Don’t Stay in School

Now, I’m a big supporter of education. I believe that the more we know about diverse subjects, the better off we are in our personal lives, the relationships that we hold, and our careers. I’m also a huge fan of learning for fun. Some people collect figurines, some people collect coins, I collect knowledge.

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The Confederate Flag

This will probably be the most controversial thing I have ever, or will ever post on here. I am posting this because I think it’s something that a lot of people are either over-looking, or not understanding.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, symbolism is very important to humans. We place meaning on objects, patterns, colors, pretty much everything. Flags are often used to bring a group of people, a culture or sub-culture together. It allows us to feel pride for our community. That being said, not everyone in a community thinks exactly the same on every issue facing the community.

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A Word on Elevators and the People Who Use Them

This is something that’s been on my mind for the past few days. The problem has always been present, but recently, I’ve seen more vocalizations on the topic. The problem I’m referencing is not more people using elevators, it’s more people judging others for using elevators.

The health and fitness movement has become much more present in the last few years. That’s fantastic. People are starting to live longer, so it’s becoming increasingly important to take care of our bodies. New health problems are popping up for elderly people, and professionals are coming up with proactive ways to prevent these problems. The most important of these procedures is general activity and exercise in early adulthood. With this came the stigmatization of using the elevator.

I’ve seen multiple posts on social media, and even heard a few people say things like “People that take the elevator are just lazy” and “I judge people who take the elevator without obvious injury.” I’ve heard both on campus in the past week.

I’m going to address both of these comments, but I’ll start with the first one. First of all, that is not true. You don’t know why they are taking the elevator. Maybe they are tired. Maybe they worked out yesterday and they’re sore. Or maybe they just feel like taking the elevator today. Second of all, it’s none of your business. If they want to take the elevator, they don’t need to explain to everyone else why they are taking it. If you prefer the stairs, then you go ahead and take the stairs. Third, maybe take a grammar class.

Comments like the second are what really annoy me. Sorry to break this to you, but not all injuries are obvious. These “injuries” are called invisible illnesses. In case you’re still confused, that means that they have some sort of illness or disorder that cannot be seen by others. Many people can’t go up the stairs, but can walk perfectly without an assistive device (a cane, for example). These people may look perfectly fine to you, but they have an invisible illness.

Not that you should assume that everyone who uses the elevator has an invisible illness, take it into consideration. Actually, don’t. Don’t worry about it. It’s absolutely none of your business as to why that person is taking the elevator. When you see someone waiting for the elevator, just keep walking. Don’t even think about it.

This is a problem. I know people who are afraid to take the elevator because they don’t want to be judged; they don’t want people to think they are lazy. That’s ridiculous. I know people who want to take the elevator because they are tired, but think that they can’t because they don’t have a disability. If you want to use the elevator, then do it. That’s why it’s there. If you don’t want to take the elevator, then don’t, and don’t judge people who do.

While this is about elevators, I would like to make a point to say that this applies to so many things. Let other people make their own decisions. You don’t get a say unless it affects you. Focus less on what other people are doing, and worry about yourself.

)O(

“We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know”

Yesterday I attended a Leadership conference meant to provide helpful, tips for social change, social justice, and general leadership. I’d say it was quite successful in that area. Some of the topics discussed were sexual assault and bystander intervention, gender bias in the work place, understanding poverty, leadership strengths and weaknesses, and engaging group members. While there were no groundbreaking discoveries, it was interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on these issues.

One thing that stood out to me, and really made me think, was something said during the workshop on poverty. Have you ever heard someone say something and you think, wow, that’s a really interesting thing to say and you sit there and think about it for a few minutes, trying to apply it to your life and experiences? And then you miss the next few things they say, but it doesn’t bother you that much because you’re still interested in the first thing they said.

Anyway, the speaker on poverty said, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” I immediately went into the thought process described above. At first, I agreed with the statement. On one hand, we can’t know about a thing if we don’t know that the thing exists. So from that perspective, yes, I agree, we don’t know what we don’t know.

On the other hand, just because we know that something exists, doesn’t mean that we know all about it. I’m willing to bet that 90% of you reading this don’t know much about quantum mechanics, but you do know that it’s a thing. In this situation, you do know what you don’t know. So here, no, I don’t agree. We do know what we don’t know.

In the workshop, the speaker was trying to say that we don’t understand poverty if we have never experienced it. But to say that we don’t know what we don’t know, in this context, is just an excuse to ignore it. We do know that we don’t know what living in poverty is like. Being a social science student, I’ve studied many aspects of poverty, so maybe I have a little better idea of what it’s like compared someone who hasn’t studied it. But, still, I have never experienced it, so I cannot say that I know what it’s like.

Anyway, if we don’t know that we don’t know something, we can’t do anything to change that something. So, if we didn’t know that poverty existed, we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. But, just the fact that we do know about it, means that we can do something about it.

In the case of poverty, we do know what we don’t know. To say that we don’t is to say that we don’t know that poverty exists, and, unless you’re living under a rock, i think it’s fair to say that we all know that poverty exists.

Don’t use your lack of experience with something inhibit your ability to affect change on it. Just because you’ve never been discriminated against, doesn’t mean that you can’t do something to change discrimination. Just because you’ve never experienced poverty, doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it.

)O(

Hobbies and Stress

Noun Challenge: July 9, 2014

Today’s noun: Hobbies

When I took my statistics class last year, my professor was working on a study about hobbies and their effect on stress. Now, before you start asking why a statistics professor was working on a study about stress, understand that my class was Statistics for Social Science. In other words, it was only the parts of statistics that social scientists (psychologists, sociologists, etc.) would need to use to analyze the results of a study.

Now that that is cleared up, back to the study. He was trying to figure out if having a hobby increases or decreases stress levels. If you think about it, you’d say that they probably decrease stress because its something fun to do to take your mind off of the stressful things in your life. But, some hobbies can potentially be stressful themselves. If your hobby is collecting seashells, (I think it’s fair to say that that is a pretty low stress activity) then you probably wont have much added stress from collecting. If your hobby is a skill, you could have some added stress from not being able to master something.

Does that make sense? Just think about ways that a hobby can cause stress. Maybe you like sports. If your favorite team loses, you know you’re probably going to put up with your buddies making jokes the next day. Maybe that doesn’t bother you (my teams always win, so I wouldn’t know. Hehe), maybe it doesn’t. If you like playing sports, a lost game might cause some stress as well.

Okay, enough examples, I think you get it.

I bet you were expecting me to end this post with the results of the study. Well, sorry to disappoint. The study wasn’t completed when I left school for the summer. So, I don’t actually know the results. I don’t even know if the study is completed yet.

So why did I tell you all of this, and then not give you any answers?

Well, I wanted you all to think about it. Do your hobbies cause stress in your life? If so, and you were using that hobby as a stress reliever, maybe it’s time to find a new way to get away from that stress. Not that you should drop your hobby, just make sure that you have a good way of relieving your stress.

As always, sorry for typos and grammatical errors! Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow!

)O(

Appreciate the Little Things [Part 8]

I realize that when I started this ‘series’ I posted like three in one month, and after that they became incredibly spread out. I hope to post a few of these this summer to get back on track. I have a long(ish) list of these little nuggets of rant lined up and waiting to go. I’m going to continue to post five at a time as that has given a pretty good amount in the past.

Find previous parts here : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7!

Let’s get started!

 

  • Automated Phone Service/Customer Support. This is terrible. How many times have you called your phone company, or your credit card company, or whoever, and had to sit through their customer service message pushing buttons for an hour. Press 1 for this, press 2 for that, press 3 for this other irrelevant thing. You sit through all of these instructions only to find that your problem wasn’t mentioned. So what do you do now? press the button that corresponds to the closest thing and see if you can get somewhere in the next set of instructions? What a pain.
  • The “0” Option. Some of those customer service messages give you the option to press 0 and talk to a person if you none of the options help with your problem. However, more and more of those annoying recorded messages are getting rid of that option. You will be forced to push thousands of buttons, to no avail. As companies are dropping this option, they are adding the ability to say a keyword having to do with your problem. That seems nice, you can just say what your problem is. That’s all good if you don’t mind repeating yourself fifty times.
  • Noisy Eaters. You all know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’re probably the problem. Anyway, nothing bother’s me more about eating with other people, than having to listen to them smack their lips or chew loudly. Seriously, all of that noise can be silenced if you just keep your mouth closed while you chew. It’s not even difficult to do. I don;t really want to listen to you eat. It sounds disgusting and it’s quite annoying if there is conversation going on. Didn’t your parents ever teach you to chew with your mouth closed?
  • Talking Obnoxiously Loud on the Phone. Don’t do it. Just stop. If your phone rings while you’re in the grocery store, stop and think, “Do I really need to answer this right now?” Here’s a hint: The answer isn’t always ‘yes’. If it’s someone you live with, they might be asking you to get something for them. You can answer that. If it’s your boss, you should probably answer that as well. A repair man, a mechanic, someone you are doing business with, that’s all fine, answer it. But your bff who is just calling to talk, yeah, that can wait. So, if you decided you better answer this phone call in the grocery store, you don’t need to shout. You can talk quietly. Remember in grade school when the teacher always said to use your inside voice? Yeah, that still applies. Also, when appropriate, ask if it’s okay if you call them when you get home. But most importantly, BE QUIET.
  • Slow Drivers in the Fast Lane. I understand there is a speed limit and you would like to follow it, but get out of the way. Yes, I am one of those drivers who hates being stuck behind someone. I wouldn’t call myself an aggressive driver, but I do yell at other cars a lot. Anyway, If you want to drive the speed limit, or slower, stay to the right please. Some people like to cruise around 70, or 75 mph. If you are going 50 mph, you don’t understand how frustrating you are. There are multiple lanes on the highway, and one of them is called the slow lane. That’s where you belong. I don’t really mind if you want to go the speed limit in the fast lane, but if you see someone coming up behind you, get out of the way and let them pass you. For all you know, they are in a hurry and you are making them very angry. Also remember that fast drivers are not necessarily dangerous drivers.

 

Okay, that’s enough for now!  Have a great day!

)O(

Attention Do-Gooders!

Okay, I know it was just the other day that I said I was going to be taking a break from blogging, but if you remember correctly, I also said that if I came across something that I felt the need to blog about, I would do so.

Anyway, I have come from the world of taking a break to inform you of a wonderful website that allows YOU to help those in impoverished areas of the world. This website, Kiva.org, is a micro-finance organization.

For those of you who don’t know what micro-finance is, I shall explain. Micro-finance is a small loan to someone who needs a tiny amount of money in order to start a business. Generally, this happens in the less developed countries of the world. An example? When I was in high school, we watched a video about micro-finance. I don’t remember what the video was called or who it was made by. I tell you this because I want you to know that I didn’t make up this example, and also to give credit, though very little, to said unknown video. Anyway, There was a woman, I don’t remember where she lived, maybe south-east Asia, or maybe South America? Anywho, she wanted to start a business that would supply her community with phones so that they could contact people outside of their little town. But in order to start this business, she needed a small amount of cash. I think it was something like $200. Now,  you may say that $200 is not a very small amount of cash. But, it is, when you consider how much money is usually involved in a regular loan. Say, college loans.

For more details about micro-finance, and/or a better explanation with cute pictures, watch this:

 

So, basically, what Kiva does is allows you to make a loan of at least $25, to be repaid by the new business owner. There is a 98% repay rate, so nothing to worry about there.

Now, how do you get involved in helping pull these people out of poverty? Here are ten easy steps.

Step one. Visit Kiva.org.

Step two. Register for an account.

Step three. Click the “Lend” tab at the top of the screen. I mean, you can click around the website a little and see what its all about, if you want.

Step four. Choose a borrower. You can sort through by country, gender, type of business, etc. When you find one that you like, move on to the next step.

Step five. Click lend $25. Its pretty easy. You can also donate to more than one business.

Step six. Click on “My Basket” at the top of the screen, or “Checkout” where the “Lend $25” button was.

Step seven. Choose the amount of money you would like to lend. There is a minimum of $25, but you can, of course, lend more.

Step eight. Click continue, and follow the steps.

Step nine. Feel good about helping people in less developed nations.

Step ten. Spread the word.

Kiva Logo

Okay, so now that you’ve helped someone, and feel good about yourself, you may go on with your day. I will see you when I find more treasure to share!

)O(

Happy International Day of Friendship!

Today is the International Day of Friendship!

No matter where you are in the world, you have friendship! Everyone has a friend. If you don’t, that’s okay, you’ll find one. In the meantime, why don’t you try to be a friend to someone else?

Everyone needs a friend. You should always be nice to other people. Try to be everyone’s friend. That way, you’ll have less enemies and everyone will be happier. I can’t think of a reason that we can’t all be nice to each other. Even if you don’t want to be friends with someone, maybe because you have no common interests, you can still be nice to each other.

The next time you see that weird kid in class, just ask how their day was. When you see that anti-social guy in the office, ask how his weekend was. It’s not hard. You don’t have to be best friends for life, just don’t leave them out.

Also, Just because a person is shy, doesn’t mean that they don’t need friends. Try to be their friend. See my post on talking to a shy person here.

So, everyone needs friends. be a friend to some one.

But today is the day to celebrate friendship! If you have a friend that you really appreciate, tell them. Today is they day to celebrate your friendship with that person! go on! take a day, just the two of you and do something you like!

Go on!

)O(

Happy Anti-Bigot Day!

Today is Anti-Bigot Day!

Are you part of a minority? You probably are. Most people are part of at least one minority, if not two or three.

If you’re thinking, “How are most people part of a minority?” Let me explain:

A minority is defined as a member of society who has less access to the resources of the society because of their status within the society. Simply, someone who is commonly discriminated against. In America, this includes, women, black, gays, Jews, Muslims, Latinos/Latinas, mentally or physically disabled people, etc. Also included is anyone you can think of who has ever been denied a job, housing, equal pay, rights, etc. because of their race, gender, ethnicity, or religion.

now that we have that cleared up, let’s move on.

If you are part of a minority, chances are that you have been discriminated against. Let me explain the difference between discrimination and prejudice. Discrimination is the harmful treatment of an individual based on their status. Prejudice is an irrational negative attitude toward an individual based on their status. More simply, discrimination is an action. Prejudice is an attitude.

So, the fact that women in America get paid, what is it? 77 cents for every dollar a man would make, is discrimination because the woman is doing the same job as a man, but not getting paid as much. The idea that women can not work as well, which is the thought behind getting paid less, is prejudice. See the difference?

The mind set that all Muslims are terrorists is prejudice. Not hiring someone because they are Muslim is discrimination.

Okay, so for anti-bigot day, I say we all try to learn something about a minority that we don’t know much about. Even if you don’t think you are prejudice toward that group, try to learn something about them. If it’s Muslims, look up the basic beliefs of Islam. You might just learn that Islam is a peaceful religion and terrorists, who claim to be Muslim, aren’t.

You don’t have to learn about the ones I’ve mentioned. There are so many more. Look up smaller religions around the world. Maybe learn about Wicca and clear their names as well.

If you aren’t interested in religions, Maybe look up LGBT culture. There’s more than just L, G, B, and T. The full acronym is LGBTQQIAAP. If you didn’t know that, start there!

If you hate all the immigrants from Mexico, look up what life is like in Mexico and the countries south of Mexico where a lot of our immigration comes from. Maybe that will help you better understand the people that risk everything to come the America illegally.

If you are not from America, I’m sure you know who the minorities are in your area, look them up!

And now that I’m done preaching sociology to you all, have a great Anti-Bigot Day!

)O(

A Disney World Rape

This is something that caught my attention on Facebook.

Basically, a young, college-aged woman, who was participating in the Disney College Program was raped by a co-worker at Disney World. For those of you who don’t know, the Disney College Program allows college students to take a semester (or more) off from their regular studies and work in Disney while taking some classes provided by Disney. There are tons and tons of students there every year. Anyway, This girl was raped by another student in the program. She decided to talk to the counselor about it when her co-worker was unwilling to discuss it. The counselor found out that the two had been drinking and immediately turned on the the girl and blamed her for not fighting back enough and told her not to hang around with boys at night.

So after a while longer she called her parents and told them what happened and they told her to report it to Disney. The girl could not find a person that would talk to her on the matter and got continuously forwarded to another person until she gave up. Eventually she did find the correct person to report it to. However, in her appointment, this new person blamed her for the rape, just as the counselor had. She was told that there would still be an investigation so she packed her bags and went home.

She later received a letter saying that her complaint about the counselor would be noted in the file. She called the Employee relations office for a follow up on the investigation. She was told that the case was closed and that no information on the actions could be released. She next called another co-worker asking if they had seen her rapist around the parks. The friends told her that he was there and that he was fine.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Just realize that Disney World has allowed a reported rapist to work with your children. That doesn’t sound like such a good idea. If any of my readers are planning  a trip to Disney World this summer, please be careful and travel in pairs! If you have children, keep them close!

Read the Article here!

)O(