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Archive for the ‘Self-Awareness’ Category

Broken Meat, Reviewed: An Astonishing Dual Portrait of a Poet and His City – The New Yorker

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Every great urban filmmaker has a personal metaphysics of the city, a sense that the synergies and mysteries of urban life can find their ideal form in images. Thats what Pola Rapaport reveals in her first feature, Broken Meat, from 1991, which is showing, starting Wednesday, on Metrographs virtual cinema (with her introduction) and is also streaming on Vimeo.

Its a film in a particular and too often narrowing mode: a documentary portrait of an artist, the poet Alan Granville, whose work doesnt appear to have attracted much attention beyond the movie itself. Broken Meat is the title of one of his works, which Rapaport reads, during a train ride, early in the film. The poets obscurity itself comes off as something of his lifes work, his self-chosen destiny, as he describes his lifelong hero, Vincent van Gogh. Considering a reproduction of a self-portrait that adorns his wall, Granville says that van Goghs gaze is not disturbed but steadfast, and that the artist awakened Granvilles first awareness that a person could lead an undiscovered life. Granville acknowledges that he himself is largely an unfulfilled poet, with no realistic hope of recognition, and the gap between his vast literary aspirations and his actual circumstances is the documentarys anguished drama. As realized by Rapaport, Broken Meat is a virtual film noir in documentary form, with an appropriately bold, expressive, howlingly harsh aesthetic, and echoes of the 1947 drama Nightmare Alley, with its shuddery final repartee about its fallen hero: How can a guy get so low? He reached too high.

The poetry that Granville delivers, or improvises, onscreen in the course of the film yields glimmers of ravaged beauty salvaged from the depths of unspeakable pain. According to the movie, he led something of an anti-charmed life: he describes being held in the state psychiatric hospitals Kings Park and Creedmoor and subjected involuntarily to shock treatments, and later falling into homelessness. He shows Rapaport a site in Riverside Park where he used to live and fear assault every night; at the time of the filming, he was in a grim residential hotel with childproof window guards fixed to the door panels for security. This is where I dwell, like a monk in his cell, he tells Rapaport, whom he calls Pola Pie. He was a heavy user of cocaine, possibly addicted to it, certainly dependent on it. His early life was marked by his mothers apparent mental illness; when he had no place else to go, in 1981, he moved in with her upstate. He speaks, mysteriously, of helping her to kill herself, and of being haunted by her death and consumed with a sense of impotent guilt.

In poverty, frustration, isolation, and the torment of memory, Granville delivers himself and his life to the camera with liberating energy, hearty antics, and fractured glimmers of ecstasy. He projects his wild creative power throughout the spaces of the city that he inhabits in body and mind, and the city in turn seems to concentrate both its crushing might and its orchestral glory on him as he passes through it. Broken Meat is one of the great cinematic city symphonies, a genre dating back to the silent-film era. Rapaport, working with the cinematographer Wolfgang Held (theyre married), films Granville and New York, together and separately, with a sense of devoted and tremulous awe. The movie is a sort of mutual celebration of the poet and the city that fuses cautionary terrors with rapturous exaltations, and evinces an awareness that the two are inherently inseparable. The peep shows that dominated Forty-second Streeta view that was formerly his through the window of another grim residenceare seen at street level, as are the doorways of flophouses, with passersby filmed in slow motion to capture the hidden aura of grandeur and pathos in their daily rounds.

For all of Granvilles evident misery, he loves comedy and enacts it free-spiritedly both for and with Rapaport, as in a sequence at a thrift shopwhere shes buying him a winter coatwhich starts with a travelling shot through the stores vast piles of unwanted merchandise, including discarded baby carriages, and which carries an air of enduring loss, and dissolves into antics as Granville chases Rapaport with a floppy rubber hand. On a visit to an incongruously placed park near the site of Creedmoora visit that sparks Granvilles anguished memories of his appalling abuse therehe and Rapaport ride a seesaw, from which he falls off raucously. A visit to a cemetery (filmed in a series of soulful tracking shots) gives rise to Granvilles exuberant speculations about life and death and the consolations of the afterlife. The city waterfront, which Granville visits with the filmmaker Robert Attanasio (who was collaborating with the poet in a ten-year project), is his virtual stage for confessional reflections and sardonic street theatre.

Granville is first seen sitting naked on the floor, looking into the camera. Rapaport films travelling shots up the length of his unclothed body, from angles that display its grizzled textures and its clean curves, and whichthrough film editingshe likens to the craggy grandeur of mountains. Granville is obscene, enraged, comedic, self-centered, and self-aware, in thrall to literature and seemingly even more tortured by the inability to read than by the inability to write. Throughout the film, Rapaport brings Granvilles voicespoken into her microphone or into an answering machine or delivered into a streetside pay phonetogether with visions of New York, of the Manhattan cityscape as seen from car windows on highways, of the grand latticework of bridges, the eerie isolation of tunnels, the mighty banality and collective energy of street views over road barriers and from overpasses, the faded gleam of luncheonettes, the cold and mighty vistas from the shore over the East River. These visions, filmed in moody black and white, have an air of timelessness, like vestiges of a distant, mythic age of urban heroism from which Granville has fallen, even if only in his own imagination.

Rapaport both directed and edited Broken Meat, and it is, among other things, one of the most thrilling displays of film editing that Ive seen in a while. She joins the sense of the citys overwhelming weight and abraded surfaces with the poets raw physicality (and the jaunty and mournful jazz score by Vincent Attanasio and Stuart Kollmorgen) to elevate the unbearably ordinary to ineffable heights. The films everyday yet rhapsodic images, assembled with bold juxtapositions and jolting yet poised rhythms, lend the dual portrait of the poet and the city an air of eternity.

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Broken Meat, Reviewed: An Astonishing Dual Portrait of a Poet and His City - The New Yorker

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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The burnout we don’t talk about – The Herald

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By KELLI CHAMBERS Youth First Inc.

When we talk to fellow parents about how hard our jobs can be, we often hear responses like, Oh yeah, Ive experienced that too. Thats just part of being a mom/dad. Sometimes it feels as if your childs needs are endless and seem impossible to manage. Of course our childs happiness is what we as parents strive for, but sometimes we need more.

We often hear about how people feel burnt out in their jobs or even in their relationships, but rarely do we hear about feeling burnt out on parenting. It almost feels taboo because parents have been taught that being tired, stressed and overwhelmed is just part of it.

Social media plays a big role with the expectation of being the perfect family who has it all together. These expectations are unrealistic and untrue. There will inevitably be times of stress, chaos and unhappy emotions in every family.

So what does parental burnout look like? Burnt out parents are exhausted from the never-ending demands of parenting. They can feel as if they are on autopilot or in survival mode. Your sleep can be negatively affected both the amount and quality. Going to work can serve as a relief. There, you might feel calm, focused and successful, where you might not feel that at home.

Parental burnout can be broken down into three categories: exhaustion, detachment and inefficacy. Just as it sounds, exhaustion is never getting to fully recharge. Detachment is being less able to take pleasure in day-to-day activities with your children. Lastly, inefficacy shows through when parents feel they are ineffective in their parenting.

We cant give what we dont have. It is our responsibility as parents to identify when we are struggling and to make a decision about what to do about it. Our kids ultimately feel the consequences of our lack of self-awareness or self-care.

One of the biggest effects on our kids is when we are not able to attune to them. We cant be our most patient, loving and nurturing selves if we are disconnected from our own needs.

Parents often struggle with taking time to do something for themselves when they could be doing something for their child instead. By taking care of ourselves, our kids are reaping a bigger benefit. They get a parent who is fully present and engaged. Here are a few ways to alleviate some of your burnout symptoms:

1. Reach out to your doctor or therapist to discuss any concerns.

2. Ask your partner to take something off of your plate or utilize daycare to give yourself time to rest or do something that makes you happy.

3. Give yourself permission to say no to demands that will stretch you too thin.

4. Communicate your needs to your partner/loved ones.

5. Prioritize your sleep.

6. Take care of your body through exercise, healthy eating, etc.

Another good way to do a self-check is to use Dr. Oscar Serrallachs acronym SPAN. Identify what your true needs are and determine what you need to do to fulfill them.

S- Sleep

P- Purpose

A- Activity

N- Nutrition

Parenthood, at times, can be a difficult and thankless job, but it is a job many of us would not trade for anything. Being mindful of your needs allows for a better version of yourself, and your kids will directly benefit.

Kelli Chambers, LCSW, is a Youth First social worker at Central High School in Vanderburgh County. Youth First Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening youth and families. Youth First provides 78 master's level social workers to 105 schools in 12 Indiana counties. Over 60,000 youth and families per year are served by Youth First's school social work and after-school programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors and maximize student success. To learn more about Youth First, visit or call 812-421-8336.

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The burnout we don't talk about - The Herald

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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The Two Chicago Cubs Presidents Reiterate: Rather Than a Lengthy Rebuild, Winning Again Soon is the Goal –

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The Chicago Cubs may not have a general manager, but they do have two presidents! Jed Hoyer is the president of baseball operations and Crane Kenney is the president of business operations. And together, they run the Chicago Cubs organization. Theoretically, Kenney has zero influence on the baseball side of things, but you can draw a straight line from his job (generating revenue, which helps set the baseball budget) to Hoyers job (using that budget to mold the Cubs into a winner), so their perspective on whats coming is useful fodder for discussion.

Recently, both presidents addressed the future of the club, and, at a minimum, demonstrated the sort of self-awareness youd hope to see out of those in-charge: Let me also say to our fans, Crane Kenney said, per NBCSC, we know our current play on the field is not what you expect or deserve. And we assure you that winning another World Series continues to be our No. 1 goal.

Empty words? Eh, maybe a little. It is, of course, the goal of every organization to win the World Series. But hey, even if youre one the more skeptical among us, and you believe that the actual No. 1 goal of Kenney/the Cubs is to make as much money as possible, well, winning the World Series is an extremely good way to do it. Period.

But Im not quite so cynical, personally. Although I didnt see the same championship-caliber roster when I went to Wrigley Field on Saturday, I do see an organization with a ton of flexibility in every conceivable way. The payroll is minuscule going forward. The prospect capital is as high as it has been in five years (and arguably going up). The roster has about as many vacancies as any team could imagine (which opens a lot of doors). And all this comes just ahead of a brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement. We may not like the way we got here, but now that were here, Im not actually sure the situation is quite as dire as it appears.

Heck, even on the field, things probably arent quite as bad as they seem: Were playing shorthanded, Jed Hoyer said, per NBCSC. And I think thats very clear. Were not going to be playing shorthanded going forward.

The Cubs, having traded away such a substantial chunk of their roster, are not playing with the kind of team you would otherwise construct at thestart of a season. Hoyer is effectively saying this group, plucky though they may be, is not exactly what youd put together for the Cubs in 2022.

Its not even just the guys the Cubs have traded away, either. At the moment, the Cubs are without Willson Contreras, Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, and Adbert Alzolay. Would any one (or even all four) of those guys make a meaningful difference in the standings? No. Not likely. But lets not pretend like missing three starting-caliber position players and a starting pitcher is nothing. The team is likely better off at present than it appears on the field. Thats just the reality. It is *not* good enough. But it is not as bad as it seems.

And Hoyer knows that: My guess is that well find some interesting things over the next two months, Hoyer said. But those will be probably individual, one-off things that we can use going forward. And its exciting to let these guys have opportunities to play and to prove that.

The list of things the Cubs can find out or at least begin to find out is significant. In the rotation, they have four starters auditioning for long-term role: Keegan Thompson, Justin Steele, Adbert Alzolay, and Alec Mills. In the bullpen, there are three guys attempting to stake a claim on a seventh-inning or later role next season: Rowan Wick, Manny Rodriguez, Codi Heuer. And on the positional side, we still need to learn what kind of starter Nico Hoerner can be, what type of role Rafael Ortega, Patrick Wisdom, Frank Schwindel, and Michael Hermosillo can play, and whether guys like Ian Happ, David Bote, and Matt Duffy have any significant Cubs playing time in their future.

Now, even still, I concede that those aremostly peripheral roster decisions. When the Cubs traded away Kris Bryant, Javy Bez, Anthony Rizzo, and Craig Kimbrel (and probably also Ryan Tepera and Andrew Chafin) they let go of nearly all of their star/impact talent. And that means that even if every single one of those lets wait and see guys broke out, the team is still probably not good enough to compete legitimately next season.

But Jed Hoyer knows that. Or, at least, he responded with a Sure, when asked if the Cubs must add impact talent this offseason in order to avoid a 2012-style rebuild, which has been their refrain.

And thats sort of where Im at right now. I know so many of you are in Ill believe it when I see it mode, but Im just one-step more optimistic than that. The Cubs have SO MUCH money available to spend and enough prospects and young pre-arb players to make an impactful trade if they wanted to go that route, not using it doesnt really make any sense. Now, we can disagree on how they might go about spending their money some smart folks prefer the top-end shorter-term plays (think of how the San Francisco Giants went about this last offseason) as well as some meaningful starting pitching, but I think one truly big offensive addition makes sense if the guy is young enough and there are several options out there.

Either way, two things seem clear to the two Cubs presidents: (1) The current product on the field is sub-par, and (2) the only way to change that meaningfully before next season will be through significant external investment. Now its up to them to actually do it, and get it right.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.

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The Two Chicago Cubs Presidents Reiterate: Rather Than a Lengthy Rebuild, Winning Again Soon is the Goal -

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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Carry the summer into fall with the 10 best books of August – Christian Science Monitor

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Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.

Readers may feel like their swing through summer books was all too brief, before autumns highly anticipated books begin arriving in September. No matter. There is still plenty of daylight and time left to explore a wealth of fiction and nonfiction titles published this month.

Books can provide a change in perspective, a different angle on a subject we think we know well. Whether the topic is poet Emily Dickinson or the patriarch of the Kennedy clan, the titles this month explore alternative viewpoints.

As August leans into September, the book satchel may not travel to the beach, but it doesnt need to hang in the closet. These novels, memoirs, and works of history are well worth carrying into fall.

1.Emilys Houseby Amy Belding Brown

Irish immigrant Margaret Maher works as the maid in the family home of poet Emily Dickinson, cleaning, cooking, and defending her mistress from prying eyes. Margarets Tipperary-tinged voice brings this captivating novel to life; its a perspective rife with honesty, humor, and clever observations. Upon discovering Emilys verses, Margaret breathes, Like sparks they were tiny scraps of light.

Books can provide a change in perspective, a different angle on a subject we think we know well. Whether the topic is poet Emily Dickinson or the patriarch of the Kennedy clan, the titles this month explore alternative viewpoints.

2.The Human Zooby Sabina Murray

A Filipino American writer named Ting flees to Manila, where her extended family lives in fading, upper-class ease. As she researches a native tribe for a book on human zoos, Ting witnesses the human and political damage inflicted by the countrys strongman leader. Sabina Murrays smart, idea-packed story grapples with corruption, identity, and loyalty, building to a searing climax.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

3.Agatha of Little Neonby Claire Luchette

When people saw our habits, they ceased to see our faces, muses Agatha, one of four young nuns tending to the residents of Little Neon, a lime green-colored halfway house in Rhode Island. The relationship between individuality and faith underpins Claire Luchettes spare, deeply sympathetic debut. Sharp dialogue and fresh observations bring the characters quirks and doubts to life.

4.The Madness of Crowdsby Louise Penny

Louise Pennys 17th mystery in her Chief Inspector Gamache series deals with hot-button issues, from free speech and academic freedom to euthanasia. Set in a post-pandemic world (Penny wrote the novel during the coronavirus lockdown), this riveting murder mystery explores moral quandaries with her trademark incisiveness.

5.The Husbandsby Chandler Baker

This feminist noir mystery is a gender-flipped Stepford Wives in which high-powered working women attain their dream careers while their men handle the domestic duties. With satirical wit and insightful compassion, author Chandler Baker gives voice to the frustrations borne of societys expectations of women. The books thriller undertones make for propulsive reading.

6.The Long-Lost Julesby Jane Elizabeth Hughes

When a suspiciously charming Oxford professor begins traipsing after a shy London banker, insisting she is the long lost heir of Henry VIIIs last queen (Katherine Parr), an enthralling contemporary romantic mystery heats up. Add in secret agendas, family drama, international money-laundering rings, and European locations, and this is a terrific romp for history buffs and adventure lovers.

7.All Inby Billie Jean King

The tennis champion writes about her life with self-awareness and humility, while not underplaying her role as a trailblazer for womens rights. She gently criticizes her younger self for feeling a need to hide her sexual identity to safeguard her career, and touches on the toll that secret exacted. Find the full review here.

8.Pastoral Songby James Rebanks

English sheep farmer and writer James Rebanks offers a sustainable method for raising animals, preserving habitat, caring for the environment, and nurturing small farmers all at the same time. Find the full review here.

9.The Ambassadorby Susan Ronald

Susan Ronald, who wrote a thought-provoking biography of Cond Nast, turns to a different name-brand plutocrat: Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of the Kennedy family, concentrating on his disastrous turn as ambassador to England. Ronald respects her readers by not trying to rehabilitate Kennedy; instead, she presents a three-dimensional portrait of a flawed but fascinating man.

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10.All the Frequent Troubles of Our Daysby Rebecca Donner

Rebecca Donners harrowing book tells the story of American-born Mildred Harnack, a bright, unassuming young woman who played a central role in organizing German resistance to the Nazis planning sabotage and helping Jewish people escape.

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Carry the summer into fall with the 10 best books of August - Christian Science Monitor

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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Ten Thoughts on the NFL – Windy City Gridiron

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1 Hard Knocks Life

The HBO show Hard Knocks does an excellent job every year of giving fans a taste of the NFL in August. Sometimes they focus in on players on the bubble, other times an entertaining coach or player may take center stage. One of the most interesting seasons featured the Cleveland Browns, Head Coach Hue Jackson, and number one overall pick Baker Mayfield. Jackson compiled a 1-31 record during his first two seasons in Cleveland but acted like the second coming of Bill Walsh. A stunning display of a lack of self-awareness.

This season, Head Coach Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys take center stage and I get similar fraud vibes. I never got the sense that McCarthy deserved a ton of credit for the success in Green Bay and thought the Packers would move on quicker than they did. Given the divorce in GB, the PR job McCarthy managed to pull off to get his gig in Dallas might be more impressive than any Super Bowl run.

The Browns fired Hue halfway through the season and you cant convince me that his odd performance on the Hard Knocks show didnt have something to do with it. I wonder if the Cowboys have another lackluster year if McCarthy doesnt suffer the same fate.

2 Oh, oh, oh, Fitzmagic

Call me a sucker, but Im cheering for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ron Rivera to win the NFC East this year. I think the Washington Football Team made a good decision to bring in the journeyman vet as hes playing some of the best football of his career. He takes over a fun roster that could quickly make things interesting in that division. For my money, Id much rather take the longer odds that Washington puts it all together with a good defense and a solid offense than hope that Dak can overcome the injury, the bad defense, and McCarthy.

The line for WFT to win the division moved over the last few weeks from +260 to +225. Seems like others have bought in as well.

3 Value at the Draft Table

Fitzpatrick currently rates as QB21 on average in your local drafts. His top WR, Terry McLaurin, and his top RB, Antonio Gibson, both rank in the top 12 at their respective positions. We know Fitzpatrick can sling it around the yard with the best of them and while that comes with the risk of a higher turnover rate, he should score plenty of fantasy points. I love pairing Fitzy with another QB late in drafts so that you can play matchups during the season or sit and wait on a rookie. How about someone like Matt Ryan (QB15) to be the boring caddy? If you can play favorable matches, you can build a QB1 that can finish near the top without the premium investment. Alternatively, Fitzpatrick could keep the seat warm until one of the electric rookies earns the starting job. Give me Fitzy and Trey Lance or Justin Fields for big upside play.

4 Personal Foul, He was Giving Him the Business

The NFL wants to crack down on taunting. Who asked for this, exactly? Reverend Lovejoys wife from the Simpsons?

NFL rosters currently employ all humans and zero robots (Russell Wilson is not a robot, right?). Sure, maybe at some point in the future theyll let robots play but until then, they need to be careful pushing points of emphasis on moments of emotion. Officials already can throw a flag for taunting. It wont take long for this point of emphasis to cost a team a game because an official interprets a players actions in the wrong way. Im not sure how this improves the game.

5 Top 100: Still Stupid

The NFL Network continued their annual tradition of making everyone mad with their Top 100 list. All lists like this contain plenty of issues but because the NFL puts the network name on it, more people tend to get upset.

Heavily biased toward skill positions, the lack of offensive and defensive linemen makes you wonder if people would like to just watch a 7 on 7 league. I do enjoy a good ranking, but this one never makes a lot of sense. I mostly ignore everything about it... and then get mad at the lack of Bears despite myself. For the record, the Bears only put two players up on that list Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson.

6 Desert Dogs

I think the Rams will win the NFC West and push for a Super Bowl appearance once again. The 49ers might push them with Kyle Shanahans crew boasting some terrifying offensive playmakers. The Seahawks still have Russell Wilson and while I wont make the case for their ceiling, they will have a solid floor and win plenty of games. The Cardinals? Not so sure.

I really liked the Cards coming into last season, thinking Kyler Murray would get the Year 2 bump and take the offense to new heights. Instead, it exposed Head Coach Kliff Kingsburys scheme and lack of creativity. The Cardinals competed for a playoff spot mostly due to an unexpected boost from their defense. Heading into Year 3 with Kingsbury-Murray, it feels like this team could get used as a doormat by legitimately competitive teams in the division and finish well under their 8.5 win betting line.

7 The Jag with Swag

Obviously, the Jaguars will name Trevor Lawrence the starting QB and let the #1 overall pick take his rightful place under center to lead this team to well, a bad season. They surely wouldnt let Gardner Minshew actually win the job out of camp and let Lawrence sit, would they?

Honestly, I cant see it happening for anything short of Lawrence looking lost and for it to be a danger for his development to put him out there. And this is Trevor Lawrence, supposedly the best prospect since Andrew Luck, that were talking about. It would be a huge upset to say the least. It seems weird to me to let Minshew take practice reps away from Lawrence. Maybe Minshew plays himself into enough buzz that the Jags can flip the mustachioed man for a decent return to a desperate team. Whatever happens, I hope hes starting somewhere in this league and soon. The league is more entertaining with him playing.

8 The Mitch Switch

Mitchell Trubisky lit up the Bears defense in the second preseason game. Good for him. I hope he can rebuild some value in his career.

9 Vics Pick

I dont know who the Broncos will end up choosing to start the season for them, but Im hoping Teddy Bridgewater wins the job. Bridgewaters career has had more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan script but seems like a good guy. He fits the profile of a quarterback Fangio would prefer to pair with an elite defense and keep them in games.

Locks game is Vics worst nightmare, someone who puts the ball in harms way far too often. Vic Fangio deserves someone that can at least manage a game without a handful of turnover-worthy throws. I think the answer is Bridgewater.

10 Justin Freaking Fields

The numbers didnt shine quite as bright as his debut, but make no mistake, Fields looked the part. The improvisation and the scrambles make it clear that Fields gains very little from playing against 2s and 3s. Matt Nagys decision to play Andy Dalton for the entire first half can only be described as mind numbing. Give it up, Coach give this guy some real game reps throwing to top wide receivers.

The charade has gone on long enough.

Those are my thoughts what are yours? Sound off in the comments and find me on Twitter @gridironborn.

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Ten Thoughts on the NFL - Windy City Gridiron

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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The Review: The New Intellectuals and the Academy; a Conversation With ‘The Point’ – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Baskin: I think one part of the answer goes back to Social Thought this idea of a conversation through the ages about the moral life and the good life. Religious thinkers have played a huge part in that, and in the DNA of the magazine there is a respect for that tradition.

In recent years, one of the reasons we decided to do the What is church for? symposium was that I was reading an interview with Dean Baquet of The New York Times after the 2016 election. He said something like, Yeah, we really missed a lot of the story, and part of the problem was we just dont have enough reporters covering religion.

Covering religion thats what secular magazines do: Lets put a reporter out there and find out what these people are doing. This is a weird way to talk about 50 per cent of the country. Even many of us who consider ourselves secular have indisputable ties to a sort of Puritan-Protestant way of thinking. As a magazine that is secular none of the three of us who started it would say we were shaped by a religious upbringing or something like that we always did feel, especially in recent years, that this was a missed opportunity in a lot of secular media. Weve tried to be a place not just that covers religion, but where serious religious thinking happens where intellectuals that are in that tradition feel like they have a place to write in their own voice.

This could be sheer fantasy, but I sometimes wonder if defenders of the humanities would have a better shot at selling their argument if they pointed out more often to conservative legislatures trying to shut them down how intimately bound up the tradition of the interpretive human sciences is with religious thinking and religious textual practice.

Baskin: I think wed have an easier time doing that if the people in those departments didnt say vicious and condescending things about religion all the time.

Wiseman: Theres a great line in Chad Wellmons piece in our symposium where he describes his experience of coming to be a literary professor. Its not just the books he read or the teachers he had; it was seeing his father, who hadnt gone to college, do Bible study.

Baskin: The religious roots of the humanistic tradition theres a real question of how far it can go without those roots.

Wiseman: Theres an old joke about UChicago: Its where Jews teach Protestants about Catholicism.

I know that joke, but in a different context: Art history is where Jews teach Protestants about Catholicism.

Wiseman: I feel like thats relevant to The Point.

It should be your motto.

Baskin: Hah!

My last question is inspired by Jonny Thakkars essay on elite education, which we reprinted. Theres a lot of critique of elite meritocracy right now. Whats the little magazines role with respect to the university as an agent of elite-formation?

Baskin: Little magazines traditionally have also been places of elite formation and elite influence, going back to Partisan Review. I still remember the n+1 editorial where they talked about burning their degrees as somehow a way to level the field. I think thats wishful thinking. You cant wish away your own elite status.

I think Jonnys essay is honest about that. We are in an elite position, we produce elites in the university, and at some level little magazines are always going to be vehicles for influencing elite opinion.

All that said, I think that if you start by being self-aware about it, there are ways you can try and check some of the worst habits of elitism. Weve always tried to think very broadly about our audience about who we would like to invite into our community of readers. I would like to think, with all due awareness of how it can be wishful thinking, that there is a democratic element in what were trying to do, an attempt to broaden both the scope and the ethos of intellectual life. Intellectual life need not be people with the right kind of education lecturing to people with the wrong education. It can be a conversation.

Wiseman: I think a lot about a Mark Greif essay that The Chronicle Review published a while ago. He uses the Partisan Review to talk about what a good intellectual magazine can do: create an aspirational community of readers. In publishing a magazine like ours, you dont want to talk down to your readers. You want to assume that they can meet you.

There are lots of people who are very hungry for this kind of access to new ideas. Amid the crisis in the humanities, you have to create spaces outside of the university, like magazines, like book clubs, that give people an entry point into the humanities.

Baskin: Trusting that your readers can think is one way that elites can practice anti-elitism.

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The Review: The New Intellectuals and the Academy; a Conversation With 'The Point' - The Chronicle of Higher Education

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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How California teachers are welcoming back English learners with language and community – EdSource

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Courtesy of Charlene Fried

Brianna Alvarez works on a bag representing her Peruvian and Mexican heritage in Charlene Fried's English class.

Brianna Alvarez works on a bag representing her Peruvian and Mexican heritage in Charlene Fried's English class.

As students return to in-person classes, some California teachers are focused on giving English learners lots of time to talk and write about their feelings.

In order to learn to speak, read and write fluently in English, those students need many opportunities to practice interacting with their peers in the language. A lot of English learners didnt get enough of that practice during distance learning.

During the pandemic many school districts lacked adequate plans to support English learners, according to areport by Californians Together, a nonprofit focused on educational equity for students who are learning English as a second language.

SEALs Welcoming and Affirming Community Toolkits

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The Century Foundation: Helping English Learners Succeed

As students come back to school, experts say teachers need to pay special attention to providing additional language support for English learners and making school a welcoming place to ease the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic.

Some teachers are doing both at once.

Charlene Fried teaches high school English learners at Sierra Vista High School in Baldwin Park Unified in Los Angeles. On the first day of class this month, Fried asked her students a series of questions, such as: How do you feel coming back to school? Whats something you fear? What is your dream in life? What is the most important thing that you want to learn in this class?

Fried let them each answer however they wanted in one or two words or in complete sentences. Afterward, they discussed which words came up most often. The main point was to build trust, but also to start to get them talking and listening to each other.

Host Zaidee Stavely talks with a teacher in Los Angeles about how shes welcoming back English learners with lots of opportunities to practice speaking and making her classroom a place where students can build a community to ease the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic.

Even with the senior English class where they have to do heavy-duty research, we do everything orally first, said Fried, who also teaches in the teaching credential programs at Cal State LA and Loyola Marymount University. If were doing claim and counterclaim for a research paper, we will do it orally first I make a claim, you make a counterclaim, I make another claim, you make a counterclaim. Because I really believe for all kids, but especially English learners, that if theyve been able to do it orally first, that they feel much more comfortable.

Building trust from the very first day helps the students break some fear or embarrassment they might have about speaking aloud in English, especially after a year and a half of learning from home. It also helps students feel comfortable at school.

In her first week of school, Annessa Bock talked about self-awareness with her third- and fourth-grade students at Edenvale Elementary in Oak Grove School District in San Jose. She made a graph with them writing down words to describe what it looks like and sounds like to be aware of your feelings. She said this kind of lesson is important for her students, especially now as they return to school buildings mid-pandemic.

For a lot of the kids coming back to school this year, we knew it would be scary, frankly. My third graders really stopped their official brick and mortar education in the middle of first grade, she said. A year and a half to them is super long, like a lot of their life, depending on their age. They have been home so long and hearing how scary, how unsafe, and now suddenly, Here, put this little mask on, youre going to be fine, off you go, can be traumatizing.

About 60% of the students at Bocks school are English learners. The school uses curriculum and approaches developed by Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) that can be used for any students but have a special focus on English learners. The organization prepared toolkits for returning to school after distance learning, with lesson plans for kindergarten through sixth grade. From songs for teachers to sing with their students to journals and research projects, the lessons focus on ways to get students talking and using vocabulary that helps them express their feelings.

We wanted to make sure that when students came back, they were given every opportunity to be in classrooms where it wasnt going to be the teacher who was going to be talking all the time, said Marna Ledesma, coach program coordinator for SEAL. We knew it was important for students to talk and have opportunities to talk. We also realized that English learners could have lost progress they had been making in terms of learning English.

The units have a strong focus on social-emotional learning, helping students share how theyve been feeling during the pandemic. Ledesma said when teachers do activities like circle-time or community meeting, its important for English learners to have visual cues and words that they can use to start their own sentences, in addition to time in small groups to practice expressing themselves out loud, so they feel more comfortable participating in the larger group.

Students need the language to be able to communicate their feelings, and they need opportunities to be able to do that in classrooms, Ledesma said.

To make her classroom especially rich with language for her English learners, Bock has everything in her classroom labeled. She draws pictures as she explains concepts, in addition to writing down words. She also uses a technique called total physical response, in which children use their bodies to make movements to go with words and phrases they learn. For example, her class is learning right now about growing as conscious, active community members.

All of those words may be new to some of her students, so she talked with her students about each word and its meaning and wrote down the definition. Then she asked for kids to act them out. One student raised both hands above his head with closed fists and yelled, Active!

At Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School in Davis, teacher Edith Suarez plans to organize what she calls Socratic seminars for her sixth graders. Between one-third and one-half of her students are English learners, she said.

In the seminars, students pick a topic to discuss, such as whether students should get paid for getting good grades. They read an article about the topic, then sit in a circle and discuss it and debate the pros and cons. When they participate, they are given a token, and when they participate again, they put the token down. The idea is to both encourage students who dont often participate to do so, and to encourage students who participate all the time to sit back and listen to their peers.

They go on to middle school, and I really want to push them outside of their comfort zone, so that way, when they are asked to speak in front of a class or in front of their peers, they have some type of experience sharing their thoughts, Suarez said.

Many teachers say the pandemic taught them the importance of reaching out more often and more meaningfully to families. SEAL recommends teachers interview families about their experiences during the pandemic and about what they do together at home, and make sure to acknowledge the importance of students home language and culture, which was so present in many of their lives when school buildings closed.

Its important to acknowledge and value the learning that happened at home, that wouldnt have happened if they were in school, Bock said. The child who learned how to make tortillas with Abuela, the child who learned how to run a cash register because they went to work with mom every day, those are things that are really to be valued and are life skills.

Conducting interviews with families helps teachers get to know and understand their students better, which also helps engage them in the classroom, said Ramona Torres, who teaches third grade at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School in Davis.

It helps tremendously, Torres said. It lets the students be the experts. If a student is very into gardening, theyll be the experts for the class. If a student has a parent that works in fruits or in law, they can talk to the whole class about what they know.

Daniel McDonald, who teaches fifth grade at Taylor Elementary School in Oak Grove School District, said he has a playlist of songs for the morning and the afternoon, when the students are cleaning up. He lets the students pick their own songs to add, and sometimes they ask him to add songs from their own culture. Can I put Indian music? one student recently asked him. Of course! he answered.

Its so cute to see their little faces react when their song comes on, McDonald said. Its validating for them to listen to songs they might listen to in the car with their parent or guardian.

Allowing students to use their home language in the classroom can help them learn English, said Fried, the Sierra Vista teacher, but many teachers dont understand that. She said a former AP calculus teacher at her school had several English learners in his class.

And he said to me, Arent you teaching them English? Every time I put them in groups, they speak Mandarin. And I said, How are they doing? He goes, Well, fine. He didnt understand the idea of home language reinforcement, Fried said. I can teach you in English. I can put you in little groups, and you can work in your own language. And then we can come back together and put it together in English.

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How California teachers are welcoming back English learners with language and community - EdSource

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August 25th, 2021 at 1:45 am

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It’s time we reconsidered our approach to Imposter Syndrome – The HR Director Magazine

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A cursory glance at the headlines of articles discussing Imposter Syndrome reveals just how many of us feel about the phenomenon Steps to kill Imposter Syndrome, How to fight self-doubt, How to conquer Imposter Syndrome, and How I beat Imposter Syndrome are just a few examples.

First identified in 1978, Imposter Syndrome is a type of self-denying thoughts and feelings. Sufferers feel that their accomplishments arise from some stroke of luck rather than because of their competencies and are often struck by fear of being found out as not being that competent.

The syndrome is often loaded with negative connotations and is regularly described as highly personal, or something predominantly experienced by women, but a recent surveyof 1,000 U.K. workers found that 80% of men, as well as 90% of women, experienced intense feelings of being an imposter at work.

Now is the time to rethink our attitudes and approach towards the condition, as viewing Imposter Syndrome as a purely individual or generic sex-related problem can desensitise the response to it and stop employers from trying to understand it.

The effect of Imposter Syndrome on the individualThe condition can be harmful to sufferers as constant doubt on ones competencies and fear of being found out can prevent workers from truly engaging with their work and feeling accomplished. The sustained experience of intense imposter feelings may lead to more serious mental health problems such as depression.

The Imposter Syndrome can also have a detrimental impact on organisations, as workers suffering from the syndrome may, in the long term, engage in counterproductive behaviours. Self-doubt, one of the most pernicious effects of the syndrome, limits the use of ones skills and can trigger workers to withdraw from work and other coworkers. Or, to the other extreme, workers with Imposter Syndrome can overwork and burn themselves out as a way to self-verify.

Prevalent but not duly recognised in the workplaceDespite how prevalent Imposter Syndrome is, several surveys reveal a huge lack of awareness of the syndrome. Whereas most of the workers experience imposter feelings, only a very small proportion of the sufferers are explicitly aware that their distress and fear may relate to Imposter Syndrome.

This lack of knowledge on and awareness of Imposter Syndrome may explain why it has not received enough recognition in the workplace. When sufferers do not have a clear recognition of their condition, it becomes extremely challenging for organisations to understand employees with such a condition. But thinking about its detrimental impacts at work, organisations and their leaders should consider taking a more active approach in identifying employees suffering from the syndrome and providing them with systematic support.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a GroupIn the past, people tended to think that Imposter Syndrome was a personal problem and that sufferers alone should take full responsibility for acknowledging and tackling it. However, as Imposter Syndrome becomes more prevalent at work and thus gains more attention, the focus in managing the syndrome started to shift from individuals to groups.

As organisations realise the importance of dealing with Imposter Syndrome, they make more efforts to understand it and do something about it. As prior focus was too much on individuals self-awareness and self-fix, this change will add some balance to our perspective on and approach to Imposter Syndrome. I think that we should view the syndrome as a systematic problem embedded in organisations and society as much as we view it as a personal problem. As such, organisations and their leaders can take a more proactive role than before in managing Imposter Syndrome among their employees.

How organisations can manage the syndrome among their workers brings up the two extra questions on how to identify Imposter Syndrome and how to treat it.

Identifying Imposter SyndromeIdentifying Imposter Syndrome is difficult. As noted, although many workers experience imposter feelings, most of them are not fully aware of their experience as a condition that needs recognition and treatment.

I suggest that organisations should take a lead in looking out to find and assess the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome among employees. To do so, its important that HR leaders and line managers those who will perform a job of diagnosis are equipped with solid knowledge on the syndrome and a set of symptoms associated with it. As typical symptoms of Imposter Syndrome, such as self-doubt, distress, and anxiety, can be seen rather as generic, I suggest that HR leaders and other managers also check whether an employee engages in the following behaviours:

Group treatments and support: culture and systemsTo some extent, Imposter Syndrome is a personal phenomenon, shaped by a persons idiosyncratic socialisation through childhood and youthhood and other critical life experience. Thus, remedies addressing personal issues and trauma, such as improving self-understanding, putting effort into self-care, and managing self-narratives, can be effective in treating the syndrome.

Yet, given that Imposter Syndrome is, to a large extent, a collective problem shaped by an organisations or a societys specific values, rewards system, and culture, I think that organisations, in addition to assessing the symptoms of employees, can do more to treat and help those who suffer from it. These are as follows:

1. Culture and systems that secure psychological safetyIn a recent blogpost, a successful portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management talks about the frustrations of herself and other sufferers as they did not have opportunities to openly and safely discuss their imposter feelings. This shows the importance of having safe place where employees can share their Imposter Syndrome with each other. When people suffer from Imposter Syndrome, their sense of belonging is already weak because of their self-doubt and withdrawal behaviours. If the sufferers think that they are the only one experiencing imposter feelings, the negative impact on their self-esteem and sense of belonging can be doubled.

Organisations should not hold back from discussing these issues. If we want to ensure teams perform at their very best, we must destigmatise conversations around Imposter Syndrome and break down the perceived barriers between personal problems and professional life. As an example, MIT Physics Department had long-held monthly luncheons where faculty, staff, and students discussed their work and personal challenges including imposter feelings.

2. Culture and systems that promote inclusion and diversityImposter Syndrome is felt on an individual level; however, the symptoms and reactions can be exacerbated by a sufferers environment. For example, when there is a lack of support for diversity at work and few relatable role models, workers with minority backgrounds fall more easily into the feelings of phoniness. Thus, to effectively manage Imposter Syndrome among employees across different backgrounds, it is important for organisations to take actions to ensure diversity and inclusion such as organising relevant unbiased training sessions and monitoring diversity issues among their workers.

For example, one step that organisations could take to ensure that minorities feel supported would be to create Employee Resource Groups where workers with minority backgrounds can discuss the unique difficulties they face as they do their jobs. Strong links between these groups and upper management should also be put into place when structural problems are exacerbating feelings of self-doubt, so they can be rectified quickly by management.

3. Culture and systems that avoid extreme competitionEvidence suggests that organisations that value extremely competitive cultures and performance-based rewards can put their employees at the risk of developing Imposter Syndrome, particularly those who work in highly competitive fields, such as in finance, start-ups, and sports, can be more susceptible.

Competition and performance-based rewards are one of the greatest motivations for employees and one of the key drivers for organisational performance. But organisations and leaders should be aware that extreme focus on competition and performance can backfire in the long term by hurting their employees if they dont make sure they are reading the signs and properly supporting their staff.

Moving forwardNobody is predestined to struggle with Imposter Syndrome. And while some steps can be taken on an individual basis to help reduce the impact that self-doubt has on a person, but I believe that organisations should be stepping in. By creating spaces for discussions about Imposter Syndrome and educating employees about the nuances of the syndrome, organisations can create a culture where no one feels like they should not be there.

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It's time we reconsidered our approach to Imposter Syndrome - The HR Director Magazine

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Love Island: the tired TV behemoth thats lost its magic – The Guardian

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In recent years, Love Island has become as ingrained in the British calendar as April showers in spring, and that sludgy stuff that appears in the road when cars drive over fallen leaves in autumn. Love Island is summer, summer is Love Island and as all seasonal phenomena must it drew to a close last night. Deflate your novelty doughnut-shaped rubber ring; hang your bikini over a chair to finally dry.

The thing about events that come around every year, however, is that while theyre sometimes comforting, they can also be boring. Last night, denied of the banter outcome (that is, a win by Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran, a couple with the delightful, fizzy energy of two Beroccas dissolving in the same glass), we instead looked on politely as Liam Reardon and Millie Court were crowned the winners of Love Island 2021, the prosaic prom king and queen of the villa.

From Selling Sunset to Love Island, are reality TV relationships the real thing?

As usual, the couple shared the 50,000 prize money, and Love Island 2021 ended with the whimper of predictability in its ears. It has been a problem throughout the season, from the challenges (if fans are moaning that a task wherein contestants spit sauce into each others mouths has become par for the course, surely theres something wrong), to the fact that contestants themselves are now all too conscious of what awaits them in the outside world valuable brand deals, celebrity treatment if only they can stay on TV long enough.

Self-awareness on reality TV can be a good thing it can provide storylines and humour but it can also take away the authenticity and spontaneity that makes the medium so exciting (the nation raised its collective eyebrows this year, as Jake Cornish asked Liberty Poole to be his girlfriend just under four weeks into the series, giving her a bracelet hed brought into the villa with him.) Coupled with the fact that unlike its antecedent Big Brother, Love Islands format rarely changes, there was often a strong sense that everyone in the villa was just going through the motions.

Its a shame because, at its best, Love Island is still compelling viewing, reflecting heterosexual mores through the funhouse mirror of the impossibly attractive. It is still frequently entertaining to watch contestants spend all day talking about their relationships despite only having been in them for a week, while wearing elaborate swimwear and showing off abs that look as though theyve been painted on. When the cast give themselves over to the experience (which to their credit is often), its there that pockets of magic are found, even this year.

There was the aforementioned Toby as the worlds most confused philanderer, winner Liam roleplaying as a dad during the baby challenge by asking everyone Hows your mother? like hed just bumped into them at Tesco and of course the deep and tender friendship between Kaz Kamwi and Liberty Poole (the rightful winning couple), the latter of whom left the villa with days to go, announcing that while her relationship had broken down, she had found real love self-love in the villa.

Viewers are perceptive we want to invest in the contestants and their relationships, and its instances like all of the above that help us to do that. But we too are so aware of Love Islands behemothic status and everything that surrounds it, that the show can seem like a victim of its own success.

That said, dont expect to see Love Island going away anytime soon. When a programme has achieved cultural phenomenon status, its tough for execs to wave goodbye to it, even when its no longer at the height of its powers (look how long Big Brother ran past its prime). And, despite the issues that have plagued the show, ITV seems determined that Love Island will ride again. For years, there have been consistent concerns around race and diversity during casting, plus the sustained harassment of contestants (including racist abuse and death threats) via social media. Add to this a record 25,000 Ofcom complaints this year, declining viewing figures, and the growing, irksome sense that the shows makers want things both ways, telling viewers to be kind via online posts while courting and stoking controversy on camera and there are plenty of factors that would derail any other reality series.

However, they dont seem likely to stop the Love Island train from leaving the station, at least for now. Indeed, host Laura Whitmore announced during last nights final that applications for next years instalment are open on ITVs website. Lets just hope that next time, the shows makers nurture its magic.

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Love Island: the tired TV behemoth thats lost its magic - The Guardian

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Peter Williams, Painter Who Explored Black Americas Past and Present, Has Died at 69 – ARTnews

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Skip to main content Peter Williams, We traveled to distant worlds, 2019. Collection of Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. Courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Peter Williams, a genre-bending painter who explored the past and present of Black America through surreal narratives, has died at 69. Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, which represents the artist, said that Williams passed away on August 19 following complications from a long illness.

Williamss prolific practice was guided by his strong moral and political convictions, and addressed issues from mass incarceration to slavery and unequal wealth distribution. Working in an Afrofuturist style, he cast his colorful, often fractured scenes in distant solar systems and injected them with a good dose of wry humor.

He was a painter who painted for himself and was not afraid to poignantly portray the truths of contemporary society. His passing is a huge loss for us and his many friends and colleagues in the art world, gallery director Luis De Jesus said in a statement.

Throughout his 45-year career, Williams, who was based in Wilmington, Delaware, shifted between abstract and figurative modes, though in an 2020 interview with Forbes he referred to himself as a figurative narrative painter. He liked to skewer the traditions of modernism, often portraying its grid as a prison for non-white artists. In some works, figures holding or wearing African masks burst out of Mondrian-like bands of red, yellow, and blue in an explosion of densely packed dots.

Williamss most recent work focuses on the killing of unarmed Black men and children by police in America. In the large-scale painting The Arrest of George Floyd (2020), he depicted Floyd screaming as disembodied white hands grab him and a blue eye looks on untroubled. In another work dedicated to Floyd, Williams incorporated symbols of corporate greed, suggesting that Americas wealth is built on the suffering and exploitation of Black people.

My work has always had a political ethos, it comes out of my self-awareness as a black American, he told Forbes. This work is a compendium of modernist form and the politics of right now.

Williams was born in 1952, in Nyack, New York, and earned a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. At 17, he was given his first solo show, at the Pat Merenstein Gallery in Nyack, which led to more shows in the region, including one at the Woodstock Music Festival.

A car accident during a college trip to New Mexico led to the loss of one leg; he had lifelong pain. He cited the trauma as a major influence on his practice, in particular the use of a recurring cast of characters as means to tell stories of hardship and triumph.

Williams was known as a passionate mentor and had recently retired from from the fine arts department at the University of Delaware, which he joined following a 17-year tenure at Wayne State University. His many accolades include the Artists Legacy Foundations 2020 Artist Award and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Williams paintings are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among other institutions. His work appeared in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and the 2017 edition of the Prospect New Orleans triennial, and examples are slated to appear in a solo show at Luis De Jesus next year.



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