Our View

Cheers and Jeers: Teaching our community to ‘dare greatly’

By From page A8 | August 01, 2014

We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:

CHEERS to three Davis marriage and family therapists who are bringing the Daring Way curriculum to Davis. Based on author Brené Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead,” the program deals with our fears of not being good enough and how they keep us from living and parenting the way we really want to.

The Daring Way curriculum explores topics like vulnerability and shame; examines the thoughts, emotions and behavior that hold people back; and helps identify new choices and practices. The primary focus is on developing shame resilience skills.

Goodness knows, our fine community can be a pressure-cooker — for students in high school and college who are working hard to achieve greatness, and for parents who are helping to support them.

Says Brown, “In terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the ‘never enough’ culture, the question isn’t so much, ‘Are you parenting the right way?’ as it is: ‘Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?’ ”

There’s plenty of food for thought there, which will be explored at workshops this fall for teens and couples. We look forward with interest to see how The Daring Way program may change our community for the better.

CHEERS to Jonathan Eisen, a professor of microbiology at UC Davis, who recently turned down an opportunity to be part of a lecture series at another university on principle — too few women were invited.

“In my field, there just isn’t that big of a difference in the percentage of males and females at various academic levels,” Eisen said. “And so when there’s a skewed ratio, there’s a sign that something is amiss.”

Eisen said the response to his decision, which also included turning down a $2,000 honorarium, has been “amazingly positive.” Add our voice to the chorus: Thanks, Professor, for not just talking the talk, but for walking the walk.

CHEERS to another UCD professor, Andy Jones of the English department, for his selection as the city of Davis’ next poet laureate. Eve West Bessier and Allegra Silberstein, who also have held the honorary position, have helped raise the public profile of poetry and give Jones a creative launching pad.

He’s done his share as well, as organizer of the bimonthly Poetry Night Speaker Series and as host of his long-standing radio show, “Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour.”

We look forward to seeing what Jones’ creative mind cooks up for the community over the next two years.

CHEERS to former Davis resident Karen Joy Fowler, who is on the long list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for her novel, “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” The story, which is set partly in Davis, is about a 1970s Midwestern family with a most unusual sibling.

Fowler and her husband Hugh came to Davis in 1972 and raised their two children here before they moved recently to Santa Cruz. Fowler also earned a master’s degree in political science from UCD in 1974. We’re so proud to claim her as our own.

JEERS to the summer heat wave that has gripped Davis for more than a week. C’mon, autumn, arrive already!

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