Arts of Democracy

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Own experience: In my speech class, we have to do a group project and at the end of the project, we are supposed to evalute everyone in group, including yourself, and then reflect on the project and group as a whole. We haven't actually done it yet, but we will soon.

Media: Every Friday night, one of my favorite radio stations, 102.9, does this thing called "Friday Night Fights." They play two new songs and people call in and evaluate the song they likes best and which ever song gets a better evaluation, is the winner and that song in played throughout the week.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Own Experience: In the community meeting on Wednesday, we celebrated diveristy in our school by talking all sorts of people. We talked to people we usually don't or people we hardly or never talk to. Also, most people brought a food dish that represents their hertiage or some dish that is important in their family.

Oprah put together this huge "Legend's Ball" to celebrate many well know, admired, respected people who will forever be remembered such as Mya Angelou, Mariah Carey, Tom Cruise and Tina Turner. She wanted to celebrate how they are diverse, but all speicial.

Diversity is important because people liked to be acknowleged for being who they are, but that is who they should be. Some celebrate being like the most popular celebrity icon at the time, but I do not think that is real celebration of diversity.

I think diversity is not just about race or ethninticity, but it has to do without who people are and how that makes them different from everyone else.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Own Experience:

Almost every week in community meetings, we use public judgement. Just this week, a motion was made that only cohort 2 should be allowed to vote on the calander for next year and that passed with a majority vote. It was a public decision during a public judgement.


An public judgement in the media happens every four years, where the american public over 18 years of age can vote for whoever they think should be the next president. It is the public of america who decides who will be the president for the next four years.


This is public judgement because it is the public making a decison that allows citizens to make choices that they are willing to help implement because anyone who votes, obviously cares at least a little about who will be in charge of them and running their country.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Own Experience:
Today in Community Meeting, we voted on the next year's calender. That is re-imagining our future for next year according to the community.

Mr. President George W. Bush is pushing and encouraging Hybrid automobiles because he, as president, needs to be planning for the future that should be pleasing to most everyone. Not everyone is happy with the high gas prices now and Bush claims he understands that but he cannot lower the prices because the federal government needs the money so he suggests fuel efficient cars, like Hybrids.

This is political immagination because Bush is immagining ways that the American people can be happier with a political issue.


Own Experience:
Judy and I sometimes are given clothes or we just get clothes to make our parents happy so that they will buy us more. Well Judy wanted her mom to stay in a good mood so she got this long demin skirt that looked like something from little house on the prarie. The same week, my grandma gave me this low, tight, red shirt that really wasn't me but I didn't want to hurt their feelings. Judy spent the night unexpectedly and didnt have a clean shirt so I let her borrow that one. It looked really good on her and she really liked it, but she gave it back when she was done with it. Later that week, I went to her house and we were going to her church and silly me, forgot to pack church clothes so she let me borrow that skirt and I really liked it, so we both kinda gave each other that look and decided to trade. I could keep the skirt if she kept the shirt.

An example of this in the media is 88.5 FM. Two groups wanted to own this radio station but were both only willing to pay the same amount. A church group wanted it to play christian music and others wanted it to be a more techno-ish station. They had to decide and negotiate who would own the station. In the end, the church group decided that they didn't need it as bad and gave it to the techno lovers but only if they could play their music on Sundays. It was agreed upon and both have kept to their agreement.

This deals with negotiation because it is problem solving that meets key interests, owning a radio station, but pleases everyone in the end.


Own experience:
My Aunt Judy and I got in a big fight and every time we would talk, it would just get worse. It was really upseting my family so my grandma decided to do something about it. We had a big family meeting that my grandpa organized and my aunt judy and I told each other our side of the story and then we got other perpectives. Then we got the story straight and worked it all out, thanks to my mediating grandma.

Dr. Phil is a mediator. On May 2, 2006, the show was about this man who had his two daughters for over because it was his visitation time and he took the girls and ran to Mexico, where he crossed illegally. Dr. Phil had recused the girls after they had been gone almost a year with their father. Once everyone was back in the same place, the mother and father had to figure out custudy and visitation issues. Dr. Phil was their mediator who stated only non bias facts until they came to an agreement.

Dr Phil is an example of a mediator because he helped others settle conflict and hear each other out with out taking sides. Mediation is important to people who have trouble with the creative part in creative conflict.

Creative Conflict

Own Experience:
My sister and I experienced creative conflict. We only have one computer in our house and we both wanted to use it at the same time. We talked about who needed it most and came up with an agreement that she would have it for an hour and I would have it for an hour as well and we would switch unless one person was done using the computer.

An example of creative conflict in media is dispute about the Di Vinci Code. There were many people trying to prove or disprove the ideas behind this story and these people like pastors, scientists, and skeptics were all set in stone about their opinion. Then, the author of the book admitted he made it all up and even he, himself could not prove it true. Ta da! No more conflict and everyone is happy.

This is creative conflict because these people with different views confronted each other to reach an agreement. Creative conflict is important because conflict is just plain messy and stressful. Creative conflict is a way to express your feelings and beliefs and such without being judged and to hear other people's feelings and beliefs.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Building Social Capital

Every Friday, I go to dance class at Kent Commons, a community recreation center. This community center has developed a relationship with the city of Kent because residents of Kent go to this community for sports, activities, seminars, and shows. People give to center, by paying hard earned dollars to learn or play there and the center gives back to people by giving them a place to do those things.

At Kent Commons, everyone has different talents and skills. For example, there are many different kinds of dance, which means different teachers for each class because they all know that form of dance well. My dance teacher, Miss Sue, teaches hip hop jazz, for example, but Miss Mary teaches ballet and tap.

Active Listening

Today I watched Dr. Phil. It was about "Dangerous Kids" and parents who are afraid of their own children's violent behavior. The guests, or the parents of the out-of-control children, told their side of the story about their son or daughter behavior which included, hitting, pushing, swearing, abusing, and destroying their family and anyone around them. While they told their story,

Dr. Phil actively listened by being engaged in the coversation, asking questions, paying attention, and not inturrupting the speaker.

Then Dr. Phil would tell the parents what he though about the sitution. He told them their child needs help and in order to do this, that child cannot go back home and the parents need to stop minimizing the problem because that only hurts him more. They listened to him and plan to follow the good doctor's advice.