Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let's Talk Crap

It seems to me that that teaching freshman English composition is an excellent invitation into the hard discussions: identity formation, racial reconciliation, gender equity, human rights. Why? English in general, and comp in particular, is all about finding the right words to articulate big ideas and join in the discussion.

Rose George makes a similar point in this short, engaging TED talk about one of the most basic of human rights that's hardest to talk about. Clean water? Sure, we'll chat all day long. But toilets? Ewww.

If we don't talk about it, we won't remember that it's a problem. We won't fix the very fixable fact that poor sanitation spreads disease that kills children in astounding numbers. George goes further, tying in the presence of toilets in schools with prolonging education for girls. (Need a hint why? Think puberty.)

Filled with all the puns I could hope for and a very interesting campaign  in India to make the toilet sexy, or at least matrimonial, this talk is definitely recommended.

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