Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 You'd have to be dead in the USA to not have heard of the recent mass shootings and Supreme Court decision re: Roe v. Wade. I am not a news junkie but the stories are endless. I'm pleased and hopeful about the bipartisan bill re: guns. Even if it is minimal and motivated by self-interest -- it is a good thing. The choice/life issue is the opposite. It so perfectly illustrates the division and closed mindedness of our culture right now that it makes me sick. When I taught toleration I would discuss with students the need for tolerance and how to achieve compromise. Respect is the first step. Language demonstrates this -- the poles on the issue label it anti and pro-abortion, when it should be pro-life and pro-choice, the terms that supporters of each side prefer. The media is a big part of the problem. I've had to un-follow a bunch of Facebook "friends" to spare myself the vitriol.Sharing memes is not advocacy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

On Facebook today, a friend shared a post "Written by the mom of [name deleted by me] one of the Uvalde victims." It didn't pass the sniff test because of this: "Was she practicing writing GIRAFFE the moment he walked in her classroom, barricaded the door and opened fire? She keeps forgetting the silent “e” at the end.  We studied this past weekend, and now she doesn’t need to take the spelling test on Friday." I remember it was reported that Thursday of the week of the Tuesday shooting would have been the last day of school. So either the lengthy copied and pasted post is mis-attributed and has nothing to do with Uvalde, or news reports were wrong, and Thursday was not the last day of school. 

I googled, and I was correct; the post was not written by the mom of one of the Uvalde victims. I did not bother to comment on my friend's post, because I perceive her to be a person who would be pissed at the correction. I suspect this Facebook "friend" is in the "fake but true" camp. She'd think the correction means I'm a gun nut, which I am not. She got 23 thank yous and how powerfuls and hearbreakings and someone should send this to congress comments. That was the intent of the original writer, to go viral, even if it meant taking advantage of victims of tragedy. This type of meme is known as "glurge."

It really irritates me that people don't discern fake posts and resist sharing when it is something seductive that agrees with their POV. That is why elected officials want to regulate social media, or at least it gives them justification to stifle dissent and the voice of the common person.

 Added: Snopes link 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

We went out to eat on Monday for the first time since last year. We sat outside at the Hillsdale House. It was a little chilly, but not bad. The food was amazing!

The story of the week, at least as of today, if you ignore the latest celebrity gossip, is another school shooting, this time in Texas again. I'm not numb to it and I do care, but the regular media and social media hand-wringing that this has to stop, we need to do something and snarky remark that thoughts & prayers aren't enough irritate me. What exactly am I able to do? I asked a Facebook friend when she posted the usual meme on the subject: "what makes an 18-year-old so angry?" It was just a rhetorical question, but after a couple responses were about it being a complex issue involving guns and mental health and bullying and COVID and aliens with yellow shirts (being sarcastic) I was sorry I commented. I usually resist. I didn't write "duh," which is what I thought. But I really do wonder why 18-year olds are so angry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Another wonderful night of sleeping! Temperature was just right for blankets. I again had a dream that featured my father! It was not a long dream, but it was more than a glimpse. It was totally normal. He was walking and talking and instructing Bob and I about buying cat food to deliver to needy old people who had cats. We were scrambling to find premium brands instead of shrink-wrapped four packs of crummy varieties. Somehow we were on a deck and in the store simultaneously?

Just now I spoke to my mother on the phone and she told me she cooked something good and ate it for two nights. It was chicken breast, spices, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, macaroni shells and Parmesan cheese. In the past she might have fussed about preferring potatoes and baked beans over pasta and sauce, and she definitely would not have had that for dinner two nights in a row. I thought how much my father would have loved her creation, and he would have insisted on having it for lunch and dinner until it was gone.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Getting grades finished this semester was more challenging than it has been in years. There were three causes. Every weekend in Samsonville is quite difficult. That's been the case for two years, so it's not really "new." Second, the university (not sure who, but "administration" who controls calendar) appears to take pleasure in adding stress to faculty. This has been going on for a couple of years as well, but each semester there is a new wrinkle. This year, it was the absurd deadline of graduation weekend. Finally, it's typical to have a few needy, procrastinating students, but this semester there seemed to be more. I finished at 10 pm last night. That's the closest I've come to missing the deadline since the year I caught five students cheating. That must be almost 20 years ago.

Last night our former neighbor, the man who sold us our house, died from ALS. Another giant in this community is gone. On Friday I didn't take the time away from grading to note that Donna died seven years ago. I could have dashed off a quick Facebook post with a picture, but I didn't. I have stopped remembering her anniversaries and milestones on social media because I don't want condolences, thoughts or prayers. I also don't want to be compelled by such comments to respond, because the sentiment I feel would not be understood by more than a few. "It's complicated" sums it up but that's so trite. So I've decided it is better to write nothing.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

A woman I served on the Village board with and have known for nearly 30 years died on April 30. She was 87, and was her family matriarch, a person who was very committed to service. She was smart and funny and the entire community will mourn this big loss. Then today at the end of semester faculty meeting, a professor revealed that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Really cast a pall over the meeting, which usually is a blend of apathetic boredom and contentious prickly.

Florida governor + Disney battle: hahahaha. I can't stand DeSantis or Disney so this conflict is quite amusing!!!