Bishop, Becky — Reading Dogs

This radio program is about reading. Learning to read is often confusing and frustrating. Parents and teachers sometimes create stress that flows from their personal angst to the frustration of the child trying to read. Reading to a nonjudgemental creature, who never comments and always appears to pay attention, often helps to create reading fluency.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Becky Bishop, founder of Reading With Rover, a program to help children learn to read. Becky Bishop also operates Puppy Manners, a dog training school located in Woodenville, Washington, about thirty miles from Seattle. Becky Bishop relies on the close bond between children and dogs that creates calm moments and encourages a learning environment. Her organization, “Reading With Rover” couples children who have difficulty reading with a dog who has no trouble listening. 

When Becky Bishop and I visited by phone from her home in Washington on February 22, 2010, we discussed why dogs are better listeners than teachers or parents, and we began with Becky explaining how dogs help children to read.

The books Becky Bishop recommends are “Living Life As A Thank You: The Transformative Power Of Daily Gratitude,” by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammon, and “Walter the Farting Dog,” by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, Elizabeth Gundy, and Audrey Coleman. 

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Franklin, Benjamin – Archbold, Ralph — Two Visits with Benjamin Franklin Part Two

We continue with the second of two archive visits with Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archbold. Archbold has made a career of interpreting Benjamin Franklin for over 30 years.  

In part one of this series we discussed Benjamin Franklin’s early life, his inventions, his role in the secession from England and in the formation of the Confederation and later the United States of America.

This second part was recorded in July 1994, at the City Tavern, as it has been called since it opened in 1774.  It quickly became a center of political events of the times.  Paul Revere went there to announce the news that the British government closed the Port of Boston.  Many influential people in the colonies gathered in Philadelphia to decide on a response to the British government’s closing of Boston’s port and other acts.  When John Adams, who later became the second President of the United States, went to Philadelphia in August of 1774 to attend the first Continental Congress, he was greeted by leading citizens and immediately taken to the City Tavern.  He characterized it as “the most genteel tavern in America.”  For the next decades, the City Tavern would be a familiar sight to leading figures of the American Revolution.

When Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archbold, and I visited at the City Tavern over lunch, we considered many aspects, past and present, of American life.   We began our conversation when I asked Benjamin Franklin about the history of the City Tavern.

The book Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Archbold recommend is “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”  

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part two.

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Arkin, Ron & Kirchiro, John — Lack of Trust: Youth and Substance Abuse Part Two

Lack of trust is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, the second of a two part series with Ron Arkin and John Kirchiro. 

Ron Arkin is a Family Empowerment Facilitator with Mendocino County, California, Child Protective Services.  John Kirchiro spent 13 years working as a Crisis Counselor, Intervention Specialist and Substance Abuse Counselor in multiple school districts throughout Mendocino County before becoming the Director and Principal of the Willits, California, Charter School, Grades 6 to 12. 

Their counseling work focuses on youth from families where abuse of drugs and alcohol is common, often among both the parents and children.  This abuse frequently results in serious family dysfunction and lack of trust, making school and home life more than difficult.

In part one, recorded on March 21, 2014, we began with John Kirchiro’s description of the substance abuse problem in rural northern Mendocino County. 

In part two, we begin with John Kirchiro’s description of his counseling work, known as the “Laytonville model.”

The book Ron Arkin recommends is “YOU: The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger,” by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz.

The book John Kirchiro recommends is “The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time,” by Matthew Fox. 

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part two.

Arkin, Ron & Kirchiro, John — Lack of Trust:  Youth and Substance Abuse Part One

Lack of trust is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, the first of a two part series with Ron Arkin and John Kirchiro. 

Ron Arkin is a Family Empowerment Facilitator with Mendocino County, California, Child Protective Services.  John Kirchiro spent 13 years working as a Crisis Counselor, Intervention Specialist and Substance Abuse Counselor in multiple school districts throughout Mendocino County before becoming the Director and Principal of the Willits, California, Charter School, Grades 6 to 12. 

Their counseling work focuses on youth from families where abuse of drugs and alcohol is common, often among both the parents and children.  This abuse frequently results in serious family dysfunction and lack of trust, making school and home life more than difficult.

We begin part one, recorded on March 21, 2014, with John Kirchiro’s description of the substance abuse problem in rural northern Mendocino County. 

In part two, John Kirchiro and Ron Arkin discuss the counseling work they do, known as the “Laytonville model.”

The book John Kirchiro recommends is the “The Warrior’s Journey Home:  Healing Men, Healing the Planet,” by Jed Diamond. 

The book Ron Arkin recommends is “The Soul’s Code:  In Search of Character and Calling,” by John Hillman. 

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part one.

Fogg, Laura — Traveling Blind

The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity.   I’ve often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams. 

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age.  They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. 

Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of “Traveling Blind:  Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.  

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971.  She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments.  She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life. 

The book Laura Fogg recommends is “My Year of Meats,” by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Nuland, Dr. Sherwin — Wisdom of The Body: Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, Remembered

Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, our guest in this archive edition is the author of several books, including “How We Die,” and “The Wisdom of the Body.”  He died on March 3, 2014, at his home in Connecticut, at the age of 83.  Dr. Nuland and I visited, shortly after “The Wisdom of the Body” was published, in the back of a bookstore in Santa Rosa, California on May 6, 1997.

In “The Wisdom of the Body,” Dr. Nuland, describes the synergistic functions of the human body and considers the brain, language, and civilization from developmental perspectives.  He reflects on children, and humankind as a whole, and explores aspects that have separated our species from the rest of the animal kingdom.

In this interview, originally broadcast in May, 1997, we began with his answer to the question, what is it about the human species that has allowed us to learn so much about ourselves.

The book Dr. Nuland recommended is “The Meaning of Yiddish,” by Benjamin Harshav.

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Brown, Don — Make Dreams a Reality

Imagine being about 36 years old having completed only the 6th grade, worked for years as a laborer, and one day waking up in a hospital from knee surgery to a dream induced by morphine for your severe pain.   In the unrelentingly dream you to college, Harvard Law School and then walk across the United States from Boston, Massachusetts, to Big Sur, California.

Those sixty-three words summarize the story of Donald L. Brown, now 67 years old who had that dream and lived it.  He’s the author of “The Morphine Dream:  Delusions of Grandeur or Relentless Ambition?  Sometimes it’s Hard to Tell the Difference.” He has 6 other forthcoming books some of which will be published in 2014.

Donald L. Brown visited the studio of Radio Curious on November 9, 2013 to share his story.   We began our visit with his description of this morphine dream an actual event in his life and how he lived it.

The book Donald L. Brown recommends is “The Glass Castle,” by Jeannette Walls.

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Czifra, Steven — Eight Years in Solitary Confinement Part Two

This is our second interview with Steven Czifra, a 38 year old undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley who spent almost 16 years in prison beginning when he was 14 years old.  For almost eight of those years he was held in solitary confinement. 

Having been held in a solitary confinement facility known as the SHU, security housing units of California’s juvenile and adult prisons, for almost eight years, he recently participated in the hunger strikes in solidarity with current prisoners to end the use of those facilities.

In the first of a two-part series on prisons from the prisoner’s perspective, Steven Czifra shared his story and experiences.  Our first conversation ended when he was about to explain his desire to give a voice to the segment of the population which ends up in prison, and is otherwise not heard.  Who they are and why they are there. 

In this second conversation recorded from his home in Berkeley, California in September 14, 2013, Steven Czifra tells more of his personal story, his background and reflections and how he chose to turn his life around.  

The book Steven Czifra recommends is “We’re All Doing Time:  A Guide to Getting Free,” by Bo Lozoff.  

Click here to listen to part two of our interview with Steven Czifra or on the media player below.

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Click here to listen to part one.

 

Levitin, Dr. Daniel — Your Brain on Music Part Two

The understanding of how we humans experience music and why it plays a unique role in our lives is this topic of two interviews with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of “This Is Your Brain on Music, The Science of a Human Obsession,” recorded from his home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late October 2006.

Professor Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  He asserts that our brains are hardwired for music and therefore we are all more musically equipped than we think.  He says that music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, perhaps even more fundamental to our species than language.  Professor Levitin believes that the music we end up liking meets our expectations of what we anticipate hearing just enough of the time that we feel rewarded, and the music that we like violates those expectations just enough of the time that we’re intrigued.

In the first interview Dr. Levitin begins by describing how the human brain learns to distinguish between music and language.

The second interview begins with a discussion of what happens when people listen to music they like.

Professor Daniel Levitin’s website is www.yourbrainonmusic.com.

The books Dr. Daniel J. Levitin recommends are, “Another Day in the Frontal Lobe,” by Katrina Firlik, and, “The Human Stain,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: November 1, 2006 November 8, 2006

Click here to begin listening to part one.

Click here to begin Listening to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Levitin, Daniel Dr. — Your Brain on Music Part One

The understanding of how we humans experience music and why it plays a unique role in our lives is this topic of two interviews with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of “This Is Your Brain on Music, The Science of a Human Obsession,” recorded from his home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late October 2006.   

Professor Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  He asserts that our brains are hardwired for music and therefore we are all more musically equipped than we think.  He says that music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, perhaps even more fundamental to our species than language.  Professor Levitin believes that the music we end up liking meets our expectations of what we anticipate hearing just enough of the time that we feel rewarded, and the music that we like violates those expectations just enough of the time that we’re intrigued.

In the first interview Dr. Levitin begins by describing how the human brain learns to distinguish between music and language. 

The second interview begins with a discussion of what happens when people listen to music they like.

Professor Daniel Levitin’s website is www.yourbrainonmusic.com

The books Dr. Daniel J. Levitin recommends are, “Another Day in the Frontal Lobe,” by Katrina Firlik, and, “The Human Stain,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: November 1, 2006 November 8, 2006

Click here to begin listening to part one.

Click here to download the podcast.