This blog is devoted to comments relating somehow to cultural and international border crossing. Issues, predictions, case studies, critiques, personal thoughts, discussions, quotes, reviews, stories, and insights regarding the joys and frustrations of border crossing are all welcome here.
Pay attention Mr. Jones. Thoughts on American democracy and the “March for Our Lives,” March 24, 2018. Over a half century ago, in a very different time, but in a very familiar space, a wise poet raised his voice: “… something is happening here But ya’ don’t know what it is…” “Ballad of the Thin Man” Boy Dylan, 1965 ...read more
I have received a communication from a former outstanding student, Damon, who epitomizes a border crosser. Upon graduation from college, he attended law school and had a very successful career employed by a law firm in Washington, DC. While living in DC, he was involved in several community organization activities. After a few years, he took a several month “sabbatical” traveling throughout Central and South America to “survey the land” and learn Spanish. He eventually ended up working with an incredible group of people at Psicologia y...read more
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. “Anthem” Leonard Cohen, Rest in Peaceread more
It’s official, the political debate of 2016 is over — if ever there was one. Yesterday (October 13th) at Southern New Hampshire University, First Lady Michele Obama put an end to it. In twenty-six and a half minutes, she proved once and for all that America indeed IS a great country – not a nation that needs to be made great again. A measure of American greatness is revealed in our openness to change, a willingness to embrace principled leadership, and to correct the course — especially during periods of societal discord,...read more
Language systems are fluid. Vocabulary changes, meanings, grammar, syntax, and phonology evolve. It is rare, however, that one is able pinpoint the exact moment a linguistic transformation occurs – such as when a word or phrase changes meaning. I believe, however, that we witnessed such a rare event -– what is known as a “semantic shift” in the English lexicon — on Thursday evening, July 28, 2016. This shift involves the oft-repeated expression “USA, USA, USA!” For some time now, cries of “USA” have been heard from Americans at...read more
Rod Serling, the highly acclaimed film writer and television producer/director, is known for his groundbreaking science fiction series “The Twilight Zone.” Airing on the American television network CBS from 1959-1964, his thought-provoking narratives are “strangely” relevant for our times. Serling concludes each episode with a philosophical reflection. Most still “speak” to us. This is especially true of his closing remarks from “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” (1960): “The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and...read more
Two quotes from the poet, author, and Chicano activist Gloria E. Anzaldúa: “Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants.” Borderlands/La Frontera:The New Mestiza “Caminante, no hay...read more
Cross Cultural Communication Experience during The Youth Seminar “Dialogue Groups 2005” in Roros (Norway).
By Lygdenova Victoria Institute of Philosophy and Law (Russian Academy of Science), Novosibirsk, Russia On February 2005, I participated in the unique seminar that was organized in Norwegian town Roros as a part of the International Students’ Festival in Trondheim (ISFIT). Dialogue Groups consisted of participants from six conflict regions – U.S.A. and Iran, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Russia and Chechnya. Ten students of Psychological Faculty of Norwegian Scientific Technical University were coordinators of the seminar. The purpose of the seminar...read more
There are places in the world that are neither here, nor there, neither up nor down, neither real nor imaginary. These are the in-between places, difficult to find and even more challenging to sustain. Yet they are the most fruitful places of all. For in these liminal narrows, a kind of life takes place that is out of the ordinary, creative, and once in a while, genuinely magical. We tend to divide life between mind and matter and to assume that we must be in one or the other or both. But religion and folklore tell of another place that...read more
When I was in high school, my church (United Methodist) would have an annual pulpit exchange with the Jewish temple down the road. Our pastor would give a talk at their Friday night service, and their Rabbi would give a talk at our Sunday morning service. I always enjoyed this, the Rabbi had a wonderful sense of humor and was a brilliant, enigmatic man (http://www.cleveland.com/obituaries/index.ssf/2012/01/rabbi_bruce_abrams_led_temple.html). I even started going to temple on some Friday nights and attended a Passover Seder Meal at the...read more