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Did you realize

I like the song Strangers by Portishead. The first stanza ends like this: Did you realize No one can see inside your view Did you realize For why this sight belongs to you These lyrics tell the story of living inside your own being. What you see, no one else can see. What  you experience is yours and yours alone. And there is are reasons for this. Imagine if you will, a virtual reality …

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OED #9: Disability and Advancing Access

I’ve struggled with a disability for many years. I have bipolar disorder, which leans more towards the depression side. I have low energy but an active mind. This is an invisible disability. I’m medicated and participate in regular therapy sessions to cope with my challenges. For some, adaptation is not so easy. I struggle with allowing these invisible, mental disabilities in as valid keys to accommodation. This is because of the struggles I’ve …

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OED #5: Universal Design

Design in our daily lives should be seamless and unnoticed. Well designed items flow in and out of use, and we hardly think twice about using the things we do. This changes, however, when you have a physical or mental limitation that restricts your use of objects designed for the masses. If you have a crippled hand, you may not have the dexterity to open a child-proof medicine bottle. The depth and breadth …

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OED #10 GLBTQandA

I can’t speak for anyone’s experience but my own. So when it was time to attend the GLBTQ and Ally workshop, it was sensitive. It is a community I began with at the age of 16 when I came out to myself. I wasn’t active until I was 19, and I went through difficult adjustments of sexual practice and identity. That’s now at issue here. Rather, I am examining the relationships I do have with …

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Observing and Assessment

A teacher has a lot to do for class: make a lesson plan, instruct to that plan, manage 30 billion student relationships, ensure those students are building solid relationships, and that students are learning the material. This class session, we observed, assessed, and processed the group dynamic of class. It seems pretty straight forward, and I don’t have a lot of questions about the steps involved. It seems observing comes with practice, perhaps …

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OED #7: Race, Racism, and Privilege

I think it’s hard to understand privilege when you are in the majority. That said, I have trouble with race and privilege. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t click because it makes so little sense to me to NOT be culturally diverse and equitable. I have worked in so many situations where there’s been people of color, and we worked together just fine. The other day, I was talking about how diverse my …

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A Case Study: Equity and Diversity in Cooperative Learning

Off the record, I see solutions at work for many arguments of inequity and homogeneous nature of various organizations. I refer to the collection of portraits in the Presidents Room, as if being a while male is a required demography for President of the University of Minnesota. What is the opposite of the white man? What will it take to balance the room or presidents? A single, atheist, gay woman of dark skin color. I …

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Paragraphs of Social Skills

Social skills must be ingrained in the lesson plans. There are four steps to social skill mastery: awkward, phony, mechanical, integrated. This reminded me of a chart I saw back in early 2000s: unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, unconsciously competent, and consciously competent. In other words, (1) you don’t know what you don’t know, (2) you know what you don’t know, (3) you don’t know what you know, and (4) you know what you …

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Paragraphs of Interdependence

Holding yourself accountable for the work required to learn material is a personal challenge I’m facing with this class. We are faced with a varying array of teaching methods and techniques, both in an effort to teach us material, but also to demonstrate these techniques in raw form. We are folding education inside out by studying positive interdependence and individual accountability. Positive interdependence is an umbrella of nine types of independence structures. Of …

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OED #8: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

WIIFM. What’s in it for men. This Office of Equity and Diversity workshop was about women and the glass ceiling. As is tradition, it is pointed out that the portraits on the wall of the Presidents Room is white men. We did a variety of exercises to discuss and demonstrate the glass ceiling, and what men and women can both do to overcome the negative drawbacks of a university run by men. As …

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OED #6: Educating about Equity and Diversity

There were five tips for educators of equity and diversity: Assess the situation. Model the behavior you want. Model active listening behaviors. Use yourself as an example. Reframe. Reframe. Reframe. We identified some challenges and strategies for addressing those challenges: Challenge #1: Saying the right thing. Strategies include: having a discussion versus proving right, keeping relationship, and be open minded & listen. Challenge #2: Building Confidence. Strategies include: practicing with friends, family, and …

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OED #4: Communicating on Issues of Equity and Diversity

Audience. Who are you speaking to? Who will see your message, and who will be affected by it? You don’t always know how far-reaching your message will be. This workshop talked of communication. Messages and strategies used to convey brand, design, media relations, social media, and crisis management are discussed. A person with a highly visible position, such as a Public Relations Representative, is encouraged to use extreme caution whenever they publicly post, regardless …

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A Paragraph of Cooperation

Cooperative Learning is a collection of theories and practices that encourage learning from positive interdependence and promotes individual accountability. Learning groups may be formed by formal and informal means, for long and short term assignments, respectively. Retention and achievement both improved as cooperative learning was integrated into the learning environment. Cooperative learning improved social skills of both students and teachers. I find it striking that cooperative learning is directly related to improvements in …

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OED #3: Working in Committees

This workshop was not as insightful. I never like meetings and committees. Not to mention, early morning is not my thing. The other workshops were afternoon sessions. Those who know me know I need my sleep, or I check out for the day quite soon. As it is, I usually need a nap to get through the day. Those are the facts of my own documented barriers to education. I know these, but part …

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OED #2: Today was an It’s-A-Small-World Day

Today, I attended the second of ten workshops in equity and diversity. I sat next to a woman who knows the Executive Director of the Will Steger Foundation that I am Webmaster for, with whom I had just met with that morning. On the other side of me sat an Associate Dean. When I got home, I logged into a social media site to see a post from the former Executive Director of …

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OED Workshop #1

Today I attended my first of ten “Equity and Diversity” workshops towards the Equity and Diversity Certificate  at the University of Minnesota. This also serves as a one-credit seminar for my YDL program. There are nine more sessions in the series for a total of 30 hours towards this certificate. The YDL seminar component requires 45 hours of work, so I need approximately 15 hours of work in the form of a journal, reflection …

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