Monday, December 7, 2015

Mission 7: Give Friendship, Professor Carol and YLOKCasady @ Metro Career Academy

Youth LEAD OKC made new friends at Sunday's meeting and @ Metro Career Academy

11:30-11:45 Youth LEADers left schools for Metro Career Academy
    Address: 1901 Springlake Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
To: Metro Career Academy, 1901 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Goal: Get to know Metro Career Academy, the student ambassadors and share YLOKC  

9:00 Casady Van delivered HH teens4teens donations to Metro Career Academy

11:30 Casady students gathered at the Harper Wing
11:45  Casady, Heritage, and Mercy School Institute drove to Metro Career Academy.  Shannon ordered Pizza.  Cost of activity: $127.25 and Sweet Reflection: $ 12.52

12:00-12:15 Students arrived to Metro Career Academy
Mrs. Clay and Mr. McDowell drive Casady and HH students.  Mercy School Principal, Mrs. Jawayyd drove Mercy students Parents drove students from Classen and Capitol Hill.

Proposed Schedule of Monday, December 7th Program. 
Process of the December 7th event finalized at December 6th meeting

12:30am - 1pm Youth LEAD takes tour of Metro Tech

1pm - 2pm Youth LEAD hosts program

2: 15 pm   Youth LEAD  departs

Update:  30 minutes for a tour of the school, 1 hour for the  program and 15 minutes for clean-up, feedback and evaluation

Welcome by Student Ambassadors, Tour of the School, and Pizza lunch

1:00 - 2:00 Program by Youth LEAD OKC
Name tags: Chloey       Handouts: Agnish  Time Keeper: Amira

a. Introduction by Johnny

Name games  
-Ball   Mallory
-Sheet    Johnny, Hallie, Mallory
-Human Knot

b. Debriefing
Why games and icebreakers

Why feedback  All Youth Leaders in Human knot groups

Basic Principles of Debriefing

Reflection – What?

Describe what went on during the activity. This focuses on both the task (actual work done) and the process (i.e. the interactions of the group members during the activity, how the work was done.)

Generalization - (So What?)

Describes what the group learned from the experience, i.e. what did it mean to them. 

Explores the consequence of what happened and did not happen. Asks the group to assess whether it accomplished what it set out to achieve.

Transfer – (Now What?)

This section describes the process of taking the learning and reapplying it to other situations (another activity or real situations outside the program). This section engages participants in a process of self-examination and reflection. It provides opportunities for change and growth.

Simple Six:

1. What happened?

2. Has it happened before?

3. Are you satisfied with the results? Why or why not?

4. Is it similar to or different from your experiences in school or work?

5. Does this tell us anything about our group or ourselves?

6. What would you like to do about______ for the next activity or when you return home?

c.  Youth LEAD Skills - 
- I am   Daniela and Ryan

Audience: Participants looking to explore the role of stereotypes and what they look and feel like when attached to an individual that they know.


 Flipchart with unlined pages

 Markers

 Sticky notes, if facilitating alternate version 

 Skewers, if facilitating alternate debrief

Time: This activity will take 30 minutes 

Goal: To gain an increased awareness about stereotypes, what they are, and how they hurt us. 

This is a three stage activity: participants will think about the biases they carry within them; they will understand the way stereotypes pervade our society; and finally they will also think about what people can do to counter harmful stereotypes.

Setting the Scene: We all hold our own stereotypes and we all live in a world full of them. Let’s get them all out on the table, the ones we hold, the ones we have heard and even the ones that confuse us . . . 


1. Share the goal and a brief definition of stereotype: an oversimplified generalization about a particular group of people that doesn’t take into account their individuality.

2. Write categories around the room on flip chart paper, one category per paper.

3. The 5 or 6 categories chosen should be specific to and representative of the group. Some examples are Jewish, Female, Teens, Hindu, College student, etc.

4. Give each participant a marker. Ask them to visit each sheet around the room, and write down one or more stereotypes they have heard or believe about each group on the 
*Remind them that they do not have to personally believe the stereotype, but it can just be something they’ve heard. This should increase personal safety. 

5. When participants have finished writing, facilitators will choose a poster that they identify with and ask for participant volunteers to stand next to a poster of a group that they identify with (one participant per poster).

6. Starting with facilitators, have each volunteer read off the stereotypes one by one, starting each with “I am . . . “ For example, I am Omar, I am Muslim, I am a terrorist . “

Communicate, Facilitate, Organize Training © 2009 provided by Youth LEAD, Inc. 781-784-0651


1. What did it feel like to do this exercise?

2. How does seeing this make you feel?

3. Is it okay to use stereotypes if you don’t mean anything by it?

4.  What is the impact of “positive” stereotypes?

a. What is a positive stereotype?

b. Is there such a thing as a positive stereotype? 

5. Did anything surprise you?

6. What are you hearing in the halls at school? Why those?

7. How do teachers administrators respond when they hear these?

8. Where do these come from?


 It may be helpful to use the analogy that stereotyping is like smog-we can’t breathe it 

 Often there is a grain of truth to the stereotypes; how were some of them distorted, 

 It is important to clarify that this “truth” does not provide a rationale for the 
in; it’s bad information, doesn’t mean we are bad people, or that people belonging to the groups are bad. added value judgment, oversimplified, to become hurtful? For example, there are historic roots to the stereotype that “all Jews are wealthy”, that began in the Middle Ages when Jews were not allowed to own land and got involved in banking and loaning money, one of the few professions open to Jews at the time. Don’t worry-you don’t need to know the historic roots to each one to ask the question, but can solicit their thoughts.
stereotypes, but adds an element of history to them. It is important that the facilitator emphasize that the histories are to help us understand and loosen the stereotypes. If individuals have information on “all Jews are wealthy” or “Hindus are cow lovers” stereotypes—and understand the significance and historical ties of each to a person—it will be harder for these individuals to accept and use these stereotypes. 

Alternate versions:

 You can also alter this activity by having participants put their stereotypes on sticky notes. 

o Read the notes out loud and physically stick them to the person who represents that particular stereotype. 

o Once this is completed ask the group – What can we do to remove these 

stereotypes forever? Each idea removes a sticky. 

o You can also do this with the flip chart (each idea crosses out a stereotype) if 

there is a personal space issue. 

Communicate, Facilitate, Organize Training © 2009 provided by Youth LEAD, Inc. 781-784-0651

 Another way to debrief is to get everyone to stand in a circle. 

o Hand out one skewer to each person.

o  Have them share the most surprising stereotype they’ve ever heard about their 

o  After they say the stereotype, they pass their skewer to the next person

o  At the end, the facilitator should have a bundle of skewers and make the point own group.

o Analogous to stereotypes that we may hold and not think twice about but if 
that one skewer seems harmless (reminds you of kebobs, yum) but a bundle of 
skewers can do quite a bit of damage. Everyone holds stereotypes, it can be really damaging to a community.

Deep Listening  ON PARKING LOT - NO time
Paired Listening

Audience: This activity is a good beginning activity for any communication, facilitation, or dialogue forum. It is optimal with a newly created group. 


 chairs for each participant

Time: 45 minutes

Goal:  To understand the importance of listening, the qualities of a good listener, and the importance and qualities of clarifying questions. 

Setting the scene:  We all think we are good communicators if we can convey our point to an audience. However, speaking is just half of the communication dynamic. Listening is just as important, and is often the forgotten tool in communication. This activity will help us listen more actively and ask clarifying questions to deepen our conversations.

Suggested Procedure:

1.  Have each youth find a partner who they know little to nothing about. This is a point to stress—no cheating! Take a risk. 

2. When they have a partner, ask them to get comfortable in a good listening position in a space where they can really focus on what their partner has to say.

3. Each pair chooses one person to be a speaker and one to be a listener.

Round One:

1. Role of the Speaker:
a. Talk uninterrupted for two minutes about the following topic: a piece of their 
personal history, an experience, an idea that they carry with them that would 
really help their partner understand them.

b. Role of the Listener: Be silently attentive to the speaker.

2. When two minutes have passed, the facilitator asks that the speaker wrap up his/her thought and then focus their attention on larger group to address some of the following questions:

a. To speaker: 

i. What was it like to speak uninterrupted for two minutes? If it was 

ii. What was the listener doing? 

uncomfortable, why was it uncomfortable?

b. To listener: 

i. What was it like to listen without speaking? What was hard? What did you 

ii. What did you feel yourself doing?

c. How can focusing only on the listening aspect of conversation help us be better communicators?    like about it?

3. Ask each pair to switch roles. 

4. When two minutes have passed, the facilitator asks the speaker wrap up his/her thought and then face out to conduct a small de-brief with the entire group: 

a. Was anything different this time? 

b. What did you notice about the speaker/listener?

Round Two:

1. Briefly describe the definition of a clarifying question and its role in fostering positive communication.

Tips for being a good listener

 Give your full attention to the person who is speaking. Look at them, don't look out the window or at what else is going on in the room.

 Make sure your mind is focused. It can be easy to let your mind wander if you think you know what the person is going to say next, but you might be wrong! If you feel your mind wandering, change the position of your body and try to concentrate on the speaker's words.

 Let the speaker finish before you begin to talk. Speakers appreciate having the chance to say everything they would like to say without being interrupted. When you interrupt, it looks like you aren't listening, even if you really are.

 Let yourself finish listening before you begin to speak! You can't really listen if you 

are busy thinking about what you want say next. 

 Listen for main ideas. The main ideas are the most important points the speaker wants to 

get across. They may be mentioned at the start or end of a talk, and repeated a number of 

times. Pay special attention to statements that begin with phrases such as "My point is..." 

or "The thing to remember is..."

 Ask questions. If you are not sure you understand what the speaker has said, just ask. It 

is a good idea to repeat in your own words what the speaker said so that you can be sure your understanding is correct. For example, you might say, "When you said that no two zebras are alike, did you mean that the stripes are different on each one?"

 Give feedback. Sit up straight and look directly at the speaker. (Keep in mind any cultural considerations regarding eye contact). Now and then, nod to show that you understand. At appropriate points you may also smile, frown, laugh, or be silent. These are all ways to let the speaker know that you are really listening. Remember, you listen with your face as well as your ears!

Ask Clarifying questions

 Clarifying questions will help you bring out additional information on a topic, clarify how someone feels about a topic, or further explain a complex idea.  

They are:

 Open-ended. They force deeper thinking and as the speaker to “own” their responses. Close-ended questions, which require only a yes or no response, put the accountability right back on you to ask a follow-up question. 

 Not imbedded with solutions.  Be careful to avoid a subtle or inferred solution or preference in your questions. Your goal is to collect information, not impose your point of view.  

Examples of Clarifying questions:

 “I can tell that your are really upset. Let me see if I can get this right:  You are most concerned about…”

 "I'm feeling upset by what you just said.  Did you just mean ... (understood meaning) by that?"

 "It seems you are angry about something.  Can you share what it is that is really troubling you here?"  

This question offers a chance to clarify the reason for anger. The question enables the person to then explain and possibly diffuse the negative feeling up front, rather than have it escalate into conflict.  By asking this question, you might nip a potential fight in the bud and turn a thorn into a rose. 

 "You know, what you just said seemed odd to me.  Did you just mean ... (implied meaning) or am I reading into this?" 

This question enables the listener to make sure s/he understood the speakers’ intended meaning, 

without making assumptions that may not reflect the speaker’s point of view.

2. Ask the group to describe qualities of a clarifying question. Things to look for: gets below the surface, focuses on feelings, makes the person think, listens between the lines

3. Ask the group to come up with some clarifying questions—make sure they are clarifying questions before they go into their pair groups. It is important that they completely understand this part before moving on! 

4. To practice asking clarifying questions, have students face their partners again.

5. The first speaker talks for two minutes answering the following question:  “What tensions do you experience because of who you are or what you believe?”

6. This time the listener may ask clarifying questions, but may not make statements. Don’t forget to keep up the listening.

7. When two minutes have passed, the facilitator asks the speaker to wrap up his/her thought and then face out to de-brief the activity:

a. What was this like for you this time as a speaker?  What was this like for you this time as a listener?

b. What was difficult? What did you enjoy?

c. What are some questions that your partner asked that were really good examples of clarifying questions? How did you know?

8. Ask each pair to switch roles. This time encourage the listener to focus on the questions they choose to ask.


Process the entire activity by asking the participants what they learned about their partners and what they learned about themselves.

 How can focusing only on listening and asking questions help them become better communicators?

  How can you use this in your group work? 

 How can you use this in other areas of your life?

Notes: In this activity two things are very important. 

1. Explore the discomfort that participants experience when they are silent. 

a. Why is it hard to talk for an extended amount of time without our partner 

b. Could it be because we are used to being interrupted? 

c. Could it be because we seek confirmation from people that what we are sharing is “worthy”?

2. Give clear examples to make sure that participants understand the definition of a“clarifying question”.

a.  Describe how it can be used to really change the way we converse. 

b. Share how asking clarifying questions can help create mutual understanding.

2:00 -2:15 pm   Introduction of Youth LEAD mentors present.  Thank you to Mrs. Barbara Loudermilk, Principal of Metro Career Academy
Youth LEAD cleaned up
Youth LEAD OKCasady has a sweet reflection at Braums and returned to school

Next meeting January 10th at Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, 1:30-4:30 PM

Reflect On Yesterday's Mission

Before moving on to your seventh mission, take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s mission. What was it like to put someone else’s needs before your own? Did you find that giving your time to help another gave you something in return? How many people in your life give their time to you so that you can feel well-taken care of, safe, and happy, and how can you return their kindness to them?
Your seventh mission, Agents, is to make a new friend.
Find someone in your school or community that you’ve never spoken to before, and strike up a conversation. Ask them about their teacher, or how their day is going. Tell them about your favorite book or movie. Invite them to do your favorite activity at school with you, or ask if you can join in on theirs. You may find you have something in common!
Agents, your compassion powers are growing! As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map! Your report inspires others, amplifying the power of your compassion and generosity!

Going Deeper:

There are many studies that show people are likely to become friends simply because they are given the chance to get to know one another. For example, one study found that students were most likely to develop best friendships with people whose last name was close to their own in the alphabet. Why? Because many teachers organize students by their last names! This simply gave those students more opportunities to get to know one another, to realize that they had things in common while they were standing in line, sitting close in class and working in groups together. The takeaway point here is this: we have something in common with everybody, if we only give them a chance. We are all human, alive, and on Planet Earth! That’s already a lot we have in common!

For Teachers/Parents/Mentors:


All 11 Missions are available to be viewed here. Use this sneak peak as a way to plan ahead, or to review previous or missed missions.

Advent Day 9: Lebkuchen

By Professor Carol on Dec 07, 2015 04:00 am
James (CC BY­SA 2.0)
Mmmm, smells good, doesn’t it? Those seasonal spices, particularly the cloves and ginger. It’s time for gingerbread! And gingerbread takes me back to one of my favorite treats: Lebkuchen.  
I’ll confess it. My two favorite sweets are Marzipan-Kartoffeln (marzipan potatoes) and GermanLebkuchen. I’ll leave the marzipan potatoes for another day because I’ve got Lebkuchen squarely on my mind.
Lebkuchen is a dense, spiced cookie that appears in European stores in mid-November. Increasingly, you find it in U.S. shops too, which delights me. Lebkuchenis a seasonal treat, which means it’s produced specifically for a certain time frame. And with an expected short shelf-life, it can be baked free of preservatives.
Seasonal: that’s a hard concept for us here in the U.S. where we revolve around a 24/7, twelve-month a year system. Imagine going to buy Oreos and finding out that they’re available only in November and December. Or learning that Oreos are baked to stay fresh only a few weeks.
Yet, the lack of availability is part of what enhances an item. The seasonal appearance of special treats makes them far more enticing when they finally appear. It’s an old concept, and runs counter to our modern culture, doesn’t it? But it’s also one of the reasons people are attracted to the flavor palate of Christmas.
Most of us grew up with Lebkuchen’s cousin: Gingerbread. We’ll look at the difference in a minute. But first, let’s explore this traditional sweet whose name derives from roots as varied as Leben (life), Leibe(body), Laib (loaf), or lebbe (super-sweet).
The Kuchen part definitely means “cake.” But usually we find Lebkuchen cut into a firm, round cookie or oblong bar. The dough is intensely flavored by various combinations of molasses, honey, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, coriander, aniseed, allspice, nutmeg, lemon zest, and hazelnuts. It is then pressed onto white or cream-colored sheets called Oblaten. These serve as wafer-thin bottoms for the cookie. After baking,Lebkuchen are dusted with sugar, glazed, or covered in chocolate. And that’s how most people buy them, stacked on their edges in packs of 5 or 10 and wrapped in cellophane.
Lebkuchen dough can also be mixed to be rolled out into a dense layer (c. ½ inch thick). It’s then cut into a heart shape of various sizes, suitable for hanging as a decoration. No German Advent market (Weihnachtsmarkt) is complete without the kiosks where colorfully iced Lebkuchen hearts dangle enticingly. People don’t necessarily eat these hearts. Rather, they are supposed to be presented to one’s sweetheart or beloved family members.
I first encountered Lebkuchen while living in West Germany in the early 1980s. I had formed a friendship with an East German musician the previous year in Russia where we studied together at the Leningrad Conservatory. Despite many restrictions back then, it was possible to send holiday treats from West Germany to East Germany. I asked friends what I should select. “A box of Nürnberg Lebkuchen,” they all said. Acknowledged as the best, Lebkuchen from Nürnberg came in festive wrappings including a decorated metal box that featured a wind-up music box in the bottom. This gift was most happily received and the box remains a keepsake in her family, decades after the reunification of Germany.
HannaWebb (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Where does gingerbread fit in this story, especially the gingerbread men children so love to make?
The word gingerbread goes not back to “bread,” as we might guess, but to a 13th-century Old-French verb meaning “to preserve with ginger” (gingenbrat). There’s actually a Latin root gingimbratus that means “something gingered.” The noun form ginginbrar was transformed through folk usage by the 14th century intoginginbrede (brede=bread). Then, by the mid 18th century, the meaning of gingerbread was amplified to mean something intricately, perhaps frivolously, decorated. English sailors were known to call the decorative carvings on a ship gingerbread-work.
Ginger, itself, is an ancient, highly prized root. Known to the Romans (zingiberi) and Greeks (zingiberis), the word for ginger dates back to Middle Indic singabera,and, from there, possibly, to Sanskrit srngaveram. In that root you find srngam (horn) joined with vera (body), describing the root’s horn-shape.
The medicinal uses of ginger are legendary. Even today ginger shows up in healing teas and, to my surprise, as a remedy in a modern venue where I frequently work: cruise ships. Yes, fresh or candied ginger helps when one has to give a talk on rolling seas!
But the most beloved form of ginger may be those pudgy cookie-men with dots for eyes and a wry icy smile. References to gingerbread men are recorded from the mid 19th century, although surely moms centuries earlier were fashioning cookies into such charming shapes, don’t you think? And while you can bake ginger cake, bread, and cookies any time, the fragrance and flavor are still associated with the winter months.
If your kids are older, have them look up the differences between the recipes for Lebkuchen and gingerbread. You can read the history of Nürnberg Lebkuchen going back to the late 15th century. You’ll find alternative names (honey-cake and Pfeffernusse) and much more lore. If you have time, have a bake-off. One team can try a recipe for Lebkuchen and another can make gingerbread. Whatever the results, your home will smell fabulous.
The post Advent Day 9: Lebkuchen appeared first onProfessor Carol.

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