All posts by collegedropoutgrad20

Honesty > Strategy

How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom – Joyce Dorado, Vickyi Zakrzewski

“The Body Keeps the Score” by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk

Of course, the comparison that Dorado and Zakrewski provide between the grooves within the brains of students who can’t “rely on a close caregiver for comfort and safety” to the damaged grooves of a vinyl record causing it to skip. Beyond all of the tips and steps that they provide throughout their relatively brief article, however, I still suggest that the most important thing that a teacher can do for student going through the ringer is to make them feel valued enough to fill a seat within the classroom, but most importantly by YOU, the teacher.

Make them feel as if their presence makes a difference. Like a vinyl record, once scratched, you’re scratched. No tampering with that, and no one wants to replace their original pressing of Comus’ ‘First Utterance’ … no way! Just like that specific pressing of that record, each student is far too rare.

This is why all of the formulaic and “kind and compassionate” niceness that they present falls on dominantly deaf ears to me. The Kolk article did even less for me because of all its dense psychology. Psychology was never my thing; to me it just boils down to calculated explanations of the the abstract nuances of the human experience. I like my abstractness to “go dreamy” (to quote Papa David Lynch). This may not seem very teacher-like of me, trust me I’ve studied it all and studied it all well, but I think its more important to present my perspective as the kind of student-range that these texts are getting at.

Or, at least, as close to such as I can recall. I’ll do my best.

Everyone is different, I know, and I have not been diagnosed with any sort of traumatic (x), so I apologize for any insincerity or ignorance expressed on my part.I didn’t like any of that sort of overly-apologetic Robin Williams-type of stuff when I was a student, and nor did the sorts of students that I was cool with. It always seemed condescending and position-based (“I’m the teacher, you’re the student” sort of dialogue, my friends and I much preferred to talk to teachers as we all were. As human beings).

Ala, such methodology-based dialogue made me feel more dissociated that I already was, to whatever extent, as if I was more of a problem to nurture rather than someone that a teacher legitimately wanted to guide or uplift.

For all of its technical psychological density, the Kolk article did pull my attention in stating that “traumatized people simultaneously remember too little and too much.” Once again, this is not to claim that I was super traumatized or anything, but things happened, and things lingered. This reminded me of all the times that I would vent for entire class periods to the teachers that made me feel like I belonged, and cared enough to listen.

Did every problem have an answer that my teachers were capable of delivering? No, so them asking me “what’s the matter” in a contrived manner never really came about (from the GOOD teacher’s, that is). Maybe a call to meet them in the hallway and a whispered “what the fuck!?” here and there. I don’t suggest that coin of phrase, specifically, but I think it’s important for teacher’s to speak the language that they share with their students.

Rather, they would just allow me the comfortability to vent. In a way, they were also enabling me to think more critically, not academically but environmentally, in regards to my own life. When they would chime in it was often to provide me with stories and experience from their own lives that maybe weren’t even directly related to the problem that I held at hand, but fit the emotions that I was conveying.

Sometimes they would even play a song that had a warm note or a cacophonous wall of noise that they knew would hit my cathartic bitter spot. Point is, they were showing me a vulnerability and openness that made me feel like I was valuable enough to get better.

Now, perhaps my own teaching experience may hinder my ability to view things from that outside perspective and role that a teacher technically HAS to portray within a classroom. I only ever taught high school during the whole online COVID-era, so most of the students present that I taught were never actually present. My perspective here is, admittedly, likely skewered. In some cases I’m certain that those kind of formulaic methodologies are most appropriate, and that not every student is like I was.

Some of them might crave that forced niceness that repulsed my edge-boy self as a teen, but I think that student sensibilities are far more case-by-case.

Still, I don’t know if I can ever fully side with boiling something as complex as emotions and trauma to a “How To” guide or psychological jargon over a sincere attempt to understand the experience that a student is uniquely going through. That’s like serving as a human representation of artificial intelligence, you’re just stripping away the soul away from the human experience, that inexplicable quality that abstractly connects us.

Can an AI help in saying the appropriate things? I assume so.

Can it predictably boil down the psychology behind whatever issue is at hand? Better than I can!

Can it out-impact the most pivotal trauma-dump sessions that I shared with my favorite teachers as a student? Most doubtful.

“Don’t Lose Sight of Who Dreams Are For.”

Voice of writing to me has always been – the point! This could come through in the literal message that one is conveying through the written form, the musical nature that transmits from letters to the mind of the reader – whatever! It’s the point, and anyone who disagrees and downplays the abstract force that is any artistic medium, well, they need to either “fix your heart or die.”

It is everything.

What I noticed about the whole high school vs. college exercise from last week’s class is that I really love people, one’s that I think are people. The sort of people that can engage me as moving vessels of connectivity, rather than intentioned fronts putting on a face. I hate those, I suppose some can call them people, but I call them mere vessels. No words that I can throw can fill them up, because they are not quite THERE yet, y’dig? They are prepubescent, perhaps saccharine on the outside – maybe even initially pleasant, but they’re not their own selves.

They are no selves. Empty shells with edgy words.

At least, that’s how I’d probably go about typing this blog if it were Spring 2016, and I was my 2016-self, back when I was in high school. I still relate to that kid very much, he is still me. He just has grown encrusted with many experiential, honest, beautiful, rigid, scarred, and even unexpected layers. These may come in the form of seconds, minutes, days – whatever!

Can a ChatGPT have such layers? Can AI develop such layers?

The answers that the ChatGPT produced in class had nothing. They, with great justice to all of the experiential layers that I and PEOPLE have, are nothing. That collective of words displayed on-screen, via-HDMI or whatever, were not words. They were CENSORSHIP, absence, and death. Of what? Beauty, life, experience.

They were … the deathknell of the muse.

James McBride Questions:

  1. What is your response to my claim that there is an inherit power dynamic between civilian and cop that is destructive to the civilian?
  2. You have been quoted stating the following: “you can’t be a creative person, if you are so cynical about the world” and “you have to emphasize the positive, otherwise, why write about people at all?” Do you not find these ideas restrictive to creativity itself, and exclusionary of the experiences and perspectives of cynical individuals. To what extent were your words expressed hyperbolically, and can you further clarify how cynicism is uncreative?

At What Point Does Everything Become A Boring Lump of Clay?

After watching the documentary and reading the article assigned for this blog I can only help but ask myself “where is the fun!?” I guess working hard at things isn’t too much fun to people – not everyone likes to organize their record collection in protective plastic sleeves alphabetically and continuously take part in the maintenance that is required to “respectably” house a collection nearing 500, or however many I own. I think that this is all part of the joy and love that I have for record collecting, the tangibility of it all. Sure, convenience is nice and accessibility is great for many, some need it just to be able TO DO.

I’m fortunate enough to have working everything (I’m certain, if anything lacks let me know). So why not try to enhance the act of doing the thing rather than enhance the capabilities of ease in which that thing can be achieved?

I don’t think that machine and vinyl would go well together in the practice of an AI de-dusting, and whatnot, maybe – I doubt it. I wouldn’t trust my rare marble pressed copy of Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ with it. No way. But then there comes the element of physical storytelling. To me there is a human quality (to more reference the article, whereas I was more so referencing the documentary prior) that is unparalleled to what an AI can accomplish.

I care so much for Will Ospreay’s crushing defeat to Kenny Omega because the story told, while predetermined in outcome, the consequences of defeat is real to WILL OSPREAY. Everything he expresses in the post-match press conference happened to him. An AI cannot replicate that. I don’t care about whatever it endures according to its programming, it doesn’t either. Will Ospreay is such a fascinating character, person, and professional wrestler because HE does what HE does.

The first four minutes of this interview, featuring Ospreay, represent professional wrestling in as real of an emotive state as it gets. Blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice.

When the AI beat the humans 4-1 in that Go game, and all of the tech people were cheering it like a legitimate victory, I cringed. Why are we so obsessed with our tools? I don’t cherish that copy of ‘Hounds of Love’ because of it being a tool that plays music, I care because of the human art it contains. The 12″x12″ art print that houses the record, is a beautiful photograph compositionally and contextually in-relation to the art housed. Vinyl is a cool tool and all, but the experience is one that is tangible. Getting a computer to make music for you is not, at least in a romanticized sort of essence that I’m leaning towards.

Getting an AI to draw experiences from is questionable to me too, it is fun, and may enlighten research and whatnot, but where is the authenticity of influence being acquired there? When I sample ideas from film and music in my work – professional wrestling, whatever – I am sampling from the lexicon of my own perspective, and those around me.

Depeche Mode/New Order/Brand New/Converge/etc. all represent the record store clerks that I used to hang out with as a teen at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, or the teachers that would guide me through my high school journey. All of this represents a part of me. I might take from it, but it’s based off of the environment that has crafted my own life. An AI is not my life.

Some Quotes From the Documentary that Made Me Churn:

“A driverless truck would not have that limitation.”

“I wish i had drawn that graph.”

“Overcoming the limitations of our minds.”

An Interview With Minoru Suzuki that Makes My Soul Flutter:

“Interviewer — I see.

Suzuki: Do you, though? Look at what makes a great wrestler. Tall, muscular, can kick, can throw hands, can suplex people, can tap them out, can fly, is charismatic. Get all that together and you have a cleanup hitter. That’s the kind of guy that makes hacks like you, or the fans in the crowd give them the nod.

Interviewer –Right. The total package.

Suzuki: But make an all star team of guys like that, and they’re the most boring team in the league. These days, you can make your own characters in the videogames, right?

Interviewer –Yes, they have edit modes.

Suzuki: So some kid with their video game goes and makes their dream promotion, and it’s full of those aces right? But a baseball team that’s full of cleanup hitters won’t go anywhere. It’s the same for wrestling promotions.

Interviewer –So, even though he was successful in the major American leagues, Jon Moxley is by no means the total package as a wrestler, in your opinion.

Suzuki: It’s a bit of a paradox, but it’s because of that he got chances in WWE. There’s nobody else like him, right? Nobody in the majors in America is like him. So he stands out. Nobody gets that.

Look. An absolute all-round perfectionist, the perfect complete player, tens in every category? Not even Tanahashi is that. Naito isn’t that. They don’t exist.

Interviewer –Those slants, the weaknesses make strengths stand out, and made Moxley stand out.

Suzuki: Hehehe… Everyone in this business is a mark, you included. You fans have this idea of ratings, of skill points. You put all those points in a hexagon graph and calculate an average; ‘oh he’s a good wrestler, over 80 overall’. BS. Who the hell will pay money to buy a ticket, and see a guy who’s a perfect hexagon, 8 out of 10 or above in all areas? The guy with zero overall, the guy who can’t do anything at all, he’s a better draw.

Interviewer –Moxley is a unique breed? Organic, you mean? Real?

Suzuki: Why is Lance Archer popular? Why does Zack Sabre Junior have the support he does? Because there’s stuff they can’t do. Nobody in this goddamn business understands that. Wrestlers don’t understand that. Trainers, people teaching these kids don’t understand that for crying out loud!

Interviewer –The system wants to create all rounders.

Suzuki: So the kids go in, and they train, and their trainers find what the gaps are in their games, and they try to fill those gaps right up. So you have this perfectly smooth, grey lump of boring trash. Fill in those holes on a wrestler and there’s no way in hell he’s filling seats with asses. It’s up to us to make people talk, to make them disagree. Make them argue. So Moxley? It’s because he can’t do s**t that he’s a good wrestler.

Interviewer –So you actually rate him quite highly?

Suzuki: He has something very special about him.”

Interview Link:

Introduction 3.0

Alrighty, so for those of you who have been following this blog in the past, cool. For those of you new to me (I hope that there are a few) I’m Brandon. Most of my friends call me by whatever insulting name comes to mind – that’s our sense of humor. You can call me WHATEVER you want, I like personable, unique, nicknames.

I’m a huge film/music/professional wrestling nut (you’ll see constant references to each throughout this blog if you pay close attention), and really wear my interests on my sleeve. I really dig expression and boldness, and never understood why people reserve themselves. It’s weird. If someone is going to like you allow them the opportunity to like you for you, otherwise the relationship (in whatever form it takes) is probably going to crack much easier.

Besides all that I’m quite impulsive and hyper and whatnot, but I don’t necessarily view that as as negative as I did as a kid. I think over time you tend to work with those kinds of details and refine them to be positive factors of your ability/personality. Still, I find that I grate people sometimes. Like how run-on my writing can be and how scattered my ideas are expressed here, such is essentially a representation of how I speak in real time.

Oh, vulgarity! I can be pretty vulgar too. I’ve always been a big fan of shock-schlock. I love old exploitation films and really questionable corners of the music world. I’m still waiting for some super ironic GG Allin TikTok resurgence. Not because I’m a huge fan of Allin, or even his music, but because I think that Irony is A bit of Dead Scene, and like to laugh at how absurd it gets – even if those causing it are completely unaware/unironic.

As for this course I’m pretty excited for it. The students that I already know I think are an enlightened and engaging bunch, and my new peers seem like the kind to bring a different perspective to the table. The content itself seems to be pretty intriguing – especially the focus on artificiality in the sense that I want to look closer regarding how near or far such a thing really is to our own human core.