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Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 6

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  

Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us. Part 6: TransitioningFrom entrance into the hospital to exit of life, my father spent nearly the entirety of those final 18 days or so in three different rooms. The first room invoked the tedium of modernity. Between paying ten buc…

Review: Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

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Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The supposed quest to create more efficient systems within government programs through automation and algorithms--particularly those that focus on social welfare--is not so much a cost-saving, efficient, and effective approach to caring for society's most vulnerable but rather a means of making the process harder, more-complicated, and near-impossible to challenge for those who suffer from the many bugs (or features as the case may be) of the technologies being used. Starting first with a look at the rise of poorhouses and the ways in which the poor have been penalized and punished in US history, Eubanks then moves into looking at the introduction of more technological solutions that are often purported to improve services, save money, and reduce fraud and abuse. So often, as Eubanks shows in case after case, the reduction in fraud and abuse more or less comes …

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 5

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  

Part 5: Slipping Inevitably, amid that waiting and navigating, ugly thoughts flitter into the mind before one can attempt to un-think or redirect them.

Most people carry with them a sense that they are good people. We perceive our…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 4

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.   Part 4:  Navigating
When you’re not waiting, you’re navigating.

Navigating to the emergency room from two hours away at 11pm because big decisions may need to be made that night.

Navigating how to coordinate coverage so that for the …

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 3

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.   Part 3: Waiting
When someone slowly dies before your eyes, the process drains your attention, patience, and energy. But what turns that slow-drip depletion of your faculties into fatigue is the waiting. It wears on you and makes be…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 2

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  
Part 2: WitnessingIn the past year, I have witnessed a surprising amount of death and each sits with me differently. A few weeks ago while in the backyard, my partner and I were doing some garden work. From a nearby tree, there …

Review: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

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Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Lynn Hammond
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Culturally responsive teaching is often miscategorized as merely including culturally-relevant material when possible or worse, lowering expectations of learners based on cultural assumptions and stereotypes (and racial stereotypes for that matter). As such, it's an approach to teaching and learning that is often taken up by educators who have a stronger sense of implicit bias, stereotype threat, racism and ethnocentrism along with the implications of each for teaching and learning. Contextualizing the importance and value of culturally-responsive pedagogy (CRP), Hammond moves into discussing exactly how the lens and approach of CRP actually blend seamlessly with everything we know about learning and the brain. She adds to the discussion by highlighting how CRP can go further in enhancing the learn…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 1

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  

Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  

Part 1: Splitting“Well, I think you should drop dead!” I said, storming out the door. My father, the recipient of my thoughts, caught up with me some twenty yards from the house. He trotted backwards in bare feet, trying to talk …

Review: From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation

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From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taylor lays down a nuanced, powerful, and important critique to understanding African-American political and civil movements of the last hundred years. One of her first goals is to contextualize and explain the rise of the Black establishment, Black leaders from post-Civil-War to the present who have bought into the white power structure and while at times, advocate for equity and equality, are just as likely to throw people of color under the bus. Included in this critique is Barack Obama for his often tepid and delay responses to the tragic killings of too many Black lives to list and his disdain for rioters while proclaiming to follow the process (that has repeatedly failed people of color). She uses the construct of the Black establishment to then discuss the rise of a new black radicalism that is consciously intersectional and critique of being absorbed into the Black establishment. Namely…

Review: America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America

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America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wallis explores the legacy of racism in American culture through the lens of religion and spirituality, raising biblical arguments and concerns for the ways in which white America has never truly reflected and confronted that legacy. He engages in this discussion on many fronts from the historical intersection of religion and activism to the ways in which certain denominations have perpetuated systematic racism to the degree of segregation that occurs in churches (exploring the truth in Martin Luther King's words that 11am on Sunday is the most segregated hour in America). His tone is welcoming as he engages with scripture, history, law, and culture as means of invoking God's fairness, equality, and equity as missing elements in religious circles that refused to engage in racial dialogue. Wallis's discussion also includes the discussion of immigration an…