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Archive for March, 2013

War on Youth?

Author Mike Males list the myths about violent, drugged, morally challenged US youth, and defends the reality of good youth behavior. He blames the myths on adult bad behavior. He ascribes adult fear as partially due to the increasingly multi-racial and less affluent youth. Males maintains that, “The rapidly deteriorating behavior of American grownups (particularly aging Baby Boomers) in both personal and social realms has led to a crisis of adulthood in which youth is the target of displaced fury.”[i] Researcher Don Tapscott also believes that the reason for the harsh criticism of youth is a generation gap. The individualistic and self-centered Baby Boomers are afraid of change that youth bring with their use of electronic media and ability to collaborate. Therefore Boomers criticize youth for being “dull, celebrity-obsessed, net-addicted, shopaholic exhibitionists.”[ii]


[i] Mike Males. Framing Youth: Ten Myths About the Next Generation. Common Courage Press, 1999.

[ii] Don Tapscott. Grown Up Digital. McGraw Hill, 2009, p. 289.

Professor Henry Giroux agrees that youth are unfairly blamed and that there’s an escalating war on youth, but rather than blaming a generational struggle, he faults neoliberal or casino capitalism. The wealthy don’t want people questioning the economic system that accumulates power in the hands of the few. Neoliberals push for privatization, reduction in government services and regulations of finance, and “militarization of the entire society.” [i]What sets aside young people is they’re the first generation to be exposed to neoliberal propaganda all their lives with its “near pathological disdain for community, public values, and the public good.” The culture of competitiveness and consumption  leaves their future security in doubt.[ii]

The 1% are afraid of youth’s push for democracy, open discussion, and creation of alternative support systems, as evidenced in the overly violent police response to the Occupy movement and youths branded as terrorists in a “war against youthful protesters.”[iii] Giroux believes we live in a “neoliberal culture of cruelty.” The OccupyArrests.com website reports that 7,732 people were arrested by the end of February 2013.

The 1% is disassembling social safety nets and freedom of speech globally under the guise of austerity and protection from terrorists. They fear youth who are “producing new ideas, generating a new conversation, and introducing a new political language.”[iv] Young people like those who participated in the Occupy movement value the social sharing rather than individual competition and they question “banal fantasies of consumption.”[v] Especially minority youth are considered a threat to adults, housed in prison-like schools and then actual prisons, resulting in a culture that “cannibalizes its own young.” He advocates that young activists reclaim higher education as a place for critical thinking and questioning the existing power dynamic, as it may be one of the few public institutions left where this dialogue can occur.

As Indian author Arundhati Roy said in an interview after visiting Occupy Wall Street in 2011, that “it seems to me to be introducing a new political language into the United States, a language that would be considered blasphemous only a while ago…reigniting a new political imagination…. an imagination outside of capitalism, as well as communism.”[vi] She urged that protesters be aware of a global pattern “that their being excluded from the obscene amassing of wealth of US corporations is part of the same system of the exclusion and war that is being waged by these corporations in places like India, Africa and the Middle East.”


[i] Henry Giroux. Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future. Paradigm   Publishers, 2013, p. xiii.

[ii] Ibid, p. 135.

[iii] Ibid, p. xi.

[iv] Ibid, p. xvii

[v] Ibid, p. 125.

[vi] Arun Gupta, “Arundhati Roy,” The Guardian, November 30, 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/30/arundhati-roy-interview

 

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Are Young Adults More Stressed?

Millennials (ages 18 to 33) are experiencing increasing stress—higher than the national norm–with work as the main source of difficulty, followed by money and relationships.[i] On a 10-point scale, the 2012 average was 4.9, while it was 5.4 for Millennials. It makes sense that stress is depressing. The online survey of over 2,000 adults found that Millennials are more likely than other age groups to be told by a health care provider that they have depression (19%) or anxiety disorder (12%). Their most popular coping mechanisms are music (59%), exercise (51%) and spending time with family and friends (46%). They were more likely than other age groups to cope with relationships (vs. an average of 39%).


[i] Sharon Jayson, “Who’s Feeling Stressed?”, USA Today, February 7, 2013.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/06/stress-psychology-millennials-depression/1878295/

 

Aside

Questions for Global Youth

Greetings from California. I’m writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what’s on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I’m asking people age 19 and under to respond to 12 questions.  I have a draft of the book if you would like to critique it. I also have a draft of a book about coping with test anxiety and stress.

See www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923 for photos.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Test-Success-How-to-Cope-with-Stress-and-Anxiety/185582088232378

Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.

Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu

1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,

what would you ask her or him about life?

2. What bothers you in your daily life?  What practice best helps you stay calm?

3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what

would it be?

4. What would you like to change about yourself?

5. What do you like to do for fun?

6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?

7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose?

How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)

8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your

school? Why?

9.  What work would you like to do when you’re an adult?

10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?

11. How is your generation different from your parents’ age group?

12. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?

What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .

What first name would you like used in the book to quote you?

How old are you?

Girl or boy?

What city and country do you live in?

Gracias! Merci! Danke! Arrigato! Chi chi!

> > > > >Previous Books:

> > > > > Essential Energy Tools book and 3 videos.

> > > > > 21st Century Families: Blueprints for Family-Friendly Workplaces,

Schools and Governments. (Equality Press)

> > > > > How to Create Your Ideal Workplace (Equality Press)

> > > > > The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide (Equality Press)

> > > > > 50/50 Parenting (Lexington Books)

> > > > > 50/50 Marriage (Beacon Press)

> > > > > ed. Everything You Need to Know to Succeed After College (Equality

Press)

> > > > > How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce (Equality Press)

> > > > > ed. Women’s Culture (Scarecrow Press)

  • > > > > Ed. Women’s Culture Revisited. (Scarecrow Press, 2005)

Quick Healthy Recipes Literacy Fundraiser Cookbook

Quick Healthy Recipes: Fundraiser Cookbook

10-Minute Prep Time

Healthy Recipes

Plus Health Tips

 

The Cookbook is a California fundraiser for the Open Doors Literacy Project (ODLP) in Pakistan, taught by college student Hassan Saeed. With no administrative costs, the funds go to workbooks, transportation, and Hassan’s salary, which helps with his college tuition. Some of the students are also involved with microfinance projects to raise money and use their new literacy skills. To see photos of the students and teacher go to http://opendoorsliteracyproject.weebly.com.

The cookbook was compiled by Gayle Kimball, Ph.D., US founder of ODLP, from favorite recipes shared by friends around the world and a few from Internet sites and other cookbooks

The author searched out quick healthy recipes, the tried and true favorites of her friends around the world. We’re busy, time is precious, and we value our health, but we don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen. The cookbook includes health information focusing on food and how to reduce stress, as well as recipes for every type of meal. Readers can save cooking time and do a good deed: All profits go to the Open Doors Literacy Project. Dr. Kimball is the editor or author of 12 other books. Here’s the Table of Contents:

 

 

Appetizers            page 3

 

Salads              page 10

 

Veggies             page 20

 

Soups              page 24

 

Veggie Main Dishes         page 28

 

Meat Main Dishes           page 44

 

Fish Main Dishes           page 50

 

Bread              page 54

 

Deserts             page 58

 

Drinks               page 68

 

  Other Quick Healthy Recipe Sources    page 72

 

Health Tips             page 73

 

Index              page 93

 

 

Understanding How the Brain Works to do Well on Tests

Since your brain is your main tool in achieving test success, let’s identify the various parts and how to use them, as explained in The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. The brain is so complex it takes until the mid-20s to mature. It has around 100 billion neurons, each with an average of 10,000 connections to other neurons. When they fire together they grow new connections that rewire the brain throughout our lives: “Neurons that fire together wire together.” This means repeated experiences imprint the brain and we are able to change it. The ability of the brain to change with new stimuli is called plasticity. The lower brain, called the reptilian brain, acts instinctively to keep us safe from danger and controls basic functions such as heart rate and breathing. It developed first in fish. The amygdala, about the size of an almond, is in the mid-brain mammalian or limbic area that records memories that are responsible for our emotions. It processes emotions, especially anger and fear. If it kicks in during a test, we can lose contact with the thinking neocortex. The neocortex behind the forehead developed in primates and has two large cerebral hemispheres united by the corpus callosum nerve fibers. Only a few million years old, the neocortex allowed for human language and culture and is where we need to focus while studying or during tests.

The right hemisphere sees the big picture and is nonverbal but picks up information and emotions. It allows us to communicate as by noticing facial expressions. The left brain develops when we’re around three-years-old and start asking “why?” It is logical and connects thoughts in a linear way to do math or use language. Test-taking is primarily a left hemisphere activity. Mental health is characterized by balance between the two hemispheres. We want to stay centered when an upset occurs rather than feeling like we’re chaotically out of control or going to the opposite pole of rigid control.

The brain stores “implicit memories” that we may not be conscious of, such as Chris taking a test when he was 12 and started to get sick to his stomach. He may not remember the experience but still associates taking tests with feeling bad and doesn’t know why. The hippocampus pulls images and emotions from different parts of the brain like putting together a puzzle that creates an explicit memory that we can work with consciously. If Chris processes his memories of past unpleasant test experiences and makes them explicit, he can use his left hemisphere to take a positive approach and not be thrown off center by old fears.

We want to take a test from the left hemisphere, not letting the amygdala run the show with fear. If someone has test anxiety, the feelings and memories in the right hemisphere need to be acknowledged and brought into awareness. This can be done by writing about the fears in a journal, painting them, or telling a friend your anxious moments test taking. Telling stories helps integrate the two brain functions as the feelings and memories are right hemisphere, while the words and arranging events are left hemisphere. Naming and understanding a fear can deflate its power. Logic can kick in and say, “Now I have new strategies to use to stay calm and focused. I’m focusing on my deep relaxed breathing rather than my fear. I can use my simple tools as by counting from 10 to 1 and use my senses to look around the exam room, or moving the body.”

If the amgdala’s fear kicks in during a test, know that you can change your focus to the frontal cortex. To move attention away from fear, connect with it by naming it and acknowledging it, then redirect your focus by paying attention to your senses. What do you hear? Notice your breathing and take a drink of water. Touch your forehead to remind it to be the boss. Work on cleaning out old negative memories before you take an important test.

 

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