I don’t have to remind you what today is; the rest of the internet can do that. Instead, I’ve browsed the news for anything new. No rehashing, no retelling the tale. Maybe a single commentary on something mildly today-related.
Unfortunately, that means there wasn’t much news I felt like commenting on. Many of the articles below, though, deal with change… and they have me pondering. Change is necessary. What doesn’t change grows stagnant, or (my favorite pagan turn-of-phrase) “She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches, changes”. The new comes in, the old goes out, and the present is in flux. No single moment is the same as the one before it, because (for better or for worse) the Universe never stops moving.
Okay, enough philosophizing! On with the news!
Ah, see, this is the Catch-22. The textbooks actually do mention 9/11 at the end (since they’re chronological in their telling), but 9/11 is not important to state tests. A teacher can either rush to go through everything (ensuring a good coverage of all of history, but a shallow understanding of tested time periods), or they can dwell on important historical events that will be tested (and never get to the end of the book).
I have NEVER, in high school or college, had a teacher reach the end of a history textbook. They either get caught up telling about their favorite parts of history in great detail, or they purposefully cut out the last few decades (recent history) assuming you’re more likely to have an understanding of those events on your own (compared to WWI, which happened decades before your birth).
Another issue is politics. A teacher can get into a lot of trouble for being too liberal or too conservative in a public school. Discussing 9/11 inevitably leads to discussions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the policies of the NSA and TSA. There is a direct ripple from 9/11 to today, and it’s very hard to teach that information without being extremely biased; it’s different when history is happening to you, instead of happening in your past.
I could’ve used this article a couple years ago. As the end of the year approaches, so does the time we’ve picked for me to get off the pill and try to conceive. I’m scared. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m TERRIFIED of becoming pregnant, and I’m worried that the fear I carry will haunt my entire pregnancy and rob me of enjoying the experience of becoming a mother. Just FYI. Gotta love being human.
Will pigs fly on golden wings? Ha! Our system is backward, where someone has to prove a chemical is unsafe for it to be banned. It should be the other way around, where you have to prove it’s safe to use it. I love looking at the international foods isle, mostly to remind myself that someone else (Europeans) managed to get their shit together and monitor chemicals safely; we can too!
I appreciate it when a religious leader accepts and explains that some things are just tradition, while others are actually religious necessity. In this case, celibacy was never a God-proclaimed fact of becoming a priest; the Church made that call. It reminds me a little of my attempts to differentiate between coven habits and tradition standards when I was with my old coven; even elders can find it hard to remember what is and isn’t necessary.
It’s a bit of a pipe dream to imagine being (and staying) debt-free. We only have access to $1,500 via credit cards in my household, and even we end up floating that balance almost to the maximum by the end of each year. We pay more than the minimum payments, but a new tire here and a computer repair there lead to constant debt. Tax season is all about using our refund to pay off the debt and start the cycle over again. The good news? It’s helping to build/repair our various credit scores.
That’s a valid point. It’s almost impossible to read cursive on old texts when you’ve never learned to write it. It’s a fact, as I’ve seen people a decade younger than me stare at typed cursive (i.e. a font that imitates cursive) without being able to decipher the words. As long as my children can learn to read cursive, I can accept them only learning to scribble their name in it. We’ll be using our fingerprints to sign for things soon, anyway.
(Note: Reincarnation discussion follows.) Sometimes I think I was born in the US not to bless myself with an easy life, but to protect the lives of others. I’m a very patient, forgiving person; I could give Jesus a run for his money on most days. But when it comes to child abuse and rape, I see red. I think, had I been born in India instead of America, I might’ve become a female serial killer who hunted down rapists and “fixed” the (in)justice system they have over there. To protect the men, the Universe placed me into a country where getting away with murder is much harder and life is much easier. In other words, they got lucky.
I hope I build daughters strong enough to see their own worth outside of sexualization and cultural norms. Heck, I sure as hell don’t follow societal standards! My polyamorous household and alternative spirituality are clear clues that I’ve learned not to outweigh my own standards with those my culture presents to me. I hope I can give my sons the same level of self-actualization and self-awareness, so that they too can live outside of the societal norms I find so offensive and erroneous.