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Strategic Living's News & Views
September 2011
In this issue
We Could Be Sheros
On the Grill
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,  

I hate to admit it, but this summer, or what we had of it, is over. That means the beginning of another school year. Some young women have already gone off to college, others will begin in a week or two. And September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

Did you know there's a "rape season" on college campuses? While sexual assault can happen in any season, a large, statistically lopsided number of sexual assaults occur within the first 6 weeks of students' return to the hallowed halls of learning. The victims are disproportionately those new to campus, such as freshmen.

I've heard from several parents who attended various orientations at their daughters' new schools. They were concerned about the "safety advice" given by the safety spokesperson, sometimes an administrator and sometimes a police officer. The advice mainly came down to either yelling "fire" if attacked, or carrying a "rape whistle." Neither of these are good or reliable solutions.

One book I highly recommend is Girls Fight Back! by Erin Weed. This is written precisely for college-age girls. Weed balances a serious, sometimes grim, topic with appropriate humor, and gives very practical and doable suggestions that any student can incorporate into her routine.

And you can download my one-page poster for what every college girl need to know about sexual assault (if you've taken a Strategic Living course in the last couple of years, you have this or something similar in your handout folder). Forward it onto all those college girls in your life, even those you worry aren't paying attention. It just might change her life.

Sincerely, Joanne

We Could Be Sheros

Sue Bird has a favorite superpower. The star forward for the Seattle Storm basketball team was recently asked by reporter Jon Fisch if she could have one super power, what would it be. (I guess playing awesome basketball doesn't count.) Sue replied that she'd like to become invisible.

A few months ago The Seattle Weekly published an article on "Phoenix Jones" and his group of Rain City Superheros. Jones, the group's de facto spokesman, calls himself the "Guardian of Seattle." His goal is to keep us all safe by fighting crime in a superhero costume. Just like in the comics. Jones doesn't claim any super powers, just a Batman-esque costume (for more, see my blog post).

In self-defense classes this spring I began asking students if they could have any one super power to keep themselves safe, what would it be. Invisibility was the most popular choice, followed by the ability to fly and Flash-like super speed. A few mentioned mind-reading, to more easily detect when someone was meaning harm. Only one wanted super-strength to fight off any attackers. Nobody mentioned super-armor or a force-field. And nobody wanted a spiffy superhero costume.

If you could be a super-shero, what would your special power be?

Stay tuned for the next issue of this newsletter for more on the Super-Shero Campaign. In the meantime, think about who you could be. What would your mission be? Who would you save? What about that super-power?

There will be a contest, with prizes.

Evil-doers need not reply.

On The Grill

It can be easy to forget first things first. In self-defense there's so much emphasis on the "bad guys," like recognizing them, avoiding them, confronting them, defending against them, etc., that we forget to also look for cool stuff.

Which is to enjoy daily life with more confidence and less anxiety. For me, that means the backyard barbecue. Especially on days like today, late September bordering on autumn, when it could rain any instant, and you think this may be the last grilling of the season.

While it was a bit too chilly and drizzly to eat outside, we certainly could cook. Halibut fillet was tonight's star, dressed up in a blackberry-whiskey-butter sauce. If you are very lucky and get to the farmers' market close to closing time, and they still have berries, you can get a half flat at a ridiculously low price. For this sauce, place 2 cups blackberries in a pot with some water, some whiskey (you can also use brandy or white wine or vermouth), finely chopped garlic and ginger, and a few cloves. You can also throw in a star anise or two. After it's cooked down and the berries have pretty much disintegrated, add in about a stick of butter, one pat at a time. This sauce also goes well with chicken.

So get out there and enjoy.

Fall 2011:

Self-Defense 101: A five (or more) week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for life's unexpected (and unwanted) moments.  To register for any of these classes, visit for links to each organization.

Seven Tuesday lunchtimes, Oct 11 - Nov 22, noon - 1:00 pm through the UW Women's Center. Held at Cunningham Hall. Perfect for the busy on-campus professional.

Five Saturday afternoons, Sept 24 - Oct 22, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus location.

Five Monday evenings, Oct 17 - Nov 14, 7:00 - 8:50 pm, through Seattle Central Community College.

Five Tuesday evenings, Oct 18 - Nov 15, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, through the UW Women's Center. Register online at the Women's Center website, or phone 206-685-1090.

Weekend Workshop through the UW Experimental College will be held Friday Nov 4, Sat Nov 5, and Sun Nov 6. Visit for more info and links to registration. 


Self-Defense Seminars: One afternoon seminars, offered these Sundays from noon til 5:00 pm. Next offered these 4 dates at the Feminist Karate Union, conveniently located in Seattle's International District:  Sept 25, Oct 30, Nov 20, and Dec 11.

For more info and registration visit

KidSafe (age-appropriate safety training) will be offered only once more this year:  

North Kirkland Community Center: Saturday Oct 29, 1:00 - 2:30 pm 


Visit for more information as well as links to register. 

Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

Register for my Refresher Program at And if you believe that these skills are crucial for all women, please take advantage of my Referral Program at

Do you work with a non-profit or community organization that holds silent Self defense class -  striking practiceauctions? Ask me to donate a gift certificate for a private 1.5 hour seminar.

Do you work with a non-profit or community organization whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar? Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions. 

Scott S., who works with homeless teens, had this to say:  "Joanne did a great job connecting with our youth and answering some very difficult questions. The first thing that she did was to get to know our youth and meet them where they are at. We loved the way that Joanne listened, and she did a great job affirming them. Our youth walked away empowered to defend themselves as well as know which techniques work best for them. We learned all about ways to communicate healthy boundaries and how the word NO can communicate multiple things. It was great for me as the leader to hear our youth getting really into it. It also was a way for our staff to connect with our youth and help to foster great conversations."
Who's Watching Your Back?

Proclaim your awearness with these new shirts. Comes in both unisex and ladies styles.  Unisex shirt comes in rich Carolina Blue 100% cotton Gildan Ultra Cotton Activewear, while ladies T is a vibrant Aquamarine 100% cotton Hanes shirt, with V neck and tapered cut.

Front of shirt:  Strategic Living logo (see top of this enews)
Back of shirt:  "Who's Watching Your Back" below Watching Eyes

        Strategic Living T shirt      

Unisex shirt is regularly $15, but through this enewsletter is only $11.99 (plus shipping and tax). 
Buy Now

Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

Ladies shirt is regularly $18, but through this enewsletter only $14.99 (plus shipping and tax).
Buy Now

Sizes available are S, M, L, XL (and 2XL for Unisex only).  When ordering please indicate size in "Note to Merchant" field.
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