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OMG Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

October 12, 2016
Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

For the love of Pete, stop unfriending each other!! Every five minutes someone is challenging their Facebook friends and followers to unfriend them if they hold a different opinion about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

If you support that lying, misogynistic, groping dumbass – well just unfriend me now“, or “If you think she actually supports women then you can just unfriend me right now, in fact, I’ll do it for you“, or “if you’re planning on voting for this douchebag, I want you to unfriend me” and on and on.


Additionally, people keep posting how so much more qualified Hillary Clinton is compared to Donald Trump, as if that is even a consideration.

Let’s Break it Down

Let me first say — I don’t like either of them and I’m not supporting or defending either’s behavior — but here’s the thing:

It’s not about their qualifications or their experience.

You can argue it should be, and you would still be wrong.

It’s about their agenda and what path they want to lead this country on.

People aren’t supporting Donald Trump because they also want to grope women without permission, they are not supporting Trump because they are racists (though it is certain that some racists support Trump, just as some of them support Hillary Clinton), people support Trump because they don’t like the direction they think Hillary will take this country.

Conversely, Hillary’s supporters are not women haters and they are not necessarily liars (though, again, there are probably many people who support Hillary who lie), it isn’t that they are liars that make them want to support her. They support her because they like the campaign promises she is making and foolishly believe she might be able to keep them.



They’re Both Deplorable!

This is an interesting campaign because usually the candidate’s qualifications are pretty equal. At least they both, usually, have some experience in public office. Here that is not the case. Here we have a candidate who is probably more qualified than any candidate in history running against someone who has absolutely no political experience.

This is why many people can’t understand why anyone with a brain might vote for someone like Trump (among a whole bunch of other issues). It’s not even that they don’t like Hillary (even though so many people have some really intense negative feelings about her), it’s that they don’t like the policies she plans on putting forward.

It is precisely because they have different agendas (and different parties) that they can both be deplorable and people will still vote for them. Their actions don’t matter. It’s disgusting, but it’s the truth.

Here’s an excellent article about why people will vote for Trump.

Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

Telling someone to unfriend you because you don’t agree with them on one subject is incredibly arrogant. Do you really think you have that much clout that you can wave your Facebook friendship in front of them and believe it will motivate them to change their deeply held beliefs? Are you that self absorbed? Are we still in middle school?

God, it’s like Facebook has turned into Mean Girls. Do this or you are out of the club!

Unfriending someone because they don’t like Hillary or because they plan on voting for Trump is a waste of time, though it will cull your friends to a more homogenous list. And I suppose that’s always more fun – to have friends who think the exact same way that you do.

How Did We Survive? Kids WTF?

Clowns Banned from Halloween

October 6, 2016
clowns banned from Halloween

Let me get this straight, clowns banned from halloween because they creep people out too much?!?!?! Apparently out east clowns have been banned from Halloween because of all the recent creepy clown sightings this summer and fall. Mind you, no one has been hurt by these creepy clowns, but they freak people out enough that the powers that be in Connecticut have prohibited children from dressing up as clowns in all 48 New Haven schools.

Clowns Banned from Halloween

“Unfortunately, clown-themed posturing has been a growing trend throughout the country, particularly on social media,” said the New Haven school district, which enrolls 21,500 students, in a statement on Tuesday.

Clowns are scary, therefore we can’t dress up as clowns for Halloween.


Isn’t that the point of Halloween? To dress up as something scary?

Again, with all of the recent creepy clown sightings in the last few months, all have been hoaxes.

Why the hell is everyone freaking out? People in my generation have been terrified of clowns since the stories of John Wayne Gacy were whispered at every campfire and slumber party. Clowns are creepy as fuck, and that’s why they’re so fun to dress as for Halloween.

Even Stephen King said people are overreacting. Stephen King, the author who gave us Pennywise, the creepy clown from his novel IT.

“Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria,” King tweeted on Monday, “most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.”

Having clowns banned from Halloween is like banning candy from Halloween or banning the movie Elf pretty much any time of the year because it is always on somewhere.

What good will banning clowns from Halloween do anyway? If perverts really are dressing up as clowns in order to entice kids to come with them (clearly they never got the memo that clowns are creepy and most kids would run from them anyway) what’s to stop them from dressing up as Darth Vadar, Captain America, a Transformer or even Elsa from Frozen?

I think the people out east have underestimated perverts.

Apparently clown masks sales are up 300% since last year. So even though clowns have been banned from Halloween, at least out east, expect to see them all over the place on Halloween night. You may even see a couple of them through November 8th.

Advice People politics WTF?

Hillary Clinton is Not a Badass

September 12, 2016

Since it was divulged that Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, social media has lit up with memes about Hillary Clinton’s super human stamina. Hillary Clinton is not a badass, Hillary Clinton is just like every other woman on this planet who ignores her own health. And it’s a stupid thing to do.

This isn’t a political post, I don’t care for Hillary Clinton’s policies or much of her character, but this isn’t about Hillary the politician, this is about Hillary the woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend and colleague.

Hillary Clinton is Not a Badass

I get that she is campaigning for the toughest job in the world, I also get that she is between a rock in a hard place when it comes to fessing up about her health. Donald Trump has been making an issue of her nagging cough for months and months. Prior to yesterday, I just thought it was more campaign rhetoric. She’s yelling each and every day, of course her voice is going to be horse and it’s not a stretch that she would have a cough. Flying around in a jet with its canned air isn’t doing her throat any favors either, I am sure.

I get it.

But she missed an opportunity here. Most women I know push past the pain so we can take care of the kids, the husband/wife, the parents, the job. Most women I know need a push to schedule that mammogram, appointment with the endocrinologist or the cardiologist. This past week my Facebook feed had too many to count stories of women who ended up in the ER with symptoms not unlike Hillary Clinton’s this past weekend. Overheating, dehydration, racing heartbeat (that’s the one that usually, finally gets our attention. And it should since heart disease is the leading cause of death for women), dizziness and confusion. Could be a heart attack, could be anxiety, could even be pneumonia. We won’t know unless we see a doctor. And we won’t get better if we don’t follow their advice.

Hillary was diagnosed with a pneumonia on Friday when her physician, Dr. Lisa R. Bardack, examined her. I assume an X-ray was performed.

“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow-up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now rehydrated and recovering nicely,” Bardack said.

When diagnosed with pneumonia Hillary should have canceled her scheduled events for at the very least the next few days. Would social media have exploded because she didn’t attend the 9/11 memorial? Yes. But instead of pushing through the illness, like most of us do, she could have taken this opportunity to address this really bad practice among Americans. We take our health for granted and it shouldn’t take tripping into the Scooby Van to help us come to our senses.

Ignoring your health is not badass. Whether you are a mother who ignores her health because she feels as if no one else will step up in her stead or you are the President of the United States (or campaigning for that job). Being badass means you know when to say when and are thick skinned enough to let the insults roll off your back about it (something she has done rather well so far). Being badass means putting on your oxygen mask before putting it on those around you.

Events Minnesota politics Things that piss me off WTF?

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

September 5, 2016
We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

They say this decade, the 2010s, has been pretty crappy for those who came of age during the 80s, we’ve lost so many of our icons. If that’s true, then this summer has truly epitomized that sentiment, especially for Minnesotans.

This Summer We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

Summer 2016 has been a roller coaster ride. While not officially summer, it was warm (and that’s close enough for those of us who spend 6 months of the year shoveling snow and enduring temperatures below freezing) when we learned that Prince had died of an opioid overdose, alone, at Paisley Park. It was a horribly senseless and tragic death. Wasteful. So much talent wasted due to addiction. That he was trying to get help when it happened made it even more tragic. We mourned, with the rest of the nation, for all the gifts he gave us. We sang and we danced, and we grieved.

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

Many superstars have passed during my lifetime, some of the biggest in recent memory including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, but none seemed to sting as badly as the loss of Prince. While the rest of the nation, and world for that matter, moved on, in Minnesota we continued to honor Prince with tribute concerts and celebrations. On August 26th, we celebrated Unite in Purple at the Minnesota State Fair, a night of music, dance and fireworks to celebrate the life of a legend. A few days later The Revolution gathered one more time at First Avenue to pay tribute to Prince.

This summer our presidential election was in full swing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raced to the bottom of the election. They have both lowered the bar to unimaginable depths. It’s a sad state of things when you have to choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil. God help us come November.

Two days after we celebrated the birth of our nation Philando Castille was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop that was anything but routine. The aftermath was posted live on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as her daughter tried to comfort her from the back seat. Protests, mostly peaceful, led the news this summer. Traffic was shut down on I-94 and in front of the Governor’s residence on Summit Avenue as people tried to change the world.

justice for Philando

(Jennifer Brown)

Ironically, it was a video game that got all of us outside this summer. Pokémon Go got the kids, and adults out from in front of their computer screens and into the streets looking for digital monsters. It has been decades since neighborhoods had been filled with kids outside playing. It was wonderful, and poignant.

Labor Day weekend we learned that Jacob had been found. Jacob Wetterling had gone missing 27 years ago.  A parent’s worst nightmare, he was abducted at gun point while riding bikes with his brother and a friend October 22nd, 1989. Jacob was one of the reasons kids didn’t play outside anymore. If a kid could go missing in America’s heartland, no place was safe. We kept our kids close.

We’d gotten our hopes up many times in the last 27 years, so many of us were skeptical that he had really been found. Sadly, within hours his mother, Patty Wetterling, confirmed what we had feared all these years.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Our hearts are broken, we have no words.”

There’s a chill in the air, winter is coming.

Advice Minnesota People politics WTF?

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

July 8, 2016
If you're like me, you're probably wondering what's happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor's mansion in St. Paul.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what’s happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor’s mansion in St. Paul. I’ve wanted to write about this issue for a long time, but have never known what to say. Witnessing the peaceful protest at the Governor’s mansion didn’t help me much. For the last two days, the internet has erupted with outrage over yet another (and another) black life cut short by a cop. And rightfully so. I’ve wanted to write about this, but I’ve been afraid to. I won’t bother addressing those fears here, they’re not irrelevant, but they don’t move the conversation forward. I probably wouldn’t have written about the protest for Philando if it hadn’t been for the events that followed later in Dallas.

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

Following the killing of  Philando Castile, which immediately followed the killing of Alton Sterling, social media lit up with all kinds of angry pronouncements about how white people can “help”. Helpful memes were created to unintentionally enflame race relations. White people proudly displayed their “white privilege” guilt as if it were a badge of honor. White people, some of us, became woke. Instead of simply coming together to mourn the lost lives, the injustice and the loss of what was left of our innocence, white people seem to be trying to gain the most points by proclaiming their privileged guilt. But there are no solutions in that.

I hate the term “white privilege”, mostly because I don’t believe the word privilege is an accurate description of the idea that is being put forth. I get it, I get the meaning of the phrase and I wholeheartedly agree it is a real thing. I also hate the term because it immediately shuts down any meaningful discussion about the problems we face. If we can’t discuss the issues, we certainly can’t solve them.

Think Differently?

We used to be able to hold differing opinions. Now, we must all be in agreement. If not, the internet reaction is swift and mighty. Don’t agree with me? Then you must be a racist.

As a white, middle aged, woman I never worry about being pulled over in my little SUV crossover while rocking out to the softer sides of the 80s. Even when I go above the speed limit by 5 or 6 mph, I know the odds are good I will not get pulled over. Broken taillight? I’ve never been pulled over for one, though I have had many. I don’t worry about being followed in department stores because the clerk is worried I will shoplift. And I certainly never worry about being shot dead by a police officer.

But privilege to me, has always meant something that was earned and that could be also taken away. I did not earn my whiteness and I cannot remove it. In these times, because I really do want to help make things better, my whiteness has become a burden. And yet, there are still so many things I take for granted because I am white.

I understand that.

Hands are Tied

I keep starting each paragraph with a story that exemplifies what I am trying to convey. And then I remember, sharing those stories is another way not to help. The thing is, it is a way to connect. And we need to connect more with one another if we want to change the way things currently are. I’ve been told over and over what not to do, as a white person, these past few days. I want to help be the change, I want things to be better for everyone in this great country of ours, I want equality for all. And yet I know that simply wanting something to happen rarely makes it happen. Action must be taken.

Philando Castile Protest


The reason I was not compelled to write about my visit to the Governor’s Mansion was because I saw privilege at that protest. Not white privilege, but American privilege. There were a few hundred people at the protest. People of all color, age, gender, sexuality, and political persuasion. People were there with their children and their pets. Neighbors welcomed the protestors into their neighborhood with tables of bottled water, granola bars and even opened the doors of their churches for people to use the bathroom and get out of the heat. The police were there in large numbers. They were protecting the proetestors’ right to assert their first amendment rights even if the words they were speaking were against the police officers. There was no fear at this protest. People were calm, they were not worried that someone might start shooting at the crowd.

Philando Castile Protest

A similar protest took place in Dallas later that evening. It too was a peaceful protest, until it wasn’t. Someone did the unimaginable and started picking off cop after cop. 5 dead, 6 wounded at last count. And the cops continued to protect those that were protesting while getting shot.

Be the Change You Wish To See in the World

Frustrated, I don’t know how to change things. I do know I have no control over a cop and how he handles himself. I also have no control over a shooter who wants to kill as many cops as he can before he gets shot dead. I only have control over the way I react to these things.

Even though I don’t know how to change the nation, I still want to try. I do know that it starts with community, something that has changed so drastically in the last couple of decades. And I’m not even sure we can put that genie back in the bottle. But, I know this – spewing rhetoric on social media is not “community”. Sure, we may be surrounded by like minded people, but those aren’t the people who live on our block.

Unplug to Reconnect

I’m going to spend less time online in the coming months. That isolation and anonymity doesn’t do anyone any good. I want to have these important conversations, but I want to do so with people in real life. I want to discuss these issues with members of my community instead of on some Facebook thread of someone who lives three states away. I know I can’t solve this problem on my own, and I know I won’t change the world, but I can make a difference in my own community if I get out and get to know my neighbors.

We fear what we don’t know, so let’s get out there and get to know each other so we stop fearing each other.

What We Can Do

National Night Out is next month. If you haven’t already, start planning a block party.

Unplug from the internet. Get out and get to know your neighbors.

When online, don’t read the comments.

Think before you react or leave a comment.

Be kind.

Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.



The Walking Dead Things I Really Like Things that piss me off WTF?

The Walking Dead Cliffhanger Sucked and Damn, Negan is Hot! SPOILERS

April 4, 2016
The Walking Dead Season Six Finale

This is about The Walking Dead Cliffhanger that sucked so there are lots and lots of SPOILERS.

If you haven’t seen the Season 6 Finale of The Walking Dead, you really aren’t missing anything. Most of the 90 minutes episode was Rick and his gang driving all over the backroads of Virginia trying to get Maggie to the Hilltop for medical treatment.

There were a ton of commercials, too.

This was one of the stupidest episodes of The Walking Dead so that they turned it into a cliffhanger is really no surprised. They basically painted themselves into a corner and now they have 7 months to figure out how they’re going to get out of it.

Episode Last Day on Earth Recap

Maggie is cramping and they are worried she is going to lose the baby so they take her to see the doctor at the Hilltop community. Of course Rick knows the Saviors are probably going to come for a fight so what does he do? He piles all the key characters into the Winnebago and hits the road. This is with the full knowledge that his best fighters are out looking for Daryl, and Morgan is out looking for Carol. Rick is not aware that Daryl, Rosita, Michonne, and Glenn have been captured by Dwight and that Daryl has been shot by Dwight.

So by all means take your best warriors, the pregnant woman, the kid with one eye and the coward of the county on a joyride through the woods when you know the baddest motherfucker is out there waiting for you and your people because you’ve slaughtered two groups of their people already.

Negan is Hot

They could have delivered the last 20 minutes of the show and it wouldn’t have taken anything away from it. Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is a long winded villain. He goes on and on about how he has to kill one of the Alexandrians. He over explains himself but appears to be scaring the crap out of Rick who really does look like he might wet his pants. If he weren’t so hot I’d have been upset about his long winded speech.

Did I mention Negan is hot?

In the final minutes of the show Negan makes his choice and splatters the brains of one of our people all over the camera lens. We just don’t know who it is. In the final scene the camera takes the point of view of the charactered who is killed and it looks like whoever it is can see Abraham in his view, as if he is sitting across from him. I’ve tried to find the scene online but it’s been cut out of the ones I’ve found.

Based on who was sitting where it could be Eugene, Glenn, Daryl or Michonne (I think). I have no idea who it was but whoever it was that was killed by Negan last night, its impact will be completely diluted after waiting 7 months to find out.

I’m actually hoping it isn’t Eugene since he seems to be about the only one who has any brains in the group, though clearly not enough to stop anyone from piling into the RV and meeting their fate head on.

Do you Care?

It’s a good thing they chose Jeffrey Dean Morgan to play Negan because really, he was the only thing worth watching last night. In The Talking Dead Scott Gimple gushed about what a great episode it was and how it set up season 7 so well. Maybe, but the death that he says the season is built upon has lost any impact it might have had. This season may or may not have been about screwing with the audience, but the storytelling is lacking.

That said, I thought it was a great season and maybe they just overhyped this episode and there was simply no way to live up to it. Still, either hubris or just plain stupidity seems to have done in one of the main characters.

Oh, and Morgan finally killed someone.

Who do you think Negan killed with his baseball bat last night? Do you care who he killed? Will you keep watching the show?

Huh Music People Reviews WTF?

Beyoncé and Red Lobster

February 9, 2016
Red Lobster Beyonce Formation

Evidently, Beyoncé has single handedly* increased sales at Red Lobster because of her new song Formation. Apparently, when he fuck her good, she takes his ass to Red Lobster.

No shit, those are the lyrics to her newest song (anthem, really) that she performed (I think) during the Super Bowl half time show this past weekend.

I’m not really sure if she performed it because the audio was so horrible and it was difficult to hear any of the musicians sing. It didn’t help that I was worried about Chris Martin’s back injury – talk about the show must go on! The man couldn’t stand up and yet there he was out there shouting or mumbling or whatever the heck he was doing while Beyoncé and Bruno Mars funked it up.

According to all news sources today, Red Lobster’s sales have increased 33% since the song Formation was dropped this past weekend due to these lyrics –

When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay

Look, I’m no relationship expert, I’ve been divorced twice, but if the fucking is good I should think one might want to reward the person doing the good fucking by bringing him to a restaurant that was actually pretty good. It doesn’t have to be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or McCormick and Schmick’s, but maybe Ruby Tuesdays or Outback Steakhouse? Hell, most of the guys I might reward with food after performing well would prefer Chipotle over Red Lobster.

I’m not sure what she means by “slay” either. According to the dictionary it means to kill someone or to impress someone. According to the Urban Dictionary it means – mercilessly fuck, or to do something awesomely well.

I think we can assume its usage is not in reference to mercilessly fucking anyone since it was he who fuck(ed) her good.

Let’s see if we can get some context from the next set of lyrics.

After she takes him out to get some shoes…

I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay

I’m going to make a leap and suggest she’s using “slay” in the do something awesomely well definition.

So I repeat, if she is doing so well, and I think we can all agree that Beyoncé is doing pretty well for herself, why not take her bae to a really nice place?

According to the internet, this song was also about all kinds of black empowerment, woman empowerment and other empowerments – It just went completely over my head during the Super Bowl. I am not the only one. Many people, mostly white, middle aged women who want to know what all the fuss is about, are asking on social media. So far has been construed as racism, because ….America.

I just thought she was channeling Janet Jackson and Rhythm Nation.

It’s not racism, most of the people who are questioning this song at all simply didn’t understand the lyrics (because they don’t make much sense at all – Red Lobster for good sex?!?!?!?!), or because they couldn’t understand the lyrics (slay).

It might just be generational rather than racism, but you can decide for yourself, here’s the original video with NSFW lyrics, the video gives it better context than the Super Bowl performance.

(*or maybe not, it could be Lobsterfest)

Things that piss me off WTF?

Perimenopause Is So Much Fun!!!

January 14, 2016
Fremont Troll, Menopause, Perimenopause

When I was about 9 or 10 there was this book called What’s Happening to Me?, it was one of those books about puberty. It was an iconic book. An x rated comic book about boobs, penises and pubic hair. Everyone had a friend who had one of these books and we all took turns paging through it and giggling at all the silly drawings of plump, bumpy and fairly hairy preteens as they make their way through puberty. It answered all the questions no one wanted to ask their parents and that the gym teacher was to terrified to address in a co-ed class.

When I was pregnant, there was a book called What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s still a New York Times Best Seller, probably in it’s 30th printing. It too, was a book about getting through a terrifying part of life, explained with drawings of things many of us (mostly my husband) wasn’t ready to see in a book or in real life. It went week by week and laid bare exactly what to expect when pregnant and right bloody after.

There was a follow up book about what to expect with an infant and toddler but I was too busy and too tired to read it.

Why isn’t there a cute book with adorably drawn women as they manage their way through mood swings, hot flashes and irregular periods?

I’m almost fifty years old, I have access to the internet and have been Googling what to expect from menopause for a while now. I have asked women who I assume have gone through the change only to tell me that it was a breeze or that it hasn’t happened. I asked Facebook about hot flashes and what they felt like and no one could give me one, agreed upon answer. Everyone has such a different experience that I am not sure if I am suffering from hot flashes,  bad Chipotle or maybe a little flu.

The thing about menopause is that once you’re in menopause, all the excitement of mood swings, cravings, and hot flashes are over. It’s the getting there – the up to ten fucking years of mood swings, cravings, and hot flashes – that no one really talks about. We suffer in relative silence.

Today I was driving out to see my mother. That in itself is a bit of roller coaster emotionally but today I wasn’t expecting anything. She’s had a lot of trouble with her teeth in the last couple of months but we seemed to weather the dry socket and infection from the removal of 6 front teeth without too much drama. She’s been feeling pretty good even if her delusions are casting their short shadows again.

The drive to my mother’s nursing home is long, it’s at least half an hour. Plenty of time to think, rock out or listen to the news. Today I chose to listen to music.

I was singing along to the Go-Gos when a song came on that I used to play as I attempted to rock my son to sleep when he was colicky. Before the first chorus tears were streaming down my cheeks.

Why was I crying? Because the love between a mother and child is so pure, so amazing and so special, that of course I would get caught up in it.

Or, it was the fucking hormones.

I saw my mother, stopped at least three times on the way home to pee and then stopped at the grocery store to pick up chocolate and French bread. It it had been later in the day I would have picked up wine, too.

Yesterday, I waited at a stop sign for several minutes waiting for the light to change.

I don’t know how long this lasts, I just wish there was a cute, animated book with boobs, penises and grey pubes I could read with my friends and giggle over until wine squirted out of our noses.


Kids Minnesota Things that piss me off WTF?

Failure of Saint Paul Public Schools, Solutions Not Suspensions and Teachers Strike

December 9, 2015
Saint Paul Central High School building at night

Last week a teacher at St. Paul Central High School was brutally beaten when he tried to help to break up a fight between two students arguing about football. The teacher was slammed into a concrete wall, then the student picked the teacher up by his neck in a strangulation hold before slamming him onto a cafeteria chair and table. The student then got on top of the teacher and started choking him, according to the charges.. The teacher suffered a traumatic brain injury and concussion.

Since the incident, teachers in the SPPS district are threatening to strike and are asking for Valeria Silva to step down.

The reason teachers are demanding the resignation of Silva and threatening to strike is because their hands have been tied with regard to discipline for a couple of years now. Instead of suspending or expelling students for bad behavior they are now given a time out.

From Minnpost

At the same time, discipline policies were substantially changed. School suspensions were replaced by five-minute “timeouts” for those acting up in classrooms. The disciplinary changes came out of meetings with an organization called Pacific Education Group, a San Francisco-based operation that has been consulting with the district dating back to 2010.

PEG’s goal is to convene conversations about difficult issues surrounding race. It has collected more than $1 million for its work with the district, but Nathan points out that much of that work has only created more frustration in St. Paul. At one point, the organization set up meetings to discuss “white privilege” with teachers and parents. “OK, white privilege,” Nathan said. “Now that we’ve acknowledged there’s such a thing, what should we do about it? What’s the response? Help us here. But there was no response.”
In the wake of the dramatic changes in discipline and mainstreaming, Silva admitted that perhaps so much should not have been done so quickly. The admission, however, came long after large numbers of parents and teachers said that the changes had fundamentally changed the culture of St. Paul schools and, in many cases, made teaching and learning extremely difficult.

By that point, things had moved passed “messy.” Nowhere more so than at Ramsey Middle School, where the five-minute timeouts were not working in an environment of fighting, swearing and general disrespect. This past fall, nine teachers quit their jobs.

We live in Mac Groveland which means my daughter would have to go to Ramsey Junior High (Ramsey feeds into Central). Last spring I put my daughter on the waiting for Highland Jr High, not much better reputation than Ramsey but it wasn’t Ramsey – a school that was notorious bad behavior. I spent most of the summer checking with the school district to see if there had been any movement on the list. I had put all my eggs into the basket of Highland because my son graduated from the Highland High School. He was in the IB program and did very well for himself, I had the same hopes for my daughter.

It was not to be, there were too many children on the waiting list and she did not make the cut. When school started she began her very short career at Ramsey Jr High.

On the first day she was hit in the face with a pencil meant for someone else. She would be repeatedly kicked or shoved in the hallway. The aggression was not necessary aimed at her, it was just such a madhouse she was in the crossfire of students yelling, bickering, fighting, or all out attacking each other.

I picked her up early one afternoon to go to a doctor’s appointment and was harassed as I walked down the sidewalk by the playground. Words such as “fucking bitch” were used to address me to retrieve a ball that had been kicked over the 8 foot high fencing. I was so stunned by this behavior but even more so by the lack of reaction or retribution for the bad behavior by the teachers who were out monitoring (and within earshot) the playground activities.

When I signed my daughter out I mentioned the incident to the ladies in the office. One of them literally dragged me through the halls insisting that I report the behavior to the principal. As if I could make a change.

I talked with the principal who explained to me that as a white woman of privilege she was unable to speak to the cultural barriers in place (whatever the heck that means). I realized that she was more interested in making excuses than doing anything about the bad behavior and pulled my daughter out of the school the next day.

I understand now that the principal’s hands were tied due to Superintendent Silva’s belief in Solutions not Suspensions – a policy of sorts put in place to prevent children of color from being suspended or expelled disproportionately from their white counterparts. Basically we no longer suspend or expel children who behave badly, we give them a five minute time out.

The schools are madhouses. Children have no respect for authority, teachers or other students (and certainly not for themselves). When there are no consequences for bad behavior it is no wonder that teachers (and students) are getting hurt.

My daughter attended Ramsey for 12 days. I spent two and a half weeks finding another slightly less chaotic school for her to attends and that is not going well either. My daughter is terrified to go to school. I’m not expert, but I’m pretty sure it’s difficult to learn when you’re worried about getting beat up or killed because some child brought a weapon to school. Even though she only attend the school for 12 days she still managed to ace all of her classes except for gym!!!

There is so much wrong with the Saint Paul Public School district that I really hope the teachers union does strike. I will be picketing with them. I am also hopeful they can manage to remove Silva, someone who doesn’t seem to have any idea what it is like to raise a child.

Poverty doesn’t cause this sort of behavior in the schools, I would even posit that poor parenting isn’t the problem (though it is something that should be addressed). The problem is the kids know they won’t suffer any consequences for their bad behavior.  Untie the teacher’s hands, stop making excuses for bad behavior, punish it and reward good behavior and you’ll probably go a long way in solving this problem.

For me and my daughter, we’re getting out of the St Paul Public Schools, my daughter’s education is far to important to wait for the SPPS to get it together.

Events Huh Things I Really Like Things that piss me off WTF?

Is Glenn Really Dead? Processing the Episode Thank You of the Walking Dead

October 26, 2015

**If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of The Walking Dead then now is your chance to leave. I’ll be discussing major spoilers.

If you caught The Walking Dead last night, Season 6 Episode 3, you know that there is some question as to the death of beloved character Glenn. Glenn was pulled into a herd of walkers when Nicolas, the dumbass who tried to kill Glenn at least once on purpose and another time out of dumbassery, killed himself and fell into the herd with Glenn getting pulled down with him.

It looks as if, maybe, Glenn landed with Nicholas’s body on top of him. He could have scurried under the dumpster, allowing him to kill a walker and cover himself in decayed flesh to go unnoticed until the herd could move on.

I suppose it’s possible. Social media is suggesting that because Steven Yuen wasn’t on The Talking Dead following the show and wasn’t mentioned in the In Memoriam piece that he is still alive. Scott Gimple, writer and producer of the Walking Dead, provided a statement saying that Glenn’s story wasn’t over, that we’d see more of him in one way or another. This could mean flashbacks or dreams or that he’s still alive.

Hopefully the ambiguity won’t last too long.

My best guess, based on the show and the scene in question (not the comic) is that Glenn is dead. When the walkers started eating either Glenn or Nicholas there was blood spurting. If it had been Nicolas, who was already dead, there would have been no spurting blood. However, Glenn dies in a very different and spectacular way in the comic so maybe he’s still alive?

The writers and producers have strayed from the story line in the comic before. In the comic Sofia lives while Carol has passed away a long time ago. In the comic, Daryl doesn’t exist and Rick loses his hand (that might actually happen based on the cut he got in last night’s episode, though it looks as if he may not make it either).

What do you think? Is Glenn alive or dead? Will Rick get out of the hoard that’s surrounding him? If Glenn is dead what will happen to Maggie? She’s lost so much in the past few months this one she may not be able to recover from.

Blogging WTF?

No, I’m Not Killing My Blog!

October 19, 2015

It might seem like it but I’ve not killed this blog — yet. I haven’t even thought about killing it because, honestly, I forgot all about it. Sure, the idea that I should update passes through my head when I get notification of spam in the comments, but other than that I haven’t thought much about it.

I planned on writing, a lot, back in July. In fact, I had all kinds of post ideas and I even started them in draft (title only, but it’s something!). I had planned to write about the coming end of summer and how I was glad it was going to be over soon as well as a not so funny posts asking when is a good time to put the dog down? I don’t know the answer, still waiting for nature to take its course because I can’t seem to take action on that one.

I miss blogging here. I blog everyday on many other websites, but that’s for work and is incredibly boring. By the time I’m finished with all that writing as well as designing new websites for clients who really don’t know what they want I’m too tired to write for myself.

Of course Facebook is much easier so that’s where you’ll find me. The problem with Facebook is I’m connected to so many clients, not to mention acquaintances, that I would rather not share personal information there. They may know I have this blog but from the looks of my traffic no one is visiting from Facebook. Not that I’ve tried promoting anything on Facebook because, obviously, I haven’t bothered to write anything.