My classmates publish their theses on Digital Commons!

DC_logo_graphic-300x157I’m proud to be an alumnus of the Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies with an emphasis in Teaching Interpreting, and to announce that several of my cohort now have our theses published online for all to read. All the theses published so far and in the future can be retrieved from http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/theses/. To date, the published theses and professional projects comprise the following:

I’m so proud of us! Here are some photos of us at our hooding and graduation:

MAIS Grads at Hooding
MAIS Grads at Hooding
MAIS Grads at Commencement
MAIS Grads at Commencement

Police make us safer; vigilantes, not so much.

Perhaps you’ve seen this story about the woman who shot the man who ran into a movie theatre with a gun? According to this public Facebook post by Realtalk:

On Sunday December 17, 2012, 2 days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his X-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant!
Now aren’t you wondering why this isn’t a lead story in the national media along with the school shooting?
There was an off duty county deputy at the theater. SHE pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone. So since this story makes the point that the best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened.
Only the local media covered it. The city is giving her a medal next week.

There are a few inaccuracies in that story, according to this Snopes analysis. First, it was Sunday, December 16; there was no Sunday, December 17. Second, he didn’t shoot his ex-girlfriend. Third, it is offensive to say this is anything like the Aurora shooting because it was not premeditated and he did not go in with military grade weapons and ammunition to wipe out a whole theatre full of people. Fourth, there didn’t just happen to be an off duty county deputy at the theatre; on the contrary, the deputy sheriff was on duty as an armed guard employed by the theatre. She was doing her job, and she was thankful for the years of training she had received in using a firearm to disarm a perpetrator. This was not just a moviegoer with a gun.

The most important takeaway from this story, for me, is that the woman who shot the perpetrator was literally “on guard” and had years of training firing a gun. It seems the pro-gun people would like you to believe we would all be safer if everyone had a gun. It’s not that simple. See this video if you think all you need to do to protect yourself and others is to buy a gun and go to a shooting range once in a while:

The Dark Knight Rises — Has the dark night already fallen?

I finally went to see The Dark Knight Rises yesterday, and I sat there in the theatre wondering if the dark night had already fallen. First of all, I couldn’t watch any of the mass-shooting scenes in the movie without thinking of the mass-murderer who stomped into the theatre that first weekend with machine guns, killing twelve people and injuring 59. Second, I couldn’t watch the Wall Street scenes and crowds-in-the-streets scenes without thinking of Occupy Wall Street and the most criminal transfer of wealth in history (I wonder who’s enjoying one-third of my 401-K and the value of my home, and I’m lucky I’m not one of the millions who lost their homes altogether).

While I sat in the theatre thinking of all the mass shootings there have been over the years, including by kids in schools, and listened to Catwoman’s line about “the whole ‘no guns’ thing” it saddened me to think of the NRA and the debate in this country over “the right to bear arms” (Second Amendment). It’s not a matter of “no guns” or “guns, guns, guns” — it’s a matter of reasonableness and sanity. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in the unreasonable insane of late. (And, unfortunately, the NRA are a bunch of Republicans who have it out for Obama.)

The Dark Knight Rises is an apocalyptic film, and it made me wonder if we don’t already live in an apocalyptic time. We’ve been in a recession for the past four years and now they say we’re headed for a depression. (I’ve been suspected “they” just haven’t wanted to admit this recession is a depression, but what do I know.) We have a political party that — thank you, Todd Akin, true party representative! — is hell-bent on forcing raped women to bear children and giving tax breaks to the wealthy while claiming to be about conservative family values… we have this party of politicians who lie, get caught in lies, and keep lying and might actually win if we don’t stop them! I think the dark night has already fallen.

What am I doing to strengthen myself for this apocalypse or prepare for its eventuality? Writing a thesis about vague language, or worse, spending hours obsessing on my blogs’ themes while I could be writing said thesis? I came away from that movie feeling that my life is frivolous and it was time to wake up and smell the napalm.

Okay, in all fairness, it’s still a wonderful world. Polluted, but wonderful. Full of liars, thieves, murderers, but wonderful. Really, though, I do believe there’s a lot of clean world and good people. And I do believe it’s okay to waste time doing nothing once in a while. And I don’t think I’m doing “nothing” to make the world a better place. And I did love Ann Hathaway as Catwoman and those great one-liners in the film which I will not repeat here. And I do believe we need fluff and frivolity in life. I just think we I need to remember it doesn’t take work to keep the sun shining but it does take work not to let the night of apocalypse fall over us and block that sun from view.

Afterword

This is why I don’t blog as much as I think I “should.” I don’t want to have to sit down here chasing link after link to relate what I’m saying to what others are saying so you know what I’m talking about or future generations know what I’m talking about (if those links are even active in the future). I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, which now maybe you do. I don’t think of myself as a conspiracy theorist, but I’m also not easily misled. (I am agnostic as to whether Bush let 9/11 happen as a pretext for war, but I always knew there were no weapons of mass destruction –WMDs.) And maybe I don’t like the fact that I write in parentheses a lot. But one thing The Dark Knight Rises inspired me to do is to write on my blog(s) this weekend and not just make them pretty.