Browsing Archive: February, 2010

Dancing as an Act of Love

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, February 28, 2010, In : Love 
Dancing is a way to have voice. A way to express who and what we are and to embody all the joy and feeling of life. When people are fully present in the moment, in the music, in the song, it is not only a beautiful thing to witness, but also to experience. I danced last night at the Ottobar's Prince vs. Madonna vs. Michael Jackson Dance Party and there was a really great feel there. It was not the usual meat market bars tend to be, people were there to dance. And we did. I didn't used to danc...
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Who Will Hold Us Accountable?

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, February 26, 2010, In : Responsibility 
There was an article on counterpunch yesterday about prosecuting George W. Bush for war crimes. The focus of the article was Charlotte Dennett and Vincent Bugliosi. Dennett who ran for attorney general in Vermont in 2008 made a campaign pledge to appoint Vincent Bugliosi as a special prosecutor to seek a murder indictment against George W. Bush for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Dennett did not get elected, but she and Bugliosi are continuing to work to hold the former president account...
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Compulsive Education is Not the Same as Learning

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 25, 2010, In : Education 
How and what we learn has nothing has nothing to do with school. Learning is about choice. People are naturally curious and will seek out the things that they need and want to know. If allowed to follow these paths, their education will be rich and meaningful. Unfortunately, very few are able to learn in this way. Compulsive schooling requires that students learn what is in the curriculum, whether or not it applies to their lives. It punishes creativity and often critical thinking (students t...
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On the Language of Openness

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, In : Communication 
Why is it so easy to have an open and honest discussion with some people and so hard with others? I think it is a matter of questions. Whether or not people are comfortable answering them and able to ask them will either make or break a conversation. I was not always able to answer questions. One of my mentors in grad school once asked me what I wanted, and I was stuck, I could not come up with anything. I realized that questions made me extremely uncomfortable so I started a project called A...
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Limitations and Boundaries

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, February 22, 2010, In : Communication 

"Limitation is willful and childish" I believe this, but I also believe in boundaries.  What is the difference between limits and boundaries? Limits are something one cannot exceed or pass, a restriction. Boundaries are something that mark a limit, but can be expanded, redrawn, recreated. I limited myself as a young person, often defining myself in negatives. I did not eat meat, I did not drink, I did not do drugs, I did not like this or that, I would never do this or that. All these things I...

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That I Don't Know What

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, February 20, 2010, In : Love 
What is it? That je ne sais quoi. That attraction. That magnetism. That indescribable something that some people have. It is not just a physical attraction. It is something more, something deeper. Something that from within a person, draws me toward them. Something that makes me want to be near them. Something that makes me forget myself. Something that is beautiful, joyous, and magic. It is magic. It is a magic that one can feel, an electricity, a chemistry. It is something that doesn't happ...
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Creating the Feeling of Home: The Example of the Youth Dreamers

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, February 20, 2010, In : Community Arts 
I have had the immeasurable pleasure of working for the last two years with the Stadium School Youth Dreamers, a non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing the amount of violence youth are exposed to after school by opening a youth-run youth center. There is something incredible that is happening at this organization. The young people involved and their adult allies are some of the most amazing people that I have met in my life. The environment that teacher/director Kristina Berdan creat...
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The Question of Addiction

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 18, 2010, In : Responsibility 
I am again addicted to caffeine. I had kicked it and then during a trip to New York, I somehow fell into old habits again. I have only been drinking a half-caffeinated cup of coffee a day, but now I need it. Last week I didn't. Addictions are an interesting phenomenon. I am also currently addicted to sugar. I am glad I have never been addicted to anything stronger because I have a hard enough time with coffee and sweets. My lifestyle at the moment does not really support an addictionless life...
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Relational Power

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 18, 2010, In : Power 
Each relationship we enter into whether it be through work, a romantic involvement, a friendship or merely a conversation with the cashier at the coffee shop is a delicately balanced power dynamic. The power involved in any exchange is often masked and not addressed. Maybe it is too complex to understand, especially in passing moments, but when a relationship is something extended, something that will continue over a period of time, it helps to address how power is being used between parties,...
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No Woman Has Written Enough

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, In : Communication 
I wrote down the title to today's post while reading Remembered Rapture by bell hooks. Specifically an essay entitled "A Body of Work: Women Labor with Words." hooks makes the case that there are not nearly enough black women writers being published today, especially those writing outside of accepted narrative norms. And that those who do get published are often met with extremely harsh criticism, especially from other women. She says, "We write to leave legacies for the future." She addresse...
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Thoughts on Love

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, February 16, 2010, In : Love 
I am in love, but at this moment in time not with anyone in particular. It is funny to me that I can feel this way without any romantic entanglement. It is something that goes against all the media propaganda on romantic love that encourages the idea that a person cannot be whole without finding that special someone that completes them. I think being complete is really being self-actualized, not meeting prince charming. I visited the National Museum of the American Indian in DC last summer an...

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Not Empowerment, Rather Acknowledgment

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, February 15, 2010, In : Community Arts 
Empowerment is often used to describe what one does when working with people of less privilege than oneself. I find this problematic. People do not have to be "empowered", people already have the power that they need to act within them. Acknowledgment of this power is what is necessary. Another person cannot force this onto someone else. What one can do is set up circumstances that make it easier. That is why art-making is such an important part of this process. When a person creates somethin...
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Defining Discipline

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, February 12, 2010, In : Responsibility 
Thank you Carl for responding to yesterday's entry with the following quote. I think it is excellent and inspired my topic for today.
 
"The word warrior, by itself, may mean a creator of war or a warmonger, but the warriors of Shambhala are the opposite. The Shambhala warrior does not create war, at all, but is somebody who creates peace. The warriors of Shambhala are those who are interested in subjugating their own desires for war and for aggression. The quality of sadness is precisely the h...

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Seeing Individual Truths Based on Existence

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 11, 2010, In : Communication 
I read sections of Sartre's Being and Nothingness many years ago. Even though the text is very heavy reading, I really enjoyed the idea that we do not address other people as human until we are aware of their gaze and are able to acknowledge that gaze as being the center of a point of view and hence the fact that our point of view is not the center of the universe. I did not read the whole text so Sartre may eventually get to the point that I am about to make, but I think it is not just the g...
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The Aggression of the Stare

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 11, 2010, In : Communication 
I do on occasion get stared at. I cannot speak on the experience of men, maybe this happens to them too, but as a woman it is extremely uncomfortable. When I was younger it made me self-conscious and often angry, especially when it was a man doing the staring. For a long time I couldn't explain exactly why this action affected me to the extent that it did. Recently I realized it is because staring is incredibly aggressive. When looking at someone, but offering no opening for reciprocal commun...
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Notes, Thoughts, and Quotes While Reading Tim Rollins + K.O.S.

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, In : Community Arts 
In reading about Tim Rollins and K.O.S. I am inspired. His approach to creation and education is akin to my own. I firmly believe that everyone has a great creative potential within themselves, and that when given the opportunity to follow their individual path, will contribute great things to the world. Teachers are key in either fostering the growth of this creativity or crushing it. Unfortunately, as the education system currently exists in the United States, students are being crushed mor...
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The Importance of Being Acknowledged

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, February 8, 2010, In : Communication 
Last week I was ignored. Someone that I once knew went out of their way not to acknowledge me. It hurt. It made me feel awful. And in that moment it became absolutely clear to me why it is so important to address everyone that I come into contact with. Why in my classes it is necessary to make sure I say hello to every student individually. Why in my community work I must introduce myself to every community member that might walk by, stop in or work at the facility I am at. Not being acknowle...
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An Argument is Not a Dialogue

Posted by Sarah McCann on Sunday, February 7, 2010, In : Communication 
When out for a drink the other night, I ended up speaking with a man who I did not see eye to eye with. There is nothing wrong with this and I happen to enjoy interacting with people that have different beliefs from my own. I usually learn something and have an interesting time. This night however, something was off. In reviewing all of my work and writing for this website it became very clear to me what it was. I did not have a discussion with this man, I ended up in an argument and that arg...
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