Monthly Archives: March 2010

"Preparing Women & Men to Lead Extraordinary Lives."

Today was quite an emotionally intense day in my classes. It’s beautiful out, the CTA worked in my favor, and I got an incredible grade on a midterm that I took pre-spring break, which really helped balance the hard-hitting material that was touched all day.

In my Domestic Violence class, my professor started off the class by reading an email she’d just received last night. The email was from a woman who had taken this course in Spring 2008, and after taking the class she promised herself that she would never, under any circumstances, stay in a relationship where there was violence. In her message, she explained that she started dating someone over the summer and had told him from the start that violence was her breaking point– she would never stand for it. In February she decided to make a move to England to be with him. The day that she got there, he slapped her across the face. Literally that same day, she gathered up her just-moved items and got on a plane to return to the U.S. She said she never would have had the courage and perspective to do that without taking this class, and after being out of the relationship she was able to see the abusive patterns that led to that point.

My professor was obviously deeply moved by this email, and she gave all of us 20 minutes to write about our experiences with violence in relationships and how much we would be willing to promise ourselves at certain levels of intimacy (especially because most often, abusers wait until the commitment level is somewhat high– like moving in together, marriage, children, etc.). I haven’t decided whether or not I will be posting mine on here, but it might surface eventually. Regardless, a discussion in this class a few weeks ago was about whether or not love and violence can exist in the same relationship; I’m an extremely firm “no” on this topic, and I think that that can give you a framework from which today’s response can be understood.

I had lunch with Britt (my former roomie) and Alex (Loyolacappella) at my favorite little deli downtown, and we had some pretty intense conversation about our lives; I won’t go into detail because I want to respect their privacy, but it was definitely a much-needed heart-to-heart that went far too quickly for me to be satisfied. 🙂

My last class was focusing on missing, abducted, and “throwaway” children, as well as children abused. I have not had enough time to process this conversation, but we ended up reading multiple news stories surrounding a terribly upsetting abuse-murder case of Lattie McGee, witnessed by his brother Cornelius Abraham. It was heart-wrenching (to say the least) and the follow-up article was absolutely incredible and refreshingly compassionate.

What I’m trying to show is how endlessly thankful I am that I have had access to an education that makes people– as in, individuals– and meaningful dialogue the central task in developing its students. My world would be shaped so differently without days like this in my educational journey. Thanks, Jesuits.

an Elyria Police Officer was slain last night

It’s unfortunate news that in our own town, a Police Officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.  James Kerstetter was more than just an Officer, he was a truly amazing person that touched the lives of those close to me.  I wasn’t extremely close to him, but I know people, people that are very close to me that are directly effected by this unfortunate tragedy.  I found this poem online about fallen Officers, and I am going to reach out to all of those close to me and ask that you do this if you are in the Elyria area.

“A Blue Light

Place a light in your window, make sure it is blue
Reminding friends, an officer gave a life for you
Give light to their remembrance, the color is sad
To family left by officers who knew them as Dad
It isn’t the money, most definitely not the hours
They aren’t comic book hero’s with unnatural powers
They’re simply human beings who place life on the line
Place a blue light in your window, let their memory shine!”

Kerstetter served in the Elyria Police Department for 15 years, and served with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department before that.  He and his family are very close to Jessica’s family and it is such a sad thing to think about.  Please help me spread the word about the Blue Light movement if you can, he is deserving of such a memorial. 

my wireless internet it taking longer than usual to load

perhaps my wifi wishes it was still on spring break, too!

i had a really really amazing break with some of my college girlfriends in nashville and then with the regulars in elyria. nashville is absolutely beautiful, it doesn’t even need green grass to show off it’s landscaping or the unique was the city has a large lawn with it. we went to a second-hand clothing store that only accepted designer items (which seems like a contradiction in itself…do designers wish they got comission on stores such as these?) and i tried on very fun business suits and stuff but walked out with a t-shirt (satisfied). there was a quirky coffee shop that i really liked called “fido”—all of the drinks were cleverly named around dog stuff. i’m having trouble thinking of an example on the spot, but it made me want to open a shop were people could get any kind of drink they wanted.
on to elyria, someone thought i was a mother. not like i was babysitting and just walking around with a baby on my hip (which doesn’t really sound rational either, but i’m trying to help this guy out) but someone literally thought i was OLD! this makes me uncomfortable. so i told my dad trying to get the sympathy vote and he replies “at least we weren’t standing together, someone might have thought we were dating.” thank you, dad, that is really really thoughtful of you. shawn said “i really don’t know what you want me to say here, you’re not old?” thank you, shawn, that was so gracious. no, cyberspace, i’m not looking for affirmation here. just thought i’d share a story gone terribly wrong on 3 separate occasions.
so now i’m back at college, i’m going to lay in bed and get some reading done. not even college reading, i can’t stop reading franny and zooey but i keep putting it down so i don’t finish it. sounds backwords, but if you’ve read a good book i think you’ve felt that way before. (at least i hope you’ve felt it)

Just something I felt like doing

An image that I created today.  I was in the mood to make something grungy and full of texture and odd-bits.  Tell me what you think, I love criticism.

This is what I wrote on the Chronicle’s website regarding the Elyria City Schools teachers making ‘too much’ It’s lonnnnggg.

Remember, this is a response to what they wrote on the Chronicle’s site, so there is some referencing of quotes and whatnot.

Man oh man, you critics sure do know it all.  David, Elyria Resident, Sitting Bull (I know your lurking somewhere) ‘grab a hot-chocolate, and some marshmallows if it makes you feel better… this may hurt.’

You guys continue to amaze me with how much you ‘know’ via Google or the Comicle Telegram.  I’m not too sure what the Chronicle was trying to establish by printing the teacher’s salaries, to me, they don’t want to stand behind the school district of the city they are located in.  Where is the 7 page report on Lorain’s teachers?  We got an average pay, but I don’t see the huge print up on them?  Again I ask you….what is the most important thing that you want your child to have?  Health? Sure!  A good Education?  Judging by your responses and your un-willingness to support your local school district, No!

Sure Rigda is double-dipping, that makes me as mad as any of you, but you can thank the State of Ohio for allowing him to be able to do that, don’t take your anger out on the Elyria City Schools.  Are there some teachers that get over-paid? Sure!  But…(this is where it gets good)

The parents are the ones dropping the ball with their kids.  Way too often do kids not care one bit about school, and the blame must fall on the parents.  Nowadays if a teacher calls home to report that their child was misbehaving, fighting, swearing, or just not caring about their work what do the teachers get in response?  A parent that is furious AT THE TEACHER!  Or just a hung up phone on the other line.  Tell me this…why is it the teacher’s fault that YOUR KID sleeps through class?  Why is it the teacher’s fault that YOUR KID goes home, doesn’t do their homework, and fails tests?  The teachers that have been there for 10+ years are the ones making the good money because they are REQUIRED…again…REQUIRED to get a Master’s Degree.  And since you all seem to be so fond of ‘Googling’ things I did a little Googling myself.  The AVERAGE, so don’t attack me with your LCCC costs, or your Phoenix online rates, the Average cost to get a Master’s Degree is $180,000.  So tell me, is it worth them making 70K per year? Well when you add the fact that most of these people have families, a car payment, and a house payment ontop of around 100K+ of student loans…then Yes, I believe it is justified.

And here is another point that I find just too funny to pass up.  David, you said “My Answer: Did History and Mathematics change while I was out grocery shopping? ”  Technically History changes daily because not only do these textbooks need to include new updates about things that go on in the present, but even things like 9/11 are the past, things like the never ending war in the middle east is part of the past.  The first black president being sworn into office is the past, all of these things make up the history that we all know, ontop of every other significant event in the past.  The social studies department isn’t just HISTORY, it’s History, it’s current events, it’s Women’s Studies, it’s European History, it’s Sociology, in other words, it’s far more than just history.  As far as the mathematics books are concerned…Math itself may not change, but in order to compensate for the changes that the state requires, and to keep up with the learning curve of children today books need to change.  And why the heck are you even complaining about the books?  Sure the books cost the district, but books do not effect a teacher’s salary, and they don’t cost the parents much of anything.  In college, just in case you forgot, books cost hundreds of dollars per semester.  So you can go ahead and stick your tail between your legs and drop the book argument.

You also said this:
“My Answer: Sorry to report, I am a product of Private Schooling… you know, where Teacher’s Unions are frowned upon and teacher’s must excel to keep their jobs.”

Were sorry that your parents thought it was so neccesary to private school you.  Every private school graduate that I know is a bum, and my ‘public school’ friends are doing a lot more with their lives.  Private schooling does nothing more than give kids an ego, and shelters them from the real world.

Teachers do far more than people give them credit for, but all of you narrow-minded people would never understand, the only thing you pay attention to is that they are ‘over-paid’, they belong to a Union, and the schools require taxes to stay afloat.  Another thing that amazes me is how people get all fired up if you say the schools are going to cut extra-curricular’s like sports, or make them pay to play, yet you are perfectly fine with letting 150 teachers go…so I say BRAVO to you for that.

I ask you all to take some time and think about what is important to your children, or grandchildren.  Take the time to do that, and ask yourself if it’s worth a little over $100 per year? I challenge every one of you to honestly say that your child’s education is not worth a little over $100 per year, because if this levy doesn’t pass, that education that you want for your child…well, it’s going to be a whole lot harder considering the classrooms will almost double in size.

You know you live in Northeast Ohio when…

  • You drive around with the windows down and the heat blasting….when it’s 40 degrees for a high
  • You wash your car, by hand when the heat wave hits around 45 degrees
  • You go to work with a coat, gloves, and a hat on…you leave work thinking your cool with just a long sleeve shirt on
  • You head down to the local Wal-Mart and see multiple people in camo shorts (in March)
  • You are in a traffic jam because of ‘sun glare’ AKA, it’s sunny, were not used to it, we ran out of windshield washer fluid, and we are yet to put the sunglasses back in the car
  • Your home team is set to break the World Record of most snuggies worn inside a building (The Cavs)
  • the Cavs win the Championship in June, this place will burn (out of pure Joy)
  • the Cavs make it to the Finals, and don’t win (I had to say it), this place will burn (out of pure Rage)

I was bored right before lunch and didn’t feel like taking more than ten minutes to write something up.
I am loving everybody’s entries as of lately…including you SB!  Where is Padraic at?

when all her words fail she speaks in mixtapes and master beats

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the very first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn’t talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. “What if I die?” she asked. “Even then,” he said. For her sixteenth birthday he gave her an English dictionary, and together they learned words. “What’s this?” he’d ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle, and she’d look it up. “And this?” he’d ask, kissing her elbow. “Elbow! What kind of a word is that?” and then he would lick it, making her giggle… When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later- when things happened they could never imagined- she wrote him a letter that said: “When will you learn that there isn’t a word for everything?”

i think that’s all for now..

Shall We Do Some Blessing Counting??

1. SNOW DAY ON FRIDAY!! – This is not just a Snow Day, but initiation into the teaching profession!
2. Realizing how sweet I felt playing BBALL against my college friends (but really only because none of them are over 5’10)

3. Reuniting with an old friend from Freshman year only to find out he hasn’t changed in 4 years!
4. Dusting of the XBOX to find out that having 9 controllers does not guarantee that 4 will work
5. Grocery Shopping at Kroger on Saturdays – what bread-crumbed chicken breast (Transition)
6. Collaborating with Ms. Katelyn Bonko towards a mystical dinner
7. Spending a Saturday night with Katelyn baking muffins (berry berry or banana nut? It was a tough call)
8. Great Sunday Morning Church Service
9. Awesome Spinach Salad for dinner (Spinach Salad + Caesar Dressing = Happy Shawn)
10. Blogging on a site named “dontgochasingwaterfalls” on a Sunday Night…named by a few of the coolest girls I know I might add

ps. Really enjoying your posts Chris(-TOPHER)…keep it up, you are not alone, I am here with you (MJ??)