Showing category "Communication" (Show all posts)

On Text Messages and Communication

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, March 16, 2013, In : Communication 
OR Has Technology Really Improved Whether or Not we Understand Each Other?

I try not to have conversations via text message. I find text messages useful to confirm a meeting place and time, to let someone know you got home all right and to let someone know you are thinking about them. The moment however when circumstances create a more complex interaction, a meeting that is difficult to coordinate, a discussion about values, an expression of feelings I find text messages often further complica...

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Being Open to Baltimore

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, August 4, 2012, In : Communication 
I thought a lot about the similarities and differences between New York and Baltimore when I first moved here. Last week, after meeting someone who recently relocated from New York who had a very different reaction to the new city than I did, I am left considering Baltimore again. Reflecting on the place, people, communities, myself and the transformation I have experienced while being here I write this post.

The person that I met did not like Baltimore at all. The friends I was with said that...
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The Words Don't Change

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, January 28, 2012, In : Communication 
Sometimes the words don't change, but the meaning does. Several interesting conversations this week about words, the meaning of words, how meaning changes, how reality changes and the connection between all of these things.

Very aware that stating one's mission effects whether or not someone will understand what you are trying to do and whether they will support you. There are values that drive these words though. If the values behind the words change then so does the meaning even if the words...
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People First

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, November 17, 2011, In : Communication 
When working with youth, the conversation often comes up about how to address difference. Whether this be race, gender, class or some other physical or identity issue it is always interesting to consider the moment that someone unknown becomes more than just their appearance and becomes a whole person. Working in African American communities, I am often identified as white, which I am. I have had students say the word white in front of me and then apologize for using the term. I always ask th...
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A Culture of Packaging

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, November 4, 2011, In : Communication 
I was thinking as I ate my breakfast one morning how direct and clear messages on packaging are. This crossed my mind as I looked at my container of salt. On the container it said, "Made By Nature...Packaged By Morton." I wondered about this. I know salt does come from nature and the statement did make me imagine an idyllic image of someone collecting water from the sea, letting it evaporate and then putting the salt in a container to use in their dining room table. I am pretty sure that the ...
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The Questions of Change

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, In : Communication 
It occurred to me last week that change is about questions. Transformation of ourselves and the world will only occur through a challenging of the way we are and a consideration of what is possible. At the moment in my life that I began to see that the world should and could be different, I started asking myself questions like: "To change everything where do we begin?" and "What can one do?". I created signs and banners with these questions on them (see http://www.sarahbmccann.com/signs-and-b...
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How Do I Believe Your Truth?

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, In : Communication 
On Saturday I attended the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) Producer's Institute Public Conference.  The conference addressed how the field of documentary has exploded in recent years, taking the nonfiction feature film into new and uncharted territories. Suddenly the art of storytelling and the experience of listening is something interactive. By using tools such as games, virtual worlds, the web, fiction hybrids, video blogs, immersive journalism, interactive mapping, and data visualization ...
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The Power of Words

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, In : Communication 
I had many powerful words traveling through my mind tonight. My inspiration came from the students in a poetry class I co-teach that is run by the Youth Dreamers and Wide Angle. The truth and beauty of my students' words amazed me, the power behind them impressed me.  These were words that need to be honored. Words that sometimes come out raw and bare all that the speaker feels. At the moment words like these are spoken authentic communication occurs and all one can do as observer is be grate...
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Being Honest in Jest

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, In : Communication 
Is it possible to be impeccable with one's word while joking? This question occurred to me recently and even if it does have an answer, it seems quite complex. Working with youth, I often see the results of jokes that hurt. Even young people that are friends use mean jokes as a means of communication, but I often wonder what kind of relationships this way of relating to each other really create. A good friend and I called each other bitches in middle school and made constant jokes at each oth...
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Awareness of Words

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, In : Communication 
If one does not pay attention to the words that one uses then it becomes very easy to isolate oneself (even if not alone, then within one group of people whom all speak the same). The most extreme case of this is in speaking another language than those that surround you, but communication of another sort is always possible, but some will immediately dismiss a person for speaking that which they do not understand. I am thinking more about language that is understood, but easily drives people a...
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Shed Identity for Being

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, May 29, 2010, In : Communication 
"Set out afresh the sum to which you attach value and of which you take account."

This quote is from The Thirtieth Year a short story by Ingborg Bachmann. I read it several years ago and remember being blown away and feeling much of what was in it, but now that I am in my thirtieth year I feel even closer to the meaning within Bachmann's words. I highly recommend the story, it is about a man in his thirtieth year that suddenly finds himself changed, he searches for something, something differe...
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On Updating My Facebook Status

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, May 1, 2010, In : Communication 
It is a beautiful and sunny Saturday and I am at work, at a desk, in front of a computer. I updated my Facebook status this morning to say where I was (Baltimore Clayworks) and that there was a new show in the gallery that people should come see. Since that time I have been tempted to update my status much more than usual. I want to write, "What a beautiful day" "I wish I was outside" "I need a cup of coffee" "I need a snack". Sometimes friends and I joke about how some people update their st...
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Making Space for the Voice of Soldiers that Will not Return to War

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, In : Communication 
Last Saturday, the Civilian-Soldier Alliance  and Iraq Veterans Against the War organized an event called "Refusing to Fight: Iraq War Resisters Tell Their Stories" a talk and meet and greet with former soldiers turned anti-war activists at 2640, a cooperative events venue in Baltimore.  I did not have the pleasure of attending the event, but I heard that it was a success and believe it.  I did have the opportunity to meet two of the men who spoke at the event and even though we did not talk ...
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Confidence vs. Cockiness

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, March 12, 2010, In : Communication 
I was thinking about where the line between confidence and cockiness is drawn and here is what I have come up with. I am sure there are a myriad of other ways the distinction could be drawn, but this is a start. Confidence is having faith in oneself, but acknowledging the ability to make mistakes and admitting the mistakes when they occur. Cockiness is having unquestioned faith in oneself and the belief nothing one does is a mistake. A complete lack of confidence causes one to believe that ev...
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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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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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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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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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This blog will address issues of communication, art, and life from my point of view. It is a means for me to keep writing, thinking critically, and finding meaning in my life and work.

 

 

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