Filmmaker Brandon Ruckdashel has deftly answered the call for #HollywoodMustDoBetter with his film Grinder. I’m certain that it had been included in GLAAD’s Studio Responsibility Index (2016), it would have received a good rating for avoiding many common stereotypes of films dealing with LGBT issues.
It’s too easy for an impressionable teenager searching for affirmation and love to be groomed and manipulated, especially by an abusive, power-driven predator who promises to make dreams of success, love, and admiration come true. We meet 16 year old Luke grappling with his journey of self-discovery, his abusive home environment, and flirting online with Rich. With 50% of gay and lesbian youth reporting they are rejected by their parents for their sexual orientation, it is no surprise that after his father’s homophobia violently erupts, Luke runs away to the city towards Rich and the promise of acceptance and opportunity. He joins the “gays and lesbians [that] make up about 40 percent of all homeless youth.” To watch his innocence methodically taken from him in a myriad of ways is unsettling, and yet, that his story happens daily to many young people in his situation is truly heartbreaking.
When Luke comes to the city, he meets a photographer named Tim employed by Rich. Tim’s identity and sexual orientation struggles are exemplified by his literal running to escape who he is and what he wants:
Model: “What are we looking for?”
Tim: “Something that adds texture…without taking away from the focus.”
Model smokes cigarette. “I’m trying to quit.”
Tim: “I’m trying to take care of myself.”
He photographs Rich’s men for a profitable living. When behind his camera, Tim is at his most comfortable and emotionally intimate with his male subjects, albeit at a distance. Physical intimacy only happens not with his female fiancé, who is always absent, but with his male partners after self-hating and drinking. Tim develops a fascination with Luke, and not unlike many of us feeling the weight of our choices over many years, possibly sees a younger version of himself with all the hope and simplicity in life he still wished he had. Tim fights to give Luke the opportunity and freedom he so desperately wishes for.
The real Grinder here is not the app. Rather, it is overcoming the male meat grinder stuffed with toxic masculinity, homophobia, self-loathing, hatred, identity, power, striving, and finding one’s place in the world. To become successful, how far will you go, and what will it do to you along the way? What are the paths for young men like Luke to grow up with love and support to become the man he wants to be? Or the paths for men like Tim to escape toxic masculinity and embrace his own multifaceted place in the world? How can we help more men find them, and demonstrate support? Unfortunately these men are stuck in the grinder. However, daybreak, and the possibility of new beginnings, await.
Southeastern Massachusetts Quantitative Engagement and Literacy is an annual meeting of higher education faculty and staff around teaching, learning, and student success with quantitative literacy across the curriculum. Faculty and staff from the region are invited to attend, present, and share.
Thursday, January 12, 2017,
8:30am – 2:30pm, at
Bridgewater State University
Burnell Hall 132
100 Burrill Avenue
Math anxiety and avoidance not only interfere with students’ test-taking success; they can also keep students from engaging with quantitative content elsewhere in their coursework and career. SEQuEL 2017 invites proposals and sharing around how to understand and mitigate our students’ (and our own!) anxieties around numbers, and locating and building instead on quantitative strengths in the college classroom.
Call for Proposals
We invite proposals for presentations, workshops, and round tables.
Proposals will be reviewed by conference organizers, and this call will close October 31, 2016. Presenters will be notified on November 18th.
Source: SEQuEL 2017
inSocialWork Podcast #199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning
Have you considered incorporating technology or social media into your courses? If you have, then you are not alone. However, it can be daunting, given that there seems to be an increasing push to use these digital tools but not much direction as to how to do it. In this podcast, four social work educators talk about how they have used digital tools in their teaching. Professors Karen Zgoda, Melanie Sage, Jonathan Singer, and Lauri Goldkind offer examples from their work as they share thoughts about, and experiences with, integrating technology-mediated assignments into their coursework.
Karen Zgoda is an instructor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. She starting hosting online social work chats in 2000 and is currently a collaborator and chat host for the #MacroSW Twitter chats focused on macro social work practice. Karen previously wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on digital divide issues. Her research and pedagogical interests include technology in social work and education, macro social work, social policy, and research methods.
Melanie Sage, PhD, is an assistant professor and BSSW program director at University of North Dakota, where she conducts research in areas of both child welfare and technology. She has trained over 1,000 social workers in the ethical use of social media and is especially interested in how technology is used in child welfare practice and in social work classrooms. She teaches coursework in direct practice with individuals and families, children’s mental health, and motivational interviewing. Dr. Sage holds a PhD in social work and research from Portland State University and an MSW from East Carolina University and spent most of her pre-academic social work career in child welfare and mental health settings. Currently, she’s working with colleagues, Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and Dr. Nancy Smyth, on a book titled “Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology.” You can join her for conversation and virtual coffee on Twitter: @melaniesage.
Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW, is an associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago and founder and host of the Social Work Podcast. His practice, teaching, and scholarship focuses on suicide intervention, cyberbullying, family-based interventions, community services, school social work, technology, and podcasts. Dr. Singer is the author of 45 publications, including the 2015 book “Suicide in Schools: A practitioner’s guide to multilevel prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention.” He has given over 100 academic and continuing education presentations nationally for the U.S. Military, community mental health agencies, school districts, and clinical social work organizations. He can be found on Twitter as @socworkpodcast.
Lauri Goldkind, PhD, teaches at Fordham across the foundation and advanced year curricula as well as in the masters of nonprofit administration program. She holds an MSW from SUNY Stony Brook with a concentration in planning, administration, and research and a PhD from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Her practice experience was focused in the in youth development, education, and juvenile justice realms. Prior to joining the faculty at Fordham, she served as Director of New School Development and Director of Evaluation at the Urban Assembly (UA), a network of specialized public schools located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. At UA she supported principals through the new school process, helping them earn start-up grants valued at over $500,000 per school; additionally, she provided technical assistance to principals and school-based staff on data-driven decision making, development and maintenance of data management structures and the effective use of data to improve student achievement.
APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:
Episode 199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning. (2016, September 12). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=199
Watching someone struggle with mental illness is never easy, and even harder when you are in love with the person suffering. This film is about two young men, Jeremy and Scott, trying to succeed in college while navigating the challenges in forming a romantic relationship with each other and learning how to cope when Scott develops schizophrenia. Watching a loved one slip into deep schizophrenia is particularly challenging on many levels, a process Jeremy accurately describes as “I feel like I’m going crazy.” My heart broke many times watching Scott travel deeper and deeper into his illness. Unfortunately these struggles with mental health are all too common, and while untreated mental illness is an avoidable tragedy in this country, this film deftly lays bare the struggles faced by those coming to terms with their mental illness. No Restrictions Entertainment has a reputation for creating unflinching astute portrayals of the human condition in struggle; we get to watch characters make tough, individual choices to cope and persevere, and are reminded that these choices are easier when surrounded by supportive loved ones. Hopefully you walk away thinking about your own choices and are reminded to be supportive of those struggling.
You can find more information about the film on its Facebook page. Side observations: Scott looks like a young Michael Hutchence and has an awesome, rotating collection of funny cooking aprons.
Update: Chat archive now available!
Suicide statistics are often daunting. According to the Center for Disease Control “There were 41,149 suicides in 2013 in the United States—a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 is equal to 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes”. When you think about this on the global scale The World Health Organization identifies that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds.
These numbers are quite jarring and demonstrate how important it is to discuss this on a global scale. In the spirit of World Social Work Day and Social Work Month, we want a global conversation around the issue of suicide and social justice. The need to address suicide from the social justice perspective is explored in this TED Talk by Dr. Professor Siobhan O’Neill:
Here is a particularly moving quote: “Suicide is response to unbearable pain, to hopelessness, and feelings of failure and entrapment”
Dr. O’Neill examines the effect on post-traumatic stress and its impact on the health of people in Northern Ireland. The economic and social determinants in Northern Ireland led to continued poor health outcomes and suicide. She makes a call to increase connectedness in the community because this connectedness saves lives.
Moving from a local scale to a more global scale, think about how the social work/social justice community can bring about change. In honor of social work month, please join us and our guest Dr. Siobhan O’Neill for special global twitter chat about this issue.
We will tackle the following questions:
- How is Suicide Prevention is a social justice issue?
- What social factors potentially impact suicide risk in the area that you serve?
- What are some of the barriers to suicide prevention?
- What are ways the macro social work/social work community can collaborate with the suicide prevention community?
This chat is a collaboration between Macro Social Work Tweet Chat (@OfficialMacroSW represented by @KarenZgoda) and the Suicide Prevention on Social Media Tweet Chat (@spsmchat represented by Sean Erreger, LCSW @StuckonSW) Thanks again to Dr. Siobahn O’Neill (@ProfSiobahnOn) for the inspiration and joining us in Northern Ireland.
To join us please follow/use the hashtag #MacroSW on Saturday March 26, 2016 at 1:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT
- Centers for Disease Control (2015) Suicide: Facts at a Glance Found at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf retrieved on 3/19/16
- World Health Organization (2014) Suicide Prevention: A Global Imperative found at http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/world_report_2014/en/ reteived on 3/19/16