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The racism discussion

Where we live, it is part of the curriculum in high school to discuss racism and the effects.

My son was part of this learning in an English class that focused on First Nations writings and voices.

They did talk about residential schools. They did talk about the injustices. They did talk about racism. According to my son, all of this was taken seriously by the students.

And then, the discussion stalled. The (outwardly white-presenting) teacher couldn’t seem to move past obvious racism. He kept pulling the students into a discussion about how the students should not see their peers of colour as lesser, or unable, or unintelligent or lazy.

The thing is, these teenagers have grown up with that message their whole lives. All the cartoons and preschool shows they watched talked about inclusion. Told them all people are equal. All are able. All are intelligent.

Their teachers in school have all pressed the same information home.

Now, even my son knows there are students in his school, in his year, in his class that are still racist. Those students have been taught that at home. And the other students are not quiet about telling those particular students off.

His school is filled with students from everywhere in the world. So many different languages, cultures and colours. It is difficult to be outwardly, obviously, racist in the school. It is shut down relatively quickly.

That said, my son came home very upset several days into this curriculum on racism. “Why does the teacher keep telling us everyone is equal? We know that.”

And I agreed with him. So we had a discussion about systemic racism and what it was, and why it should be discussed in his class about racism. Why it was important to learn the history behind it. We agreed his teacher was doing the class a disservice by only talking about open, obvious racism. We need to talk about both.

We also agreed that a teacher who is outwardly white presenting should probably not be the only speaker in class. Other voices were required to round out the discussion and help the critical thinking process. My concerns have been forwarded to the school principal.

It’s not enough. The discussion and learning needs to continue. And we’ve only made a start.

The surveillance/police state is YOU.

What’s on my mind? Well I’ll tell you. People running around “reporting” others and judging others. Reporting on others is a slippery slope. There is historical precedent. I’m not gonna send you where to look. You know what I mean and you know where to look.

If you’re looking out your windows or on posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media looking for people to report just because they’re outside, or because they went to the store for “just 1 item” or because they took their kids with them grocery shopping, you aren’t helping. (And these aren’t the only types of examples – I know there’s more.)

People are currently (as of Apr 4, 2020) allowed to be outside in Canada and the majority of the USA. There is no complete lockdown, no curfew.

Yes, people should be maintaining social distancing. Yes, they should have their dog on a leash. Yes, they should stay off playgrounds and other park equipment.

You should only be reporting them if they’re committing an actual crime or you can see them actively putting someone in real (not your imagined) danger. They know the risks by now.

People are allowed to go to the store for “just one item”. Consider this scenario – Hubby is our designated shopper. I had to refill a prescription and was unable to call it in because the phone lines were all busy. So when he went shopping, he requested the refill. They were unable to fill it that day, and told him to come back tomorrow. So he had to go back to the store for “just one item.”

Yes, people should only be making essential trips.

You are not the one who gets to judge what an essential trip looks like.

If that person isn’t putting you in immediate real danger, stay out of it.

And that parent that took their kids to the grocery store? Ever considered that might just be a single parent with single custody, unable to leave the kids by themselves?

Offer support before judgement. Support before reporting. Offer to get their groceries for them while they sit in the car.

If you are one of the ones looking for people to report, I’ll say it again, you are bringing us that much closer to a survelliance/police state, and willingly.

The children are watching. The neighbours are watching. And the next person that might get reported is you. Whether you deserve it or not.

The Neighbours are Watching

WASH YOUR HANDS! You didn’t wash long enough. You didn’t wash properly. You didn’t dry properly. ACK don’t use the air dry blower! That water’s not warm enough. That soap didn’t foam enough. Don’t use block soap the germs will stay there. The germs don’t stay on soap. Only use soap dispensers. Make sure you clean the soap dispensers! Don’t touch the taps with your hands. Don’t touch the doors with your hands. Don’t touch the dispensers with your hand. What do you mean you don’t wash your hands. Weren’t you washing your hands before?

Make sure you use hand sanitizer. Why don’t you have hand sanitizer? Why don’t you make your own hand sanitizer? That hand sanitizer is no good. Buy only this brand of sanitizer. Use vodka if you can’t find isopropyl alcohol. Don’t use vodka only use isopropyl alcohol. Only 60% and above. Anything is better than nothing. Why are you buying hand sanitizer? Why are you making hand sanitizer? SOAP AND WATER WORK BETTER. Don’t hoard the hand sanitizer. Why did you steal the bottle of hand sanitizer from the church and the hospital? Do you know who has hand sanitizer? Stores are sold out of the sanitizer and the materials to make it. Why aren’t you using hand sanitizer?

Are you wearing a mask? Why are you wearing a mask? You don’t need to wear a mask. Masks are only for essential workers. Why don’t you wear a mask? You should wear a mask. That’s not the right mask. You aren’t wearing the mask properly. You aren’t taking it off properly. You didn’t fit it properly. You aren’t disposing of it properly. You should make your own mask. You should make lots of masks. You should donate masks. How dare you hoard masks! Wear your mask at home. Only wear your mask when you go outside. Only wear your mask at the doctor’s. Wear your mask all the time. Change your mask often. Don’t waste masks.

Are you wearing gloves? Why are you wearing gloves? You don’t need to wear gloves. Gloves are only for essential workers. Why aren’t you wearing gloves? You should wear gloves. Those aren’t the right gloves. You aren’t wearing the gloves properly. You aren’t taking them off properly. You aren’t disposing of them properly. You shouldn’t hoard gloves. You should donate gloves. Wear your gloves at home. Only wear gloves when you go outside. Only wear gloves at the doctor’s. Wear gloves all the time. Change your gloves often. Don’t be wasteful.

Why are you outside? Why aren’t you staying home? You’re supposed to #StayHome. Get out of the park and off the beaches. Stay off the playgrounds. Only essential workers can go outside. Don’t go for walks. Stay 2 metres away from everybody! You need vitamin D – go for walks. Move onto the grass when people go by. Keep your dog close. Keep your children close. Leave your children at home. Go sit outside in the fresh air. How dare you have your children outside! How dare you go for a drive to break up the monotony of staying home? You might have an emergency and expose others! You can be in your backyard, you know. You can be in your front yard but don’t go near anyone.

Don’t touch anyone. Don’t shake hands. Don’t touch your face. Don’t touch anything until you clean your hands. You’re getting OCD. Why are you afraid of germs? Your immune system needs exposure to germs and bacteria. You’re overreacting.KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! 2 metres minimum! SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Buy groceries online. Why aren’t you supporting local businesses? The grocery stores are fine – go shop there. Only 1 designated shopper at a time! We don’t care if you have no one to babysit your children while you grocery shop. Only buy groceries online if you’re self-isolating or disabled. THE FIRST HOUR IS FOR ELDERLY AND DISABLED ONLY! Oh and for Essential workers. Buy extra food. Don’t buy extra food. Buy extra prescriptions. Don’t buy extra prescriptions. Buy extra toilet paper. DON’T HOARD THE TOILET PAPER.

Why are you only buying a couple of things? Why are you buying so many things? Why are you buying junk food? Make sure you buy junk food – for the stress. I can’t believe you didn’t buy vitamins. Don’t buy ibuprofen. Buy ibuprofen. How dare you try to buy over your limit on items? Remember to buy extra for the food bank and for your neighbours in self-isolation. Send only one designated shopper for multiple families! LEAVE the alcohol wipes for those that need them. You need alcohol wipes to clean all your devices!

Follow hazmat protocol when re-entering your home. You’re overreacting. Just wash your hands. Wash everything you bring in with you. Use lysol. Use bleach. Use soap and water. Use soap and water on your fruits and vegetables. No, use bleach on your fruits and vegetables. No, use vinegar on your fruits and vegetables. No, use this retail product on your fruits and vegetables. Just rinse your fruits and vegetables. Cook your fruits and vegetables. Remove all outer packaging and put your groceries in new containers. Grow a victory garden. Only buy direct from grower. Only buy directly from produce suppliers. Make your own bread and baked goods. Can and preserve your fruits and vegetables! Only eat frozen vegetables! Make sure you buy vitamins for when the vegetables run out.

Order take out! Support local business. Don’t order take out. Ewww why are you ordering takeout the delivery drivers might be sick. The essential workers who made your food might be sick. Don’t order take out. Wipe down all the cartons! You don’t need to wipe down the cartons. Did you hear that company doesn’t take care of their workers? They have people working there that are sick. They laid people off! Don’t support them. You can’t make every meal at home. You need the treat.

Go outside and clap for the essential workers. Go outside and sing together. Put things up in your windows. Chalk your walk. There’s supposed to be a stuffed bear in your window. The workers can’t hear you anyway. Nobody’s outside to see your windows. Nobody wants to sing with you. Support the essential workers! They’re very important. Why should they be paid more? They’re not getting laid off. They don’t need EI. They should have emergency funds. They’re asking for too much. They aren’t taking it seriously. Why are they working and not staying home? Protect the essential workers! They need the masks. They need the gloves. They need the hand sanitizer. They need a plexiglass barrier. Pay them more! We’re watching to see how companies take care of their workers.

Homeschool your children! Don’t stress out your children. Don’t let them hear the news. Let them hear the news. Why aren’t the teachers teaching? The teachers are working so hard. Support the teachers! Your children need structure! Your children need to be constantly learning! Your children need to be constantly playing! Your children need boredom. Get your children off the devices! Your children can do all their learning online. Some parents will learn the problem isn’t the teachers. Why don’t you like your children? Stop working and enjoy the time with your children.

Work from home! Don’t work from home. Don’t work if you have children at home. Work from home just like you do at work. Don’t slack off! Have your video on at all times so your employer can watch you working. Don’t do your housework. Don’t take care of your children. You can’t work and watch your kids and clean at the same time. Slacker! It’s important to work. If you get laid off go be an essential worker. There are lots of jobs. Essential workers are being laid off. They can’t pay their rent. Support local business! Support the economy! Of course you can work and watch your kids and clean all at the same time.

Buy things to keep you busy at home. Support local business! Don’t buy things from Amazon. Don’t buy things from Walmart. Local businesses are closed so order online! Don’t order online the delivery drivers are sick and unclean. The drivers are being careful. Lysol everything that comes in the door! Don’t sign for anything. How dare you buy unessential items? How dare you buy crafting supplies? How can you be so frivolous at a time like this? Keep yourself busy. Enjoy your hobbies. Great time to do all those home improvement projects. Did you see all those people at Home Depot buying non-essentials? They should stay home.

The neighbours are watching.

**inspired by multiple conversations, news items, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts.

Social Media isn’t the new toy anymore

In the circle of blogs that I read, there have been several blog posts about the slowness of the blogosphere lately.  Not as many people commenting, or posting, or tweeting, or pinning, or doing much of anything.

They’ve mentioned lots of reasons (which I won’t mention here… you can read this one or this one or this one.)

My personal take on it? Blogging hit its peak ages ago.  A brand new blogger starting now would not be able to make money or even get a wide audience unless they were exceptionally good and extremely dedicated.  There is so much work involved in promoting a blog that ther blogger basically ends up sitting in front of the computer all day.

I did that once. Not for blogging, true, but for a game on Facebook that basically needed you to be logged in all the time. If  you didn’t, your kingdom could be attacked and you’d lose your vassals!  It wasn’t worth it.

I can’t imagine that sitting in front of the computer all day to promote your blog is worth it, either, unless you really are making decent money at it.

I started this blog two years ago.  Even then I was aware that the blogosophere was saturated.  The original title of this blog, which can still be seen in the web address was “Lost in a sea of blogs.” That is still appropriate.

There are so many blogs that even if I did sit here all day, I wouldn’t be able to read a quarter of the ones that interest me.  I’m always happy when I do receive comments or a new subscriber, but it’s always a pleasant surprise – I don’t expect it.  Can’t be easy to find my wee blog that is basically my personal writing platform for fun and for me to work things out in my head!

Onto the topic of other social media – well, it was exciting when it (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc) was brand new and we were all figuring it out. Like  a new toy that you don’t want to let out of your sight while you figure out all the cool things it can do. Now we know how it works and it’s become part of the furniture.  It’s still one of our favourite things, but it doesn’t claim our attention as much as it used to do. Either we’ve got other new toys to play with (iPad3? A favourite game? I dunno. You tell me.  Mine is my ukulele), or we’re looking for that new toy.

(Don’t you wish you knew what the next big thing would be? I’d buy shares in it right now!)

In my opinion, that’s what’s going on in the blogosphere and social media.  We’re saturated with blogs, and our new toys aren’t new anymore.  Everybody’s getting on with life while they wait for the Next Big Thing.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing and being pleasantly surprised and thrilled when anybody comments on my posts.   Thank you so much for reading!

Recording ideas while driving

As I mentioned in my last post, I do a lot of driving. It’s the best place to think, for me.

I often come up with great ideas for a blog post. I even write it all out in my head.

You never get to read them.

By the time I sit down to my computer to write it all out, one of two things have happened.

First, I’ve forgotten the idea or what I was going to write about the idea.

or,

Second, I wrote it all out so well in my head I no longer need to type it out.

Not helpful for my readers, I know.

So I tried keeping a voice recorder in the car. (The one on my phone is poor and here in NZ it’s illegal to be using your mobile phone while you’re driving, anyways.)  I kept either forgetting to have it close by, or it was too dangerous to turn it on.

Can’t write things down while you’re driving, either.

Any other suggestions for me, so I can keep writing out my random thoughts for you, my reader?

Privilege

noun, verb.

a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most: the privileges of the very rich.

I read this post the other day about a blogger who says she “had” privilege, once.

And I agree with her article, that states, basically, the more money you have, the more privileged you are to have an easy life – you have options that people without that money do not.

However, I think she missed a spot.

Right now I can look right across my street at my neighbour’s house, and then look back at you and honestly say *I* have privilege, even though I have nowhere near Ann Romney’s money.

1) I have the option to work full time or part time.  My paycheck pays for the extras, not the bills. Both husband and wife across the way have no choice but to work – if they don’t work, they don’t eat.

2) I have the option to enrol my children in pretty much any activity they want. Within reason.  My children are not going to be horseriding on a regular basis, or paragliding, or anything expensive.  But they have the privilege of choosing between swimming, soccer, karate, dancing, gymnastics, music, or whatever.  The children across the street are lucky if they get to play soccer or rugby, as that’s the cheapest activity option around here.

3) If an emergency cost comes up (say, the car needs new tires, or we have to do some house repairs) we can handle it.  No, this isn’t a budgeting thing. This is the privilege of tertiary education and a higher paying job.  My neighbours across the street are very careful and smart with their money – they have to be.  And yet, if some major costs came up, they’d be in serious trouble.

4) Grocery shopping.  Yes, I have a budget.  But I have a lot of choice in my budget.  My neighbour buys staples only.  stuff like a carton of ice cream is a rare treat.

5) Access to the internet is a privilege.  My neighbours cannot afford access. Not even on their phones.  And yet, I nearly live on the ‘net!

Privilege is relative, I think.  Because I could even make an argument over why my neighbours are privileged over a whole ‘nother set of people.

I think people have to recognise our privileges (because each and every one of us have them), to make sure we are thankful for them, and no make sure we aren’t rubbing them in anyone’s face (intentionally or not!). And where possible, share the privilege, to make this world a better place.

I don’t drink coffee. But mocha hot cross buns are YUMMY!

I’m tempted to say ’nuff said, but I won’t. I’ll explain.

Baker’s Delight in New Zealand was kind enough to gift me three flavours of hot cross buns.  And I love hot cross buns, so I said yes, figuring I’d have them all to myself.  My kids hate hot cross buns, you see, and my Hubby can take or leave them.

Mocha, traditional, and chocolate chip hot cross buns from Baker's Delight

I picked them up myself from the closest Baker’s Delight (Mount Maunganui).  Such a yummy smelling store, and a great atmosphere, too.  The lady behind the counter was very friendly and cheerful, and the boys in the back were having a great time singing along to the radio while they worked, which was pleasant to listen to and put a smile on my face.

And even though the lady behind the counter knew I was receiving complimentary hot cross buns, she took great care to seal them up without crushing them, and even explained how to keep them from getting squished  in the bag until I got home.

I confess, it was so lovely in there I couldn’t resist buying a couple of mini pizzas for lunch, too!! (They were really yummy, too. Perfect for a quick lunch.)

But you wanna know about the hot cross buns, I know.

I had three flavours – traditional, chocolate chip, and mocha.

And like I said, I thought I’d have them all to myself.  But then, a friend of mine from Auckland told me she was coming for a visit, with her two girls.  Fantastic.

So, we gave all the children a choice.  My two children decided to try the chocolate.  My friend’s two girls decided to try the traditional.  And my friend and I tried the mocha.

The verdict?  YUMMY!!

I liked how they were nice and moist, with a good balance between raisins (traditional only) , chocolate chips, flavouring and the bun.

Since the lady at the store had taken such good care of them, they still looked fantastic.

My children have been converted to chocolate hot cross buns. I didn’t even get more than a bite of those ones because they were devoured.

And I’ve been converted to mocha hot cross buns.  I’ll definitely have to go back and get more.

Since you’ve made it this far, I have even more good news!! I have three $10 vouchers to give away.  They’re only good at New Zealand Baker’s Delight stores, though, so unfortunately you’ll have to live in New Zealand to enter.

Leave a comment telling me how much you love hot cross buns and you’ll be entered to win!!  I will draw three comments at random on the 1st of April for a winner!

** I was given 18 complimentary hot cross buns comprising three flavours from Baker’s Delight to do this post, but the words and opinions are my own.  Baker’s Delight has also given me the vouchers for the giveaway! Yay them!

SOC: Android tablets

#SOCsundayToday’s SOC is supposed to talk about what we believe about fate.  But I’ve already answered that here and here.

So instead, I’m just gonna do a general stream of consciousness.

———-

I’ve finally entered this fancy “app” world with the purchase of an android tablet. I really wanted an iPad but we couldn’t afford that.  Maybe now I don’t mind so much.

We’ve been playing with several free apps (especially games) and suddenly I again have leverage with my children.

“You wanna play on the tablet? Great. Count backwards from 25 for me.”

“Go clean your room!”

“Put your clothes away!”

“Spell ‘course'”

“What number comes before 20?”

Bloody fantastic. Whatever I ask, they go run to do it, just for another chance to play Angry Birds or Cut the Rope.

A mother could get used to this.

Plus suddenly I understand what people are talking about.  I mean, I was on Twitter before. I’ve been on Facebook for ages.  But now I can see the app versions of these and suddenly some comments make sense. Many misspellings make sense too.  (I mean, geez, I know how to type properly, and now you want me to go back to single-finger hunt and peck?)

Bonus: I have Skype back!!  During the great computer death at Christmas, I lost Skype, because my little old laptop couldn’t handle it and we weren’t allowed to download it to Hubby’s work laptop.

So what android apps do you love? Preferably free.  I know many of them are inexpensive but we’re just not at that point yet.  Unless, of course, one is so unbelieveably fantastic that we must purchase it, right?

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post. (Can be found at all.things.fadra)
  • Link up your post at all.things.fadra
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday/Monday: Sunday morning cartoons

#SOCsundayHow did you spend your Sunday mornings growing up?What are some of your favorite memories?

Sunday mornings were always the day of bad cartoons.  I remember getting up as early as possible on Saturday to get all the good cartoons, but Sunday mornings were horrible.  I think I avoided them when I was at home but I remember having sleepovers at my Nan’s house where both Nan & Poppa wouldn’t get up until after 8am and I’d be wide awake at 6:30am.  Since my bed was the couch in the living room, I could turn on the TV really quietly and watch all the horrible cartoons.  And shows. “Size Small” and “Hercules” were two of the ones that were on.  I remember wishing Nan would wake up sooner!!

But Sundays at my house were filled with the smell of cherry pipe tobacco,  the sound of CKNW radio (with hits from yesterday… and today!) and in general needing to occupy myself.  When I was younger my mom tried to get me to go to Sunday School… but she literally had to drag me so she gave up.

Sometimes Dad would take a load of stuff to the dump – that was always exciting.  But most of the time, my brothers and I were playing outside. And not always with the neighbourhood kids. Our backyard had a swingset and lots of good places to play with my smurfs.  Plus we had a tree house! It was unfinished and the paper wasps would often come in to get the wood to make their nests but it was a great place to hang out and watch the rain.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. Wanna join in? Click the button above.

Using one idea to answer another

Not too long ago, I read a post at BlogHer about a different way to get out of debt. In a nutshell, since concentrating on paying off her debt wasn’t working for the author, instead, she concentrated on making more money. (Focussed on a positive (more money) rather than a negative (less debt).) In this way, she paid off her debt.

I’m fortunate enough that Hubby & I agree on financial matters, and we have no financial difficulties in that way.

But it got me to thinking – I am physically challenged in the fitness category.  And when I say challenged, I mean that.  I have had foot, knee and hip problems since long before my BMI went over 25.  Within the last few years, I’ve concentrated on the negative – removing body fat to alleviate some of the pain.  But maybe (as in the link above), I would be better off concentrating on the positive – increasing how much I move.

And then a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook (Oh how I love these videos!!)

Seems I’m not the only one who thinks increasing my movement – however I do it – is of greater benefit than trying to remove the fat.

So that’s what I’ve already started to do.  I can limit my sitting and sleeping to 23.5 hours a day, surely?