Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week Twenty-Five: Sex Ed

Ack! I missed Wednesday! Where'd it go! No joke guys, today felt like a Friday, so sorry for the lateness. The sibs had a day off of school and that throws me So. Far. Off. So, this week is supposed to be my political rantings. Or something to do with Americaness. The epiphany thingy.

But to tell you the truth, other than being proud that Occupy Wall Street is growing and spreading, I have little to talk about. Right now, I'm still trying to sort everything out, and school has been all kinds of WHAM this past week.

I suppose I could relate to you a conversation I had about sex education with a European. They've raised their child in a very European way, but lived in the states for some time. Not uncommon, after all. I am on a military base.

The conversation came up because she was confused why, at nine, the littlest wasn't big on adult topics, and why we tried to prevent them around her. Her daughter, apparently, had been. All my attempts at explaining didn't go over well. I was, to be honest, a bit blind sided by the topic. I'm not a parent. I'm a sister, I'm an aunt, but I'm not a major part of my sister or my nieces lives when it comes to the Talk. In fact, I fully intend on being far, far away when it is given. Maybe China. Or Japan. Or the moon. The moon sounds good.

I can tell you what I know of course. I know that at nine, I knew about the body parts, and knew that birth control existed. I had sex education, in the form of body education. We learned how babies were made, by watching a really old school video, about our bodies. The classes were segregated by gender.

But people didn't actively discuss it. At most we giggled awkwardly, embarrassed to have out teacher talk to us about this. Most of our parents had given us a short version of the Talk at least, around this age, to prepare us for the lesson that of course they knew about. You couldn't attend without a signature.

I know that at that age, I couldn't watch shows like the Simpson's, or anything with even vaguely adult humor. I was a very sheltered kid though, and part of it had to do with where I was living. I had seen animals go at it, with only a vague understanding and a serious level of disgust.

Her child, at this age, knew about sex. Watched shows where sex was discussed frequently. Didn't watch cartoons, but preferred more adult oriented programming. For me, I've never even seen some of the shows she named, so can't comment, other than having heard nothing remotely interesting about them.

But I can tell you now, that when I do have kids, they aren't going to watch shows with a bunch of gossiping idiot women who like to discuss men's equipment and favorite positions. That can wait until they are out of my house, thank you!

Maybe it's a European thing, maybe is a non-Christian thing, but I don't think teen pregnancy is caused by teen's not knowing. They do know. They've been told for years, and they have older siblings, or friend's with older siblings, or neighbor, or some one close enough that they'll have some clue what sex is. They'll know the possible results of their actions. For some of them, it's so much a part of their family's culture and the culture of where they live they can't imagine anything else. Others are horrified, and know they've made a mistake. But they cannot say they don't know, whether they attended sex ed classes or not.

I don't know. I do know that kids mature at different ages, and that certainly plays a factor, but I would struggle with any child of mine maturing quite so rapidly.

One Final Byte: Oh yeah, I may have a cute boyfriend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week Twenty-four: In the stillness

I saw a falling star this week. It was late at night, and I was late getting off work. I was freezing, because it was cold. Who am I kidding, it was about three degrees above freezing here, and I was wet from doing the floors. This put me in a horrible mood. Mind you, biking home is never the most fun thing out there, but normally I at least get to think on things. It's very peaceful.

I have this hill I have to bike up on the way home. It's the final hill before I hit the village I live in. It's huge. Or at least, it feels it. The truth is, it starts out not so bad, but the last little bit is very steep. So I struggle to get up it, late at night, when I'm cold and tired. Most of the time, I make it half way up the hill then dismount and walk up the rest. This time, I gave up a quarter of the way up abd began to walk.

It's beautiful, the night sky here Normally I pause at least once in my bike ride to just look up and see the stars. I love this part because it's just this moment of serene peace. As I was walking up that hill, I look up and lo and behold, there was a falling star.

Have you ever seen a falling star? It's this line that flashes across the sky then is gone in a blink. It's an awe-inspiring site.

I didn't make a wish. Instead, I'm savign my falling star wish for a rainy day.

These past two weeks have been busy for me. I had my final in math this past Wednesday, and we've been preparing for my dad to go TDY. It was canceled however, which is something of a relieve. I've been very busy with school, and work, so I don't get nearly as much time to just relax now. But I try and take out a few minutes of each day just to breath.

Some days, it's harder than others. Other days, you just want to scream! When I was on my way home, I was furious, I was angry, and I wanted out! My job is fun and all, but it doesn't work as well with my classes as it could, and it's cold biking home late at night! Very cold! So sometimes I'm more frustrated than I should be.

When that happens, it's easiest just to sit back, relax, and know that all really is well. I have a home, and food in my belly. I'm going to school in such a manner that I won't have to begger myself to afford my degree. I've worked out a degree seeking plan to transfer over, and I'm busting my butt at work to pay for all of this. I may not have the latest in gadgets and gizmos, but I have my health and my friends and my God.

Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and realize this.

One Final Byte: Knowing how to relax is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week Twenty-Three: Occupy Wall Street

Well. This is what I'm talking about! Finally, my generation is doing something worth it! I spoke in Week Seventeen about a paradigm shift, about my realizing how lucky we, as Americans, are. I asked a question then, as I worried about the general public not doing anything, and the government regulations expanding continuously.

When will the rest of the choir speak up, unified, to make their song be heard?”

Well! I certainly got my answer didn't I! And it was as if the general public rose up, and what started as a few become thousands. Thousands protesting in the streets and millions agreeing with them. I Am Proud. And yes, there is some violence, but there is some violence no matter what.

Now consider the size of the protests compared to the incidents of violence, and think on that for a bit. These aren't a bunch of young liberals either. There are teachers, soldiers, sailors, and yes, even humble librarian are rising up.

The biggest accusation that the media presents are that these are a bunch of liberals who have no clear leadership and no clear demands. I hate to tell the media this, but they have leadership that acts with the consent of it's people and many protestors in the civil rights era couldn't tell you what they protested for, only that they were fighting something horrible.

And I think the demands are pretty clear. The banks who didn't use the bail out money how they were supposed to need to be punished. Investigations need to be launched into big wig CEOs, especially the ones that the Americans public suspects of inside trading. No more lobbiers writing the bills that go through congress. No more FED.

A revolution. The American people want an economic revolution, a political revolution. They don't want corporations to be treated as citizens, because frankly, corporations make horrible citizens.

One of the accusations is that this protests is against capitalism. Please don't be fooled. Open your eyes, look around. Using the internet, these protestors are organizing themselves to protests in more than just the North East. There are 'Occupy Meetups' in 1,360 cities at the time of this writing.

This isn't a protest again capitalism. This is a protest against statism, against misuse of government tn order to gain money.

[...] If we are to keep the term "capitalism" at all, then, we must distinguish between "free-market capitalism" on the one hand, and "state capitalism" on the other. The two are as different as day and night in their nature and consequences. Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at. State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government — the State — to accumulate capital for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence [...]” -- Murray N. Rothbard, 1972 [1]

Imagine. Corporations, no longer allowed to write laws to send to the government. People able to trust the government once more. Imagine a government that protected, not used, the people, and imagine how different the world would be. It's not just in America now, it's growing steadily, world wide. Take a look at the map on Occupy Together. Not every protest is big. But they are happening.

Even now, the Occupy Wall St is using the democratic process in order to make a formal list of demands. Go to their website, look it up yourself. Vote.

Think you're alone? At the bottom of this post is a Google+ feed of pictures of the protestors. There's an Occupy Wall St Tumbler. On it are pictures and statements from the 99%. Let your voice be heard, even if it's only the single vote, or a single picture. Be proud. Be heard. And let the White House know that we won't stand for this any more.

One Final Byte: Freedom is worth only what you put in it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week Twenty-Two: The Fragility of Life

Last Thursday evening, about fifteen minutes before work began, I was informed of why my manager seemed in tears. A co-worker of mine had died last night, in a car accident. It looked like he had taken a corner too fast. He was seventeen. While normally I wouldn't tell you the events I have planned, today I will.

Today I will spend most of my day in the company of evening shift workers. We worked with the young man who died. We'll have a potluck lunch together, then go to the memorial service. The seventeen year old's funeral will be in the states, so that his family can attend.

I don't have much to say about what's happened the past tow weeks, not for me personally. Between school and work, I didn't attend Octoberfest, and with the distressing news, I didn't do much of anything. For simplicity's sake, I'm going to call the young man B.

B was a christian, a quarterback, involved in clubs, good at school. He was the type of kid you can see growing into a family man. His family had no problems, and he never talked about ever fighting with his parents. When the family came to eat at our workplace, he'd go out, say hello, and give his mom a hug. B was a good kid.

The base commander sent a chaplain to our work the day after he heard. One by one, which each broke down with the chaplain to comfort us. Even our manager, an atheist, was comforted somewhat.

I was not close to B, but he was a good worker, and willing to help out. His girlfriend also worked at Burger King. They had not been dating for more than a month. On Friday was homecoming.

Life is sad. It's short and sweet, and for some it's shorter than others. People rarely expect it to be so short, and never expect to lose a kid who didn't deserve to die.

The chaplain did say something to me though. He reminded me that God has a plan, and even this said event, this horrible event served a purpose. B had dedicated his life to God, and I believe even his death had a reason beyond he took a corner too fast. He had only been driving a month. There is a small candle where he died. The daughter of the evening manager, who was friend with B and went to school with him, came in the other day with a pair of broken glasses. She and her sister had been out to the crash site. They had found his glasses.

Tomorrow, we're going to give them to his parents. I know that if someone had found my mom's glasses, I would have wanted them and this seems the right thing to do. As for me, this merely cements my feelings on the month of September. It is the saddest month I know.

I don't have much more to say. I know this blog is short, and I know most of you who read this aren't interested in a nameless boy in an accident, other than to say, how sad. But I can tell you that this boy, nameless to you, touched more lives in seventeen years than many people much older.

One Final Byte: I hope one day, cars no longer kill.