Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today I am all out of patience.

Today I am out of patience.  Outwardly, I look okay.  Normal.  I'm going to go, do some christmas shopping with a friend, have dinner with The Well-Travelled One and go about my business, while inside I kick and scream and throw a toddler-tantrum at the sheer un-fucking-fairness of it all.

There's so much anger inside me right now.

I'm angry that, as a friend of mine pointed out, we don't show the same level of remorse and shirt-wrending heartache when we hear of children across the ocean being killed daily by bombs and artillery.  Over there are also parents who woke up one morning, kissed their child that morning only to mourn them by day's end.  We call them collateral damage and hush people who dare to mention little brown children dying when clusterbombs are dropped on school yards because we need to support the troops.

I'm angry at the people who are suggesting that the way to prevent gun deaths is with more guns, rather than less, as though arming teachers couldn't have possibly ended in more bloodshed.  I'm angry when people say that this is not the time to talk about gun control, when people are dying.   This is the perfect time.

People say that he would have found another way.  Perhaps a bomb, perhaps stabbing like the guy in China that stabbed 22 school children.  Do you know how many of those children died?


Fucking ZEE-ROH.

So don't tell me now is not the time to talk gun control.  This is the perfect time. Don't tell me less access to guns wouldn't have made a difference.   Today 22 parents in China are thanking their lucky stars instead of mourning their lost babies.

I am angry at people jumping to the obvious conclusion that this man must have been 'mentally ill'.  Is it a possibility?  Yes.  But not all mentally ill people are violent and not all violent people are mentally ill. To assume so does a huge injustice to the non-violent mentally ill.  It is not up to me or you to diagnose.

I am angry at the idea that this could have been prevented by allowing God back into our schools.  We kept Him out.  We refused to let people pray.  (We refused to force people to pray, actually).

I want no part of any God who would let little children die because we do not worship as he sees fit.

I have been told, in dark moments, that God has a Plan.  Was this part of it?  Cold comfort to the families who are living a nightmare today.   I have been told on numerous occasions that he is both omnipotent and loving.   If he couldn't have saved those children because he isn't "allowed" in schools, then he is not omnipotent.  If he wouldn't, then he is not loving.

An omnipotent, loving god would have stopped Adam Lanza before he ever reached the school into which he was not 'allowed'.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hug your babies tight.

This morning in Ontario there were parents grumbling and inconvenienced because they couldn't send their children to school due to the one-day teacher's strike.

Today, in Connecticut there are parents who will wish, possibly for the rest of their lives, that they had never sent their children to school this morning.  They will go over and over what they could have done differently.

No one should have to consider the possibility that when they send their little ones to school, that they might never come home.

Some will thank God or whatever forces of the universe they put their faith in for the fever, or the stomach bug or even the case of head lice that may have kept their child home today.

I can't even imagine what possesses a grown man to open fire on a building full of children.

It boggles the mind.

No child should ever have to see their teacher, principal and peers gunned down before their eyes.  No child should have to live with that memory.

The teachers who were on duty, some of them will live with the memory and guilt, guilt that they should not have to bear, from being unable to save the children.

It feels like there should be some kind of metaphor here, but I have nothing. It's just as well.  Enough people will use this event to political ends as it is.  I don't want to add to it.

I don't want to speculate on this guys mental and emotional state.  I don't want to talk about guns.

I just want to hold my babies.

In regards to today's teacher's strike.

I've been meaning to say a few things on this, aside from the few comments on teacher-bashing Facebook posts that I've been seeing.

The work-to-rule thing sucks for the kids.  I know that, and I totally get it.  No after-school clubs, no extracurriculars, no field trips - it sucks for them.  I'm not about to deny that.

The one-day strike happening today.  It sucks for parents.  One of the functions of public schools is cheap daycare, along with the education of our children.  I sit in a position of privilege here, I realize that.  Between an ex-husband that is generally available and willing to take his kids; a boyfriend also willing to hang with my kids and a job that, worse come to worse, will let me stay home for a day to watch them myself, I'm not going to be horribly affected by this action.  That's a privilege and I recognize it.  Many parents are not in such a lucky position.  I get that too.  I'm glad for their sake that this is only a one day action.

Teachers work damn hard.  I've watch my sister go through the rigors of constant training and upgrading skills (the courses which are paid out of pocket).  Lesson planning and grading that goes well into the nights and weekends.  I barely see her between the months of September and June, she's so busy.

I entrust my kids to their teachers care for 5-6 hours a day.  Damn right I want them paid and compensated well.  It's not greed, it's what they have coming to them.  I've read time and time again that they are doing wrong by the children by holding out and taking job action.  No one has pointed a finger  at the school boards and government who also continue to hold out on negotiations.  No one seems to be up in arms about school board trustees with six figure salaries.  It's the teachers because "That's my tax money!"

If my kids teachers are well compensated, that means they're going to be happier and more satisfied with their job.  Which means my kids get a better education.  I'm okay with my taxes going towards that.

Frankly, everybody deserves to be well compensated for their jobs.  Not just teachers.  Labour organizations and unions have helped people with that in various sectors.  Other sectors, such as the retail and service sector are starting to organize.  Read up on your labor history.  If you have eight-hour days, or paid sick leave or vacation time or benefits, that's the result of the work of labour organizations.