Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Principal of the Thing

No, I did not use the wrong on:

I was reading this story on CNN, which has many facets that I will not explore. The facet I would like to explore is from this quote:
Bayer [the school principal] also removed her from Advanced Placement classes and assigned her to regular classes.

That's right...this student was punished by banning her from learning!

As someone who was yanked out of AP classes as punishment ("If you aren't going to get good grades in advanced classes, you will have to go back to regular ones!"--which then caused me to be bored out of my skull until I finally dropped out, and which really didn't address the root of the issue as I learned what they wanted me to learn but simply refused to perform the way they wanted me to perform--seriously, can you tell yet why I homeschool?), I am appalled. Ninety percent of the students in school feel like knowledge is being shoved down their throats (I made that statistic up) and you take on of the tiny fraction who are hungry for knowledge and take it away? That should seriously be illegal. Clearly this principal doesn't actually have her students' education at the top of her list of priorities. Oh, no, it's all about conformity of thought...and here I could digress into areas that are best left untouched today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why I Hate Valentine's Day

(in which I use a lot of hyphens)

Completely aside from the whole haven't-had-a-valentine-in-a-decade thing, Valentine's Day grates on my nerves, a kind of Christmas-without-the-goodwill-toward-men fake-fuzzy holiday.

Maybe I feel that way because I work in retail?

One year ago, prior to my entry into tech support, I received two memorable Valentine's Day calls. The first was a marriage proposal. Yes, my service is really that good. The second? A man who claimed that he would be sleeping on the couch that night and it was all my fault. He had ordered his wife's gift and chosen the slowest shipping method known to mankind, in order to save money. Sadly, UPS left his box on a truck, and it was going to arrive a day late. The only things I could think of were, "If the success of your marriage depends on the timely arrival of your Valentine's Day gift, perhaps slow-as-molasses-but-free shipping is not the way to say I love you," and, "Here, let me direct you to the marriage self-help books..."

Today the onslaught began. One reason, perhaps, that I dislike this holiday is the cultural attitude that we have that says men can behave like *insert anatomically correct term here* the rest of the year if they just play right on this day. On the one hand, it puts far too much pressure on them and on the other, far too little. And how many men, feeling the pressure to find the 'perfect' gift to somehow prove their love, freeze under that pressure and end up ordering the gift very, very late...and then calling poor people like me to complain that I have single-handedly ruined their love life? Sigh.

Today I had a rather reverse call. A husband had been given an item for Valentine's day by his wife. Think of an iPod Touch. Only...he already owns one. And she bought it two months ago. Like, before Christmas. And she never noticed he already owned one! And now he's mad that we won't take it back for a full refund, because it has been too long since it was purchased.

So, lemme tell you: It doesn't matter how much you spend on the gift. It doesn't matter if UPS delivers it on time. It doesn't matter if a giant snowstorm invades half of your country and stops all deliveries. What matters is how much attention you pay to the actual person, how you treat them the other 364 days of the year. Changing diapers, fixing the cupboard door, a back rub, remembering to tell them how you feel every day...those things are worth far more. And UPS can't lose them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fat and Healthy--With Proof

You will be happy to know I am not diabetic. I am not even pre-diabetic. My cholesterol is low enough (although my HDL is not high enough, but I can fix that), my thyroid is happy, my blood counts are all correct, my metabolic panel is all correct, I am not anemic (although they said I must be slow to reproduce as I can only give blood every other time), and my doc is fairly happy.

I do, however, have a sinus infection, but that is good news, as I have been fighting it for years and it flared up on que to be seen while I was in the office this morning--maybe the scrip she wrote me will take care of it, finally (previously I was unable to convince a doctor that there was a problem, this one had the benefit of seeing me three weeks apart).

So there :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ice Skating

In my quest to behave more like the children in my life, I went ice skating with Nate and Li'l Sis's youth group yesterday.

Quest to behave more like the kids? Well, kind of. I am trying to have more fun without letting my weight dictate the kind of fun I am 'allowed' to have. I ran around and played as a child and have yet to figure out why I gave it up.

Ice skating is on my list of Fun Things to Do, and I would love to take a few lessons. Earlier this winter I had read Fat Girl's Guide to Living's post on ice skating and found it helpful, but I didn't have much in the way of advanced notice, so most of the tips I wasn't able to follow.

I expected ankle problems but once one of the youth group moms tightened my skates for me, that wasn't an issue. (poor Nancy--she actually developed laces-tightening blisters!) My main issue seemed to be pain in the ball of my foot, which was unexpected, along with the fact that the rink was out of my size of skates by the time I got to the front of the line, so I ended up in men's hockey skates, which just aren't as comfortable. If I do decide to take lessons at some point, my own pair of skates is definitely in order!

All in all, I went out three or four times for a few laps each, and then passed my skates off to a skateless teenager. Never fell, and even skated backwards some :-) I am hoping the pain I experience can be alleviated by a combination of good skates and more experience as the skating itself is quite fun.