HOW COOL IS THIS?! And how is it that I have never heard about this before?
Do you live on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Downtown South or somewhere nearby?
Would you like to learn more about Writing, Critical Thinking, Philosophy, Music, Art, Sociology, Popular Culture, First Nations Studies, Literature, History, Politics, Gender Studies, Law, Architecture and more.
Humanities 101 offers three non-credit university-level courses at UBC for people living in the DTES and surrounding areas who have a lust for knowledge and education, especially those whose economic situation, academic experience, financial and social well-being are compromised. With respect to their low incomes, all students receive course materials, bus tickets, meal vouchers and childcare, as well as student cards which give access to UBC amenities.
Students study a different area each week, taught by excellent teachers in a respectful environment.The courses focus on critical and creative thinking in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and take place from 7-9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays:
- Humanities 101: an eight month course in the Humanities (Tues & Thurs)
- Humanities 201: an eight month course for grads of both Hum101 & Writing
- Writing: a three month writing course twice yearly (Tues). Each class, a different teacher presents a genre of writing which students then practice individually and together.
Many people are involved in the Humanities 101 community, for along with these courses we also hold public events on the DTES which are open to everyone: reading and writing groups, lectures, discussions, workshops and an alumna-led weekly Documentary Film Series. All past and current students are invited and welcome to participate in these ongoing public programmes, and are especially encouraged to give their crucial input and feedback at the regular meetings of the Steering Committee which guides all aspects of the Programme.
Now in its twelfth year and with over 450 graduates, Hum engages students, faculty and community members alike in a vibrant exchange of ideas, supporting an active sense of citizenship and a lifelong commitment to learning and critical, creative thinking. Part of an international movement of similar programmes (and the first of its kind in Canada), our students are people from around the world with diverse backgrounds and knowledge, and of many ages and strengths.
The Programme is supported by residents of the Downtown Eastside and surrounding areas, and sponsored by the University of British Columbia’s Office of the Dean of Arts and private donations.
To find out more about Humanities 101 – to apply for a course, volunteer to teach or tutor, to donate – or for any information about courses or Public Programmes please contact us.
Below is the link to HUM 101’s audio contribution to the “WE: Vancouver - 12 Manifestos for the City” exhibition at the VAG, on now til May 1, 2011. LISTEN.
“WE want you to use the city in non-described ways. WE want you to hold hands with strangers as you cross the street. WE want you to incite the riot. WE want you to take this set of instructions out into the city. WE want you to know you have the right to design the city. WE want you to affect the built environment. WE want you to know that opting out is not sustainable. WE want you to radically bring people together. WE want you to poke and prod the city’s built environment rather than work within its prescribed instruments. WE want you to slow it down, create resistance, be the speed bump. WE want you to view the city as a vital space of engagement. WE want you to build the city. WE want the act to be the manifesto.”—
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”—Melodie Beattie (via oceanofmind)
“But do you know where constant worry comes from? It’s rooted in arrogance that assumes, I know the way my life has to go, and God’s not getting it right. Real humility means to relax. Real humility means to laugh at yourself.”—Tim Keller (via oceanofmind)
“Why should I vote?
Because not voting when people in Arab countries are dying for it is like standing in front of a homeless person and dumping your pizza into the garbage can because the slices “all taste the same.”—
from the Thursday March 24 2011 edition of the Metro
Something else I’d forgotten about… My favourites from “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handy:
Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling.
I think someone should have had the decency to tell me the luncheon was free. To make someone run out with potato salad in his hand, pretending he’s throwing up, is not what I call hospitality.
If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong though. It’s Hambone.
Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. “Mankind”. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words - “mank” and “ind”. What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racism.
It is also the first day of Spring. A friend of mine wrote the following in celebration of the Spring Equinox, and I’m feeling a lot of parallels between the two significant occasions marked by this date, at least in terms of possibilities for change, growth, rebirth. Also, courage in taking the time to reflect on where we are now, and where we are going…
"Through all time and all space, trans-galactic, immemorial, substantial, in the glee bowers of bird and flower, we convene in the bird nest of the year, piping songs. You can cover your altar with flowers—-sisters—-and sing the song that Earth has sung since first bee and flower blossomed. Sky shout praises of collaboration, that we may activate and embody earth regeneration.
What is our juiciest sharing and how are we carrying out what is sacred and precious and rubbing the wild thoughts of a thrillion, thrumming species amongst our sacred sisters, calyx and whorl? The Earth is waking up: spring zing! She is dazzling us with celebration. What bud casing are you bursting from, leafing out? What is unfurling in you? What colours and patterns are your wings? What flower is rising in you? Where is your hive and garden, how do you connect with flying and flowering sisters on the move? Like bees, like Melissa, dance your special dance that communicates directions to the nectar—-one short flight that will sweeten all the days of Life.”
*Marna: Mother Tongue Ink 2010
I feel it would be wise for us, sacred sisters, to answer these questions. To help fully shift us into the newness that is coming our way now. Let winter take the past into the soil, transforming our pain into new seeds of awareness. New flowers of growth and delicacy and femininity. I feel it would be fun for us to share our answers. Sharing quickens the process of manifestation. As we all sprout and come into our new power, let us support each others growths.
With gratitude, love, and abundance to each of you,
“Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and for [people]. The naming of the world, which is an act of creation and re-creation, is not possible if it is not infused with love. Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself… Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to other [people].”—Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (via callmebrandy)
“The first thing to understand about the universe is that no condition is “good” or “bad.” It just is. So stop making value judgments. The second thing to know is that all conditions are temporary. Nothing stays the same, nothing remains static. Which way a thing changes depends on you.”—Neale Donald Walsch (via oceanofmind)
First, empathy dissolves alienation. For the moment, at least, the recipient finds himself or herself a connected part of the human race. Although it may not be articulated clearly, the experience goes something like this: “I have been talking about hidden things, partly veiled even from myself, feelings that are strange - possibly abnormal - feelings I have never communicated to another, nor even clearly to myself. And yet, another person has understood, understood my feelings even more clearly than I do. If someone else knows what I am talking about, what I mean, then to this degree I am not so strange, or alien, or set apart. I make sense to another human being. So I am in touch with, even in relationship with, others. I am no longer an isolate.”
Carl Rogers, “Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being”
By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun March 16, 2011 4:29 PM
VICTORIA — The minimum wage in British Columbia is going up, Premier Christy Clark announced Wednesday.
Clark said the minimum wage will increase in increments, starting with a jump to $8.75 per hour on May 1 from the current rate of $8 per hour.
The wage will increase again to $9.50 on Nov. 1, and then to $10.25 on May 1, 2012.
"When fully implemented the full-time minimum wage worker will have close to more than $4,000 in additional dollars in his or her pocket to support themselves and their families," said Clark.
"This is going to help them to succeed and it will help them to create stronger, more stable families."
As she promised in her leadership campaign, Clark has also eliminated the province’s training wage.
Clark said the move to increase the minimum wage — one of her first acts since officially taking office on Monday — came after government-led consultation with employers and workers that began last November.
She added the minimum wage will not be indexed to the cost of living, but that the rate will be reviewed every two years by government.
Clark also introduced a separate minimum wage for alcohol servers on Wednesday, which is lower than the minimum wage. She said this is to reflect the fact that alcohol servers make more in tips than other workers.
That wage will rise from to $9.00 an hour by May 1, 2012.
Clark also said she does not believe the move will have a detrimental effect on the economy.
"Less than three per cent of the population works at minimum wage — it’s about 41,000 people," she said.
"I don’t think it will cost jobs."
New Democratic Party critic Shane Simpson said the move is long overdue, and not enough.
"We’ve been calling for this for the better part of 10 years now," said Simpson, adding the rate has remain unchanged at $8 for that time.
"It’s certainly good that the government has finally been embarrassed and shamed into doing something, but it’s not enough considering the reality of the working poor in this province," he added, saying he believes the rate should be moved immediately to $10 per hour.
I am blue, in tones and hues and rooted deeply in you. I flow and go as you well know, and speak in muted vibrations. No shouting, no calling out, I move in silence, seeping into smaller places, expanding and growing where space is given. Where lines collide we mesh and ride… it out. And root ourselves deeper than you know, given space to grow. Reverberations and pulses and isn’t that enough to let the other colours come true? You know, don’t you? Inhale, exhale, expand. And with each wave, rise. No crashing back down but a slower, softer, slinking away is kept at bay. And the cadence of these movements is still familiar wouldn’t you say? Curl away from the break of day, it’s the moonlight madness show… In leaps and bounds, unroll, expound in the silence and the infinite possibilities of a blank piece of paper. This wasn’t meant to be a love letter, or an apology, or a thank-you note either. It’s just me to you, straight up and true. Breathe. Peace.
It took me years to unlearn the habit of saying yes automatically when someone asked me for something. So often had that single syllable fallen from my tongue that I would often agree to things before people even asked. In time I realized that I had spoiled the people around me to the point that they assumed I owed them a response of agreement, no matter how inconvenient and unreasonable it was. Many times, if I was unable to concede, they would be agitated and annoyed—and I would feel guilty. To this day I find that when I tell someone no, even a stranger, they seem surprised, almost offended, at my nerve.
And perhaps it is nerve. And the fact that saying yes all the time got on my very last one, and kept me on edge. I would say yes because as a self-described superwoman and strongblackwoman it was the only word I knew to say. I would say yes because I was flattered at the request(s), anxious to people please, and focused on making other people happy. I would say yes because it felt like the right thing to do, the polite reply to any well-intentioned question, and evidence that I was a good/nice/sweet/reliable/thoughtful/friendly/generous person. I would say yes because I felt like people were taking score, and I wanted to always be on the plus side (even though, as is general with people who perpetually say yes, I hardly ever asked anyone for anything). But the yeses nearly took me out. I realized that saying yes to everyone else was in essence saying no to myself. No, my personal time and space wasn’t important. No, sleep was optional and it was reasonable to expect me to accomplish multiple tasks in a day. No, I don’t deserve a moment to breathe or a moment of reprieve. No, I’m not important—everyone else is.
When I learned to say no, I realized that it did not require an explanation and that “No” is an adequate one word response. There didn’t have to be a substantial reason why. No. I didn’t need an excuse or grand reason that I didn’t want to participate in an event, or guest lecture in a class, or attend a workshop, or go to dinner, or review this book or this article, or go out on a date, or join a club or support group, or be a mentor/advisor/reader. No.
Sometimes it (the no) is because I am simply tired, overwhelmed, depressed, moody, PMSing, jonesing, or otherwise distracted. Other times it is because my plate is already full, overflowing with the residue of other unintentional or well-meaning yeses. And sometimes, it is because I simply don’t want to, don’t have any interest or desire to, and would prefer to indulge in doing something else or nothing at all.
No, I don’t have other plans or a laundry list of chores to accomplish first;
No, I am not sick or bedridden;
No, I don’t have a deadline or a stack of papers to grade;
No, I’m not caking or sexing or crying;
No, I just don’t want to.
I don’t feel like it.
I have a date with my damn self, bubble bath, glass of wine, mellow music and all, and I’m not breaking it. I have had a long day/week/month and I just want to chill. I need some personal, one-on-one, just me and the reflection in the mirror time. No, no, no!
So, in the spirit of knowing how to say no… I have the following suggestions that I have learned over the years (post 30):
1. Always say “no” first. Do not allow “yes” to be your default answer. It is easier to go back later and say yes, than it is to go back later and say no.
2. Never agree to do something on the spot. Always take some time to think about it and consider whether or not it is going to be an imposition. If it is, say no.
3. Limit yourself on how many things you agree to do (beyond your comfort zone) every month/semester/year, etc. I say “yes” to three things beyond my regular responsibilities every academic semester. After that, I almost always (depending on the request) say no. NOTE: I said beyond my regular responsibilities, which already leave me with limited personal time.
4. Never compromise your peace. If you have a full plate, acknowledge it. Don’t try to overcompensate for a previous “no” with a present “yes.” Never agree to do something you are not comfortable doing or that will stretch you beyond your limits. You do not owe anybody anything!
5. If you have a choice (and clearly, sometimes, whether it be for personal or professional reasons, we don’t), reserve the right to decline or say no.
6. Save some “yeses” for yourself. Women have the tendency to put other people’s needs and priorities above their own. Self-care is not selfish and even if it were, we deserve self-indulgence every now and then. Don’t say yes to something that is essentially saying “no” to yourself. Take care of yourself.
7. Don’t apologize for saying no. You have every right to decline a request or refuse an opportunity. You should not feel like you are doing something wrong, being rude, disrespectful, or obstinate. No is the other option to yes. It is a neutral response, neither positive or negative (regardless of the requestor’s reaction).
8. It is not a sin to change your mind. Don’t feel blocked into something just because you may have agreed to do it in the past. Circumstances change. Your #1 obligation should be to yourself.