The ceramics te…

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Quote from Art and Fear shared by a colleague. So, so true. 

new mantra: Make More Pots

It amazes me how many people think that I’m the president of HP. Anyone who really knows me, after all, knows how much I really, really hate computers. (And don’t get me started on tracked changes. But I digress.) Other people think I work for the Packard Foundation, or for any number of other organizations that have either Hewlett or Packard in the title. When I first told my mom about this job, she couldn’t understand why I would leave the law school to go into the home printer business. To solve this annoying brand confusion problem, we are going to propose a merger with the Packard Foundation, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the HP Foundation, and HP itself. The new entity will be named HF-PF-LPCH-HPF-HP.

Larry Kramer, on the Hewlett Foundation’s blog devoted to transparency. Learn about other breaking April 1st news in philanthropy through his most excellent post.

Muenster is Muenster, no matter how you slice it.

Chuck Schumer

Europe’s making a big stink over cheese. The EU wants to ban the use of names like Parmesan, feta, and Gorgonzola on US-made cheeses because ours isn’t as good or as original. Our cheese is becoming an international threat to sales and cheese identity. Our cows pale in comparison to theirs.

Getting this The Onion-worthy ban enacted would inevitably mean tough times on American businesses (especially small ones) and confusion in already chaotic supermarket aisles and on restaurant menus everywhere. It can’t happen…can it?

Government trade relations, folks!

These kinds of proposals are happening more and more around the country. But to me, all of these ordinances and policies just redistribute homeless persons. They don’t solve the problem of homelessness. You can’t jail people out of homelessness.

Robert Adelman, a sociologist at the University at Buffalo, in response to Columbia, South Carolina’s new “strategy” for “dealing with the homeless problem”.

Pacing your drunk acting is key. First drink equals feeling relaxed. Second drink equals mild euphoria. Third drink, hilarity ensues. Fourth, paranoia prevails. Fifth, sixth or more, anything from plain old meanness to self-hatred to weepy-weepy to suicidal. You want your actor to bring as much of his or her own experience to the work but not actually be drunk onstage, though I have had that experience. Yikes.

Dallas theater director René Moreno on how good actors act drunk on stage. It’s definitely a fascinating art. Read more about how actors approach the challenge and what goes into mixing a fake drink in this article

NOTE FROM SKIMM HQ: Yesterday we made a big mistake. We said “Your” when we meant to say “You’re.” Are thoughts our with all those affected by this tragedy. (We kid)

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People may not do things the way I want them to, but you have to step back and realize that people achieve things in different ways.

Jenna Fagnan, president of Tequila Avión

I was a victim of cyber bullying during my freshman year of college. I will never forget the moment I was sitting at my favorite campus coffee shop, glancing through anonymous posts on a collegiate online forum, when I saw my name. The post said, “Melanie – you’re fat. If you cared more about your weight, people would care more about you.” I blinked back tears and ran to my dorm room in a daze as questions rushed through my mind. Who wrote this post? Are they right about me? Do other peers of mine think this too? I was mortified beyond belief, and for months after I read the post, I no longer felt safe or at home in my college community. The post triggered my deepest insecurities, and led me to constantly criticize myself. It shattered my self-esteem and my flawless perception of the community I had so recently become a part of.

I have come a long way since that moment back at the coffee shop. I am almost ready to graduate with a double major in Government and Sociology, I hold numerous leadership roles on campus, and I look forward to a vibrant career in social justice advocacy. Despite all this, I will never forget how strongly those hateful words affected my life and how my experience with cyber bullying was minor compared to the experiences of many others on this collegiate online forum. Cruel messages can lead to eating disorders, insecurities with sexual orientation, suicide, the perpetuation of stereotypes, and unnecessary tears. Let’s remember the true impact that our words can have on others, and the power that we all have to make sure that our words are kind ones.

via an email to the listserve.

Cyber bullying is indeed a huge problem; I know few people in my generation who have not in some way been affected by it. Melanie’s message is simple, raw, and powerful. I hope that by sharing it, awareness of words and actions, especially those that are amplified online, becomes clearer to folks who find hatefulness ok.