Monday, June 22, 2015

Three Random Facebook Posts Consolidated to One Blog Post

Three short, unrelated posts.

Keaton was helping out at my office today. We went to Lowes to purchase some shower board to have slates made for the classrooms. When I told Keaton what we were doing, he had some input. "I have an idea, Mom. It's pretty progressive, and may require you to expand your budget, but I think you'll see that it's totally worth it."

Um, are you 25 and selling me insurance?

His idea (because it seems rude to leave you hanging) is to make the slates double-sided and in third and fourth grade add notes about place value up to the ten thousands so that kids can reference it quickly when working on problems.  Not a bad idea! I'm wondering if he's had a teacher do this for him before. If so, great job, teacher!

I'm kind of impressed with Tucker today. It's the 16th weekday of summer, and the kid went to three days of football camp at A&M, spent four days on the couch with a fever, and still managed to finish two summer school classes as of this afternoon. As a reward, he gets to start working out at 8:30 every morning to get ready for fall football. I think he's excited about finally being able to lift weights. He's a good kid, even if his twelve year old brain is kind of like spaghetti most of the time.

(I should mention that he took two 7th grade courses this summer so he could free up some time for fun classes.)

I heard Joe Cocker sing "Get by with a Little Help from my Friends" on my way home. It made me remember a TV show that my parents used to watch called Tour of Duty because I thought it was the theme song. Only I was wrong, and the theme song to that show was Painted Black by the Rolling Stones, and the Joe Cocker song was the theme song of The Wonder Years. This made me think of a cop show that my parents used to watch after I went to bed because I wasn't old enough to watch it. They may have recorded it on their VCR. Then I checked Netflix for several of the 80s TV dramas I couldn't watch because I was too little, and none were there. Tour of Duty, China Beach, Moonlighting...not there.  Who do I call at Netflix to get those? I'm going to feel so cool when I finally watch them. Don't tell my parents.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A moment to get political...

I know I'm not special in this regard, but I am troubled and saddened by the recent racially motivated shootings in a Charleston church. I think I'm most saddened because I am not shocked. This should be an unbelievable, shocking event. I should be checking Snopes to see if it's really true, but I'm not. It's not shocking. It's sadly believable that something like this could happen in 2015.

I've prayed for the families of the victims and others in the community that must surely be reeling. And I've spent some time questioning my own behaviors - both conscious and unconscious. I've paid more attention to the things I laugh at on facebook and the songs that play in my car. I believe that the world has good, well-intentioned people who think racism is wrong, but I also believe we have to continually monitor our cultural outtakes and intakes to make sure we're moving forward in the battle against racism instead of becoming complacent because the 1960s took care of all of that. We all have that responsibility and owe it not only to the victims in this shooting but to all the people who experience prejudice for any reason. This is what I can do right here in my hometown. This is how I can make an impact in this struggle.

Not surprisingly, I've read lots of articles about the murders and what our elected officials have to say about them. Our president used a portion of his press conference to advocate gun control, and I felt exasperated. I believe that bad people will always have weapons, and taking guns away from good people won't fix that. Either way, proclaiming that racism is wrong is something that we should all be able to agree on, and I didn't like that he - even if for a moment - used this tragedy to further his political ideals. 

Then, I see our former governor and Republican presidential candidate's interview. I must admit, when someone posted his quote on facebook I immediately assumed it was made up - a meme that some random person posted that went viral. He used the word "accident" when referring to the murders. His people say that he really meant "incident," and as a person who often has the wrong word come out of my mouth I can sympathize. However, his response was embedded in a rebuttal to the president about gun control. I really, really wanted to tell him to shut up.

This is not about politics. It's about people. Stop using this tragedy to beef up your arguments. Just stop.  Say you're sad and that we have to all really examine our conscious and unconscious behaviors. That we're all in this together. That hate doesn't come inherently - it must be taught, and we have to teach people about respect and kindness instead. Then stop. For goodness sakes stop. 

I always vote. Always. My parents always vote, and I for sure remember my mom taking it very seriously. Last week (before the murders) Trey shared a quiz with me that would supposedly help me decide who I would vote for out of the candidates currently in the presidential race. The answer I got?  None of them. I matched most closely with a candidate I've never even heard of, and it was only around 32%. Every other candidate was less. I felt disillusioned. 

So here I am. I am a 38 year old white, middle class female with a master's degree. I was raised Baptist, but now attend a Methodist church. I believe in the Bible, the power of prayer, and that Jesus came to save me. I believe that making more rules won't make rule-breakers suddenly follow the rules. I believe the most powerful thing we can do sometimes is listen to each other. I believe in the power of empathy. 

I believe that the government should treat all people equally and afford the same rights to all, even if their religion or lifestyle disagrees with mine.  I believe women can do anything men can do and should be compensated just like men would be compensated. I believe that the best way to change the world and protect it for future generations is through regular, ordinary people caring for each other and raising kids who care for each other and their environment. I believe that we are better together than we are divided. 

In the political world I'm afraid I've become an oxymoron - that I'm not allowed to be and believe all of these things. It's weighing on my heart today that there are some things in our world and our country that really need fixing, and with the political melee that has become our normal I just don't see it happening. 

And that is all I have to say about that.