of metacognition (thinking about your own thinking); before you act. And it is only this reflective “thought bridge” that can allow both the “celebrity” and “commoner” to live productively in the realty of your being both Black and American. Getting fired is not the problem; in fact according to one of my heroes Dr. Barbara Sizemore; “getting fired”, may be the logical and inevitable outcome of fighting for children. If Hugh Douglas got fired for speaking up on behalf of justice for Trayvon Martin; against the racist profiling act of  “stop and frisk” Black and Latino males; or the national disinterest of even looking for, let alone finding, missing Black children; that would be a just cause (and worth getting fired). But calling your collogue a racially demeaning name, and threating physical violence; that suggest to me that you are unaware of your status of  just sitting by the door, and the reason you were thrown through it.

 

 

Hoover Alabama: Whatever the real story is…it’s not going to be good.

 

 

“…..Hoover, Alabama — Hoover city schools tonight voted to cut school bus service to all but special education students in the 2014-2015 school year, according to a memo obtained by AL.com. In that memo, Superintendent Andy Craig argues the move is needed because of rising costs and shrinking revenue. The move, Craig argued, would save $2.5 million. The service will remain in place for special education students. “This was a tough choice to make. However, we want to remain focused on our number one goal: providing a top-notch classroom experience for all of our students.  Most of our funding streams remain in a state of volatility.  We will realize significant savings by making these changes to transportation and will continue to look for other areas in which to save taxpayer money and simultaneously protect the classroom,” system spokesman Jason Gaston wrote tonight in an email to AL.com…”

 

This is problematic for several reasons:

  • First ethics; as professional educators (do no education harm!) our natural inclination should be to create better qualitative pathways for students to come to school and be educated. We also should provide the opportunity for students to “live and learn” in an environment that best reflects the larger and diverse world for which they will enter, after leaving us. If “poor” students are “lowering” the scores (surprise Hoover: the lowest academic performing students in any educational setting are statistically the group that is financially the poorest). Our job (our ethical responsibility) is to devise strategies; counteract the deleterious effects of poverty, to make all students successful in such a way that their education will allow them to escape from the “cycle of poverty”. Finally, I am amazed (saddened) that any of my collogues would view their role in the “calling of education”, as limiting opportunities for some children; this is the opposite reason for my having gone into the field of education
  • Just put a pin in it: A large percentage (impossible to operate without it) of any school district’s budget is Federal, State and “federal pass through the state” funding.
  • A Superintendent and School board should always be cautious when receiving legal advice that will lead to huge legal fees. Or/and also when the Attorney says: “Don’t do X because it will cost us a lot of pain and pennies”; the Superintendent and School board should listen.(not sure which is the case here)
  • The Alabama State Education Department (ASED) has the legal ability (and responsibility) to force HSD to find other ways(less harmful to children) to balance their budget; or the ASED can appoint a budget manager who would have the total authority to manage the district’s budget; and make the appropriate, less damaging to kids, cuts.
  • Offering busing for Special Education students only. This sort of stands FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education for Students With Disabilities: Requirements Under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act) on its head; in this case the discriminating act (and the group of persons receiving discriminatory treatment)would be  the parents of students who are not designated special needs. Further, this “no busing” decision could also violate the “targeted groups’ attendance” sections of NCLB, as school districts can’t engage in practices that would remove potentially lower performing students from participating in a district’s standardized testing cohort. Oh, do federal judges love this: “let’s try to be slick and go back door” kind of stuff.
  • Not sure how the Civil Rights division of the DOE is going to look at the placing of barriers to children “getting to school”; HSD is actually moving against the stream of history (and best educational practices); which has indicated the need for expanded and improved access to education; and better school attendance..
  • If the African- American community of Hoover (and the Alabama State NAACP chapter) have an ounce of back bone, HSD  could easily  spend at least half of that $2.5 million on legal fees (with no promise of winning, and the possibility of being forced to pay “punitive damages”)
  • In the total HSD operational budget (FY 2013- $146,461,093.67); $ 2.5 million is (professionally speaking) a “small” amount (a portion of it can be made up with accruals; that is money that is budgeted at the start of the school year but is not spent in total, or not at all; this is a standard in every school district; i.e. a position budgeted for the start of the year but does not get filled until 1-2 months into the school year; the difference goes into the accruals budget, and it is not required to be publicized.) My review of HSD’s 2013 budget shows that the “budget deficit” is easily corrected without this extreme anti-educational measure (and I suspect anyone who has spent a day in education at ASED will see the same thing!); I will spare you a walk in the esoteric weeds of school district budgeting; but trust me, HSD is far from “in financial crisis”. (An Oct. 1 Fund balance of $109,885,045.66). Finally, the loss of students may actually do a great deal of budgetary harm as “poor” (title 1) students actually generate a large amount of non-local (tax) funding.  HSD should figure out a way to “moonwalk” away from this crazy idea.

 

 

 

 

 

Black “Support” for Spitzer and Weiner-Post Racial and Post Rational: The Practice and Pain of rewarding bad behavior.

             Something can be said for the appreciation and understanding of being: “set-up”, “railroaded”, “unfairly castigated” and legally disenfranchised by a twisted legal system; and poorly portrayed by a racially tilted news media. And so some suspicion is perhaps politically required, and probably on some level healthy. For example, much of the right-wing attacks on President Obama are motivated less by his party affiliation, and more about his racial identification- in many cases they just don’t like the idea that “he”, (and not the Democratic “he”, is the President.) It also makes sense when communities are overburdened with large numbers of their citizens under the “supervision” of the criminal justice system; there seems to be a need for a more compassionate and  greater understanding of the need to give folks a “second chance” in life. But are all “guilty” folks innocent victims? How many chances should you get? And do some acts disqualify a person from a public elected leadership role?

        Are Messrs. Weiner and Spitzer victims of unfair treatment? And much of this “mood of forgetting bad acts” is also attributed to the “forgiveness” and “redemption” factor in Christian theological thinking; “we all have fallen short….”; “but for the grace of God….”; “and he who is without sin…”. But what of our White Christian brothers and sisters; they all could not have been absent from the Sunday school class when “forgiveness and redemption” was taught? And is the interpretation of: “taking away the sins of the world” mean: Ok, go for it and mis-behave without consequences and/or being held responsible for your acts by your fellow human beings? But then again are “fallen” White elected official simply following the play-book of corrupt and ineffective Black elected officials? I suspect that this “acceptance” is more likely linked to the idea of accepting less, for less to do less. An important axiom in play here is best exhibited in public education; where a life determining, inadequate educational experience is collectively  tolerated. In education we elect to daily engage, and subject children of color to a de facto separate and unequal qualitative learning experience. It seems that, essentially and eventually a people only ask for that which they believe they  are “truly” entitled and deserve. It follows then (if, then..)You (people or a person) will never be given more than you “believe” you deserve. In this case you do: “get what you ask for”. You hold the scales that determine the weight of your worth; you can set the standard for what you will allow, and accept. One important question is: Why isn’t this loyalty given to fallen White leaders ever returned? But then why should it be returned, if it is never required…The true picture (and model) is revealed in places like Detroit and Washington DC (The “Chocolate City”). A long history of bad (illegal) behavior, Black constituent neglect and disservice, Black population removal ,(individual) self-economic empowerment; all as Black children daily die physically and  intellectually. These same bad political players are able to “turn-Black” (and turn back) on a dime, (and for a dime); show up in a church and ask the most offended and cheated for forgiveness and protection from “attacks from the man”. Perhaps we need a new attitude of less forgiving for receiving less than we are giving.

Words that steal and seal; and words that feel and heal…..

 

The Zimmerman defense’s charge to the jury:

 

i need you to use your racial memory,

were you ever afraid of a Black teenager,

a walking Black teenager,

a talking Black teenager,

a standing Black teenager,

a running Black teenager,

a playing around like a teenager Black teenager,

a speaking like a teenager Black teenager,

a living the life of a teenager Black teenager,

a confused (like most teenagers) Black teenager,

a breathing Black teenager;

good, now hold that thought;

next dismiss and separate them,

from every teenager in your family,

teenage neighbors,

teenagers in your friend’s families;

the youth fellowship teenagers in your church,

teenagers with a positive presence in their present,

with a future rich with full dreams,

think of them as good (anti-Black) teenagers,

as nice, smart and filled with your language,

thinking your thoughts;

(now hold that image, for it is definitely about race)

and,

don’t look at Trayvon’s mother,

be not moved by your  ancient memory of mothering,

seek no mother/sister/women/human-hood with Sabryna Fulton;

ignore any feelings you may remotely remember,

disengage from your nurturing solidarity,

(not to worry George will not shoot your children)

make it not (and yet all about) race;

release George to protect you,

he who killed in particular;

but also  killed in general in honor of  all lurking danger;

send a message of justice nullification;

release him to kill again, and again, and again….

until you live in a world safe from Black teenagers.

 

 

 

Words are judgmental; as we see a judge who, in a race to injustice, tilted the scales in favor of favoring race for the accused ,and against the victim.

 

A stumbling prosecution team who throughout the trial always seem to be at the wrong table….

 

The very words that Zimmerman’s lawyers used to confuse and trick the jury into turning the innocent victim into a perpetrator of his own death; who played on the racial prejudices of the jury; in a sense saying:

 

Place yourself in the hateful heart of George Zimmerman, put the gun in your hand, now imagine (and remember) your fear of a Black teenager, not just Trayvon Martin; any teenager will do.. and so…….

 

 

and so after the misdeed is done,

after justice is laid beside Trayvon,

at the beginning and end of tears,

now “The Talk” is given (again) to young Black men:

(the objective being, to get home, today)

“don’t run”

“don’t walk too slowly”;

“no play-fighting”

“don’t look too long”

“don’t look too quick”

“don’t talk”

“explain yourself”

“be civil, but don’t discuss civil rights”

when stopped announce any movement:

“I am going into my pocket to get my I.D.”

“monitor your volume”

“speak-up”

“manage your righteous indignation”

“don’t discuss: your constitutional rights”

(just get home, today, and I will deal with it)

“suppress your sense of justice”

“don’t discuss: fairness”

“don’t discuss: If I were White…”

“you are not, (in case you haven’t noticed), White”

“you are both invisible and clearly seen”

“don’t look like you are not looking”

“look like you are looking like you know where you are looking to go”

“don’t stand”

“don’t move”

“don’t laugh”

“don’t question”

“don’t answer too boldly”

“don’t look like a teenager”

“be natural, don’t be natural”

“be a Black man and learn to take an insult”

(“now, you got that son?”)

 just get home, today.

 

And then the words from Sybrina Fulton:

 

“Use my broken heart….”

 

And yes, hold on mom; for God can and will do wonders with a broken heart. And although we cannot see the end, the end will see us through the valley of tears and disappointments. Those who labor to do wrong; who inflict harm and pain in the service of insensitivity to the humanity of another’s persons child; who invest everything in the education of their own children, and then deny the same for the children of others; people with the power to circumvent truth and righteousness; those with the social and economic system on their side; those who think they are acting in the absence of God; who are answerable to their own greed and desires; who take advantage of the poor and the politically dispossessed; who kill without mercy, they who celebrate the death of justice; Eternal judgment demands that the end will be different. Their prosperity will lack the power to provide peace. The positive dreams they have denied to the children of others, will elude their children. Their great fullness will be found to be empty. They will seek relief through the worship of the god of their own egos placed on the throne of evil deeds; but this god who they have fashioned out of their own words of denial and disqualification, will sit silent in its powerlessness to rescue them. The loudness of  fame will become their silent prison of shame. Yes, the end is going to be different; everything will be turned up-side-down. In the end all things will be made right. Every unjust tear shed in silent loneliness is being recorded; and it is then that God will gather all of the broken hearts from all over the world, and use them to weave a sacred quilt of everlasting peace.

The liquor made me do it…….

“A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk”-Charlie Chaplin

 

“Eagles’ Riley Cooper apologizes for using racial slur at Kenny Chesney concert, Michael Vick forgives receiver: ‘I am so ashamed and disgusted with myself,’ Cooper wrote on Twitter in a statement that was also released by the Eagles. Cooper, who is white, is expected to be the Eagles’ No. 2 wide receiver this season…”    NY Daily News

 

          There should be some thought given as to the use of the “N” word as a term of “endearment” and “artistic expression” (the “a” at the end, means that it is really, really endearing). Some young people are under the strange illusion (delusion?) that they independently create language meaning outside of an American cultural-racial-power context*. It is only those who are politically disenfranchised; the: out of the realm of the power to truly define word meaning; who utilized derogatory and degrading phrases to define themselves. In my entire professional life I have never heard the people referenced words: “Trailer Park” or “Trash” (separate or together) utilized as a term of endearment and/or respect by my White collogues. We need to collectively remove the “easy access” to this, and other derogatory references, by not giving them false authorship and power. Alas, you are what you say (think), you are. Now, I am in full support of forgiveness, education, spiritual restoration and reconciliation. But I have a strange feeling that this was not the first time (or the 2nd, 3rd, 4th …) he has utilized this word. I think the alcohol elevated it to a “bold and public” level. Well, you could say that: Alcohol is the devils medicine (meant to hurt and not cure the disease of racism); but that medicine needs a willing patient for it to work effectively and so………

 

 

 

*Refer to:

  • Any speech by Malcolm X
  • Mis-Education of the Negro: Carter G. Woodson
  • Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
  • “Where do correct ideas come from?”-Selected works of Mao Tse Tung
  • Lev Vygotsky: Thought and Language
  • Jean Piaget: The Moral Judgment of the Child; Judgment and Reasoning in the Child; The Language and Thought of the Child.