Janssen, Susanna: Words: How We Learn What They Mean When They are Spoken and Heard

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Words: what they mean to the speaker and what they mean to the listener are the bedrock of human communication and cultural understanding.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we talk with Susanna Janssen, the author of Wordstruck! The Fun and Fascination of Language. She discusses the multiple aspects of the meanings of words, how they translate from one language to another, and how Janssen sometimes seems to have a different personality in different languages.

Susanna Janssen is dedicated to changing the linguistic culture of America by advocating the learning of foreign languages. She is a foreign language educator, as well as author, speaker, and newspaper columnist on all topics related to words, language, and culture. She is particularly interested in the benefits of learning two or more languages, and how doing so affects brain development, especially in early childhood.

This interview was recorded on February 5, 2017. The book she recommends is A Book of Roads: Travel Stories from Michigan to Marrakech, by Phil Cousineau.

Neufeld, Dr. Gordon: Hold on to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty or so years have resulted in today’s children looking to and associating with their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity, and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is the author of “Hold on to Your Kids:  Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. The book he recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,” by Takeo Doi.

This interview was originally broadcast on October 25, 2005. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website, www.GordonNeufeld.com.

Bishop, Becky: Reading Dogs

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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.

Allen, Dr. Elizabeth: Changes In Segregation Since 1952 Part 2

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In this edition of Radio Curious, we’ll visit again with Dr. Elizabeth Allen, a Professor of nursing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a high school student, Dr. Allen was one of the first African American students to integrate the West Virginia high schools in 1957.

We begin our conversation with Dr. Allen when she discusses how she was able to successfully get through the educational system, and what changes have occurred in education since then, as they relate to African American students.

The book she recommends is ‘The Price of Loyalty’ by Ron Suskind, with former US Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neil.

This episode originally broadcast in May, 2004.

Allen, Dr. Elizabeth: Changes In Segregation Since 1952 Part 1

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In May, 1954 the United States Supreme Court unanimously declared, ”segregation in public education is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.” Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, was a leader of many that gave strength and support to the initial struggles for equal civil rights and equal access for all people regardless of skin color. Now 62 years later the concept of affirmative action admission policies for racial equality in public universities continues.

In this 2004 archive edition of Radio Curious we visit with Dr. Elizabeth Allen, now a Professor Emeritus of Nursing at the University of Michigan. As a high school student in 1957, Dr. Allen was one of the first African-American students to integrate the West Virginia high schools. Later she was a Captain in the U.S. Army as Combat Nurse in Viet Nam, prior to obtaining a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in nursing and becoming a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan.

This is the first of a two part series recorded in April 2004, in commemoration of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, recorded in late April 2004, Dr. Elizabeth Allen and I began our visit with her description the changes in racial segregation between 1954 and 2004.

Dr. Elizaeth Allen is an avid romance reader and recommends any book written by Linda Howard. She also recommends “The Price of Loyalty” by David Suskind with former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

This interview as originally broadcast in May 2004.

Barnes, Annie Ph.D. — Racism in America

Racism has, for too long, been a part of the American experience: the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed, the Supreme Court decisions ordering the desegregation of schools, and the Civil Rights movements did not end racism in America.

Annie S. Barnes, holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a retired professor of sociology and anthropology at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She is the author of “Everyday Racism, A Book for All Americans,” a book based on the racist experiences suffered by 146 black college students. Professor Barnes describes the effects of racism on black people, and what all people can do to combat it.

The book Annie S. Barnes recommends is “Driving While Black: Highways, Shopping Malls, Taxi Cabs, Sidewalks: How to Fight Back if You Are a Victim of Racial Profiling,” by Kenneth Meeks.

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

Shaywitz, Dr. Sally — Overcoming Dyslexia

Approximately one child in five suffers from dyslexia, a condition that makes learning to read difficult and in some cases seemingly impossible. In this archive edition of Radio Curious, originally broadcast in August of 2003, we visit with Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale University Medical School and the co-director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. Dr. Shaywitz discusses early diagnosis of dyslexia in young children, older children, and adults, and what can be done to assist people who suffer from this disability.

In her book, “Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level,” Dr. Shaywitz describes the research, including brain imaging studies, and how they are able to uncover the mechanics underlying and overcoming what to some seems to be the insurmountable problem of learning to read. When I spoke with Sally Shaywitz from her home near Yale University in August 2003, we began when I asked her to describe dyslexia.

The books Dr. Sally Shaywitz recommends are “Emperor of Ocean Park,” by Stephen Carter and “Samaritan,” by Richard Price.

This program was originally broadcast August 5, 2003. 

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Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor — Remembering to Forget in the Digital Age, Part Two

What happens to the digital trails of our personal information and ideas that remain online when we research or upload data? Is this information accessible to others? Could it be used later to our potential detriment or character defamation? In this, the second of a two part archived conversation with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University, and author of “Delete: The Virtue Of Forgetting In The Digital Age,” we discuss methods by which people may protect themselves from revealing personal information online and how personal information may be deleted.

His book asserts that the capacity for eternal memory can have unanticipated and often unwanted consequences. In this two part archive edition of Radio Curious with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, we explore some of the ways in which our personal information, data, conversations and experiences are forgotten by us as individuals, but remembered digitally. We consider the future potential effects on society of digitally preserved information, as well as the consequences of remembering what is sometimes best forgotten.

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, joined us by phone from his then home in Singapore on January 4th 2010. We began the second part of our conversation by discussing how to delete personal information so that it is no longer available.

The book Viktor Mayer-Schönberger recommends is “Collected Fictions,” by Jorge Luis Borges. The film he recommends is “The Lives Of Others,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

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

Click here to listen to part one.

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.

Click here to listen to part one.