Democratically elected presidents?

Commentators on the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela describe him as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Presumably, elections, governments, politics, presidents do not count as democratic when distinct proportions of the population are disenfranchised. When, Americans should ask, was the first democratically elected president of their nation? After the 15th amendment in 1870, the 19th in 1920, or the civil rights act of 1964? In any case, with Republican voter restrictions and gerrymandering sanctioned by the Supreme court, when, Americans might also ask, will U.S. again have democratically elected presidents?
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Create Change Co-Coaching (draft publicity material for comments)

Create Change Co-Coaching
(a project of the The Pumping Station)
Participate with 6-8 others in a Studio for a year to become certified as a Co-Coach.
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Expanding teaching to match my intellectual framework

Intersecting Processes

I’m rethinking an earlier post I noted that my teaching emphasizes only two of the five items that I consider to be linked together in my intellectual framework.

I’m often introducing alternatives, but not so often drawing students into building the constituency to support what is implied by the alternative. I put the alternative out there as if I’m saying it’s good and interesting, now you explore it—it’s up to you—just think about it.

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Experience and story; Fugitive/narrative

I know it is a privilege to have the safety, time, and education to try to shape my experience into something coherent, to think critically and creatively about my life. There’s a difference between story and experience. Experience is the whole mess, all that actually happened; the story is the pieces you string together, what you make of it, a guide to your own existence. Experience is the scars on my legs. My story is that they’re proof that I’m alive. Your story, the meaning you choose to take when you listen to me, might be different.

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“between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…”

In this tension between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…, I’ve often wondered if there might be a universal “way of being”. A way of being which allows us to see, accept, and embrace one another, for who we are as human beings. Bobby Ricketts, UMass Boston graduation speaker

Video of full speech
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On not passing by

After an almost fling at a wedding, the two characters in Almond and Baggott’s 2006 novel, Which Brings Me To You, agreed to start again and get to know each other properly by writing snail mail confessions to each other. I was moved by this book for reasons captured well in this passage from the last letter in the exchange: Read more of this post

On gaps and belonging

The schema below is adapted from a 2013 post. It adds contour lines for the increasing amount of work needed for an exponent of a non-standard idea (or technology) to get to a place where it is possible to belong and hold onto the idea (or use the technology).
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