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My dear friend, Bashka, shared this link with me today on facebook. It is a video drenched in pain and yet… full of hope. I share it here with students (and visitors) in hopes that it will remind all of us of the importance and urgency of life. Breathe then Labor then Push, indeed.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/209223693″>Breathe and push Sikh-American civil rights advocate Valarie Kaur s plea to …</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user24977624″>St. Ignatius Church -Baltimore</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
If you visit the video through vimeo, you can actually download it as well.
Tara is a local attorney who graciously offers her time to my students. Active in the local LGBT community, Tara is a tireless activist supporting equal rights for all people. Her presentation is followed by an informative Question&Answer period. Previous students have described her visit as life changing… and that echoes my sentiments. She is amazing.
More about Tara: In 1987, Tara received her undergraduate degree in Marine Engineering, from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Following graduation, she served as a Commissioned Officer in the US Navy. After being honorably discharged, Tara worked as a nuclear engineer for over a decade. She is a licensed Professional Engineer. In 1999, she partially completed a MBA degree, at the College of William and Mary, before relocating to Columbus. In 2005, Tara graduated from Capital University Law School, cum laude, passed the Ohio Bar Exam, and was admitted to the Ohio Bar. Following graduation from law school, she has served as General Counsel / Contracts Manager for a mid-sized, construction-industry company, in Lexington, KY. In 2008, she relocated back to Columbus, in order to start her own law practice. She is a member of the Columbus Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. She practices primarily in the areas of domestic/family law, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgender law, contract law, construction law, and civil litigation. Tara is an active public speaker on LGBT-related issues; she has spoken numerous times at The Ohio State University, The Ohio State University Law School, Capital University Law School, Dennison University, Ohio Northern University, Transylvania University, Columbus Alternative High School, the King Avenue United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the LGBT Subcommittee of the Columbus Bar Association. She has been a presenter at the TransOhio Annual Transgender and Ally Symposium (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). She has also spoken on LGBT issues at the 2010 Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference, the 2011 Equality Ohio CAUSE Conference at Columbus State Community College, before the Columbus Community Relations Commission, and the Columbus Police Academy.
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I am posting to class announcement boards, sending a message via email, and posting to website:
We finally got the official “Yes, OSU Columbus Campus is Open” message and I’m left to make a choice for my classes. While OSU’s decision is based on overall conditions and I realize many students live on campus and aren’t worried about driving, many of us do drive to campus.
I am canceling two classes because the Sheriff’s Office has requested that driving be limited to “absolutely necessary” travel (level 2) in Franklin County and the surrounding areas are dangerous as well. All area schools are closed as well as many daycare centers, etc.
My first class starts while the snow is still accumulating AND my second class is a Peer Review day which requires good attendance numbers to be successful. This factors into my decision as well.
I’ve been watching the news, and accident reports. The most recent closing of parts of 315 by Lane/Medical Center was the final straw for me. I don’t like to cancel class because it means adjusting schedules, but I’m more concerned with the safety of my students and also aware that some of you are parents with no childcare as a result of closings.
Be safe. I’ll see some of you tomorrow and the rest on Monday.
Care to keep up with news?
OSU Emergency TWITTER: https://twitter.com/OSU_EMFP
At bottom of post, please see the OSU Notification that classes are not being canceled by OSU today.
NOTE: I am not (NOT!) advocating for your absence in any scheduled classes. I can only manage my own. OSU IS OPEN in Columbus, Ohio!
BE SAFE! I will update Carmen with adjusted information.
COLUMBUS CAMPUS OPEN (2/7/18)
The Ohio State University Columbus campus will remain OPEN today (2/7/18). Please use caution while traveling.
Franklin County has declared a Level 2 Snow Emergency(link is external). The City of Columbus and State of Ohio are prioritizing highly traveled routes. While City of Columbus roads near the university remain snow covered, university crews continue to clear campus roads. Ohio State Facilities Operations and Development crews have been hard at work since 2:30 a.m. to prepare roadways and sidewalks while CampusParc clears parking lots.
The university weighs many factors, including the safety of those driving and walking to (or on) campus. We recommend that everyone dress appropriately for the weather and use caution while traveling.
It IS the Spring Semester but with the slushy roads and chilly winds, it hardly feels that way YET. It will though, I think.
I support the rights of ALL students to engage in thoughtful discourse and legal political actions.
As an educator (and specifically one at a state university) I continually acknowledge my own personal bias along with my political, social, and religious ideologies. I do not apologize for them as it is within my rights to hold each and every one of them. I tell students in our first day of class together – who I am.
I have chosen to attempt political neutrality in my classroom. To that end, I am avoiding discussions of specific political views, actions, and candidates. While many of our classroom topics are very much impacted by what is happening in the world around us, I believe – at this time – it is important for me to err on the side of caution. So, while I may use the example of Donald Trump’s hand gestures during a discussion of body language and the workplace, I won’t talk about Trump’s executive orders, for instance. One is a useful example that I can provide so my students understand a topic. The other is unnecessary at this time and would simply provoke dissent among students when they should be focused on their studies.
Am I thrilled with this decision? No, it’s quite uncomfortable to feel as if I’m boxing myself in, but I believe I can serve my students better in my capacity as educator. It is our job to help you develop skills in thinking rather than to tell you what to think.
Please do not mistake my silence for apathy.
Do not assume that I acquiesce to any policy simply because I remain mute.
Here is what I will say – because I think it is essential to do so:
You have value, place, and purpose.
I will respect your person-hood. Regardless of your past, your family, your faith, or the design of the meat-suit you inhabit, you are valuable. Our past provides clues in terms of context and motivation. It does not need to dictate our future.
I will respect your right to hold the beliefs you cherish, regardless of how far they are from my own. I will expect you to extend that same courtesy to me and your student colleagues.
As it is within my power, I will protect you and your rights. I will not permit you to trample on the rights of others on my watch.
I will encourage you to consider the perspective of others – as I always have – and I will continue to believe that there is good in all of us, ALL OF US.
You are amazing. I celebrate that.
And, last but not least…
One of the great outcomes of this election cycle and our new POTUS -in my humble opinion- is that many more Americans are now discussing important political topics while taking the time and energy to learn how our government works. People are becoming involved again with the mechanics of governance. I think this is a positive.
And, in taking a page from many Librarians who navigated political waters following the PATRIOT ACT all those years ago. There may come a time when I am told that I cannot alert people to requests for information. I take my cue from the men and women in the stacks…
Nobody from the federal government has requested
any information from me about any of my students
or coworkers. Watch for the removal of this message 😉
For anyone checking in on our book challenge… more info is coming. The response was so fantastic, they had to bring in a bookshelf to accommodate donations!
I’ll post photos and final tallies soon.
Now… what are we going to do THIS semester? Hmmm…
On a somber note, this past week was a frightening one for the students we are working with. While the young man who lost his life was not one of the students in the group we’re partnering with – his passing was sudden and too sad to imagine. Our thoughts are with his family, the students who were touched by the tragedy, and the school community at large. Eleven years is not enough.
What a difference a week can make. Over the last week, the Green Team has risen to the challenge and we saw over 30 books + items come in!
Oh, and we now have another team on the board. While it is not part of the competition, it’s a way to keep track of donations that are coming from OTHERS (who’ve heard what we are doing and wish to help).
Keep it up! I had to extend the bookshelf in our graphic! I’d LOVE to add more length to it – what a wonderful problem to have.
Simon & Garfunkel “I am a Rock”
We’re in the second week of our book challenge. Over the weekend, the Green Team woke… and while it may have been a single book that arrived, it is A BOOK… do not underestimate the power of each one that comes in and heads off to the middle school. I’m looking forward to the rest of this week and what is going to appear next! So far, every single donation has been useful and appreciated.
My current students may very well be the last generation that has a collection of books – as we continue to move to digital media. Let’s keep those wonderful stories out of boxes… away from cobwebs… and in the hands of other children who want (and need) to read.
The blue group dove in head-first with 13 books donated in the first two days of the official challenge. Let’s see what comes in over the weekend!
The first batch has already been handed over to the kids!
Just a reminder that I’m holding open office hours today (and Friday, July 22nd) from 8:00 to 11:00 am. I’m here now if you’d like to swing by.
Also remember that I can schedule a meeting with you at another time (if office hours aren’t convenient for you or you are remote and need a phone consult). Let me know if you’d like to schedule one with me.
You can find me in Campbell Hall, Room 127. I sent an email out with a map, but in case you forgot, you enter through the door to 129. There IS construction blocking the one hallway next to my door, so you need to enter from the SOUTH side of Campbell Hall.