Mark your calendar! This Friday Rolando Morales will perform in Brentwood’s CoCo County Winebar

Coco's Winebar presents Rolando Morales on Friday, August 11, 2017 between 7 - 10pm
Coco’s Winebar presents Rolando Morales on Friday, August 11, 2017 between 7 – 10pm

Friday Aug 11CoCo County Wine Bar, 633 First Street, Brentwood CA, 7-10pm.  Rolando makes his public debut at Brentwood’s Premier Wine Tasting Bar in the downtown retail district.   Rolando never gets out in this area publicly, so you far-east Bay fans, don’t miss this rare opportunity!  www.cocowineco.com,   (925) 634-9463.

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Rolando Morales performs at Maria Maria in Danville tomorrow Tuesday August 8, 2017

Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday July 11
Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday – August 8, 2017

Tuesday Aug 8Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm.  After a month away, Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s Danville restaurant for Taco Tuesday $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com (925) 820-2366.

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Rolando Morales performs at C’era una Volta tonight. Enjoy a lovely afternoon in Alameda.

Rolando Morales will perform at C'era Una Volta on Saturday, July 29 in Alameda
Rolando Morales will perform at C’era Una Volta on Saturday, July 29 in Alameda

Saturday July 29, C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501, 7-9:30 pm.  After more than 3 months away, Rolando finally returns to this fine Tuscan-style restaurant that welcomes you like family to embrace the spirit of Italy.  Rolando will take you on a musical tour of the Americas and beyond on solo guitar and voice. This is a great match and a rare opportunity to catch Rolando in Alameda! www.ceraunavolta.us/(510) 769-4828.

Before the show enjoy shopping at the lovely stores on Park Avenue and enjoy an afternoon in the balmy weather of Alameda with stroll on the beach:

Go for a hike at the  Alameda Shore
Go for a hike at the Alameda Shore

 

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Time to think? Universities are starting to self reflect on their contribution to our culture.

Widener Library on Harvard Campus
Widener Library on Harvard Campus
Is the time-honored tradition of Fraternities and Sororities coming to an end?

A committee announced on Wednesday, July 13, 2017, that they recommend that  Harvard completely forbid students from joining “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations.” They feel so strongly about it that they wish to replace existing penalties for members of the social groups that are set to go into place in the fall.

Harvard is not the first University who is grappling with the problems caused by these “private” clubs.  Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Williams College all prohibited undergraduate participation in fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations in recent years.

Undergraduate Council Vice President Cameron K. Khansarinia, class of 2018 said the proposed policy completely “takes away personal responsibility and choice” from College students—and that it is unlikely to be effective.  “It’s simply going to either force [the clubs] underground or literally dry out any semblance of social life on campus,” Khansarinia said. “It’s really not the right way to go about this.”

The faculty needs to guide Harvard into the present-day realities and prepare students for life in a gender neutral world.  This is an issue that needs to be addressed in most traditional colleges and society at large.

Department of Labor Statistic about workforce participation by sex.
Department of Labor Statistic about workforce participation by sex.

Several of the social clubs, for instance the “Fly Club”  are seeking legal council on how they can fight the effort.

Statistics about rape point in a direction that something really needs to be done.
Rainn provides data that shows that sexual violence on campus is pervasive.

    • 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).2
    • Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
    • Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
    • 4.2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.

Student or not, college-age adults are at high risk for sexual violence.

    • Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.1
    • Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
University culture have a profound impact on overall culture around the world.

In June the Harvard Crimson reported:

Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat.

A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.

In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”

No one would dispute that people who engage in threatening deaths and child abuse and find it humorous or in anyway acceptable should not be let loose on society, much less on a top notch educational institution.

Is it time to think yet?

The “Fly Club” an all male institution retained an attorney who made some interesting points in an op-ed in 2016.   Silvergate:

"The report acknowledged the correlation between alcohol-fueled partying and sexual assault, which we believe implies that forcing independent organizations to go co-ed would only lead to an increase in the high-risk encounters that lead to assaults. Their proposed alternative is to create a blacklist of non-complying organizations, thereby abridging the freedom of association—a bedrock principle of our nation’s constitution—for its very own students.

This latter course of action is particularly galling: Harvard appears to be moving towards a policy that would expel students simply for membership in a club, while it simultaneously fails to properly adjudicate sexual assault cases. The University is blaming an entire class of students for the condemnable and illegal conduct of a small minority—a clearly backwards approach to community safety."

He later goes on to state:

"We are witnessing a return to the College operating in loco parentis, as it attempts to both dictate social-sexual norms and limit students’ independence. Harvard bureaucrats continue to expand their numbers while also attempting to bring independent single-sex organizations, including the Final Clubs and the growing number of Greek letter organizations, under their control, if not to eliminate them entirely.

Unlike past debates about sexual mores and student liberty at the College, undergraduate students appear unperturbed by, if not supportive of, this assertion of administrative control over their private lives, while the Faculty of Arts and Sciences seems to have little influence with regards to the issue. The administration is leveraging the current political climate to achieve policy goals that will unfortunately do little to prevent sexual assault, but will certainly make Harvard more illiberal."

In my opinion there is much to think about and the trend to have “Big Brother” forbid you to get drunk and rape people instead of encouraging public debates that allow a culture of inclusion, respect and with humanistic values to thrive voluntarily, is a debate that does and should go on and on until we all live in a free society in which everyone is safe from assault, and free to excel at their own personal highest level.

Equality in a society where women make up more than 1/2 of the work force is a must have.  Being able to feel safe is a need that both women and men should be able to enjoy.  How to accomplish that reality should really become part of the public debate.  Forbidding public gatherings of like minded people may just drive the activity underground and it may be unconstitutional. Eliminating “wanna be” and actual racists and rapists should be a must for every educational institution.  Racists and Rapists need therapy not more easy access to victims.  However driving racist and misogynist attitudes underground may not be a long term solution for our society either.

When studying Victor Frankl someone who has experienced the worst of human kind in person while he was incarcerated by Nazis during the Holocaust, we may learn that we have to raise our expectations of each other and teach our young future leaders to thrive and foster their wish and their ability to create “Lives with Meaning”, people who are happy and content while working on making life better for everyone. This is what moves people to feel content.  Busy and content leaders don’t have time to be jerks.  Most jerks are either unhappy and insecure or are pathologically damaged. As we know from some of our current public leaders being a jerk does not make you popular and the ill manners actually make people more lonely and give them a craving for attention and love that will stay unfulfilled. Nobody likes these lonely jerk or brute. We have to aim higher for our students. We need to encourage them to be the better.

Maybe it is time to bring back the education that is deeply rooted in the Humanities that sets the aim high and encourages students to create a better world.

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Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Walnut Creek, Sunday July 16, 2017

Rolando Morales will perform Saturday July 23, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Suite B, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm with Estaire Godinez and David Belove.
Rolando Morales will perform Sunday, July 16 at Maria Maria in Walnut Creek

Sunday July 16Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx. 1-4pmRolando returns to the front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

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Rolando Morales and Estaire Godinez perform at The Vine at Bridges in Danville, Saturday July 15, 2017

Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.

Saturday July 15, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pmThe Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot.  Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and tapas while grooving to this powerful duet.  Tonight Rolando welcomes the exciting Latin percussionist-vocalist Estaire Godinez, who played with George Benson and Prince; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales.  It’s been close to half a year since they’ve done this.  Don’t miss it!  www.thevineatbridges.com(925) 820-7210.

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Staying calm when times of stress. Techniques that work.

Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.
Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.

Neuro-plasticity is the reason why we are able to learn and modify our responses to life’s events.  Over the past few decades many forms of therapy have been developed and practiced.  Over the past decade through new technology, gene therapy, and applied nano-technology we now know in no uncertain terms that the mind and body are linked.  The body is able to influence the mind and the mind is able to influence the body.

Dr. van der Kolk suggests that all effective treatments involve some way for people to learn to recognize when they change their arousal system. When a person learns how to become aware if they get upset, learns to take 60 breaths, focuses on the out breaths, they are able to calm both their brain right down.  We are able to choose to engage in soothing techniques like pressing on acupressure points. A most effective methods to calm frayed nerves are walks in nature.  The earlier in life children learn how to recognize that they are upset, that their heart is beating hard or irregularly, that their breath is short, the sooner they can be taught to engage in effective self soothing behavior.  It is wonderful that our children learn early in life how to calm down, practice yoga, go for soothing walks in nature.

Now that we are certain about the human mind’s ability to learn at every age everyone is able to learn and to engage in healthy self-moderating behaviors with positive effect.  After learning how to recognize that we are growing upset, and how to calm ourselves down when we get upset we can progress to the next step.

Learning how to avoid getting upset

The core idea of Dr. van der Kolk’s teaching is that we recognize that we are not a victim of what happens. We are able to do things to change our own thoughts. The new applied sciences in medicine overturn the mistaken belief that if we can’t stand something, we should just take a pill and make it go away.  The best treatment is to realize that when something is happening to we it is our own choice how we wish to   interpret the situation.  We can be frightened or we can change the sensations by moving, breathing, tapping, and touching or by avoiding touch. We are in charge of how we feel and we can influence the way we feel physically.  Dr. van der Kolk has devoted his life to creating tools that will provide us with the emotional management tools. Healthy body habits have positive effects on our emotional habits. With practice we become ever more in charge of our own physiological system.  We now know that we can calm ourselves down by talking or through one of the many other processes.  We greatly benefit from programs that provide us with empowerment.  Physical impact, like model mugging (a form of self-defense training), martial arts or kickboxing, or an activity that requires a range of physical effort teaches us to actually defend ourselves, stand up for ourselves, and to literally feel the power in our bodies are very effective. We can retrain our emotions to realize that we have power and we are not victims or our fate.

Dr. van der Kolk, M.D., teaches that to realize that we are not victims of circumstance. We are capable to focus our attentions on learning how to express ourselves better.  When we learn how to effectively communicate our feelings, we are impacted by other people’s behavior we engage in a positive way with others.  One way to learn is to share our feelings and  to seek out therapy to find the proper language for our internal experience. As we become more adept to share our inner life effectively and to learn how to communicate with others, the quality of our lives improves.

Dr. van der Kolk and communications experts teach that most of our communication takes place on the physical plan. We communicate by nodding our heads, we smile, we frown, move, shift our weight and stance. Kids and adults, who were victims of physical abuse and neglect, lose those interpersonal rhythms. As we engage in self soothing behavior and learn to express ourselves we are ready for the last and most fun step. Dancing, listening to music, play music, practice QiGong and find our own rhythm.  Soon our life energy will flow and we will enjoy life.

Dr. van der Kolk, M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has been involved in creating tools for stress reduction. Learn more by  Publications and Products

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