Showing posts from April, 2015

Opinions, Twitter, and Dialogue

I have a jumble of thoughts inspired by a few different conversations on Twitter the past few days. They're a loosely linked, so I figured it would be easiest to just get it all down in one post. Let's see if anyone can follow this mess...

Opinions Twitter is a place where we share opinions. Sometimes they're part of a larger, planned discussion. Sometimes one person's thought(s) can cause a flurry of ideas and conversation. We share a lot of opinions. Some people share opinions as if they're facts or as if their experience is the only experience. Anything else is wrong or nonexistent.

X is the only way to find a job. Y is the only way I can do Z to be authentic to myself. Going through A and B is the only path to take. My problem with these: everyone's path or story is true to them. We can't devalue someone's path because it's different.

My favorite ones have to do with valuing our knowledge and skills: If you don't identify with X, you don'…

A Good Experience with VA Personnel

Today I learned of a Marine friend who is a new arrival at a new base as of this morning. He is at this new base for training, and it's an Army base. This Marine was told there was no housing available on base for him, no secure space to store his valuables, and to book a hotel room and rental car on his own dime (to be reimbursed, of course). All resources he tried to access told him that they couldn't help him because he was a Marine. He's given a per diem while training, but was not told his per diem amount. If he goes over his per diem amount, the excess amount would come out of his pay.

A few things before we move further into this story. First, this is not a new or uncommon phenomenon. It's scary and frustrating, but not new. Second, with the right people the military community can feel like a family. Regardless of branch, rank, or field, they are all in the same boat. Third, the VA has a bad reputation, and it's earned it. But, there are some great people in…

Training Programs for Faculty and Staff

There are several training programs in the country that help faculty and staff understand student veterans. One is Green Zone Training offered by The University of North Carolina and another is the Veterans Educator Training and Support (V.E.T.S.) Program at the University of Colorado. The one I’m going to review is the VET NET Ally program (Thomas, 2010).
The VET NET Ally Program was created for California State University, Long Beavh in order to fulfill the need for a safe space for veterans and is modeled after the Safe Zone Ally training program (Thomas, 2010). It offers four hours of training for faculty and staff and includes a panel of student veterans (Thomas, 2010). There are four theme areas: program purpose, policies and procedures, military and post-military culture and transition, and personal identity issues (Thomas, 2010). Similar to Safe Zone training, participants are given a decal for displaying in offices or workspaces (Thomas, 2010).
“[T]he primary goals of the prog…