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Showing posts from November, 2017

Review: Sex and Spirit

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Sex and Spirit by John Selby
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. Surprisingly, “Sex and Spirit” by John Gray and John Selby proves to be a much better audiobook than “Mars and Venus in the Bedroom.” If Gray had used this book as the basis for his “Mars and Venus” book, it would have been an entirely different and much more fulfilling audiobook. This very introspective audiobook allows the listener to deeply contemplate their sexual actions and experiences in the bedroom.

Preempted by a gently voiced introduction from John Gray, the audiobook consists of four guided meditations accompanied with an addition CD of music to help listeners meditate without spoken-word guidance. Each meditation deals with a separate issue, but serves as a great prelude to the next mediation. The four meditations include “Transcending Sexual Worries…

Snipped...10 Years Later Part 1

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So ten years ago, I got a vasectomy...sometime around the month of June, I got the all clear from the doctor that I was in fact, all clear of the chance of reproducing.  The TLDR version of this post is: It's a decision that I don't regret and would make again in a heartbeat; if you're considering it, do it.  This first post will discuss some of the usual questions that I've gotten over the decade while the second post will discuss some of the deeper reasons why I chose to not procreate.   This is a 2-series and you can check out part two, here.  
“Did it hurt?”  That’s the first question he asks after I tell him that “I’ve been fixed.”  And yes, that’s the language I use.  “Fixed” because for me, it’s felt like the right decision at twenty-seven, and now just over 10 years later, I know it was. 

“Not really.  The procedure was super easy.  The needle was the hardest part--pun intended.”  I explain.  “The next day or so, it just felt like I had received a swift kick in t…

Review: Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion

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Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion by John Gray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. While John Gray’s theory of male/female interactions has kept many of his books on the best-selling lists for weeks and even months, it does not mean he should apply his theory to everything. In this case, he writes a book about the interaction of the sexes during sex. Some points hit home but unfortunately, his emphasis puts him directly in the same category as most audiobooks dealing with intercourse; one will be more amused listening the audiobook, then applying the lessons taught from it.

Designated for couples in monogamous relationships, the audiobook disappoints listeners immediately in the introduction. It speaks about passion and love and then discusses how a loss of these can lead to marital affairs…

Presenting at NEFDC on Open Pedagogy

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So yesterday, I had the pleasure to attend and present at the 2017 New England Faculty Development Consortium annual conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.  I'm a big fan of this group and this conference because it's a regional conference with a mixture of colleges from community colleges to Ivy League with faculty and faculty support folks like myself having workshops centered around a particular theme.  This one is about open educational resources and to no one's surprise, I put in a proposal for presenting and to my delight, it got accepted.  My presentation focused on thinking about making assignments more than what they usually are by using an open pedagogy framework.  With open pedagogy, the idea is that you provide learning activities and assignments that have the possibility of living after a class.  So often we assign students work that that essential dies once the class is over, but open pedagogy gets us to think about how to make the most…

Review: Awakening Storm

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Awakening Storm by Jonathan Lowe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. From Jonathan Lowe, comes a psychological thriller about a divided family, a religious zealot, and a man haunted by his past. Having survived a dirty and manipulative divorce, Veronica struggles to keep her life in balance and her career as a psychologist. In her work, she comes upon Michael Rivers, a man with a troubled past.

Michael suffers from insomnia and lives off of coffee to keep from facing his nightmares. Through her counseling, Veronica discovers that Michael’s dark past has connections to an evangelical preacher, Reverend Stillman. This same man has gained a recent follower: Veronica’s ex-husband. As a staunch unforgiving Christian, her husband abused his power as a Federal judge to influence the custody hearing so that he would be the main caret…

The PhD Chronicles: Mind-filled and Mindful

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Being in a doctoral program, especially one who has a focus on social justice means that you get hit with a lot in any given class and in any given semester.  Doctoral programs are often emotional journeys that take a toll on all who enter but those rooted in the investment of people and the aspiration of justice, can be emotionally challenging to a degree that I would (probably failingly) argue is not replicated in other PhD programs.  But we feel a lot about things in this program and that can be more strongly realized in the light of the 2016 presidential election wherein the winning candidate represents in many ways so much that is antithetical to what we believe.  

Thus, my recommendation to others and something I come back to time and again is the need for some kind of mindful and contemplative practice.  To make the most of a program like this, I find myself needing a means of stepping back, seeing what's going on, avoiding judging, and, of course, breathing.  For me, there …

My Current Bookshelf - October 2017

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October was another great month of reading and I've got some good recommendations.  I'd have a lot more but some are under review embargo and I'll swing back to them later! 


We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
To listen to Coates contextualize eight essays published over the course of President Obama's run for and performance of President is powerful, insightful, and damming.  Powerful in the ways in which Coates pulls together the strands of history, policy, culture, and politics to explain in different ways how white supremacy has been so woven into the fabric of American culture that it is nearly impossible to extract.  That he shows this through the lens of the first African American president's candidacy and terms is what makes it damming because, in hindsight, it seems so clear how we got from Obama to Trump.  Coates insights into the portrayal of Michelle Obama, reparations, birtherism, and the rise of Trump put words to the g…