And He Learned

Rethink the Rant

When he noticed the naked little girl at the beach didn’t look quite like he did and asked why, they answered his questions in simple phrases painted in black and white, pink and blue, and tradition. And he learned that boys and girls were different.

When one of the neighbor kids painted his nails, they got angry. That wasn’t something boys did. And he learned that there were different rules for boys and girls, and that breaking those made people upset.

When he was handed down a pink bike from his cousin, they replaced it with a blue one, because they didn’t want him to be mocked for having a “girly” bike. And he learned that being girly was something to be mocked.

When he cried, they told him to be a man. And he learned that crying, and being not a man, was something less.

When he was being picked…

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On Being Useful

“I often worry about being useful.

 

Especially these days, when I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of bad moods and even the most basic daily activities are a struggle to complete. The truth is that for this past month I’ve barely been able to take care of myself, let alone do things like wash the dishes or give my kid a bath or think up genius words to write. For most of this year so far I have been the opposite of useful, and that’s been frightening and disorienting. I am so accustomed to being the unstoppably active one, the go-getter, to do-er of things that I just don’t know what to make of myself right now. All that I know is that I am not useful, either to myself or to anyone else. (…)”

Great piece from Anne at The Belle Jar!

Dean of Arts Moves to Suspend Programs — and Minister Tweets about Taking Sledgehammer to Playground

Here is the Memorandum from Dean of Arts 16Aug2013 in which chairs are informed that the Dean of Arts, Lesley Cormack, is moving to suspend programs in Arts, and a list of the programs proposed for suspension is furnished. The memo states that members of affected programs have until September 3rd to write to the Dean in defense of their programs.

Even as Edmonton’s population grows with immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, the Dean proposes to suspend programs such as “Middle Eastern and African Studies,” along with the Faculty’s famous print-making program, the technical theatre program, various concentrations in music, and programs in language, both classical and modern. In relation to this, I cannot help but recall what the President of the University of Virginia Teresa Sullivan declared last summer, in the midst of various travails there: “A university that does not teach the full range of arts and sciences will no longer be a university.” (Full speech here.)

Continues at: Dean of Arts Moves to Suspend Programs — and Minister Tweets about Taking Sledgehammer to Playground.

I Am Sorry My Sadness Makes You Uncomfortable

Originally written by my amazing friend Wendy Madrigga.❤

                                                

“I recently posted this piece to a members only special interest website and got a massive response from there. So much so, that it was and is among the most popular things on the site atm. Because it’s members only, I can’t link it but I figured I’d post it here to see if the response was remotely similar. The point of this post is to promote open, honest, respectful dialogue, but dialogue nonetheless. Thanks for taking the time to read. No offense is intended and it’s not directed at any one person or situation. There is also some language in it so read with caution.

I Am Sorry My Sadness Makes You Uncomfortable

I’m not “fine”. I’m not even okay and I’m certainly not good. What’s worse is that I haven’t felt that I have the right to feel anything less than “okay”. I have felt as if I don’t have the right to feel sad. I have been shamed for feeling sad. I have been invalidated in such rudimentary ways that I have not allowed myself to simply feel through it. I have come out the other end of it angry, spiteful, worn out, uninspired and sad, yes, I’m fucking SAD and that is not a dirty word.

There is a common inability in the society that I’ve been brought up in, to openly and without judgment, feel what we’re feeling. The question “How are you” has become, as predicted in the novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, a re-fashioned “hello” that seems more empathetic but only serves to disconnect us from each other’s emotions further. We’re literally uncomfortable with public and/or open displays of “negative” emotion. Yet, we all feel them, experience them, live through them, sometimes over and over at varying points on varying levels in a day. What makes us so uncomfortable with emotions that require acknowledgement and nurturing?

Yet we watch people, at a safe distance away, from behind our computer screens, like a theatre screen, experiencing their own personal turmoil and we consider it entertainment. So, it’s okay for me to fall apart on youtube, as long as there is some entertainment value in it and it’s not interactive, but no one wants to get their “hands dirty” dealing with potential fall out? Oh those sticky, icky, gross emotions. Who wants to deal with that, right? Isn’t there a spot remover for that? Well, there’s definitely a pill.

Maybe we don’t need a pill. Maybe we need to know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Being sad and feeling pressure to hold it together for the sake of other people’s comfort is complete bullshit. I have done far more crying behind closed doors than I can stand in the last while, for the sake, of course, of other people’s discomfort. Yes, it’s bubbling over. It usually does. Am I a melancholy person, who doesn’t have ever changing emotions? Of course not. No one is. I am equal parts happy, exuberant, enthusiastic, funny, light hearted, passionate and several other “happy” or “positive” connoted feelings.

As far as I’m concerned, what we should be ashamed of, rather than these raw, natural, normally occurring human emotion, is the inability to sit with other people’s sadness and hurt and be there for them—the fact that we require these things be done behind closed doors. Yet, look at what we do publicly these days. But as soon as someone feels something that isn’t “positive”? Now that’s just ridiculous!

What’s worse is that I’m terrified to post this. I’m terrified of the judgment, of the criticism, of the aspersions that people will cast on my feeling sad. On the one hand, I’m terrified, but on the other, I know it will be freeing and also, fuck those who can’t handle it. I’m fucking sad right now. I’m sorry that makes you uncomfortable. But I’m not sorry I feel it. I’m just sorry you seem to lack the ability to process the emotions of others in a healthy, meaningful way. I’m sorry for you, the you’s of the world and I’m sorry that your life experience is so shallow. I’m fucking sad. I wish I wasn’t, just as much, probably more, than you. And it makes me uncomfortable too, in case you were wondering.

Respectfully, do not re-post or copy paste or anything similar without my permission. This is my writing, my work and you do not have my permission to do so. You can inbox me if you’d like to quote it but you do need to approach me first. (this was added because of the sheer volume of people requesting to repost elsewhere. Yes, that’s the reception it got).”

Edmonton man picks up the tab for 500 coffees

Amazing!

Global News

EDMONTON – Call it a cup of coffee karma.

Staff at a downtown Edmonton Tim Hortons were having an ordinary day Monday until a young man in his mid-to-late 20s walked in, ordered a large double-double and a Boston cream doughnut, and posed a question.

“He asked the cashier, ‘how many coffees do you sell in a day?’ ” said store manager Joanne Averion.

Then he asked her to ring in 500 large coffees.

“The manager asked him if he was going to drink all those coffees or was he going to give it to someone?” Averion recalled. “He said, ‘you have to give it to the next 500 customers.’ “

The motive for the random act of caffeinated kindness isn’t known; Averion said staff questioned the young man, but he didn’t say much and left quickly after paying the $859 bill with his debit card.

She said it took…

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