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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Road Trip

March 19, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff As I prepare for a two-day road trip with my family, I am tempted to say that the journey can be educational. Not in a planned, “let’s stop at historical landmarks” kind of education, but in the unstructured, “tidbits of unique information” manner. I know I learned a great deal as a kid from our yearly drives to Florida: 1. You know you’re in the south when the breakfast meals at McDonald’s include a biscuit instead of an English muffin. 2. There are a few counties in the state of Georgia with speed traps. Oh, there were other things I learned, not the least of which was the geographical order of states and which ones took… Read More

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Everybody’s Doing It: What To Say

March 13, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff As parents, we often talk about peer pressure, but how often to we talk about the effects of pluralistic ignorance? It doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it? But, it’s worth knowing about and perhaps even adding to our conversations. I didn’t know anything about pluralistic ignorance until I heard an evolutionary biologist speaking on the radio last week. He was discussing the “hook-up” culture of young people. An individual may not particularly think “hooking-up” is the type of relationship pattern he wants to have, the biologist said, but pluralistic ignorance drives him to conform to what’s perceived as the norm others have embraced. How many individuals within the group actually like the norm? That’s the… Read More

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Learning to Disconnect

March 5, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Eight years ago, when I first started teaching drama at a small private high school, I introduced a routine I learned from my own high school drama teacher back in Austin, Texas decades before. Before class, or a rehearsal, you ask your group to lie down. If the class is being held in a theatre, it’s easy enough to dim the lights and play calming or classical music softly through the speakers. The idea is to foster relaxation, to let go of the tension and worries of the day, and come to a more neutral place. After a few minutes, the music stops and the lights come to full, and you transition into a vocal warm-up… Read More

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