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ACET (Adult and Continuing Education Today) : Selected Articles by John Ohliger Last Updated: Sep 8th, 2009 - 08:07:52

Odds & Ends

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Education & Society
Odds & Ends
by John Ohliger
April 4, 1989

This is the season of the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes -- awards to accommodating celebrities who don't need the attention. It's time we honored those who don't fit in because they work for good but unpopular causes. Nominations are in order for "Odds & Ends" statuettes for people who are "odds" because they seek worthwhile "ends." Each figurine will have engraved on its base Sam Donaldson's retort from his recent book Hold On, Mr. President, "The time to really question something strongly is when everyone says it's true." Here are my nominations:

Empowerment, No! Advocacy, Yes!

Hilton Power, for "Empowerment, No! Advocacy, Yes!" -- his speech to the Social Philosophy Luncheon at the AAACE Convention in Washington, D.C. Hilton told those assembled, "You are part of the mainstream now, a far cry from a few years ago. But the mainstream has its dangers. Recall the words in the popular Australian song, ‘Waltzing Matilda' -- 'beside a billabong.' A billabong is a body of water left behind after the mainstream has moved. Let's not be complacent. Should the river change, will it take a new course or return to the old?" For a free copy of this great six-page talk write Hilton at 50 Shawmut Street, Lewiston, ME 04240.

Ross Dickinson, from the land of "Waltzing Matilda," for editing the most irreverent and the wittiest, funniest, best written in-house newsletter I've ever seen. You don't have to understand every reference to marvel at Ross' consistently biting originality and amazingly consummate skill with words and thoughts. Contact him at the Institute of Technical & Adult Ed Library, Box K12, Haymarket, New South Wales 2000, Australia.


Sheila Mulcahy, for coordinating the Guide to Nonsexist Language and Visuals. Sexist language is coming back with a vengeance. Major publishers and broadcasters have surrendered again to the use of "man" to designate the human race, when men are a minority of our species oppressing the majority. But, since this gadfly column started six months ago, 85% of the over 100 letters we've received have been from women. That may be one indication the bushes are stirring again. You can help! Order Sheila's straightforward Guide for $2.10 from the UW-Extension Bookstore, 432 North Lake, Madison, WI 53706.

Steve Sikora, for devoting his days to stimulating the adult ed value of an ailing, but fundamentally important, activity -- writing letters. When did you last exchange letters on concerns of mutual interest? Steve edits The Letter Exchange (LEX), a quarterly listing hundreds of people who want to do so. For a sample send $5 to P.O. Box 6218, Albany, CA 94706. LEX put me in touch with the next nominee:

The Underground Lives!

Mike Gunderloy, for proving that the underground is not dead but alive, thriving and growing in small ways all over the world. Mike puts out the quarterly Factsheet Five with short and snappy paragraphs describing hundreds of offbeat publications raising all the issues you've ever heard of and many you haven't -- the greatest source of course ideas available. For a sample, mail $2 to 6 Arizona Avenue, Rensselaer, NY 12144-4502.

Reva Crawford, for founding the National Indian Adult Education Association (NIAEA). Despite the immense pressures on the beleaguered native American culture, Reva shows the sense of humor that prevails when, for instance, she says, "To halt mandatory continuing education forever, just get a law passed making it illegal for those who have some education to get more until those who have none get some." Contact her at 530 Normandy Drive, Norwood, MA 02062.

"Odds & Ends" winners fulfill Socrates' declaration, "Those most in repute are all but the most foolish; and others less esteemed are wiser and better." These are my nominations for the awards. What are yours? Send them to me at Basic Choices, 1023 Drake, Madison, WI 53715. I'll present them in a later column.

LERN has granted non-exclusive permission to this website to post any articles written by John Ohliger for Adult and Continuing Education Today.

© Copyright 2004 John

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