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All posts for the month May, 2012

What Gets Me About It…

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

I’ve been watching some stuff on the Westboro Baptist Church lately. Naturally, I get frustrated with everything about them. But I haven’t seen anyone comment on one particular issue, so I’d like to address it myself.

WBC is totally using the Freedom of Speech in this country (though, of course, there’s the difference between use and abuse). But the thing is, they insult this country every chance they get.

They live here. They live here, and they’re complaining about their own home’s very basis of existence. This country is great because you -are- free to hate it, but that freedom is more for protestation against government to make it reform or rebuild. WBC isn’t marching the White House day after day. They’re picketing fellow citizens.

I’ve had friends that hated this country. Absolutely hated the country they were born in. That fed them, clothed them, sheltered them, gave them candy and toys and cell phones and security and safety and freedom. The country that gave you existence; how can you hate it so much? If you really hate it, its society, its people, then maybe we should take away all we give you. I mean, you hate us. So, how about that house? That’s on our soil. We gave it to you. That food, too, that you got from our stores. Those clothes you bought at our malls; or whose fabrics you got at our craft stores. Your electricity, because we’re the ones that get it to you. Everything. Do you still hate us that much?

I just can’t fathom it. I’ve said this twice already in different ways, but there’s a difference between hating your country and hating your government or society. I can’t fathom how you can just hate the land you were born on. And I don’t think it’s OK. Just because you don’t like the way your country is run doesn’t mean it makes sense to disrespect it and all it stands for. The -country-, the myriad of different people with different values and lives living and working in your country, gave you -everything- you have today (if you’re still living in your country). I don’t exaggerate, think about it.

I don’t care if you live in the US, North Korea, or some place equivalent to Nazi Germany. You owe that country your existence. And going around disrespecting and insulting your country in any way, shape, or form is pretty much saying, “thanks for letting me exist! And by the way, YOU STINK!” That is unacceptable.

In Which I Criticize and Possibly Demean My Own School

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

So, the SUNY system is great, and SUNY Fredonia is also quite great. But do not go there for the Education program. The teachers are wonderful. But the field experience? Not so much.

The idea in theory is great. Get you in the classroom ASAP each year so you can figure out if you really want this, and they can figure out if you can actually do it. In practice, it’s not going so well. I experienced too many cooperating teachers that were not very cooperative. I lost something within me that helped me work with kids a couple of years ago. I did not really notice it until one year ago. And even then, I thought I could still truck on to complete what I started as well as I possibly could. One of the cooperating teachers noticed I was missing something, and said so in her evaluation. But no one told me this. I was going along all this time thinking the school saw me as a fine Education student. And why not? My grades were great.

So, communication is minimal in this field experience process. It also does not allow room for error. Deadlines are perfectly timed, so you better get your lessons in and be pretty good at them. There’s little room to actually learn, discover, and discuss.

Continuing the little room for error, a friend of mine was told she lacked the confidence needed in front of the classroom, so she shouldn’t teach and was not allowed into her field experience. Thing is, she’s just a Junior. Who has given her tips? Pep talks? Who even told her this before this semester? No one. She is not being given the chance to grow and gain that confidence. Rather, she is being kicked out. That is not the way to run an educational program. A program in which we are supposed to learn, experience, and grow.

We are not given much of a chance to defend ourselves. To begin with, I was given no information as to why I was not allowed back in my cooperating teacher’s classroom. I had three and a half days to worry and stress—for I had not noticed anything wrong. When I walked into the meeting, I felt like an elementary child again. They had been discussing the issue without a single bit of my involvement. Just the “adults” talking. Sure, if there is importance in that, at least do not make that meeting obvious to me. I do not think it is acceptable to put someone—anyone—on the immediate defensive and submissive like that. To add more to my submission (of course, I am only assuming this was what Big-Boss-Lady wanted to do to me. I cannot say I know this for certain), I had been given absolutely no information about the whole thing. Whereas Big-Boss-Lady read a very long e-mail from the cooperating teacher before the meeting. As well as met with two other professionals. I did not have access to these other professionals before the meeting. No one had heard my side of the situation that I knew next to nothing about, anyway. To top it all off, I was shot down immediately. This is a technique I cannot figure out how to explain, so I will give you a dialogue. Keep in mind, it is not in my nature to be big and stand up for myself in face-to-face situations. I have more of a nervous nature, especially when given the above circumstances:

Big-Boss-Lady: Hello, Lacey. So, why do you think we’re here today?

Me: Well, I think there has been some miscommunication between me and -cooperating teacher-. *Nervous pause*

BBL: Really? I think her instructions were pretty clear.

I was immediately shown that BBL was not going to listen to anything I had to say, despite the little preparation I had managed. My plan to use the Student Teaching Manual went out the window. And given how easy I can be to manipulate, I was playing right in her hands, now.

I had a little chance to stand up for and defend myself. But by that time I had been so berated that I had kind of given up. Why bother? She will stand for the teacher, not for me. No one is really on my side, here (but that is understandable because BBL is the boss of the others in the meeting. The other ladies in the room are wonderful women and really supported me after the meeting. I do not hold a single thing against them and I never did to begin with. I totally understand their stances). I cannot remember, but I don’t think I had a chance to mention anything I thought the teacher could have fixed up about her own self. Rather, it was all focused on me and what I did wrong. And let’s take a quick look back to the communication issues: the teacher’s complaints? I had been completely unaware of all of them. Select few were valid enough (most were exaggerated), but she never approached me to discuss them or tell me she did not appreciate this or that.

Well, now to the climax of this tale-within-a-critique: BBL kicked me out of the Education program. Think about this. I thought things were going fine. No one was telling me something I was doing wrong. I was given no warning, no information, no chance. The meeting was basically a formality. I came in immediately being made to feel like a little child with no valid opinions or point of view to offer the situation. I realize I am a student and not nearly as experienced as these ladies, but I am also 21 years old and the only other person that had been in that room every day, all day, besides the teacher.

The Education program screwed me over and sent me into a depression that is threatening my chances of graduating.

My friend is a bit luckier, I’m happy to say. I, obviously, was not there, but I’m quite sure her meeting was quite similar. She was given no chance to stand up for herself. She has time and energy to change her plans for the future, but the stress put upon her was certainly unnecessary and uncalled-for.

This is not the way to run a field experience program. The students are not the only ones that can screw things up. I experienced several women that should not be cooperating teachers. But it’s me and my friend that are blamed and tossed around. Our lives that are being screwed up. I realize it is extremely hard to find cooperating teachers, but should you really take on anyone at the risk of damaging (yes, damaging) your students?

Fredonia, I never thought I’d ever get depression. I had heard great things about your program. I had believed that if I worked hard, I would achieve what I was reaching for. I never thought I would be betrayed so easily. Fredonia, your job is to support and help us in making our own life decisions. Not to make them for us. We are adults. We have every right to stand up for ourselves. It is wrong to deny us information and not let us prepare. Do not give me a “that is life” lecture. It is wrong, and it should be fixed.

But I doubt it will be. Maybe if I send a letter or something. Because I do still get angry and upset.

I do not want this rant to be only negative and demeaning. SUNY Fredonia, itself, is great. It has its faults, and it has its greatness’s. Everyone else on campus has been more than supportive to me and my friend during these messes. The teachers are wonderful people, most of whom are really concerned about you; personally and professionally.

But, everyone that read through this exhausting rant, I advise you: do not go to SUNY Fredonia for Education. I do not want anyone else to experience this kind of mess.

Comic Books are Making Me Mad

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

I was reading my Gotham City Sirens last night because I couldn’t sleep, and I suddenly lost my temper. Every single woman looks almost-naked, posing in non-realistic positions at the exact moments that the artist chooses to draw them. Like, really, guys?

I used to be able to tell myself “Eh, it’s how they’ve always been,” and brush it off. But I really can’t, anymore. It’s driving me insane! These (fictional) women I really admire are drawn like sex objects. It’s almost a wonder they have any character at all. And don’t even make me start on Catwoman’s comics. Seriously! And it’s -so- distracting from the story!

It’s so disgusting. The only women these artists and fans see are sexy little toys. Why do we have to stare at these half-naked women all the time? You know, the story will be just as good, if not better, without the women being perfectly “beautiful.” They’ll get more readers, too. Most girls really don’t appreciate seeing women represented like that all the time. And are we so obsessed with sex, anyway? Yes, yes, it feels pretty good, I know. But there’s -so- much more to life!

I can’t think of what else to bring up. I’m just sick of reading comics that have women looking so incredibly sexy and guys can look as buff or not as they want. Not cool.

My Religion

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

Found a link to Mike AUS’ article about how studying up on evolution changed his religious views. I kinda liked where he started, then stopped liking it. But I read through it, anyway, because I realized it was going to be an important read for me to figure out my viewpoints.

I was -kinda- like how Mike was before. Ish. I didn’t really brush evolution aside or anything. I kind of consolidated the Bible and science. Evolution is what happened, but it was encouraged by God. God started everything billions (trillions?) of years ago. The Bible is a collection of stories and morals earlier humans lived by to try and make sense of life.

I kinda still see this, but the article showed my the holes in my still calling myself a Christian. First of all, I never believed in original sin, whether Adam and Eve was true or not. Sin is something you choose to do against your morals. Infants do not make choices. In the world of God and Jesus and goodness that I took from Christianity, our ancestors’ sins could not possibly track down to us. It is wrong.

All this time, I’ve avoided the issue of Jesus. Was He real? Did He die for us? Well, perhaps He really believed so. But I guess I don’t, then, considering my disagreements with the church teachings. Considering He was really killed by the Romans because He was a threat to them, and that being warped into dying for our sins is kind of sketchy. Though, at the same time, right now I feel like apologizing to God for giving up on this belief.

I suppose, with my reasoning, I should stop believing in the Holy Trinity and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Even Mary. I love Mary. I rely on her and pray to her most. But if I don’t believe in Jesus, then what makes Mary so special? Can I still think her special? I mean, if I really want to, I suppose… But it’d be wrong…

I’ve kind of slipped away from the article, now. But I guess my problems are in more than evolution. Anyways, I never actually read the Bible all the way through, though I’ve tried. Like I said, I see it as a mere story/rule book to live a decent life. And it is pretty outdated. But I saw nothing wrong with taking the things I liked and leaving those I didn’t. But then, I guess I can’t really call myself a Christian, then.

I don’t know. My religious thoughts are all confused, now. Maybe I’ll think harder about them when I have time. But in the meantime, at least I still have my morals. At least I still have my beliefs on what is right and wrong. How to treat people.

Here’s Your Warning, Laitie

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

This semester of school has turned me into quite the feminist. To encourage this, I follow a lot of feminist and political blogs on my personal tumblr, now. It’s great, I love it! But I think I’m starting to go too far. Let me explain why.

I’ve always tried to have an open mind. It helps that I’m pretty easy to convince, because it takes me too long to think about things, myself. But I’m seeing myself becoming more and more closed-minded.

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day. First, we were talking about Feminism in terms of criticizing literature, because that was part of the exam we were studying for. She said she hated when we went over that. She thinks it was the most ridiculous waste of time. I thought it odd: this is school and we have to look at all areas of whatever we’re doing that we possibly can. None of it is a waste of time. But I didn’t press the matter; I just said I loved it most in terms of this class because it was the easiest and let her continue on on how ridiculous it was.

After the study session, we were discussing things again. I had to ask, so I did. “So…you’re someone who doesn’t really believe in Feminism, right?” She went on about how silly it is today and such. I immediately felt defensive, -almost- like she was attacking me or my mother personally. I wanted to attempt to chew her out (I really can’t do those things in normal-pace. It has to be slow-paced). But I’m someone that mostly keeps her mouth shut, especially when this discussion is with a friend whom I really enjoy and care about.

But the problem is that I got really upset about it. I almost stopped listening to her, too! This is unacceptable. This is the sign of your mind closing. I don’t understand why my friend can hate Feminism so much, but I should respect it, anyway. And I do. But during the conversation, not so much. I’m just glad I noticed this sign, to be honest. I will -not- become close-minded.

Why I Don’t Like FML

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

I see people use the phrase “FML” all the time. Constantly. Because they are upset or frustrated or stressing out. But from the beginning, I really did not like this phrase, and refused to use it.

“F*** my life” is a pretty intense thing to say. It’s saying that your whole life is miserable and horrible. It says that you can’t stand your life. Why would you say that, then? When there’s so much about your life that’s beautiful and wonderful? Or when there’s so many other people with lives so much worse than yours? The people I see using it, I just want to say to them: dude, you’ve made it to college. Dude, you live in upper middle class splendor. Dude, you have a job, a car, clothes, food, clean water, friends, family, health, etc.

Even when I’m struggling with depression, I still refuse to accept that this is an acceptable thing to say (in most cases). I’m struggling greatly, but I have good days. I have friends, family, and even acquaintances that care. The world is beautiful, and I’m part of it.

The vast majority of reasons I’ve seen people say “fml” really irk me. There are more important things in life than what you’re complaining about. Or better, happier things to focus on. Or there are so many people struggling so much worse than you and still truckin’, but you’re gonna sit there and say “fml”? Of course you’ve a right to get upset, to get stressed out, to be exhausted. But those are all so temporary. Fml has a much more permanent meaning. Your life is -not- that bad, so stop telling it eff off.

I Can’t Get into Korra

Published May 30, 2012 by Laitie

I don’t know what it is. The mondern-like setting, the fast pace, the pro-bending, the immediate tones of romance, something about all these just make it hard for me to get into The Legend of Korra.

I don’t know why it bothers me how much technology Avatar World has. It just does. Technology seems to take something away from the whole adventure scene. However, I could easily overlook this if not for…

The fast pace. Already, the plot started moving really quickly in the early episodes. A lot more so, in my opinion, than in The Last Airbender. It was more than an introduction to the plot, really. It was full-out moving along. It kinda ruins the excitement of what’s to come. If this is already going on, then what more is there? I suppose that’s supposed to be an area for excitement, but to me, it’s an area of “…what? …now what?” I also feel that this did not allow much time at all to get to know the characters.

I don’t know why, but I don’t like the pro-bending idea. I guess that’s just because I was never a sports fanatic; and this reminds me too much of sports. Is it an important part of the plot? I haven’t been able to see much of it because a. I was in school and b. I’m struggling to get into it. I think it’s also commercializing bending, whereas bending is a part of who you are. Using it for the sake of sport and beating others doesn’t seem right to me. Ideally, bending is supposed to bring peace between humans and the world around them. Not to be used against other humans. I understand that the show is possibly illustrating the people learning to misuse it, but it still kind of irks me a little too much. The show is giving it too much importance.

The romance starting up in, what, the first episode? That turned me off. Doesn’t matter if Makorra happens in the end or not, it’s like: these people just met each other. We just met these people. I would like a little more time to get to know them before we start pairing them off together. I understand a different age group than The Last Airbender, with hormones running wild, but it still takes more time than that to start mutual feelings/relationships. And, again, the audience member like me would appreciate more time to get to know the characters first, and TV shows are meant to cater to the audience in the end.

Everything is going so fast. And after all my personal build up and excitement for it, I’m sort of extra-disappointed. Not because it’s nothing like The Last Airbender, but because these things are making it super-hard for me to get into it. Does anyone feel similarly?