Everyone has Value

Ever have one of those nights where waking up in the middle of the night solves a riddle for you? Tonight, I’m having one of those nights…

See, while I’m satisfied with the state of things, something about the whole thing has been rolling around in my brain making me less than calm, resulting in morning sickness level nausea and a weight-gaining level of cortisol flooding my blood stream… despite my prescription for an anti-anxiety medication that I have since doubled just to be able to sleep.

Continue reading

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Light a candle for Brussels

Similarly to the Chicago event a short while back, something happened yesterday that is causing me to post an additional post: the terrorist attacks on Brussels.

I don’t have all the details, and I’m terribly sorry if you came here hoping for information about what actually happened in Brussels today. What I know is that many people died, more were injured, and that because of a small group of radicals* (or, as some conspiracy people have begun saying, possibly a group trying to blame the radicals) there is more divergence amongst the people.

When will we all stop letting things like the color of our skin or our personal (private) beliefs affect how we see each other? Why do we have to categorize ourselves into groups of “us” and “them?” Continue reading

Whirlwind Days

It’s been nearly a week since my last post, and I’ve started, oh… maybe five other posts that I haven’t finished, or didn’t feel like they were quite right and so I abandoned them. I started those others periodically throughout the last couple of weeks, but, as I said, for one reason or another they didn’t get finished. I had plans to work on them last week…

But life happened. Continue reading

Prejudice Run Amok

There seems to be an epidemic of educated men saying the most ridiculously sexist things lately. I’m hardly one to be a proponent of the newest wave of feminism with it’s unbridled male-bashing, but the idiotic statements, in the news and semi-locally, about women in fields heretofore dominated by men have made me think that perhaps that battle isn’t quite done being fought either. With all the focus on Caitlyn Jenner and the trans-movement, I think I forgot that, in America at least, we haven’t made all that much progress after all.

Don’t mistake me, we definitely have opened the doors for women to enter into fields that have been previously shut to them. And the recent victories in the LGBTQ community are wonderful; we’re closer to marriage equality for all, finally. As for the race war, in theory all the media coverage of the racial prejudices of police departments across the country will bring an end to the race debate for once and all (wishful thinking, I know, but I’m trying not to be completely sour). All of these small victories working together should equal a big victory and an end to inequality, especially in a country who’s motto is one of freedom and opportunity for all…

But we are most definitely not there yet. Continue reading

The Purpose of Our Purpose.

I don’t often go too deep into the spiritual side of things on here. Sure, I’ll mention that I’m more spiritual than religious, and I have probably more often than once mentioned how I felt like I’d stepped off my path and was looking for a “sign” to help me get back onto it, but only once have I gone seriously into my religious/spiritual beliefs.

Today I want to revisit some of the things I spoke about in the post about Predestination

Predestination-CoverFirst of all, that post was inspired by the movie Predestination and I still whole-heartedly believe that if you haven’t seen that movie, you really should! It is the biggest mind-fuck movie I’ve ever seen, plus it pretty much proves (at least in the case of one character) that some things are predestined to happen. It is a Science Fiction movie, but it has a very interesting love story, and (minus the jumping through time bit) feels like it could be a slice-of-life movie in spots, as one character gives us his really bizarre life story about growing up in the 50’s and 60’s.

Basically I’m trying to tell you that I think even people who aren’t fans of Science Fiction could enjoy this one… Then again, I’ve been wrong on that particular topic before.

For me, this movie is most important because it makes me wonder about my own purpose. Continue reading

digital DNA strand

Nature vs Nurture (Part 2)

I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately. Some of it work related (for those of you new here, I’m a teacher). Some of it relationship advice (Again, for those of you new, I’m seeing someone and we’re in an undefined place). A lot of it is absolutely unhelpful at all. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason it is unhelpful goes back to that Nature -vs- Nurture question.

FYI, the Nature-vs-Nurture debate has been going on for a long time. Is our personality dependent on our genetics (nature) or on the environment in which we are raised (nurture)? Previously I discussed some aspects of the Nurture argument. Today I’d like to discuss the Nature side, since, as I said, I think it has some bearing on why other people’s advice doesn’t seem to work for me.

And maybe that’s a stretch. Maybe I want to believe that my idealistic, open-minded, not shackled to outdated sense of ___(fill in the blank)___ ways come from who I am at my core. And maybe that’s just not true, no matter how much I’d like to believe it, but, I promised I would come back and explain my concerns views on the Nature aspect of the debate, and so here I am. If need be, we’ll discuss the advice part in a later post… In fact, I will probably do that as soon as I’m done with this, but they really should be handled separately.

First of all, let’s recap for a second. What do we know about me?

  • I’m adopted
  • I grew up in a household of a different ethnicity than me
  • I’m a Gemini
  • I teach
  • I’m an ENFP according the Briggs Meyer (or whatever)

I’m sure there’s more, but I think those 5 facts are where this should begin, most notably, the adopted part. I am adopted. It’s true. I am presumably of Native American descent on my father’s side, and, based on my features, from the Blackfoot tribe. But being adopted means there’s no paperwork to connect me to the tribe, and given that my bio-mom was white, I never had any official link made to the tribe. Continue reading

To Discriminate or Not…

Remember in the 1990s when people were claiming that Affirmative Action was Reverse Racism? People who were highly qualified for positions were passed over because companies were looking for minority candidates to fill their quotas. People all over were angry about it, and lawyers made a killing (I assume) suing people. I’ve never been comfortable with the phrase “reverse racism.” Racism is racism, whether you’re black and being discriminated against, or white and being discriminated against, but in the continuing anger over atrocities that happened during the Civil Rights movements in the ‘60s, it was politically incorrect to say that racism was perpetrated against a non-minority person.

I remember it, and, as a minority myself, I remember thinking this was going to do more harm than good. I am now terrified to see it happening again… at the college level. College is the place where young people and, in the case of “non-traditional” students, not-so-young people can explore life and determine who they are; figure out what it is they truly believe.

Think back on some of the college movies you’ve seen: remember the images of the incoming freshman (usually the protagonist or some other key player) walking around the quad/courtyard/assembly hall and walking by the individual booths of various student organizations? Each organization had some creed or philosophy that was central to their group, be it a religious ideal, a cultural identity, or a political philosophy. Occasionally, there might be a student who is part of the organization that you wouldn’t expect, for instance, there might be a very liberal looking hippie type as a member of the uber-conservative Young Republican group, or a Caucasian student associated with the an African American club, but generally, each group has a stereotypical image that makes it easy to distinguish them from the other groups.

Recently, this is beginning to change. Vanderbilt University has begun implementing its “all comers” policy, which states that all student organizations must accept any student into it. For instance, the Asian-American club must accept any Hispanic student that would like to join, or the Christian groups must allow the Muslims in. On the surface, this doesn’t really seem to be a problem; after all, experiencing new ideas and cultures is what the college experience is all about, right? Vanderbilt is taking it one step further, however, and forcing them to accept these members who do not follow the integral principles of the organization as group leaders. So a devout atheist may become the leader of the University’s FCA organization, or, as is already the case, a non-Asian male may become the leader of the Asian-American organization.

The policy, which has been around since the Civil Rights movements of the ‘60s, is being implemented to keep religious organizations from excluding homosexual students. This is a noble cause, but it will back-fire just as Affirmative Action did. By implementing this policy, the university has actually made these organizations more resistant. It opens the door for people taking advantage of and corrupting these organizations. One student put it very succinctly: “”If someone that doesn’t share the faith is teaching, then what’s the point of even having these organizations?”

Personally, I wouldn’t want to be part of an organization that didn’t want me as a member. It seems like a hate crime in the making. In order to keep whatever group they deem undesirable out, eventually someone will decide the best way to remove them will be to discourage them from joining in the first place. The more you try to make people accept an idea, the more resistant to it they will become.

What do you think?