Inner Resources Series
Introductions to Inner Resources "Clips": 2013- 2014
Entire discussions are available on DVD from the library.
Conversation with Handel Gibbons, May 7, 2014.
In their discussion about their home, Guyana, (northern tip of South America) on May 7, 2014, Handel Gibbons, Information Technology, and his brother Paul, a sociology professor, offered capsules of geography, ethnic history, cooking, and current religious patterns in Guyana. Guyana means "land of many waters"; one large industry there is bauxite mining, used to make aluminum. Handel was particularly interesting about Guyanese people's public way of expressing – through religion, music, cooking, and proverbs. Many ethnic groups live well together in a small nation in part because religion and families are seen all the time as culturally different, not as believers in one God or another God. The theme is useful in literature, sociology, psychology, and philosophy courses. One could feel the close brothers' joy as they remembered home.
Conversation with Claire Kamasaki, April 16, 2014.Elder's Memories of Pearl Harbor.
On April 16, 2014, Claire Kamasaki, English professor, shared slides and conversation regarding Hawaii and "Elders' Memories of Pearl Harbor," Dec. 7, 1941. Bob Ellis helped Claire with the slides. On Dec. 7,1941, Hawaii's population was one third Japanese. There was an immediate internment order on each island. 120,000 Japanese were interned on the U.S. mainland. Looking up, an uncle of Claire's said about the planes, "How did they get here?" Others thought the attack was "practice." Even with the attack's threat, not all Japanese were interned since if that had occurred, most shops in Hawaii would have been closed. For some of these shops, Claire's mother designed Kimono patterns. Hawaii's social flexibility remains intact today because in Hawaii's demographic makeup there is not a majority ethnic group. The presentation is useful for American History, literature, sociology, for its family version of historical moments, and for current and historical slides and Claire's comments about ethnicity.
Conversation with Chandrika Shah, March 12, 2014.
Though on March 12, 2014, Chandrika Shah, professor of philosophy and raised in Mumbai, arrived in a flowing pale Indian dress for her talk, no video had been arranged. It is hoped Chandrika can speak again and be video-taped. Chandrika mentioned that India recognizes dual citizenship, but that the U.S. does not. India, as well, is ethnically and religiously diverse – with languages differing by states. The diversity and scale of India may explain why Indians in America and India "socialize within," said Chandrika. Raising her children, Chandrika advises them to accept people as they are and also to strive for global citizenship. She sees arts and cultures as bridges. For philosophy and religion courses, world history, sociology, developmental psychology, and literature, Chandrika's perspectives are unique and valuable. She expressed too that when you visit India, haggle back about the prices. If you do not, in a good-natured way the shopkeepers believe they can out-do you.
Ashanti Johnson, Administrative Assistant to the President, has experience teaching in elementary and middle schools. She speaks of the need to connect with students, to listen and to be on their side. Ashanti dealt with traumatized children after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Students' trust is especially important in diverse classrooms, and Ashanti describes what she does in classes to earn this trust. Ashanti's session offered useful, empathetic pedagogy for classes in all disciplines.
Katharina Lach, Administrative Assistant in Enrollment Management, as a young girl with her family fled Cambodia. She discusses her mother's schooling, then her own schooling in Cambodia, Boston, and Lowell. She describes what she does today to influence her children's schooling. Katharina urges her children to take advantage of what is offered by schools and discusses the gentle way in which she pushes her children, in a realistic manner, to strive and persist. She and her husband are busy working during most hours of every weekday. The session offered an authentic, down-to-earth view of immigrant families' tensions and progress. The session is useful for most multi-cultural themes because the comments have been lived. They are grounded.
Kent Mitchell (ex teacher and Dean, now advisor) wishes to launch a more motivating, less test-ridden conversation about education's fundamentals: speaking, thinking, reading, writing, math. The concern is that, after 40 years of tax laws favoring wealth, increasing income inequality in the U.S. and across the globe continues to rig most education against the poor and for elites. Two ideas that surface are 1), a support group at MCC for students motivated to raise their skill levels; and, 2), attention by parents to language learning that can begin quite usefully between ages 0 and 3 – in those homes that make it a deliberate routine to read, speak, consider pictures, and sing with infants and toddlers. The research suggests that the benefits of doing are striking. The session is useful in writing, reading, and Childhood Education courses.
Audrey Frater, who runs Pathways to Success at MCC, was schooled in Jamaica and has deep experience in the U.S. in business and with non-profit organizations. She helps students to understand that academic achievement and engagement at MCC are actual, early, beginnings of paths to success in careers. Audrey, idealistic but practical, includes a range of measures and connections that "help the young find their way" – a phrase that informs everything that Audrey and her staff do. The session offered a language of idealism and hope that is also practical. As well, listeners understood why all connections are so important. The session is useful for student orientations and introductory level courses.
Conversation with Binnur Ercem, Nov. 13, 2013. 21st Century Social Movements: Case Study, Turkey. Gezi Park Protests
Binnur Ercem, professor of sociology, describes the Gezi Park movement in Turkey, a movement which reached into all 79 provinces in Turkey. The issue was whether Turkey's national government, in its reach to Islamasize Turkey's secular democracy, could destroy a popular public park. This secular-Islamic fundamentalist division refers to a central question across the entire Islamic world. The session and video presentation also analyzed the ways in which social media's strategies are used by protesters in 2013 to undermine government oppressors. The session is useful in media, sociology, religion, and world history courses. A DVD of Professor Ercem's presentation is available in the MCC library. Please contact Dean Cady for a streamed link.
Raised in the Philippines, Erlinda Forgacs, professor in Nursing, taught first in Manila, then in the United States. Her talk offered an introduction to the Philippines – national language; ceded from Spain to the U.S. in 1902; regions and class divisions – and the island nation's growing importance to the U.S. since World War II. Erlinda offered a similar sociological awareness as she discussed teaching: "saving face" as very important among professionals; respect for authority in Asian nations; hierarchy; less hierarchy in her experience at MCC. The session is a useful introduction to the Philippines and to how its customs differ from the U.S.'s mores; is useful as well for multi-cultural nursing classes and in all courses dealing with Asian cultures.