Reunions (a story by my mom Catherine Stasko)

Cathy’s story on the CBC radio Definitely Not the Opera (DNTO) March 2012

Cathy Stasko grew up knowing that she was adopted. At one point, about 30 years ago, after Cathy had a daughter of her own, she set out to look for her birth mom. An agency tracked her down… and told Cathy that her mother was happy to know that she was well, but couldn’t be in contact with her. So Cathy didn’t get the reunion she was hoping for, but years later, she did get something else…

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Tears of Joy in Calculus Class

Carly Stasko once laughed so hard she cried… and improved her calculus grade. She’ll tell us about the secret power of tears.

Maybe it’s from sadness, or joy, or just because that dog food commercial is really moving. What makes you cry… and what are you saying through your tears?

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Moving

It’s hard enough moving yourself. But what if you’re unable to do your own packing and moving – and you have to let someone else do it? Carly Stasko will tell us how being moved by others moved her.

DNTO has kicked off a new season with a very “moving” episode of DNTO, as we look into the fine art of packing up and moving. Why is moving such a moving experience? Jump in the truck and hitch a ride as we find out…

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Superhero Rescue

Years ago, Carly Stasko  wrote an essay on how to be your own superhero for a feminist book anthology. And when Carly went on the book tour, she brought a big tickle-trunk of costumes and gave superhero makeovers to people in each city. Years later, Carly found another way to put her costume to good use… when she became a costumed hero to a friend in need.

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No Kissing Allowed


So you’ve just started dating someone very special…. and then your doctor tells you you’re going to have to give up kissing for the next several months. Carly Stasko will tell us why that’s not such a bad thing.

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On the Phone

Carly Stasko was being treated for cancer she had no idea that a phone message would be an integral part of her cure. She’ll tell us her story.

Does the telephone dial in to the “real” you? In this encore presentation of Your DNTO, we look at our best stories (and yours) of using the phone to express yourself.

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Human Library


Carly Stasko found an interesting way to have conversations with people – she became a “book” as part of the Human Library Project. But it was when she became a “borrower” of another “human book” that she had the conversation that really stayed with her.

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The Journal of Media Literacy
Volume 55, Number 3, 2008-2009


“Media Literacy as Timeless Learning: On the Path to Holistic Media Literacy Education

by: Carly Stasko

Click for full PDF of the article

In this paper I describe key personal and professional experiences whichled me to develop a Holistic Approach to Critical Media Literacy education.  It is a first attempt to outline just how universally applicable media literacy is, and just how instrumental it proved to be for my own survival.  In fact, it helped save my life. 

(r)Evolutionary Healing – The Spiral Journey

Healing is a vibrant dance of life. Healing is awe inspiring, powerful, subversive and is continuously happening holistically throughout all aspects of the body (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically). I’ve come to see creative healing and transformation as a process that can be envisioned as a spiraling wheel. The cycle begins with a challenge, something that has reached a crisis point and must be addressed. It could be an absence or silence in the mainstream narrative of history, education or media. It could be a social, economic or environmental injustice, an unsafe space, sadness, loss or a life-threatening illness.

The next phase of this cycle requires individuals and communities to muster up their courage. It takes courage to believe that we can make a difference, or that creativity, which is so often disregarded as trivial, could provide new solutions for resisting and transforming what is challenging us.

The third step isn’t always obvious – it is to play. Playfulness is ever present in all the various forms of creativity I have participated in such as zine publishing, performance art, education, and healing.

The final step in the cycle is love, which takes the form of a new vision of the world and a new sense of purpose or place in that world. For example, this is demonstrated in culture jamming by increased media literacy and a stronger sense of belonging and participation in public space.

This transformational process is what I call (r)Evolutionary Healing. With each revolution around the wheel, we pass through Challenge, Courage, Play and then Love. Rather than traveling in a straight line or repetitive cycle, this (r)Evolution is a spiral — a process through which each time around we have the potential to move closer to the central goal of wellness and interconnection. This model doesn’t limit us to the metaphor of a linear path; the occurrence of new challenges do not signal a failure, but instead indicates that there are still further opportunities to transform, lessons to learn, and connections to forge.