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18 Weeks…

I have been so sick for the past couple of weeks.

(How sick were you?)

I was so sick that I didn’t go to school on Monday and WOULD have called out Thursday had school not been canceled for snow.  Now, that doesn’t sound very sick, but one must keep in mind that it was the last week of school before winter vacation and that my days with the kids were numbered.  I was desperate to get into the classroom!  I was so sick that I spent the entire Monday playing video games, which was about the only thing I could do OTHER than take shallow, raspy, and calling in to the OB.  I was so sick that even though I didn’t really get a good response, I called back in on Thursday, sounding all the world like Ma from "Ma’s Roadhouse", and told them that my "nasty cold" had lasted a week and I wanted to see someone about it.

The doctor diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and explained that my parasite was fine.  Apparently, babies are perfect parasites.  The take what they need, and generally avoid getting infected with colds and stomach influenza.  So while I’m throwing up at home, the babe is only slightly annoyed that his world is being heaved to and fro.   In fact, that morning, as I lay in bed gasping for air after throwing up my cough medicine in the nearby trashcan, Old Bean began fluttering about.  "What are you so happy about?" I had asked my stomach, grumpily.  The Boy, who was getting dressed for work at the end of the bed, looked confused.  He wasn’t happy at all.  He was worried about me.  Then he realized I was talking to my uterus.  Old Bean responded with hiccups, which, of course, momentarily took my mind off the sickness that had taken over my life.  I quickly grabbed The Boy’s hand and pushed it over the bump in my tummy – he looked at me and smiled.  Then he kissed me on my forehead and headed off to work.

I got some azithromycin and refill on my albuterol inhaler and was sent back out into the snowy world…where I met up with Meredila for Elmo’s deliciousness.  Then, I slept till, what felt like, Friday (taking a break only for some Papa John’s that gave us a stomach bug…I should have kept sleeping!).  Fortunately, school was canceled again, and The Boy was able to take the day off work to take care of me.  (At this point, I couldn’t even speak!)  But, by Saturday, I felt well enough to head up to The Mom’s house to drop off Christmas presents and visit with the fam.  (The presents were a hit this year – The Boy and I definitely exchanged knucks on the couch later.)

They all remarked on my tummy and how pregnant I looked and asked to touch it.
My mother and sisters had never felt the baby kick, so when it started up, I called them over.  Bean then stuck out some body part (it felt like a butt…) and I put my mother’s hand on the tiny bump – which squirmed in response.  Bean usually does not like to be touched…or does like to be touched, I’m not sure which.  Either way, a warm hand in the general kicking vicinity almost always stops all motion.  However, he didn’t stop this time; she could feel the bump squirm.  My mother, mother of three, master of public health, 24 year veteran registered nurse, exclaimed "EWWW! It’s alive!"

My thoughts exactly.

And though I was disappointed with some aspects of the day, (The DREAM Act failed to overcome a GOP filibuster with five votes…and five Democrats, including one I voted for, voted "no" – I’m not sure how Kay Hagan plans to get my vote after this.  It’ll take a Christmas miracle, methinks.) the fact that DADT was repealed, and the fact that I got to spend time with part of my family…with a fireplace…with snow outside…made it, overall, a good day.  

Paris…oh Paris.

So, earlier I was saying that while I felt bad about the London bombings, it was only on a minor level — it felt more like apathy. Well, that apathy has sadly turned to selfishness, because I’m watching the riots in Paris. And I don’t like what’s going on, and I feel like there needs to be change happening within their government (as well as ours), however I can’t help but be slightly angry with the rioters for ruining my prospective vacation. And I’m even more angry with the Police. Accused of racism, they’ve decided it would be a good idea to further “crack-down” on the minority population and threaten heavy prison sentences for people they can’t catch. And they’ve called them “rabble”. Oh gosh, they’re genious.

Before it was “Don’t worry, it’s in the suburbs”
But recently, they’ve moved to the center of Paris.
And honestly, all I want to do is fly to Paris in 16 days, hop on a train, and spend a week with The Boy. Nothing more, nothing less. Is this too much to ask you rioters? Is this too much to ask of you cops?
Stupid civil unrest and racism. Isn’t there one place in the world that isn’t experiencing such crap? I want to move their.

Crap on a crap stick…

My wonderful day was brought down by an article in today’s Daily Tar Heel.
Seriously, I have never been quite so dissappointed by any student on this campus, ever. I have never felt bad about being a student here, and I have never felt so alienated by the simple fact that my so-called race is in the minority here. This is one of the last places that I have felt secure in being here, one of the last places where I could say that America is a good place to live – despite the Jefferson Davis Highway marker, the stupid frat boys and their rebel flags, and the Silent Sam statue donated by the Daughters of the CSA. I think now I’m sick enough to move. I have to get out, and get out soon, and it’s all because of people like her.
Seriously, she made me cry.
“It’s sad, but racial profiling is necessary for our saftey”is the editorial today written by Jillian Bandes.
Surely she’s kidding when she says:

I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport. I don’t care if they’re being inconvenienced. I don’t care if it seems as though their rights are being violated. I care about my life. I care about the lives of my family and friends.

What’s worse, her justification for racial profiling is that all of the terroist attackers on 9/11 were Arabic. She ignores that they were also all male. Does this mean that all men should be sexually harassed when they try to get near an airport? Of course not, because stereotyping people phenotypically makes life better, right. I mean, this isn’t how Hitler started at all, is it… Worse than that, she goes on to say

After all, we’re the generation of Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber and Columbine…but those attacks weren’t in the same buildings we toured on our eighth-grade calss trips. They didn’t kill 3,000 of our relatives. They weren’t in our face.

I mean, what the hell?! McVeigh just blasted an entire daycare full of little children…and I guess the fact that all of those people were White guys means nothing. I mean, look where racial profiling got us with the sniper! How many people were looking for a middle aged white guy? I know I was, and I won’t ever make that mistake again. I’ve learned my racial profiling lesson – anyone that appears to be any race can be crazy as all get out. Finally, it really pisses me off that she misused quotes from three people representative of the Arab population on UNC’s campus to justify her arguments. I’m sure they won’t be happy to see how their quotes have been used once they read the editorial… When a person says that they don’t mind being stopped at an airport and having their bags looked through, they don’t mean that they think getting “sexed up like nothing else” isn’t a bad idea, as Bandes claims – referring to Ann Coulter’s quote about how going through an airport security checkpoint can get physically intimate. By the time she finally makes a sane point in her argument, that she thinks that racial profiling can be conducted professionally (Which is wrong…I mean, let’s just go ahead and sew badges on people, just in case we have a hard time telling what race they are, would a star of david work well enough for her? Just read her comment about blonde-haired, blue-eyed, jewish women.) my eyes were too blurred with anger, dissappointment, and resentment to actually pay attention to what her point of view.

Perhaps she just wants attention.
Perhaps she’s just doing it to stir up trouble and get people talking.
But whatever the reason, if there’s one person that feels this way, I can guarantee there’s alot more.
And I just don’t feel welcome here anymore.
I’m glad for all the people, black, white, and otherwise, who have made me feel loved and wonderful during the time that I was here…but honestly, people like her ruin it all.
Today it’s racial profiling against all Arabs because of 19 Saudi Arabians pissed off with the United States that decided to pull off one ballsy act of war. I mean, should we racially profile americans because we dropped a huge ass bomb on two cities? Who knows what it’ll be tomorrow…

My new hair cut

So, after weeks of ripping my nappy hair out with a wide toothed comb, and after witnessing taymo‘s new hair color, I decided it was time for my tresses to get some attention. I spent four hours getting my hair permed, shampooed, conditioned, cut, and curled (with a flat iron, interestingly enough) and came out of the beauty shop feeling, well, beautiful. I had about an inch and a half taken off the back and quite a bit taken off the front to fringe my face with some bangs I haven’t seen since…maybe 8th grade… I like it.

What I’ve discovered is that while I’m glad to be free of the responsibilty of having summer camps at 9am every morning and then having to run the theater, once a person gets in the mode of having something to do all the time, he or she begins to feel quite useless when there is nothing left to do. I’m going through this stage. Honestly, I feel like a retiree. I know that I should enjoy the break while it lasts, because pretty soon I’m going to be gearing up to work hard again, however I can’t be excited about this break. I feel like I must have something to do. So I’ve been passing the time with cleaning up after summer camps here and there, revising curriculum (because of course I can’t get away from work) cleaning my room, doing crossword puzzles, knitting, and finally, last night, I became bored enough to cook.

I’m very proud of myself actually, there was not a box involved in my meal-which is saying quite alot since generally I prefer to work from some sort of package meal. I mean, I absolutely love making some sort of tuna helper or hamburger helper one-skillet type of meal. Taking a break from the ordinary, I did away with the box, and picked up the recipe card. Last night, over an evening of Law and Order, SVU (greatest show EVER!) I baked salmon, which was nice and fresh from the food store, and I made saffron rice and green beans to go along with it all. So, there was a can involved – the can of green beans. And there was a package involved, the saffron rice came with its own seasonings. I suppose this means that I didn’t really make it all from scratch. Still, I think I’m on my way to becoming a better chef. This can only mean good things as, for some unknown reason, I’ve been feeling incredibly hungry lately. Maybe it has something to do with this lingering bronchitis…or maybe not.

Self-Segregation, and other observations

The other day, my friends and I were discussing the way the school systems have taken to bussing kids from one place to another in an attempt to make their schools more “diverse”.

As a side note: I put “diverse” in quotation marks because of an interesting experience I had in Person County Schools. We visited one school, which confessed to being 90% white, and 10% black. That mean that out of the 200 children in the elementary school, 2 of them were black. It looks alot worse when you say that 2 out of 200 children are Black. At any rate, when we visited the school across town I asked about their demographics, and wondered if they were more “diverse”. The white teacher nodded eagerly and said “Oh yes! We’re extremely diverse! We’re 80% Black, 10%Hispanic, and 10% White”. I was confused at that point, because I didn’t think “diverse” translated into “We have a lot of Black people here”.

We noted that these school systems had a lovely habit of shipping kids based on socioeconomic status, which is almost always tied into race in this part of the country, so it meant that schools decided to solve the problem of having kids shunned from a school based upon their race by once again shunning them from schools based upon their race. I think the main arguments against segregation in education was that 1) the Black schools were second-hand schools, and alot worse than the White schools and that 2) Black students were forced to travel long distances to go to school because they were not allowed to go to the school down the street. At any rate, an interest in cultural education was not one of the points – probably is not now. I find that the “Black” schools are still second-hand schools, and that the Black students (and White students) are still forced to travel farther to go to school, because the school down the street is not diverse enough.

Despite all the hard work schools have done to make sure that the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood I’ve noticed that people have continued to self-segregate. People still go to White churches or Black churches, and live in White neighborhoods or Black neighborhoods…as evidenced by the summer camps that have come to visit the planetarium. Nearly all of the groups that have come to visit are completely segregated, with the exception of the YMCA camps and the YWCA camps, because they are church groups, or neighborhood community center type groups. In fact, I think I have only taught 4 Black children at Nerd Camp, and two of those (biological siblings only, oddly) were adopted by White parents. I bring this up, only because I note that it’s not the children that are choosing where to go to camp and where to go to the pool, but their parents are. And the parents choose them to put them in this camp or that, based upon where their friends are going, and then their children hang out together all summer, come back to school, and decide to sit together in the cafeteria, or in the library, or when choosing seats in the classroom. And so, does it really matter if the schools continue to desegregate people to the best of their ability? It appears not, because as soon as school is over, and no one is forced to be friends anymore, I’ve found that the children and their parents go back to their separate sides, and cultivate friendships based upon, for the most part, the color line.

And the sad part is…
I have no idea what to do ’bout it, or if, in fact, anything needs to be done about it.
I mean, is it so bad that people want to go to church with their friends and family members? Is it so bad that people want to go to a school with their neighbors? I suppose I can’t fault them for that…

On another note, the weather is hot like WHOA, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to get any better any time real real soon. Last night, it was still about 80 degrees outside at 11:00! Craziness!
HEAT ADVISORY: A Heat advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. because of a combination of hot temperatures and high humidity levels that will result in heat index values from around 105 up to 110 degrees over central N.C.