The Last Days of Summer

Let the Great World Spin
Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation: The Rise of Eco-Ability
Doctor Rat
The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume II
Anthropocene or Capitalocene?: Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism
An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students
The Open: Man and Animal
Derrida and Our Animal Others: Derrida's Final Seminar, the Beast and the Sovereign
This Is Not Sufficient: An Essay on Animality and Human Nature in Derrida
Thinking Through Animals: Identity, Difference, Indistinction
Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines
Elizabeth Costello
Teaching Students with Special Needs in General Education Classrooms
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Out of Oz
Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom
Comprehensive School Health Education, 8th edition
Outliers: The Story of Success


Dissertation Updates

Over the course of the summer I have managed to complete a lot of difficult readings (some books are displayed above, the articles too numerous and too visually boring to show off) and while that has been really helpful in my attempt to address some of my advisor's concerns about my prospectus, I admittedly feel a bit stymied in the writing of said document. As it stands now, the revised prospectus feels disjointed, confused, and sloppy. Yet, I know it all makes perfect sense in my head! I suspect a significant cause of the jumbled nature of my prospectus is because of a couple very fun summer vacation road trips. Additionally, I was teaching well into July at school that was on a year-round schedule. Nevertheless, I'm feeling like the re-writing I'm doing now is finally working in the direction desired by my advisors. I can only hope that the next submission (hopefully in just a couple months) will be met with more positive results. 

Working on this sort of project in such isolation, separated from more consistent and available feedback, is difficult. No one said this would be easy. I knew it would be exceedingly difficult to return. Luckily, I have enough experience at this point of my life that I know fully well to accomplish any journey is a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, or in my case of sitting down every morning and tapping out a bit more. Drops of water make a mighty ocean.

Teaching Updates

Fitting snuggly between my early morning dissertation writing and late evening dissertation reading, I am eager to begin and then complete my teaching credential program at SDSU. I will be student teaching during that time at San Diego High School of International Studies and I'm keen to learn as much as I can. There is a lot of work to be done on this front but it for the first time in many year the career path ahead feels like a perfect fit.

It's tempting to think of life's unexpected periods as detours, but I prefer to conceive of even the most difficult periods as opportunities for learning and growth. Admittedly, sometimes what is learned is to not make certain choices again. Yet, if handled well, even those periods can be opportunities to increase our capacity for compassion. Hopefully, I can learn over this next year how to best put that compassion to good use in a classroom.  

Last Quick Thoughts

Sometimes, when it seems like I have a lot of work on my plate, I think back to a high school principle who told my parents that they would be lucky to find my body in a ditch—she thought I was that much of a lost cause. No child should ever be made to feel like their educator or community has given up on them, believes them to be a lost cause. I've experienced this myself and I've seen other kids suffer similar feelings in a variety of classrooms—from graduate students to kindergarteners. If there is anything recent discussions on education in our society have brought to the forefront, it is that our pedagogies have been outmoded, perhaps even harmful to the potentialities of many children.