Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gotta Love the Kitty Love

I actually got to drive to work today. That was very different. We've been in car hell for so long, I'm just glad I remember how to drive. Especially a standard.

I was about to pull out this morning and in the Easley's yard I thought I saw Pickle. I looked hard and realized that it was Pickle's sister Nova. Nova escaped some months ago after moving back up here from San Antonio. She looks good. Her coat looks good and thick and she looks like she has put back on the weight she lost while hiding under the cedar chest. We've seen her a few times and she has apparently adopted a family near by. That's a good thing. It was good to see her. She's always been a free spirit. Somewhere I have a picture of her in the holly bush out front when she was a kitten. She was lounging in the bush trying to look like a panther but she kept losing her balance and falling out. It was pretty funny.

One of my new students (I got her on Tuesday) admitted that she has a 3 month old daughter. (I go check the enrollment information and find out that this is a 16 year old freshman) I told her that she needed to talk to her baby as much as she can (to make her smarter) and "mom" said "She don't know what I'm saying." I told her that she should talk to her anyway, that it was making the baby's brain grow. She tells me "My baby is a ghetto baby." I ask her if that is what she wants and she says yes. She's just a baby herself. I wonder if her mother is even 30 yet. Here I am with my grown children hoping that I'll get a grandbaby some day hopefully in the next ten years and I see children with children who have grandmothers who are younger than I am.

How can I reach this child? She's too ignorant to know that the bigger boobs she got from having a baby and the expensive jeans she's wearing are not the best things available in life.

Am I missing something?

This just frightens me because I see it so much. I have four freshmen girls in the same class and 3/4 have been or are pregnant. All they seem to share is ethnicity and the hood. We want to impact our community, but what will impact THEM will have to come from their own community, they don't want to hear it from teachers (I HATE teachers, they make me sick to quote the woman at 7-11).

I'm just frightened that these kids are so racist. They are afraid. I don't blame them, if I was raised to be so ignorant as to get pregnant in 8th grade I'd be afraid of a lot. They don't want to listen and they don't want to hear from anyone who isn't like them. I try to be kind. I don't put up with crap. I want so badly to tell them things that will make their life better but they don't buy into the whole "education is your freedom" thing. They don't buy into "bonding with your baby" thing. This girl today told me her 3 month old was "bad." Holy crap!!!

I have another girl (for the third year this year) and she has a 5 month old. I went to the hospital to see her beautiful boy. She's looked tired the last week and I sat down to "counsel" with her. It ended up being a discussion about teething. The baby has been drooling a lot and real crabby the last week. His last checkup was fine and he weighs 18 lbs. She says he's trying to chew on everything and really likes that frozen thing she got him. I told her to beware those sharp new baby teeth that can draw blood. Every one of my children bit the crap out of me at some point. I asked my student if she talked to her baby and she said that she talks to him all the time in two languages. She said everyone talks to him in two languages. The boy's daddy discusses sports with him. She said that she was really tired and that AP history was hard. I'm so proud of her for taking AP classes I could just crow.

I want to look in on those two babies in five years, in ten years, in fifteen years.

I'm afraid I will see another pregnant fifteen year old, and I'm hopeful that I will see a fully bilingual smart kid who wants to be a doctor or lawyer or president.

What did I see this evening? I saw a Gordito in my lap. He's my daughter's other cat who came back to us last May before she moved across the pond. The last two weeks he's taken to coming in my room and hanging out more. It's kind of confusing because he looks so much like his mother who is in here all the time. They are like Siamese bookends. The last week, he's gotten up on my bed with the other kitty people. Tonight he was being all cute and funny and rolling around on his back inviting tummy rubs and then attacking the tummy rubber. Not like my baby
<<<Lalique who is a belly slut who will stretch out full length and croon for more.

About a half hour ago, Gordito "aka Ditto" molests my lap and settles in. I have to look closely to see that it is not his mother Algebra. It's not, it's the DITTO himself. I feel honored.

I look over toward my pillow and curled up there is Maude Lebowski. If I stay up too late she will come fuss at me and tell me to come to bed. It's almost midnight, perhaps I should go. . . .

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Book 8 2008 A Feast For Crows

I've been waiting for this book. I paused two years in my life to get back around to this one. I finished A Feast For Crows yesterday and I want the next book badly and I'm grateful that I don't have as long to wait as I would have if I'd gotten this one when it first came out.

I'm going to have to chase George R. R. Martin about the room with a sharp stick. I'm appalled, I'm dumbfounded, I want the next one NOW.


/me "she taps rhythmically on her keyboard because words have left her."

I've seen a lot of stuff go by in the last week. I will have to sum it up under today.

Today I saw very dry grass across the street from the school. My friends were missing today so I didn't get a ride to get lunch somewhere and I sneaked off to smoke at some point.

At two PM promptly I walked across Chariot and tried to be as nonchalant as a white woman walking in an empty field in the hood can be. I walked out into the mowed field maybe fifty yards and realized with the high winds and my cigarette afire that it was not a happy placement. I walked very casually back to the storm drain and watched my ash very carefully before I temporarily satisfied my nicotine craving and wandered back into the building.

Last Tuesday night (today is Monday) I went to a "town hall" meeting at my school. My district administration is being heavy handed and is doing things that are unkind.

Thursday, my art classes painted protest signs to be used at the school board meeting. My school has 11 art teachers and half of us alloted class time to the skill of lettering posters and the use of colors to provoke emotional response. We chose this opportunity to teach about Henry David Thoreau and his essay on Civil Disobedience. What a teachable moment. We teach the children about how to protest if they think something is wrong.

Is that American? I think so. In an art class we talk about government and ethics and politics. Is that not Higher Order Thinking Skills? Are we dumbing down our curriculum or are we asking our children to THINK?

The board meeting was a painted pony affair. I was actually on the news at five and ten looking very cold as I held up my sign that said "Unity in Effort, Pride in Results" which is our school mantra. The meeting itself was laborious. Our school was not on the agenda, but our warriors were present to the dismay of our Glorious Leader. I saw a student that I took to task a few months ago for acting "ghetto." I had told her that she was a world class kid and that she should be a force for good rather than a voice for chaos. I saw her take up the microphone and be a passionate and viable voice. I have rarely been so proud of a student.

At school, I saw a kid with his hands down his pants. I went to wash my hands in a classroom I have half the time and there was a kid in a restricted area with his hands down his pants moving them about. I was offended. I'm sorry, but if one is over the age of five, there is no reason that will allow one to stick hands down the pants in public. That's rude. In fact, that's just nasty. I do not want to have to see teenage boys with their hands inserted in their pants. I may be old (and growing older) but I cannot see any reason why a high school aged young gentleman should have his hands shoved into his pants. I don't care if he is cold. That's just nasty.

I had to deal with foul children today. I don't know why they think being defiant makes them grown. It bites them on the ass almost every time. I fight the evil doers. I fight the chaos bringers. I threaten the gangland princess.

I just picked up book 8. I found it in the closet while I was looking for Sense and Sensibility. It takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I'm not very far into it. So far I've learned that she has yearning motherly feelings for her offspring (go figure) and that she is a second generation American. Most of what I've read so far is said from my own heart. How can she say so well what I think and feel everyday?

Mark was watching the news today. He said that they were interviewing voters from around NY. The Harlem voters were strong for Clinton (DOH, I think the neighbors like Bill very well) and some woman in The Bronx said she would vote for Obama because he is black. Holy Criminee! Why would the news show that? That's horribly racist. I could say that I want to vote for John McCain because he's WHITE. How ignorant and racist would that be? I like McCain, I think he's a nice fellow and he espouses views that I can appreciate, but I have this concern that he was in a POW camp for five years and might have PTSD in a major freaking way. How could he NOT have PTSD as it is a major concern of war veterans. I don't know if I would want a president who was prone to US Military Induced Mental Illness.

Is that wrong?

My mother and I have squabbed over politics the last several years. We do not see things the same way. We see each other with much love and regard, but apparently our bottom line differs. We agree that it is a chore to find someone to vote "for" rather than against. I asked her once if there was ever a clear choice and she said it was more like a choice for lesser evils.

Mom, I love you for my life. I love you for just about every other reason known to man. You are the best person I've ever known.

At the end of the day, I ask myself every time I vote, I ask "Am I better off now than I was four years ago."

I would have to say no. Last time I also said no.

I'm talking about my brown bag of groceries. I've lost weight during this presidency. I should thank George Bush for the fact that I've gotten back into my "skinny clothes." It's not because I've gone to Weight Watchers, it's because I've given up a lot of meals that I can't afford to have.

I can't lose much more weight. At some point I appear gaunt.

I anxiously await the Super Tuesday results. I talked to a government teacher today and he said this one was for the democrats to lose. I cannot claim a party affiliation. I am an American. Bottom Line full blooded mutt.

I won't vote for McCain because he's white. Hmm. Wait, that's a horrible racist remark. I don't think I will vote for McCain because I have a fear that he may be crazy (one hears about all those soldier fellows). I won't vote for Obama because he just doesn't have enough experience. Also, he creeps me out when I watch him on TV. He's unseasoned.

That leaves me Mitt and Hillary. Who is the third party candidate? I've voted green and independent for as long as I can remember. I voted for John Anderson. I voted for Ross Perot. I voted for Ralph Nader. I voted for Bill. I didn't vote for any Bush. Forgive me Mom. The republicans have not helped me.

I do not claim a party affiliation. I am an American. I vote my heart.