Posts

Showing posts from January, 2017

Educate Me...

Image
Think about applying for a job...You spruce up your resume, write a mission statement, and prepare for the questions you may be asked.

Today I learned something new...when it comes to high ranking government jobs...none of these things matter. Money does.

Today a new secretary of education was confirmed. Betsy DeVos, a woman with virtually no education experienced was hired by the United States Government to lead educational policy. Let's be clear...I am NOT qualified for this job, but I believe, with a Bachelor degree in General Science and two Masters degrees, one in Education with a focus on SPecial Education and a second in Mathematics Education, I am far more qualified than she is. I have experience and desire to improve the quality of education and opportunties for our students...all of them regardless of their social standing, the color of their skin or their religion.

It seems tht we are moving into a new realm in education. Over time, teaching has become a career that is s…

When women stand....

Image
Today, a woman stood. She said no. She refused to follow. She was fired.

The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, told Justice Department lawyers not to defend the Executive Orders on Immigration restrictions recently signed by those in Trump-land. Sally stood up to the bully behavior that has been thrown about in Washington. She acted as a warrior for those who were being abused.

Last week a universal ban on refugees was signed by Executive Order. Refugees that have been fully vetted and were waiting in their country of origin. Some were already on the plane on the way to the United States while others were told upon arrival. Those with visas, work permits, even green cards were held in airports around the country or put on a plane back to the country where they started.

Attorneys were camping out in airports and representing refugees, pro bono, computers on their laps, sitting on the floor. They were working in teams connecting with families who were desperately trying to get inform…

Refugees Welcome...

Image
I teach at a high school of 2,800 students, small by some state standards, but large for Oregon. Each year we "compete" for the 'biggest school award' with a neighboring high school. I have been teaching in this district for seventeen years and in these seventeen years our district has gone from a mostly white middle class district to one that has welcomed hundreds of refugee families, families that have been pushed from their homes in other areas of Portland due to gentrification, and families seeking affordable housing. A district that has changed from one with less than twenty-four percent non-white to a diverse population of more than seventy-four percent non-white where over fifty languges are spoken. Every day students enter our school who have recently entered the country, many from Africa, Myanmar, Iran, and Iraq. These students have seen and experienced things that no child should. Violence against themselves or their family, packing quickly and fleeing duri…

Iran so far away...1375 days...

Image
Well, the water seems to be getting deeper and now I am just swimming. Today in Trump-Land, it was determined that those who come from Iran may be in danger of being removed or not allowed to re-enter the country. Yes, now Trump has entered my house, he is in my personal space, he is talking about my family. His ludicrious new order says that those who have green cards (even ones who have been in the country for some time) may not be allowed to re-enter if they leave. The heat is increasing.

The idea that we, as a country, can essentially state that we will no longer allow those of a certain faith, in this case Muslim, flies in the face of everything we were built upon. The United States was built on religious freedom and equality of all, yet here we are barring those from countries that we have decided are "sending terrorists." The closed mindedness of this administration is mind-boggling and illogical. To state that our government prioritized allowing Muslims to enter over …

I am the force...

Image
Each day when I come home I am now checking the news with trepidation, sondering what todays events are. Today in Trump-land more conversation happened about The Wall,  $15 bilion dollar endeavor that US citizens will pay for. Along the border between the US and Mexico lies almost 200 miles of space, some near cities and others in the desert, where, currently, there are fences and walls already dividing the continent, dividing families.

Think what the United States could do with $15 billion dollars...fund schools, increase social services to those in need, fight poverty, provide housing to the homeless. Fifteen billion dollars...lets think about that for a moment...let's think about the vastness of that money. I can't even fathom. Building a wall just means that those who are trying to leave Mexico will build a higher ladder, save more money to pay the Coyotes to cross in more dangerous places, risking their lives even more.

A companion of this travesty is the idea that DACA, …

Hold on to the rope...

Image
I have a new philosophy in my teaching job...don't check social media during the day. Don't get me wrong...I haven't been a rabid social media checker in the past, occasionally checking Facebook and my email but this week, I have decided that I am not going to check because I am frustrated and angry every time.

We have had a new president for four and one-half days, five if you want to count inauguration day as an entire day. It was reported that he took the weekend off (after declaring that inauguration day was National Day of Patriotic Devotion...sigh) so truly he has been in office for only three days.

So much has happened in just three days, so much damage. Sadly, there are some who have declared that he has done exactly what he claimed to do and is putting America and American workers first. I just don't even know where to start because sometimes thinking how far we have walked backwards in the last few days is a bit frightening.

I used to feel that we were a part…

Frogs in a pan...

Image
Well...It's happening. I posted
something on Facebook today about being Pro-Choice and my feed blew up. Pro-Choice, like I believe that women have the right to CHOOSE what they do with their bodies. Immediately there was talk about being pro-abortion, as if that I the ONLY choice that women can make.

Now, here we are, a country that is in trouble. In four days our President, using both Twitter and a fatal pen, has decided that we should freeze government hiring,removed us from the Pacific Trade Agreement, is looking into leaving the UN, signed to drill for oil along more than one pipeline, is threatening millions and destroy their water, is planning to build a wall between the US and Mexico (which WE will pay for), has determined that refugees from "dangerous countries" not be allowed into the US although they have been deeply vetted, and has begun talks to destroy health care for millions. I am at a loss...I am genuinely feeling physically ill.

I have always been outspok…

Building a raft...marching on

Image
Have you ever seen an otter? They are adorable. They are fun loving, swimming playfully through the water, frolicking through the waves. Everyone loves to watch otters...they are calming and uplifting.

Otters are also committed to safety of the group. At night, when threatened with being crushed against the rocky shore, otters wrap their legs around the kelp floating in the bay and hold hands creating a raft so that no one floats away. They sleep, holding hands so that when the morning comes, and it is time to resume their day of  swimming, eating, and playing, they are all there and everyone is accounted for.

Recent events in the United States have brought the otters to my mind. Otters have few predators so can easily escape by climbing to dry land or by swimming away. This is not a luxury that we currently have. We have predators out there, but instead of swimming away, I suggest that we take another page from the otters book, we hold hands and protect one another.

Yesterday I parti…