“Divorce your theory” A conversation with Paul Farmer (part one)

Farmer’s thoughts encapsulate everything I think and feel about the contemporary state of anthropology. To this, I would also add something said to me by friend and colleague, James Rose: “…the solution is for real social anthropologists to stop identifying philosophers as their peers and instead start identifying medical professionals, scientists, teachers, and geographers as their peers.”


Wednesday Whiteboard #5


Dotpoint #1 Amanda, Where is the Old Blog?

There are some Big New Ideas happening for me. An exciting bend in the road for my life and it’s going to unfold right before your eyes. Which means that the blog will eventually have its own domain. So I thought I’d try a fresh new blog layout. I spent this afternoon (home from work as my son was sick) experimenting with WordPress themes.

The WordPress theme I really want to use is called Thesis. You can check it out here. I would dearly love to be able to use this theme here but WordPress.com doesn’t have that functionality – which is why I moved Desert Mandala (my family blog) to its own domain two years ago . As I’m not quite ready to launch the Big New Idea AnthroYogini is staying put for the time being.

Dotpoint #2 I met my brother’s birth mother.

Both my brother and I are adopted. I have been in touch with my birth mother for 11 years. Tonight, I met my brother’s birth mother. It was an amazing, beautiful experience.

As a mother, I can only imagine how hard it would be to give up a child –forever- with no hope of ever knowing that child’s fate. Nor can I imagine the shame and fear associated with being ‘a bad girl’ back in the 1960s.

I can tell you of the courage these women have, of the hope they held in their hearts for years, and of my own deep compassion and love for those who have relinquished babies and thereafter, could never bring themselves to have another child.

Tonight, I felt as though I had gained yet more very special family. I am truly blessed.

Dotpoint #3 What’s this Big Idea You Keep Referring to?

By the end of 2012, I am aiming to be largely self-employed in a consultancy/ coaching business focussed on:

  • Creativity for non-arty-farty people
  • Using creativity to overcome depression/other life challenges
  • Creative ethnography for life coaching and counselling
  • Creative ethnography to understand clientele, organisational culture, to monitor & evaluate

You can help me!

I’m inviting anyone reading this to:

  • comment on the ideas
  • post links or suggest books that might be helpful
  • complete an anonymous survey early next week

I would be forever grateful if you, dear reader, did any of these things. I’ll post the link for the survey early next week.

Oprah is the Anti-Christ (This Year)


 Revealed here and now, for all to hear – Oprah Winfrey is (dramatic sting) the anti-Christ.

It says so here: http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2008/03/oprah-winfrey-is-antichrist.html and here:  http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/oprah-exposed.htm (*I broke the links on purpose). I saw it on You Tube, too. Hmm… Must be true.

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Girl Culture 1: Celebrity + Marketing = Sweat Patch… Eww … Gross!

Back in the 80s when I was a teenager, the Year 10 Formal (US readers: think High School Prom) was a tiny blip on the radar. If you didn’t go, it didn’t really matter. Your reputation and entire future weren’t made suspect by the events of six hours.

I can’t even remember my Year 10 formal. I suspect I didn’t go.

True, most of us went to our Year 12 Formal, but by then most of us were 18, and we could drive and drink alcohol legally (but not at the same time!). We were worried about whether we’d passed the Higher School Certificate, our ticket to university. The Year 12 Formal was just an excuse to party with your mates after the intense pressure of the HSC.  It wasn’t vested with the same amount of angst, preparation or meaning that you find in today’s Year 12 Formals.

So what happened? What is the Formal phenomenon about? Why do girls -even tom boys- feel the need to participate in this culture rooted in surface deep appearances?

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