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wander_free

Mar. 30th, 2010 01:03 pm

So, yesterday I had high school sophomores. I'm not sure what prompted the question, what I said or did that hinted at my proclivities, but one of the boys asked me 'what do you think of Obama'.

I answered honestly. "I like him, I voted for him."

Cue slews of protests and questions. Among other things, they asked me what I thought about the health care bill and when I said it was okay, even though it could have been better, they all acted like I had just said I like to eat cat feces.

Someone commented on medicare and I said that I would qualify for it soon and he said 'so my taxes - ' and I interrupted with 'I've been paying taxes on it for years, now I get to take advantage of it.' He riposted with 'your taxes are going to go way up' and I stumped them by pointing out that 'if it meant people had access to health care, I didn't mind paying for it' which is the truth. As far as I'm concerned, health care should be like education and clean streets, a right and an obligation.

Probably the reaction to that comment was my favorite. Another student looked at me and said 'how does it feel to be hated by everyone around you?'

Feels pretty damn good, to tell the truth. As long as 'they' hate me, I know I'm doing something right.

It wasn't all amusing - I admit, I enjoyed that. You try staying on top of an argument like that with ten high school sophomores, it's invigorating.

But it wasn't all amusing. There is one boy I've had dealings with before. He's a rapist. He has not respect for women or for personal boundaries or autonomy. When I disagreed with him, he repeatedly acted like I was going to strike me. Seriously, his arm was back and he was inches from hitting me. I dared him to - literally said 'i dare you' - and he backed off, but the look in his eyes says that if there hadn't been witnesses, he would have.

I feel sorry for his classmates. I remember boys like that and I've met quite a few men over the yeas with the same lack of respect and love of violence. It took me years to get to the point where I can handle them.

There were a couple others that amused me, however. Especially with high school kids, I can so vividly remember 'being like that' and it's fun. There was one girl who was incredibly angry both at the project 'this is geometry not art class!' and at me 'that mean, stupid substitute won't let me...' etc. Thing is, I remember being that angry. I remember what it was like and I can't be mad at her, can't even take offense at the things she said about me. I can remember being that angry and I simply can't take it personally. Unlike the boy, she is no threat.

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Mar. 28th, 2010 06:46 pm Freely admitted this is my home town

Tarleton cancels play with gay Christ

Synopsis: A student chooses to present a play with a gay Christ for a class project in directing. It would only be seen by other students, a class presentation if you will and not by the public at large, but it was still 'controversial' enough that the teacher canceled the performance. (As an aside, in an interview the student who chose the play admits to being both gay and a Christian and says he does not believe in a god who hates him. Just let me say, outing himself like that takes guts. Everyone knows he's gay now.)

let me tell you about my hometownCollapse )

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Mar. 26th, 2010 09:31 pm

So, I'm reading this book right now about the Persian Wars - Darius and Athens and the Spartans and Thermopylae. It's really good and I have the author bookmarked on amazon so I can get his other books about the Roman empire and stuff. He's obviously a historian, but he has a novelists touch when it comes to presenting the details and setting the scene. In other words, it's a pleasure to read his book.

Just finished the chapter setting up the character and society of Ancient Sparta. I know most of it going on, so it wasn't like it was shocking but it apparently shocked the author. It's widely accepted that the Spartans pursued a sort of systematic pederasty, with hetero sex being only for procreation and then more in the nature of one night stands with a cheap hooker than long honeymoon weekends with a lover.

Human nature being what it is, I'm sure at least parts of the population knew the allure of love, but the author was really caught by the butt-sex going on in the barracks. He repeatedly described it as traumatic for young boys to submit to the 'thrustings' of 'older, battle scarred warriors' but never looked at the other side and wondered what it was like for the women to be fucked by men who knew no softness or gentleness. I promise, if it's traumatic for a young boy/man to be sodomized, it's equally traumatic for a young woman to be penetrated.

He even played with the idea that the women would also be sodomized, since it was the only thing the men knew, and seemed to find it titillating to think that a young bride would be an 'anally proficient virgin'.

In the same chapter, he spent a great deal of time dwelling on the supposed 'assassination' squads that were the elite warriors of Sparta - a sort of manhood rite of initiation - and maybe I was simply reading too much into it, but he seemed to be caught up in the, well...erotic nature of a young man's first kill.

Honestly, me thinks the author doth protest too much.

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Mar. 26th, 2010 08:38 pm poor Dad, he' s so high maintanence

Dad wears this jumpsuit things, has for years. They are as much 'dad' as overalls and a cane were my great-grandfather. I guess as much as my temple braids and tunics are 'me'.

Every couple of weeks, he comes around with one of the jumpsuits for me to fix it. Sew up the hole ripped in the butt, repair the zipper, put a patch over the hole he ripped over the knees or waist or sleeve. He has one suit that is little more than patches and thread, I keep telling him that the next time he brings that one over, I'm going to start patching it in purple.

So, it's been a long, boring week, but today I was away from just before dawn to nearly dusk. About an hour after I finally came in, Dad comes banging on the door with jumpsuit in hand. He tells me that he has been planning on bringing it over all week and finally tossed it in the truck this morning...only to get over here and find out I was gone. Poor Dad, lol.

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Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:16 pm insults to say I love you

From Shakesville: [Rue McClanahan] is still recuperating in the hospital after her November stroke, but was 'tickled' when she received a card from Betty saying words to the effect of 'Dear Rue, I hope you hurry up and die so I can be the last Golden Girl left.'"

I always appreciate people who have such deep and trusting bonds that they can say what seems on the surface to be incredibly crude and mean-spirited, but is in reality a very sincere and heartfelt 'i love you'. My family is emotionally constipated to the point that it would take an ocean liner's worth of ex-lax to get us to say 'i love you' much less anything more and I like seeing that there are others who know that a well-turned insult is just as important as a meaningful compliment.

It does remind me of a friend. His name is Bastard. Seriously. It is his chosen nickname, he introduces himself like that, his unit designation is Bastard, his email and even his snail-mail are all addressed to Bastard. It took me forever and a day to get my mind around the idea of referring to him like that. To me it was rude and not something you used to refer to someone you like.

When I finally got to the point of calling him Bastard without first hesitating and then flinching, he turned to me and asked me if I was a frigid bitch. After a moment of speechless shock, I laughed and said yes, that I was a frigid bitch and that has been the way it is since. He addresses emails and packages to Frigid Bitch and signs it Bastard. He tells his friends about me and then has to think a moment to remember what my real name is when they ask. (I have to think about his name as well.) Once my mom saw a letter from him and nearly lost her hat. I tease him that one day I'm going to write a book about the Adventures of Bastard and Frigid Bitch. He tells me to make sure to give him a leading role and hot love interest. I tell him he'll be the comic relief.

Sometimes, friendship is not having to say the mushy stuff, as long as you can hide the mushy stuff in a prickly pear. :)

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Feb. 3rd, 2010 12:19 pm note to self

You can either watch the Sixth Sense or you can leave the cabinet doors in the kitchen open. You can't do both.

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Jan. 31st, 2010 11:21 pm why are you the way you are

Every now and again, someone will ask why I went to all the trouble getting a degree in education with all the bells and whistles (lesson plans and student teaching and practicums, oh my) only to chuck it and go into retail and then eventually go back to the classroom as a substitute teacher. Anyone who knows me is quite aware that it would take an act of congress to get me into the classroom full-time (and only then if they know the right buttons to push).

I usually blow them off with goofy answers and sometimes the hard truth.

I have three very strong, rather intractable reasons. The good reason, the bad reason and the crazy reason.

The crazy reason is the one I tend to avoid revealing. The good reason and the bad reason are easy enough for most people to understand and most prefer to walk away rather than batter their way to the crazy reason.

The crazy reason is exactly what it sounds like.

I have a panic disorder. Every few weeks I go a bit crazy and hide under the bed. I'm not the most reliable of people, freely admitted, prone to fits and melancholy that can and will effect the way I deal with the people around me. It's hard enough for adults to deal with it, it would be cruel (and detrimental) to expect the kids to deal with it. As long as I'm a sub, I can keep on top of it and make the decision about when to sub, depending on my mental state and how well I can keep it all together.

Technically, it's agoraphobia, which basically boils down to a fear of situations that might trigger panic attacks. I am well aware of what my buttons are, the things that will threaten my control and push me out of my comfort zone. Even as a sub, there are times when situations skirt precariously close to a panic area. As a full-time teacher, it would be hell on earth. No escape, no reprieve, day after day of the same situation. Been there, done that, I can't make it through it again, not with my sanity intact.

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Dec. 26th, 2009 08:59 pm movies

I love musicals. Everything from Singing in the Rain and Caberet to more modern Mamma Mia and Moulin Rouge. I'm a sap and it doesn't really get much sappier than musicals, where everything can be solved via a dance scene.

I have to say, two of my all time favorite dance 'scenes' are both Gene Kelly, the first in An American in Paris and the second in Anchors Away. Both of them involve Kelly, an accomplished dancer, toning it down to dance with partners who might be considered 'lesser' than he for various reasons. Instead of overwhelming them and making them nothing but objects, they are integral parts of the dance and something about that, the gentleness and grace, appeals to me. Like I said, I'm a sap.

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I also love the scenes in Mamma Mia, the huge group performances, Dancing Queen and later when all the bachelors are doing their little ditty on the pier, doing a chorus line and standing on their hands and stuff. I know they are actors and I know it's not real, but I love the energy and the playfulness of those scenes, the idea that they are having as much fun doing it as we are watching it.

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Dec. 26th, 2009 08:35 pm

As they like to say, my family puts the fun in dysfunctional. On paper, we shouldn't even be able to function as a group, much less achieve any sort of healthy relationship, but somehow we manage to muddle our way through. Along with the fact that we don't touch or hug or talk about our emotions, holidays are little more than a chance for Mom to cook for everyone again. She cooks, I help, Dad carves the turkey, he and my older brother fill their plates and go to the living room to watch football while Mom and I sit in the kitchen. When it's time to go, Mom fixes us plates of leftovers and that is that for another year.

I'm not saying this year was any different from last year or the year before, but I think there were a few more funny moments than usual. (Fair warning, funny for one family isn't funny for another and I'm well aware that what we find amusing leaves most people giving us puzzled looks. Don't expect big yuks, but look for the simply humor underneath of people who are so emotionally constipated that stupid jokes and witty asides are as close as we ever get to saying I love you.)

We had a good day after all.Collapse )

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Dec. 25th, 2009 04:40 pm white xmas...kinda

Yesterday, it snowed. Snow!Collapse )

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