Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Blogging is Beautiful

What is the point of blogs? 

Blogging is a great new way to vet ideas and have a conversation that connects people clear across the globe.   As a blogger, I am delighted to receive comments to my blog posts.  I crave for them and get so excited when I receive an e-mail that tells me that I have one.  It makes my whole day!

I moderate my comments.  That means if you are new to my blog and you make a comment, I must approve it before it is posted.  Only comments that I physically approve make it for all to see. 

I haven’t yet declined to post a comment.  Yet.  I’d like to think that I wouldn’t delete any comments. 

What if someone writes in a comment that I am a sniveling, frakin, retched, ugly wench?  Hey, that’s good stuff and may be even true some of the time. 

To approve or not approve, that is the question. 

If the comment was free from obscenities and took aim at me alone then I would probably put it out there.  That is the point of the blog – to let everyone have a say who would like one.  It is a conversation, with similarities to what you would have in person.  You don’t always agree with the person you are conversing with but you can’t simply delete what they are saying as they say it!

There is a distinction between journalism and blogging.  Journalism has an ethical obligation to report events of interest with credibility and honesty.  The ethical obligation of a blog is individualized to the morals of the blogger who hosts it.  Blogging is a form of entertainment.  It may rub elbows from time to time with journalism, but primarily it is forum for personal opinions and the dialogue that it inspires. 

In the case of my class where we use the blog for journalistic educational purposes, I respect that my professor reserves the right to delete comments.  This blog was the only medium that she was offered to post the journalistic work of her students in the local newspaper so she had to take what she got.  She is now using the blog in the same way that she would run a print newspaper.  Since it is a blog however, I think we should have a comment policy to refer to so that the reader has the expectation that their comment will be evaluated before publishing.

However, if a true blogger deletes comments because they don’t like the perspective then they only want one side of the issue to be viewed – their own.  That is quite boring indeed and defeats the point of a blog.

As Americans, we have this amazing right of freedom of speech.  Why would we willingly censor ourselves?


Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Are you there God? It’s me, Alicia.

Cults and new religious movements in literatur...

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A priest visited our class last night as a guest speaker.  He had an open dialogue with us.  Prior to class, I had ideas of how he would behave.  I expected this to be a lot like Sunday Mass; a lot of preaching and pontificating.  I was wrong.

This conversation felt enlightening and uplifting.  I walked away tranquil and enveloped in the comfort of my own deep thoughts. 

The concept of religion is unique to the individual.  My ideas about religion and spirituality will differ from yours and I may think differently about the entire thing tomorrow.  It is very fluid for me.

Organized religion in a church is a dying fad in our American culture as we see more and more churches closing.  I wonder if people are truly less religious or are they just finding their spirituality elsewhere.  Maybe people feel more connected to God in the forest or by the sea-shore. 

Imagine if people traded their Hail Mary’s for charitable volunteerism or a random act of kindness when seeking universal redemption. 

Our guest speaker told us that our generation has not yet thought much about God or religion because we may not have had to yet.  He believes that this comes when we are faced with our own immortality; when all that we know, feel and value is about to vanish. 


I found myself contemplating more of my spirituality in recent months.  Difficult times have led me there.  It also led me through them.

He said one thing that I hope to never forget:  “This life will hurt you and then it will kill you.”

We each feel the pain and perhaps that is what makes us all connected. Paradoxically, there is a beauty in that, yes?  We are not alone when we have problems or feel despair.  Those emotions are ones that we all succumb to.  Life is beautiful and it is fragile.  In the end, don’t we all seek a higher power when it is all we have left?

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Asra Nomani – Part three of three

When Asra asked me what role I take to ensure that my son is not brought up to perpetuate gender inequality I couldn’t easily answer. First of all, as I stood in line I was not preparing for what I would say to her.  I had only anticipated small talk with Asra as she signed my book.  It seems to me that in the Unites States, book signings are not a time to speak to your audience; it is a time to keep the line moving so that the sales of your book will increase.  In that way I was expecting a traditional, superficial dialogue where she would ask me my name and write, “To Alicia:  Best Wishes, Asra”.  She didn’t write that.  She wrote this:

Dear Alicia,

For the divine love that guides us in the children in our lives.  They are our compass.

With Love,



Dear Alicia,

For your lifelong pursuit of knowledge, you will only grow more beautiful.

With Warmth,


I had a long line behind me and she took no notice.  At that moment she treated me as if I was the most interesting person in the world.  This inevitably meant I would have nothing of interest to say.  She inquired about my life, my pursuit of education and my family.  In response to her question about influencing my son positively about gender inequality I said, “Um, um” for about 10 seconds.  A serious Toastmaster’s violation. 

And here is the brilliance I bestowed upon her:

“Uh, yesterday, when um, my son came home from school… he um said that his bike “squeaked like a girl”.  And um, I told him that uh if he ever said that again that he’d be punished.” 

That’s 5 um’s for the Toastmaster “um counter”. 

She just smiled.

Not my most polished response. 

As I was walking out of the door, silently congratulating myself for that brilliant response I realized that there was a reason I was stumbling.  I don’t think of gender inequality with any frequency.  I don’t have to. 

Now don’t get me wrong, as an HR professional it makes my blood boil if there is a difference in pay simply because of a gender difference.  I am grateful that our president is taking that matter seriously with legislation to prevent it from happening.  Likewise, if a man ever suggested that I could not do something simply because I am a woman, it is likely that I would get that stupid strength that is fed by adrenaline and then lift my refrigerator right up over my head and bop him with it.  Then I would stand over him and ask, “What man can do THAT?”

Now my life is riddled with gender roles.  In my house, I am the appointee to prepare the daily feast and my husband is the appointee to mow the lawn.  We are both qualified to switch roles should the other quit (little do they know that is a very real possibility on my end) but we simply lack the desire.  I have no more interest in mowing our lawn than I do of eating something that my husband threw together for dinner.  If that is too “sexist” well then so be it.  I am comfortable with it, because on most days, I do not feel as though I am taken advantage of.

So I didn’t have a good answer for Asra and I still don’t.  That is because I am privileged in ways I cannot even begin to comprehend. I have not had her challenges.  I have not had doors closed to me because of my gender so I can’t relate to that question.  The men in my life have been by and large loving and respectful.

If I could answer her now, I would say that I hope that my son sees enough in his life to be shaped in a way that he will not perpetuate gender inequality and that my goal is to guide him on that path each day.

With an endless list of things to be thankful for in my life I now have a new one.  The next time I am in church I am going to give thanks because I can go there and stand next to my husband and my son.  I sure am thankful my husband is there.  I need him to help me keep the boy in line through an hour long sermon.

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Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

Crisis Communications

This is my third and final class.  I love this class too.  How can these professors be professors?  I thought this profession was reserved for stodgy old know it alls.  Not mine.  Mine are just cool people who I would like to chat with.  Maybe it is because our age and professional experience makes me connect with them more than my classmates.  Maybe I am just lucky and they are really down to earth people.  My crisis professor is just awesome.  No other way to describe her.  She is the girl who never seems frazzled.  No matter what life throws at her she is always going to say the right thing in a polished and professional way that won’t piss anyone off.  Man, I admire the heck out of her.  This class teaches us how to be professional in the worst situations.  No tests in this class either.  That is three for three.  Grad school is all right.  No tests, just papers and projects.  I know I can swing this.

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind