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All posts for the month August, 2017

It’s really easy; just look at the side

Published August 15, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I tend to ponder as I wander. (I know the rhyme thing is goofy, but I’m teaching younger kids these days and it takes me a bit to switch the brain back over.)

So much has been happening in the world at large and in my world at small that is making me wonder if I’m actually trapped in an episode of Rick and Morty.  And every day it gets harder and harder to sit down and write something that doesn’t make me want to slam my head on the nearest flat surface.

I can’t even think about the state of the union, because once I process the series of thoughts about a particular day’s insanity, something new and even more horrifying has happened, and then the whole business starts all over again.

Part of the process of teaching includes many, many, many workshops and policy briefings and rules and regulations and a whole alphabet soup of procedures that all boil down to mean, “KEEP THE KIDS SAFE,” The second thing we learn is, “Teach them something important.”

I have to say that I did panic a bit at the overwhelming amount of information, mainly because I have not always worked in/for institutions that felt this way.

As I processed all of that and then the madness in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. (If you have been in a cave on Mars, with your fingers in your ears, on Saturday, August 13, James Alex Fields, Jr, drove into a crowd of protestors, murdering Heather Heyer.   Heyer was among people demonstrating against a white supremacy rally.

It makes me a little bonkers to have that in my head while my primary objective is to KEEP THE KIDS SAFE.

I think what I will do for the second part is teach them to be kind.

That’s important.

And then maybe I can teach some Reading, Spelling and the rest of that.

Out,Standing in the field.

Published August 5, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I had an interesting conversation with my father a few days ago. We tend to meander from topic to topic, but since we both enjoy documentaries and have similar opinions, (We once had an entire conversation conducted with eye rolling.) we sometimes come to rather astute conclusions.

In an earlier blog I wrote about the fallout of a Facebook post. In the post, I took no sides, just simply mentioned that I found an article thought provoking. As my father and I discussed this, particularly the fact that both sides of the mud-sling were missing the whole point, I had a revelation that I shared.

I told him that I thought Z nation, The Walking Dead, and the other dystopian shows, movies and teen series were taking up the allegorical baton, metaphorically speaking. (I like to use multisyllabic words so my dad can feel like the investment in my education was worth it.)

The point that the sayers of nay (No, I’m not insulting the horses) on the political front, and majority of the cast of the shows, series, etc is that the arguing over minutiae is masking the bigger picture.

The survivors are spending time fighting each other for power when they should be focusing on the fact that the undead are a constant, consistent threat. Because it’s in all of us.

Now in the real world, you know the one where we all wake up hoping that a little bird isn’t going to tell us that we are officially at war with everyone, the various loud politicos and their supporters are busy insulting each other and we miss the bigger picture.

There are monsters out there.

Because it’s in all of us.

What side is this?

Published August 2, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

About a million years ago, back when I was in the middle of my other career, I attended Graduate school for a M.A. in Performing Arts. (I was still young and had hope.)

I wrote a paper in support of my proposal for my final project.  I could not get my graduate committee (The three faculty members who were like some kind of three headed hydra.) to tell me what format my paper needed to take, so I just free formed it.

The paper was subsequently rejected and I was directed to a variety of academic papers written to support modern dance projects. (I, too, was surprised that such a thing existed.) I read the papers and noticed that they were written in the traditional MLA format.

I rewrote  the paper using the format and was commended on the amount of scholarship I had demonstrated.  I wanted to snort with the laughter and direct the Hydra to my undergraduate transcript which stated I was a McFadden Scholar.  I have no idea why people are so shocked and amazed to find out that I do have a fine mind nestled snugly under the crazy.

Anyway, they accepted the paper and approved the project.  After I put  200 plus hours into the project, including written and photographic documentation, the Hydra said they were not going to approve my project because, “We don’t do that here.” They didn’t want to align their Drama department with a public service theatre project that brought together Developmentally Disabled adults and At-Risk youth. Both groups met weekly to design puppets and develop a script that was then performed for school age children throughout the city.

I can’t expect a State University to get behind that. I don’t know how I could be so foolish.

I told them I needed some time to regroup, so after a full blown tantrum conducted at a high speed ride home and face down on the floor at home. I debated and discussed with everyone and finally asked the universe for a sign. (At this point I only lacked a final project to win the race and get my MA) In the meantime, I still had grants to write for my ongoing programs.

One of my friends from the ARC, the organization that worked with my kids in the hood, was a McDonald’s employee. At the time there was a supply grant available through the company, but you needed an employee’s endorsement. I helped my friend, Michael, write the letter and I asked him what he wanted to use for his closing signature. I explained that when I finished an official letter, I signed it, OutReach Director.  I asked him what title he wanted.

He said, “Your Friend.”

It took me a moment to recover and process and when I did, it became clear that this was my sign.  I didn’t want to be on the side of a group of people who would deny credit for hard work because it didn’t jibe with their perception of art.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I recently had a similar crisis of conscience when dealing with the problems at my previous job.  I did what I knew was right.

Because when it’s all over, and our current world/political situation indicates it will be soon, I know where I will stand.

Because I’m Michael’s friend.