Today, the GSEM Delegation for the Girl Scouts’ National Convention left for Huston. I feel like i should be with them, and it’s really upsetting that I’m not. Why am I upset about this? Well, I applied, received confirmation that they got my application, then heard nothing. One day in January, as I was going to participate in an event at my Practicum site, I got a call from one of the delegation coordinators, “Did you receive any emails from us? No? Oh, you must have fallen off the list…well, the final interview event is happening right now if you want to come over.”
Not only could I not go to the event, but it had started 2 hours earlier, so I’d have missed a bunch of it, and, honestly, I didn’t WANT to go. If they didn’t care enough to ensure everyone that applied was contacted, then why did I want to be a part of it? Not to mention I’d missed 2 or 3 other pieces of the interview process, so I wasn’t likely to be chosen anyway. I know that mistakes happen–shit, I make them often enough–but this one just really hurts.
Yesterday, we had an event for our tutors, and wound up with leftovers. As we were discussing departments to bring extra pizzas to, Facilities was suggested. A couple of my colleagues got disgusted looks on their faces and denied the suggestion without room for debate because “the first floor bathroom is disgusting, Facilities are terrible.” When reminded of the fact that Facilities probably included more than just the janitorial staff, they remained adamant.
As I’ve thought about this conversation over the last almost 24-hours, I’ve become really upset about this. Something I’ve always been taught is that you treat the people that clean your bathrooms and throw away your trash VERY well. At Brandeis, we always gave our main janitor a gift at the holidays, saved him pieces of office birthday cakes, etc. It made him happy and he treated us well–offering extra space heaters when he found them, telling us about good furniture that was being replaced, etc. Mutually beneficial.
it’s difficult for us to know the people responsible for cleaning the bathrooms here, but I feel my colleagues need to be reminded that the janitorial staff has other responsibilities than the one women’s room that is on the main floor of the entire school, right next to the two major student areas for the whole school. I just feel that my colleagues are being too harsh. The bathroom isn’t great because there’s ALWAYS someone using it–frequently used bathrooms get messy, it’s the nature of the beast. It’s virtually impossible to keep a public bathroom sanitary and neat, but don’t blame the staff for this unless they aren’t actually doing their job, and they are.
I mostly enjoy the Holiday season. I despise the consumerism that surrounds it, although I do love giving people gifts (I just wish I wasn’t so damn picky and indecisive when shopping). I also really hate the obsessive anger that many Christians display for the month and a half that encompasses the holiday season. I can’t count the number of people that have posted something to the effect of “Don’t forget the Reason for the Season” or “Let’s put the ‘Christ’ back in Christmas.” Or those that go one step further and bitch about a sales person wishing them a “Happy Holiday” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
As a non-Christian, it hurts. A lot. This is all being done by people who are intelligent, loving people that I consider friends and family, yet they have no regard for the fact that there are at least 4 other holidays in the month of December–of course a sales person isn’t going to wish you a “Merry Christmas”–they have no fucking clue which holiday you celebrate, or even if you DO celebrate one. When I was in retail and food service, we were told to not specify a holiday unless the customer did. Hell, it wasn’t that long ago (10 years maybe?) that the so-called “War of Christmas” didn’t actually exist, and people didn’t give a shit about the seasonal wishes you gave them. I wish my Christian family and friends a “Merry Christmas;” I wish most of them had the same respect to wish me a “Happy Holiday” unless they know the specific one I will be celebrating this year (and how many of you ever asked?)
And to those of you that ARE looking to “put Christ back into Christmas” (if you’re even still reading), read this article about the various celebrations held at this time BEFORE Christ was even born. Or think about all the traditions that are pagan in origin. And finally, before you remind me that this country was formed as a Christian nation, don’t forget that the Pilgrims and Puritans who came here for religious freedom didn’t celebrate Christmas because it was considered too pagan.
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As much as I disagree with the BSA’s policy on homosexuals and think it should change, I do NOT agree with the way this man is going about changing the policy. In short, he is an openly gay male that enrolled his son in a troop and himself as a leader. Once it was discovered that he’s gay, he was asked to leave the troop and cease wearing his uniform.
My issue with all of this isn’t that he was kicked out of the BSA. My real issue is that this guy is exploiting his son to make a statement. Their stance on homosexuals is no secret. As a gay man, he obviously knew this, so why did he A) enroll his son in a troop and B) sign up as a leader if it wasn’t in order to be kicked out and raise a stink? There are plenty of youth groups that have non-discrimination policies.
The poor kid now has to live with a bigger stigma than he faced as the son of a homosexual. The act of being kicked out of the troop reinforces the idea that his father is somehow a bad person in the minds of both him and his friends. And now he is considering leaving the BSA, which has to be a disappointment both because of what’s been done to his father and also because he would be leaving something he enjoys.
There are better ways to fight an injustice than to involve your child.
This past Sunday, a woman I grew up with, and had re-connected with a few weeks ago, killed herself by injesting cyanide she had taken from the lab she worked at. She lived up the street from where I grew up, and some years we took teh same buss to school. We were in most of the same classes, and had even begun to become friendly in the 8th grade–if I’d stayed in my town’s public school, I could have actually considered her a friend.
Yet, because of teh way she took her life, she is plastered all over the news, and all the media can discuss is the fact that she stole cyanide from her lab (and of course she worked at the same university I attend, so I’m getting updates through my school email as well as the media) and how “very, very dangerous” all of this is and “OMG, TERRORISTS could get cyanide too!!” A couple of articles even discussed for a hot second the possibility that she was accidentally killed by the stash she was intending to sell.
I’m not saying that the university shoulnd’t review their lab policies; or even that teh state and local officials shouldn’t be investigating the policies in place at other schools and companies that have dngerous chemicals. I’m just wonderign where teh humanity is in all of this. Sure, a few of the articles have mentioend the good-bye post she made on Facebook, or that she was a figure skater and had just been accepted into a Master’s program, but that info takes up about 1 or 2 sentences compared to the 2-3 paragraphs devoted to the cyanide.
Maybe I’m asking too much because I knew her. But maybe I’m not.