Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘community’

Point of View

point of viewI keep reading about how Facebook and social media are partially to blame for people having depression. How people only show the good stuff, and are basically “bragging” or “self-promoting”. Here are 2 links, but there are many more you can search for.

Facebook Envy

Facebook and Self Esteem

I can see how these arguments make sense. If your life is kind of sucky right now, you don’t want to see your friends vacations and you will get envious. However, I question whether Facebook is causing envy and depression because of all these people showing off. Or, if the people who are having negative effects from Facebook are more likely to be depressed and envious anyway.

I hate that positive people are seen as bragging. I’ve been working on my attitudes, and trying to become more positive. No, my life isn’t perfect, and often it is quite boring. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good things, even if they are little. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything beautiful in the mundane. About a month ago we were involved in a car accident. Aussie had some burns and torn up skin on his arm. I had an asthma attack (powder from the air bags) and a broken foot. We had been coming home after going with Aussie for work in PA. We didn’t have to go, he could have flown. But, we did, can’t change it now. It isn’t going to stop us from driving anywhere again. I got asked “was it worth it?” Yes, it was. We saw amazing east coast scenery and forests that looked like paint had been spilled on them. We got to stay in a really nice hotel. We got to spend a couple extra days with Aussie. And,nobody was really seriously injured. Yes, I mentioned the wreck on Facebook. But, there were 5 other positive, good posts. I didn’t post a picture of the car, I posted this.

IMG_1588

 

That picture up top? The pond and the weeping willow? I see that every morning on my walk. It is maybe 2 blocks from my house. It’s pretty. I had a lot of people tell me how pretty it was, asking where it was. It is pretty. I was posting the pretty. I suppose, to be real I should have turned around and taken a picture of the houses with the metal fences. I should have zoomed out so you could see the goose poop all over the sidewalk. I should have shown you, that weeping willow is draped over the sidewalk, really, quite in the way. If you ride your bike, you will either go in the pond, hit the fence, or get slapped in the face with branches. I should have shown you, on the other side of the hill ,across the pond, is the interstate. And, under the interstate is a railroad track. You can stand and see the pretty view, and hear honking and train whistles, and one time I even heard a semi truck accident.

When we posted pics from our honeymoon, I posted one from Belize. Because we found Belize kind of scary.

I have my truck up for sale, and got a “new” car. Wow, totally something to be jealous of. I posted a picture of it. Then, Aussie got one too. Like, 2 weeks later. All I said was we got new cars. I didn’t say why, I didn’t say because we’d kind of been living right on the edge of our means, and trading to 2 G6s meant we saved about $300/month on gas, $50/month on a car payment, AND will have the one paid off in the spring, rather then 4 years from now, like with Aussie’s truck. So, we’ll save even more on a car payment. We both hated to see the Jeep go, but, this is life, we ended up with a couple nice cars that we like, so, make do and make the best of it.

Is this being inauthentic? Or is it just looking at the good? We did have a good time in PA. That spot is pretty. We do like our cars, and they were new to us.

I think everybody should start posting “bragging” photos. If people started looking for the good, they’d find it. Don’t envy your friend going to the fancy restaurant for dinner, post a picture of the perfect french toast you made for dinner. Don’t get pissy because I posted a picture of our vacation to the mountains, when you LIVE in the mountains, or within an hours drive of the ocean.  Yes, I’ve been on about 10 trips so far this year. A vast majority of them to a. either see my husband at work or b.visit family. So, don’t be envious or depressed. Post pictures of your family, who you only had to walk across the street to say hi. Post photos of your husband and kids eating dinner together on a Tuesday night. I’ll tell you, those ones make me slightly envious. Don’t put down your neighborhood, find a pretty spot and enjoy it.

Nobody’s life is perfect all the time. I promise. So, stop being envious over what you are seeing, because you don’t know the whole story. And, please try to go find some good, and some pretty in your own life. I promise it’s there. I think it is kind of hard to feel depressed and envious when you are finding good things in your life. And, if you find yourself honestly becoming depressed because of Facebook, your account can be deactivated for a time. I have had to before. Your stuff will all be there when you go back. Just get some space.

And, speaking of finding the good. Go watch the video I’ll link at the end of the post. It’s safe for work.  We see all the time on the news terrible stories. We see security footage of people being robbed, of children being abducted, of car wrecks. But, there is good security footage as well.

Positive Security Footage.

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You Must Choose a Side, and Everyone Else is Evil

Of course!

I am about done with facebook.

Or maybe I will just go on some big unfriending spree.

And, no, no one has done anything personally offensive to me, but, jeesh, the way people talk to each other. I have quite a few liberal friends, who post political stuff. Which is fine, I don’t mind seeing it. I may not agree with all of it, but, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. I have a lot of conservative friends, who post a lot of political stuff. I feel the same way about it.

What bothers me is the people who post garbage for the Lord. What bothers me is the gross generalizations made. A woman recently posted a quote from Roseanne Barr, about how anyone who eats at Chik-FilA should get cancer. Ok. that is a horrible thing to say. So anyway, the “friend” who posted said “Oh of course, what else can you expect from a liberal?” Really? I consider myself to lean more towards liberal than conservative, I would never say that! A family member recently posted an email she received from another family member. Which opened up to a lot of comments, and it was about Chik-Fil-A, and how they were so in the right for their stance on gay marriage. Another person replied “So, I am supposed to let God condemn these people to hell for not believing in him? Sorry for caring about your souls people!”

Right, I must have missed the part where all good Christians followed the Bible to a T, and didn’t have any private issues they were dealing with. I think people are much more likely to care about you worrying about their souls, when you worry about them first. I think they might be more likely to listen to you, if you worried more about how they felt, rather than what they did with their genitals. You know, if I honestly told people the whole story behind mine and Aussie’s relationship, they would probably be shocked, and upset. But, we got to get married so, we’re good people now.  Really?

Speaking of our relationship and generalizations, I’m a member of another board, and a few people have mentioned situations like ours, and they are quickly shot down with criticisms. With name calling. With being told how there is no way in hell it will ever work out. Meanwhile, I post something and I am told a hundred times how adorable we are, how I found a good man, how we’re a great couple. Oddly enough, if someone were to post “I met this great guy at a church get together, and he joined my family and I for a picnic. He asked me out, we’ve seen each other several times now, he is really sweet.” This would be the story that gets “awww, that’s amazing, sounds great!” It is also the beginning if the story to my first marriage, and that ended horribly.

Stop making assumptions people!*

All Conservatives are not people who think God allows dead soldiers because of America’s stance on gays.

All liberals are not trying to steal your money to give to lazy people.

All “good guys” aren’t going to give you happily ever after.

All guys who just want a f**k buddy aren’t married liars who will give you aids.

All people who homeschool are not anti-social nuts.

All people who go to public school do not leave uneducated.

All “traditional” families aren’t looking down on others.

All “different” families aren’t trying to destroy yours.

All wives who are ok with their husbands being in charge aren’t abused.

All feminists don’t hate men.

All gay people aren’t trying to convert you.

All men aren’t child molesters.

All poor people are not lazy and stupid.

All rich people aren’t greedy and mean.

All Christians aren’t kind.

All Atheists are not immoral.

All foreigners aren’t here illegally.

All natural born Americans aren’t gun toting, flag waving, NASCAR fans.

All fat people aren’t sitting on the couch all day eating Twinkies while watching soap operas.

All skinny people don’t need a hamburger.

Just stop with the assumptions and the generalizations. You might learn something.

*Please do not mistake any of my generalizations for things I believe. I don’t, but, I have heard ALL these things.

Really?! That is your concern?

I’m sure most of you have heard about the shooting at the midnight showing of the new Batman movie. This story is just horrific. There are many, many reactions to it that I can understand, but, I can not understand, ,at all, some people.

The ones who say “Why was there a 6 yr old and a 3 month old in the theater at midnight?”

Then, somebody gives a valid reason, or at least an understandable one, and the original posters say “I don’t care! What about their little ears? Movies are loud!” Um…movies are the same volume whether they are on at noon or midnight.

Then, there is the barrage of posts about how children don’t belong in theaters because they make noise and ruin the experience.

TWO CHILDREN WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MASSACRE ! I really don’t give a crap about your “movie experience” with the crying baby when it could have been SO much worse.

Which is it anyway? Movies are too loud for babies or babies are too loud for movies?

A three month old is pretty portable and will sleep most the time, especially that late.

And, guess what? It is the parent’s job to raise the child, not yours, random stranger who has nothing better to worry about than why a 6 yr old was at the movies “too late”.

I am so sick of this anti-child attitude people seem to have. I have two boys, and they are GOOD boys. We spent 1600 miles in the car last week, PLUS two 5 hour plane rides. They were almost perfect, the whole time. They are 6 and 8. Guess what? I didn’t get to special order them that way. They didn’t reach a point where the switch was flipped and they had instant good manners and social awareness. They didn’t have subliminal messages pumped at them while they were sleeping. I took them out, I took them with me. I expected them to behave, and when they didn’t there were consequences. Maybe we did end up leaving a movie we had just paid $20 to see, but, we didn’t have to do it more than once or twice.

Yes, a kid will cry, and one will kick the back of your seat, and one may spill his drink under your feet at the diner while you and your wife are having a serious conversation. But, that is what kids do. And if the parents ignore it, it is the parents with the problem, not the kids. If the mom doesn’t think twice about her screaming baby during the show, she probably won’t mind texting during it when she’s by herself. If the dad doesn’t stop the kid from kicking, he’s probably the one who reclines his airplane seat into your lap at the start of the 4 hour flight. Children aren’t born with manners, they have to be taught, and you can’t teach them by locking them in their rooms with an xbox and expecting them to know how to behave when you let them out however many years later are acceptable.

I love this, really. Yes, as a matter of fact, I will let my well behaved 6 yr old go to the midnight showing, as a reward for working his little behind off right beside us grown ups all day. And, guess what? That doesn’t freaking mean ANYONE has the right to shoot at him. It doesn’t matter what time my kid is at the movies, it should be a safe place, and if tragedy should strike the appropriate response it “I’m so sorry, my thoughts are with you and your family.”

NOT “your kid shouldn’t have been there anyway.”

Election platform for a ban on critical thinking?!

Very Scary

I was reading today, and came across this story.

I thought, surely this must be a mistake. Seriously? No more critical thinking? And THAT is one of your platforms? So, I went to the actual document to read it. I will admit, there are some things I agree with, but, for the most part, this is ridiculous.

“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values
clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based
Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging
the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority”

I don’t think random people should go around undermining parental authority, however, I also think if you believe something, it should be able to stand up to some scrutiny. If your 10 year old comes running to you about something they learned in school, you should be able to explain WHY you don’t believe or agree with what they were told. Why is it a bad thing to have your fixed beliefs challenged? There are literally hundreds of quotes about going through adversity and coming out stronger, why should our beliefs be any different?

Adversity is the first path to truth.  ~Lord Byron

I’ve been teased recently about my incessant “why” questions. And, it isn’t because I want to change someone’s beliefs, it is because I’m trying to understand them. I’ve heard people blame liberal colleges for their sons and daughters turning their backs on Christianity. I can’t say I agree with this. I think college helps build your critical thinking skills. I think it allows you to question things, and I think that is a good thing. But, when these kids raised with”because I/the Bible says so, that’s why” as their only reasoning for doing, they will question it. I went though a long period of questioning everything. I was told by many “that’s why it’s called faith. I don’t know, you just have to accept it.” Which, honestly pushed me further away. But, I finally met two preachers who welcomed my questions. Who said “I don’t know,so, let’s try to figure it out.” or, one of my favorite quotes to this day “Go ahead, question. If something is true, it will stand up to your questions, and if it isn’t, it won’t and you shouldn’t be worried about it anyway.”

Why would you want to discourage a child’s natural “why”?

Some more quotes from the document

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.
We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind

Really? And how exactly is one to question and discuss theories without being taught critical thinking skills? Isn’t that questioning authority?

We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry

Well, of course, we’d hate for the environment to get in the way of oil company profits. There is also a blurb in here about abolishing the endangered species act.

– We propose that every Texas driver license shall indicate whether the driver is a U.S. citizen.

You know, I’m marrying a non-citizen, and I’d hate for him to be opened up for harassment because he doesn’t have the Texas stamp of approval.

We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way

Seems awfully broad to me.

We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married

Right, because the only relationship that counts is the one Texas has okay’d. I won’t repost the WHOLE paragraph, but, it says Texas gets to define who is or is not a family, and once TX has made that choice for you, then the “family” is responsible enough to handle ” its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property. Got it, so, in TX Aussie and I are not a family, therefore the decisions we’ve made, in buying cars together, sharing a bank account, painting the deck, paying our bills, and deciding between the two of us to homeschool the kids,are invalid. However, once we get a piece of paper from the state, (which we are allowed SOLEY because he’s a man and I’m a woman) all the past heathen decisions are now acceptable to the state.

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”

You know what I think has more of an effect on families than gay marriage? Straight people starting families and then not taking their vows, their commitments or their responsibilities seriously. I’d rather bring back fault divorce than worry about if two guys wanna get married.

There are LOTS AND LOTS of paragraphs talking about God, our Christian heritage, how schools should have curriculum based on this, then lots of paragraphs about religious freedom and liberty. So, which is it? Whose freedom and liberty?

I think this is probably enough for now, and I wonder how many Republican voters (or Democrats) actually know what they are supporting?

Aside

Digging for facts is better exercise than jumping to conclusions

I hate when that happens!

Recently, my neighbor invited me over for a drink. As we talked, she asked if I still homeschooled the kids. I said I did. She started telling me how much they would like the local school, how her kids went there and they turned out fine, how they needed to learn to socialize, how I should send them to school so I could get a job and pull my own weight around here. (That last comment is going to be a future blog post)

I told her that the kids did practically nothing but socialize, they don’t know any strangers. Plus, they love being homeschooled, I don’t know that they would go if I tried. She then said “You are the mother, they don’t get to make the decisions, tell them they have to go so you can go get a job.”

Then, of course, she thows in the obligatory remark about how she knows this one homeschooling family, and they don’t really teach the kids, it’s just an excuse to be lazy, and their kids are extremely awkward. That most the people who homeschool are religious nuts who only do it so their kids aren’t exposed to anyone or anything that isn’t “right”.

On that last part, I know she has a point, that is the majority of people who chose to homeschool. In fact, that is why I was homeschooled. I do not think my siblings should be, I’m sorry. They are handed a couple text books at the  beginning of the year, and told to work in them until they are done. I don’t agree with that at all.

It aggravates me that there is such a stigma about it. It is to the point that the boyfriend and I rarely ever admit we were homeschooled, because we don’t want to be automatically grouped in with these people. So, unless it is somehow relevant to the conversation, you won’t hear us admit it. And, as far as the stereotypes go, I definitely consider him successful. I may not be doing anything to impress anybody, but, I’m able to stay home with the kids, which wasn’t my dream job, but it was what I wanted when we had them.

I know people, my mother for one, who will almost attack anyone for sending their kids to public school. She will tell them how horrible it is, and how she loves her kids too much to do that to them. And, I definitely think a lot of the criticism of homeschooling applies to her. But, for the most part, I am not going to say anything about how or where your kids go to school, so, why attack me over it?

The thing that gets me the most, is, the people most likely to jump all over my case about this are the least likely to care about actually looking into it. I was reading a study recently that showed that the average grades on standadized tests for public scholled students was 57%, I believe. The average for homeschooled and private schooled children was 87%.

Another thing addressed in the study that I found interesting was that homeschooling seemed to help eliminate some of the negative effects of certain socio-economic factors. That if the parents were poor and uneducated, their kids actually did BETTER being homeschooled than public schooled. Also interesting, to me, was that having one parent with a college degree teaching did help, it pushed kids from the 75th percentile to the 85th percentile. Still higher than most children in public school.

The whole study is here:

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2953

Let me just say, I am not trying to put down parents who send their kids to public school. I am not. I think a large part of the disparity is the fact that if you are homeschooling your kid, you have more time and are more invested in their education. Most people don’t chose to do this so their kid can watch more tv. I think parents putting in the effort makes the difference, whether through homeschooling or through being involved in your kids life and education while they go to school.

If anyone who wanted to criticize me actually cared, they could see that, there is a lot of work and care that goes into this. Every Sunday night, I spend a few hours printing off that weeks school work, making copies where needed, separating everything into the days we need to do it, penciling in activities that will reinforce a concept. Trying to watch for where the boys are struggling and find things to help them. That sometimes the whole week gets rearranged because I realize one of them needs more than 2 days to learn this concept.When we go on trips, which is fairly often these days, the boys get worksheets about the states we visit, they get info sheets, I go to the library and find books about the states, about the history that happened there. They would see all the money that is spent on books and flash cards and various other things. They would see how much I LOVE doing this and how much the kids love it too.

When people complain about their lack of socialization, I wish they followed us for a week. They go to Lego playgroup at the library, they ride their bikes down the street and talk to anyone who is outside doing yard work, they play with the children of my friends, they go to the YMCA and play pool and air hockey with dozens of kids a week. They go to the pool and the splash park and always come back with stories about their new friends. They are in soccer. They go to church. At their dad’s house, the babysitter babysits 5 other kids besides the boys and their “step”sisters. They talk to the neighbors there as well, and volunteered to train the one lady’s new puppy. I spend half my day trying to stop the socialization! Meanwhile, the two little girls who live on either side of us aren’t allowed out to play, they sit in their windows and watch my kids play. I can hear them asking their moms if they can come over, and I honestly don’t care how many kids are here, but they have to stay inside and sit and watch my kids play.

I am not fanatical about this, if this stops working for us, then we will stop doing it. But right now, it’s working extremely well. Both boys have a step sister at their dad’s who is the same age, who go to public school, and I am able to keep up with what they are learning there, and my kids are right on track, and even ahead in some things. They aren’t awkward. I don’t shelter them. I am not religious, though Aussie is, so they are getting a bit of balance there. They are well behaved, I have had people ask us to go out so they can babysit! I just really hate that people are so quick to jump to conclusions.

Please, if you hear somebody say they homeschool their kids, talk about it. Ask questions. I know, I will willing talk about it all, as long as you aren’t acting like you are trying to trap me and prove this is bad.  As long as your kids are taken care of, I don’t care how you do it, so please don’t jump to the assumption that mine aren’t being taken care of.

Eta: I borrowed a book from the librarytoday, tips and tricks for homeschooling kinda thing, in the intro the author says she was determined to find out if homeschoolers were normal before she chose that for her son. She went to a convention and said that they were obviously not. They were polite and helpful, they didn’t wear baggy jeans, or weird haircuts, they didn’t have blue hair or peircings. And she decided she didn’t want “normal” kids, she wanted these kids. So, I suppose the assumptions go both ways. My sons have baggy jeans, as well as green or blue hair. They are extremely polite and helpful, but they have been asking to get an ear pierced, and the only thing stopping me is the tantrum their dad will throw.

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