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.

Brown, Seyom — Contradictions in U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

Contradictions in the United States’ nuclear weapons policy is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Dr. Seyom Brown, who during the past 55 years has taught at major universities, been a special adviser to the Department of Defense and Department of State, and has written twelve books on the United States’ foreign policy and international relations.

Dr. Seyom Brown is currently an adjunct senior fellow at the American Security Project, in Washington, D.C. and previously held senior research and policy analysis positions at the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a Special Assistant in the Office of International Security Affairs at the Department of Defense, and to the Director of Policy Planning in the Department of State. Dr. Brown has also taught at Harvard, Brandeis, John Hopkins, Columbia, University of Chicago, and UCLA.

His current work is the study of and writing about what he describes as the “disturbing contradictions” in United States’ nuclear weapons policy. When we visited in the studios of Radio Curious on July 4, 2014, I asked him to explain and discuss these contradictions.

The book Dr. Seyom Brown recommends is “Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons,” by Ward Wilson.

The article to which he refers in this interview, Beyond MAD: Obama’s Risky –But Realistic –Effort to Reduce the Role of Nuclear Weapons is found in the December 2013 issue of Survival Magazine.

You also may hear two 1995 Radio Curious interviews with Dr. Seyom Brown discussing President Clinton’s foreign policy here.

For full disclosure, Dr. Seyom Brown is the uncle to Radio Curious host and producer, Barry Vogel.

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

Dole, Robert — Homosexuality and Schizophrenia

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, this edition of Radio Curious discusses one man’s personal experience in recognizing his homosexuality. Until the mid 1970s many people considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder and/or a crime, as it is still in some personal and political belief systems. Homosexual people sometimes were housed in mental institutions, given medication and suffered an array of treatment methods, including shock therapy and other forms of behavior modification.

Professor Robert Dole, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, was one of many individuals subjected to behavior modification. In his book, “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia,” he explains how the “treatment” he endured as an attempt to alter his homosexual preference made him schizophrenic. His personal memoir describes his experiences growing up in the 1960s as a gay man, his institutionalization at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, the insanity that consumed him as a result of his treatment, his self-led recovery, partially based on a spiritual experience, and his subsequent extraordinary life in academia.

Professor Dole, who is fluent in seven languages, teaches English as a Foreign Language at the University of Chicoutimi in rural Quebec, Canada, where he has lived for 30 plus years. He is the author of several books including, “The American Nightmare.” Robert Dole and I visited by phone from his office at the University of Chicoutimi on November 4, 2011 and began our conversation when I asked him to describe the schizophrenia he experienced.

The books he recommends are: “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” by Leo Tolstoy and any book from Stefan Zweig. 

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

Dammann, Dr. Grace –Dr. Grace Dammann: In Her Own Words

In our last interview we visited with the producers and directors of the film “States of Grace,” about the life of a woman honored by The Dalai Lama for her medical work at the height of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, Ca.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with that woman, Dr. Grace Dammann.  Dr. Grace had a near death experience resulting from a head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008.  She awoke 48 comatose days later after multiple surgeries for, as she says, “trashed bones and internal organs.”  With her cognitive abilities in tact, she began rehabilitation and was able to go home a year later.  Now, in 2014 she has returned to work as the Medical Director of the Pain Clinic at the Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, California, where she had previously worked as a physician for 18 years. 

Notwithstanding her confinement to a wheelchair she proudly describes her legal efforts to urge the Golden Gate Bridge Authority to install a dividing barrier intended to prevent future head-on collisions on the bridge.  The installation is scheduled to being in the fall of 2014.

Dr. Grace and I visited by phone from her home at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, in Muir Beach, California on May 23, 2014.  We began our conversation when I asked her describe her current station on the continuum of her life’s experience. 

The book Dr. Grace Dammann recommends is “The Last of the Just,” by Andre Schwarz-Bart. 

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Cohen, Helen & Lipman, Mark –”States of Grace:”  Difficult to Imagine – Impossible to Comprehend

On May 21, 2008 Dr. Grace Damman was crushed in a head-on collision on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.  Her abdominal organs were shoved into her lung cavity and her bones and muscles were extensively injured. 

A practicing Buddhist, Dr. Grace engaged her spirituality to survive this crisis, heal and accept the new terms of her life.  Three years and 15 surgeries later, Dr. Grace Damman became the Medical Director of the Pain Clinic at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital where she had previously worked as a physician for 18 years.

“States of Grace” is a documentary film about Dr. Grace Damman, produced and directed by Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman, our guests on this edition of Radio Curious.  We visited by phone from their home in San Francisco, California, on May 16, 2014, and began our conversation with Helen Cohen describing her friend, Dr. Grace.

The films Helen Cohen recommends are “The Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Guest of Cindy Sherman.” The film Mark Lipman recommends is “Sherman’s March.”

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Rosenwasser, Penny — From Fear to Love: A Judaic Perspective

When Penny Rosenwasser, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, was a child in the suburbs of Virginia, people sometimes said, “You don’t look Jewish.”  She replied, “Thank you.” 

Her book, “Hope into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears,” delves into the Jewish experience and its rich yet tragic cultural history. She explores internalized oppression and ways to face fear with a positive outcome, and describes steps to embrace who we are as a means to create a world based on love, tolerance and justice.

I spoke with Penny Rosenwasser from her home near San Francisco, California on May 5, 2014.  She began our conversation by describing a major theme of her book.

Penny Rosenwasser will be speaking in Redwood Valley, on May 18, at 4pm at Kol-ha-Emek 8591 West Road. Call 707 468 4536 for details.

The book she recommends is “The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism,” by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz.

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Blevis, Marcianne — Jealousy

Are you jealous?  Have you ever been?  Do you know the origin of your jealousy? Jealousy often goes hand in hand with feelings of love, but where does this emotion come from, and how can we manage it?

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Marcianne Blevis, author of “Jealousy: True Stories of Love’s Favorite Decoy.”  In this book Marcianne Blevis,  a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris, France, reveals different ways jealousy affects different people and suggests methods to understand and manage what can be a very destructive yet elusive emotion.

She examines the deeper consequences of jealousy and inquires if jealousy is useful to us, and is this ‘extraordinary passion’ in reality ‘a strategy for survival’.

I spoke with Marcianne Blevis from her home in Paris, France on February 2, 2009, and began by asking her to explain what jealousy is?

The book Marcianne Blevis recommends is “Aux confins de l’identité” (title translated by Marcianne Blevis as “At the Frontier of Identity”) by Michel De M’uzan. This book is currently published only in French.

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

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.