Sunday, February 25, 2018

We are Screwed

I came to the conclusion yesterday while at the hairdresser in conversation with her about the state of the union in relation to current events that there are no solutions, there will be no change when it comes to the issue of guns, race, mental health or well any issue that divides the country.  We can only do our best to live by the Golden Rule and teach our children or model the behavior in a way that enables us to be happy with our life and our life choices.

She is trying to find a public school here in Nashville that will enable her daughter to be expressive and learn in her own manner.  She has evaluated all the testing results of school in her area and is worried.  My first comment: "This is Kindergarten how do tests affect that?" But this Nashville and the reality is that is how the choose to define children here.  They are not precious snowflakes but data.  How healthy!   I directed her to a Charter school that may be a good fit but again all schools here are enrolled by lottery.  Once again it explains quite a bit as education here is a game of chance.

Then I walked home and my neighbors were outside as it is 80 degrees in February so thank you Global Warming and we had a brief discussion on the current division in politics.  And I added that this will only get worse as we are further isolated and divided from speaking to each other in a civil open minded manner that at least enables us to hear another individuals perspective and they ours and find a common ground that we could agree upon and in turn resolve conflict or at least find common ground.

I said that my feelings about Nashville has always been conflicted by my health issues as when you struggle with ongoing treatments that your focus is always on that and my relationship with Vanderbilt still remains on shaky ground.  I trust the primary care givers but everyone else I don't and it is those whom I contact and deal with most often and in turn it affects my perspective on how to pursue my long term needs.   And that goes for the city itself.  I see everything through the prism of children.  I have a hard time saying anything positive about any of the children I have encountered.  Almost every attempt and encounter is marred by children and their hostile bizarre behavior that truly disturbs me professionally and personally.  I actually go into a classroom with the ultimate goal of not speaking at all or the bare minimum.  I think I managed Friday speaking for two minutes. I did not bother with attendance, I threw it in the trash and after the last class I put a sign on the door to direct them to the Auditorium for a performance and in turn walked out the door.  As I left I heard a Teacher talking at the top of his voice (to some screaming but it is tone I am well aware) to shut up sit down and a door slam and directions that were utterly hostile.  I kept walking and burst out laughing.

And I have said and said this to my neighbors that no I am not a human shield and I have no super skills to protect kids, secure doors or even remotely know what to do here and in turn could given the problems I have had communicating with both kids and staff here so I would literally walk out the door and direct maybe one kid to do his best helping his classmates and walk out.  They seemed shocked but again I have explained that I have been through this many times in Seattle and there are no winners in these scenarios only dead people.  I am into flight not fight. And I said you have to ask yourself what that means.  I have no full time employment in the schools here, few know me by name, the kids ignore me in the best of times.   And unless you scream like that Teacher I overheard and have done myself and experienced you get nothing.  But what I amusing that even while sitting there they are completely oblivious to me or think I am deaf or invisible or that disengaged as the conversations I have overheard are disturbing and led me to barricade myself in a class once during lunch as I was scared shitless after hearing a conversation to the point I asked an passing Teacher what I should do with this info and his response, "What color are they?"  Okay then nevermind

So really you expect me to take a bullet?  At one school, I became afraid  when kids were following across the classroom with a laser pen to the point I felt it was akin to target practice.  When I asked to leave I ignored and shoved into a holding room until end of day. Finally I walked out asked for an Administrator  and she she was at the buses for dismissal and it was there was told I could leave - on the same metro buses!   Okay, so I refused that offer and said I will call an Uber.  She  then berated for complaining and not understanding "their" kids.   At that moment a block away an un-realted shooting occurred. Good thing I did not walk in that direction!   Then two weeks ago at the same time this same school was getting out a kid was shot and killed, two hours later another shooting two blocks away. Retaliation? Again do you think I would take a bullet?  When I walked several blocks that day I was texted by the Uber driver that he would come but I would be charged premium and I needed to be in front of a residence nowhere near the school. 

And I have many many more examples of incidents that I observed or occurred in adjacent areas in schools I have been in.  So no I am not staying to save anyone's life.  They have no interest in mine in the best of situations I don't want to test the worst.

The rise of social media assists in this divisiveness.  It makes it easier to find like minds to reaffirm your beliefs.   The issue of Trump's campaign rallies and others staffed with actors and others to generate a positive image is well known so even when he elected to have a "listening" session with victims, parents and others affected by school shootings he had a set of notes in his hand to direct him how to respond.  So much for listening. But what was appalling is the accusations that children were accused of being actors in this situation and one boy who attended the town hall meeting CNN held also accused of bearing a script.  But a Father who was given a sound bite replayed on all news stations was invited by Trump himself.  He had already met and spoken to Trump privately, he had said his piece and in turn was very effusive and supportive of Trump and pro guns and shared that with The New York Times in an interview. He is then by Trump invited to the bigger session undoubtedly I am sure in true Trump protocol to stack the deck, however like guns this may have backfired as this grieving father's  passionate declaration about his daughter became the focal point of the news as a type of summary about grief felt by the parents; however, what media failed to mention that he was the dad mocked for wearing a Trump shit the day of the shooting nor was it mentioned his stance on the issue or the private meet/greet and invite. So while the mass movement is asking for gun laws and restrictions there was one voice who did not agree and he should have had the chance to clarify why and sit among those people to defend said views.  Funny how that did not happen.  Why?

I would have had more respect for all involved to hear this and in turn allow people to truly understand the complex issues surrounding guns.  But nope the NRA shuts that down and in turn they are just as afraid that they don't want to hear the truth about how people really feel about guns.

We don't want anyone's truth but ours.  Trumps volatility has given tacit permission for others to act upon their anger, to name call, to belittle to demean others with whom you do not agree.  I have been mocked of late, verbally demeaned for referring to children with the generic moniker "precious snowflake."  Yes all children are super humans who must all be revered and coddled and allowed to do whatever they need to do to find their true self.  True self is the other side of my truth, so we have a lot of what I used to call individualism and having a personality.  It sounds better!

When I read this idiotic quasi threat in The Washington Post, my first reaction was what a load of crap.  The article was one man's opinion on another man's opinion.  Again do I care? Well I read so I guess sorta kinda not really. But what fascinated me was the comment section and many people had great thoughts and comments and offered "their truths" on the subject.  But again they were either lauded or hated depending on the reader's perspective. Hey it is just their opinion, agree, disagree but you will have no ability in which to affect it by attacking people and accusing them of idiocy, etc.   I was attacked for my snark in which I did not address the article other than the "snowflake" comment and steered those to watch Chris Rock's Tambourine.    Does it make me a bad person, one without reading comprehension skills as the response said?   No, I just chose not to address the article but mock it.  So instead I actually looked at all his comments and found out that he trolls and this is what it has become of late. Anonymity brings out the best of us.  Nope.

But the article frankly was again the Author's own issues about another persons opinion. That is what op-eds do in newspapers but of late that seems to be often what news is.  Sorry but sometimes snark is the best response.

And in my truth -  I just don't care anymore about kids.  I had to be honest and come to terms with that.  I am not the lady on the plane ranting and demanding a new seat but I get it and apparently she lost her job as a result of that incident going viral.  And now the 19 year old Mother of the unruly child admits that it went to far and she wished that would not have happened.  Hey then why did you film it?

Speaking of films (rolls eyes for the non-sequiter) so many great ones this year, but Lady Bird is one that all parents and children and mothers and daughters and anyone and everyone needs to see.  In the movie the Mother says to Lady Bird, "I want you  to be the best version of yourself that you want to be."  And Lady Bird responds, "What if  is the best version?"

We all both in public and private say and do stupid shit.  I recall when I said that once a super adorable innocent, aka middle schooler,  said in response, "Did you call me stupid?"  My response was, "Did I call you stupid? What is your name? Did I address you specifically? And what exactly did I say? Are you taking my words out of context and for what purpose?" (This was a famous Obama quote about not doing stupid shit but this again is highly politicized so I did not name the source of the quote.)  I watched the wheels turn and she said, "No."  So case closed. But today we could just roll tape and still taking it out of context and using an edited version of the events anyone can look stupid or smart.  Ever watched the Cop body cameras? Funny how those seem to work when shooting someone they perceive as a "threat."

So let's just arm up shall we.  We have Cops in schools now and most of them have tasered, cuffed and abused the students so adding more to the mix means those discipline problems will be resolved, So much for restorative justice!  But as we also know that under duress where actual lives are being threatened Cops don't shoot.  Interesting.

People lie and by people I mean children, I mean adults, I mean everyone and anyone.  Get over it. And because of it and the climate we are in (well other than the one thanks to Global Warming) we are fucked.  So live your own truth, be your best self and don't do stupid shit.   I will let you figure out what those are. 

So hey about Guns.. do we really need them as clearly they are not working out as the founding fathers intended are they?















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