I’m sure there are many, many other good sources of information on the ground; hopefully, people will reblog with links to them.
For an overview of what’s happened in Ferguson, Missouri since police shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown who was about to begin college, this New York Times story has some background. You can also read about the story in the LA Times, and there are live updates at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When Neshama, our eight year old was in first grade she couldn’t read.Teachers met with her privately and she got as much extra help as we could offer her. She still couldn’t read. The year came an…
Please click through to read about an awesome 8-year-old whose light has been nearly put out by the stress of having dyslexia in a public school system that can’t support her needs. She now has the chance to attend the Jemicy School, a special school for kids with dyslexia (fun fact: they have a de-stressing dog for kids to cuddle with when they get overwhelmed!). Her family needs help scraping together the expensive tuition. Click through to read more and please donate or reblog!
I am so stressed and burned out from meeting with a family friend who is helping with the wedding. Every little idea I had, torn up because of whatever artistic reason. But I just don’t fucking care about these artistic reasons?
Ordering pizza and watching Adventure Time and reading The Magicians because fuck this.
Plan for tomorrow (among other things): Work on creating a travel self care kit (inspired by another user in a Facebook mental health group I belong to). Maybe in an old lunchbox. Put in items for the five senses (smell, touch, hear, taste, see) and a few extras. This will be excellent for the car when I’m commuting three days a week next year. !!!
My mom is really making an effort to show how much she loves me in ways she hasn’t always in the past and I’m just so grateful?
Like, she bought specific groceries (a frozen pizza, Orangina, OJ, my favorite cheesy wotsits) before I got here, and set up a table in a mock-up of our ideas for the wedding table. The other day I made fun of myself to her about watching Adventure Time, because it’s silly and because I expected her to make fun of me and it’s easier if I start it, but she just said, “You’re on vacation! It’s like your beach reading,” and then asked to know more about it.
Just now we were chatting with a neighbor and he asked what my agenda was for the day, and she said, “Relaxing! She works so hard at school, and she only gets 2 weeks off,” and then told him details about my graduate work.
Amazing weekend and now heading home & so so miserable lol. Guilty over how I spent (my mother’s loaned) money. Scared to be without David. Scared about driving stuff that will happen in ~10 days. Scared to be alone. Scared scared. Sad it’s over. Lonely.
If anyone wants to donate a few bucks to my students so we can get technology in our classroom, message me and I’ll send you the link! Any amount helps, whether its a $1 or $10.
Signal boost if you can?
HEY Y’ALL. LISTEN UP. My friend Lindsey is AN INCREDIBLE TEACHER. She is so smart, so driven, so motivated, and so giving. She works her ass off teaching second graders in a very poor school district despite having tons of her own problems. She gives this job her all. And that’s all besides the point, because the point is ALL KIDS DESERVE ACCESS TO A GOOD EDUCATION. Lindsey can do a lot towards achieving that for her kids, but she needs the tools to do it. She is fundraising to get tablets for her kids. These are kids who often don’t have access to computers at home because their families can’t afford them, but the fact of the matter is that you need to be tech-literate to succeed in school and careers in the 21st century. Please, if you can donate even just a few dollars, message me or Lindsey for the gofundme link. Thank you!
I am going to be driving an hour and a half each way three days a fucking week for an unpaid internship through which yes, I learn but also I provide therapy to undergraduate students. for free. at a private college. these people are paying a lot to go there and have access to therapy…which I will provide. for FREE.
and I have to buy a $100 parking pass. like they don’t provide free ones. like seriously what the fuck. provide free parking passes for your fucking interns. for fuck’s sake.
Let me preface this with, yes—I know it was a kind deed and it was most likely not an incident that was overtly, purposefully sexist. Regardless of whether I looked like I needed the help, it was so hot outside that it was assumed I did, or, perhaps, these two men believed me to be a damsel in distress and incapable of the task at hand, I did not ask nor need the help that was provided. This was an occurrence that I know is not an isolated event, and leaves me with an infantilized, helpless taste in my mouth.
Blowing out a tire is never a fun thing, for anyone. I had attempted to change it on the road where it happened, but because of Toyota’s manufacturing I needed pliers that I did not have to get the jack out of the car wall. So, $100, a really creepy ride with a strange man in a tow truck, and a fetal position calm down later, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to teach myself to change a tire.
I got everything together: pliers and a screwdriver to get the jack out, a big bottle of ice water [re: 90* outside], and, eventually, all tire-changing tools from the car. I removed the spare from the back after struggling with the lug nuts, moved it to the front so it’d be ready when I needed it, and laid everything out. I began the lug nut-loosening process—which included lots of jumping up and down on the bar to get them going—feeling very silly. Reading the manual was going great! I was feeling confident and all the woes from earlier in the day started leaving my mind. I got the jack ready, began placing it in the correct, manufacture-created spot, when a nice man walking his dog asked me if I needed help.
Now, because of power dynamics and socialization, I was not comfortable telling him flat out “No.” I hesitantly said, “No, I think I’ve got it. The manual is pretty explicit, but thank you.” He must not have believed me, because he assured me he’d walk Fido around the block and come back to check on me. I laughed uncomfortably and thanked him—an unnecessary but ingrained nervous habit. As he walked away I felt relief, sure that by the time he came back it’d be more than halfway done and he’d leave me alone.
About 3 minutes later, a car drove up inches away from the front of my car. I glanced up but ignored it, assuming it had nothing to do with me. I continued to raise the jack, when I heard a “You need some help lady?” coming from the car. I looked up and saw an older man eating, and again said, “No, I think I’ve got it. I’ve got the manual and it seems to be going well.” He must not have believed me either, because he turned his car off and came to supervise.
As he was standing behind me watching my every move, he began to ask questions about what had happened. I told him I didn’t really know, I was driving and then there was a loud noise and I pulled over, and he told me I must have hit the curb. I responded that I hadn’t, since I know I didn’t hit anything, and he made a clicking noise and assured me I had. He offered to get my spare ready for me, but I told him I had already removed it. “You did? You lifted it off the car?” To answer him I pointed at the tire sitting, ready to go. He then asked if I had loosened the lug nuts. When I told him I had, he bent down and checked. He seemed impressed, saying that was the hardest part, and for a fleeting moment I thought he might leave. While this exchange was happening, I was cranking the handle to get the jack up. I felt silly, as it was slow going and I was certain I wasn’t doing it quite correctly, and his continuous gaze over my shoulder made me jumpy. I silently went through the steps until this task would be finished and he’d leave.
The first man returned from walking his dog, told me to get up and began turning the jack. Shocked, uncomfortable, and feeling like someone slapped me in the face, I stepped aside. The two men seemed to forget I was there, talking about my car, how this could have happened to the tire, and how to tackle the task without directing anything towards me—neither their words nor eyes. Several times I attempted to help, once he had the tire up enough I thought I could remove the lug nuts, I could put the spare in the back, I could gather the tools, yet I was repeatedly brushed aside.
The only acknowledgement I received during this entire interaction was lecturing—I need to be more careful, I need to get my car in for a break check in about 10,000 miles, I need to not park it on a hill the next time [even though I told them the tow man put it there…]. And again, because of the situation and not wanting to be labeled any womanly-stereotype [eye roll], I agreed with them and thanked them over and over.
As they finished up they felt the need to inform me of how lucky I was that I received help—that they had passed along when they did.
I thanked them and off they went.
Pulling my car into the driveway, I felt an overwhelming rush of frustration, anger, and sadness. It has been a while since I have experienced something so…demeaning. So infantilizing. So overtly [and yet covertly] sexist.
I don’t care that these men were trying to do a good deed. Their good deed ended the moment they took the power of the situation away from me. First, when strange men approach you, it doesn’t matter whether it’s with good intentions. It’s uncomfortable and—because of the way our society works—causes feelings of danger. It’s the same feeling that causes me and millions of other women walk at night with keys between our fingers, ready to strike at would-be dangers, or switch to the opposite side of the street when walking alone.
Second, I respectfully declined help. I do not believe there was any indication that I was struggling or needed help. When asked I said no. Yes, I said it in a roundabout way rather than flat out, but I did not want to be rude. This is something taught to myself and other women—as well as men, I imagine—at a young age.
Third, when doing a task, I do not need to be supervised unless specifically asked. When the second man saw that I was doing fine and there was little use for him, he should have left. He did not need to stand behind me and observe my every move.
Fourth, coming in and taking over is not helping when I have not asked for it. I did not need to be brushed aside. I did not need or ask to be relegated to the background. I almost expected one of them to ask me to go make lemonade and cookies, or something.
Fifth, do not ever tell me I’m lucky to have my actions usurped without consent. I was not lucky that these men happened along me. I was not changing a tire previously to their arrival with luck. I was reading instructions, acting on them, and fixing any mistake. I was learning how to do something generally believed to be in the realm of men. I was doing just fine without help, and it felt empowering.
When these two men came to “my rescue,” I was robbed of the experience of figuring out how to do something myself. The first-hand knowledge that comes from actually doing an action was denied to me. Under the pretense of courtesy and helpfulness, unknown men believed they could come into my personal space, with my expensive belongings, and remove me from a difficult, “man’s world” activity. This disempowerment has left me with an uncomfortable, sour feeling about myself.
1. Two posts one post on forum for class 2. Turn slideshow into paper & hand in 3. Buy sneakers one way or another 4. Pick up jeans from tailor 5. Packing list(s) for LeakyCon/NY/Washington 6. Select glasses frames & order glasses 7. Buy pink zip-up & exchange top for one without a schmutz on it
So I was thinking about Parseltongue, and the weird fact that it seems to be an inherited skill instead of, you know, learned like any other language.
Imagine a Slytherin who can speak Parseltongue. When it gets out, they expect everyone to be freaked out, and a lot of people are, but most of the Slytherins just want to know how it’s done. Soon, Slytherins start sneaking snakes into the common room and the parseltongue speaker talks to the snakes while people observe. They start picking up on certain sounds and their corresponding phrases. Within a month, they’re all hissing at each other across the table in the Great Hall (mostly saying hello over and over, back and forth, because that’s the easiest phrase to learn, but no one else needs to know that). The first time one of them accidentally speaks Parseltongue at someone from another house, the Ravenclaw in question backs away like they’ve been threatened, but then another Slytherin quietly informs them that the other Slytherin was only saying hello, that in fact that’s all most of them know how to say. The Ravenclaw is appalled that they haven’t pursued this opportunity further, and soon, they’re working with the Slytherins to develop a working lexicon. Hufflepuffs are happy to join in, seeing an opportunity for interhouse unity, and even the Gryffindors decide to get in on it eventually.
Parseltongue becomes the student language. Parseltongue brings the houses together as students whisper back and forth to each other during class, and then feign ignorance when asked about the mysterious hissing sounds (there must be a problem with the pipes, Professor!). Parseltongue helps transform Slytherin’s legacy into acceptance and unity instead of elitism.
“Be…our…guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test! La la mlah buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buhhhh…come on and doo-doo-doo da dee da beep-beep-honk ta BE OUR GUEST BE OUR GUEST BE OUR GUESTTTT.”—me, at least once a week