Thank goodness killer boobie month is almost over…

I don’t know what to think about pinkwashing on kitchen appliances…

For one, Andy does nearly all of the cooking… and, while he’s concerned about breast cancer, he also won’t wear a pink shirt… I’m guessing if he had a Kitchenaid, he’d use it – then again, our new kitchen is pretty small, so I’m guessing it would end up in the closet…

And… a kitchen appliance, nothing says “women do all the cooking, like God intended” like that… it might as well be a pink vacuum  with a pink French Maid’s costume to go along with it… aack….

I’m glad tomorrow is Halloween… that means the pink-ribbon shit may be gone from the stores by June.

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A raise would be nice…

… I suppose, I don’t remember what it looks like in my bank account.

Clearly, I‘m not on Social Security...

I teach at a community college in Minnesota.  We’re unionized, so our health benefits and working conditions are pretty darned good — BUT, and this is a big one… we haven’t had an actual raise in at least two, maybe three contracts — that’s a minimum of 6 years of steady (sometimes good, once in a while brilliant) work for the same money.

Yep, I know I’m “lucky” to have a job at all — especially as a philosopher.  I’m also lucky my class sizes haven’t increased, although — to be fair — 50 students in an Ethics class is all my allotted classroom will hold… and it’s plenty.

On the other hand, my rent increases outpaced my non-existent raises, so I had to move.  I’m quite glad I wasn’t trying to sell a house — I just had to wait out my lease.  The last time I suspect I got a raise, gas was about $1.50 / gallon less.  My cell phone, internet, electricity and grocery bill was lower too.  Due to my divorce, my tax bill increased quite a bit… so, even the IRS is squeezing more out of this stone.

I don’t keep close track of my union dues, but I suspect they’re among the only bill of mine that hasn’t increased.

And.. Mittens wants to break my union… ummm.. why? I don’t see my union putting pressure on the state to increase my wages — and, since I make a fraction of the $250K / year of the folks he’s concerned with, I doubt my well-being is his concern.

So — the folks on Social Security shouldn’t complain too much about their small COLA… at least it’s an increase, don’t blow it all on one package of chicken breasts — wait for a two-fer like the rest of us.

Thanks Mom!

 

This is my mom… a few years ago :).

Go read this article from the NYT… go, read it!

The story discusses a study that says that the number of words a child is exposed to by the age of 4 makes a huge difference in overall vocabulary and academic achievement.  The most astounding difference was that children of poor/undereducated parents are exposed to 1,500 FEWER words PER HOUR than children of affluent / educated parents. By the time the child is 4 years old, the word gap is 32 MILLION words.

I think it’s important to note that I adjusted the paraphrasing above to make a distinction between wealth and education — because my parents were educated but not affluent.

To say that I was “exposed to words” by my articulate mom is quite the understatement.  Growing up, I was read to — until I could read.  Then I was taken to the library and told that I could only check out as many books as I could carry :).

Thanks to mom I have an outstanding verbal SAT score (if only the math had kept up… le sigh).  Before I finished by BA, a former boss at a phone center job told me that I “use a lot of words”…  and  I ended up as a Ph.D. using words to make a living.  I’m guessing I didn’t suffer from a word gap.

Thanks mom!

I think the bigger point to be made here is that improving education starts from the earliest times in a child’s life.  Breaking the cycle of poverty takes generations.  Improving early childhood education is one huge step — which would include paying childcare workers a decent salary so unemployed folks with a good education — like recent law school graduates — would be able to work with low-income kids who aren’t exposed to lots of words at home.  When they grow up, their children will be exposed to more words because their parents won’t have a word deficit that started when they were very young.

This also makes me hopeful for the children of my students — because many of my students are the first in their families to go to college… and their kids won’t have a word deficit if I can help it :).

 

A Blog I love…

 

Writing as jo(e) is one of my favorite blogs... the link is to one of her series of naked friends.

The thing about “jo(e)” is that she takes beautiful photographs of her friends, none of which are explicit or weird — but, they have no clothes on.  Her models aren’t young hot things — rather, they’re her friends, colleagues, and family members.  Their bodies are realistic and beautiful… each new naked friend post reminds me a lot of my “Of Scars” photo shoot..

Thanks to “jo(e)” for reminding me that an older, imperfect body can be beautiful too.

Political Ads..

In the Minnesota 8th district 2,168 political ads were run — each at a cost of about 808.00.

Andy and I have our best ideas on the porch — last night, the idea was to give the money paid for political advertising to poor people instead… and run a very short (therefore, inexpensive) ad about it… run it a few times, see what you can do to make it go “viral”, thus get it for free…

The image we’d present would be a crude split screen — on one side, a very plain man — camera close up on his face.. on the other, as he speaks, images of people in need getting help (clothes, coats, books etc..).

The text of the ad would be very simple:

“Every political ad costs 808.00 to run ONCE.  Instead of smearing our opponent, we thought we should do something for people who need it.  So, we gave the money for one ad to a single mom who was about to be evicted.  She’s caught up on her rent.  We gave the money for another ad to a charity that collects coats for poor kids, 50 poor kids in Minnesota have coats.  We declined to run 1,000 ads, you do the math.  We support Obama.”

Of course — it won’t happen… but, if we ran the world from our porch, it would…