Kris' UTNE reader responses : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread

This is my UTNE reader response page.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 1998


My, this is a liberal little publication isn9t it? I9ll have to be careful to remain open-minded while reading the articles from it. The one I read was called 3The Last Abortion2. It talked about doctors having the capability to distribute drugs which would cause early term, chemically induced abortions. The author of the article seemed to feel that aborting early in a pregnancy , in the privacy of your own home was going to be the wave of the future and would end the pro-choice / pro- life debates. I think that no matter when it takes place, we are still making a judgment and a decision regarding the right to life. Personally, I don9t feel we should be the judge of who should live or die regardless of whether that human being is ten days old or 100 years old. Is our advanced science being developed for the good of all mankind? Or is it leading us deeper and deeper into choices regarding life or death that we may not be comfortable or qualified to make ?

-- Anonymous, November 17, 1998

Hi Kris!! I admire your courage to select and give your opinion on such a controversial topic. I am also trying to keep an open mind, but some of the articles are difficult to read. Did you also read Caught in the Crossfire? It talks about the time when abortions were illegal and of all the lives that were lost trying to do it illegally. I find that it ties in with the article that you read in the fact that I feel that abortion is abortion. It is the taking of a human life whether it is in an obtrusive procedure or by just taking a pill. Is technology taking us into the future and what kind of future will it be? Nicole White

-- Anonymous, November 29, 1998

I also read the article "The Last Abortion," and I too feel that no matter when you terminate or end a pregnancy, whether the human being is 10 days old or 100 years old, it is still ending a persons life. I would also chance to say that it's not going to change the views of any person who is pro-life. I also agree with the questions you and Nicole White pose about our Advanced Science and Technology. Where is it taking us and is this really for the best. So many times you hear of a new "something" approved to do "whatever" job, and you hear that it is perfectly safe - only to find out months or years later that it is not and of the very serious side effects.

-- Anonymous, December 09, 1998

Response to: 3The Art of Genius2 from Utne Reader -August 1998

This article explains eight ways geniuses think differently from the rest of us. The basic difference is that most of us attempt to solve problems by trying to relate the new problem to something that we have been taught before. ( We teach our students to learn by relating new information to prior knowledge.) Geniuses tend to think of many different ways to look at a problem and explore many different possible solutions. They are often not satisfied by accepting the first, or most obvious answer. The article also pointed out that genious is more closely related to creativity than to IQ. This article interested me because I believe we often encourage students to find 3a correct answer2 . Perhaps we should accept many resonable answers or ask students to find more than one solution to a problem before they stop working on it. I think most of us have realized that this would be a better way to teach , but lack of time and heavy curriculum requirements often lead us to teach in more time efficient ways. This article reminded me that it is important to allow time for diverse and complex thinking.

-- Anonymous, January 01, 1999

Kris, As I was looking for another article to respond to, I noticed that I had just responded to this article with Shelly Kunst. I told her that it is sometimes so comfortable to go along with the same thinking that we have done our whole lives because we have seen some success with that. All of us are professional people with a good career. Yet, like you said, with the heavy challenges of being a teacher and all of the requirements that we must meet, there really isn't too much extra time to let our students look at each problem from many perspectives and allow groups to discuss ideas at length. But, I do think that we, as teachers, have a great influence on how the way our students will think in life. So, if we expose them to the fact that most problems have several solutions and teach them to look at things from many angles, I think we are doing the best we can! :) Cindy

-- Anonymous, January 05, 1999

Kris, I did not read the article on abortion however I am a pro choice advocate in the fact that I feel too much of our political time and emphasis is spent on an issue that is already legal and has to be made with each individual. Hopefully before a person would be given this choice alternatives would be discussed and explored.

-- Anonymous, January 27, 1999

Response to : The $100 Christmas By: Bill McKibben UTNE Nov. Dec. 1998 I chose to read this article because the commercialism of Christmas has always bothered me. I have felt for a long time that something about the way we celebrate this holiday is offensive , but I , like many, have not found a way to break out of the mold of holiday expectations that our materialistic society has set for us. Although I feel somewhat guilty about it, I continue each year to shop and spend too much on gifts . I try to set limits and put emphasis on other aspects of the holiday, but somehow shopping seems to always play center stage . I admire the author of this article and others in his church who were strong enough to swim against the current and not cave in to the pressures of holiday spending. I try to teach my kids to follow what they believe to be right. This is one situation where I should try to practice some of what I preach. I probably will not have a $100 Christmas next year, but maybe If I start planning now , I could celebrate a more meaningful holiday.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 1999

Kristina Downs - Cohort III Utne Article Response #4 Jan. - Feb. 1999 Issue

The article by Lynette Lamb entitled 3Team Me2 was about an interesting concept called , personal coaching. Apparently , I am 3out of the loop2 as they say, since the article describes this concept as a rapidly growing field with over 5000 coaches worldwide and I had never heard of it.

The job of a personal coach is to interview, each client to find out what their personal goals and aspirations are. Then they help them to organize their lives and work out a step by step plan to realize these goals. Once a plan is set, the coach follows through with each client via a once a week half-hour phone conversation which is entirely devoted to helping clients through the necessary steps to reach their goals. Although the process sounds a bit like therapy, coaches say the difference lies in looking ahead , rather than back as some therapy is known to do. Certified coach Christine Johnson says 3Coaching is about spending time looking at who you are and how you want to be.2

One concern that many mental health professionals have regarding this field, is that although some certification programs exist, there is no formal licensure required. Anyone can decide that he or she is qualified to coach. Only 20% of coaches have ever worked as mental health professionals. Many trained psychologists are also interested in coaching. It was the most popular track at last year9s American Psychological Association national meeting according to Ellen McGrath , a New York -based clinical psychologist -turned coach.

I am all in favor of people meeting their goals . I see nothing wring with seeking advice and guidance to achieve these goals when necessary, but somehow, this crosses the line a bit in my opinion. Paying someone to listen to you and focus on only you and your self- importance seems like another step toward isolation in our high tech. , fast paced society. This idea has a cold feel to me . Instead of having to develop social skills and healthy partnerships, now we can pay someone to be our supporter and cheerleader. Yes, the coach can provide this as a service, but don9t feelings matter anymore? Is it okay to let a virtual stranger , who knows only a limited amount of information about you , have such an influential role in your life?

I also worry about the trend toward total happiness and self- fulfillment as goals that we as Americans seem to have embraced . There is nothing wrong with happiness and fulfillment , but aren9t they better, more valued if they are a relative rarity, an earned moment of glory or reward for work well done? Can we sustain happiness at all times and should that be a goal?

My grandparents were happy people, but the goals they talked about were goals for future generations. Hopes for their children and community, goals that their work and energy might somehow leave the world a better place. They did not seem to purposely plan their lives to one day 3reach happiness2 as if it were a goal. My grandmother used to say 3If you want to be happy, be happy.2 As simplistic as that may sound , I think she had a point. We should make the best of our lives , but I believe that includes looking at the big picture and working toward a more altruistic picture than the one that may be painted by a personal coach.

-- Anonymous, May 13, 1999

Hi Kris! Very nice response. I didn't read the article, but the idea of having a persoal coach gave me a "cold feeling" too. Isn't that what our families and friends do for us, or should do for us? And this coaching isn't even done face to face, it's over the phone. Very impersonal. It's kind of like us having a discussion over the internet. Technology has many befefits, but where is it leading us? I like your grandmother's simple philosophy. I think we're getting too complicated in our lives and they're passing us by.

-- Anonymous, May 23, 1999

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