Let’s Talk About Race

I really wish my mother had talked to me about race…

All she ever said was when I was older is  “Scotland isn’t as racist as the United States” <~

The thing is though, which I feel parents fail to realize, is that children will learn things one way or another. Either they learn from you as a parent, what is promoted through the education system, from the media, or from peers. There will always be someone or something stepping up to teach our children when we don’t.

I learned racisim from my babysitter’s son.

My babysitter’s son was a few years older. I’m pretty sure he’s where I learned to be rough and tumble. He was a brute of a boy, not quite a bully, but still picked on me a lot. One day at his older sister’s game, he and I were playing and two black kids  around his age came up and started pushing me around. I ran away with him to the other end. He looked over and told me to go back and call them niggers. My memory of Scotland is fuzzy, so I dont’ know if that’s a term even used there, but I had NO idea what that word was. I asked what it meant and he refused to tell me. He pushed me towards them and told me I’d see.

So, spitfire that I am.. I did go over and shouted it to them at the top of my lungs. “NIGGER!”

Those two kids, both older and with skin shades darker, raised their eyes. I remember the look of anger on their faces. And as if I had whipped them, they turned around and ran off. They left me and my babysitter’s son alone for the rest of the day.

Me, little ol Faithie.. felt like I was a wizard. I put those kids in their place using ONE WORD. Seriously, how freaking cool is that to a child?!

Well not as cool as I soon learned.. For instance that word had no power on any of the white kids I grew up around. I grew up in a predominantly white area. My school was overflowing with military children and locals who were largely ex military. In my elementary school days, I had one African American person in my classes. ONE

Her name was Eboni and she was a really good friend of mine at first. I remember playing with her on the playground and trying to see who could swing the highest. One day when we were lined up waiting to go into the classroom, she told me that I smelled nice. That made me so happy because I had showered the night before and used Herbal Essences shampoo all over my body, because duh hair is everywhere.

I don’t even know why, but eventually we had a falling out at the playground. It’s funny how I can have so much memory of her comments, but not of the bad moments. I was angry, so  I used my super power word… And just like before, she ran off. In tears.

Word got to our Principal and we had a sit down. It was the Principal that told me the meaning behind the word. Why Niggar had so much power to only a certain few. I dunno if you consider it ironic, but my friend didn’t know what the word meant either. She just knew it was a bad word that white people say to black kids. Neither of us had NO idea what we were doing, why were reacting as we did, or why we were so angry to begin with.

Kids…ever mimiciing the world around them without truly understanding..

Eboni and I never got back to being friends. In fact, she ended up ruthlessly making my middle school days so unbearable that I transfered to a different high school to get a fresh start. Still though, when I see a woman that might be Eboni all grow up, I feel so guilty and ashamed because all I remember of her is the good moments we had and how I ruined our friendship.

I will talk to my children about race. Not in the drippy “Multiculturalism way” that the schools are so fond of telling the kids. True, their kids are a lot more integrated than mine was. I will never tell them that race is not an issue until it’s legitly not. Everyone is not happily integrated and life for other races is as easy as our own.

I will tell them that the world has a sneaky way of lulling people into complinace and ignorance and the people in our society do not deserve to be misled so.

I want them to hear people’s raw stories like my good friend who at 15 was sent to jail for 9 years because his friends robbed a store and and assaulted the owner.. and he was guilty just by being outside when it all went down. I want them to know of a teenage boy just on the other side of the river who was kicked out of school, because he had a verbal argument with another student and he was viewed as too aggressive. Not even one physical altercation on his record.  Or how a pregnant teen was forced out of school because she didn’t represent the image the school was trying to uphold. Or how wearing a hat in the school across the river gets you SUSPENDED. How black male teens are 3x more likely to get supended than whites for the same violations, and how black female teens are 6x more likely to get suspended for the same violations. In our own state. Our own region.  I want them to be moved by a teen’s rap about how isolated he feels in a world of white and how he wants friends but everyone assumes he likes Skittles and Arizonas.

This white woman will talk about race…To her white son and daughter. And with hope they too will talk about race and how to make this nation truly supportive of all it’s citizens.

 

 

 

 

The Bond Between the Fighter and The Coach

I had the pleasure of seeing some of my teammates step in the ring last weekend.. I snapped a lot of of photos (over a 1000.. I totally beat the record of the professional photographer there lol) but my favorite moments weren’t when people were punching and kicking. It was when, for a only a moment the fighter could breathe, and they looked to their coaches to give them strength and courage to continue on….

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To Practice Publications or to not?

Calander Loreli

Calendar square

Zadencalendar square

One of the things that the spouses did to help keep the morale up on my husband’s sub before they deployed was to put together a calendar.

What an awesome idea right?!

So we saw some samples, which were pretty decent but I dunno.. not me.. or my husband for that matter.. Sure he loves his kids, but does he want a picture of him with his two little angels wrapped around his leg posted up in the galley? Not really.. So I figured if I was going to do some squares I was going to really put the personality of my family into it.. And I wasn’t going to just use glue and scrapbooking paper.. I am paying $10 a month for photoshop.. Time to put it to some use!!! The above, with some input from the kids, are the result of my effort to make creative calendar squares.

The more I played around with things, the more I really wanted to know what the hell I was doing.. and even youtube just wasn’t helping me…

Here I am at a cross roads…

See, last semester I said I was going to do the graphic and communications arts certificate program at the college before moving on to a four year university… I ended up not doing so because apparently I could only have one certificate program on the record at a time in conjunction with my major.. I was closer to getting my Womens Studies certificate so I stuck with that.. As I looked over my projected graduation date I learned that attempting to get the graphic and communication arts certificate would put me into a year past my expected graduation date for my Associates in General Studies. I was also misinformed about financial aid and it not paying for certificate programs, so if I decided to get the certifcate the expenses for classes would be out of pocket… This I learned is not true, my financial aid would cover certificate programs..

I decided that since I do not click with my previous digital photographer professor, that I would be content with just dropping the certificate program and graduating on schedule.. <~ Now one should never make such big decisions based on “liking” a professor, especially one that said he really felt I should go for the program, however if you understood the dynamics that is this professor you would understand. I am seriously the professor A therapist for all of the campus. DAILY I run into someone in his current classes and never do I hear good things about him. I am reminded of why I wanted to leave the graphic arts world on campus and never look back.

Despite his insipid personality and his bipolarish tendencies to try to be the student’s friend one minute and then this holier than thou man the next.. he can teach me what I feel is most right…. Journalism.. writing… COMMUNICATIONS has been my thing since 3rd grade when I wrote a 14 page novel and my peers at best got 3 pages into their tales. It’s always been my need to write, and thus why I love and miss blogging so much.. and why when I finally do my posts are so long winded. I would be happy in life being an editor for a publishing company..(hahahahah I know let’s all laugh and note the million grammar mistakes that Faithie makes in one post alone)

But this man.. this professor who seems to make everyone loathe themselves and their work more than be inspired by it.. would be teaching literally EVERYTHING..

I have an empty slot in my semester next fall, and I’ve been toying around with doing the publications practice.. All I’ve heard about the class is from those telling me how assinine the man is.. but inbetween I hear the project ideas and I get a little excited. Creating my own advertisement pieces? Brochures? Learning more about Photoshop and InDesign?! <~ Tell me that does not sound freaking COOL…

Any advice would be appreciated…

 

 

Spring Break?

 

I am officially on Spring Break, which I should be thankful for. Some of the students in my college can’t say the same. A good few professors are holding classes this week to make up for the MILLION snow days we’ve had.. Fortunately, I have awesome professors this year who want a break from me as much I want from them ;)

I am also thankful the tutoring center closed all appointments this week.. Again, if not I would have been working there..

And that is where I need most of a break..

Last year, the only real insanity I endured was during finals. That is understandable.. If there is ever a time to panic it’s during finals O.O The rest of the semester it was pretty good! I always had an EA or other tutors backing me up. I had solid people to go for advice AND a great set of people to share my workload with.. IE I got a decent amount of study time in, got paid, and felt like I was really helping people.. <~ Happy Times!

Niave Faith thought that these good times should continue! I kept the same days but added more hours so that I was working 5 hours 3 days a week. Two of those three days I am by myself all day long… I am the only writing tutor available O.O Which means that every day I am SLAMMED.. back to back appointments for the entirety I’m there even on the one day I have another tutor to back me up.. I haven’t quite figured out how I see her studying all the time and my appointment schedule is slamming except that people like me.. The big head honcho of the tutoring center commented once that he always saw that I was in high demand.. He took it as I’m a great tutor, and maybe to a degree I am, but mostly it’s me or nothing.. Beggars can’t be choosers.. Although I’m really liking that it’s making me look good to the higher ups, it’s really stressful..I have been contemplating talking to the writing center head about blocking out a lunch time… but the time I would want to do it is when I have a recurring appointment every day with one student.. and it’s the only time she can make it there so I’d be selfishly giving myself a break at her expense… I go without lunch and a break, so she better pass her classes damnit..

I also had to switch my schedule around at the hotel to get my mom off to watch the kids for a night class I had to take, resulting in me working both Saturday and Sunday nights.. I used to work Tuesdays and Sundays and it was timed pretty well for my Tuesday/Thursday classes.. I could get a huge portion of my school work done at the hotel.. (have you noticed I like jobs where I get paid to do my schoolwork too? lol) Saturday we have sold out every night I have worked.. which means I am swamped with hotel work and no time to even think about school let alone do any of it. And because I am in recoop from the horror that was Saturday night working, I tend to do very little of school work the next evening…

To the point: My dumb ass is making myself work 7 days/nights a week.. not including the various programs my kids are in… I haven’t had much time to focus on my own studies.. I freaking worked on my midterm for one class minutes before it was due <~ I have NEVER NEVER done that before.. I feel like I didn’t do well on it because I rushed it and it’s stressing me out on top of already being stressed out…

This week is for resting… and not feeling too guilty about not obsessing over future papers and work… This week will be spent stitching and watching Gilmore Girls

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This my current progress on Heaven and Earth’s Autumn Owl

My husband said that it looked more like a My Little Pony… It does not!!!! Or does it????

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge~ Two Thirds

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There are some days when I miss my digital photography class..

Don’t get me wrong, I will still admit that I hated just about every minute of it…

But being forced to look at the world in a non rushed way really was one of the best gifts I’ve received in my college experience. My favorite assignments in this class were when I got to catch something really ordinary in a uniqe way.

 

 

The Mechanic Faithie Showdown

One of the challenges of being a military wife, is that often you have to take on what society has labled as very masculine roles.

Now woah Faith! You completely hate gender roles!

Why yes I do! Unfortunatey, gender roles, as much as I hate to acknowledge their existance, are within my society. I can be all “Boys, wear pink if that’s what you want to do!” and “Girl, your unshaven legs must keep you warmer than my bare skin. I’mma start insulating myelf too”. I am fine with people just doing what makes them happy so long as it’s not hurting others..Society just isn’t as ready to be as open minded as I am.

It’s mostly because I really REALLY don’t care enough about other people to constantly judge them. I’d like to think it’s a higher level of compassion.. like I’m evolved and all that. and maybe I am who knows..  Gender roles has been my lens so to speak for my entire college experience. I have in a classroom of 20 all by myself defended a parent’s right to let their son dress as a girl with maybe one person on my side..  But really.. I don’t care.. do what you’re gunna do…

But I digress..

So back to being a Navy wife and having to wear the pants…

One of things I do every deployment is I get my car inspected up and down.. Now since my car is 10 years old you know already that’s asking for trouble. My car was working fine, other than a blasted check engine light that came on sporadically and went away just as quickly. I asked for an oil change and 23 point inspection but you know I was really saying “hey mechanic man, you have a kid in college? I bet you can find a tuition’s worth of issues on this bad boy”

I knew that was going to happen. But to me, spending a small fortune to ensure some piece of mind before my husband deploys allows me to feel like I have some control over the situation. Things will break down left and right while he’s gone.. but not that car! My car will be the one solid man in my life for the next 7 months. (my car is male btw.. take that gender stereotypes)

This is is our fourth deployment.. Never have I been told there’s so much wrong with my car. $1300 in repairs. The mechanic said one of things needing repaired/replaced was the car’s thermostat.

Here’s a little info on what a thermostat actually does within a car because this information will come in handy later:

Suppled by How Stuff Works:

Any liquid-cooled car engine has a small device called the thermostat that sits between the engine and the radiator. The thermostat in most cars is about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Its job is to block the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine has warmed up. When the engine is cold, no coolant flows through the engine. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature (generally about 200 degrees F, 95 degrees C), the thermostat opens. By letting the engine warm up as quickly as possible, the thermostat reduces engine wear, deposits and emissions.

The repairs to be fair took less than a day.. I paid and went on my way….

Only to find that Nitro..wasn’t blowing out heat anymore.. Ok I lie.. on our trip to Providence.. it maybe got luke warm at best…

I dunno if you have heard about my area.. but we’re getting record lows… This is not the time for my car to lose heat…

So I did what any good consumer does should do when there’s an issue with a product.

I called the car center and explained the situation. And when I explained it there was no irritation in my voice… There was no teeth chattering, desparation, or anger.. It was was more “hey uh.. my car isn’t producing heat.. which is surprising as it was blowing hot air out like a champ before I had repairs done” And the lady on the phone was pleasant back..scheduled me..

Day comes to drop the car off.. and there’s NO ONE AT THE DESK! They had a buzzer to press if no one was there with a request to use it only once.. So I pressed it at 5 minute intervals… Three times..

By then… my irritation with this ordeal did escalate because working in customer relations I understand how crucial it is to appear attentive.. A mechanic, older and weary comes in and asks if I’ve been seen yet. I shake my head and tell him it’s been ten minutes or so (yeah I lied.. we were at the 15 minute mark) and that I would appreciate being seen because I had a class I had to run to. So he said he would find the manager.

He left and minute or so late a big gruff man comes in. Think Danny Divito but taller and fatter. He grunts when he sees me like I’m ruining his day. I smile politely, because I am seriously ever polite, and tell him good morning. I say nothing of the wait, which I was very much not happy about. I explained the situation of having the repairs done, and finding myself with no heat. I mentioned that I had stellar heat prior to the repairs and now nothing..

So he looks down on me (which isn’t hard to do I’m short) and explains all the reasons I could have no heat. I listen passively, nodding as if I’m receiving a wealth of information. Because here’s the thing he didn’t know. In that 17 minutes that I had free waiting for him to assist me, I was on google troubleshooting sites which listed a few things that could be preventing my car from heating up… Of all the ones he listed.. That brand spanking new thermostat he replaced was NEVER mentioned… So once he was done, I informed him that according to my sources the thermostat is the number one reason cars don’t heat up. And since I had heat previously to a new thermostat being installed, I am led to believe that this is the case. Not once did I say “YOUR MECHANICS JACKED MY SHIT UP! I DEMAND YOUR FIRST BORN SON FOR THE TUITION I JUST PAID FOR HIM!” And that was hard to not scream since I was pretty angry that not only did he make me wait but dared to talk to me condescendly like I was a moron woman who couldn’t possibly know about cars.

His response was that he would have it checked and he would get back to me..

Off Faithie goes to college where big kids go to learn big fancy words that confuse mechanics. He called while I was in the cafeteria. The message said I needed to call right away!!!! <~ I don’t think that’s enough exclaimation points to truly stress the urgency in my mechanic’s voice.

I call him back, outside is a parade of students making their way to their classes. I hope this conversation is quick because I too need to hurry to class….

He informs me that they found out the reason that I had no heat. Before I could even say anything he says that the heater core in my car was bad…..and it would take over $900 to fix it…

*twitch* I was silent a moment..How do I want to handle this Faith?

I took the polite route (damnit it.. I ALWAYS take the polite route).. I thanked him for his call and that I could be there around 3 to pick up my car to get a second opinion somewhere else. I was ready to hang up and run to my class but the mechanic had to have a last say.

“Listen, I know that’s a lot of money to have to shell out after spending so much already..”

Polite Faithie was clotheslined by Activist Faithie. The one that sees an injustice taking place and cannot stand idly by! She puffed up her chest and grabbed the phone..

(Now this isn’t exactly verbatum.. but it’s close enough…trust me I was there )

“Oh no!!! You know what I find ludacris in this whole situation. It’s that I go into your establishment for a $54 dollar oil check, topping off of the fluids and 23 point inspection to be told I have $1300 worth of NECCESSARY repairs. I’m not niave <insert mechanic’s name>. I knew that NONE of that including the thermostat was neccessary. I authorized those repairs because I was taking preventative measures to ensure my car runs smoothly the next upcoming months. Now what I find ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE is that my car, which prior to your mechanics working on it, had no heating issues WHATSOEVER but now blows out nothing but cold air. This is  completely unacceptable and I am not paying your establishment another dime! I will be there at 3 to pick up my car.”

I think I got across that I was PISSED. I never really yelled. The words in caps were stresssed through intonation at best. I find it scarier when you don’t yell when you’re mad.. It’s like you’re some sort of crazy and the person has no real way to knowing what you’re going to do. Am I going to come and collect my car at 3 or am I going to burn the whole place down? Who knows?!!!!

So he then said he really wanted to make sure I had heat. He said it would most likely be a temporary fix, but he could flush the coolant lines. <~ Oh you mean the SECOND most common reason that cars have trouble heating??? I told him that he had my car until 3 so if he wanted ensure I had heat he had my permission to flush the lines.. but that I wouldn’t be paying for the service. NOT ONE CENT! And, which is so unlike me, I hung up establishing that I was in control of the situation and not him….

BAM!

Four hours go by and I’m semi stewing over the ordeal. I google the part that needs replacing..$100-$130 depending on where you get it from. How the HELL did he get $900 including? His workers better be getting medical and dental for those outrageous installation fees.

Did I have this big “niave girl who will give me lots of money” vibe.. oooo no I only have breasts…. I am angry because my husband was livid I agreed to the $1300 in the first place and other guys meaning will also informed me that I was probably taken advantage of. And there I was defending myself each time saying that not all the mechanics in the world are out to screw women. The world has to have evolved further than that right? RIGHT?! And maybe this mechanic screws everyone over.. maybe my gender has nothing to do with it.. but it sure felt like it in the moment. Either way.. I was being screwed over and activist Faithie was hell bent on not being screwed over anymore.

When I went to pick up my car the giant version of Danny Devito was still there. Although again I had to wait for him,this time it was at least only 5 minutes. He informed me that he had heat running through the car. I said that was good news. He said he was sorry for the inconvenience and that he hadn’t been there the original day of repairs.

<PAUSE>

Those words he said were verbatum.. He is sorry, and that he hadn’t been there the original day of repairs..

So.. what does this tell me?

Well one usually doesn’t say they are sorry unless there is reason to admit fault..

Him saying he hadn’t been there the original day of repairs also alludes to the fact that there was reason to be at fault, but that he is absolving himself of the blame as he wasn’t present.

Conclusion: YOUR PLACE DID MESS UP MY CAR AND YOU’RE NOT ADMITTING IT!

But the real conclusion is: I have heat in my car again, didn’t have to pay even a cent to get it fixed…WIN!!! 

<UNPAUSE>

I took my key and told him that this is a business. I understand that issues happen. What shows the true merit of a business is what you do to rectify the issues that happen.

And like a boss.. I walked off leaving him speechless…