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Before I write anything else for this blog, I want to acknowledge the victims of the Newtown, CT senseless tragedy. As an educator, I know my high school students try to harm themselves day in and day out, but I would not allow someone else to harm them. So, as I mentioned on the day of the tragedy, I don’t know which thing I would’ve been doing last Friday if I worked there: praying to Jesus or meeting Him firsthand.

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ep51_carrie_bigNormally, when men and women talk, the topic eventually moves to relationships. I was watching a few episodes of Sex and the City (just random ones, like when Carrie went on her coffee “simu-date” to calm down for her date with Berger [Season 6]) I was interested in simply watching the types of dates on which the ladies went. And while I have already talked about gifting in relationships, there is a close cousin thereof and that is the “date” itself.

I don’t think I’ve ever been on an original date. Well, let me rephrase…I don’t think I’ve been on an original date with someone I was actually dating. Most of the dates I’ve been on have been the typical dinner and/or movie variety. Especially not one that I didn’t pre-beg ask to go on or pay for myself. And even then, there are some things I still haven’t done even after specifically asking.

I’m going to share things I’ve never done, considering I live in Atlanta, which has no shortage of attractions:

1. Starbucks. You know how the learn-ed always talk about going to Starbucks to hang out, drink coffee/tea/lattes so that they can get to know someone? Never happened. I’ll lump the Barnes and Noble experience in here too…it’s pretty much the same thing.

2. Sporting Event. Now, I have gone to a football game with my ex, but it doesn’t count. We only went because one of my close friends plays for the Cowboys, and they were playing the Falcons so I had tickets. But just going? Nope. And there are 4 professional sports teams in this city. I mentioned to a friend of mine that the only time I had been in Philips Arena was for a Jay-Z concert. He found that unacceptable, lol

3. Picnic. You know, where someone plans a specific time to go out eating in a park or something. Nope. Never. And I’ve imagined it several times.

4. *Play or Theatre. I went to see the Lion King, but I paid for it. And it was my idea. Does that count? I’m thinking no.

5. Jazz Club/Poetry Bar. I sing. I teach English. I write. But nope…never.

And I hear these are typical date spots. *kanye shrug* I wouldn’t know. I’ve been to the Aquarium, but anyone who has known me for awhile (or been in my house) knows that I love dolphins. I haven’t been since they’ve had the dolphin show. I’m not talking the infamous twitter $200 date debacle… I’m just saying, the next person I date, I want them to be thoughtful enough to pay enough attention to be original. I guess until then, I’m taking myself to Dialogue in the Dark or Cirque du Soleil.

What were your best dates? What about dates you feel you should’ve been on by now (or is that just me)? You know I want to know 😛

Love,

–V

By now, everyone has heard the story about the two second graders performing oral sex on each other. One of my favorite blogs, Very Smart Brothas, had a post dedicated to it today. My co-workers and I have been talking about it during planning periods and after school. My friends have asked my take on it especially because I’m an educator. There has been shock and outrage and oodles of fingerpointing.

Yes, it shocked me, but not much.

See, I’m in the classroom everyday, and I have almost had to desensitize myself to the things that could bombard me and my eyes and ears on a daily basis, just to function. Hey, I’m almost happy if I find out that a female student is just having sex with one guy. You would be surprised at the conversations that I have intercepted. But I’m not…not anymore. Movies like Thirteen have shown that what is appropriate is now no longer the norm. And on top of that, I have to try and help them make sense of Romeo and Juliet? All I can do is stop the language and inappropriate conversation when I hear it, and report whatever comes my way…and pray.

This was touched on in Sex and the City. In Season 3, “Hot Child in the City” Samantha was hired to be the PR for a bat mitzvah. The young lady was turning 12, and clearly looked about 21. She and her friends had overtly sexual conversations. One girl stated, “I’d f*ck him…I’d f*ck him and his gay boyfriend.” Samantha, obviously the most risque of the group, felt compelled to step in and ask about their language and topic. She urged them to wait until they were older, saying they had “…the rest of their lives to talk that way.” The girls did not respond to her advances, telling her to “talk to the hand, grandma.” Samantha, at first, was jealous at all the girls had access to, but pitied them by the end of the episode because while they were exposed to so much, she had access to something they never had: a true childhood.

Atlanta recently had a snow week. I was so excited because of my first snowman and snow angel, even when I had to build it alone. Not one of my students attempted to go and play in it. None of them watch shows that seem appropriate to their age levels. There is no equivalent of “Salute Your Shorts” or “David the Gnome” (which, goes really hard btw) now. There is only “Southland” or “Real Housewives…” Long gone are playdates and sleepovers to watch movies and play games. Sleepovers now come as a result of leaving the club so late. Even to this moment, I know most, if not all, words to the songs of every Disney movie (Except the Great Mouse Detective…that one sucked.) I was more excited to see Tangled than most other movies that came out this year. Now granted, I am in a metro-area, but this is the case across the country. Children do not have the benefit of knowing the Preamble to the Constitution because of School House Rock, but know every line to Gucci Mane’s “Wasted”.

It’s one thing to be feel like you’re still a kid, but quite another to know you’re not one anymore. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world. So yes, someone will have to pay – probably the teacher who allegedly was present as the act occurred – but that act didn’t just start in the classroom. It probably started when a 7 year old wasn’t watching cartoons or helping someone bake cookies. And that, more than anything, is what hurts most.

Love,

-V

P.S. Just for the heck of it…get your law-making on… 🙂

Or your states and capitals… 🙂 (Shoutout to Baton Rouge, LA for being first!)

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