Volume 1, Resources 10: Critical Race Theory & a Wheel of Feelings

Hello old friends and new friends! I’m happy you’re here. Happy Juneteenth! I’ve taken the day off work to do some reflection and reading and also because I am Black.

If you’re new within the last week or so, I did a quick overview of what this newsletter is about in last week’s issue. The weeks alternate between posts that dig into a topic a bit and posts that feature a couple resources or things worth knowing from around the internet. This week is resource week! Let’s get to it!

Resource #1: Introduction to Critical Race Theory Syllabus from Dr. Adrienne Keene

I have been an admirer of Dr. Adrienne Keene since I heard her on the Another Round podcast in 2015. I’ve followed her on Twitter since then, and highly recommend her blog, Native Appropriations. In Fall 2017, she posted a syllabus for an Introduction to Critical Race Theory via Brown University. It is meant to be available as a self-guided course and many of the readings are linked and available online for free. You can find more details on the intro page to the course and go directly to the syllabus on the left-hand menu of that page or by clicking here.

I have not yet taken the course, but I hope to someday. My reading pile is currently overflowing for my side gig as a book jockey. If you happen to take the course, I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Resource #2: The Feel Wheel

If you knew me 10 years ago, you would never imagine that I would be writing about and encouraging people to talk about their feelings. It’s still not the easiest thing for me and I wrote about how it’s an integral part of my marriage in an earlier issue.

What I’ve really wanted to share with you, unfortunately, is not available right now. That would be the Tea & Empathy cards by Kate Kenfield. I was able to purchase a set of the first iteration of cards. From the site:

“There are 120 cards, each with one primary feeling and three adjacent feelings printed on them. They are designed to help build your emotional vocabulary and linguistic accuracy around feelings.”

Though I haven’t used them in a while, I used them a lot when my wife and I were going through some changes and growth. It can be SO HELPFUL to name the feelings you are feeling and so many of us don’t really have the vocabulary to do so. The Tea & Empathy cards help with that.

As I said, they are not currently available.

But you know what is? The Feel Wheel! That link will take you to the original post where you’ll learn it was created by a person named Geoffrey Roberts, one of the pastors of the White House Church in Australia. If you don’t know, I survived being raised Catholic and I’m absolutely an atheist, but The Feel Wheel works for us heathens as well.

As you can see, the wheel has 7 primary emotions in the center: happy, sad, disgusted, angry, fearful, bad, & surprised. So because I’m me and this is one of the things I say most often, let’s start with, “I feel bad.” To be fair, about 90% of the time it’s because I haven’t eaten anything all day or had any water. But let’s say I’ve had a snack and some water. So then let’s branch out to figure out “What kind of bad? Bored, busy, stressed, or tired?” Obviously, this wheel is not exhaustive. But let’s say “stressed.” What kind of stressed: overwhelmed or out of control? For me, being able to pinpoint this kind of thing will help lead me to a solution (if there is one). If I’m overwhelmed, is there something that I can hand off to Nicole (my wife) or maybe to a coworker? If I’m feeling out of control do I need to step back and maybe make myself a list? While The Feel Wheel isn’t super complex, I think it can be a great start for some self-reflection or conversation. I’m childfree, but I imagine it could be helpful with kids as well as you teach them ways to describe what they’re feeling.

That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, feel free to subscribe, forward it to a friend, and/or give me a tip!

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