Category Archives: Massachusetts

___ State University?

Six state colleges are trying to be granted university status- The Boston Globe.

Now, this is something that’s been talked about for YEARS. The above link goes to an editorial from the Boston Globe, and I have to admit that I agree with the author–I support the change as long as it remains in name only. The missions of the State Colleges are on teaching over research, and being an affordable alternative to the multitude of private schools in MA without sacrificing the quality of education.

At NU, I see the potential detriment to students and teach when  school focus goes from teaching to research, and I feel that, if students are interested in that kind of environment, they have enough selection; do NOT add the State Colleges to that number.

I can see myself eventually going back to this system (whether they become Universities or remain Colleges) in the future–they are my roots, and I will probably slip into their system comfortably. But, I am happy to be currently attending a private research university, and having a practicum at a private technical school where I can get new perspectives and experiences.

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Unfortunate Reality

Jury finds mother guilty of murder in girl’s drug death – The Boston Globe.

I’ve been kind of following this story for the last several years because it’s SUCH a sad situation. In a nutshell:

Rebecca’s case attracted national attention to the expanding use and potential abuse of giving psychotropic drugs to very young children. When Rebecca (4) died, she and her two older siblings, Gerard and Kaitlynne Riley, were each on three potent psychiatric medications for bipolar and hyperactivity disorders. Each of them went on the drugs at age 2.

This just bothers the shit out of me, and I’m really happy the mother was found guilty (the father’s trial is starting next month barring a plea bargain). It wasn’t until recently that I discovered this trial sits a little closer to home than just being in my state–the family’s therapist (not the psychiatrist that was writing the scripts) worked for the same company Ellie used to work for, and was constantly trying to get the dosages lowered, or new meds for these kids–bipolar disorder isn’t exactly easy to properly diagnose, and, if you talk to a GOOD therapist, CAN’T be diagnosed in someone that young (I forget the earliest age bipolar can typically be diagnosed).

This actually sits closer to home than that. In elementary school, my brother’s teachers were always trying to get him put on ADHD meds because he didn’t sit still and listen like a “good student.” Luckily, my mom was good about taking us for yearly check-ups and would ask the doctor if he thought there was something that should be looked into because she didn’t see anything wrong with him. EVERY year, the doctor told her that my brother was completely healthy and was a “typical boy.” So every year, when his new teacher brought up ADHD, Mom would have the same conversation, “His doctor says he is perfectly normal. He’s BORED and doesn’t like to sit still. That doesn’t mean he has a learning disability. You need to learn how to do your job and deal with him rather than medicating him into submission.”

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A Warm Start

New Year 2009

No one can deny that New Year’s Eve in Boston was pretty damn cold. But, it didn’t stop Ellie and I from going in for the First Night celebration. She’d bought our buttons a few days before Christmas, and there was no way we were going to let them go to waste. It wasn’t terribly cold either–I’ve heard horror stories from some people. We did however not do the night in exactly the right order; we started at the Common to see the ice sculptures, then walked to the Hynes to see what was going on there and the beginning of the Grand Procession, then BACK past the Common to the Waterfront to get our FREE (well, we did pay for the buttons you needed to get the ticket) harbor cruise tickets. We’ll probably switch the Hynes and Common if we ever do this again–make better use of our time and take more advantage of the offerings.

Yesterday was another chapter of Christmas and continuation of the New Year revelry. Jere, Em and I went out to North Hampton for the 2nd annual Hot Tubbing Extravaganza. It was an absolute blast, and was definitely worth the crappy driving conditions (only for me of course!!) and the fact that I had to suck up my pride and let them pay for me. I also have to thank them for allowing me to put the money I WAS going to spend on Northeastern Gear (when my reimbursement comes in in a few weeks) onto more waterproof gear for my commuting, so that was a double-blessing. Yes, there WERE shenanigans, and we’re pretty sure our server for dinner wanted us dead, but that’s all really par for the course when we get together. Next year, massages will be back!!

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My Conservative is Showing

A bill before the legislature would require some of Massachusetts oldest banking, financial and insurance companies to look deep into their history — and the histories of subsidiaries and predecessor companies — to uncover links to the slave trade, as a condition of doing business with the state.

via Bill would probe fiscal legacy of slavery in Mass. – Boston.com.

Are we SERIOUSLY considering this? Did several other states REALLY pass this kind of crap? I have to admit to agreeing with House Republican leader Rep. Brad Jones,  who “called slavery ‘a historical stain that is never going to be erased,’ but said the proposal sounds more like an academic or historical project best undertaken by a university rather than state government.” Doesn’t our state legislature have WAY better things to be doing with their time and MY money than research this? I find it hard to believe that anyone thinks any major company in this country doesn’t have some ties to the slave trade if you dig back far enough. It was a major business from before Europeans even came to this country–if you think not one tribe of Native Americans didn’t turn their hostages into slaves, you are sadly mistaken. I’m not condoning the practice; it was and continues to be a blemish on the world and the US, but how about looking forward, to those problems faced by African-Americans due to generations of slavery and prejudice against their ancestors. How about trying to further reduce prejudice and discrimination that’s still happening in many areas. I just don’t see how this knowledge will be of any use to anyone.

I guess it all comes down to priorities–I feel that all branches of the government has better things to do (like successfully restructure the Mass Highways and MBTA to save the taxpayers’ money) than ‘study’ something that has no real bearing on society because it’s not going to change the past. Please do try to explain it to me though.

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Culture Comes in Many Forms

I never talked about our day this past Sunday. Even though it was absolutely disgusting weather-wise, Ellie and I had a full day in Boston. That morning we went into Chinatown for the August Moon Festival. I used to go in with my family as a kid and teen, but I hadn’t been since probably my first year of college. it’s always a ton of fun, and I like begin able to expose ellie to new things, like Dim Sum and Moon Cakes.

Afterwards, we joined the Boston Queer Adventurers and my friends Kim and Mel for Shakespeare in the Park. This is an annual free show performed by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (formerly affiliated with CitiCenter). This year they did The Comedy of Errors . I haven’t been able to get much theater in due to money and time, so I’m glad this is still happening in Boston–it’s good for the city too.

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