Warhol numbs, Dylan Kelly makes us care: two Scholastic Art Award winners then, now

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This is a case of a lesson learned, and then unlearned. Some years ago, as a high school art teacher, I learned to withhold praise for personal styles in student work. Teens, not fully formed in mind or body, will stay with the praised style, hesitant to explore other ways of working. Andy Warhol embodied this behavior. TEEN WARHOL Hyperallergic Magazine reported on teen art at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a display of students who had won this year’s 90-year-old Scholastic Art Awards. The magazine mentioned that Warhol won the same award…

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White Male Fear: Problem & Solutions (Letter to the Editor)

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To the Editor: Our country and our community has a White Male Fear Problem. Not all, but too many, white males think this country belongs to them: it doesn’t. They think men are superior to women: they aren’t. They think the problems in our communities are due to minorities: the problems in our communities are due to systemic racism and oppression of the poor (which includes, ironically, poor white males). They think – no, the problem really is that they don’t think: they merely judge from a position in our…

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Trans kids (and everyone): don’t listen to Caitlyn Jenner, misinformed fallen hero

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That collective groan you heard recently? It was the transgender community nationwide learning Caitlyn Jenner launched her bid for Governor of California. That whistling kettle-like sound you also heard? It was our collective anger boiling over when she said this weekend, “It’s a question of fairness, that why I propose that biological boys that are trans competing in girls’ sports in school…it just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” When a reporter asked Jenner if her views de-legitimized trans girls’ identities, she ran away.…

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High school writers connect across chasms with Page Poetry Contest

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IOWA CITY — With the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and the trial of the officer who killed him, a program I started as a high school writing program has become an escape, an outlet, and a way to deal for the young writers who are participating. Page Poetry Contest Winners from IC Speaks Over the past year, IC Speaks and our members have dealt with a pandemic, and an explosion of political conversation happening worldwide. In some cases, I had BIPOC students writing pieces about the anger and pain…

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Lies, melodrama, and the hunger to control guns and drugs: roots of police brutality (TRM Blog)

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Days after Derek Chauvin’s trial resulted in full convictions last week for George Floyd’s murder, we’re in the thick, realizing things haven’t changed much in the past year. Since Tuesday alone, victims of known videotaped police shootings are a 40-year-old unarmed Black father of 10 wanted on drug charges, shot in the back; a 21-year-old unarmed Black father of one wanted for missing a Zoom hearing on gun charges; another 21-year-old unarmed Black man who sought help from police; a 16-year-old Black girl shot from behind while rushing another girl…

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A future to avoid on display with Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest

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NEW YORK CITY — How do you persuade naysayers that climate change is real, that the earth is fragile and needs protection? How do you call people to action to forestall environmental collapse and the natural world’s death? American architect and sculptor Maya Lin‘s latest effort is “Ghost Forest,” an installation of 50 Atlantic white cedar trees, each some 40 feet tall, and each defoliated and dead. Looming over Madison Square Park like a warning, the trees look cadaverous. “I wanted to create something that would be intimately related to…

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TRM Blog: Race, gender and religion? Or ego, pride and control? Real-life intersectionality in Grinnell

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GRINNELL, IA — The straight white male history teacher could not have been more repentant. “I drew incorrect conclusions …. I misinterpreted … I did not paint an accurate picture,” he said of an attack letter he wrote about efforts to make Grinnell-Newburg’s public school curriculum more diverse and welcoming. “I failed to reach out… failed to take the time …. misinterpreted… had preconceived notions,” said Kent Kastendick. On he went, in at least 17 different ways, trying to pull back the wave of anger, suspicion and fear he inspired…

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Stealth agents, special agents: A lighter look at how COVID vaccines work

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“As an ICU nurse, I’ve watched far too many die from COVID in the past year. I’m also painfully aware of the horrific atrocities historically inflicted on minority and marginalized humans in the name of ‘science.’ I understand the reluctance of some to accept the vaccine. We do have so much work to do in science and in society to repair and heal our communities. It’s my hope that this vaccine — and my fun little column below — is part of that process.” — author Heather Fudala When you got…

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Virtual ‘dog eat dog’ world of vaccine access calls for new tone, greater sensitivities (TRM Blog)

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We are now deep in the throes of pervasive vaccine inequity. No clearer illustration exists than a new suggestion floated to help boost the economy. “Restaurants and nightspots, hold an open night for the vaccinated!” suggested one heretofore trusted voice. “Entry allowed for anyone who can present proof of vaccination! Come on in, help restart the economy, show the world the benefits of getting vaccinated!” The rest of you? You are not invited. If you’re eligible to get an appointment and just can’t …. If your work schedule doesn’t allow…

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COLUMN: Gun control has racist roots, gun ownership now a need for activists

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The January 6, 2021 insurrection at our nation’s Capitol showcases the increasing boldness and violence of right-wing extremists. It also showed those extremists that they can engage in violent insurrection and some of the police officers present will do nothing more than take selfies with them.  The fact that Trump ultimately departed the White House doesn’t undo the emboldening of those insurrectionists or the millions of people who watched (and sympathized) from home.  The danger is surely higher now than it was a few months ago. Sadly, many people in…

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