Notes: Would You Call a Stranger That?

FriendsIf a label would offend a stranger, don’t use it for a friend.

Language is a powerful tool. Words impart information to others, set the mood and even makes us laugh.

There are also lots of words that are used to make people feel set apart and less than.

Interestingly, many of us that would be angered and offended by a stranger using one of these words, use the very same words for ourselves and friends.

Here is an example that occurs with young women. Most women would not stand for a stranger calling them “whore”, “slut” or “bitch.” Yet will refer to themselves and friends by these labels in texts and group chats, even in person. Some people may respond with, “don’t be so uptight,” “that doesn’t mean anything, it is just a joke!”

Well, maybe, but it normalizes the language bit by bit. Just like that poor frog in the pot of boiling water. The water temperature gradually changes and therefore feels normal to the frog. So, it just gets cooked. Similarly, if you repeatedly hear and use derogatory terms with your friends, how long does it take you to use them for or accept them from those that are not? All the while, there is a trail of the word’s original insulting aim.

Other terms fall into this same pattern include; “fag,” “nigger,” “rag head.” Can they really ever lose all of their mal intention even when they are commandeered by the group that that was first meant to be demeaned?

While it is true that the use of these words can change as time and culture evolve, we can and should choose not to use them for either stranger or friend.

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News: Change of Date for Summer/Fall Semester

CalendarRegistration for the Summer/Fall Semester of Social Arts 101 is well underway. We are delighted that five families have already chosen register their students!

Because we have become aware of a  conflict with local school schedules, we are changing the October class for both Social Arts 101 classes from October 12 to October 21.

Social Arts Classes teach social protocol  and social dances. This knowledge leads  to skills which increases confidence. Roll playing and hands-on activities, give each student the opportunity to practice. This not only makes class time active, engaging and fun but also ensures that information is truly learne

Please remember that Social Arts Atlanta limits class size for all of its program to ensure a high quality experience for students. It is recommended that you register for classes as soon as you are able. Social Arts 101 consists of five monthly hour-and-fifteen-minute classes and tuition is $275.

News: Registration Open for Next Season

StudentsReadySocial Arts Atlanta is pleased to announce that registration is open for Social Arts Classes for the 2016/2017 Season!

Social Arts 101 & 102 teach social protocol and basic social dances. This knowledge leads to skill which increases confidence. Roll playing and hands-on activities, give each student the opportunity to practice. This not only makes class time active, engaging and fun but also ensures that information is truly learned.

Social Arts Classes are $275 per semester of five monthly classes. They are held at International Montessori Academy which is conveniently located in Candler Park. Enrollment is limited to 26 per class.

Detailed curriculum for Social Arts 101 is available here and  Social Arts 102 is here. Registration  and payment information is available here.

As a part of planning for the new season, we surveyed our families about our work. We ask about the class length, if they felt their student learned from the class, what curriculum items were most important, whether or not they believe our classes are a good value and whether or not they would recommend them to another family. The feedback we have received has been very positive. Here are a  few comments our families shared with us:

It’s all very valuable information. I especially appreciate the basic dance steps the kids are learning. I don’t know where else they would have the opportunity to learn it. My husband and I didn’t learn this until well into adulthood and that’s a shame.

I know that kids have a lot of peer pressure to be on social media. Being heavily influenced by the media/celebrities, I know it is tough for kids to follow appropriate behavior. I appreciate you sharing the ways to be polite and have manners with this medium.

It has been great for Sara* to get the etiquette skills learned at home reinforced at Social Arts. And she has fun while doing it!

We plan on adding an item to the Social Arts 102 curriculum because of this parent suggestion:

It might be fun to have the kiddos plan and host a party for their friends using the skills they have learned.

This will be a great application of the skills they learn in Social Arts 101. And, it is likely to be a whole lot of fun!

We look forward to meeting and serving new families and welcoming returning ones during the 2016/2017 Season.

* name changed for privacy

Quote: For a Stranger

Another time, I opened a door for a stranger.

– Ethan Collins, SAA Student

DoorKnobIn order to ensure that we are making a difference to the families that we serve, we ask for feedback on how students are using the skills that we teach. When asked how he used what he learned in Social Arts 101, Mr. Collins said that he helped a lady with her chair and opened a door for a stranger. These are two pretty simple acts, nice things, things that required attention to the needs of others.

Kudo’s to Mr. Collins for not perpetuating the self-centered stereotype of adolescents! We are happy to be a part of developing your awareness of  others.

Quote: Handshaking Skills

I started using my social skills the first few days of 7th grade. Lots of new friends to make! I got a lot of new teachers. I was very polite, and use my hand shaking skills.

-Sam Castellano, SAA Student

schoolThe first days of school can make a student nervous. From this quote, it is evident that Sam was able to use the skills he learned in Social Arts 101 to make that time easier.

One of the first ideas that we look at in Social Arts 101 is why manners are important and how etiquette helps us in life. All Social Arts Atlanta students learn that manners are not a scary, over-the-top set of rules meant to trip you up but are a simple way to treat people with honesty, courtesy and respect which make life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

Quote: How Well I Introduced Myself

I was introduced to a co-worker of my Father’s and when I shook his hand, I had a firm shake and I used eye contact. After I shook his hand, he commented on how well I introduced myself.

-Erin Iverson, Peer Chaperon

IntroduceMySelfA firm hand shake and eye contact are two elements of a good introduction that are taught in Social Arts 101 and continue to be practiced in Social Arts 102.

Introductions are first impressions and a genuine and confident presence is very important. Knowing the skills (hands web to web, make eye contact and three firm and gentle pumps) and practicing them is a sure way to a good first impression even in an uneasy situation.

Quote: The Best Thing is the Atmosphere

I think the best thing is the atmosphere that you provide. It is comfortable and easier to learn new things in a place like this.

-Erin Iverson, Pear Chaperon

GoalsDuring the first lesson of Social Arts 102, the students were asked to give feedback about the best part of taking 101. Ms. Iverson who acts as a Peer Chaperon for Social Arts Atlanta chose to participate in the activity and wrote the quote above. We are grateful for her compliment.

One of the goals of all of Social Arts Classes is to create an environment where students feel comfortable to learn, make mistakes, practice and improve without feeling judged or belittled. From the response we received from Ms. Iverson, we are reaching this goal.