Dead America Podcast

"Stories That Matter" So, What's Yours? Come And Tell Us! www.deadamerica.website

Episode 4

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Published on:

22nd Jan 2020

4:00pm

Episode 3

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Published on:

15th Jan 2020

4:00pm

Stanley Milgram

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Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist, best known for his controversial experiment on obedience conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale. Milgram was influenced by the events of the Holocaust, especially the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in developing the experiment

Episode 2

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Published on:

8th Jan 2020

4:00pm

Abraham Lincoln

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LINCOLN, Abraham, a Representative from Illinois and 16th President of the United States; born in Hardin County, Ky., February 12, 1809; moved with his parents to a tract on Little Pigeon Creek, Ind., in 1816; attended a log-cabin school at short intervals and was self-instructed in elementary branches; moved with his father to Macon County, Ill., in 1830 and later to Coles County, Ill.; read the principles of law and works on surveying; during the Black Hawk War he volunteered in a company of Sangamon County Rifles organized April 21, 1832; was elected its captain and served until May 27, when the company was mustered out of service; reenlisted as a private and served until mustered out June 16, 1832; returned to New Salem, Ill., and was unsuccessful as a candidate for the State house of representatives; entered business as a general merchant in New Salem; postmaster of New Salem 1833-1836; deputy county surveyor 1834-1836; elected a member of the State house of representatives in 1834, 1836, 1838, and 1840; declined to be a candidate for renomination; admitted to the bar in 1836; moved to Springfield, Ill., in 1837 and engaged in the practice of law; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); did not seek a renomination in 1848; an unsuccessful applicant for Commissioner of the General Land Office under President Taylor; tendered the Governorship of Oregon Territory, but declined; unsuccessful Whig candidate for election to the United States Senate before the legislature of 1855; unsuccessful Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1858; elected as a Republican President of the United States in 1860; reelected in 1864 and served from March 4, 1861, until his death; shot by an assassin in Washington, D.C., April 14, 1865, and died the following day; lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, April 19-21, 1865; interment in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ill.

Episode 1

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Published on:

1st Jan 2020

3:00pm

Anne Sullivan

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https://www.deadamerica.website

Life-changing moment

In 1880, Sullivan learned that a commission was coming to investigate the conditions at Tewksbury Almshouse. On the day of their visit, Anne followed them around, waiting for an opportunity to speak. Just as the tour was concluding, she gathered up all of her courage, approached a member of the team of inspectors, and told him that she wanted to go to school. That moment changed her life. On October 7, 1880, Anne Sullivan entered the Perkins Institution.

Anne Sullivan's life experience made her very different from the other students at Perkins. At the age of 14, she couldn't read or even write her name. She had never owned a nightgown or hairbrush, and did not know how to thread a needle. While Sullivan had never attended school, she was wise in the ways of the world, having learned a great deal about life, politics and tragedy at Tewksbury, a side of society unknown even to her teachers.

Most of the other girls at Perkins were the sheltered daughters of wealthy merchants or prosperous farmers. Unfortunately, many of Sullivan's fellow students ridiculed her because of her ignorance and rough manners. Some of her teachers were particularly unsympathetic and impatient.

Perkins experience

Anne Sullivan's recollections of her early years at Perkins were mainly of feeling humiliated about her own shortcomings. Her anger and shame fueled a determination to excel in her studies. She was a very bright young woman, and in a very short time she closed the gaps in her academic skills.

After the first two years, Sullivan's life at Perkins became easier. She connected with a few teachers who understood how to reach and challenge her. Mrs. Sophia Hopkins, the house mother of her cottage, was especially warm and understanding. Sullivan became like a daughter to her, spending time at her Cape Cod home during school vacations. She had yet another surgery on her eyes, and this time it improved her vision dramatically. At last she could see well enough to read print.


Sullivan befriended Laura Bridgman, another remarkable Perkins resident. Fifty years earlier, Bridgman had been the first person who was deafblind to learn language. Sullivan learned the manual alphabet from her, and frequently chatted and read the newspaper to the much older woman. Bridgman could be very demanding, but Sullivan seemed to have more patience with her than many of the other students. Not much has been written about their friendship, but it's tempting to think they shared a special affinity because neither completely fit in with the larger Perkins community.


Anne Sullivan learned to excel academically at Perkins but she did not conform. She frequently broke rules; her quick temper and sharp tongue brought her close to expulsion on more than one occasion. She might not have made it to graduation without the intercessions of those few teachers and staff who were close to her.


But in June 1886, not only did she graduate, she gave the Valedictory Address. She charged her classmates and herself with these words: "Fellow-graduates: duty bids us go forth into active life. Let us go cheerfully, hopefully and earnestly, and set ourselves to find our especial part. When we have found it, willingly and faithfully perform it…."


Just what her "especial part" would be was not at all clear to Sullivan. She had no family to return to, and no qualifications for employment. She feared that she would have to return to Tewksbury. Her joy at graduating was tempered by her fears about the future. Fate intervened in an unexpected way.


Opportunity of a lifetime

During the summer of 1886, Captain Keller of Alabama wrote to Perkins Director Michael Anagnos, asking him to recommend a teacher for his young daughter Helen, who had been deaf and blind since the age of 19 months. Helen's mother had read about Laura Bridgman's education at Perkins in Charles Dickens' American Notes and began to hope that her own daughter could be reached.


The Kellers' search for help ultimately led to educator Alexander Graham Bell, who recommended that the Kellers contact Anagnos at Perkins School for the Blind. Having long admired Sullivan's intelligence and indomitable determination, Anagnos immediately thought of her as the best candidate to teach the seven-year-old girl.


Although a bit intimidated by the challenge, Sullivan knew this was just the opportunity she needed. She spent the next few months studying the reports of Laura Bridgman's education by Howe and her other teachers. In March of 1887 she left for Tuscumbia, Alabama, to begin a new chapter in her life.


Entering Helen's world

Much has been written about the day Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan first met, and of how the teacher finally helped her student break out of her dark and silent world. The methods Sullivan used when she began teaching Helen were very much like those Dr. Howe employed with Laura Bridgman. They followed a strict schedule and new vocabulary words were introduced in a formal lesson. It was not long before Sullivan realized that the rigid routine did not suit her exuberant and spontaneous young pupil. Never one to be limited by rules, Sullivan abandoned the prescribed schedule and shifted the focus of her teaching.


Sullivan decided to enter Helen's world, follow her interests and add language and vocabulary to those activities. She observed that Helen's infant cousin learned language by being spoken to, and talked to the girl constantly by fingerspelling into her hand. In her letters to Mrs. Hopkins, she discussed the reasons for her change in approach:

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Published on:

30th Dec 2019

4:00pm
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About the Podcast

Dead America
Dead America Podcast We talk about how people are feeling in America or about America.
Dead America Podcast We talk about how people are feeling in America or about America.
The shows Season 2 will release each week on Wednesday starting in January 2020
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About your hosts

Ed Watters

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You will find that Ed Watters looks at the world with open eyes. He sees things with education in mind along with self-improvement. The podcast Ed delivers is intended on uplifting and identifying the inner psyche of one's self to promote better living in one's own life.
With life experience, he looks for ways to tell stories to help others identify with the hardness of day to day life. Ed is always open to hearing your story and help get it out to the world.

Theresa Watters

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I help make a better podcast.