Archive for the 'Let’s Do This Thing!' Category

03
Jan
17

Adventures

Husband, Only Daughter and I will go to Brazil for four months, leaving March 2.

I have started a new blog: https:120diasaosuldasfronteiras.wordpress.com, (120 days south of the borders), to chronicle our adventures.

I expect to continue posting here, as well, but my focus may shift a bit as I attempt to chronicle our travels, my teaching (and learning), our explorations of South American cuisine, etc. etc.

Any recommendations re: places to visit, foods to eat (or avoid), etc. would be extremely welcome!

19
Nov
16

What he said

He’s right. We as a country are trying to do something that might go against our tribal natures. And I see so much evidence of people standing together and trying to do it better. Like the adage says — if you’re going through hell, keep going. Let’s do this, together, and come out that much better on the other end.

11
Nov
16

Now what?

Many of us are horrified by the news of the racist attacks and brutality being visited now on people of color, gays, immigrants. What has the election of this man unleashed? We saw the videos of his rallies, and were appalled and frightened by the no-longer-latent racism, cruelty, hatred, that we heard coming out of the mouths of our fellow Americans. Donald Trump’s petulance, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, has given people permission to say things we have spent the last 50? 100? Years telling them they can’t say. And people who haven’t learned the lessons of civility, history — that there are, in fact, things that should never be said in civilized society, that there is no actual difference between you and any other person based on the color of their skin, that the world is actually safer when we work together (Alliances, people! Every good board game knows this, why don’t we?) — want to drag us back to some good old day where men were strong and women were good looking (and if not were dismissed as being unworthy of sexual harassment, #nowthereisagift #IhopeIama7) and knew their place and kept their mouths shut, and everybody they knew looked like everybody else. 

Hatreds and bigotries and horrible acts are being perpetrated, now, many like we haven’t seen in a long time. It is my hope that these are the death throes of a dying culture. We’ve spent the last eight years building — gay rights, protesting brutality against unarmed blacks, providing insurance for people who need it — and we can still fight against tearing it down. We must. People may feel they have permission to behave like animals, but they don’t. We can’t allow it. We must stand together, make sure our fellow Americans and the people in the world who are watching very closely right now, many with great fear and trepidation, that this does not represent all of us. We’re better than this. We must show it. And if we do, maybe we can actually make something good, and lasting, out of this debacle.

What to do if you see someone being harassed.

Part 2

#Warren2020



Shame on us


01
Mar
16

somebody save us from ourselves

Will this help?

01
Mar
15

education and equality

An interesting article about a school system (Finland’s) that seems to be much more effective than the American one.

Knock three times if this description sounds familiar:

“Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.”

And we decided this wasn’t working because. . .  ??? (Seemed to work pretty well for me. And I’m not THAT old.)

Probably can’t make that fly here, though, because, despite everyone’s recognition that money gives other people’s children advantages we can’t necessarily give our own, we must preserve that right, just in case someday we’re one of the people with money.

(Apologies for the circular argument.)

Alas.

 

22
Jan
15

Bill Moyers and the need for campaign finance reform.

Here.

Where do I sign?

And of course, it’s no surprise that there isn’t a SINGLE REPUBLICAN sponsor to any of these bills. That should speak volumes.

10
Nov
14

the disease of busyness

Read this.

I believe it, I agree with it.

I also feel that there is too much time spent in “pursuit” of something, and not enough time left to create. People don’t sit and stare and watch the world and think creative thoughts — what happens to our poets and playwrights, our composers and artists, when every minute to spare is spent being entertained by our phones? Parents drive their children to take more and more AP classes and to be on every academic team available and to prepare for way too many standardized tests, but don’t support their school district’s music and art programs and, as soon as the child gets “too busy,” discontinues their music lessons, even though this is probably the ONE area of the child’s life that involves personal expression, investigation, long-term discipline and artistic creativity.

I’m aware of this almost daily when I contemplate how much more financially comfortable my family could be if I were willing to work more hours and realize that I really don’t want to. That my time for yoga and reading and knitting and weaving and sitting on the couch every night with my husband watching hockey or Netflix movies or worthwhile TV series on DVDs (currently The Good Wife, although we’re almost out of discs — any recommendations?) is as or more important to my and my family’s comfort and happiness than a few hundred more dollars a month in our checking account. And then I’m SO grateful that I have that option, that I get to make that DECISION rather than being forced to work 2 or 3 minimum-wage jobs just to pay the mortgage and buy minimal groceries — a situation I know is true for many.

But many of these choices that lead to what I’m going to call Diseased Busyness ARE choices. Even Only Daughter right now has 3, 14-hour days each week because of extensive Nutcracker rehearsals. She leaves the house at 7 a.m.; is home for half an hour and then at ballet until 9 (if they let her out on time, which they rarely do), at which point she comes home and eats dinner and does her homework. She’s not getting enough sleep, she’s stressed half the time, she’s probably not eating enough, but this is just for a couple of months, so I accept it. Even though I don’t think it’s particularly good for her in a short-term sense, I believe it is in the long-term, but only because it is short term. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I fear this lack of “down” will exact a cost on all of us, on society, ultimately on our success as PEOPLE (not automatons, not worker bees, but thinking/feeling/creative/compassionate people).

I believe it so much I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, but post this on BOTH of my blogs, and link to it on my personal AND professional Facebook pages.

Let’s start a rebellion. Let’s not over schedule. Let’s not pull out our phones when we have less than 10 minutes to wait for something. Let’s try to maintain a balance for ourselves and our children of work-, hobby-, and creative/artistic pursuits. Let’s leave our houses dirty and eat dinner together. And when we ask someone how they are, ask how their heart is — not about how many awards their child has won or how many committees they are on, but really ask — How ARE you? And then take those minutes (since you’re not going on your phone anyway, remember?) to really listen to the answer.




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