For those of you who have done any sort of anti-racism training, chances are you have come across Jane Elliott. She is the woman who came up with an experiment to show an all-white classroom in Iowa what racism was all about. It is really interesting stuff, and I would recommend seeing "Eye of the Storm" which was taped in 1970, three years after she originally started the experiment. What she learned is that you can turn nice, equal children into hateful, critical children based on their eye color. One day the blue-eyed children were the "superior race" and the brown-eyed children were discriminated against. Some of things that the brown-eyed children couldn't do were drink out of the drinking fountain, have recess, etc. After one day of that, the situation was flipped and the brown-eyed children were "superior." The same thing happened. Elliott noticed that the kids that were told that they could do no wrong because they were better than the other eye color outperformed the other kids hands down. When the situation was flipped, the same thing happened. It's amazing that the experiment could flip attitudes so quickly. She wanted to show kids what racism was, and it all started the day after Martin Luther King Jr. died.
Really, it is very interesting. It's a simple way to get the point across to young children. Of course, every year there were parents that would not allow their children in her classroom because they did not approve of her or her teachings. But, you can be certain that the kids in her class did learn something.
Last Tuesday night I had the opportunity to hear her speak. I knew the basics of what she had done so I was interested in hearing what she had learned and what all she had to say. What I got was NOT that. What I got was a woman who was so angry at so many things that it was hard to follow sometimes. She was funny and she made some valid points, but her hostility was so intense that her point was usually lost. After she had pissed off a vast majority of the audience (let's call it a mass exodus) she got to talking about the stuff that I came to listen to. It was nicer when she wasn't talking at us, it was more powerful when she was asking questions of two very different students from NDSU. I'd say that the people who made it through the first hour were able to gain something from this segment of her presentation. The students answers were very illuminating.
I'd recommend her for those who can go in with an open mind and hold onto your seat until she gets through her hostility.
In other notes...I'm taking the GRE next weekend. Should be a good time - or at least I will have it out of the way and I won't have to worry about it. Then there isn't really much of anything hanging over my head.
For some good recipes...I'd recommend a healthier version of spanikopita. I just picked up some cresent rolls from the store, defrosted spinach, drained cottage cheese, added mozzarella, lemon juice and garlic, put it into the rolls (I doubled up and left them as triangles) and voila (!) an excellent dinner. It makes a lot too, so maybe invite some friends. I also made beer bread. It was pretty delicious and very easy!
Happy Easter and I hope next week is filled with sunshine!