VICTORY FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT!!! Thanks to everyone who saw this petition on my site and acted. This news made my day!
VICTORY FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT!!! Thanks to everyone who saw this petition on my site and acted. This news made my day!
This past week has been so relaxing for me. I arrived here from Talca on Tuesday, December 30th and was able to spend the New Year in Santiago. I was disappointed that many of my friends had to change plans and could not come visit with me here, but I knew they couldn’t from the outset. One thing I have come to love about Chilenos, is that they don’t want to disappoint the people they care about. So if you ask them to do something for you, they will like say, “¡Sipo!” and then struggle to figure out how to tell you that they have overcommitted themselves and cannot connect with you as hoped. It’s the funniest, because I tend to understand things happen, but they always seem to feel so awful. I so love my Chilean cariños.
So Saturday morning I woke up so refreshed and loved hearing the car horns beeping and people scurrying about the streets below from the vantage point of my patio window. I literally spent the first few days simply catching up on my sleep in my big soft and warm queen-sized bed. This last leg of my dissertation research was so intense. I needed to secure a total of 200 surveys from public and private university graduate level adult learners. I arrived to Chile with about only 40 surveys completed from the public universities and only 7 from the private. I arrived on October 2nd, and would need almost three-quarters move before my December departure from Talca. I literally received the last needed surveys on December 29th and by the 30th (my final research day in Talca) two more rolled in for good measure making my total completion rate 204.
I didn’t realize how tense I had been during the last leg of my dissertation research and visiting scholar experience here in Chile. I certainly think that the events surround the killing of Michael Brown and subsequent uprising in the US surrounding police brutality also contributed to a very stressful period during my time here. Nevertheless, my Chilean friends at the Universidad Católica del Maule came through for me, as always, to uplift me using encouraging words, “Chile es más tranquilo Lisa” and expressions (e.g., big hugs, empathetic smiles, and joyful laugher). That helped me get through a very difficult and reflective period as a black woman living abroad in another country watching my people suffer assault in such brutal ways. But there is a silver lining as a result of those tensions. I submitted a proposal for a special call for Chapters to a New York book publisher. The Editor was looking for scholars to respond to events in Ferguson, MO, and racism more generally in the United States and recommend how higher education could respond. My proposal was accepted, J so I have been spending my last few days in Chile writing and reflecting… it has been a very cleansing and liberating feeling to lend my voice and advocacy on behalf of what has become an unbearable phenomenon for black people in the US (i.e., police brutality and judicial injustice).
So, when my friends couldn’t make my party I decided to go knock on the doors of my neighbors. I’m an Aquarius and making friend actually come pretty easy for me. My daughter always laughs at me because she says I seem to make very close friendship connections wherever I go. It’s true!! J Ha ha So my neighbor Pablo—who is a law school student at the University of Chile—took me up on my offer. We enjoyed great food, Chilean wine, and talked racism and politics. It was a great and wonderful visit and we have promised to keep in touch via Skype as he wants to improve his English and I my Castellano Spanish. #WinWin.
So the day has finally arrived. January 5, 2015, and I am here in my hotel restaurant area waiting for my shuttle to arrive (in 6 hours ha ha). This day opened with mixed emotions as I am so happy to be seeing my family and friends again in the US; but I am also sad to be leaving the new “famifriends” I’ve developed here in Chile. In reality, I actually feel that I am only going on a business trip to the US as Chile truly has become mi otro país (my other country). The concierge said he considers me Chilena—In part because I always stay in the same apartamento when I come to live in Santiago—since I have a resident identification card.
They take really good care of me here and the owners also have long-term housing options that I plan to explore after graduation. My dream is to become a professor and teach part of the year in Chile and the other part in the United States. I also plan to continue working on my speaking abilities upon my US return. However, Chilean Spanish (Catellano) is a bit different and they seem to speak so fast here. It’s funny, I have kinda adjusted to the pace and now when I hear other Spanish speakers (Spaniards, Dominican, and Mexicans) the language seems so much slower and clearer for me to understand.
Well, that’s it for now in terms of the Chilean Chronicles Blog. I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me and stay tuned for my next iteration as a blogger and future scholar. Yeah, seems this writing thing is here to stay (including the errors and edits) and I am grateful to WordPress and this opportunity to improve my writing and vent my thoughts and feelings. ¡Que se vayan bien a todos! ❤ ~Lisa
GO DAWGS!! 🙂
I will certainly be blogging a more substantive post to denote the end of my journey and the final collection of all of my surveys and dissertation data. However, in the interim, above is a link provided to bloggers by WordPress. The link offers statistics about each blogger’s site activities for the year and some highlights from my site: The Chilean Chronicles.
Wow!! Blogging has been so helpful to me as an aspiring scholar and academic. Recently, I was selected to submit a chapter for a New York publishing company in a special volume being created to offer academic responses and remedies from the domain of higher education. The focus will be upon racial unrest in the United States more generally tapping into events following the uprising in Ferguson, New York, as well as, other racist induced incidents from around the US. This has been a surreal undertaking considering my unique positioning in relation to these events as a black woman living abroad in Chile for almost two years. Nevertheless, I am excited and honored to lend my voice (and writing) to the debates and hopefully provide some pedagogical strategies for employ in the fields of adult education and within the context of higher education and learning. Moreover, thanks to WordPress for putting together these stats and inspiring me to #KeepOnBlogging. 🙂
I haven’t blogged in a minute or two for a couple of reasons. The first being, the incredible emotional gut punch experiences by many Americans following the grand jury “non-indictment” of several alleged police brutality cases. Moreover, the continued killing and assault upon black women and children, at the hands of out of control police agents just become too overwhelming to process. The second obligation is the completion of my dissertation data collection as we approach the close of 2014. I used the water spiked GIF to represent my current research status. More specifically, after what appeared to be a whirlwind of incoming completed surveys, I am not down to needing the last 8 of 200. This was no small feat as my survey instrument is quite long (takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete). Nevertheless, the wealth of information possible by taking such a comprehensive approach to my dissertation research (i.e., Mixed Methods) is more than worth the wait. It always seems the last mile of a long journey presents as longer than it actually is in reality. Therefore, I have summoned patience (plus shaking the bushes of my contacts) in order to obtain my last needed surveys.
The fact is, we as human beings cannot remain in a continuously heightened state of emotional emergency and remain healthy. That does not mean that we do not continue to be vigilant with regards to Ferguson, et al., (I consider Ferguson a special tipping point), but we must find productive and healthy ways to manage our anger, our rage and disappointment at perceived injustices by fighting FOR justice!! So, I took some time away and visited my good friends María José and Cristian who live in Linares. I also got a chance to visit the students I have come to love at her school in Panimávida. That so rejuvenated my spirit. We took some great pictures, but I somehow lost my camera and María José lost her phone. It was unbelievable as it seemed bad news was trying to follow me on my mini vaca as well. However, I have become a master of turning lemons into lemonade and later realized that my Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet could also take pictures and recordings, so I was still able to get some nice pictures with the folks I’ve come to love and appreciate during my trip (see below).
So, on an even brighter note, how about the news about renewing the Cuba-US relations? I was really encouraged to learn of President Obama’s announcement, on yesterday, to mend the broken relations our countries have held for over 50 years. That news reenergized me regarding the need to have some patience, holding on to my faith, and believing that social justice is possible. Challenging the ugliness of racism toward blacks in the US (and abroad) can be quite taxing. However, forming multidimensional coalitions—by people of goodwill desiring to see a better day—can greatly help mitigate fighting alone such a formidable foe.
I refuse to let naysayers and negative circumstances steal my joy. Of course, there are a lot of awful things going on in the world and particularly in the United States relative to the condition of black and African American lives. Nevertheless, I have been extremely encouraged as people of goodwill ranging the gamut of ethic/racial classifications, have come together under themes of civic engagement and social justice. The emergence of twitter hashtags reflective of the complexity of thinking among US citizens desiring to respond in some way productive (e.g., #blacklivesmatter #crimingwhilewhite #Icantbreathe #handsupdontshoot), but not always exactly sure of what they can do is encouraging to see. More so, creating praxis where those willing souls are plugged in and allowed to make their contribution to the struggle for social justice is awesome sauce.
I believe that the end of 2014 will go down as a watershed moment in American history. More specifically, as it relates to social justice movements and democracy. It (desires for more substantive civic engagement) has been in the air for some time. If you were paying close attention, you could feel it, you could smell it, and now we all can watch it globally because of the instruments of social media and the internet. It is a surreal moment in North America (from my position in South America) as neoclassic economy has in many ways tried to strangle democracy; while at the same time, social media and an emerging North American civic engagement screams “Let me go, #ICantBreath”.
I am routing for the latter group. The #StruggleIsREal for me on two dimensions and I am fully engaged on both fronts. So on that note, I am going to end this blog post as I anxiously wait for the WiFi to be restored in our office and I can get back recruiting postgraduate adult student survey participants. I am kinda glad the internet was down for a short time, because blogging is so cathartic and just sitting and relaxing over a cup of Nescafé coffee while having a pleasant conversation with your officemates is a blessing and treat that I have come to greatly value and appreciate.
Hasta luego y nos vemos (desde mi blog) más tarde amigos. 🙂
I have been doing a “fun fruits” search while I’m in Chile and these are my latest experiences:
This is the chirimoya I purchased recently and ate today. I think it would taste better in combination with other foods/fruits. As a solo artist, I’d have to give it “jazz hands”, but not quite a thumbs down. Had too many seeds to negotiate and a strange consistency. Almost like a white fish. But it tasted okay.
The nativity scene is being constructed alongside a lovely Christmas tree in a local Talca mall, but wait; what? Is that a black magi I see here in Chile? Wonder what the odds are that I’d see the same (especially this dark skinned) in Ohio or Georgia. I think the probability is less than p < 0.5 alpha. Nevertheless, have meme will travel. Not only are there NOT three kings, as traditionally sang during holiday Christmas events and displayed in nativity scenes around the world, there is no biblical reference to the number of Magi. There could have been 100 magi there at the home (not at the manger of baby Jesus) of the Christ child. Perhaps, that is why he is not here in this picture (Ha Ha, SNARK). But seriously, these types of errors are used as the fodder to dissuade people from the message of what Jesus of Nazareth came to bring to the world.
First off, I am a Christian and most certainly believe in the birth, death, burial, and resurrections of Jesus as an offering for all mankind. However, people’s inability to actually read the bible for themselves and ferret out the revelation knowledge is astounding. Some of the world’s biggest cults and religious tragedies (e.g., Jim Jones tragedy in South America) have occurred because people have blindly followed the leadership of religious figures that subsequently turned out to be some shady, immoral, and/or psychologically broken individuals.
So, the takeaway I want to leave for this post is to implore all to reflect on the taken for granted assumptions we hold in life and not become too distracted by the commercialism of the season. Particularly, as that reflection should relate to so many outstanding social justice issues still in need of attention like: the Police brutality in Ferguson, MO (and other places around the United States’ urban centers), the missing and likely dead students in Mexico and immigration laws that might bring relief for some relative to the tragic drug wars and corruption plaguing that country. Let’s not forget during our prayer time gathered together with our loved ones before eating our turkey and watching the football games, to pray that gun violence in American schools becomes a thing of the past. Let’s pray that political leaders will take there proverbial thumbs out of their behinds (trying to keep it Holy), because the will of the people speaks to them through civic engagement and has DEMANDED that they do the people’s business.
So as I spend the second Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays away from my families, I hope you all enjoy enough turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, rolls, greens, cake, sweet potato pies… Oh dear, I am so hungry right now!! Nevertheless, please enjoy this time with your loved ones and please do not feel sad for me (I’m gone still get my grub on). During this particular Thanksgiving season, I have so much to be thankful to God for as I am in the happiest space of my life ever. One day for me, the turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese and loved ones will return; however for families like Michael Brown, these holidays will never be the same. #TheStruggleIsReal #BlackLifeMatters2
In the United States, November 4th is fast approaching and I had no idea that this election season 2014, would be marked by so much domestic unrest. In some cases, these challenges serve to overshadow the accomplishments of the Obama administration in pulling the United States back from its downward economic tailspin, which was inherited by The President in 2008. I reflect on this season with both fond and literally distant memory (being that I am currently in Chile) in relation to my experiences. First, as a member of a select group of persons chosen as Obama Organizing Fellows in 2008 and next, being invited to continue with the election campaign serving as a field organizer in the swing-state of Ohio during the historic election of Senator Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. I remember back in 2007 when my daughter (than a Wake Forest undergraduate) introduced me to the campaign of then Senator Obama. I will never forget my political apathy (as I am sure she won’t either) when I informed her that I would not be “throwing away” my vote on a black presidential candidate running for the highest office in the land. In my defense, I remembered the enthusiasm my college classmates and I all held when Jessie Jackson came to our campus at the University of Akron. My old college boyfriend helped organize Congressman Jackson’s visit and rally in our newly erected JAR arena on campus. Chants of “Run Jesse Run” filled the air and the belief and enthusiasm, of minority students in particular, relative to his presidential campaign was palpable among the then young college students. We really believed it could happen and the subsequent disappointment of his campaign (and other personal indelicacies) left me for one, quite jaded about the prospect of people coming together as one on behave of democracy and true social justice change.
Notwithstanding, through my daughter’s encouragement, I began to listen to the plans of Senator Obama and watched a true international “rainbow coalition” form of both young and mature people energized to change the world. The fire that I believed had been quenched and simply satisfied with periodic voting in midterm elections was reborn politically a new. I tell everyone when recounting my experience as an Obama campaign field organizer that it was the best job I every held on both a personal and spiritual level. That is because I saw people from all over the world, from every level of socioeconomic classification coming together for a common good and a common purpose under the auspices of “Yes We Can!” and “¡Sí Se Puede!” ideals.
I am mentioning all this in a last minute effort to be a social justice advocate, albeit from abroad, to encourage all citizens to exercise their franchise on Tuesday, November 4th and VOTE!! It is to my everlasting shame, this season, that I did not have enough time to learn how I could cast my vote while abroad in Chile. I did not anticipate so many important social justice issues emerging like: hyper-militarized local police departments; seemingly unabated killing and assault of black citizens at the hands of self-empowered (and inept) law enforcement agents and vigilantes; and an increasing culture of violence that continues to allow young men, in particular, access to firearms; who then walk into schools and public spaces killing and critically injuring unsuspecting victims (e.g., the Sandy Hook babies). Increasingly, those victims appear to be women or females on college campuses who have rejected the advances of a self-entitled psychopath or an emotionally broken soul.
I write this blog post, not to necessarily look to identify the culprits at this time, but more so to encourage the feed-up and exhausted people like myself who want to see the madness end and real problem solving begin. People who like me that do not have millions and billions of dollars to purchase the favor and vote of morally bankrupt politicos. However, we do have one great equalizer that is still so valuable that this election season some have worked very diligently to “steal” it from everyday common citizens. The treasure of which I refer is the notion of each citizen being afforded the legal right to cast their vote, to make an impact, to let their voices be heard at the ballot box. So please, do not allow frustration, bad weather, stupid (flawed) political polling or ignorant news pundits to keep you from exercising your franchise this upcoming Tuesday. Democracy is still alive, but only when we take that occasional deep breathe and realize that our civic engagement matters, it matters now, and for the future. So please get to the Polls and VOTE. Literally begin that road to civic engagement, social justice and social change with this first small step; which in reality, is the greatest political step that each citizens no matter how rich, poor, or uneducated has the right to exercise equally, and only your participation can keep it that way.
#Love #Peace #Justice and #Vote 🙂 ❤
I thought this (click on above PDF link) was a very insightful information article–in light of academic capitalism themes–related to pressuring adult learners to get in and out with their degrees as quickly as possible. In essence, the mantra of “Obtain your credential and get to work!!” is always looming in the air for graduate level students. However, why are we looking to pursue “terminal” degrees in the first place? What is our civic and social obligation, as future highly educated individuals, to speak to the existential problems of everyday people (life)? According to the statistics in this article I would most certainly be considered an “outlier” based upon age as I returned to graduate school after having raised a daughter and proudly watched her graduate through law school. It was then “mommy time”! I sit as an example of what I believe to be true adult education and lifelong learning (as I am closing in on the completion of my PhD credential having entered candidacy last summer).
I welcome the new month of September being excited that I am near the end of my doctoral journey and motivated by the thoughts of what I plan to do as a scholar/practitioner in the area of Adult Education Learning and Organization Development (AELOD). I spent all of August working with my dissertation research data, preparing for my October return to Chile, and pumping out two manuscripts which I hope to submit for publication in the next few weeks. My academic program is under the auspices of the department of Lifelong Learning Administration and Policy (LEAP) at the University of Georgia and I personally have come to view adult learning as never-ending. There are so many ways adults continue to learn formally, informally, and non-formally (AE folks will know these subtle distinctions). Most of us maturing adults have come to realize that adults learn differently from children and adolescents; but typically we don’t give it much attention because in large part most academic educational research (especially in the areas of outreach and community engagement) is more attentive to early childhood and undergraduate learners. I hope to make a big contribution toward changing that aspect of educational research and highlight the developmental nature of adult learning that in my field has been somewhat neglected. Understanding the adult learner of the twenty-first century must be interdisciplinary in scope, accounting for the complexities that surround the realities of what are now arguably “digital natives” among adult learner groups. Adult education, in order to remain relevant, must also be engaged in scholarship that speaks to the cognitive aspect of learning with appreciation for the multiple domains of knowing (e.g., spiritual, cultural) people bring in creative ways to the space of knowledge generation.
In summary, I want to be able to speak to the most pressing social issues of today, in a timely way, through my scholarhship. At the same time, I want to be able to teach (and encourage) my parents for example, to use Skype and cellular phones so as to remain in communication with their adult children spread about the international world. I want to see my siblings and friends stay attentive to health and fitness themes by taking a Zumba class or maybe step aerobics at a local “Y”. There is so much to learn because adult learning truly is a open-ended never ending quests (Graves, 1970, 1974, 2005, 2009) and I am excited to be a passenger (and as the need may be conductor) on that journey. 🙂
I actually started out just planning to post this PDF (as a press this item) after waking up unusually early. I guess this is now my new nature as an emergent scholar which is that sleepless or unexpected early risings will now result in writing muses. Ha ha! Nonetheless, my apologies for the OSU image of a cap and gown, but it was the best one I could find on the internet to go with this blog post this early morning. Plus, I am originally from Ohio, and the image does also represent my UGA black and red colors. Therefore, I have achieved the elusive win, win, and win with this post. Deal with it! 😉
Graves, C. W. (1970). Levels of existence: An open system theory of values. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 10(2), 131-155.
Graves, C. W. (1974). Human nature prepares for a momentous leap. The Futurist, 8(2), 72-87.
Graves, C.W. (2005). The never ending quest. In C. Cowan & N. Todorovic (Eds.). Santa Barbara, CA: ECLET Publishing.
Graves, C.W. (2009). Clare W. Graves: Levels of human existence. In W.R. Lee, C.C. Cowan, & N. Todorovic (Eds.). Santa, Barbara, CA: ECLET Publishing.