The 1001 Tales of Indiana Josh

Anonymous said: Your "ask" button is literally nowhere to be found when viewing your page on a non-mobile platform. FIX IT. And Indianajustmarryme <3

but that would require effort

Anonymous said: YOU'RE SO CUTE


Anonymous said: Your post from July 28th (regarding the assault on Gaza) contained a lot of things I've been thinking about and expressed them pretty succinctly. I wanted to share it on my FB and wondered, firstly, if I could, and how I might credit you?

Thanks, and please feel free to share however you wish and credit however you wish. The important thing is the information.

just wanna get rich enough to buy my mom all the shit she deserves 

I was out running errands all day in order to get my Bronco running, the majority of it spent at a junkyard scavenging for parts. So like, basically an entire afternoon of this:


My roommate, Ben, told me that as soon as I’d left, my dog, Bandit just went over to the front door and laid down. He stayed there until Ben took the dogs out a little later, at which point Bandit began sniffing the ground where my vehicle was, and then followed its scent out to the road and down the street a little until Ben called him back.

The thought of my dog just missing me so much and wanting to actually go embark on some perilous quest to find me is so ridiculously sweet and I’m over here crying as I’m typing this and now he’s kissing the tears on my face. 

I’m such a mess, I need help.

Anonymous said: I feel the same pain for a dead Israeli child as I do a Palestinian

Nobody said you shouldn’t; congratulations for needlessly articulating what most people would consider baseline human empathy. I’m sorry that I’m all out of gold stars for you; I ran out of those when I ran out of fucks to give for your empty rhetoric.

On the first day of Eid celebration, Israel bombed a playground at a refugee camp and killed ten children while they played with their families, just after bombing the nearby al-Shifa hospital—the only place left for those affected by violence to go. Playgrounds, hospitals, and refugee camps. Israel suggests, and would like for us to believe, that this violence is the result of “failed rocket attacks” by Palestinian militants. Not even for a second. There are simply far too many examples of the deliberate targeting of hospitals, schools, religious centers, shelters, and civilian residences, to say nothing of the Israeli disinformation campaign that served as justification for the latest assault on Gaza.

Floating around Tumblr and Facebook are images of the broken, burnt, dismembered bodies of these children that I can’t bring myself to share, because despite how badly I want these images seared into the minds of all the supporters of and apologists for Israel, I continue to think that these images represent an exploitation of human suffering and that these kids deserve to be remembered for more than their massacred bodies. But I’m beyond done with Israeli supporters at this point. And I’m also done with this impotent liberal “both sides” rhetoric that obfuscates and dismisses the empirical, quantitative differences at play here.

booksneak said: I'm starting a job as a teaching assistant for a class that introduces the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to college freshmen. As a former teacher, do you have any tips for lesson planning, promoting active learning, public speaking, keeping them engaged in class, etc.?

This is really important; thank you for asking.

I think being conscious of shifting away from what Paulo Freire described in Pedagogy of the Oppressed as the ‘banking concept of education’ (the rote memorization of decontextualized and irrelevant facts for the explicit purpose of reiteration) and towards an engaged, critical pedagogy which seeks to educate by exploration, reciprocity, and relevancy is crucial.

I highly recommend bell hooks’ work on education and pedagogy, which were very illuminating and useful for me. I particularly recommend Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, as well as Namulundah Florence’s analysis of bell hooks’ work in education, bell hooks’ Engaged Pedagogy: A Transgressive Education for Critical Consciousness.

My own pedagogy was framed around the above, as well as influenced by professors who enacted critical pedagogies in their own classrooms and had a great influence on me. According to my students, and from other faculty in the World Languages department where I taught, my style was really engaging and effective.

For promoting active learning and keeping the classroom engaged, here are a couple things that I did and found most useful:

- Ask a lot of questions. Instead of clearly positioning yourself as the only available source of information in the classroom, open up the process of learning by including everyone in the classroom—their own life experiences, readings, and impressions. Ask questions. Ask what students think of what you just said. Ask them to elaborate, and be specific. Compel them to confront the limits of their own knowledge and thought until they find that it no longer stands, or until they “stumble into the garden” of an epiphany as a result. This is immensely transforming, and also leads to the next point:

- Be vulnerable. Never ask or expect your students to act, think, or say anything that you wouldn’t also do, think, or say. If you’re expecting your students to be open (and you should really try to encourage, as much as possible, for students to be as open as possible at all times), you have to be open as well. If you’re expecting them to confront the limits of their knowledge, you should openly and visibly confront the limits of your own, as well. One of the best things a student truly interested in education can hear from an educator is “That’s a great question. I simply don’t know. Let’s explore that together and find out.” Admitting that you don’t know helps to erase the myth that educators are no longer students and have nothing else to learn and involves everyone in the process of learning.

A combination of being really open with your students (asking lots of questions, being vulnerable), using humor (I often used self-effacing humor to make students laugh, to further the whole “vulnerability” thing, and to make students feel more comfortable with their own “learning egos” which can often be a crippling thing to deal with), and being relaxed (instead of teaching in front of the classroom, teach from within and among; walk through the rows of students, engage them individually, re-arrange the chairs into a circle so there’s no clear student-teacher delineation, sit on your desk, be generally comfortable and relaxed) were the things I found most effective in keeping the classroom engaged and active in the learning process.

When it comes to lesson planning, everybody approaches this differently. Much of it will revolve around how well you know your subject material. You will, of course, be required to meet particular standards, which include teaching a set amount of material across a set amount of time. And that requires planning. But also, personally, I found the diurnal task of planning out each day’s lesson to be not just exhausting but also detrimental to my own pedagogy. Since I know Arabic grammar so well, the extent of my lesson planning was having a general idea of which topics I wanted to cover in class the following day, and what sort of activities would be best towards this end. Some educators meticulously plan out every minute of their classroom, while others, like myself, often ended up with something like this:

I obviously don’t recommend that to everyone, but it worked best for me. I’m really good “off the cuff,” and it gave me the room to be exploratory in class, to shape the lessons around the students’ questions, proficiencies, and so on.

Public speaking has always come fairly natural to me, and I’ve always tended to feel more comfortable in front of large groups than in small groups, or even one-on-one. I received a question about this before, though, and walked through some of the best public speaking tips that have helped me. You can read through that here.

The simple fact that you’re asking these questions and thinking about these ideas suggests that education, for you, means more than the “mere depositing of facts into the passive depositories of students’ minds,” and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to craft your own pedagogy in a way that honors what you believe is important.

Anonymous said: Could recommend anything that could help me perfect my arabic? Its my mother tongue but my command of it is seroiously slacking. I can't read or write arabic, and I'd like to communicate more confidently with people who don't speak my dialect.

I’m assuming you probably have a good spoken proficiency in your dialect, but you’re lacking in the reading, writing, and grammar of formal, standard Arabic? This is fairly common, actually.

If you’re a practicing Muslim, your local masjid will usually have (or will offer, if asked) Arabic courses you can take to help perfect your Arabic (usually for the purposes of reading and understanding the Qur’an and ahadith). These courses will revolve almost exclusively around the reading and writing of Classical Arabic and will usually (later into the lessons) also focus heavily on the grammar (although grammar lessons in the masjid tend to be very stiff and dense).

My first real exposure to Arabic education came this way. The university I attended at the time didn’t offer any Arabic courses, so I approached the local masjid and asked if they’d be interested in setting up a weekly Arabic course, to which they immediately agreed. It was my first real exposure to reading and writing Arabic, although I didn’t take it very far because I found the pedagogy not befitting to my interests and tastes at that time.

If you’re capable of understanding Arabic in the media, watching Arabic news clips (which tend to be in formal Arabic, although I’ve never seen a single broadcast where dialect wasn’t also used—usually unintentionally) can help ease you into formal Arabic (al-fus7a). There’s plenty of Arabic news media available, although I highly recommend MTV Lebanon (their broadcasts tend to be in very clear, formal Arabic). Head over to the نشرات الأخبار section and watch some of the streams. Listening once or twice for general comprehension, followed by a third, more careful viewing and, later, writing out a transcription of the broadcast is really the best way to get the most out of this activity.

Aside from that, simply reading through the Qur’an on your own, or through Arabic newspapers, Arabic literature (although much of modern Arabic fiction tends to contain a lot of colloquial, too), or grammar books will be of help. The caveat with Arabic grammar books, though, is that many of them almost require a formal, classroom setting to work through and follow along with (as that’s how they are designed, and attempting to work through them on your own can be frustrating and not nearly as fulfilling and educational). There’s a decent little grammar book available as a PDF called “All the Arabic You Never Learned the First Time Around” which is actually a nice little introduction and walkthrough of Arabic grammar. You can get the PDF here.

In my experiences, reading, writing, and grammar are really best learned in some form of formal, classroom setting, though. Try and see if anything like that exists where you live, and good luck. Let me know if I can ever be of help.

Anonymous said: How young/old would you go...?

Hahaha ya allah sa’idni ya rab