From Page to Stage: Newark in Black and Blue in 2004

In the Fall of 2004, I was teaching a course at Rutgers University in Newark called “From Page to Stage” where the idea — as I was teaching the course — was to take original scripts written in class and present them in live performance to learn how the process of active creation worked.

The final project was a series of group presentations where students shared their lives as they were living it — and the alarming result of one racially diverse group was: “Newark in Black and Blue.”  That group’s bruising presentation was tough and blunt and dramatic and I decided we had to record that performance in audio so we could preserve the truth of the moment.

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Strengthening the Binding Between Virtual Violence and Real Aggressiveness

On May 12, 2008, I wrote — Violent Imagination Shaping Brain Reality — and the argument for that article was that we are formed and influenced by every experience, be it real or virtual, and that is why we must not seek out violence in our entertainment and pastime memes because the aftereffects are too dwelling in our real lives:

One can no longer argue gory movies, neighborhood killings and violent video games do not re-shape the brain in bad and terrifying ways.

One need not kill in order to perceive the effects of murder on the body by the brain — and that is a harsh and bitter reality for us to accept when so willfully immerse our children in a culture of violence and celebrated bad behavior.

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Cedar Needles Fight MRSA

MRSA is a deadly SuperBug and the University of Missouri has found a smart way to fight that sort of deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Cedar Needles.  MRSA is on the rise. Thirty years ago, staph MRSA infections were at 3%. In 2003, that number rose to 64%. Since 2005, almost 19,000 people in the USA died from MRSA complications.

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Owning Information Through Inquiry in Missouri

At the Passover Seder, things are structured in such a way to incite inquiry in the minds of the children who are present. The sequence of the meal is different than that of any other meal. Foods are dipped into salt water, which is never done. There are times during the meal when everyone leans a certain way while drinking or eating. All of these things are done partially to stimulate the question of why we are doing things differently. In Missouri, the idea of inquiry leading to better learning is part of a new initiative.

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Lighthouse on the Prairie

by Steve Gaines

it was a time of longing for the past
or hoping for the future
it was a time caught at the stand still of a decade
the depression coming begrudgingly to an end
July boiling like a hot plate
days and nights of weather in the extreme
nineteen thirties afternoons
one hundred degree cauldrons
and people sleeping on the grass
sleeping on the roof on the fire escape
and somewhere in the blare of headlines
war sending up its warnings
off in the distant east in Europe
a far away unknown place, exploding!

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