Do You See What I See?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Enlightenment

I found this article very amusing considering I spent all last week on a paper about whether the Enlightenment pitted science against religion. I'm off for some beauty sleep but I thought it was a very thought-provoking post. Both about the nature of education and the nature of science in modern times when religious groups feel that they should control things and people should only think in their way.

Monday, May 23, 2005

They Don't Want An Education

I've been reading this series called 'Educe Me'. that I came across from reading Feministe.

The series is both eye-opening and upsetting at the same time. I had a completely different high school experience to these kids. First of all, the cultural/country difference considering I went to school in Australia and this is Indianapolis, USA. But there are more 'real' circumstances. I had a priviledged education. I went to Catholic school. It wasn't the 'elite' or 'exclusive' private schools that are constantly reported in the media here but a 'systemic' school. Even though we were exclusive of the systemic set. Basically it meant that rather than being independant school run by a board of trustees or a religious orders, the school 'reported' to the Catholic Education Office. We were well-off in the grand scheme of things even though the girls constantly complained about anything and everything - "we're paying". First of all, your parents are paying and who gives a shit because you still have it better than a lot of others.

Reading the Educe Me series highlighted this for me. I went to a school where there was discipline and where most kids wanted to be there and the kids that didn't were allowed or just did not distrust others. I was lucky.

There were two specific aspects that really tugged at my heart strings:
There was one student in particular that concerned her. She had Rodney when he was a freshman and at the time, he was a “good student”, i.e., doing his homework, being in class on time, studying for tests, and getting good grades. Later into the year, he began hanging out with “the wrong crowd” and his attention and grades started to drop.

She talked to him about it, and more than being a teacher or tutor, she found herself in the position of counselor. For a while, she saw improvement in Rodney. At the start of this year, his senior year, she was able to get him motivated (at least in her class) and his grades were on the rise. However, for reasons I will never know, he is now in a position where he will not be graduating and will most likely not complete his education at the school

This boy wont be graduating. That just breaks my heart. Maybe because I happened to look at my Year 12 jersey today. It needed a wash because it had gotten a mark on it from being in the wardrobe. I haven't wore it since my HSC exams and I really do not think that I will wear it again. Graduation was a wonderful experience. I felt such love for my friends and my school and I remember thinking that everything was right in the world apart from the fact that I was graduating. There was this air of 'I can not wait for university' and a 'I do not want to go'. This story really highlights what a struggle it is for some kids to graduate.

Another sad story:
He started talking about the team he is coaching and mentioned one of the gals on the team had a dinner to attend for school, but didn’t have any dressy clothing. He thought at first that the student was lying because she didn’t want to have to dress up for the occasion, but the student pressed on and he came to find out that the student did not have anything except jeans and t-shirts. He said some members of the staff came together and took the gal shopping for a new outfit. He said it made him think twice about judging students’ poverty levels.

I remember my school formal and the ease at which girls picked dresses, their hairstyles, the shoes and all that. The utter humanity of these teachers just warms your heart and illustrates the poverty that exists in our world and why we have to fight it.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

If She Suffered From Cancer....

Anorexic student denied valedictorian title
You would think that because this girl was able to not only receive treatment for anorexia AND remain at the top of her class, she would deserve the recognition that she desires. If this girl was suffering from a form of cancer or a physical disability, she would be praised but this girl is being ostracised for suffering from a mental illness rather than a 'showy' illness.


Reading about the disappearance and sadly the possible murder of the two children from Idaho, I was reminded of an identical case from 2002 that I researched at the time.

I was in Year 10 and for my computer studies class we had to develop a powerpoint presentation using certain skills to gain full marks. Basic things such as inserting video, manipulating images and using various slide transitions. My subject for the presentation was a recognition of the events of 2001 as far. I remember there being the introduction of the Euro and the school shooting in Erfurt, Germany. I have a copy of the presentation somewhere.

Anyhow, a large part of the presentation was an exploration of the various girls who had gone missing during the Juneish part of that year. It included Samantha Runnion, Elizabeth Smart, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman and Jennifer Short. One amusing aspect was when after the presentation, a small discussion of the various missing girls developed and I remember specifically there was talk about how if only they could find Elizabeth Smart's body to give her family closure. Ironically, in a few months time, Elizabeth would be found and everyone at school just had to tell me!

However a sadder aspect was that of Jennifer Short's case which also parallels the Idaho case in some ways was that other family members were violently killed and there was just no sign of the children. I remember wondering, after Elizabeth Smart was found, that all the cases were resolved apart from Jennifer Short's. Little did I know that it was, to some extent. I learnt today that her body was found - she was killed in the same manner as her parents. This article illustrates the sadness of the situation: she was nine and yet she was all alone at her funeral - the deputies acted as pall bearers. For some reason, that just breaks my heart.

This is basically a pointless post.. or at least more pointless than usual!. I thought it was symbolic of the way we can mourn and shed tears for someone we will never know - we only knew her in death. I think that is one of the 'beauties' of humanity - the grief and heartbreak that we can feel simple because someone else is in terrible pain. We mourn the loss because they were taken from society in such tragic circumstances - the humanity of a young innocent child was destroyed and we will not know because the case is cold.

Ahh The Cornfields

I like corny songs. Yes, I admit it, you may pick yourselves up from the floor. As evidence I will provide you with the songs that I have listened to this morning. Please don't judge me.

  • Kelly Clarkson - You Found Me
  • Starfield - Alive In This Moment
  • Emiliana Torrini - Sound of Silence
  • Wendy Matthews - Beloved
However, the corniest song at this present moment would have to be Megan Mccauley's Wonder. A listen to the song and a look at the lyrics. I came across the song when I was looking at One Tree Hill fan videos. Shut up! It was when I was looking for a scene to tease somebody about but I didn't have broadband yet to download the whole episode. I liked the rhythm of the song when I first heard it and enjoyed the way the the guitars come in to strength the song. Yes, you can tell that I have zero skills in musical terminology. Anyhow, I actually listened to the lyrics and then I got a Big Surprise. I realised that I am just burdened with things. Specifically, this line:
Breathing's a burden we all have to bear
Man, here I thought I was just coasting along with my only burden is to finish off that bloody uni paper that I left to the final minute but now I learn that I have got the huge, ginormous burden of breathing. Yes, I think I deserve donations for doing something so spectacular and to aid me in my ability to handle this pressure.
Seriously though, how blatantly stupid is that line. I don't care if you were trying to be rhyme something. That is just wrong. Now I cant listen to the song without giggling at the stupidity of the song. Luckily I don't know who 'Megan Mccauley' is or what she looks like. All I know is that she should step far far away from any pen and paper. No, Meggy, you do not need to share your talent!

And on that note, I will turn my media player to Hanson's I Will Come To You.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm Not Sorry

I'm really quite annoyed that I havent been able to blog to the extent that I originally wanted to when I restarted my 'blogging days'.

However, rather than moaning about that, I just wanted to provide some great links (not time for in depth comments)
Blog of I'

It is really refreshing for there to be another point of view out there. The best thing about the website is the picture on the homepage - the massive amount of people in that march. It brings the 'warm fuzzies'.

Which is something that I don't think I will be feeling when I watch the latest episode of Veronica Mars where we find out who raped Veronica. I have a feeling it will include the need for tissues and shouts of 'I want my teddy'.

I am also reading one of the Gossip Girl books at the moment - I really enjoy YA novels so I like to read a varied type and I have heard this series discussed in the context of many other young 'female' books. In short, I'm scared that there are people like that 'out there'. I already knew they were but reading their daily routines makes it more real - the superficiality is just freaky!