Ouch

Pieces of him in pieces of me. Pieces of him where they shouldn’t be.

That’s from the book After You by Jojo Moyes. The character is speaking of the rust-colored blood staining the edges around her fingernails, the cracks on her fingers. It is not her own blood, but the blood of the man she has come to love more dearly than she ever knew she could love another again in her life. He has been shot twice while attempting to save a person’s life. The gang members who had caused the injury he was attempting to remedy did not want him to succeed, and so had shot him.

This is all too real for me. People argue and complain about privilege. And it makes me sick. Why must we as a society constantly ignore the fact that education kind of is everything? We see it evidenced over and over again in society that a certain degree of poor education produces a significantly increased output of life-threatening, of disrespectful, and of dangerous behavior. And as a cycle that runs on a generational repeat.

There is no “us” and “them” in life, not really. We make that whole concept up. There are people and there are people and there are people – before all else, we are people. And yes, there are loads of other species out there, but they aren’t the ones running around hurting people each and every day. People are. In fact, it also happens to be people who run around hurting those other species on this planet, too. In a way, people kind of suck.

But that’s when we are at our worst. With proper education, which includes a certain level of true love, we get to be the best versions of ourselves. And those are the versions who heal the world.

But, sometimes, they’re the ones who just get shot by the worst versions who never learned to understand that there is no “us” and “them”, and who never learned honest love, who never learned how to function beyond their fears and their ego-centric view on life*. If we learn minimal emotional states, we live in minimal emotional states. If we learn only one, negative point of view, we live in that single negative point of view. If we are only ever taught struggle and stress and that the world is out to get us, then we will live our entire lives believing to our very cores that there is no other way in life…

*I don’t say that meanly. It’s a genuine psychological thing, where a person is not able to view the world but from one, ego-centric angle, due to a lack of emotional and psychological development… due to high stress throughout childhood and poor education.

Post-a-day 2020

Let’s talk about sex (some more), baby

Somehow, I have found myself thinking about pornography lately.

And no, not in the sense of indulgence or grossness or anything like that.

In the sense of this question: How are people supposed to be exposed to the body, and to sexual interaction initially, to be informed on the subject and not have to be afraid of it all?

The unfortunate answer side seems to have only one measly answer: pornography.

And, while I very much dislike the intended use of pornography, I could understand it from an educational approach… well… the more vanilla side of it all, anyway.

It had me thinking how, in a traditional normal household, a child is somewhat likely, at least once in his life, to walk in on his parents having sex, right?

Right.

That exposure, to me, seems important and possibly necessary for that child.

However, I feel that that exposure alone is not enough for the child to develop a healthy relationship to the concept of sex.

How is he supposed to learn what a positive versus negative relationship with sex is?

How is he supposed to understand truly what is normal (and versus abnormal) for the human bodies of a male and female in the world of sexual interaction?

Many people, I suppose, would say that that‘s the whole point of someone’s first sexual interaction: awkward discovery.

(But many people don’t have that opportunity, and for many reasons…. It could be age difference, personality difference, an abuse history, or even fear of the whole thing…)

But what if it didn’t have to be like that most of the time, with so many people living in worry about getting it right or being good enough or knowing what to do or what is normal?

I’ve mentioned before about how these cave-people books talk about how certain women would be selected each summer to be the sexual guides for all the newly-established men of the tribes, and, when females were declared women, they would have a special ceremony, for which a specific man was selected to be the first sexual encounter for the newly-established woman.

No, they aren’t exactly the same approach, but they both have value, and I think a combination of them would be supremely valuable for a people as a whole.

What a beautiful way for people to learn the human body and sexual interaction in a healthy and loving way…

Granted, it only worked because the whole tribe would select carefully and consciously the people who would be the sexual guides, and there were various restrictions and rules about it all to keep everyone safe, both physically and emotionally/psychologically.

However, it worked beautifully, and everyone had a positive foundation in the realm of the human body and sexual encounters and relationships… they also knew when things were off, and were comfortable reaching out to others about it, because the body and sex were not taboo topics.

Hmm… anyway… just some thoughts… I don’t have plans to revolutionize the world with this, and I know it isn’t perfect, but I think it would be a great brainstorming start for our time in the world…

Post-a-day 2020

Education

I feel that one of the most valuable things that school could give a student at the time of the education (that is, while in school) is relevance and immediate applicability.

As we have been reading various books on utopias and dystopias in one of my classes this semester, so much of it all has become relevant in my life within a very short time of its initial introduction.  

The struggle one character has with God in this book, and how she finds change to be inevitable (and, therefore, God), applies to my life the week following my reading of it… I can relate to her struggle immediately, and then the change comes up in conversation and contemplation regarding my relationships with people in my life.

I think teachers, schools, curriculum planners aim to have books students read in school to be relevant to the students’ lives, but they often fall short of the mark… they miss the applicability of the ideas and actions somehow, and only assume that this specific struggle must be applicable to all students of this age… and it often isn’t.

From English class, we need concepts, ideas, brainstormed theories that we can learn to apply to any part of life…

For history class, a historical context would be only an enhancement of our understanding of what’s going on right now, what people are discussing from the news, and why it seems to matter so much… we hardly do more than regurgitate facts, and rarely know much about what they really were like or why it mattered to people who lived it (and therefore why it might matter to us).

I today was learning of a book about a man struggling in Russia, and, as I heard the details, I knew it was around the 1920s…, because of the Russian refugees in season four of “Downton Abbey”… there was a story in which I could invest myself, and ideas to which I could relate and from which I could draw my own ideas and conclusions, and the history just kind of stuck with the affinity for the people in the story…

I interested myself with the French Revolution recently, because I discovered the wonder of the film “The Scarlett Pimpernel”… and I remember details about the revolution because of how they connect with the story of the film and its characters.

The actual history became relevant and immediately applicable for me, because of my investment in the film.

The same is so with my investment in “Downton Abbey”.

How could I possibly relate to the Russian refugees or to the French upper class, when I merely read some statements of facts, names, locations, dates, and a summed-up given political meaning to it all?

I guess that’s why I remember just about nothing from my history classes in school…

Perhaps it everybody needs this kind of education, but everyone certainly could benefit greatly from it, I dare say.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Girl Rising

Tonight, I finally watched a film recommended to me by a couple of high school senior girls, called “Girl Rising“.

Before it even was finished, I found myself rather wanting to find a way to get myself funded to go over somewhere where teachers are needed, and to teach children (girls especially) everything I possibly can.

And I am now somewhat worried that I might actually end up doing something radical… like just that… or even finding a way to find a girls boarding school here somewhere, to bring girls who otherwise can’t afford anything, let alone education, and that will be this school I have considered and discussed so much in recent years, the one I have though about founding…

That seems even more absurd than my just going somewhere… somehow…

P.S. I recommend the film.

Post-a-day 2019

an absence of trust

I know it’s only a small amount of money for a transcript request, but I feel like the organization that feels that the individual applying and presenting his/her own information is not reliable enough not to have altered his/her transcript, such that it wants a copy directly from the college or university the individual attended, ought to be the one to pay for the transcript to be sent.  It is the one who feels that the student is unreliable, and yet the student is the one who has to pay for that?  Just seems a little too ridiculous.  If you don’t trust me, that’s okay.  But do your own research – don’t have me do it for you, when I’m already presenting you with the truth.  It’s along similar lines as saying someone doesn’t trust his girlfriend to be loyal, and so he has his girlfriend hire a private detective to follow herself around.  Sure, it’s a little drastic, but it’s the same concept…

Post-a-day 2018

Work your nerd

I found out today that my brother had felt unease about his nerdy knowledge on various topics.  Quite frankly, I had always admired him for said nerdiness.  Whenever he was interested in a topic, he’d do what he could to learn as much as possible in a short period of time.  And then, if it was something that he really enjoyed, how continued to learn about it in the years that followed, becoming ever more the genius on the topic.  Possibly the best part of it to me was that these often were topics that had almost nothing to do with his work or schooling – it was purely things that interested him.  Nowadays, he is still the same about it all, though he definitely has certain topics on which he could be considered an expert after so many years and hours of study and work dedicated to them.

I guess, growing up, I just didn’t know his world of friends and classmates and, eventually, colleagues, because I was so much younger than he was.  I had no idea that they didn’t know about his nerdy areas in his life, too.  They apparently only knew about his cool, chic, sporty side (from what I understand now).  He, it seems, was afraid of being rejected for his knowledge and studies.  Now, though, he has begun to embrace his nerdiness, and publicly so (think social media, etc.), and he has been discovering how much respect exactly that aspect of him; especially since he is cool, chic, and sporty, but loves knowledge and nerding out over certain things.  He is discovering that he had no need to be insecure about his interests and knowledge.  Plus, despite the fact that the public has been responding really well to his nerd side’s being exposed, he already knew that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of him anyway – that’s their own business, not his.  What matters is what he thinks about himself.  If he is happy with who he is, then there is no reason not to express that in his life.  So, he started finally expressing himself, nerdiness included.  Now that he has been doing that, he has also found that people are grateful to him for sharing himself and his passions with the world.  Super duper win-win, I say.  And I am proud of him doubly, for keeping up the nerdy knowledge, and now for sharing it with the world.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

What to do with my life…

Nope, no idea.  I really haven’t any idea.  I mean, sure, I have loads of ideas all day long.  But I open up the page – that dreadful, white, blank page – and it all just seems to melt away.  It almost feels as though none of it ever existed in the first place.  It isn’t that I have a block.  It is that I have an empty slate.  And being able to create anything for this nothing is not only amazing, but mind-blowing.  I always look for direction, instruction, guidance…, and yet, does that direction, instruction, guidance, even if ever so slightly, take away from the me of it?  Does that not remove the me from the creation, and put at least a part of the result under the specifications of another, when it could have been all generated from me?  It could have been purely me, but I wanted outside direction.  But I want me and I want the blank slate… sort of.  I want the slate however it may be, but perhaps I would like to paint it first, and then begin to work (although the painting would be beginning already), because blank and solid and white is just not me.  Yes, yes… perhaps I just need to paint, and then create further and further from that initial coat.

Post-a-day 2018

I am from…

Recently, in my cleaning out, I’ve come across loads of papers and files and folders and binders from almost all of my years of schooling.  While, I’ve found things from that same school year (lots of them today, actually), I have yet to find the original I am from poem that I wrote about myself in seventh grade.  When I find it, I will share it, followed by the one I wrote about myself during college, as well as the two(three?) that my friends wrote about me from their own perspectives during, I believe, high school together.

For now, though, I share the one I wrote during college about myself.  If you do not know, an I am from poem is essentially a work where one inputs pieces of information related to certain topics.  For example, the format could be as follows:

[First Name]
I am from [three traits you like about yourself]
[three traits you want to improve about yourself]
lover of [two things you love]
believer in [two things in which you believe]
who fears [two things you fear]
who hopes for [two things for which you hope]
brother/sister to [list your siblings]
daughter/son to [list your parents’ names]
resident of [the street where you grew up living]
[your city and state]
[your country]
[Last Name]

The original one I did was longer than that, but the point was just to explain the general format, so I’ll leave it at that.  The following, as mentioned already, is the version I wrote in college, which was following a rather free format that did not have distinct criteria other than being about ourselves (so far as I currently remember, anyway).

……………………………

4 Sept 2011 ED351

Hannah
I am from gentle, caring, lovable, wonderful
I am from sisterhood and subtle observations
from Music and Dance and Poetry
I am from contentedness with what one is given, blissfulness when around music, and the desire to do good
I am from hugs, laughs, and love, and recycling it all back
I am from giving harmony to life, consideration to call, and cheerfulness to one’s surroundings
I am from confidence: one so strong I fear only a loss of things or people whom I love and with whom I share my life
I am from Grace, in name and in action
I am from “How do you say ‘How do you say?'” in as many languages as possible
I am from connectedness and communication: be honest, be clear, be concise, lift up others with what you say, and mean it every time
I am from clarity: now inhale deeply and be with what is and what isn’t – identify the story and render it powerless in what happened
I am from when you’re on it, get off it; when you’re incomplete, get complete with yourself and with all those involved; and when you’re being inauthentic, be authentic about your being inauthentic
I am from live in the moment and remember what’s possible
AND
I am from the long time sun, may it always shine upon you
I am from love, may it always surround you
I am from Woman, the greatest power, and from the one pure light within us
I am from a world to be treated with care
I am from mother: Earth and the human
I am from understanding, consciousness, choices, and freedom of self-expression
I am from mother, all-encompassing, all-loving, and ever-present
I am from God, the World, and the stars
I am from Mother

…………………………..

Post-a-day 2018

Floor Hockey Rockstars

I had forgotten until recently that I used to play street hockey with one of my brothers.  We just would rollerblade together and pass the ball or puck to each other, or practice rollerblading with the sticks as fast as we could and then with the sticks and ball/puck.  It was fun.  And, you see, I remembered this, because I was trying to figure out how I had been so good at floor hockey in gym class in ninth grade, even though I had never done it in school before then.  And I thought of that memory, because I saw at the YMCA the other girl in that freshman gym/health class who was really good at floor hockey (and definitely more intense about it than anyone else), which had been our first sport of the school year.  Her name is Kristina.  It was really good having someone else in that class who enjoyed sports for the sport of them, and who was naturally good at most sports, and who didn’t get an attitude about any of it.  We didn’t really become friends outside of that class, but she’s always held a little sweet space in my heart and memory because of our initial floor hockey awesomeness bond.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Another letter from Japan

Another letter I found regarding my early time in Japan.  I’m not so sure that I ever sent this one either.  I think they both were intended as drafts, but time kept passing and more kept happening, making me want to add even more… and so I never sent anything. 😛

………………………………

The short version (A Recount in Which I Cut Out the Complaints)
 
I live in Toride, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo, and have an apartment, with about 2/3 of what I need in it (a significant improvement from a couple days ago).
Figuring out how to sort trash took a week, but I mostly figured it out with the help of a Japanese friend I made.
I have a new phone and new bicycle (new to me, at least).  Both were killer expensive.  It’s a 45-minute ride to my main school, 10 to my secondary school.
We aren’t paid until the 21st each month, so I had to bring a boatload of cash for my apartment and initial expenses (apparently credit cards are only used in half the locations the US and Europe use them.  Also, bank cards have single-transaction price limits, so everyone always asks if I want to split my transaction when I use my card. (Not that I understand it, but someone translated it once, and I recognize the phrasing + body language now.)
I have a futon, which is a lame version of a mattress, but practical for the lifestyle here (supposed to hang it in the sun every week to kill germs on it, which is usually needed, because it’s hella-hot, and most people don’t really use A/C, even if they have it), and mine seems to be okay-ish for being able to sleep.
A new friend, Sammi, and I talk every evening/afternoon/night just to check in on one another, and to help each other out with whatever questions we’ve each developed about how to function living here (she lives on a little island and is the token white girl foreigner).  And also just to chat about whatever.  Calls are always free to receive, but dialing out costs after 5 minutes, so we go back and forth setting a timer, and hanging up and redialing every 4 minutes 45 seconds.
I have almost nothing to do at school, but my school requires me to be here.  My whole curriculum is written up for the year, and I am only an assistant in class… so my job is essentially to be present in class, and help in class.  Not spend August preparing for classes.  A drastic difference from what I used to do as a teacher!  So I spend my day working on Japanese, and finding ways not to fall asleep at my desk.  I’m not always successful.
The sun comes up around 5am.  I wake up with it, despite the curtains and my eye covering.
I’ve made four good friends who are part of my program, and one Japanese friend, who is a friend of a coworker of one of those four US friends.  The — (my program) people are Jon(athan), Katarina, Sam(uel), and Sammi.  Japanese friend is Rie (ree from reed + saying the letter “a”). Distances from me: Jon/Rie 25 minutes, Katarina 40 minutes (Tokyo), Sam 2 hours (on the beach), Sammi no clue (she’s on a far-away island).
I’m kind of sick of sushi, but that’s probably just because it’s all I had from 7/11 for several days while I had to wait for my predecessor to give me things she had for me for my apartment (fridge, dishes, etc.)
Sammi is my shopping buddy – we talk on the phone, and she helps send me pictures of things she was given, so that I can find them in the incomprehensible store (e.g. this is a photo of my dish soap, I think… look for the words…).  We both enjoy the adventure of it.
Speaking of the store, the bicycle parking area looks loads like a car parking lot.  And it’s used, too.
I experience my first earthquake last night.  It was a 4.6, and I was scared out of my whits.  I was on the phone with Sam when it happened.  I said, “Is that… I think that’s an earthquake,” and then couldn’t even talk, as I lost the ability somehow.  I was quite shocked at how I responded – I knew logically that it was a tiny earthquake, nothing to cause concern.  Yet my body and emotions went psycho-freakout on me, and I even cried when it ended 30 seconds later. Sam asked if I was okay when it stopped, and all I could say was just, “Give me a minute,” and then could finally function again after I cried.  Totally weird, but I’m glad I had that emotional support for my first one.*
*There actually was one last Wednesday night – a 5.4, I think – , but I was dead asleep in my hotel room, so didn’t notice it.  So this was my second earthquake, but the first one of which I was aware as it happened.
Okay, I think that encompasses plenty, though definitely not the whole.  Send inquiries my way.  ;P  Love you all!!
Peace
Hannah
……………………………………………
Post-a-day 2018