Friday, October 20, 2006

 

A Contemporary Gally Trend: Misinterpreting

Mishka Zena: “What is Jane doing? All this talk about anarchy, terrorism, and now guns? This is a peaceful and civil protest. Why is she trying to portray the protestors as out of control and dangerous?”

Everybody’s starting to upset me. They continue to pull things out of context, and interpret things literally. They are choosing to ignore situational context, which is crucial to examining things in the light. (Read the blogs!)

Yes, in NBC 4 News video, Jane K. did say, “I’ve been threatened to be shot, yes”. But this was simply an answer to a reporter’s question. Look at the video again! EMPHASIS: Jane K. did not say anything about guns. This figuratively means she has been threatened by the protest to accept defeat, which she says she will not do. And besides, how else do you sign "SHOT"? Of course, the verbial sign is iconic of guns. I can see where the misunderstanding took place.

And yes, she also did say, “anarchy”. But if you look up www.dictionary.com, you will find that anarchy is 1) “a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society” and 2) “confusion; chaos; disorder”. She is simply suggesting that this group of dissenters is operating on anarchy in the sense that this “voluntary association of individuals” is “the principal mode of organized society” at Gallaudet, and perhaps also suggesting that this protest is bringing about a mass of confusion and disorder, which I’m pretty sure nobody will deny.

Will the misinterpreting ever stop? This form of communication, misinterpretation, is sure winning people.

No doubt about it, the army’s growing. And I still don’t get it.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

 

Interesting thinking makes me laugh.

"Gallaudet Blocking DeafRead?"

Tsk. Whereas the author did not flat out accuse Gallaudet of *true biz* blocking Deafread, it's still the comments like this that spread like a wildfire and encourage distortion. I'm glad it turned out to be someone on THEIR end. However, there's the hole in the fence now...

On the other hand, I'm disappointed that someone could actually wonder Gallaudet University would go so far to block ONE blog. Gee, have we been brainwashed with conspiracy theories?

A blog titled Suspicious Anti-Protest Blogs Spring Up: "I wonder who writes these blogs. They are not contributing anything valuable to the national discourse about this crisis. I call on them to moderate their tone and contribute something useful other than condescension. It's difficult to respect those who oppress or push down others' opinions rather than simply express their own opinion."

Hmm. Another opinion. He may think some blogs are not contributing anything valuable, but does he have the right to decree which ones are valuable and which are not? I could say HIS blog is not valuable! If he is going to throw in oppression, he should have some FACTS to back it up. Some may view my posts as condescensing, others may view them as expressing an opinion. Your choice. My right to a freedom of speech.

The same author: "In my eyes, since they are lone voices in a sea of protest-supporters, the onus is on them to be appropriately respectful. Otherwise the same sea will not listen."

Perhaps. However, how is it possible to give respect to those who has not earned it? Peaceful it has been. Respectful it is not.

Jane Norman wrote this in her letter: "The current protest is negative and conflicting, and the weight of the issues facing the deaf world is being placed on Gallaudet's shoulders--and on one individual in particular."

My sentiments exactly and that is why I chose to start this blog and write the posts as they are. It is not meant to convey support or nonsupport of IJK/JK.

 

The infamous Earth Juice.

In a letter by Jim McFadden (this guy, I would have thought to make sure all of his facts were straight): The administration of Gallaudet, including the Board of Trustees has to be censured for acts of stupidity, such as putting manure on the lawns where students were putting up their tents. It may have been scheduled, which I doubt, but someone should have changed the schedule.

http://www.signcasts.com/node/19

If you watch this vblog, you see the guy, Ando, state that he arrived at 6:45am, and no one else had arrived yet. However he was puzzled at the maintenance trucks driving around and wondered what they were doing. He found out they were putting in earth juice. Gee… this is a normal activity on Gallaudet campus. Manure, or otherwise known as fertilizer, is used to keep plant life healthy and green. Think of it as their vitamins. Heck, even my mother does it for her garden.

http://www.signcasts.com/node/20

It is now past 8am. If you look closely, you see only two tents. This is an indication that students had not had their tent cities set up yet. Did they go to the person responsible for scheduling (I assume Dwight Benedict, what not with his position in the PPD for these kind of things) and check if there would be any agricultural work around the area they wanted to erect their tents in? I think not. So, to blame the administration “including the Board of Trustees” for trying to deter the protesters from setting up their tent city is just far fetched. The workers had already started early in the morning, the students arrived LATER. The vblogs are clear indications of the timeline. This is again, a ploy to draw pity from people.

Timeline:
Months in advance: PPD schedule October 2nd, 2006: the day to put in fertilizer, gotta keep those trees growing through the fall and winter. Going to be cold!
May 2006: students decide to cease their protest and go home for the summer. Tents were taken down and the campus empty.
Sept 2006: students return to campus, but the grounds remain empty
October 2006: students get the idea of resurrecting the protest again. They choose Monday, October 2 as the day to begin!
October 2, 2006; 6am: PPD arrive to work. They begin giving trees their Earth Juice.
October 2, 2006; 6:45am: Ando arrive and find trees were given their Earth Juice. He realizes Earth Juice is not suitable for humans. How dare PPD feed the trees and intervere with their plan to set up tents!
October 2, 2006; 8am: Ryan Commerson arrives and put up his tent, the second tent of Tent City.

With that timeline, please, please, please tell me it’s still the administration of Gallaudet, including the Board of Trustees’ acts of stupidity.

 

Electrons on a Spin: Reactions and Jumping to Conclusions, the Likes of Many.

From GU Private Investigator’s blog: “As reported at www.ridorlive.com, College Hall, which houses the office of the president, I King Jordan, has been taken by protestors and locked down. The primary reason for the takeover was because of I. King Jordan’s alleged order to the Kellogg Hotel to turn away all alumni who show up for a room.”

WHAT?!? Are you telling me that the protestors locked down College Hall in attempts to denounce IKJ for ordering the GUKCC to deny all alumni’s requests? My, isn’t that the funniest?!

FYI: I just called GUKCC to reserve a room. Just to see how the front desk staff handles reservations. Here is a copied and pasted excerpt (actually all of it) of my conversation with GUKCC this morning (10/19/06), with pseudonyms of course for myself, the front desk staff, and the third party relay operator:

Hare’s Relay: (F) good morning thk u for choosing
Hare’s Relay: Kellog conference hotel this is
Hare’s Relay: Elizabeth how can i help u qq (sounds calm) ga
GALLYBUSTERS: yes hello. I’d like to reserve a room please ga
Hare’s Relay: (WHILE U TYPED tones IN BKGD) talking IN
Hare’s Relay: BKGD) im sorry qq
Hare’s Relay: oh ok well how can i help u i already have some ga
GALLYBUSTERS: you have rooms available? ga
Hare’s Relay: for what date are you looking for qq ga
GALLYBUSTERS: tonight. ill be coming in tonight. do you have rooms available for tonight? Ga
Hare’s Relay: um
Hare’s Relay: unfortunately we don t have any rooms for tonight we are sold out ga
GALLYBUSTERS: ah, alot of people coming in for homecoming? ga
Hare’s Relay: uh yes it is ga
GALLYBUSTERS: how exciting. ok, thanks ma'am. i guess ill look into other hotels. ga
Hare’s Relay: ok thk you and thk you for choosing
Hare’s Relay: kellogg have a good day ga sk
GALLYBUSTERS: sk
Hare’s Relay: thk you sksk
Hare’s Relay: (HUNG UP ANOTHER CALL QQ)

Nowhere in this conversation have there been questions asking for my status with Gallaudet. She never asked whether I was an alumni. And to think that Roger Kraft made the allegation that IKJ had something to do with it (www.ridorlive.com). Ha.

Also from GU Private Investigator’s blog: “However, a call to the Kellogg Hotel made at approximately 2:30 am was met by a surprised front desk person, who indicated that the hotel was still open for those who have reservations. The gentleman stated that HC traditionally brings around a full hotel and that they currently have a waiting list but again emphasized that anyone who had reservations would still be honored.”

Of course, those who made reservations have the first priority to claim rooms. I’d like to believe that the hotel sets a deadline and if the people who made reservations do not follow through with their plans, then of course inevitably, those rooms would go to other people who want them. Or if the guest cancels the reservation, then the room goes to someone else. It’s standard protocol. I called GUKCC again this morning to see how they handle reservation cancellations and such.

Hare’s Relay: PLS ENTER THE NBR U WANT TO DIAL GA
GALLYBUSTERS: 202 651 6000 please ga
Hare’s Relay: DIALING 202 651 6000 PLS HD
Hare’s Relay: RING 1 (F)
Hare’s Relay: thk u for choosing
Hare’s Relay: callo (Kellogg) conference hotel
Hare’s Relay: how can i help u qq ga
GALLYBUSTERS: hello. id like to make a reservation please. ga
Hare’s Relay: for what date will u be arriving qq
Hare’s Relay: (sounds calm) ga
GALLYBUSTERS: tomorrow evening. ga
Hare’s Relay: um we are sold out for tmw evening
Hare’s Relay: we don t have any rooms available ga
GALLYBUSTERS: ok. i understand that you have some rooms available due to reservations. suppose some of those reservations do not follow through. could i still try and claim a room? ga
Hare’s Relay: uh yeah u can try to claim the room if there s any available ga
GALLYBUSTERS: ok, great. so there are rooms under reservations? i could still try to come tomorrow night and see if there's anything available. ga
Hare’s Relay: ok well on my system it says that i don t have
Hare’s Relay: anything available tmw i don t know where you re going to make the
Hare’s Relay: reservations this is the only way u can make the reservations ga
GALLYBUSTERS: can i ask you a question? suppose someone reserved a room for, say friday night, and that person doesnt come to claim that room, how does the hotel decide whether to give that room to someone else who wants it? whats the deciding factor? when someone makes a reservation, does the hotel expect that person to come at a certain time, and if that person doesnt come at that time, then the room goes to someone else, correct? ga
Hare’s Relay: ok my question is if the guest
Hare’s Relay: cancelled the reservation qq ga
GALLYBUSTERS: my question here is what is the deciding factor ? how does the hotel decide whether to cancel that reservation and give it to someone else?
Hare’s Relay: ok the only factor u know if the guest cancels
GALLYBUSTERS: does this reservation require that it be cancelled before turning it over to someone else? or do you wait until that person doesnt show up and then turn this reservation to someone else? how does that work ga
Hare’s Relay: the reservation we will give that to somebody else if somebody
Hare’s Relay: else calls us here i don t know whether a guest will cancel
Hare’s Relay: the reservation or not ga
GALLYBUSTERS: so suppose that guest doesnt come on the day he said he would come, do you still give that room to someone else? ga
Hare’s Relay: (WHILE U TYPED )
Hare’s Relay: hd on a second pls (HOLDING)
Hare’s Relay: (hd)
Hare’s Relay: hello sir i m so sorry yes ga
GALLYBUSTERS: so yes, thats the deciding factor? if that person doesnt come on the day he says he will come, that room will go to someone else? Ga
Hare’s Relay: yes ga

Kraft (http://deafkitchen.blogspot.com/2006/10/gukcc-something-fishy.html): “…thought I'd share my experiences with the Kellogg Center, the on-campus hotel. My trip here was hastily arranged so I didn't have time to call ahead for reservations. Upon arrival on Saturday night, I went straight to GUKCC to reserve a room for my base of operations. Alas, the front desk staff told me that "management" had just decreed the hotel be closed until Monday (today). I showed my credit card and tried to reason that they'd make money with my stay. No luck. Asked the nice lady to call her manager. On the phone, I explained that I would not need maid service--that I could keep my room clean. Still no luck. So I got a room at the Red Roof in Chinatown.”

Roger, better luck next time. LKraft: “The next day (Sunday) returned to GUKCC and tried to make reservations for Monday night. This time, I was told that the hotel is now closed until Sunday Oct. 22nd. It immediately struck me that this is the day after Homecoming.”

Of course, the hotel is BOOKED. Simple as that. The hotel is booked until the day after Homecoming. So what? Why are you surprised? Isn’t this a good thing? You could claim “YAY! Look how many rooms the alumni have grabbed up! It’s going to be a good weekend and kudos to our protest!”

Kraft: “Coincidence? Or is the administration trying to prevent outsiders (alumni) from easily congregating on campus? The hotel staff said rooms are vacant, so the hotel stands to lose money by refusing to accept my reservation. Part of the cost of fighting the protest? You be the judge.”

Roger, aren’t you the cutest? Just the cutest! You never made a reservation! You said specifically in your blog (scroll up) that your trip was “hastily arranged” and that you “didn’t have time to call ahead for reservations”. And to say that the hotel refuses to accept your reservation? Ha! You are posing many contradictory statements here. And for kicks, look at my conversation (this is an excerpt pulled from the conversation I just posted above) with the hotel once again:

GALLYBUSTERS: thank you ma'am. and do you ever ask a guest for his/her status in regard to gallaudet?
GALLYBUSTERS: whether he's an alumni, or a professor, or a student? ga
Hare’s Relay: (WHILE U TYPED ) hd 1
Hare’s Relay: second (HOLDING)
Hare’s Relay: no we don t go that far ga
GALLYBUSTERS: ok thanks ma'am. have a good day ga
Hare’s Relay: u too

And to hear Kraft say “Part of the cost of fighting the protest? You be the judge” makes me queasy. I say, reader, YOU BE THE JUDGE – I only hope that you break down everything based on fact, opinion, and logic.

GU Private Investigator: “could the front desk person have been issuing a generic denial ordered by the administration?”

And the GU Private Investigator says it is possible the administration made a direct order on GUKCC to deny all hotel room requests from alumni. Isn’t he as funny as Roger, too?

Ah, the life of reactions. I loved the chemistry class in high school, didn’t you, too?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

 

This or that; contradictions block my path.

From a blog: “One staff said, “I do not understand why she is willing to burn Gallaudet to make a point. Nobody wanted her at Gallaudet. Why is she so stubborn?””

This is an example of a person responding negatively. To every one action, there is always a mirrored opposite. One could say “Wow, what a strong woman. She really believes in herself.”

I’m reminded of a story I once read.

A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. The other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, the rest of the dismayed group agreed that it was hopeless and told the two unfortunate frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.

Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs tried with all of their might to jump out of the pit. The other frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that they wouldn't be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. They continued shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead.

But the two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could and became quite weary. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief.

The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. Once again, the crowd of frogs started yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and—wonder of wonders—finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit. Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then, gathering around him asked, “Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?”

Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.


Hmm. The gist of this, she may as well be steadfast in her belief that she can overcome the obstacles the protest is throwing at her and lead Gallaudet. What’s wrong with that? Why does it mean burning Gallaudet? Sometimes it takes courage to tear down something in order to build it stronger. Doesn’t she have the right to do that?

From the same blog: “She does not see that the protest is about her despite the fact that there are more hundreds of posters that clearly stated: Jane Fernandes Out Now!”

Well, this is one clear contradiction. People insist it is not about her. It is not personal. It is not about her deafness. Yet, there are other people who make her out to be a monster. Who call her an audist. Who call her a racist. Who compound her name with obscene words. They said it was about the flawed process. People were upset because JK kept telling the media it was because people felt she was aloof, cold and too strict or not deaf enough. They insisted they protest because they did not agree with the process, and since she was appointed as a result of a flawed process, they felt she should step down. Fast forward to today and this comment: now you’re saying it is about her. So, am I to retract my belief and go back to the initial complaints at the beginning, it was because they simply didn’t like her and they felt she was not deaf enough? My, my! My head’s spinning!

 

Response to the Letter from Clerc Center

It's well-written letters like these that garner more supporters. But if someone remembers how to distinguish a sentence based on opinion or fact, s/he will see that this particular letter from the Clerc Center is overtly opinionated. And I don't know how anyone cannot see that. My plan with this letter is basically to refute claims (especially those of great ambiguity) by providing facts, examples, and questions. After all, it's in the facts that truth prevails.

Letter from Clerc Center Staff
Filed under: General, - Staff, FSSA, - - Clerc Center - gufssa @ 5:12 pm
NOTE: The authors' names are withheld due to fear of reprisals.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOctober 13, 2006
Contact:ClercCenterProtest@yahoo.com

Teachers and Staff at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Call for the Resignation of Dr. Jane K. Fernandes from Gallaudet University.

Washington, DC - October 13, 2006 - Following a meeting yesterday morning, a group of teachers and staff currently working at the colloquially-known Clerc Center resolved on a number of matters; the most pertinent is our call for Dr. Jane K. Fernandes to respectfully resign her post as president-select of Gallaudet University. We present as justification the following rationale and, finally, propose a series of mandates as steps toward healing the still-lingering damage from Dr. Fernandes' tenure as Vice President of Pre-College National Mission Programs. As a result, we are opposed to allowing Dr. Fernandes the chance to impose similar damage on Gallaudet University as a whole.

We are representative of a larger Clerc Center community. We did not approve of Gallaudet University's decision to close Clerc Center on October 11 and 12. The protesters were prepared to allow MSSD and Kendall staff on-campus so that education for pre-collegiate students could continue uninterrupted. University administrators shoulder the burden of responsibility for the two days of lost teaching time for those students.

---"We are representative of a large Clerc Center community" - we don't know about this in terms of best representation. Who are the teachers that met together? And how many were there? Do they best reflect the whole community at Clerc?

--"We did not approve of Gallaudet University's decision to close Clerc Center on October 11 and 12" -- Of course, no one was happy that the campus was closed, but it was the protestors who barricaded all the gates, which led to the announcement made by Gallaudet University to close the campus. And I seriously doubt that any of the protestors let anyone in. From what I've heard (I shouldn't rely on hearsay), they pretty much did not let anyone in on campus, hoping that somehow Gallaudet University would see to it that the protestors were serious about their cause, and that hopefully it would compel them to take drastic measures, like asking Jane K to resign, which I know GU will never do, especially under these trivial matters.

While we do not condone negative tactics by either protesters or administration officials, we look forward to a peaceful resolution.

--"we do not condone negative tactics by either protestors or administration officials" - now the writers of this letter actually acknowledge that the tactics used were negative. Thank you very much! This simply means they do not support the tactics used by FSSA, the SBG, and the rest of the protestors, and also the tactics used by the administration officials. The tactics used by the protestors are 1) setting up the tent city at the front gate to obstruct access to campus, 2) locking down the Hall Memorial Building, thus forcing classes to relocate and employees to go back home, 3) pushing and shouldering the DPS officer upon entering the HMB building, 4) explaining to the News that this DPS officer ripped shirts, choked students, and twisted arms, when this is nowhere to be seen on the video footage, 5) refusing to meet with the administration officials to make negotiations for a dispute resolution, 6) students getting arrested and upon entering the van, laughing and joking on the way to the police academy, getting photos taken, and finding that this is fun, when they could have instead discussed on what following steps to take, 7) students smearing dung in the waiting room of the President's Office, 8) students spilling water and causing disrespect and havoc at the Washburn Arts Center during the Linda K. Jordan's naming ceremony, and for Elisa on
http://www.elisawrites.com/ to say that these students are not part of the protest. If only you knew, Elisa, the protestors among you are the ones inciting this type of behavior (don't forget SBG President Noah Beckman among others smearing earth juice in the waiting room of the President's office). And these students who caused much disrespect are still at the protest, barricading, when they could have been reprimanded for their behavior. And now the tactics used by the administration officials are 1) ........

Rationale:During her tenure as the vice president of Pre-College National Mission Programs (PCNMP) from 1995 to 2000, Dr. Jane K. Fernandes ignored, alienated, and disrespected teachers and staff. During a period of restructuring in 1996, the teachers and staff at PCNMP sought to offer additional advice and direction, only to be shunned and mocked. To continue our employment, we had to endure an atmosphere of distrust and fear. This statement of our oppression is long overdue.

--"Dr. Jane K. Fernandes ignored, alienated, and disrespected teachers and staff" - "ignored", "alienated", and "disrespected" are opinions, and "teachers and staff" without ‘the' to precede this clause tells me that it is all of the teachers and staff at Clerc Center who denounce Jane K. Fernandes. But really, this letter speaks for only 31 teachers (see the stats below) at Clerc Center.

--"the teachers and staff at PCNMP sought to offer additional advice and direction, only to be shunned and mocked. To continue our employment, we had to endure an atmosphere of distrust and fear. This statement of our oppression is long overdue." - again, ‘shunned and mocked' is an opinion. Did all of the teachers and staff offer alternatives? Did anyone think perhaps those alternatives may not work in the best interests of the community at Clerc? Jane K. as vice president of PCNMP is apparently not the sole proprietor of PCNMP, and has anyone ever thought about the president of PCNMP? Who was the president of PCNMP? Why suddenly Jane K. is the scapegoat of the PCNMP misfortunes?

As proof of Dr. Fernandes being an ineffectual leader and damaging the infrastructure of Clerc Center, we offer the following:

--"As proof" - I sure hope the statements below are proof. I'm going to use the opinion vs. fact measure to determine whether they are proof of Jane "being an ineffectual leader".

A poll was conducted during the May protests. Fifty-eight percent of the teachers at the Clerc Center participated in this poll, where 82% stated they did not support the process that selected Dr. Fernandes as the 9th president.

--"Fifty-eight percent of the teachers at the Clerc Center participated in this poll" - what exactly are the numbers?

In addition to the first poll question, the second poll question asked teachers if they were ready to move on and accept Dr. Fernandes as the 9th president, 79% voted NO.

--According to the Clerc Center website, out of a total of 194 employees at the school, approximately 54 employees are teachers. I use ‘approximately' because I'm not sure if ‘teachers' include the assistant teachers. But I shall use this number (although may not be accurate) to make a point. As stated above, only 58% of the 54 teachers participated in the poll. This means only 31 teachers out of the entire school participated. 82% of the 31 teachers did not support the process that selected Dr. Fernandes as the 9th president. This means 25 teachers voted. Finally, 79% of the 31 teachers voted unfavorably against Jane Fernandes as the 9th president. This means only 24 voted. This is proof enough that these numbers are not significant. Don't let the percentages fool you.

Class sizes were drastically expanded with many levels of instructional needs in one class.

--"instructional needs" - Usage of this term is too vague. It brings up different possibilities, such as different approaches needed to take for the various students, or perhaps intelligence levels to focus on, or resources/materials available for a certain group, but not available to another? If I was not to assume these things, just this means special need, then I'm sorry for the complaints that lie malignant in the school. Really, has anyone ever thought perhaps the decision was made in the IEPs? Parents have a say in how and where their son or daughter is placed. Also, class size is just a small factor in an approach taken upon teaching a group. Some schools have great success with a large class while others favor the small teacher to student ratio. It is not a strong valid argument against one person for attempting an educational approach.

Due to Dr. Fernandes' changes in the educational programs at PCNMP, enrollment plummeted, only to increase dramatically after her departure from the Clerc Center.

--Are there any concrete facts validating the plummet in enrollment? And the increase after Jane K.'s departure? I need to see facts. Don't forget, Jane was attempting to introduce a new educational approach that apparently is unpopular by staff and faculty. She transferred to a new position shortly after. Of course the next candidate for the position can change the approach. This does not mean the previous person failed.

Many support staff members gave up their primary roles to intervene with a significant increase in student violence inside the school due to forced removal of the disciplinary system without implementation of alternative options.

--Hmm? I think by human nature, a person (anybody, actually) intervenes when safety is an issue. Hell, primitive cavemen stopped hunting to intervene when bears attacked their offspring. "Forced removal of the disciplinary system" - again, where are the facts? For instance, the Amish shootings: the teacher who was responsible for the students, should she just have simply remained a teacher, or should she have stepped out of her role and tried to protect the students?

Dr. Fernandes saw no value in the faculty governance system and the grievance process, which were both eliminated during her tenure.

-- I'm guessing that the faculty governance system operated for a time before Jane K. worked as Dean, and during her tenure as Dean, she removed it. It is simply a change in the system, also considered as restructuring. I can see why suddenly she is considered a Nazi. Hell, people suffer and do not get sanctions for grievances.

Many jobs, departments, and programs were closed (i.e., Performing Arts Program, Special Opportunities Program, Woodshop, Driver's Education, Communication Department, Career Development Program, International Student Exchange Program).

--This is typical of schools, businesses, or any type of institution. Programs undergo changes. America's inevitably changing. Policies change. New approaches are developed. Sometimes changes require a shutdown of programs. Shutdowns of certain programs also lead to the start of new programs. At the end of the school year, there are reviews and evaluations of the decisions made towards the school. If for some reason, a certain change has a dramatic effect on the school, the administration will make modifications in the best interests of the school. The administration's primary responsibility is to maintain a good reputation, a good student turnout, and a good graduation rate. I don't think the administration would risk so much as to losing everything. Money and support from outside venues are at stake here. Another angle to consider: it is possible that there was not enough resources, staff, or budget to maintain the program, so it was removed. And has anyone ever thought about the new programs and jobs that opened following the shutdown? Perhaps money went to those alternatives, in the hope that they would improve whatever it is the school wants to improve. Thusly, we'd need to hear about how these possibilities I just suggested is not in factor here.

The dissolution of Student Development program had a huge negative impact on the quality of student leadership (i.e. Peer Mediation, Judicial Board, Student Body Government, student-run enrichment days).

--How so? Facts and examples, please. Perhaps there are people who do not believe that there was a negative impact, but rather a new outlook with a positive direction; so without concrete evidence, I'm not likely to accept this statement.

After restructuring, department budgets were combined and teams had less control over their respective budgets. As a result, available monies for departments were reduced. This led to outdated materials and equipment available to teachers and staff.

-- Can anybody share facts as to why the "available monies" were reduced? Where did the money go? Perhaps the money went to other priorities, e.g. opening up new job positions, new programs. That's budgeting, baby! It is also part of restructuring, a change in the system, a new approach in education, finance and administration. This also does not verify that indeed materials and equipments became outdated. For all I know, they may have already been outdated.

The dissolution of academic departments left teachers/staff no choice but to work/teach outside their content areas. Some competent and skilled people quit as a result of being asked to do things for which they weren't qualified.

-- The dissolution of academic departments forced teachers/staff to work outside their content areas? Hmm. I don't understand this because I still don't have the facts. Competent and skilled people quit their jobs because they were expected to do things they weren't qualified for? Huh? I didn't realize that teachers preferred to stay within their box as opposed to reaching out and finding new ways to bring educational benefits to their students. Isn't going beyond the call of duty what brings about improvement and challenges?

The issue of accountability was not clearly defined. Under Dr. Fernandes, people didn't know who to contact regarding policy and procedures.

--Hell, I think before AND after Jane K.'s departure, people still don't know who to go to for accountability. I'd love to ask a staff member who to contact if I wanted to know something about policy and procedures. I'd bet you a hundred bucks he wouldn't know.

--To reiterate here at the end of this section, these are proof?

As proof of Dr. Fernandes alienating and ignoring teachers and staff, we offer the following:

--Let's see about that!

The removal of tenure in a non-democratic way, without teacher input and involvement.

--Now I can see why people call Jane K. a Nazi. Has anyone ever investigated further as to why Jane K. made the decision to remove tenure? Every administration at every school or university is vested with the power to accept or deny tenure, based on what is expected of tenure.

Faculty status of teachers was stripped.

--Why? Facts, please! Also, I can not help but feel that perhaps you are forgetting to mention after faculty status were stripped, new titles were put in place.

Opportunities to apply for sabbatical leave were also denied. In the past, use of sabbatical leave made implementation of several successful programs possible (i.e., Structure of ASL and Deaf Studies courses, Minority/Multicultural Programs, Family Math program).

--Like tenure, teachers request for sabbatical leave. The Dean decides whether to accept or deny the request. Not all sabbatical leaves have successes with the implementation of new programs. Facts, facts, facts, please!

In 1996, Lead Teachers asked for one full school year to plan, to set up and to implement a new system. They requested this time to find resources and to set aside time for training. Dr. Fernandes ignored the majority opinion, listening instead to selected advisors.

--Dr. Fernandes has choices, just like everyone else's. For every choice, there is consequences. Dr. Fernandes simply made a choice. Does she deserve a negative backfire for it? There is nothing wrong with taking the road less traveled.

Teachers' requests to order certain books were ignored. Older resources were thrown out and new materials ordered without teacher input which caused problems for teachers using thematic instruction.

--I'm glad the old materials got replaced with the new ones. Wasn't that a good thing to do? I'm only sorry that some of the teachers did not get their requests. Not everybody can get everything they want. There is a fixed budget to follow. Did you expect Jane K. to be the Savior or what? Whatever is provided, then go ahead and deal with it and make the adaptations.

When the Curriculum Enhancement program was implemented in place of the Elective Department, Dr. Fernandes allowed 40 plus students in many individual CE classes that lasted 90 minutes to allow grade team teachers and staff to meet and plan. CE Teachers at Kendall were helpless and unable to manage their classes and to discipline unruly students.

--What?!?!? Wait a minute. You mean, throw the kids in CE classes with CE teachers so that grade team teachers and staff have time to meet and plan lessons? And now the CE teachers are complaining because they have to deal with unruly students, and that they would rather throw them back to the grade team teachers and staff to handle? What?!? I have no clue as to what you mean. It's funny you should use the word ‘unruly'. Every parent will love you for saying that about their child. For a teacher to be a true teacher, they have the skill of being able to manage and discipline their students, such as using behavior-modification tactics. CE Teachers being helpless and unable to manage only tells me that they were not being flexible or adaptive to the new situation.

When restructuring caused students and parents frustration, confusion, and sometimes, anger, teachers and staff members were left alone to bear the consequences of decisions they had no part in making.

--Of course, for any kind of restructuring, there will always be some kind of adjustment. It is hard for people to undo old ways and develop new ways. It takes time to adjust. That is how the administration is structured - with the top-down system in place. The top sends ripples down to the bottom, and the bottom sends results up. Thusly, it is the norm to accept and deal with decisions not made with their input.

The Special Opportunity Program was disbanded without transition. The needs of deaf students with additional or unique needs were not being met. They often sat in "mainstream" classes and contributed little or nothing, which caused educational and emotional distractions for other students.

--There are two different things being discussed here. One, transition, and two, special needs kids are not being reinforced in the classroom they have been placed into. I don't know why special needs kids are placed in "mainstream" classes in the first place, unless of course parents in IEPS decided this. Parents have an influential say in the best educational placement for their child. This is also not a new or an unique situation. Countless schools all around the world encounter this. How many special needs kids are you talking about here, anyway? Numbers and facts, please!

As proof of Dr. Fernandes creating an atmosphere of distrust and fear, we offer the following:

--Now I'm scared. It certainly brings in the Halloween spirit. Boo!

Teachers and staff who have deaf children were threatened, personally and professionally, for not enrolling their children at Kendall or MSSD.

--What?! You mean, teachers and staff who have deaf children get pounded on because they did not enroll them at Kendall or MSSD? Now suddenly there is an obligation for teachers and staff with deaf children to enroll them at the same school where they work? By who, by what, and how??? Are you telling me JK went to each teacher and stated they should have enrolled their children?

Dr. Fernandes prevented teachers from meeting during work hours by encouraging the disbandment of the faculty organization.

--She sure does sound like a Nazi! Is there any proof that she prevented teachers from meeting together? And that she wants to disband ‘the faculty organization"? Perhaps she is serious - and wants teachers to WORK, and that if they wanted to meet together, they would have to find other hours after work, as not to disrupt their day-to-day plans. Teachers have a choice here and if they did not meet during work hours, then they are to blame, not JK.

Termination of the Sunshine Fund that teachers and staff created for sending cards and/or gifts when appropriate for certain occasions (i.e., anniversaries, births, deaths, hospitalizations, weddings);

--Well, they can make cards using money out of their pockets. Where's the proof that JK actually wrote down on paper saying the Sunshine Fund is to be terminated or that the Sunshine Fund is allotted for sending cards and/or gifts. There is nothing stopping the teachers/staff from pooling together and creating their own personal fund.

Dr. Fernandes also allowed no support for personal milestones, losses and celebrations of any kind. She stated that "We are not here to have fun and play. We are here to work."

--See, she means business. She has high expectations. How dare she insist we work!

When people asked Dr. Fernandes for her input, she responded by telling us to make decisions ourselves, only to criticize us for our incompetence. We were constantly criticized for every little step we made and afraid to take risks.

--Jane K. sure hopes that employees at Clerc Center can think for themselves. They are smart people, right? Somehow, with the position Dr. Fernandes has, I don't think she has the time to oversee every little step and then pounce on it to chew and spit you out.

Forcing us to undergo radical change without any direction and often under harsh criticism resulted in such severe grieving that outside counselors and consultants were brought in to heal wounds. Dr. Fernandes was nowhere to be found.

--Perhaps this is indicative of miscommunication and lack of guidance that continues to be a problem at the school. This statement also smacks of distortion. Sure, outside counselors and consultants have been brought in, but who says they were there to heal wounds from your grievances?

Dr. Fernandes put a stop to the Teacher Evaluation System that was used for many years. When problems escalated, she had the revised TES implemented. Dr. Fernandes did not bother with follow-up review to make sure the process was just and fair.

--You mean, when problems escalated, Jane K. brought back the Teacher Evaluation System and revised it as seen fit. Point here is she attempted a change, it didn't work, she brought it back with revisions. Either that the older version did not solve the "escalating" problems or that she is a Nazi. Anyone cannot follow up and review right away. But that person can evaluate after a trial period. Perhaps Jane K. left her position to work as Provost and didn't have the opportunity to follow up. I need facts.

The removal of the sabbatical leave during Dr. Fernandes' administration occurred when she successfully manipulated a few personnel into supporting her decision and informed a certain member of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees that the majority of faculty and staff agreed.

--Before you stated that some cases of sabbatical leave were denied, and now you are stating that Jane K. removed sabbatical leave completely from the school. Or did you mean in this particular statement that Jane K. had the tendency to deny requests for sabbatical leave? You stated also that "she successfully manipulated a few personnel" to support the decision in removing sabbatical leave. Or maybe she was too damn good in persuading people to support her decision. As long as she had facts and justifications, anyone with logic reasoning would follow suit.

Mandates Proposed by Laurent Clerc Center Teachers/Staff:
We deserve the opportunity to set up an organization where our voice will be heard.
We desire shared governance.
We support the FSSA's demands.

--Does any of the demands state that Jane K. resign or that the presidential search process be reopened? I always see one demand with these two postulations.

--To close this, I remember clearly as a young student learning the difference between opinion and fact. The teacher gave us a sheet with various sentences. We had to mark off which was O and which was F. Ah, the old days. Oh right, my point. If I were to give this to someone to mark off which was O and which was F in this letter by the Clerc Center, I wouldnt be surprised if that person just wrote a big O over the whole letter using a red marker.

With Many Busts,

Gallybusters.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

 

A Propaganda at Gallaudet: the JK-Bashing.

Our Gallaudet is in trouble, right?

A growing number of protestors at Kendall Green are working diligently to overthrow Jane K. Fernandes from office as the ninth president of Gallaudet University. They sure as hell are not giving up. It’s not helping either that more and more letters sent in by James MacFadden, the DPN leaders, the NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins, and Andy Lange are mobilizing anger for Jane K. Fernandes, Irving King Jordan, and the Board of Trustees, and for their resistance to resign and reopen the presidential search process.

Now don’t get me wrong. I really don’t care about JK, IJK, and the BOT, but what really ticks me off is the nature of the protest, and the direction in which it takes.

But first, I must admit I am saddened by the whole situation. Being in a deadlock, a stalemate, if you will, is no fun. Everybody knows it’s a lose-and-lose situation. The biggest challenge is how to go about it. And second, I am upset to see that this situation is attracting a large number of supporters across the nation. There are plenty of vlogs to see for yourselves.

I am upset mainly because of propaganda. Yes, you heard me right, a PROPAGANDA! This very propaganda is what makes the world cry for Gallaudet. If only the world knew what lies beneath.

I have collected all the techniques used to create and maintain propaganda from Wikipedia, which I shall use to make my point.

Basically, according to Wikipedia, propaganda is “a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people”, “an appeal to one’s emotions”, shaping “the perceptions of people”, and “arguments that are not necessarily valid” (logical fallacies).

And with that, we have all kinds of techniques to win hearts. Hitler was brilliant because he successfully formed a Nazi-Socialist party, and won so many frigging hearts. Hell, they did the infamous arm salute. And we all quiver at this image because we know hundreds and thousands of Jews died at the expense. All of it was propaganda. Sick, I know.

I know that none of the Gallaudet protest has Hitlerisms, but there are strikingly similar parallels in regard to propaganda. For example,

1) In propaganda, there is an appeal to fear. This builds “support by instilling fear in the general population”. An example of such fear at Gallaudet is the incident at Hall Memorial Building where students claimed DPS officers assaulted them. Let’s start with their claims.
· In Washington Post dated October 7, 2006, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/06/AR2006100600405.html), Joey Kelly through an interpreter said, "They grabbed me and ripped my shirt. I saw them grab another student by the neck”, and then Leah Katz-Hernades wrote on a neon yellow notepad for the reporter, "A lot of people are scared.”
· Tara Holcomb (also in the Washington Post) and Ryan Commerson (in http://www.signcasts.com/ “From HMB at 4:30am…”) said there is great fear abroad Kendall Green because of DPS’s brutality and acts of audism.
· Even on ABC 7 News (www.wjla.com/news/stories/1006/366966.html), Leah Katz-Hernandes out of indignation says, “This is a peaceful protest. A peaceful protest from the beginning!” This, of course, is Leah’s brilliant strategy to instill fear on campus.
But if you take a look at www.blip.tv/file/83354/ that shows the entire footage, you will agree with me that the DPS officer Bubba Smith was only trying to restore order at HMB since its takeover, and that it was truly the students who shouldered and provoked him. Rest assured, though, the very same students in the protest are not half afraid like they wanted you to believe. And yet still, they wave posters as in this one:
http://photo.xanga.com/Eye_M_Hodgson/a50e682378711/photo.html. Hmm.

Another great example of instilling fear is found in Mosdeux’s video on www.mosdeux.com/blog/?p=26. Here, Gideon, a 6-year-old Deaf boy, talks about his dreams of becoming a scientist and that Gallaudet would be the college for him. In between clips of this adorable cherub, there are the overcast clips of JK and I. King Jordan, and suddenly you are struck at heart that these chief administrators are evil. Then at the end of the video, there are words in bold white letters saying “Gideon’s future is in your hands”. Wow, this is the best propaganda clip I’ve seen in awhile – because it sends messages that with JK in power of the university, future students will not become Albert Einsteins, Neil Armstrongs, Gloria Steinems, CS Lewises, and Shoshannah Sterns.

2) There is also an appeal to prejudice. This means “using loaded or emotive terms to attach value to believing the proposition”. The proposition is obvious here – JK is an ineffective leader, or so they say.
· In Washington Post, dated May 2, 2006 on page A01 written by Susan Kinzie, one student says that JK “doesn’t say hi” and some students “said they didn't like Fernandes because they thought she was too strict.”
· In the Bison Saloon at HMB, operated by two boys named Taylor and Bailey, there are signs posted everywhere that sample prejudices (http://www.4096.org/stuff/hmb-wall.jpg): “YOU FUCKING AUDIST!”, “Resign, JFK, you DUMB fuck!”, “Jane, Lick This, You Cunt!”, and “Know Thy Enemy”. Now, don’t get me wrong, the American right entitles us the freedom to say whatever we want, which is fine by me, but to use these prejudices and slander to stir anger and resentment and by doing so, gain more supporters, is making people believe that Jane K. is indeed a terrible leader. And it looks like Taylor and Bailey are doing one fine job. Gotta love ‘em boys.

3) There is argumentum ad nauseam, another technique, to maintain this propaganda. This means using “tireless repetition” as long as “an idea once repeated enough times is taken as the truth”. Over and over again, for as long as we remember, we’ve heard from Mayor Chris Corrigan that we must be a united front to win the fight. He signs, “GALLAUDET UNITE SAME (signed clockwise-like)” quite often. Now, this is moving, it really is, it brings tears to my eyes. From a scope, it sends messages that Jane K. is at blame for the disunity at Gallaudet. While the protest itself is based on logical fallacies and inconsistencies (any protestor will admit that’s true), this slogan signed by Chris Corrigan at its best is making people believe that the protest has something strong and valid after all. However, what people may not realize is this in fact also stipulates that perhaps Gallaudet was not united before this protest, and then all of the sudden, with reason, Gallaudet is united! Perhaps that is something to attribute to JK – she is unifying Gallaudet to finally come together as one when beforehand they were all scattered about.

4) And then there’s the infamous bandwagon. I love the sound of this word, don’t you, too? This is an “attempt to persuade the target audience to take action that everyone else is taking”. The “in” crowd is very involved. Students look up to this crowd. Basically everyone wants to be part of the “in” crowd. If you get involved, it is considered cool. Who doesn’t want to be uncool anyway? And also, if you are not involved, you are considered “stupid” or “cowardly”. Protestors have said comments such as “what’s up, why aren’t you involved?”, “Look at that car leaving the campus, they’re losers for not staying here with us”, “come on and join us and set up your tent here, we welcome you. Oh and p.s., there’s free food!”

5) You cannot have a protest without the common man. “’The plain folks’ or ‘common man’ approach attempts to convince the audience that the propaganda’s positions reflect the common sense of the people”. This basically means using ordinary language and mannerisms. We have Mayor Chris Corrigan who cheers the common folks on using ASL: “GALLAUDET UNITE SAME”; we have Ryan Commerson, the “deaf warrior” as Carl Schroeder likes to call him (http://carl-schroeder.blogspot.com/), who tells people over and over again that there is a real issue with audism and that together we can remove audism from the Gallaudet strata for the equality we deserve; we also have DPN leader Tim Rarus getting arrested for the cause, which is inspiring to say the least; and finally, we have LaToya Plummer, who at best, is representative of people of color, but truly, where are the BDSU people, the APA people, and the LSU people? A black woman on board sure as hell fits the whole ‘Unity for Gallaudet’ hype.

6) Demonizing the enemy is another such technique. “Projecting a person through suggestion or false accusations” works wonders. Pictures speak a thousand words.

http://www.deafbison.net/BPN/Oct_6_06/DSC00046.JPG
http://photo.xanga.com/Eye_M_Hodgson/9b32982379678/photo.html
http://photo.xanga.com/Eye_M_Hodgson/4302a82381467/photo.html
http://www.xanga.com/SimplyZanny

7) Direct order is simplifying the decision making process, e.g. Uncle Sam’s “I Want You.” “JKF Resign Now!” and “Re-open the search process” are two such examples of direct order.

8) This one is my favorite. Euphoria. This is one of the many techniques used to mobilize a force against Jane K. Fernandes using sadness. Yes, you heard me, right. Tears and sadness! Wikipedia says it best, euphoria is “the use of an event that generates euphoria in lieu of spreading more sadness – or creating a celebrateable event in the hopes of boosting morale”. The best event to date is the arrests that occurred on Friday, October 13th, 2006. 135 protestors, including the common man Chris Corrigan, big-mouthed Tara Holcomb, the patriotic Jason Lamberton, the ever-brilliant Leah Katz-Hernandes, Mr. Clean Up Guy Brian Morrison, and the heroic Tim Rarus, sat down in the sidelines, went limp, and got arrested. They got carried into the police van to be brought to the police academy where they got fingerprinted and mug shots taken. Word got around that those arrested laughed endlessly in the trip to the police academy, when they could have instead discussed on what next steps to take. More details surrounding this event can be found on highered.com (http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/10/16/arrests). Here are the pictures to show for it:
http://photo.xanga.com/Eye_M_Hodgson/7360983441457/photo.html,
http://www.xanga.com/supercurls?nextdate=10%2f13%2f2006+23%3a59%3a59.999&direction=p How dare IKJ think about arresting our peaceful protesters, what were they doing, they didn’t do anything but sit there! Students continue to play up the arrest cards to draw attention from people, these people then feel sympathic. They call it the dark, black Friday the 13th. Would they still if they knew such things as the students had a group picture of who were arrested? Anything to boost morale, right?

9) Falsifying information. This is scary stuff. Since we were born, we learned how to lie. We didn’t like getting in trouble. We didn’t want our mommies and daddies reprimanding us for something we were guilty of. As we grew older, we got better at lying. We lie to get what we want. I know I am guilty of this crime – I sometimes make white lies just to get what I want. I know a lot of TV personalities that lie to get their dream jobs. So, of course, people will lie just to get what they want. Falsifying information is one way to do it. Video after video (http://www.deafbison.com/, http://www.blogger.com/www.bliptv.com, http://www.signcasts.com/), I’ve not found a substantial amount of concrete facts. A lot of the things stated in sign in those videos are based on hearsay, passing around information (like the phone line! Ah, didn’t we love playing this game in deaf schools?), and bias. And what really ticks me off even more is the fact that many of the protestors throw in code words, e.g. ‘audism’, ‘oppression’, ‘racism’. They claim that the protest is not about Jane not being Deaf enough, but they contradict themselves by insulting her ability to sign, like Chris Corrigan did at the May open-dialogue rally, when Jane K did not sign TENT-CITY properly the first time. Those code words, I must say, are brilliant, because they divert people from the real issues at hand.

Also, in privateinvestigator.wordpress.com, this writer claims that Sorenson “has a very lucrative partnership with Gallaudet Interpreting Services (GIS)”. Sorenson and GIS have used the word partnership, but did they once use the word lucrative? This writer used his/her writing license to throw “lucrative” in to stir up feelings. Does s/he have proof stating that there is a profitable, money-making relationship with GIS? This writer also said for people to send “an email and ask them to issue a public statement to clarify Sorenson’s rationale in supporting the current administration by still continuing its partnership with Gallaudet!” How does this person know that Sorenson supports JK, IJK and the administration, much less understanding the purpose of the protest? Simply said, the Gallaudet protest should remain where it is, AT GALLAUDET. What does Sorenson have to do with this? The company is simply providing a service to the deaf community, and has a presence at Gallaudet, that’s all! There is a call center at Gallaudet yes, but it is a small center and is only ONE out of 60 call centers all over the United States. It is the same thing with CSD at RIT/NTID. If there is a protest at NTID, should they be calling CSD to make a stand? NO! Keep the two things separate. Otherwise, you may as well call all the companies who service Gallaudet to make a statement. Deer Park. Bon Appetit. MSSD. Kendall. Pepsi. Boundless Communications. They all support JK and IJK too!

10) Flag-waving is yet another technique to “justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic”. The HMB lockdown and the campus lockdown are for Gallaudet’s own good; they are actions taken to force the administration to meet FSSA’s demands using the justification that the students (and now to add, faculty, staff and alumni) were not being heard, so the lockdown ensures.

There are 11 more techniques to mention here, but I am overwhelmed by the details of the propaganda the protest has produced. To think what my own peers do, I pity them. I sorely need a break. When my stomach stops churning I will return to finish the rest.

(To be continued.)


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