In light of today…

Advertisements

Teaching is Activism

teachingisactivism

I know I wrote about this recently, but it’s a very important topic for me. I am friends with a lot of people who go out and do things. They go to protests. They organize rallies. They make speeches. And sometimes it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. I make sure information is shared on my social media accounts. I lend my emotional support to them and anyone who is out there doing things. But I just can’t. I’m sure if I actually went to something, I would get swept up in the emotion and the energy. But the problem is getting over the anxiety of thinking about going.

Even when it comes to teaching, I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough. Like I should be directly including what is happening in my class. But I haven’t found a good way to do that. There are certain things that need to be covered in this class and I am determined to cover it all. But because there is so much to cover, I can’t spend too much time on any one thing or else something else may not get covered. The joys of teaching an intro class.

Also, there are theories and history that need to be covered at the start of the semester. It’s not easy to include what is going on right now in those lectures for me. Soon, we’ll be moving on to the other topics which will be much easier to include current events in. Last spring my day on ethnicity (I know, I know, a day is not enough!), we watched “Formation” and discussed it. It worked really well. I’m honestly worried about focusing on just one thing and excluding others; there’s just so much happening!

But, it will all come back the fact that there are undeniable facts that I can teach. Focusing on those facts will always be my go-to. There are opinions and there are facts. Knowing the facts makes it easier to discuss opinions. If everyone knows the same facts, they have a shared knowledge base which allows them to discuss.

And when it all becomes too much, just sit back and listen to the amazing playlist Lin-Manuel made for the world. It really does help one to get re-energized.

14947484_684644965034948_2299143066491538286_n

Music

I had made a point of avoiding any news on Tuesday. I have enough on my plate that watching the results would have done nothing but added to my stress. As it got closer to midnight, I checked in on Twitter on a couple specific users (@JMunozActor, @Lin-Manuel, @Kelly_Carlin) because I knew that if anything definitive had happened, they would say something. That’s as close as I got. When I woke up on Wednesday, I decided to check Twitter again.

When I saw people talking about Lin thinking of moving to Canada and his response (both of which I posted yesterday), I knew something did not go the way I had voted and was hoping. Considering I teach a class with 35 students, I knew I needed to know what the result was. I found out. I taught class as planned, partially out of wanting to not have a debate, partially because I knew I would not be able to stay calm about it.

Since we have no class because of Veteran’s Day today, and I have no class on Thursdays anyway, I had a drive home ahead of me. I usually listen to music on the way home. Sometimes it’s an audiobook/radio drama. But this time I knew it needed to be music. So I put on my “Pump It Up” playlist and sang along loudly:

  1. Get Your Rebel On” – RuPaul
  2. My Shot” – Hamilton
  3. Raise Your Glass” – P!nk
  4. La Vie Boheme” – Rent
  5. The Click” – Good Charlotte
  6. Sissy That Walk” – RuPaul
  7. It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
  8. One Week” – Barenaked Ladies
  9. Don’t Fear the Rabbit” – Frenchy and the Punk
  10. Fe Fi Fo Fum” – Frenchy and the Punk
  11. Caravan” – Frenchy and the Punk
  12. Make Out” – Frenchy and the Punk
  13. Steampunk Pixie” – Frenchy and the Punk
  14. The Doctor Lies” – The Ken Spivey Band
  15. Get the Party Started” – P!nk
  16. Born Naked” – RuPaul
  17. Responsitrannity” – RuPaul
  18. 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” – Rush
  19. Closer to the Heart” – Rush
  20. Follow Me Down” – Seanan McGuire

It really helped me feel better. The playlist ended before I got home, so, before switching to my Filk/Steampunk playlist (populated by Frenchy and the Punk, Seanan McGuire, Professor Elemental, The Ken Spivey Band, and a few others), I had to listen to a song that has had a place in my heart since it came out, and it’s message is more important than ever now:

Music has a way of healing us. Music has a way of making us feel better. Make a playlist. Put an album on repeat. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Music helps!

Together

A lot has happened in the last few days. Everyone is still trying to process what has happened. There have been many different reactions, but I am choosing to take strength and inspiration from some people who are using the megaphone that they have.

First, that image above. That. No one, no matter who you are or who you voted for, should feel afraid right now. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have friends who are international students, and they are reconsidering staying in this country after we graduate in May. There are people who are afraid to go outside because of the bullying they may receive. I will not make myself or my space a place where people need to be afraid. Whatever space I have, will be a place of care and understanding and open to anyone who needs to take refuge.

Second, there are a lot of people talking about moving to Canada because of the result of the election. But let me ask you this, if you move to Canada, who is left in this country? Do you really want to take advantage of your ability to move out of the country and leave those that cannot behind? Do you want to give up on the fact that you have a voice in how this country is run? We still have plenty of work to do here, people. If we go away for four years, what will be here when we decide to come back? If you have no say in how things happen, you have no room to complain.

When you have time, watch the entire thing. It is wonderful.

Lin’s response:

Third, this is important to remember:

The voters selected Hillary Clinton. The electoral college selected Donald Trump. Take from that what you will.

Finally, if you are despairing, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just search online. In these last two days, there have been gatherings of love and support.

This happened today at BGSU. A “Sit In for Love”. It was a space where people were encourage to come to if they were feeling scared or worried or just not good about the results of the election. It got a lot of positive attention from the news. I am friends with the amazing human being who organized this in about 24-hours. From all accounts, it was successful and peaceful. This is happening all across the country. Which makes me think that we need to adopt the following as one of our theme songs right now:

I think the next few days are going to be full of posts of quotes, videos, pictures, music, whatever I have found that helps me be calm, hopeful, and energized. We are going to be fine. We do need to unify. We need to make sure that everyone is being treated with the respect that they deserve as fellow human beings.

14947484_684644965034948_2299143066491538286_n

Breastfeeding

I was listening to Last Week On Earth #26, and they were talking about the Time cover about breastfeeding, I know what they’re getting at but they’re not saying it.

The problem with the cover isn’t what it’s showing, it’s why. They didn’t put a woman breastfeeding on the cover because they thought it was something that needed to be addressed. They did it because it caused people to pick up the magazine and for all of us to talk about it. It’s for the controversy around it.

And it’s really sad that there’s all this controversy around breastfeeding. I can respect those moms out there who decide to let their children wean themselves off instead of doing it for them. Yes, some kids like to breastfeed for longer than others. I say if the mom can handle it, keep doing it. If I ever have children, that’s my plan. Obviously they’re going to start on solid foods at some point, but I want to give my child all the nutrition and help that they can get. Now, will I be comfortable breastfeeding them in public? Possibly not, but that’s simply my comfort level. It’s not hurting anyone, so what’s the problem?

Care2 addiction

I’m sorry I didn’t post a recap last week. I’m not sure if I really have enough to do that. I kept thinking about things I could post about during the week, but didn’t because I wanted to save it. Then I forgot what I wanted to write about. So I’m going to simply write posts when I think about them and hope I don’t have too many dry spells.

I have been living on Care2 lately. I hadn’t been on it for a while and forgot how awesome it is. One thing that has me going there on a daily basis is their free click to donate. Every day I go on, log in, and click on each thing. It doesn’t cost me anything and I get to do things like feed a shelter animal for a day and offset my computer use for a day and save a certain amount of rainforest. If you have an account it keeps track of how often you’ve clicked and how much or many you’ve helped. You don’t have to have an account to do it, either. You can just go on and click. It’s great!

It is also full of informative and useful articles. They cover all sorts of things. Just today I read about what body types are popular in different countries, how to reduce plastic in your kitchen, a dolphin that was rescued from the oil spill and is doing great, and the best plants to have in your home, just to name a few.

It’s got me thinking about so much. This site has reminded me that there’s still a lot of improvements I can make in my life. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on some of them soon. Either way, I’ll be busy!

Old King Coal

I read this article this morning and it got me thinking. A lot.

As everyone knows, burning coal is one of the worst things we can be doing for the environment right now. It is a fossil fuel and there is only so much of it. It is also the dirtiest of the three fossil fuels. But it’s cheap, which is why we’re still using it.

That is why it’s use is increasing again. Evidently China and India are building more power plants and using more coal than before in order to raise the standard of living of it’s people. I can’t argue with that. It’s great that these two huge countries are trying to make things better for their people. But they want to keep it affordable, so they use coal.

But if you combine the two things, I feel a lot better. Yes, they are adding to the CO2 emissions in the world. But China and India also are innovative countries. It’s possible that an efficient way to burn coal without harming the environment will come out of one of these countries. In a way their entering into the coal business means they now have a more vested interest in working on cleaner ways of providing power to the people.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

Viva La Revoution!

Yahoo! News article
Article on Yahoo! News (click for the article)
It turns out that Mexico is having it’s own revolution. They are banning junk food from their schools. The President of Mexico is behind the ban. He wants to get his country, especially it’s children, in better shape and eating healthier. Evidently Mexico has the highest childhood obesity problem in the world. But of course no revolution would happen without resistance. There are still many vendors who set up their stalls just outside of the school grounds and sell their wares that are high in fat and sugar. They cannot prevent the children from going to the stalls and buying their lunch there instead of the school.

I say “Yay for Mexico!” I’m glad there’s some country taking responsibilty for it’s obesity issues. Here in the U.S. so much power has gone to the states that if the President were to even think about doing that here, there would be such an uproar about the government taking over our lives.

The truth is, we need it sometimes. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has shown us that we are not doing so well in feeding our children in the schools. In elementary school, children are young enough that they need to be given little choice in what they eat and what is given them needs to be healthy. This is when and where good habits are formed. That’s what my parents did. My mom would pack a healthy lunch and I would eat all of it, even if I didn’t like it. I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. Every once in a while I would get a chocolate milk instead of white, but I always went back to the white because I liked it better.

The thing that worries me is that they have no way to stop the kids from picking this stuff up on the way in to school. The only way that would happen is if every parent were to accompany their child to the school and then the school make sure they don’t slip out again. I just hope enough parents want their children to eat healthier and work to undermine the vendors.

The Military is getting into hot water

New York Times Green Blog - Solar Panels Advance on Camp Lejeune
Solar Panels Advance on Camp Lejeune. (Click for the article.)

The military may help make solar heating more affordable for everyone! By December all 900 of the homes at the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina will have solar panels that will be used to heat the water for the house. This is so awesome! One panel on the roof will provide 75% of the hot water that house will need. It’s wonderful to see something as big as the military supporting these products and working on making their carbon footprint smaller. Also the fact that so many are being installed will hopefully help the cost to come down and become more affordable to the budget-conscious eco-geek. 🙂 

Treehugger - Almost Everyone Has a Solar Water Heater In Dezhou, China
Almost Everyone Has a Solar Water Heater In Dezhou, China. (Click for the article.)

It has become a very popular alternative in China. The city of Dezhou not only home to the largest manufacturer of solar heating, 90% of the homes there have them installed. Because of the abudance of manufacturers in China, it’s become very easy to own a solar heating system.

There is even talk of Suntech, the China-based leader in solar panel production, building a factory here in the US. That would be amazing for everyone involved. It would help to bring the cost down here and hopefully make it more popular. Who knows, we could even rival China in use of the system. I know this is one thing I look forward to researching more once I have a house to install it in.