I woke up earlier than usual today and decided I was going to work out. I don’t have the money to take out a gym membership, so I filled up a three liter apple juice bottle with water and used that as my “weights.” It works well for the time being. Eventually, I will have to go buy a dumbbell set when the juice bottle no longer does anything for me. But for now it works. Gallon milk jugs should suffice as well.
I decided today would be a good day to go back through my business law book and reread it because it’s very helpful and the law is something that every person should have access to and be familiar with. It started my strange thought process and I started linking random ideas and questions together until this popped into my head: why are we not taught in high school how to succeed? Simply put, why are we never taught how to pay bills or how to avoid breaking the law (there’s the connection to business law even if it is a weak connection) or how to succeed in every day life while we’re in high school? High school is such an important part of adolescent growth, so why can’t we teach our youth how to grow up efficiently? Most importantly, why are our kids not taught that our school system cares about their success? I feel like a lot of society’s children are left in the dust, especially those from low income families, those whose lifestyles require them to grow up faster than any child should have to. Personally, there are a few things I wish I had been taught in high school instead of physics and D.A.R.E. and how to bake cookies and sew pajama pants in home economics.
Let’s replace the home economics curriculum of baking desserts, sewing, and taking care of flour-bag-babies with cooking real food a person or a family can live off of. Teach these kids how to do their own laundry. It’s ridiculous how many kids show up to college and have absolutely no idea how to do laundry. Show the students how to dress for and behave during an interview. THat is so important! That’s the make or break when an employer decides they’re interested in hiring someone. Budgeting and balancing a check book would be two good lessons to include because when many kids leave high school they have no idea how to budget. There are so many young adults who have no idea how to budget their money and save. My mom warned me many times to budget and I never listened because I didn’t have any experience on HOW to budget, so I pissed away a lot of my savings on things I wanted instead of things I needed. I’m still painfully learning how to budget and I’m 21 years old with bills and rent to pay.
Any English/Literature teacher should teach his or her students how to create a resume. I didn’t have a resume workshop in high school and I wish I did. College has that opportunity, but not everyone goes to college. Instead of 12,000 page papers that talk about the book the class just read, cut down that paper and have the class do a 10 page research paper. Teach students to present an argument on that same research paper without getting emotional, and make time to show them how to present a public speech properly.
Instead of D.A.R.E., why don’t we teach our children about the law, which includes torts and criminal liability. Teach them the law inside and out when they hit junior high. D.A.R.E. is just a waste of time. It’s statistically proven that it doesn’t prevent drug use at all. In fact, children who go through a D.A.R.E. program learn more about drugs and are more likely to use and sell drugs than children who are blissfully ignorant about the subject. Instead, why don’t we teach them the consequences of their actions. Show them what kind of punishment awaits their drug use, theft, and larceny. Make these kids aware of the long trial process that awaits felonies. Teach them to read contracts before they sign their lives away, most adults don’t even do that.
Gym class is fun, maybe not for some, but for people who enjoy being athletic it’s entertaining. Let’s replace the majority of the games being hosted in gym class with showing our kids how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Switch the classes up between three sections. One day teach them how to maintain a balanced diet on a small budget. Hit the weight room and show the students how to properly use the cardio and weight machines during the next class. Lastly, when the important stuff is taken care of give them two or three days of games/sports as a reward. I realize that kids lose interest fast and teaching them about a healthy diet is like talking to a wall, and the same goes for some parents, but the effort is there and it’s better than giving up on them and allowing these kids to do whatever they want. The boxing trainer I worked with for a few months (before I became broke again and couldn’t afford the classes, or the gym for that matter) took me to the track at the high school a couple blocks down the street so we could run intervals. The gym class we encountered during my training session walked around the track for the whole gym class period more often than not. Seriously? What is that? Half of these kids weren’t dressed properly and their clothing was either hanging off their asses or the girls had their shirts tucked up like a bra with shorts on that showed the bottom of their ass cheeks. Imagine 30 young high school girls – 13 and 14 years old – strutting around the track in hardly any clothing flaunting everything they have for the guys’ portion of the gym class playing football in the center of the track. I was appalled and so was my trainer. I understand that as any type of school teacher or administrator it’s extremely hard to enforce any rules or regulations in schools anymore without certain stubborn parents disagreeing with everything and bringing any mistakes up at the school board meeting, but we have to TRY.
Make Spanish a mandatory “second” language in our schools from elementary school until our children graduate. We technically don’t have a first language, so we can’t have a second language, but the majority of the U.S. speak fluent English and the rate of the Spanish speaking population is increasing. Not to mention Spanish is a great language to learn because we live directly above a whole Spanish speaking continent (with the exception of Brazil). For those kids who already speak fluent English and Spanish, allow them the special opportunity of another widely used language, like Chinese, Arabic, or French. For the children who speak broken English, but proficient Spanish, give them an extra period of English. I’m very firm on this. My experience with high school Spanish was not a good one. When college placed me in a mandatory Spanish class, I was lost. I have no idea how I passed that class.
Some of these seem like simple changes of teacher’s preference on what to teach, and others seem like extremely difficult changes to make because of our school system, but they’re most definitely possible. The more the staff cares about the outcome of their influence on society’s youth, the harder we can push for change. For those of you who know about the Freedom Writers movement, Erin Gruwell created history when she decided to care about her students by giving them something to work for and relate to, so much so that a movie was created about the movement in 2007 starring Hilary Swank (fantastic movie, btw). Our teachers need to stop caring about test scores and tenure by pushing kids along through school and take the time to show those kids they care, regardless of whether those kids are excelling in school or failing abysmally. I came from one of the worst ranked high schools in New York and I saw a lot of students who didn’t care whether they did well in school or not due to problems at home and some teachers just pushed them through to get them out of the way. Many teachers do care and it’s difficult for them because they work long hours for very little pay. That can get exhausting, especially if those teachers have big families or other activities demanding their time. They can’t change the system on their own.
I don’t want to end this post on a bad note, so I want to share the story of a girl from my hometown who excelled. It definitely wasn’t me, but I want to keep her identity anonymous, so I won’t share her name or her age. I was at her graduation, though, and I was proud of her despite not knowing her well personally; I knew her story vaguely through other people. This girl, during her high school career came from a broken home. She had a single mother and an older sister who went down the wrong path. This girl was told, maybe not verbally that I’m aware of, but through people’s attitudes toward her that she was not going to succeed because of her upbringing. She had a mother who depended on her and she worked multiple jobs. This girl also participated in many extracurricular activities affiliated with the school, and she had a baby during her senior year. At her graduation she was announced as Salutatorian of the class with a high 90-something overall average. Her speech was beautiful. During her Salutatorian speech, it was evident, without her actually saying it, that the reason she excelled was because her friends, teammates and certain members of the school staff made her feel like she had a family within the school. They made her feel welcome and accepted and without that she would have felt lost. I wanted this girl to succeed and I haven’t seen her since she graduated, but I hope she is still on her way to success. She deserves it more than anyone I know. I want to see more of that in our school system.
What I’m listening to: “For Reasons Unkown” by The Killers
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. Just preoccupied, I suppose.
I wanted to call attention today to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It’s one of those wounds that will never fully heal, I’m afraid. One thing in particular I’d like to talk about was the photograph of the “Falling Man.” The man was photographed jumping out of one of the Twin Towers. I watched a documentary that was released in 2006 called “9/11 – The Falling Man” and it addressed the photographs of the 9/11 “Jumpers.” This photograph hit the papers on 9/12 and caused outrage amongst many readers. Many people identified this picture as a very private moment because this man was about to die an inevitable death after a lonely ten second fall.
Like the newspaper editors that were interviewed in the documentary, I feel that this picture captivates the essence of 9/11 more than any other photograph we have circulating the media. Those first responder pictures during the aftermath that flooded the media are very inspiring, but the photos of the falling people capture the tragedy that we can’t forget. Looking at this picture is like picking a scab, the more we look at it, the more we have to think about that fateful day and the horrors that ensued.
I was very young when the towers were hit, so I never fully understood what happened until I started digging. I don’t know what made me wait until now, but when I saw this picture it was like being punched in the gut. This was a real human being jumping, or falling, from a 110 story building. He had a life and a family. Someone loved him, and for those people close to him to have to see this must have been so painful to know that he was trapped in the building to the point where he either was blown out because of an explosion, or he jumped because he would rather cling to his last act of control and choose his own death rather than burning alive.
Some people who saw pictures of who they thought were their loved ones jumping from the towers became hysterical because they were religious and committing suicide automatically damns one’s soul to Hell. How devastating it would be to believe that your family member’s soul was damned because they made the choice to die their own way when they knew they were not going to survive. Others who saw the pictures of people they knew and loved accepted that there was no other way than to jump. That kind of acceptance is still heartbreaking.
I think where the outrage came in from newspaper readers was when the picture of the “Falling Man” brought out that unbidden thought of what would I do if I were there. I’m sure everyone who saw those pictures of the “Jumpers” asked themselves that question eventually. I know I did. I tried to place myself in those poor souls’ shoes and imagine what it was like. It’s a hard and terrifying decision. One that I hope I never have to make in the future.
A lot of people in my generation speak of the World Trade Center attacks almost in a jaded manner. That’s why I think the photo of the “Falling Man” is important. It wasn’t just a plane that crashed into a building. It wasn’t just a building that collapsed. Over 2,000 people died that day. Some were first responders, some were people trapped on lower floors after making an attempt to escape from upper floors. How many jumped? It takes a certain bravery to decide your fate like that.
If you’re interested in watching this documentary, I found it on YouTube under the headline “9/11 – The Falling Man.” There are multiple copies floating around. I didn’t find it on Netflix, but I know Amazon has it if you’re interested in purchasing a copy.
Remember how my last rambling post was about MMA fighting? Well, I’m the idiot who decided it was a wonderful idea to act on that wish and replace her gym membership with a BOXING gym membership. I’m starting off with a personal trainer for the first two weeks of training to get a feel for the basics, then we’ll see where it goes from there. Personal trainers are expensive for someone like me who can’t afford them.
I realize boxing does not even come close to MMA, but Mixed Martial Arts take so long to learn and trainers for that are like fifteen times more expensive than boxing. So boxing it is. My boyfriend isn’t happy about it. He says it’s too manly. I told him to get over it and that’s that.
I have been coming up with a lot of BS schemes lately because I’m trying to think of something – ANYTHING – to keep me from getting bored and depressed and going into remission because I’m tired of waiting for what I want. My not-so-new desire is to learn MMA fighting. I’ve always wanted to be a boxer and MMA is even better. Also that kind of self-control and strength will give me more energy and will help me in the future since I’m working to become a state trooper and some martial arts, like Judo, are taught at the Academy.
The downfall to this is that I don’t have money. I’m a broke college student. No trainer is going to work for free if there’s no future benefit for him or her. I’d like to be hopeful that I have a strange encounter with a random person like I do all the time (for example, the weird old lady I met at Walmart at one o’clock in the morning whose ride left without her and I wound up giving her a ride home with all her groceries) and this person would think I’m so cool and would train me for free at his awesome personal gym. That would be sweet. Everywhere I go I think I’ll just start doing nice things for people who are really jacked and hint that I want to train for MMA.
“Excuse me, you dropped your wallet.”
“Oh, thanks, I don’t know what I would have done if it were taken. You’re awesome.”
“Yeah, I know. I’d be even more awesome if I knew Mixed Martial Arts. Do you happen to know any?”
“Okay, well do me a favor and find me a free personal trainer and I’ll give you this credit card back that I ‘borrowed.’ Kthnxbye.”
I need to be like Kevin James on “Here Comes the Boom.” I never would have envisioned him playing an MMA fighter. I wanna be like him now. It’s all about knowing the right person, I guess. I’m not a big networker and I don’t see myself being one in the future. But maybe someday I’ll meet that person that would be willing to help me out. The probability of that is slim to none, though. I can dream.
I’d personally like to know how many people paid attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Yes, the media glamorized how the U.S. and celebrities and FEMA were all working so hard to help people. News programs showed the military evacuating citizens. But really, what happened? Thousands of residents were shipped out to no less than 19 states and were put into camps. One of those states was Utah.
First, I’d just like to point out that many people didn’t leave New Orleans during the hurricane, not because they didn’t want to, but because they didn’t have means. New Orleans was full of poverty, and many people didn’t have cars. What were they supposed to do, ride a bike hundreds and thousands of miles to evacuate? These so called buses that were coming to “evacuate” people, weren’t letting anyone on them. How were they going to leave? The answer is that they couldn’t. Try as you may to justify that these people were irresponsible, most of them just couldn’t leave, which is tragic because so many people lost their lives – more than 800. Not to mention many believed that the “failure” of the levy system and the opening of the flood gates in the Lower Nine was to save the wealthy neighborhoods because those wealthy neighborhoods had hardly any water through the streets when the lower class neighborhoods were all flooded.
When the helicopters and planes came in to evacuate people after the storm, those citizens were not informed as to where they were going, they were just dumped in random states. They hardly had anything left to claim as their own, some only arrived with a blanket. In Utah, almost 600 residents of New Orleans were stuck in a military base called Camp Williams. While the Red Cross and government officials were trying to help these people, they still did not feel welcome because they were in a state with a .08% black population; keep in mind that 80% of the population in New Orleans was black because of the history and the culture there, so the unfamiliarity was not welcome. There were many residents of Utah who were not happy about the relocation because they felt that poverty stricken criminals were being dropped in to their homelands.
The truth of the matter is that there WERE criminals being evacuated to those refugee states. In New Orleans, jails released criminals onto the streets because they couldn’t evacuate them for whatever reason. The refugee camps set up background checks to identify criminals and frisks immediately as people were exiting planes and helicopters. It was an outrage for those evacuees because they felt that it was a racial issue. Imagine how it felt for those people finding out that they were having to live in the same camp with rapists and murderers. How would you feel?
Eventually many of the evacuees decided they didn’t want to leave Utah, they wanted to stay because they had nothing left in New Orleans and the memories of crime, loss and death were too painful to move back. It was a struggle for many to reestablish their lives. The media portrayed black Americans in a terrible light due to the fact that everything those news crews filmed involved violence. For people to judge those who went through such tragedy, they should be ashamed of themselves. Help those people who need help, they’re humans just like you and me. Wouldn’t you want someone to help you? Think of Hurricane Sandy. What will we find out about New York City? You would think that any person would learn from crises such as these to help his or her fellow Americans instead of judging them so harshly just because of their race or class and what is portrayed in the media.
I highly recommend anyone watch “Desert Bayou,” which is where this entire rant came from.
Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men – the other 999 follow women. – Groucho Marx
Leadership is a characteristic that some people possess and some people do not. Some wait forever for a position where they have the opportunity to take charge and dictate until everything is exactly the way they like. However, others, like myself, possess leadership qualities, but prefer not to use them unless absolutely necessary. I would rather not be the initiator, if you will. My preference is to just sit back, observe, and play devil’s advocate. It always seems to be the case where I HAVE to play the role of leader, though, especially in school.
With that being said, I hate group projects for reasons stated above. I always get the shittiest group, and every time I have to force myself to initiate the project. I am in the process of participating in two group projects for two different classes. The first one is for my Criminal Justice 101 class. The group is comprised entirely of Freshmen and they all stared at each other for a good three minutes before I decided to pipe up and throw some ideas around until they started participating and coming up with some brilliance on their own, which made me happy because then I could melt back into the group, instead of being a lone subject. The second group is for my Investigation project, and these guys are beyond hopeless. Everyone single one of us are Upperclassmen, this should be something that we all jump into and get hands on with. They were worse than the Freshmen. All of them just sat there, when I – again – had to start throwing ideas around hoping that one would stick, they all stared at me and expected me to come up with everything, they didn’t even tell each other their names. This irritates me beyond all belief. I do not want to manage the entire project. That’s not who I am, and that’s not what I like. Not to mention it makes me look like a micromanaging asshole. All I want is a good grade that I’m paying for, and to learn something that might pertain to my future career choice.
Investigations is a pretty important class to those who are criminal justice majors. At some point in our future careers we will have to do some investigating into some kind of situation, whether it’s has to do with social work, corrections, or if someone is a regular patrolman. Investigating techniques are very important, especially if the incident being investigated has to go to court – the information acquired has to be accurate, otherwise evidence could be subject to the exclusionary rule.
On another completely unrelated topic… someone dropped a crab leg in the walkway through the apartment complex. It still has a pincher on it. Kind of weird.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein
There are a few different things I want to touch on today that I observed this morning within the space of an hour (actually less, but I’ll give these idiots the benefit of the doubt). First, I just want to say that Albert Einstein and I would be great friends.
Stupid people driving smart cars:
When I was walking back to my vehicle this morning from class, I witnessed some hippie in his little white smart car trying parallel park; by far one of the most embarrassing displays I have seen when it comes to parking. To those of you who don’t know what a smart car is, I would just like to say: get out of Mom’s basement once in a while. It’s probably the tiniest car made. That’s not official because I haven’t looked it up, just a personal observation. This guy was trying to park in a normal sized parking spot, not some itty bitty space that cars weren’t meant to fit in, and he had to restart FOUR times. Really? Come on. You are driving a car the size of my thumb and you can’t just whip that little thing in there? There was enough room to fit two of those ugly piles of mechanic waste in there. He could have done donuts all day in that parking spot. Clearly this person wasn’t meant to drive. Better start taking the bus, it probably costs the same. Another thing: take a bath and cut your hair.
Airing dirty laundry on TV:
After I stopped laughing at hippie-boy, I went to Wegman’s to grab yogurt and a muffin for breakfast. I sat down in the cafe and watched whatever show was playing on TV. Of course, it was a talk show. And of course, it was some white trash girl and her mother-in-law fighting about the daughter-in-law’s lifestyle. I just want to start this one by saying: DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS ON TV. The only people who do that are people desperate for attention to the point of stupidity, or idiots who can’t seem to keep their mouths shut. The only people who watch it are forced, have no life, or are waiting for something better to do. Do we ever see smart rich people on talk shows? No. Keyword: smart.
Religion and retail:
A commercial came on while I was watching this oh-so-intriguing show (I’m pretty sure it was the Ricki Lake show). The commercial was for Christian Flooring. The kicker was that “Christian” had a giant red cross as a “T.” So they weren’t implying religious activity or anything like that. What happens if you say that you don’t want to buy from Christian? It’s blasphemous and he tells God to strike you down because you didn’t choose the right path, obviously. He probably remodels church floors all the time, so there’s only one person for the pious to hire to replace their flooring material.
Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius
Working is essential to be able to support yourself and any others who come along. We all know I complain profusely about the position I currently occupy; it’s a job, nonetheless. While I am always on the search for an occupation more fitting for my schedule and school requirements, when asked for a specific job title that I’m looking for, I’m completely stumped, as if I just started to take my Managerial Accounting final over again for a third time. I know what I would like to do in the future, but currently, I have no idea what to even look for. I would simply like something full-time that pays more than $11.00 an hour simply so that I can pay my bills and live comfortably and that caters to my school schedule. Is that so much to ask? They don’t offer than in the “keywords” box, though.
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. – Will Durant
I’m back!!! I know these posts were missed severely… by, like, one person – you know who you are =]. After the end of the world, the holidays killed my motivation. But, working past that, I’m removing my blog from the “intermission phase.”
Those of you who don’t know, it’s time for all the wonderful college students – who aren’t obnoxious to the rest of the world at all (sarcasm here, guys) – to be back in college. Yay us! I am currently finished with my first week and proud to inform those of you wondering that I did indeed survive, and, surprisingly, I enjoy my classes immensely now that I’ve changed my major to Criminal Justice. Personally, I’m shocked. 15 years of solid dislike of school will do that to a person. I don’t even mind getting up at 07:00 every morning to go to my 08:00 class, which I’m sure will give my mom a heart attack since she’s had many lovely experiences trying to get me up that early in the past. HOWEVER, since I changed my major I have to take a few beginning classes in which the student populace is 95% Freshmen. It’s like working with a bunch of 2-year-olds, I swear. Here is an actual quote from a student today, “Police need to respond faster.” Oh, yeah? They can only respond as fast as they can drive, dumbass. What do you want them to do, teleport?
I’m taking a 101 intro class and my professor is of Asian decent. He has a very thick accent and his words are sometimes mispronounced, which doesn’t bother me because of all the business classes I’ve taken with professors of Asian and Arab decent previously. I’ve come to acquire a good understanding of the mispronunciations that are common. I understand that learning English is probably frustrating; I could barely get through grammar with Spanish because it’s different than English grammar. I can only imagine what it would be like to learn Mandarin, for instance. By far, the hardest person to understand was my Financial Accounting professor. It was really only difficult to understand her because of the fact that I was struggling to grasp the content and her pronunciation of technical terms at the same time. When I passed the class with a B, I almost fainted from relief.
With that being said, I notice more, now than before, that people (especially Freshmen) always make fun of professors who mispronounce words, and they do it very rudely and loudly in the middle of class. It really irks me because American citizens expect everyone in the entire world to speak English. I understand that it’s a common language across the globe, but really? Most countries try to adapt and teach English as a secondary language. We don’t even have a set language, which is why I don’t understand the tension over the fact that many people who live here do not speak English; technically, everyone in the U.S. can speak whatever language they choose, which would make things very difficult, but that’s how it is. People don’t seem to understand that, and instead they choose to disrespect others. I couldn’t even hear my professor over the chorus of “whats” and “huhs” and the people mimicking him. One girl that sits next to me is a complete bitch, remind me to move my seat on Monday because I might explode next time I hear her complain about him. Sorry we can’t dumb down the syllabus for you, sweetheart. Better go back to beauty school.