Published: Jan 24, 2010 8:55:33 PM
At one point, the Mighty Bison roamed the pains of America. They were the foundation of entire cultures. Then, a bunch of white guys came and mostly shot them dead. According to some guy on Yelp, we didn't even eat them, these guys just figured, "Hey, if the Indians like them, we should kill them. Because we don't like Indians."
Published: Jan 24, 2010 8:46:02 PM
Last Wednesday (January 20, 2010) was the first day of the somatics class at UC Berkeley. Prof. Hackney asked that we keep a journal as we progress through the class, and that seems like a great way for me to generate some content regarding somatics in general. So, here we go!
Interestingly, the preponderance of students appear to be nonperformance related majors. This is a big surprise for me. I was expecting it would be difficult for me to get into the class as a graduate student in psychology. But, for example, one of the first people I met was an MBA student. I suspect this will make for an interesting class.
Piggy Hackney is indeed a joy to learn from. I feel that one of the hallmarks of a great teacher is that one feels challenged yet prepared to learn the material presented. And I certainly had this experience on day one. Part of what contributed to my appreciation of her teaching was Prof. Hackney's incredible abilities for improvisational movement. She is truly a joy to watch.
In the two hours of class, I can't say I "learned" too much. But, I did feel great at the end of class. In the presentation of Laban Movement Analysis, I did find it to be less starkly modern than I expected. We also had an opportunity to observe one another and settle into the dynamics of moving with one another.
Lastly, we had homework assignment. We were supposed to do an "opening" and "closing" movements. I can't say I've been very rigorous about this. But I have done it twice. Unsurprisingly, these movements outside of the context of class certainly lacked the effectiveness they had during class. But, it's a great way to check in. Certainly, it's something I have done quite frequently in the past.
With that I realize I should say something about what I mean by "effectiveness." For me, the most central objective of somatic education is an improvement in our understanding of the way we move. Along with that comes a concurrent improvement in our quality of movement. We can become functionally stronger, more flexible and more coordinated. And all of this, of course, feels great!
Here's our textbook on Amazon: Making Connections. (Note, I have yet to figure out how to make money on such links).
Published: Jan 15, 2010 2:40:58 PM
As I've grown older, I've found it more and more difficult to engage in social activism. The more I learn, the more the large organizations at the forefront of such efforts disappoint me. But things in Haiti right now are Very Bad. And this finally got me off my butt, and I did some research.
Often, you can tell when you've found the right answer on the web because of the large number of links pointing to it. That's how Google used to work, after all. In this case, I found an organization called Progressives for Haiti. If you go to their website, you'll see a large list on the left of organizations that support them in their mission. And since progressives for Haiti made a short, cogent argument for donating to Doctors Without Borders, that's what I did.
I won't claim that I did the best possible thing. But, I think I did a least a pretty good thing. Certainly, if you're short on time and energy, you could do a lot worse than following my lead here.
Published: Dec 16, 2009 10:20:59 PM
Note - this is not the "abduction" that aliens do to you, for the definition of the word I'm talking about, read on!
Published: Oct 29, 2008 2:59:18 PM