It seems strange that I haven’t been on here blogging in so many months. My last post was the end of January. Really? So, what have I been doing, you may ask? It would be that teacher thing, my Kindle obsession, and a serious malaise about politics in general. I will try to get up to speed on what is recently on my mind.
I still watch a bit of Morning Joe, even though Joe sucks! I don’t know which has been worse the build up for more war or the whole media frenzy about Bowe Bergdahl. I am tired of watching people who never have any real skin in the game, (You know, their children will not be dressing up in fatigues any time soon.) telling the American people how we must go to war now and by the way, Bowe Bergdahl is a trader. I cannot get on either bandwagon.
Everyone knows Bill Kristol.
It has puzzled me why he is invited to be on so many news programs where he spouts his venom. Why is he so important? Every time I see him on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, or some other media program, I get a little crazy. Years ago, I went to a website he was a part of called the Project or Plan for a New America. The website seems to be gone now but the plan is still out there. It takes us back to American dominance in the world and that plan developed by Paul Wolfowitz that has to do with pre-emptive strikes. It later became the Bush Doctrine, which involves going to war before we have been actually attacked. This strategy was used for the buildup to the Iraq War. Bill Kristol seems to enjoy going to war. Fortunately, Katrina vanden Heuvel seems to feel the same way I do. I came across this clip today and somehow it made me feel better that others aren’t so impressed with this crazy person’s ideas either. Yes, I know he is the editor of the Weekly Standard but it just doesn’t make him special to me. It almost seems there is still hope in fighting these neo-cons and their ideas.
Another thing keeping me busy is that teacher thing. This year has been very stressful for most of the teachers I know. No matter how hard we work or what we do, it seems more is expected of us. The pressure is out there from politicians that have no idea how to teach, to create classrooms that turn out kids that pass the latest test. It just doesn’t seem to be about the individual but the test taker. If a student is good at figuring out and taking tests, he/she will be prized by teachers that are expected to get him/her to pass a test. Those kids that freak out on tests, struggle in general with testing, or perhaps have social and economic problems are in for a world of hurt as teachers jump through every hoop to try and get them “test worthy”. Okay, I know I am sarcastic but this is for real. I work long days trying to do whatever it takes to get my students attention. I just still think it is strange that my evaluations are attached to reading and math scores of my students. This is true for all of us. Teacher evaluations are attached to test scores of students, all students. Now, most people can see the problems with this. How will students be selected or tied to individual teachers? Why is a math teacher tied to reading and vice versa? How can I, as an art teacher, affect those reading and math scores? There is constant reworking of lessons and trying to tie in reading, math, and even technology skills as much of the testing is now on computers. As crazy as this seems to me, it must be harder for the students, especially those students that are not the top reading and math students.
Considering all of this, it is rather amazing how much I have been reading in 2014. After Christmas was over, I decided I wanted to buy a new Kindle. I dropped my old Kindle so the lettering wouldn’t work in the corner. I just had the little cheap model, but I liked it for reading. I would read on my iPad but I was never crazy about it because it is heavier. It seemed like I was not reading as much as I used to, so that is why I decided to get a new Kindle. I bought the cheap HD model that comes with the ads when you turn it on. I cannot say enough about my crazy obsession with my Kindle and Amazon Prime! Since getting this Kindle the second week of January, I have read around 30 books. I even have it read to me when I am doing things like cooking or cleaning. I love my Kindle and even the offers. I got a Mr. Coffee Café Latte machine for my birthday for just $20. Since I have Amazon Prime, I didn’t have to pay any shipping. I love Amazon Prime as I buy many things through Amazon and I do watch some videos as well. However, recently the new music cloud has just blown me away. There is so much music content that I have access to that it is amazing. I just hope Amazon doesn’t up the rates on me. I also really enjoy getting my BookBub emails. Bookbub allows me to buy books for next to nothing or even free. I have discovered authors I am not familiar with and I am enjoying reading most of these books. What I really like about the Kindle is how many choices I have at any one time. I have many books on my Kindle. I also can get them through library loan although sometimes I have to wait awhile. I can purchase a new book in mere seconds. Amazon has made all of this super easy to use and so I keep buying…and they keep making money off me!
Today there is something new on my mind. The Supreme Court just handed down their decision on the Hobby Lobby case. Earlier this morning I made a comment on a video on Facebook that gave some statistics on abortion. I usually avoid any comments on abortion issues, as that issue seems to bring out all of the crazy people ready to comment. I received many replies to my comment, which I should have known I would. I believe abortion is something a woman decides for herself with the help of her doctor. I don’t think it is a decision taken lightly and I certainly don’t think politicians, judges, and the like who are mostly old, white men should be making these decisions for women. It is rather patronizing to think the little woman isn’t smart enough to decide for herself what is in her best interest. I personally have a secret wish that decisions like this one can move our country to single payer. Why should insurance companies and businesses hold all of the special keys to any one person’s medical coverage? Let’s just get rid of these middle “men” and go to a system where everyone pays a bit in their taxes and health care is guaranteed, Medicare for all or something like it. If everyone is paying in, than no one group can say they are paying for someone else’s health care. Everyone pays and all benefit. It just seems to make sense to me.
Sometimes I feel like I am in some kind of time warp machine. For every step forward women make on issues there are plenty of people, including other women, dragging and pulling on them to hold them back, keep them down, control them, and generally keep them as less than men. Why is it that we aren’t hearing cases about business companies refusing to provide Viagra? Why is it that men can make all of the decisions about their own bodies but women have to be second-guessed at every turn? It just doesn’t make sense to me currently. We live in a time when many women are the main or only breadwinner in their families. They should be able to make all of the decisions applicable to their own bodies. From my point of view, enough said.
As the summer moves on, I hope to get on here more often and spew my only little mind chatter. It is different to be me. I am constantly thinking about many things and sometimes it’s hard to get on the bandwagon of just one thing. It is how my mind works, so sometimes you may have to adjust to my wandering brain as I interpret the world around me.