Kindness during COVID-19

The first article, Pandemic bringing community together through acts of kindness, highlights some of the actions people are taking to help each other through physically, mentally and financially crippling conditions of COVID-19
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The second article, Coronavirus kindness: San Francisco man serves free coffee to essential workers from home window, show cases a local man who reminds us all that one person and one act can make a significant difference.

“As Coronavirus Alters Our World You May Be Grieving. Take Care Of Yourself”

npr_communal-grief_custom-1fb3c28e50047a8b0ae3cb545d3515e92bfdb134-s800-c85.jpgThe featured article today is “As Coronavirus Alters Our World You May Be Grieving. Take Care Of Yourself”. This article gives insight on how we can recognize our losses, honor our grief and engage in self-care during the COVID-19 crisis.

Faculty Resources During COVID-19


Today’s featured article “How Faculty Members Can Support Students in Traumatic Times” provides faculty with resources on how to assist students grappling during this unprecedented time, how to shift to online learning, and how to integrate empathy into courses

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Today’s other featured article “Moving Online Now ” provides faculty and staff members resources as they move through the process of closing in person instruction to making the transition to online schooling.

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Parent Resources during COVID-19

In the time of the COVID-19 crisis, parents are tasked with the duty of homeschooling. This is a monumental task which can leave parents and students frustrated. Over the next few days, we will be providing scholarly resources that attempt to provide answers for our helping heroes at home! ⁣⁣
Our first featured article is “Instructional Strategies That Homeschooling Parents Use to Teach”. Mathematics can be extremely difficult and frustrating for some students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the learner-centered instructional strategies homeschooling parents use to teach their children mathematics. The conceptual framework for this single-case study was based on Weimer’s learner-centered teaching model. Participants included 4 parents who homeschooled students in Grades 6-12 in a Western state and who received instructional support from a private school. The results indicated that the homeschooling parents aligned only a small amount of their instructional strategies with Weimer’s learner-centered teaching model by trying to make mathematics fun, interesting, and relevant to their children’s lives. They also differentiated instruction and chose a curriculum that included some critical-thinking problems. ⁣⁣


Another featured article is “Homeschooling Education- Longitudinal Study of Methods, Materials, and Curricula“. This study talks about the benefits of pooling resources with other homeschooling families in order to create a cohesive community. In a comprehensive study of two-hundred fifty homeschooling families in urban, rural and suburban areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the researcher examined all aspects of the instruction, materials and curricula employed by the families in a ten-year longitudinal study from 1998 through 2008. The researcher conducted interviews and gathered questionnaire data from: 1) all of the families in the sample in 1998, and 2) those families still residing within the same designated district in 2008. Significant changes occurred in the demographical data and the families’ instructional programs. Within the methods/materials/curriculum data, increases occurred in the: 1) use of prepared curricula (religious and non-religious), 2) the acquisition of more textbooks from local school districts, 3) use of the public library, 4) technology applications, 5) consultation with instructional specialists/ teachers, and 6) greater networking with other homeschooling families. In their pooling of resources, sharing of expertise, and communicating with other homeschooling families, the homeschoolers had upgraded and diversified their choices of pedagogy and their modalities for delivering instruction.

Presence and Absence in Leadership (March 2020)

Harvard Business Review suggested that the most common form of incompetent leadership involves absenteeism. Too often, leadership theorists focus on the different ways that people try to be ‘present’ in team environments and then exercise ‘influence’ in pursuit of team goals. When leaders restrict their presence and influence, the void can be perceived as ‘absence.’

However, there is a contradiction in the prescription of ‘absence’ as ‘incompetence.’ Many of HBR’s resources emphasize *listening* as the foundation of ‘effective leadership.’ These approaches show that ‘active presence’ in a team setting can veer into domination and myopia. They point readers toward a balance between listening and influencing.

The balance is never static, though. Every setting requires a new insight about the specific participants, current moment, and time-sensitive goals/outcomes. These varieties of circumstances take new meaning in the context of a global pandemic. The pressure to move into a dominant mode can be tempting, but it is a short-term benefit that can often undermine long-term team performance. Careful discernment and listening during a crisis will yield the best ongoing results for most teams.

Elwood David Watson, Keepin It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America (2019)

Elwood David Watson delivers a collection of powerful essays in his new book, Keepin It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America. The symbolic evolution of African Americans over the last five years comes into clear focus. In the first section, Whitelash, Watson delivers a diagnosis about the misunderstanding of Barack Obama’s presidential administration between 2009 and 2017. The second section, Woke, examines the ways that a new generation abandoned the illusory dreams of tolerant and inclusive cultures after the Red Summer of 2015. In this moment, it is the reassertion of racial violence that becomes the subject of the third set of essays. Autocratic white supremacy in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia rely on the random imposition of violence against the African, Indigenous, and Chicano diasporas to reassure European elites and their global allies about the stability of the modern Christian world. The final section emphasizes the crises of Black celebrity as the major figures of integrated commercial middle class status in movies, television, and music are destroyed by their greed and idolatry. Ultimately, Keepin It Real sorts through the assorted trauma of the Donald Trump presidential administration after 2017. It is an invitation to the long historical patterns of racial and religious terrorism that defined American presidents as varied as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, and Ronald Reagan.

Damian Duffy and John Jennings, Parable of the Sower (2020)

Octavia Butler’s gift for examining the nuances of human processes shines in the graphic adaptation of her novel, Parable of the Sower. Damian Duffy and John Jennings have exceeded the standard of excellence that they established with their historic bestseller, Kindred. The new text delves into a layered experience of collapse as a human process. Structured as a ‘future history’ that examines the period from 2024 to 2027 in suburban California, PotS drags its readers through a dystopian landscape too similar to the world we see around us today.

The characters move from a stable fragility behind temporary barriers through stages of social change that reflect common experiences of the twentieth century often obscured by the emergence of global consumerism. The action rapidly accelerates as terrorism consumes the suburban remnant that Lauren Olamina calls home. A physiological disorder forces her to experience the pain she perceives around her. Butler names the condition, hyperempathy. Today, billions of people empathize with Olamina’s experiences due to the ongoing trauma of autocratic revolutions in Europe and North America.

In the graphic novel, Olamina’s syncretic faith in pursuit of an escape from the planet brings survivors of the apocalypse into her migration tale.  By the end of the story, against considerable odds, Olamina and her adopted families find a rural settlement and begin to adapt to a more difficult and unstable reality. The concepts that sustained her crystallize this community around a belief system called “Earthseed.” It offers a transplanetary animism that pursues a balance in the aftermath of national terror.

Duffy and Jennings provide a crucial tool to negotiate the apathy and nihilism that threatens to destroy the liberal state in the present day. In the classroom, the multimedia adaptation challenges teachers and students to engage images, text, and sound simultaneously. So much of the twenty-first century world has turned to data, specifically numbers in attempts to make sense of our lives. The danger posed by data aggregation firms from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to Amazon and Google represent a digital catastrophe with untold consequences for human freedom over the next century. PotS helps its audience to escape these potential traps by seeking refuge in relationships with other people and the natural environment.

If you have expressed a concern about the possibility of social collapse, Butler, Duffy, and Jennings give you a detailed portrait of resilience to focus your efforts to maintain family and community.