Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making the move...

Well hello there, gentle readers!

Like many more before me, I have decided to make the move over to Wordpress. I have been contemplating the move for quite some time now. I just feel the formatting is a bit cleaner over there and the setup is more conducive to blogging and gives the author more creative choices. A fellow blogger had some nice reflective statements that I found myself agreeing with, which gave me a boost of motivation to make the move happen. I only wish there was a way to import posts from this blog over to my new home. 

My posts have been sporadic at best, but for those of you who have enjoyed Notes from the Underground so far, please feel free to follow me here:

There is also an option to follow by email in the left side bar. I shall continue to follow those I have enjoyed reading here and will link to the new blog in the next few posts before I completely transition over to wordpress. It has been fun here and thanks to all for the great laughs, moments of reflection, and retrospective musings. 

Snapshot Sunday

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Someday, I'll be captain of my very own ship!

Even from a very early age, it was pretty clear I would grow up to be a nerd. I remember quite vividly in one of my earlier elementary years going through the typical class discussion surrounding the topic of: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Our instructor was a beast of a woman who did not enjoy fun, seemed to hate her job, and was deeply rooted in reality. Picture Delores Umbridge, but without the facade of granny sweetness. I thought these were some pretty odd characteristics for someone whose profession involved interacting with children on a daily basis. O.K., so my vocabulary was more like meany and grumpy pants at that age. 

So, each of us took turns announcing our chosen dream profession. Some she would approve of with a slight smile and a nod, others she would amend. Her gaze reached my seat. I explained, "I am going to be an engineer on a star ship. Someday, I'll be captain of my very own ship!"

I was an effing cute kid!

Ms. Grumpy Pants gave me a quizzical glare and begrudgingly explains to the class that what I meant to say was astronaut. I instantly grimaced and tried to protest, but she shhhushd me and sternly growled that's all. She moved on to the next student, Tony. What was about to happen only further exemplified my theory that Ms. Grumpy Pants was a meany, but I wouldn't realize until years later; it was also evidence that she should have no longer been teaching. 

Tony was doodling when Ms. Grumpy Pants called on him to share his desired jobby job. He looked up and simply said, "I want to be a dolphin" and went back to his doodling.

Ms. Grumpy Pants amended, "So, you want to be a football player for the Miami Dolphins."

Tony looked back up and responded, "No. I want to be a dolphin."

Ms. Grumpy Pants began to laugh. "Tony, I am not sure what you are getting at here."

Tony answered with clear frustration in his voice, "I want to be a dolphin. You know, the animal. I want to swim and leap through the ocean with my dolphin friends."

Ms. Grumpy Pants began to laugh quite heartily at this and began mocking him, "You hear that class? Tony is going to swim and play with the dolphins when he grows up!" She then notices that Tony's doodle is none other than the finned animal he clearly admired. She snatched up the doodle and continued to point and laugh at both the doodle and poor Tony. 

Some classmates laughed. At the time, I really did not understand what was so funny. I just understood it to be mean. I moved away to a new city and a new school later that year. I often wonder what became of Tony and what future repercussions that day had on Tony's life. I find it both disturbing and sick there are instances where so called educators teach ignorance and hate. Things that should never be taught in a classroom. 

Sooooo, I never really pursued that early childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, but if there are ever star ships built with warp capability; I am totally fighting tooth and nail to land a job on said star ship. 

Instead, I became a teacher. Weird. I think I'm pretty good at it though. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mother Effing Magic!

For anyone who grew up in the 90s watching Clarissa Explains it All on Nickelodeon and then later following Melissa Joan in her career as Sabrina (and even if you didn't), you will truly appreciate this little gem that was passed onto me through the world of Facebook. Next time someone pisses me off or mildly annoys me, I am gonna break out the cup spell on them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In the Home Stretch!

As the semester winds down and the winter quickly encroaches, I have come to the realization that this has been a year of change and growth. I started out the semester trying to find my way back to the way things were only to discover those were the things I had outgrown. It's always a sobering moment when you realize the world you used to know so well has gone and caught itself in a freeze frame of sorts; the pieces just don't fit anymore.

These past few months have been trying as the things I thought I knew and understood turned out to have false bottoms like the desk drawer of a paranoid schizophrenic. A drawer that concealed ugly secrets, which were desperately hidden in hopes the true metaphorical head of the villainous trickster would never be seen. Funny thing about those who stir the pot; eventually no amount of stirring will prevent the stew from getting burned. There's really no going back, and I'm more than O.K. with that.

While it was a harsh reality check, it was necessary. I've learned there are more important things in life than going through the motions and embracing the trivial. I've learned to always question and not play into the manipulation that comes with passive aggressive behavior. I also learned that I have some great people I can genuinely call friends that make all the other stuff seem so tiny and insignificant. 

I have gained a new appreciation for the work I do and my co-workers. I am lucky to work with a group of people who make my job fun and keep me on my toes. Teaching is still rewarding despite the bumps in the road and those that seem impossible to reach. Giving up forensics to focus more on the opportunities at hand wasn't as jarring as I thought it would be and actually find it to be quite refreshing. This last semester alone I:
  • helped a transgender student remind fellow students and instructors that the institution was one that embraced diversity, which was also written into policy. 
  • literally made an impromptu trip to attend a conference that would create potential for future programming and coordination opportunities.
  • learned empathy after seeing the full scope of how students process and deal with their stress levels throughout the semester; some better than others. 
  • coordinated efforts between various clubs and organizations on campus hoping to improve communication and encourage collaboration among the student body. 
  • grew an appreciation for the student leaders that work with our department and all the hard work they do. 
  • had a lot of fun getting to know my co-workers a bit more and take part in the occasional office prank or two. 
  • fully embraced the fact that there is only one doctor: THE DOCTOR
It's been a crazy insane semester, and I am so glad it is over. I am looking forward to traveling and seeing old friends over winter break. As the sun sets on the final days of the year 2011, I hope to go into the new year moving forwardno turning back.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The More You Know...

The following is a meme that has been popping up on Facebook. It's a nice little reminder that we must be diligent in our research before we spout off political arguments and more importantly before we make our voting decisions. Know what ideological principals you are standing behind and know the folks you are voting into positions of power. The more you know...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This is the 99%

"These protesters who are actually few in number, have contributed nothing. They're parasites. They're pure, genuine parasites. Many of them are bored, trust-fund, kids obsessed with being something, being somebody. Meaningless lives, they want to matter."
                                                                                      ~Rush Limbaugh

This appeared on my Facebook news feed that someone shared from Don Giordano's Facebook page. Don't know who this dude is, don't really care. I've been seeing a lot of similar rhetoric pop up on my news feed lately (I live in Wyoming). That's awesome this person managed to get through college debt free. Truly, but I have some issues with this statement. 

I disagree with this statement mainly because it twists the arguments of Occupy Wall Street and what it was intended for. While I am sure there are those that jumped on the bandwagon because they blame "The Man" for all of their problems and poor choices. But there are those that have legitimate reasons to take part in this movement and making a hasty generalization based on what the media spoon feeds you is problematic.

Taking the major premise that you read an article or saw a news report showing Occupy Wall Street participants complaining about student loan debt, then going off the minor premise that you are part of the minority with the luxury of being debt free due to "hard work" in order to lead to the conclusion that Occupy Wall Street protest participants are nothing but college kids with privilege whining about their debt and poor decisions is not an absolute truth, but a faulty categorical syllogism at best. Furthermore, not all debt is the result of poor decisions but rather, a consequence of the system.

I will agree that perhaps the original goals of this movement have been submerged through the few bandwagoneers and the media's interpretation. The true meaning is best described as the following: "Occupy Wall Street deals with the very material consequences of corporate collapse in the last five years. People who 'worked hard' lost their jobs and their savings." So, the Occupy Movement in all reality has NOTHING to do with student loan debt. It's that the priveleged benefiting from big corporations are feeding off of the demise of those beneath them. It's about bringing awareness and expressing outrage regarding these practices.

Thus, I feel there are genuine and legitimate reasons to take action through protest in order to enact change. THIS is the 99%

                                  Photo taken by: Katia Roberts

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Class Comes With a Little Redemption

As some of you may remember from my last X-Men rant, I was more than reluctant to watch the latest installment in the Hollywood version of the mutant team. After the travesty of the third X-Men, Wolverine Origins came along, and I was also a little gun-shy about Hollywood destroying yet another beloved character (RIP Phoenix), but let's face it; watching Hugh Jackman's interpretation of Logan is both enjoyable and dreamy. Sure Sabretooth was never really established as Wolverine's bro, but they weren't bros for realsies. One comic establishes Wolvie's arch nemesis as his father. "Logan, I am your faaaaaasha!"
I don't necessarily mind when a film takes certain liberties, shift happens. As we all know, there are splinters in the comic verse, but it's when the very core of what makes a comic book character really interesting and legen-------dairy is completely altered that results in the most epic of fails. Phoenix explained as a split personality = epic fail. 

X-Men First Class, despite portraying Havok as a founding member of X-Men despite being the younger brother of Cyclops and later joining X-Men after his brother in the comic-verse; I digresswas pretty effing schweet! This latest mutant flick focuses on the bro-mance between a younger Professor X and Magneto.  They were in college and ya know, did some experimenting. The audience catches a deeper glimpse at the origin of their iconic chess games and banter depicted in the first two X-Men movies (notice how I only include the first two films). The story is told through this relationship as well as the relationship of some other mutant pairs.There are some playful cameos throughout, and the storytelling stays true to the nature of the characters introduced to many by the comic-verse, which makes it all worth it in the end.