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All posts for the month December, 2015

pertinent and relevant, both at the same time

Published December 9, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I try to stay on top of news and current events and I do have bruise starting on my tongue where I have been biting it because of that idiot, Donald Trump, and general mania and immigration paranoia because I still want to be able to teach and I know that anything I say can and will more than likely be used against me in future job searches, so I won’t talk about that.

I have a digital subscription to The Week, so I do get regular access to bite size portions of national and international news.  Last night I read a snippet about The Personalized Nutrition Project headed up by biologists Eran Segal and Eran Elinav, (what are the chances they would both have the same name?).

What the Eran’s are investigating is personalized dieting plans because (gasp)people are different and what works for some people will not work for others.  This is not earth shattering news to those of us who have been dieting for forty years or so (or since someone made me aware that being a little heavy was a terrible thing to be, without the actual science to back it up.)

Now there is actual science to back up what common sense should have been telling us all along: Different people react in different ways to the same food. This is why someone who is pre-diabetic can eat handfuls of Captain Crunch and be perfectly fine and someone with he same diagnosis can eat a boiled egg and have an extreme blood sugar spike. And, yes, this is is why someone can each three Ultimate Cheeseburgers a day and remain their 6’2” 119 lb figure, while their well-meaning, kind hearted sibling struggles to stay at 146 lbs  by eating less than 1000 calories of high protein low carb food per day and is still considered too heavy for their 5’4” frame. (Not that there is any personal bitterness hidden in that statement.)

Seriously, this is important news. Their research can figure out what diet plans work for which individual.  Of course, this means we will have to start promoting individualism and agree that it is, indeed, ok to be different, because we are.

Why is it so hard to accept news like this? Is it because we want a quick fix or we are constantly confronted with images pushing forward the idea that we have to fit this mold and this model to be considered worthy? (This time of year is perfect for viewing what is being pushed to the public. In researching this blog I had to close out FIVE, count them, FIVE pop up ads. One was  for Levi’s fleece lined trucker coat, (I have never seen a fleece lined trucker, but ok.) ;One instyler curling tool. (I would do myself great personal injury with such a thing.) One for extending my line of credit; one for overstock.com; and one for a dating site.

Apparently the internet thinks I’m a hair obsessed, broke and lonely shopping trucker. Close but no cigar

So I guess that means we have to stop listening to idiots spewing hate speech generalities about different ethnic and religious groups. I ain’t going to name no names. But it has terrible hair and rhymes with rump.

Coincidence? You decide.

Yesterday it was too fast;today, I just don’t know

Published December 7, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Yesterday I sat down to write, but my thoughts were racing and I couldn’t grab one for long enough to follow.   Today, they’re a little slower but I’m still not sure if I should follow. (Yes, my thoughts may turn out to be a long ridiculous trudge to Mordor, but with flying monkeys and time weasels.)

I certainly have plenty to do.  I will have a new roommate by the end of the month, so I know I need to start getting things cleaned and shoveled before too long, I just don’t really feel like it. I don’t really feel like doing anything. I do have a meeting this afternoon, so I will have some human interaction. I will also have to change out of my comfy pajama bottoms and put on real clothes and I know once I get dressed and slog out against after school traffic I am in no way going to be willing to do housework.  (Yeah,like I’m so eager to hop up right now and clean something.)

I feel guilty when I squander my time. I was so busy last year and did so much that I think my psyche is still teetering and totting up and down trying to find a balance.  There’s only so much time I can slack under the guise of recovering without using it as an excuse.  (Curse you, highly evolved brain, making me self-aware like that!)

Speaking of Self-Aware, the guys from South Park always manage to stay right on top of current events, and sometimes even ahead of the curve to get those perfectly timed zingers.  The show format has changed a bit so each episode relates in some way to previous events.  One of the most recent through lines has been the huge rise in pop-up ads on the intrawebs.

I mention this because I opened a window to glance at the news to see if there was anything new and noteworthy. I don’t have access to live TV, so I usually lag a  bit behind, but I still want to know if the inhabitants of Monster Island have decided to spend Christmas in New York, you know, enjoying the sites, going ice skating ( I wonder if Godzilla will be disappointed that he has to wait in line to see Santa at Macy’s.)

So I opened the window and as I was about to click on a story, a full page ad took over my screen. I tried to close it, but it wouldn’t close. This exact thing happened on the most recent episode of South Park. There is no way I could be imitating that scenario; I have no conscious control over what Aol slams into my line of vison.  Unless, of course, it’s like my professor said, the more you’re aware, the more things become emergent. Which makes sense, because if you are unaware you wouldn’t notice if Godzilla cuts in line so he can stand on the Magic Star at Macy’s. (If you stand on the Magic Star you can see Santa. That’s not magic; that’s a window.

There is so much of me that feels like I am trying  to build the Grand Canyon one teaspoon at a time. I’m not distracted yet, but I think someone else is driving.

treatment bound (aries)

Published December 2, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

There is a truly great Replacements song called Treatment Bound.  The first line is “we’re getting nowhere, as fast as we can. . . .”

That lyric danced through my head as I glanced over an article on XOJane “7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Had Slept with My College Professor. ” I read the article; it was interesting, but it was the title that drew me in.

I am in no way defending the professor for abusing their power, but I do want to know why we as educators and human beings not empowering our children to have faith in their instincts and absolutely say No if they are faced with a situation that sends up red flags. The blame falls on all of us in society.

It also makes me angry that these predators and jerkozoids are getting teaching jobs when I am still subbing and side-gigging. (I am actually doing well on that front.) Shouldn’t we be more grateful for the opportunity to encourage and nurture students in a field that we enjoy?

There is another article on XOjane called” Teachers Shouldn’t Have to Be Politically Neutral”. I have not read this article, mostly because I’m afraid my comments would come back to haunt me when I seek full-time employment.  (So I guess that tells you a little about me.)

Teachers walk a fine line everyday. We are scrutinized by our administrators and parents.  I, for one, welcome that, because the alternative is much worse.  There have been stories of teachers abusing their power by mistreating their students. There is also the other end of that spectrum. Teachers are also being assaulted by their students.

I have to say I have had a few moments in my teaching career that was I terrified. (Mostly because I was afraid that I would say something that couldn’t be unsaid. Something that would definitely ruin my career and integrity.)

Teachers are constantly performing a balancing act between what is right and fair and what they actually can do.  Their 60 +hour work week is under appreciated. Their job will soon become even more difficult when the new standards and new textbooks arrive. ( I have no inside scoop on new state standards; my state has a history of changing standards based on test scores. I can not graciously comment on the text book issue.)

Teachers do so much and some d-bag has to go mess it up by crossing boundaries. And yet, teachers are not allowed to publicly give an honest opinion about something, like how Donald Trump is a harbinger of Doom and that a new hellmouth will probably rip right open should he be elected President. (Don’t say it can’t happen. All it will take is enough people not giving enough of a crap to actually do something to stop him.)  I can venture a pretty good guess where said hell mouth will be. (I amazed that my kid is in more danger now than he was when he was in NYC. Amazed, but not surprised.)

I know I sound like a crazy person (Yeah, sound like.) But after so many years in education, are you surprised?

Here are my choices

Published December 1, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

On the one hand I could wax idiotic how an Emily Giffin book made me want to throat punch the next happy couple I see, on the other  I could shriek how the world could end at any moment and it would be all of our own damn faults.

Let me explain: I read really fast and can consume books at a crazy rapid pace.  My thristy knowledge vortex must consume a vast volume of words and so I read many books and magazines that are the protein bars of the literature world (Some nutrition to be had, mostly candy flavored because you don’t want to have to work that hard.)

I have been enjoying Emily Giffin because her stories are pretty good, have engaging charcters and aren’t too hard on my head.   I have also been delving into Liane Moriarty, who I like more than I thought I would.  (I had been pre-judging her books by their covers, particularly the The Husband’s Secret. That one came out around the time that EH dropped his adultery ridden bomb on me, so I wasn’t quite in the mood to investigate. BTW, that book turned out to be really good.)

Moriarty’s books have a Maeve Binchy-esque feel. Except they’re Australian and have  a bent towards the mystery.

I do read other things but I don’t read as much literature as I should. I blazed through the new Stephen King book, but I don’t count him as pop candy book because he always makes me think.  There are some of his short stories in this collection that I intend to go back and read slowly, not Proust slowly, because who needs that?

Then Karin Slaughter’s new book that I had on reserve became available. It was scary good. (But not scary, just intriguing. I was scared because I read it so fast.) Then I remembered why I don’t read more of Karin Slaughter’s work.  It’s the same reason I haven’t caught up on Damages.  Because I can’t really afford to lose severaldays at a time. (My mother will call the police if she can’t get ahold of me and imagine how stupid we will all look if I’m just welded to the couch ignoring the cat so I can read just one more page or listen to just one more Glenn Close rant.)

So what else do I read? Articles from Cracked, like the one about the 5 ways the world could end that we would never see coming. (Hint, it’s not Zombies, nor is it Aliens.)  I read that and Jezebel and XO Jane because everytime I read legitimate news I want to smash something. The hubris those of us in the first world show is stunning. But it does make my head hurt.

Maybe Emily Giffin could write a happy ending (not that kind you perv) driven novel about a supervolcano changing it’s ways because it is truly in love with the gulf stream, thus ensuring that they could work out  a compromise to save our lazy, fossil fuel consumming, big gulp guzzling asses.

I’d read that.