I listen to a lot of podcasts, newscasts, Sunday morning shows. I think part of that is because I am a political junkie. But another part is because I think in order to be good educators, we have to keep up on the latest happenings in the economy, politics, technology…everything. After watching the most recent episode of VICE, I wanted to sit in on a Biology class to see how they talked about designer babies. Freakonomics finds its way into my thinking on many occasions. As does Serial and All Things Considered.
The other day I listened to a really interesting podcast episode about political correctness from Pantsuit Politics. Two women from Kentucky—“a woman on the right, and a woman on the left”—discuss what’s happening in politics. In a presidential election year that is anything but boring and at times completely frightening, I find all of the opinions fascinating. Beth and Sarah had an interesting discussion about political correctness and what it actually means—being inclusive especially for groups that are typically excluded—rather than the current political discourse of being too nice. I appreciated how they expressed that one could have an opinion that isn’t popular without being hurtful. I’ve had that thought quite a bit recently from personal lessons in the classroom—why I won’t use the actual N-word in class even when reading speeches from the Civil Rights Movement unlike my colleagues who use it for “authenticity”—to broader lessons about decorum and culture.
After that podcast, I happened to have a discussion with the ninth grade class about American culture and what it means to be “American.” They naturally landed on freedom of speech so we discussed what it meant to have that freedom, and how we use that freedom in negative and positive ways. We landed on Charlie Hebdo and incidents such as those in the United States and what freedoms trump (pun intended) others. Naturally, that guided us to political correctness and I asked, Is it American to be compassionate? Thinking back I think a better question is, Can it be? As a woman of color, of immigrant parents, who doesn’t actively or often practice Christianity, listening to some of these candidates really makes me feel like I am not welcome. But that’s for another day.
Just after that lesson, Beth, Sarah, and I ended up in a Twitter conversation about my lesson in class, and soon after, I was mentioned in a podcast. I was ecstatic and you can listen to it at the link below.
All of that reminds me, I have been thinking about doing a podcast of my own. Let me know what you think in the comments below.