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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Nothing profound to say...

Except for two grouchy bits:

1. I am not find of Memorial Day - but don't have the energy to go into why, except to say that I don't totally support our troops. I can wrap my mind around honoring those who died in the Viet Nam war more given that many were drafted - thus they had no choice in the matter. But I feel uncomfortable honoring those who *chose* to go to war. Yes, I know some or many thought this was a way to get education and training, and never thought they'd actually have to fight - but they still made a decision and knew that there was some risk. But more important than that - I do recognize that for some people it really feels like there is no other choice than to go into the military if one wants to turn one's life around, one has no idea what to do, or one needs help paying for education. And that leads me to a twofold wish: I wish there were other good options - I wish there were pacifistic options that would help in getting a free education with good training and benefits. Peace Corps is post-college, right? And the camraderie is often not there given that people are often completely on their own wherever they get assigned - and it is for people with skills of some sort - not people with no HS education or no skills, or people who have screwed up their lives and need a second chance. We need other options. We also (this is the second fold) need other things people can do to become the kinds of heroes soldiers can become. We need memorials and holidays and medals and stupid yellow ribbon magnets for teachers, doctors, social workers, EMTs, crisis line workers, nurses, domestic violence shelter workers and advocates, public defenders, etc. -- all those people who also save lives and are in the trenches doing hard work - often putting themselves on the line for little money (in most cases) and little glory - and without whom, our freedom would truly be at risk.

2. For the last paper (although not the final paper), my students have two options for what to write. One of the options is to take a relationship (any kind) and analyze it using all of the things we have learned in the class, but focusing on what we have learned during the last couple of weeks of class (conflict, abuse/violence, and endings of relationships). I thought this would be an interesting assignment that everyone could do. I cannot tell you how many students have said they cannot do this assignment because they have no conflict, abuse, or relationship endings in their lives. Okay, super - no abuse - that's great - skip that. But no conflict and no endings? That's crazy!!! At their age, I would have had several relationships to choose from. Did I just have crazy, intense relationships? I don't think so - adolescence is when you are more likely to have all of those things going on - tenfold. But even so, how can you get to age 20 and have no conflicts and no endings? Not even of friendships? Denial or charmed lives? You decide.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger Clio Bluestocking said...

Not even with parents? Really? At 20? So soon after their teen year? Please!

They also have a singular lack of imagination. If you allegedly don't have conflict in your life, don't you watch t.v.? Can't you make things up?

If nothing else, your bad class has left some good stories. That is the one saving grace of a crappy experience!


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