Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Censorship Bust, Dogs and Pre-Canaa

Pre-Canaa is over, my friends, and we made it out alive.

I should note that it wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it might be, but not quite as helpful, either. Maybe it was all that parochial school training I had that ruined me for what I would 'learn' in pre-canaa. Dustin, however, had never had parochial school training and didn't find it quite so helpful as he found it 'entertaining.' During our six week Tuesday night class he drew numerous pictures, wrote down dozens of quotes and made a stunning amount of faces.

In truth, I can't sum it up well but I think I'll try to get him to post a blog when he's done with his incessant run-around. Poor boy can barely breathe let alone consider writing a blog.

In other news, last night some of Columbia's fine restaurants co-sponsored an event called "Dining out for Dogs" in which a variety of restaurants donated part of the money they made during a certain spell of time to the Central Missouri Humane Society. I went at six-ish, donated what money I could, ordered breadsticks that never showed up and had two beers prior to pre-canaa. Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around to wait on the breadsticks since they took a super long time (I think they're a delicacy, so I remained patient despite my usual harsh judgment of restaurants and servers due to my own ten-year stint in the service industry) and hope that Beth, Matt, Eli, Amanda and co. enjoyed them for me!

Dining out for Dogs did give me the opportunity to discuss with other animal lovers or supporters just how much I'd like to volunteer at the Humane Society, but can't due to space and sanity restrictions. If I volunteered, I'd end up wanting to foster then adopt the adorable dogs they house and care for and this would be no bueno for all of us!

So after our final pre-canaa class, D slipped home immediately and I stopped off to grab us dinner from Bangkok Gardens. For whatever reason, I was exhausted last night and passed out so hardcore I didn't actually get out of bed and become functional until around 11 today. Not normal. Perhaps it's because we were both up at 5am yesterday and ran around all day getting used to being back from break and catching up on all that needed to be done...oh, and I suppose I forgot, for a moment, that I had to head back to teaching classes, too.

And what fun that was.

My students were as blank-faced as I felt while we discussed 'censorship' in the U.S. I am a firm believer that the way my students respond to a subject or topic is, in part, a direct response to how I, as the teacher, am dishing it out. In other words, I was beat yesterday after teaching my first class at 12:30 so it's no surprise that I lacked all eloquent speaking skills by the time I hit my 2 o'clock class. I could hear my voice-barely audible, scratchy, stumbling for basic words. It was sad. They responded just as poorly to the topic of 'censorship' as I approached it. It was disappointing, to say the least. I feel disappointed because I put this topic into my syllabus with the idea of it being pretty fun, controversial and, perhaps, inciting to my class. They should get riled up about being censored, damnit! This is the country of 'freedom of speech and expression.' But without my excitement, they failed, too. It was a sad funeral for the topic.

With that launching ground, I have been debating all day how to resurrect the theme of the last few weeks of class. I want to take black tape and put it over the mouths of a few when nudity is censored in movies and shows. I want to give them a list of words they are no longer allowed to say and topics they are no longer allowed to discuss, but in order for that to work, they must first talk, right? This is where the problem presents itself. How do I get them to a place by tomorrow where censoring them will work? What topic can I use that will excite them enough to feel as though they want their voice heard so they can feel the hardships and rage that being censored would cause?


If you have any ideas...speak up! I'm open to just about anything at the moment.



  1. "entertaining" LOL

    That sucks about the breadsticks - boo! I hear you on the Humane Society. My team goes and walks dogs and it's hard to leave the little buddies. Thankfully we do 'big to medium' dogs and I know we can't get a bigger dog so it helps some.

    I SO know what you mean about teaching. I always felt like my energy level dicated the atmosphere, their response (or lack thereof), etc. A lot of days I had to fake it because come on - who is pumped every day? Especially if I had JUST taught it to another class! haha

  2. You could always begin visiting the Libertarian and Anarchists websites to see what they have to say about censorship. If you get into that type of mindset then the passion will be there. Trust me.

  3. It's Megs. What's funny is that I introduced my censorship topic on Monday, as well, and my students stared at me all hour. I was exhausted, too, but I did my best while talking about pro-ana/mia websites, stormfront, and dont date him They weren't as excited about it as I thought they would be. I think everyone is a zombie the first day back.

  4. The breadsticks were eaten and enjoyed.