Golden parachutes and handshake circles

Although the common term is "golden handshake," I misremembered the phrase for an early retirement offer as "golden parachute." Somehow it's more appealing and evocative to me. I like the idea of slowly floating down towards a welcoming earth, better than a one-off handshake.

I've never liked shaking hands. I think even before I heard that the practice originates from showing a stranger that one's empty hand contains no weapon, something about the gesture struck me as not really friendly. At some point in my Black Bear days, I began the practice of offering my left hand to someone's outstretched right hand, so that I join them into a circle of friends, rather than agree not to fight–a much more positive message.


Fred is a Teaching Artist, an arts integration advocate & a social justice activist. He is near completing a two-month Residency as String Game Performance Teacher at Calabasas Elementary School in Watsonville, CA, and performed at the 2015 Santa Cruz Storytelling Festival. He also serves as Teacher Consultant for Professional Development with UCSC's Central California Writing Project and as their Technology Liaison to the National Writing Project. He is a Connected Learning Facilitator and coordinates Face To Face Drop Ins on Connected Learning biweekly at Arts Council Santa Cruz County. He teaches self-directed & connected learning via real-world projects & string games through his Original Digital Project, an Associate of the Arts Council.

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