Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stomp, Stomp!

I don't mean to step on any toes BUT....

Today marks exactly two weeks before the 2013 spring semester concludes, and what a wild ride it has been! This time of year proves less than ideal for me even with the promise of warmer weather, longer days, and brighter colors of the latest spring/summer styles. While most people might can take a breather or two to enjoy these aspects during this most glorious time of year, I have to hole up in my teaching cave, catch up on grading, and continue to convince my students that yes, in fact, we still have one more paper to compose and more objectives on the syllabus to cover. Crazy, I know!

So...since my stress level peak at this time of year (the other times occurring two weeks before Christmas holidays begin and two days before a summer session ends), I have decided to vent some of my frustrations through a blog post--most of the frustrations having nothing to do with school. I'll let you know at the end if I feel better.

Vent Session #1: T-shirts with those funky monogrammed pockets--This current trend makes my skin crawl.  I know some southern belle type (the type that has the accent and accessories but lacks the brains) thought it up because it would be just "too precious for words," which actually results in a finished product that looks like something a five year old would wear. Of course, I have strong convictions regarding wearing t-shirts in public anyway. Unless one sees me doing yard work (Ha), running, working out, or getting out of bed (though I don't generally  make that custom a public spectacle), he/she won't catch me in a t-shirt. Besides, a true southern lady would put forth a little more effort in her style beyond simply initialing the pockets of her t-shirts.

Vent Session #2: Second Chances--Chances are if someone asks you for a second chance, that means they've already received several for the same offense some time before your issue occurred. Just don't give it to him/her unless you want to witness the same offense again. We seem to be getting away from having others suffer the consequences when really, "suffering the consequences" is the reason I never received less than an A on a 9th grade art assignment after failing one I completed at the last minute while riding to school with my mother (who, incidentally, was the art teacher).

Vent Session #3: Liberal Politics--The older I get, the more I despise liberal politics. Somebody please show me a liberal who isn't name-calling/shouting/imploring scare tactics/down on his or her own luck and refuses to take responsibility/wasteful, and I may consider softening my stance a bit. In all fairness, though, I do like their art. Ted Nugent, while I admire his stance on guns, just never really did it for me on stage.

Vent Session #4: Paying for Other People's Children When I'm Doing Good to Pay for My Own--If someone wants to bang the stuffings out of any and everyone he/she chooses, by all means do so (only if the other party consents, of course), but I don't think I should have to pay for the child that might result from said choice. I teach day, night, online, and summer courses while my husband slaves over a computer during his "free" nights just so that we can provide our child with everything he needs and even a little of what he might want--food, clothing, shelter, and the best possible education our area offers. Maybe I sound like I'm on a high horse, and maybe I am, but the way I see it: I made the choice to get through school, then marry, then establish a career path, then have a baby just as someone else chose differently. Obviously, my paycheck came in yesterday, and I'm just a tad disgruntled that a third of what I earn goes to a bunch of meat-heads who dole some it out to people who made a less than ideal choice. Shoot. I'm a teacher married to a teacher, and I also suck at planning and math. However, if I can figure out how to make my money work for me without having to borrow or depend on anyone else, anybody can.

Vent Session #5: Poetry--Year after year, I realize more and more that for every good poem, about 5000 bad poems exist, and I'm not just talking about poems by students. (A few of those are actually good.) What's worse than bad poems? Surprisingly, not the poets themselves (although, they're pretty bad). No, it's the people who read them and sing all kinds of praises about them, but when asked what the poem means, they don't know except that the poet uses big words, so therefore, it must be good. Oh, Brother.

Anyway, that concludes my vent sessions for tonight. Keep in mind these opinions (look closely, and you'll notice I didn't try to pass them off as facts) belong solely to me. I do not speak for anyone else. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Warning: It's Not a Funny One

This morning on Facebook, I looked at my newsfeed and saw where a "friend" (meaning Facebook friend--haven't seen the person in years) posted an article about Mississippi's abortion clinic remaining open with her own caption that read "Great news for Mississippi."

I promptly unfriended her.

This is not great news for Mississippi. In fact, this is terrible news. I make no secret to anyone who asks about my stance on abortion. I am wholeheartedly pro-life. I hate how pro-choice supporters throw around that phrase "Women's Rights" as if  we pro-lifers are so backwards in our thinking. Maybe they do support women's rights more than I do, but I'm for the rights of everyone, including unborn babies, and yes, women. I just don't feel anyone should have rights at the expense of another person. So no, I'm not backwards in my thinking.

Now, back to the Facebook post: another person responded to this "great news" by proclaiming how everyone should be supportive of this judicial decision, pro-choice or not. After all, this gives women an opportunity to have a "safe" abortion, and that's what's important--keeping these women safe. Hmmm....so if I decide Jeffrey's comic book collection and sci-fi nerd impersonation (which sounds worse than nails on a chalkboard, I assure you) becomes more than I can handle, will the government provide me a safe place to kill him? I mean, hey, I am a woman, and I want my rights! (By the way, I don't wish to kill my husband. He takes out the trash and does laundry. I would be a fool to off him.) See what I mean? Exercising my "rights" would deny Jeffrey his, just like it would deny that baby his/her rights.

I have toyed around with the idea of becoming a volunteer who talks to pregnant women considering abortion. Every year, I feel a stronger urge to do it. At one point I inquired at my church and was told that it was extremely heart wrenching work, but I should do it if I felt led. Honestly, I didn't feel led at the time, maybe because I didn't have my own children then, and I wouldn't have been emotionally equipped to handle it.. Fast forward several years later, and I think I need to make a few phone calls. This issue nears closer to my heart with every abortion post I see.

I realize this debate will not end in my lifetime. However, while I'm here, I should take a stand. People may wonder why I didn't argue with this person on her Facebook wall, but why should I? She had every right to post her thoughts on her own wall; my response to her would have only fueled an ugly debate, nothing would have been resolved, and everyone would have walked away as angrier and nastier people. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clothes Shopping

How many times can I claim the "Mother of the Year Award"? They may as well just engrave my name on it, hand it off to me, and everyone else should just stop trying to claim it. So Ladies, find another challenge to conquer!

My latest episode of maternal greatness has to do with Jude's spring/summer wardrobe or more appropriately, lackthereof. Yes, I think we can safely say that we have left winter behind us, which only means humidity, heat,  and even more humidity. If you don't believe me, take a drive over to Canton, MS and look at my hair. Anyway, my son has no spring/summer clothes except for his Easter outfit, but who in their right mind would send a toddling almost two year old boy to the baby-sitter's in yellow seersucker?!?

Luckily, Jude's 12 month shorts still fit. Sort of. All of his shorts fit in the waist perfectly, but if I'm being honest, my son is sporting Daisy Dukes. Luckily, he doesn't know to feel embarrassment over this. He will when I show him the pictures, though. I desperately need to make a trip or two to Baby Gap before someone thinks I'm trying to make some sort of statement by dressing my son in hot pants. Please. Conservatism oozes from me like grease drips from a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza.

As soon as I get some free time, like at the end of the week, I shall take my boy shopping. He will be the best dressed kid this side of the Mississippi. Until then, he'll just have to keep emulating the style of Freddy Mercury.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stranger Things Have Happened

The title above = my latest mantra. I find myself repeating this a lot as of late. An elephant has been sitting in a figurative corner of  my world for a while now, and I think I should finally talk about it. My parents have decided to get married. To each other. Again.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Boy Genius

I took today off to hang out with Jude. Those who know me know that I don't take off work for anything. However, tomorrow Jeffrey and I will be traveling to the Delta with the Creative Writing students and won't return home until around 10 that night. My mother is going to come through Goodman tomorrow afternoon and keep him until we get back. However, Jude will more than likely fall asleep before we return home, so I was a little bummed that I wouldn't see my baby until the following day. So when Ms. Lily, Jude's baby-sitter, said she wouldn't be able to keep Jude today, I decided I wouldn't look too hard for a replacement.

Despite today's cruddy weather, we had the best time. We ate scrambled eggs and raspberries (Jude's new favorite food) for breakfast, took a walk to the post office to mail off the bills, came home and played trains and bus, then took a ride to Fondren to pick up a painting Jeffrey and I had bought a few weeks back, ate lunch at Quizno's (one of my favorites), shopped at Kroger, took nice long naps, read some stories, played trains and bus again, and ended the day with swimming lessons, tacos, and frozen yogurt. I rocked the whole "Stay at Home Mom" thing like no one's business.

One of Jude's favorite activities is reading stories. That boy loves a book. He might even prefer them to his trains and bus. Now he won't just settle for any book. He has to pick it out. It's been this way since he could crawl. In the last month or two, he's been able to say some of the book titles, or at least his versions of the book titles (For example, "Hop  Pop Pop" for "Hop on Pop" or "Seep Seep" for "Sleep,  Baby, Sleep"). One of his favorite books is the Dr. Seuss classic "Hop on Pop." He could listen to me read that all day. On the page that says "Him, Jim, Jim is after him," it never fails that Jude will explode into giggles. It's been that way since infancy. I really don't know why that particular page gets him so tickled.

Today, however, our ritual "Hop on Pop" reading presented me with a pleasant surprise. After I finished reading it to him, I told him to find me another book to read. He just kept holding "Hop on Pop" instead. Just when I thought to myself, "If I have to read this blasted book one more time..." Jude opened it, and said "Walk Walk." I looked at the page he had opened to, and sure enough, it said "Walk Walk." "Weird," I thought. Then he turned back to the first page and said "Pup," which is actually the first word of the book. Then he flipped some more pages and read "Heeee," which was the first word on that page. Of course, I got into it; I started turning to different pages to see what words he would say, and he would say at least one word on just about every page (except for the end of course--his pronunciations of  "Constantinople and Timbuktu" still need a little more work).

I still can't believe what I saw and heard. My child at 21 months was reading. Of course, he hears that story multiple times a day, so he probably just memorized, but then again, he was turning the pages out of order and still knew what was on them. I didn't know he could do that. So you tell me: Boy Genius, or what?