Daily Archives: November 3, 2012

Once upon a time there was this horrible thing called segregation. It was legal in a lot of places, including Alabama. One day in 1954, the Supreme Court decided to finally decide that the rulings from 1896 and 1899 making it legal were unconstitutional. Now, in 2012, we in the obviously progressive state of Alabama, we are supposed to vote on a little thing called amendment 4. Amendment 4 was initially written to remove racist language from the State’s infamously long Constitution. While it was in committee, a few little things got changed it around. It became not only an amendment that would remove the racist language, but one that makes sure that the public knows “nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as creating or recognizing any right to education or training at public expense”. Yeah, that’s right. It says that the state will not recognize a right to a public education. I guess that makes sense. It would basically be doing all those wonderful things that led to the Reformation and the witch trials, by keeping the populace uneducated and illiterate. By denying a right to a public education, the state would take a huge step backwards. The legislators who’d introduced the amendment ended up not voting for it once these additions had been made. Now, many different organizations in the state, from the AEA to the people at Alabama Arise. People and politicians currently supporting the proposed amendment have stated that it needs to be passed in order to bring the state into the 21st century and make companies and industries feel safer about coming to the state. I’m pretty sure that most companies that come from areas of the country and the world that treasure education might think less of us for saying that the state doesn’t have to educate its citizens. If it passed, the amendment might not lead to public education ending in the state, but the quality of the education would get worse. The state would no longer have to maintain certain standards. If a student challenged the state for a better education, the state could say, “You should just be happy with the shitty education we’re already giving you.” It wouldn’t be right. People who support the amendment even with these additions might think that students could always go to a private school, but that isn’t the case. People in this state are too poor, for the most part, to send their kids to private schools. And they shouldn’t have to. People shouldn’t be forced to send their kids to some private school to make sure that their kid gets a decent education. A public education should be provided and should be good enough that kids from public schools can compete at the same level as those in the private school. By blocking that shot at a decent, free education, the state is saying that it doesn’t care about the education of its citizens. It is saying that it doesn’t care that some kids actually need this education to improve their lives. And it is saying that it doesn’t care that this amendment could not only ruin the current state of education in Alabama, but it could cause problems for the state’s economy now and in the future. This state is always so behind on issues. I hate it that politicians have taken this amendment, this shot at removing hatred an ignorance, and ruined it. They’ve made it so that if the amendment is passed, we’re promoting ignorance, and if it does not pass, we look like we’re promoting ignorance. Neither situation is good for the state’s appearance or its citizens.

I Can’t Even Vote Against Segregation

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky My rating: 5 of 5 stars I had wanted to read this book since it came out, back when I was in high school. I finally got the chance and it was worth the wait. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most amazing and inspiring books that I’ve ever read. I can understand why it has amassed such a following. Through the letters by Charlie, Chbosky is able to express the excitement and pain of being a teenager. This book doesn’t gloss over tough issues like rape, abuse, and suicide. It actually deals with them in a way that so many other books don’t. Actually, it is more respectful of them than even some therapists are. I can honestly say that this book made me laugh and cry. It was so heart-breaking when a character would go through something painful, but it was also so wonderful because there was always a lesson learned from it. Chbosky gave insight and strength to the sufferers in a way that made them heroes, instead of just victims. And that was just beautiful. I would definitely recommend this novel to young people and to adults. It is incredible and should be something that everyone tries to read at some point in his or her life. View all my reviews

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham My rating: 1 of 5 stars I should start by saying that I am normally a huge fan of any book written under Madeleine Wickham’s nom de plume of Sophie Kinsella. That’s probably why I felt that this book was such a disappointment. I went into it expecting wit and charm, but I found myself feeling completely let down and unenthusiastic about finishing the book. My first issue is that characters. There are very few books out there where you look at all of the characters and just think that they are all horrible. I’ve read books with sociopaths and serial killers that had more decency than these characters. They all seem to be lacking perspective and none seems to truly realize just how good their lives are. They find excuses for their behavior, whether it’s rage over a lost lover or depression over being kicked to the curb by your employer. It almost seems like when toddlers end up in a massive pinching session and blame it on another kid because the other person started it. I just wanted to scream at them for their petty attitudes and bickering. Other than the annoying characters, the book was extremely boring. There was very little flow to the story. There was nothing fun or enlightening. The book was just kind of a “what I did on my summer vacation” essay from elementary school that was stretched out over 300+ pages. I think an elementary school student would have probably come up with something a bit more compelling, though. There were some parts that I did like about this book, but the bad completely outweighed the good. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone I know, unless I really and truly thought that they deserved to be bored out of their mind. View all my reviews

Review: Sleeping Arrangements

Earlier today, mom called Aunt Barbara to make sure that she had gotten back to Alabama safely and hadn’t gotten . (Barbara and Danny had gone on a cruise that had left from New York right before the news started showing the predictions of the path of Hurricane Sandy.) When my aunt didn’t pick up, mom called Nana to see if she had heard from her. She had. Nana also said that Barbara should call my mom to let her know that she was back home safe. Barbara reportedly told Nana that my mom didn’t care about if she was safe. Actually, she did. (Even after everything that went down, I did, too.) Mom and Nana talked a little longer and Nana told her that she and Aunt Barbara had apparently talked about me. My mom said that according to Nana, the conversation went a bit like this: Nana: Barbara, you do know Janet is mentally ill, right? Barbara: No, she isn’t. Nana: Yes, she is. She’s physically ill, too. Barbara: No, she’s just faking about that. Nana: No, I’ve seen her after she’s had iron infusions and been to doctors and the hospital. She is really sick. Barbara: No, she isn’t. I guess I’ve been faking so well that I have fooled doctors and lab tests. I’m such a good actress, I’ve even fooled myself. I demand my Oscar now, if that’s the case. If I am that good at acting, I shouldn’t have to wait until the ceremony in four months. I should get it ahead of time. Oh, and I should get a lifetime achievement award as well. And dammit, I want a BAFTA for my “performance” as well. If I’m that great at faking, then I deserve all of the best acting awards, don’t I? It shouldn’t surprise me that she thinks I’m a liar. After all, this is the same woman who told my mom and me that Nana wanted to have neck surgery because she wanted the attention. She is also the same woman who said that Nana was on pain medicine because she was an addict and not because she was in chronic pain. I wonder when pain and illness is considered real for her. Is it when she can’t walk up the stairs because at the ripe old age of 60, she has reportedly developed knee pain? Or maybe its when her retina got detached and she couldn’t see things properly for a while? I’m sure that those things were real. Why is it so hard for her to believe that she might not be the only person with problems in the family world? I know what she can do. I have to go on the 19th to have blood tests done to see how my iron stores are holding up. Then, in December, I get to go back to Clearview¬†to find out how my anemia is doing and if I’m going to have to have another infusion. If my stores are doing well enough, I’ll also find out what we do next to figure out what is going on with my blood. She can come with me to that appointment. Actually, she can come for the blood test appointment, too. She can also come sit with me as I wait for my group therapy to start. I’ll even sign a little form so she can go over my psychiatric history with my therapist and/or my psychiatrist. If she wants proof that I’ve got issues, I’m completely fine with her knowing what those issues are. It seems ridiculous, given the number of times that I know she and some of the other members of the family have been here, that she doesn’t believe that there is something going on with my mental and physical health. Maybe she’s just in denial. Maybe it’s easier to hate me if she thinks that I’m just a big fat liar. Maybe she just likes to hate me and think the worst of me. She did try to convince Nana that I said I hated Will, which never happened. I have no idea what is going on in that woman’s head, but I’m tired of how it always impacts me and my family. My aunt is sixty years old. She should be acting that age, instead of constantly doing this dramatic lying thing like a disgruntled child or teenager. She is too old to be acting so ridiculous. She needs to spank her inner moppet and grow up because this behavior is truly getting to be a bit pathetic.

Give Me My Oscar Then