Archive for February, 2010

A Rant

(Warning:  Soapbox rant to follow!!)

Somebody help me here!  Really!  I need help understanding how people can still be so insensitive and so clueless and so racist!

Ouch!  Racist.  That is a harsh word, indeed!  But, come on!  Are you serious?

I am amazed at how often people make racist comments in everyday conversations.  Hello??

Recently, in a conversation with someone whom I don’t know very well, we were talking about nearby neighborhoods.  The example that my friend used was of a particular neighborhood that had really gone downhill over the years.  It had deteriorated, according to her, because there was “a black area” nearby.  Wow.  Did you just say there was “a black area” nearby that caused the neighborhood to go to the pits?  Wow.

Another time, a friend whom I had known for years was telling the story of another friend’s daughter who had been making some bad choices and was in a lot of trouble.  “And she’s dating a b-l-a-c-k,” she spelled with upraised, appalled eyebrows.  Wow.  Did you just spell black, as if it were a four letter word?  Really?  While my black son is playing with your son in the next room?  Wow.

And believe it or not, people tell me racist jokes!  Tacky, distasteful, bigoted jokes!  And then they’re surprised and offended when I don’t find the jokes funny.  Really??  Wow.

How can it be that people find it okay to talk this way?  Don’t they get it?  Don’t they see?

When will they believe with their hearts and with their mouths that Jesus loves red, brown, yellow, black, and white??

When will they see that every time they make a tacky, hateful comment about the color of someone’s skin, they are casting hurt on me and on my son and on my family and on a whole race of people??

When will they see that what they think is an innocent remark or a cute joke is really hate??

It kills me to hear it!  It kills me to know that before long Zachary will start to hear and notice those comments.  And it kills me to know that some of those comments might come from people he loves and respects!

But, let me add that it is not only racist comments about African American people that upset me.  People are rude and hurtful about many races and religions — Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, and many more.  I’m sure you’ve heard the jokes.  Perhaps you’ve felt the hate of those comments.  All of those comments and those jokes are a terrible, bigoted attack.

It all really makes me sick.  It amazes me.  Folks, this is 2010.  We have come a long way, but jeez-o-pete, we are still galaxies away from accepting all people.

And would you believe it if I told you that friends even make hurtful comments about people with handicaps?  Yes!  Several times lately, people I know have used the word “retarded” and “retard” in their conversation. (www.therword.org)  And several people have made cute little jokes about “the short bus.”  Really?  Did you just joke about riding the short bus??  And did you just call him a retard for making a silly mistake??  Wow.  Come on, folks!

Those words cut deeply.  They hurt.

Want to know how to be more accepting and more loving and more civilized?  Try dropping all racist, bigoted, hurtful talk.  Try dropping even the hurtful thoughts!

If you feel like I’m stepping on your toes, then I hope it leaves a bruise.  And I hope the bruise causes you to rethink the things you say.

If you are fighting the urge to yell, “Amen!  Preach it!” then step up onto this soapbox with me.

If I have offended you for speaking so frankly on this topic, I hope you will try to understand the offense that so many people feel as a result of the types of comments I have been ranting about.

A soapbox?  Yes, a big ol soapbox, indeed!!

Wow.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

Today’s lists in no particular order:

The Good

My good friend while keeping the kids last night went above and beyond and cleaned out the fish bowl.

Chloe finally has some braces that are working!

Elliot was given a starting position on his basketball team last night!

Basketball is nearly over.

Special Olympics basketball program.

The sun is shining today!

Our home health agency switched back to our old brand of diapers.

Chloe is covering up with a blanket some nights.  Cool.

Zach learned to write his name in cursive.

The kids have a 3 day weekend.

The Bad

It is very windy here today, and it drives me bonkers.

My good friend, while going above and beyond last night by cleaning out the fish bowl, killed Zippy’s fish.

We still haven’t touched the math packet.

Spring soccer overlaps the basketball season by 2 weeks.

Winter is too long.

I have a sinus infection that makes me whiney.

The Funny

Elliot asked if there’s a medicine that will help someone quit hitting and kicking and annoying their big brother.

Zippy didn’t even notice his dead fish so I bought a new one today and dropped it in the bowl.  Looks just like Goldie!

Life . . . Pro-Life

Here’s an amazing song.  Enjoy!

“Everything to Me”  by Mark Schultz

I must have felt your tears

When they took me from your arms

I’m sure I must have heard you say goodbye

Lonely and afraid had you made a big mistake

Could an ocean even hold the tears you cried

But you had dreams for me

You wanted the best for me

And you made the only choice you could that night

[Chorus]

You gave life to me

A brand new world to see

Like playing baseball in the yard with dad at night

Mom reading Goodnight Moon

And praying in my room

So if you worry if your choice was right

You gave me up but you gave everything to me

And if I saw you on the street

Would you know that it was me

And would your eyes be blue or green like mine

Would we share a warm embrace

Would you know me in your heart

Or would you smile and let me walk on by

Knowing you had dreams for me

You wanted the best for me

And I hope that you’d be proud of who I am

[Chorus]

You gave life to me

A chance to find my dreams

And a chance to fall in love

You should have seen her shining face

On our wedding day

Oh is this the dream you had in mind

When you gave me up

You gave everything to me

And when I see you there

Watching from heaven’s gates

Into your arms

I’m gonna run

And when you look in my eyes

You can see my whole life

See who I was

And who I’ve become

[Chorus]

A Homework Rant

I HATE HOMEWORK!!

At our house, “hate” is a bad word.  The kids aren’t allowed to say it.  I say it often in the context:  “I really hate that we’ll miss . . . ”  Zippy reacts every time, accusing me of cussing.  I always apologize and ask him to forgive me for my potty mouth.

But my kids don’t yet read my blog so:  HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE!

I HATE HOMEWORK!

Zachary has homework EVERY day of the week.  He has a whole sheet of math, a sheet of reading and comprehension questions, 18 or so spelling words to study, and a sheet of 30 math facts to finish.  Every night.  Makes. me. want. to. scream!!!!

In the evenings, Zach’s medicine has worn off.  (We are looking into the possibility of medicating twice a day so evenings will be easier.) And he’s exhausted from his stressful day at school.  But instead of just getting to play and be a kid, he has more work to do!  And it’s not work that didn’t get finished because he was goofing off in class; it is work designed to be done at home! Every day!

It makes me crazy.  It makes Zippy crazy.

Now, let me mention here that I taught school for years before I had children.  I know and understand the songs of the teachers.  Believe me, I feel your pain.  BUT come on!!!!!

It really makes me crazy.  I hate homework.  We struggle through it every night.

Just to rub salt into our wounds, three weeks ago, Zach received a book report assignment.  Book reports are great tools to check for understanding and to allow for creativity for the student.  I always liked book reports when I was a kid.  But this book report was to be done completely at home.  Outside of school hours.  Reading the book, writing the report, and doing the creative project — was all to be done outside of class.

SCREAM!!!!!!

(Have I told you lately that I like and appreciate Zach’s teacher?  I really do.  This is nothing personal.  This is a wide-spread problem — much larger than Zach’s teacher who I happen to really appreciate.)

So for three weeks (the same three weeks, mind you, that we happened to be dealing with asthma, croup, a stomach bug, new meds for Zach, and many other lovely parts of life) Zach did his usual daily 4 pages of homework and then had to try to work on the book report, too.

That is not nice!

I made good use of our three weeks and spread it out nicely to cause the least amount of pain for Zach and me (and anyone else within hearing distance).  It was coming together, he was working really hard, he was keeping a surprisingly good attitude.

I don’t know if I’ve said it here or not, but Zach really struggles with fine motor skills.  He has come a long way, baby, but he still struggles.  Writing is a big struggle for him.  He still reverses letters.  He still writes letters that float on the paper instead of sit on the line.  He still has to literally think about how to form his letters.  Etc.  Therefore, writing a report was a BIG DEAL.  But he did beautifully.

Then it was time for him to draw a picture.  A picture of George Washington.  Yikes.

Drawing is. . . .  Hmmmmm.  What shall I say?  Uh.  Drawing is NOT Zach’s favorite thing.  And drawing is NOT Zach’s gifting.  Yeah, I’ll just leave it at those two gross understatements.

Every time Zippy’s pencil touched the paper, he would scream and flail as if the posterboard was electrocuting him.  He was freaking out because he knew he was going to have to show this picture to his class, and he was ashamed of his work.  Pitiful.

We just kept putting it away, hoping that maybe the next day some artistic miracle would take place in my bedroom just in the nick of time.  But, alas, the miracle never happened.

Or did it?  Perhaps it was a miracle that I had the middle-of-the-night thought to let the poor kid just trace a picture of George Washington and be done with it.

So the next day I traced a picture of George and outlined it with a sharpie so it would show through the paper well enough to be traced by a frustrated, defeated 3rd grader.  And I think it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  It worked beautifully.  He was so proud.  And he thought his mama was so smart for thinking of it.  Zachary carefully traced George’s body and fancy coat and hair.  I stepped in to trace the hands and the face because frustration was bubbling, but other than that, he did it himself!  And it was beautiful!  He went from a freaking out, stressed out kid to a very proud kid who was thinking maybe he would let his teacher keep his project to show her future classes.

Sweet success!  But not without its cost, its stress, and its pain!  I do not appreciate having to put Zach through the stress of homework and extra projects after he has spent SEVEN HOURS at school!!!!  If you can’t get it done in the SEVEN HOURS you have my kid at school, then let’s not do it at all!  I’m just sayin’.

And would you believe that on top of his daily homework and the book report project that he got an additional 10+ page math packet to complete?  Because of his low math test grade, he has the added pleasure of a math packet.  He had a whole week to finish it.  But you know what?  We were busy working on the book report project.  I don’t know if we’ll get to the math packet. . . .  Again, I’m just sayin’.

Oh, and don’t forget:  your 3rd grader needs to be reading at least 30 minutes a night.

I really, really hate homework.

Not Me! Monday

Today I’m joining MckMama and lots of other bloggers in Not Me! Monday, where we are confessing many things that we absolutely did not do this week!  (Of course we didn’t!)  You can click on over to her blog to see what other bloggers have not been doing!

Here are a few things I have not been doing:

I did not secretly, silently cheer inside when Zachary had to miss his basketball practice Friday evening.  No way!  Not me! I would never celebrate when one of my children is ill — even if it does mean a night off from running here, there, and yonder for practices.

I did not find an envelope of cash in my own house this week.  And I did not have to wonder what it was from.  I did not have to just guess that it was left over from my last garage sale (since it was in the spot where I usually keep my garage sale cash).  And I do not already have big plans for the $240 in the envelope!!  Nope!  Not me! I am always very responsible with my money and keep records of every penny.

I did not have to ask Paul to read a couple of posts for me this week to tell me if they were appropriate to post on my blog or not.  I was not a little bit concerned that perhaps the two posts were too much or too strong or too offensive.  And I did not smile a big smile and cheer a happy cheer when he approved of them.  And I am not mentioning the two posts here to make you wonder and wait for them!  😉  And I am not planning on posting one of them right here on this blog tomorrow. Nope.  Not me! I would never tease you and make you wait to read my two rant posts.

How about you?  Anything you have not been doing this week?

New Week’s Resolutions

Well, I thought about demanding a re-do.  I was sick for a few days this week, and Zippy was sick for a day so I didn’t do so well at accomplishing my tasks.  But again:  a week is a week is a week.

I didn’t paint my nails or clean my whole house in one day.

But here are photos to prove that I did at least clean off my desk.

The tall, skinny bookshelves are a new addition to my little workspace.  (By the way, I’ve decided not to purchase anything new unless it can be described as “tall and skinny” to see if it wears off on me a little bit!)  When I found these tall, skinny bookshelves at Target, I couldn’t resist them.

A phrase on the tag really caught my eye:

“Restore order with only minutes of assembly!!??”  Well, give me two of those!

And after only minutes of assembly, my space was organized!  Yippee!  And for only $30!

For this coming week, I resolve to:

1.  Paint my nails!  I would really like to do this so I’m carrying it over to this week.

2.  Exercise at least 3 days.  Oh my word!!  I can’t believe I’m typing this!  Exercise!  Yikes.  My body rebels against exercise, and now I’ve just <sorta> committed to doing it 3 times!  Oh me!  I’m already a little scared of this one.

There you have it!  My two resolutions.  Anyone care to join me?

Truth

“All students can learn and succeed.  But not on the same day in the same way.”  -William G. Spady

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