Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week of September 15th - September 19th

There are 11 new posts in this update!

Latin@ Heritage Month

GSP Chai Chatter!

Chai Chatter is an informal weekly event where students can relax, drink delicious tea, hear new stories, and make new friends. 

ELI Conversation Circles

Are you looking for a way to be a part of the university's global outreach? Take advantage of the opportunity to become a Conversation Circles Leader.

Conversation Circles is a program offered through the English Language Institute (ELI), designed to connect non-native and native English speakers in small groups for a weekly hour of cross-cultural conversations.

Leading a group is a great way to

  -- fulfill a community service requirement
  -- broaden your cross-cultural experience
  -- strengthen your resume
  -- explore language learning issues
  -- have some "no-homework" fun chilling out with a small group of international students at your favorite Ann Arbor hangout

To learn more about the program and sign up to be a leader, check out our website at

If you know anyone else who might be interested in being either a group leader or a group member, by all means pass the URL on to them. Undergraduates, graduate students and staff are all eligible.
Registration is open now! (The first wave of sign-ups will begin on September 15, so register your group soon!)

We will be holding an orientation session for first-time leaders on Monday, September 15, from 3:00 - 4:00 pm.

Please do RSVP either way, to Even if you can't attend the orientation because of a schedule conflict, go ahead and register your circle at the link above, and we'll work out an alternative.

If you have any questions, please e-mail
Thank you!

CASC Info Sessions and Social Justice Fair

CASC Info Sessions. Passionate about social justice? Want to learn about community organizing? Come learn about the Community Action and Social Change minor. This is a great opportunity for interested students to learn more about the minor. Info sessions are held every other Friday, 12 pm - 1 pm, in room B798 in the lower level of the School of Social Work. Info sessions for the fall term are on the following dates: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 11/21 and 12/5.

So Cool, So Just: The Social Justice Student Org Fair 
Thursday, September 18th, 11 am - 1 pm 
The Diag 
Come check out the amazing student orgs on campus dedicated to social change. Over 30 orgs representing a diverse array of social justice causes and movements will be there. Find the group that speaks to you and start making change! Questions? Email for more info. 
**Sponsored by the Community Action and Social Change Minor, in partnership with the Central Student Government Social Justice Commission, the Ginsberg Center, and the Center for Engaged Academic Learning** 

What's Happening in the RC?

The LRC: Language, Culture and Community


Did you know that the Language Resource Center offers opportunities to use your second (third or fourth) languages? As the academic year starts out, we would like to get the word out to the U-M community about these opportunities to use your language skills to better our community. Please consider forwarding this announcement to the members of your group, or anyone else who you think would be interested.

The Language Bank offers a volunteer base of translators who provide, at no charge, translations for local, national and even international community groups. We work with a variety of diverse groups: local schools, the food bank, museums, and international arts and environmental agencies. As a Language Bank volunteer, you provide a valuable service to our “clients”, and get to know our community a little better. For more information, or to sign up now to become a volunteer:

The Translate-a-thon is a translation marathon where volunteers come together for one weekend to translate projects for community groups/agencies. This is a fun event with great food, great company and for great causes! If you are an undergraduate student, you are also eligible for our grand prize drawing -an Ipad, a Kindle or a $50 gift card! Our next Translate-a-thon is the weekend of October 23, 24, and 25, 2014 at the LRC. For more information see: (registration opens first week of October).

Public Service Intern Program

What is PSIP?
The UM Career Center’s Public Service Intern Program is designed to help students learn the tools they need to secure and successfully complete an internship in Washington, DC.

What are the benefits of joining PSIP?
Resume, cover letter, and interviewing workshops
Internship search guidance and resources
Housing options in DC
PSIP/University of Michigan alumnae network
Strong community of students passionate about public service

Who can be in PSIP?
We accept undergraduates from all academic backgrounds and years. We are searching for students who are passionate about public service and who have a strong drive to intern in Washington, DC.

Want more information?
Attend our mass meeting:
Thursday, September 11th at 6:00pm in the Betty Ford Classroom, 1110 Weill Hall (School of Public Policy) or Monday, September 15th at 6:00pm in the Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall

Visit the PSIP page on the Career Center website:
Like us on Facebook at Public Service Intern Program!

How to apply:
The application process contains two parts. First, an application is collected via Second, applicants selected to interview will engage in their interviews in The Career Center with PSIP alums. In both aspects of the application process we are looking for demonstrated interest in public service, a willingness to commit to the program, and a desire to be part of the PSIP community.

Applications are due by Sunday, September 28th at midnight. After the interview process, final decisions will be made by October 17th via e-mail. The first PSIP meeting of the year will be October 20th at 6pm.

E-mail the Student Coordinators, Mackenzie and Katie, at

Get the Most from Your Study Abroad Experience

Did you just return from abroad?
UC 287: Integrative Intercultural Study (1 credit)
Mondays 5:30-7:30
1st Half Term (9/15 - 10/27)
For students returning from study abroad programs and field-based ex­periential projects, this interdisciplin­ary course allows students to reflect on their global experiences and engage in a deeper understanding of culture, identity and consciousness. Students will process lessons learned and ana­lyze their personal development from before, during and after their pro­grams. Developing and articulating skills learned abroad will allow stu­dents to utilize individual transforma­tion for their personal and academic interests.

Going abroad next semester?
UC 285: Intro to Intercultural Study (1 credit)
Mondays 5:30-7:30
2nd Half Term (10/27-12/8)
This course introduces students to intercultural learning and explores the processes of transitioning to a new cultural context. It prepares students to make the most of their respective glob­al field opportunities—and local inter­cultural experiences—through identify­ing and setting goals, developing skills for cross-cultural learning and adapta­tion, and formulating plans to put those skills to good use in their intercultural experiences.

Both courses meet in Mason Hall 2449.
There will be a joint session of the two class­es on 10/27, giving returning students a chance to share some of their learning and answer questions for students preparing to go abroad.
To enroll or for more information contact the instructor:
Timothy Corvidae

Chris Peterson Memorial Lecture - Barbara Fredrickson

Please join us for the 2nd annual lecture in memory of Chris Peterson, Professor of Psychology. "Remembering a ‘Gentle Giant’ Chris Peterson (1950-2012) A Caring Teacher, Great Scholar and Dear Friend. ‘Other People Matter. Period.”


Professor Barbara Fredrickson's most recent research offers an innovative approach to understanding the multiple ways by which positive emotions promote physical health.  Most known for her broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, which identifies positive emotions as key drivers of individual and collective resource building, Dr. Fredrickson builds on this earlier work to develop what she has called the upward spiral theory of lifestyle change.  This new integrative model positions positive emotions as creating nonconscious and increasing motives for wellness behavior, rooted in enduring biological changes. The result is seemingly effortless maintenance of positive health behaviors. In this presentation, Dr. Fredrickson will describe the origins of and evidence for this new perspective on how positive emotions promote physical health. Implications for how best to promote positive lifestyle changes are illuminated. 


Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. has been advancing the science of positive emotions for  25 years.  She is currently Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she directs the PEP Lab ( She received her B.A. in psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University, with a minor in organizational behavior. She is a leading scholar studying positive emotions and human well-being, and her research on positive emotions and lifestyle change is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NCI, NCCAM, NIMH, NINR). Professor Fredrickson has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and her general audience books, Positivity (2009, Crown, and more recently, Love 2.0 (2013, Penguin, have been translated into more than a dozen languages.  Her  scholarly contributions have been recognized with numerous honors, including the inaugural Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Career Trajectory Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the inaugural Christopher Peterson Gold Medal from the International Positive Psychology Association. Her work has influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide, within education, business, healthcare, the military, and beyond. She is President-Elect of the International Positive Psychology Association and is regularly invited to give keynotes nationally and internationally. 

Wallenburg Lecture - Agnes Heller: Holocaust Survivor, Philosopher, Humanitarian, Wallenberg Medalist

2014, Agnes Heller
On September 30, the 2014 Wallenberg Medal is being awarded to Agnes Heller, a distinguished philosopher and Holocaust survivor who seeks to understand the nature of ethics and morality in the modern world, and the social and political systems and institutions within which evil can flourish.
Like Wallenberg, Professor Heller has demonstrated that courage is the highest expression of civic spirit. She has been witness to regimes that have organized murder, crushed dissent and persecuted independent voices. In 1944, as a young woman surviving in Budapest, she knew the name Wallenberg. She spoke out vigorously for autonomy and self-determination after the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Following the defeat of the 1968 Prague Spring, she went into exile and became the Hannah Arendt Visiting Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate Studies Program of The New School in New York. She is a highly influential scholar who publishes internationally-acclaimed work on ethics, aesthetics, modernity, and political theory. In 2010, she was awarded Germany’s Goethe Medal. Since retirement, Agnes Heller has returned to Budapest. She remains fully engaged in public life, speaking out against the neo-nationalist and anti-Semitic strains again current in Hungary.
She will be awarded the medal and will present the Wallenberg Lecture on September 30, 2014 at 7:30 at the Rackham Graduate School. Please save the date to join us.

Upcoming Career Fairs!

The career fairs are coming up! Make sure you are prepared.

**Stop in Maggie's (your Peer Academic Success Specialist in North Quad) advising hours to practice your elevator pitch, have your resume reviewed, or to learn general career fair tips!

Engineering Career Fair
September 22-23rd
North Campus

Law DaySeptember 23, 2014
Michigan Union 2nd floor
Law Day is a great way to connect with a large number of law schools right here on campus! Typically, 100+ schools and over 300+ students participate in the event. Law Day offers something for everyone:

Fall Career Fair Expo
September 30 and October 1 (different organizations each day!)
Michigan Union   ​

International Opportunities FairOctober 23, 2014
Michigan Union 2nd floor
International Opportunities Fair Connect with program representatives and employers to explore internship/work abroad programs, volunteer programs, job and internship opportunities and graduate school options.

Maggie's Advising Hours
Monday 8-10PM
Tuesday 7:30-9:30PM
Wednesday 6-8PM
Located in the office in the front of the CLC (3rd floor)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Girls in Engineering-- Former Grad Students sues UM

Check out this triggering piece on females in engineering and read the experiences of Jennifer Dibbern, a woman suing UM for failing to deal with the sexual harrassment she experienced as a grad student in the Engineering department. Dibbern's experience can certainly highlight what's wrong with the patriarchial tech culture in our University settings. As women are consistently growing up with this idea that girls are "bad at math" and are more emotional and less logical than their male counterparts, a self-fulfilling prophecy ensues where women internalize this oppression. Read below!

Arab American Museum Pictures!

Check out the new exhibit from the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, MI entitled "Creative Dissent: Uprisings of the Arab World." The exhibit showcases the art from the recent Arab revolutions (Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya). There were many truly amazing murals and pieces, definitley a MUST SEE!


#BBUM--Being Black at UM

Wondering what's behind #BBUM? Check out the new student movement on Twitter that's capturing the University's attention.

Teaching Racism/Privilege in the Classroom

Check out this submission from GSP's Flavio Fiszman! It's an interesting experiment on teaching racism and privilege in the classroom entitled "The Angry Eye--Brown Eye-Blue Eye Experiment." It's a poignant and intense portrayal of what it feels like to be oppressed in a classroom setting. MUST SEE!

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zeinab Khalil: The Rise of the Non-Apology

The Daily's Zeinab Khalil writes:

"are you tired of hearing really crappy "apologies" and zero accountability-especially from leaders? here are some suggestions on how we can drop the non-apology and promote a culture where "sorry" isn't looked down at."

Arabic Videos I'm Into!

STUDY BREAK: Below are the Arabic songs I'm currently into, check them out posted with their respective English lyrics!

Nancy Ajram--Mashy Haddy
English lyrics:

Mohammad Assaf--Ya Hal Arab

Myraim Fares--Kifak Enta

Happy listening,

Nora :)

Welcome to the Alumni Network!

Salut Global Scholars!

It’s Munmun here, the fifth year undergrad who still lives on the fourth floor, and who also happens to be the Alumni Coordinator for the Global Scholars Program! 

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Alumni Network of the Global Scholars Program.  Whether you are a visiting student for the semester or your fourth year in the program, you know that once you’re in GSP, GSP never leaves you. The Alumni  Network is comprised of folks who were part of the Global Scholars Family during their undergraduate years. We have Scholars all across the country and the world, with a mix of young professionals, graduate students, travelers, and people ___. Our community elders are real life globally minded social justice advocates. 
The benefit of these elders being in different places and spaces means that they have tons of experiences and advice which they can offer to our current Global Scholars. Some things they can answer:
  • Was GSP worth it?
  • How did you find global internships?
  • How was your transition upon returning to your home university?
  • Did GSP impact your goals/vision in any way? 
  • Have you used GSP during a job interview?
As the Alumni Coordinator, I am a resource who can facilitate a connection to Elders. GSP alums are eager to connect with you! You can fill them in on what’s going on in GSP and also help them relive their glory days!

As someone who has been at the university for five years, had a few internships, and currently in the process to applying to graduate school (public health) - I, too, have some insights to share and an ear to listen. In GSP, I have been a first year student, a peer facilitator, and an advisory council member prior to my current position as Alumni Coordinator. So I also have experienced GSP in different angles.
I am in the GSP Office Wednesdays (1-4) and Fridays (1-5). Please stop by or shoot me an email (  I would love to get to know you better, introduce you to some fabulous Elders, and also talk about ways you can get involved in the Network!

All the best.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

White Privilege, Halloween, and Hood Ratchet Thursday

The outrage of those in the U-M community following the controversial party proposed by Fraternity Theta Xi "World Star Hip Hop Presents: Hood Ratchet Thursday" could not be masked. LSA Senior Erin Fischer had this to say:

"I can’t take the joke because of the obscene number of times I’ve been asked to “twerk” and “dance” for these white men, because my Black identity obviously tells them I possess the inherent talent and desire to do so. I can’t take the joke because I don't have the luxury to remove the labels of “hood,” “ratchet” or “bad bitch” after the party ends."

Following Fischer's viewpoint, LSA Junior Allen Wu published his response to Fischer in the Daily piece entitled "Viewpoint: Response to 'Hood Ratchet Thursday'"

"Of course, I’m aware of hip-hop’s roots in African-American culture, and I understand why so many are upset at my usage of the words “ratchet,” “twerking,” etc. But let me be clear: in no way was it my intention to appropriate Black culture. I was attempting to emulate the distasteful party culture of hip hop, not as a synonym for Black culture, but rather as the musical genre that is consumed by all races."

The University of Michigan also jumped in with this to say, prompting many to agree that it was more "reactionary than proactive":

Dear U-M students,

We were deeply disappointed to learn that members of a university fraternity had planned an offensive themed party for November. The language of the invitation and theme of the party denigrated all women and African American/black identified people through racial stereotypes and cultural appropriation.

This behavior is offensive, disrespectful and unacceptable at the University of Michigan. It is unhealthy and harms everyone in the community. It is in direct contradiction to the values, policies and expectations of the University and will not be tolerated.

Immediately upon being informed, the Dean of Students, the coordinator of the Bias Response Team, together with the leadership of Greek Life and the Interfraternity Council (fraternity governance body) met with the fraternity chapter president to discuss the issue and begin taking appropriate corrective steps. The event has been cancelled.

We also are working collaboratively with the national fraternity headquarters, which has imposed restrictions on the fraternity until a full investigation occurs. An apology on behalf of the fraternity is forthcoming. Educational interventions with the fraternity will occur as well.

Disturbingly, negative stereotypes and misogynistic behavior are woven into popular culture today. We believe this reinforces the ongoing need to continually pay attention to diversity and engage in thoughtful, challenging conversations about social identities.

It is our expectation that significant learning for the campus community will emerge from these offensive actions. We are in the process of planning educational forums. With this and other measures we expect to repair the harm that has occurred in this situation and prevent its reappearance in the future. There is more work to do.

Please contact us with thoughts or ideas about this work or other educational efforts.


Royster Harper
Vice President, Student Life

Laura Blake Jones
Dean of Students

Mary Beth Seiler
Director of Greek Life

Following this ordeal, it is clear to me that many students/people of privilege have no idea what people of color experience on a daily basis. They consistently appropriate their culture, playing up negative stereotypes and thinking its okay to dress up as "ratchet" "gangster" "the A-rab terrorist" "a Mexican" "Indian", etc. With Halloween upon us I cannot stress how vital it is that you make this campus a safe environment for your fellow students of color. Do NOT culturally appropriate, do NOT tell people of color to "calm down" or "learn to take a joke" when they're offended, and, for Heaven's sake, do NOT do Blackface. Under any circumstances. DON'T. This is all summed up so eloquently in Zeinab Khalil's Daily point of view "This Halloween Don't Be a Fool":

If you're still not sure what "white privilege" means, take a look at this wonderfully broken down Buzzfeed article and learn how those around you are affected by things you take for granted or hardly even notice, that, my friends, is white privilege.

Favorite Statuses of the Week!

Below is a collection of the best statuses I saw this week (funnny and serious). Names have been omitted!

"When people of color are sharing the injustices they live and the oppressions that is their reality, it is NOT a competition of who had it worse. The discomfort that a white person may feel should not be projected by dismissing or minimizing the experiences as "just a rant." This is why people of color have (to create) people of color spaces. In every other space where this voice is uttered, it is either minimized, exoticized, dismissed or met with-wait for it- 'I wish I had a story like yours'."

"can every rotc student at this university please get the hell out of my arab studies classes? it isn't enough for you to aid in/support the colonization, occupation and terrorization our lands, now you wish to learn our culture and our language for your own imperialistic benefits?"

"You can't swing a Fendi purse without knocking over a few haters."

"My host family "talks" to the newborn in Darija and French...and the daughter usually sings Lebanese religious pop songs to the baby, and the mother is currently singing Umm Kulthum with the baby. No wonder Moroccans are so linguistically flexible…"

"things you can do with $24000
1) pay tuition
2) buy guinea pig armor"

"My heart hurts for mankind. And to be honest, I don't know if climbing mountains, sending radio broadcasts in space, or falling faster than the speed of sound makes all of it worth it."

"look for someone who complements you, not someone to complete you. you are complete. know that you are whole first. you do not need someone to give you the world. you are a world all on your own. seek the partner who deepens your sense of self and cares deeply about your four bodies, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. choose someone who understands they are a part of you, yet apart from you, someone whose love is freeing."

"U of M is so draining. Especially as a black student. #keepyaheadup"

“We waste so many days waiting for weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.”
Joshua Glenn Clark

"Some chick took a guy's drink, complained that it wasn't her order, and said I wasn't fast enough. As I plastered on a fake smile and apology, kudos to the guy for telling her, "Hi, I'm Eric. That's my name on the cup you took and you should go leave a tip because your disrespect was not worth $4." Eric, you are crowned Starbucks royalty.#thingsIwishIcouldtellcustomers"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Interesting take on the Palestinian Israeli Conflict entitled "The Bra is a Security Threat"

A 21 year old woman from Berkely, CA describes her experience at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Her father is a Jordanian Palestinian and her mother, a British Jew.

She writes:

"If we can start anywhere in deconstructing this Occupation, literally taking it apart, we can start by educating ourselves and our communities. I implore those who read this to learn about the history of Palestine, to learn about recent events on the ground, to talk to as many people as they can, to be curious and ask questions, to look at displays of military power and question the motives of those governments who support them.
Throughout all of this, please remember, that this is not a historical issue, it is a human one.
Peace, Justice and Dignity."

Op Ed by The Daily's Harsha Nahata! "The Me, Myself, and I Generation"

Check it out! Thought provoking piece about the slew of critiques aimed at the milennial generation.

"...We are ‘coming of age’ in an increasingly difficult reality. We’re the first generation to be living in a world of approximately seven billion people. That’s bound to cause some problems. We’re growing up in a world of decreasing economic opportunity, increasing income inequality, looming climate change and numerous bloody conflicts. It’s not exactly the most optimistic picture. Not to mention the fact that older generations continue to put off solving some of today’s most pressing problems, leaving them for us to deal with down the road.
And, the fact that we didn’t grow up exactly as our parents did is, in fact, what will prove to be our greatest asset."

Moving Spoken word by Javon Johnson "cuz he's black"

Check out this moving slam poetry performance by spoken word artist Javon Johnson entitled "cuz he's black."

"Jai Ho" Cover by Alaa Wardi & Peter Hollens

Check out this amazing acapella cover of Slumdog Millionaire's "Jai Ho" by Arabic singer Alaa Wardi and American singer Peter Hollens!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zeinab Khalil: Are we post-emotional?

Excellent social justice piece from the Daily written by the glorious Zeinab Khalil. She states: "wrote this piece to try to break down the idea that some knowledge is strictly logical/good/truth while some is emotional/bad/dubious. and how this logical vs. emotional myth plays out not just in academia but in gender and race relations."

"Binaries are problematic for a lot of reasons. Not only do they leave no room for the grey in-betweenness that most things actually fall into, but they also hierarchize categories. In the case of emotion versus logic, the latter always trumps the former, especially when it comes to knowledge and scholarship. The problem with ranking binaries is that we’re not only ranking concepts, but identities and experiences informed by these concepts. In this case, the logic-emotion binary elevates Eurocentric cultures that emphasize less expressive ideals, while debasing non-western/non-white cultures that may be differently or more emotionally expressive."

--Zeinab Khalil, columnist for the Michigan Daily

A Medical Dimension to the Syrian Conflict

In Syria, doctors risk their lives and juggle questions of ethics.

Since the Syrian regime's brutal chemical weapons attack on its own people, doctors have been thrust into a situation where they have bore witness to an atrocity...where does that leave them? How can humanitarian medical efforts (such as Doctors Without Borders) continue to administer treatment to those suffering and maintain a facade of political neutrality while at the same time let the world know what unspeakable acts are unfolding on the ground?

Basically, how do humanitarian organizations walk the fine line between neutrality and responsibility?

Music Submission Courtesy of GSP's Molly Mardit!

Goofy music video! :P 

If you ever feel like your dance skills are inadequate, learn from Can's fine example. ;)

Vegan Recipe Courtesy Molly Mardit!

Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash, and Carmelized Onion Pizza!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

If Male Violence Is the Biggest Threat to Women--How do I raise a Kind Son?

"Last month, four men in India were sentenced to death for a rape and murder of such brutality it can scarcely be believed. The week prior, four Vanderbilt University football players were charged with raping an unconscious woman (much like last year's events in Steubenville, Ohio). And during the previous spring, just before Rhodes was born, Ariel Castro was arrested in Cleveland for imprisoning three women—kidnapped as young girls—in his house for ten years.

Now that I am a father, this question constantly sits before me: How do I raise a son of compassion and dignity? A man who respects women?

Boys are the particular threat to young women. If we had a boy, we would have to raise a man. And what kind of man would he be?"

Slam Poetry from GSPAC's Sally Askar :)

Are you into Slam Poetry? If so, the GSPAC blog is the place for you! Check out these profound performances of Sam Cook's "God in Code" and Lily Myers' "Shrinking Women" courtesy of the AC's Sally Askar <3 p="">
Sam Cook--"God in Code"

Lily Myers --"Shrinking Women"

Friday, October 18, 2013

GSP's Nikhil Nandigam abroad in Morocco!

I was doubtful at first...but I just had the best biryani since leaving the US...a little piece of home here in Marrakech! 

Malala Yousafzai on the Daily Show!

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school girl and activist advocating for the right for women to get an education under Taliban rule in Pakistan's Swat district (northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province). Watch her uplifting and inspirational interview with the Daily Show's John Stewart if you haven't already seen it! She is my favorite. Here is her extended interview on the Daily Show:

Women of Color In Solidarity Tumblr

Check out this Tumblr dedicated to Women of Color!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gloria Steinem Ends the Miley Cyrus Debate Forever...but does she really?

Popular feminist Gloria Steinem has weighed in on the still controversial Miley Cyrus VMA performance...and before you roll your eyes in annoyance at yet another Miley Cyrus analysis, just hear this one out! Steinem raises important points as she somewhat defends Cyrus, stating:

"I think we need to change the culture, not blame people for playing the only game that exists"

While I agree with Steinem from a feminist POV, I think the title is misleading when it claims that she has "ended the Miley Cyrus debate forever." Steinem fails to address many intersecting points between race and gender that the Cyrus scandal has revealed. Was it okay that Miley appropriated black culture to display what she deems as "cool" to the young people who idolize her? Steinem's analysis compels me to ask why race isn't considered as being the major oppressive force within everyday Americans lives as opposed to gender, shouldn't we be talking about race above all else? Thoughts?

#SocialJustice Instagram Posts

Global Scholars Twitter Feed

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finish Your Food...Or We'll Charge You

At a restaurant in Sapporo, Japan named Hachikyo, the owner has announced that they will fine patrons if they don't finish every last morsel--including every grain of rice--on their plate. This seems a bit absurd considering the fact that the worst punishment that some of us got was a time out or no dessert. So why does this restaurant charge a fine?

The menu explains that the harsh and dangerous working conditions are unknown to the rest of the world. So to show gratitude for the food they provide the restaurant, Hachikyo's owner makes it mandatory to finish every morsel of food or else pay a donation. The owner even likes to send his waitstaff to work on a fishing boat so they can understand the harsh realities of a fisherman's life.

Imagine having to finish a bowl of rice topped sky-high with salmon roe. (Pictured below, salmon roe happens to be one of the most popular dishes at Hachikyo's.) What an interesting concept. Anyone know of any other unique practices like this at restaurants around the world?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Year of the Snake

Happy Chinese New Year to all!

The Global Scholars had a very fun-filled celebration on Sunday with calligraphy, food, and traditional Chinese practices. It was a time for those away from home to celebrate their culture with their new friends and teach others about their culture.

Each year is marked with a specific animal and this year is the year of the Snake. Additionally, the cosmic element is Water and the color is black. So it is the year of the Black Water Snake. What does this all mean?

There are twelve Animal Signs in the Chinese Zodiac and the Snake is the sixth in the order. The sign is characterized as enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, and refined. The 2013 year of the Snake calls for steady progress and attention detail. In order to accomplish something, one must stay focused and disciplined. 

The animals signs are thought to be zodiacal because they describe the people who are born in their respective years. Those born in the year of the Snake are seen to be thoughtful and wise, and approach problems rationally and logically. They are clever and do not spoke as much. Snake's can be active in their friends' life but sometimes too active which causes them to only rely on themselves. They can also be very insightful and intuitive--almost as if they have a sixth sense.

This is only one part of the Chinese New Year celebration. It is one of the most important festivals in Chinese cultures and consists of many complex practices. The celebration is so rich in history and tradition that it is one of the best ways for us to engage in the Chinese culture. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

What Do You See When You Look at the Elderly?

Grandparents. Most us have seen ours, some of us have interacted with them, and others may even live with them. After a while they just become a nuisance to us. They complain. They sit in one spot all day. You can't go anywhere without making sure someone's home to look after them. They want to engage in long conversations about "back in the day." In simple terms, they annoy us.

But we forget they're people. We forget that at one point in their lives our grandparents were just like us. They were young and vibrant and had the energy to maintain their lives. Our grandparents went to school, had an exciting youth, fell in love, and had children of their own, who then had you. They created memories by going on vacations, seeing friends, and fulfilling their dreams.

As time passes, unfortunately, this energy no longer remains with us. The body begins to degenerate and the mind slows down. But this doesn't mean it completely stops working. Our grandparents still have thoughts and feelings. They get bored because they can't do much by themselves, hence their need to talk to us. We hear stories of "back in the day" because they want to share their knowledge with us. They have wishes and desires, and many of them for our own happiness. They are still human.

So why treat them any less? It is our responsibility to look after the elderly and ensure that they live the rest of their lives with dignity.

Here is a poem by an old man who died in a geriatric ward in an Australian nursing home. As the nurses cleaned out the room, they found this poem in his belongings. It truly is an eye opener.

                                                                                   Cranky Old Man

                                                  What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
                                                 What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
                                                           A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
                                                   Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
                                                   Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
                                                   When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
                                                    Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
                                                       And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
                                                       Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
                                                       With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
                                                     Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
                                                   Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
                                                         I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
                                                      As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
                                                       I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
                                                      Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
                                                     A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
                                                      Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
                                                      A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
                                                      Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
                                                      At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
                                                     Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
                                                     A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
                                                     Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
                                                   At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
                                                    But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
                                                    At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
                                                   Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
                                                  Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
                                                  I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
                                                For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
                                            And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
                                               I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
                                               It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
                                               The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
                                               There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
                                              But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
                                               And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
                                                  I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
                                                 And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
                                                 I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
                                                And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
                                              So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
                                                                Not a cranky old man .
                                                        Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!