Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I finished reading the Twilight series. I really liked the last book, Breaking Dawn, but think that Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse should have been condensed into 1 book, making it a 2-book series. There was enough pointless filler in books 1-3 that you could have removed 2/3 of it, shoved all the funny, steamy & dangerous parts (i.e. the good stuff) together and made just one book out of it.

The final book was about SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Bella's life after becoming a vampire. It was awesome, I loved it. It was just what I was looking for - fun, exciting, light reading. Too bad the entire series didn't measure up to the last book.

* * *

My kids start school today, 4th and 5th grades in a new school. I'm excited for them. I'm anxious for them - I hope they make friends. I know they will, they always do. They already do have neighborhood friends who will be in the same school but in different classes. Especially Bennett (4th grade) - he makes friends immediately, wherever he goes.

Still, I'm anxious. Kori is in 5th grade, the new girl. She's sensitive even though she tries to hide it. She's smart, funny, cute, has cute clothes (though nothing too expensive). Unless she has some MEAN GIRLS in her class, she should have no problems fitting in. I don't care about her being popular, I just don't want her to suffer because someone thinks she's an easy target because she's new.

Last night was a "welcome back" picnic at their school. We met their teachers and the kids played for a while on the playground. Bennett was surrounded by his "peeps" (seriously, you should see him and his little friends saying 'whatup' and giving each other bro-hugs and daps), while Kori hung out with us. Rian (3 years old) wants to go to school like his big brother and sister. We do need to get him into pre-school or something so he'll be less of a terror when we unleash him on kindergarten.

Sometime in the next day or two I'll be writing their teachers a letter, the way I do every year, telling them about my kids - their strengths, weaknesses, interests, etc.


My babies are growing up.

* * *

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my own schooling and career.

I've been a little burnt out on school but now it's time to get back in gear. I have a detailed plan for getting back into volunteering and using it as personal research for learning more about the various fields I *think* I'm interested in. I also need to get some admissions & faculty interviews set up at a couple schools whose grad programs I'm considering applying for.

Last but not least, I need to get back on my game in terms of using the professional development resources my job has to offer. I'm lucky to have full-time career & employee development consultants available to talk to.

Here are just some of the things I'll be looking into, to see if I might be a good fit and if there is work in my area:

~ Anti-racist advocacy.
~ Getting resources to those who are poor and especially those who are poor and without a voice, especially immigrants, especially immigrants who aren’t here legally.
~ Teaching about privilege.
~ Getting resources to the working poor and/or those who make too much money to qualify for subsidies (welfare) but don’t really make enough to make it.
~ Closing the gaps for people who are on the verge of moving to the next level of self-sufficiency but aren’t quite there . . . maybe if they could just get decent childcare, they could. Or if they could get reliable transportation. Or if they could take one year off of work to finish their degree.
~ Developing more innovative education and social mediums to draw white, middle-class women into discussions about racism, privilege, class, welfare, philanthropy.
~ Helping others get motivated and involved in community service, including finding ways for people to serve when they have very little free time or have some roadblock, like no childcare or something.
~ Promoting the idea that K-12 and college education should always involve a service component.
~ Promoting service programs to pre-college and college students.
~ Promoting community service “tours” which result in getting college tuition, better loans or training, like our veterans get (like some other countries have).

I think one day, policy might be an area I could do well in . . . but I have to gain much more experience and education before I can be of any value that way.

EDITED TO ADD: After hashing this out with some friends, I'm also strongly considering staying in higher ed at an institution that makes the world a better place (like where I work now). I'll likely write more on this in the future - the actual debate ever raging in my brain called, "What am I supposed to be, what am I supposed to do?"


Anonymous said...

I know our politics aren't eye-to-eye, but my list looks a lot like yours. Interesting, huh?

Today Walter Williams was sitting in for Rush (the only time I listen, he's my fave) and he had Thomas Sowell on as a guest. It was an enlightening conversation about the difference between entitlement and expectation and how materialism has played a role in the politics of poverty, to the extent it's demeaned the once revered working class. I won't explain it well, but you might find it worth your while to if you have time to find a pod cast or transcript somewhere. Be well, I pray your babies will do great in school!

Ashley said...

Thank you for the prayers, and yes, it's interesting. But that's why I like you even though I knew from the start we didn't see eye to eye. :) If you have heart, you have heart, you know?

I will look for that!

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