Vol. 2 Issue 40 | October 7, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 40 | October 7, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. 4 Great Questions

What it is: In David Kinnaman’s book “Good Faith,” he describes four critical conversation starters to help you talk with your students about some of the most divisive issues of our day.

What they are: Whether it’s politics, gender confusion, video games, racial problems, or dating, ask your students these four questions to help frame every difficult conversation: 1. What is Right? (Celebrate it.) 2. What is Wrong? (Correct it.) 3. What is Missing? (Create it.) 4. What is Confused? (Clarify it.) Use these four questions to help your students develop conviction about their own beliefs, while cultivating compassion and respect for those who may disagree with them.

2. Clowns

What it is: An epidemic of creepy clowns have been spotted all across the United States causing school closures and even a riot on Penn State’s campus earlier this week.

Why it's weird: Clowns are kinda freaky anyway, much less reports of a machete wielding clown in Georgia, or clowns in South Carolina attempting to lure children into the woods. This story is a perfect example of a few real life events fueling a social media fire-storm leading to the outbreak of copycat occurrences across the US. In truth, clown threats are more of a social media phenomenon among students than a real world reality, reminding us of how easily it is to blur the lines between the virtual world and the real world.

3. #NationalPoetryDay

What it is: Thursday, October 6 was National Poetry Day.

Why it's important: In our technological age of texts and tweets, when schools often just teach to the test while de-emphasizing creativity, offer your students living ideas instead of dry facts. How? Read poetry. Read poetry to remind yourself that you are human. Read poetry to engage the heart and the mind. Read poetry to encourage your students that there is no education like self-education, and no stimulus to unleash the imagination like the power and form of beautiful words. Here are three contemporary poets to read with your students: Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Malcolm Guite. And, here are the top 20 “poems” your students are listening to this week.


Netflix or Chill?

“Netflix and Chill,” the millennial offer to come over and have casual sex, is actually being surpassed by Netflix and, well, just Netflix. Recent studies indicate that fewer young adults are having sex than Gen Xers were at the same age. One would think that with the rise of apps like Tinder today’s students would be having more sex, but “young people are spending so much time online that they interact less in person, and thus don’t have sex.” Here’s what’s new this month on Netflix, and here are the top seven shows trending among the next generation.

1. Luke Cage: This wildly popular Netflix Original stars an African-American former convict with superhuman strength who now fights crime. In fact, the show is so popular that it caused Netflix to crash this week!

2. Easy: Netflix’s “sexiest show yet,” Easy follows eight Chicago couples as they navigate their sex lives, with a huge emphasis on sex.

3. Stranger Things: Netflix’s sci-fi thriller set in the 1980s tracks the disappearance of a young boy and a telekinetic girl who helps his friends look for him. The show had 14.07 million viewers in the first 35 days of its release.

4. Shameless: An American comedy-drama television series on Showtime, depicting the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic single father and his six children who are learning to care for themselves.

5. The Fosters: This Freeform show is about a lesbian couple who head up a multiethnic family comprised of a biological son and a few adopted children.

6. Gilmore Girls: If you’re wondering why #LukesDiner is trending on Twitter, Netflix sponsored the conversion of 250 coffee shops into Luke’s Diner for one day this week to get fans even more excited for the four-episode Gilmore Girls Netflix revival.

7. Orange Is the New Black: This Netflix original follows a girl named Piper who turns herself in for a drug crime and must serve time in prison. The show centers on LGBT issues, sexuality, and racial problems.

Ask your students why they are drawn to these shows, and what impact shows like The Fosters or Shameless have on their view of the family, or what impact Easy or Orange is the New Black have on their beliefs about sexuality.