Tag Archives: rants

The “R” Word or Be careful, little mouth, what you say.

***WARNING***

Rant ahead.

If you know me in real life, you know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut. 

the r wordAs I type this, in a public place, I am eavesdropping overhearing a conversation that I have overheard in many forms over the years.  It makes my insides churn every time.  It makes me livid.  It makes me want to jump up and go over there and smack those people upside the head.  I am generally not a violent person, but sometimes I have visions of myself exacting my own vigilante brand of vengeance on these people who are so oblivious.

SIGH.

Why do people have to be so ignorant? People who make rash statements and judgments, such as the ones I am currently hearing thrown around, are people who clearly have no personal experience with the subject matter about which they are speaking. They make rash judgments without any background knowledge about the people or situations on which they speak so freely. Generally, in my experience, they are very insecure and need to make themselves appear “better” in some way, than the person they are slandering.

The conversation my ears are currently being assaulted by is about a child I know, how out of hand his behavior is and how ADHD is not real.  How it is an imagined disability that people use as an excuse for bad behavior…or in the words of the educated adult male who is driving this conversation, “an excuse to act like a retard”. According to this fellow, this behavior is not to be tolerated and this man’s parents would have never tolerated such disrespect and all those so-called “ADHD” kids need is discipline, a swift kick in the…Wait, what? What did he say? Oh, NO he dint!!! Oh yes, he did.

He used the “R” word.

My blood is boiling right now.

The conversation could have just as easily been about someone with Tourette’s, someone on the autism spectrum, someone with severe learning differences, someone with Down’s or any number of other challenges people face. He could have been talking about my child.  Or your child.

This word is so incredibly offensive to me. It is a word I do not use.  It is a word I do not allow my children to use.  In my opinion, it is not a word that should be used.  Ever. If you must use a term to describe people who are, what was termed mentally retarded in the old days, feel free to join the 21st century and utilize the terms intellectually challenged or intellectual disability. Or better yet, don’t say anything at all.  It is probably none of your business anyway.  Didn’t your mama ever tell you that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”?? I know mine did.

What is wrong with the “R” word, you ask?  First of all, you should not have to ask.  Second of all, to me, as the parent of a child with special needs and as a human being, it is no different than any other derogatory slur used to describe a person. Yet, people throw the “R” word around like it is funny.

“Oh, he’s such a retard.”

“That is so retarded.”

“Stop acting so retarded!”

<cue the laugh track,right?>

But is it funny?

Is it funny to call a person the “N” word, fag, wop, kike, or gook?  Of course not.  These words are considered unacceptable, even hate speech, in society today. Are you offended yet?  Are you offended just reading those references?  I hope so.  You should be.  And you should be no less offended if someone refers to your loved one or anyone else as a retard. In my opinion, it is no different. It is a term meant to demean, disparage, belittle. Yes, I am ranting here. And perhaps even overreacting.  But this comes from a deeply personal place for me.

No, my child does not have ADHD, but my child is on the autism spectrum and does have challenges that might manifest themselves in some behaviors others might consider unusual at times. But the reference is no less offensive to me.  It is as if this man is speaking about my own child—insulting my own child.

But it’s just a word, you say? It is a word, yes. And so are those other words I mentioned, “just words”. They are words that cut deep into the heart of a person. They are words that attach themselves to the mind of a person. They are words that bring up strong feelings and reactions. They are at the least, unkind, and at the worst, deeply scarring. Words can hurt. That old adage, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is a big, fat lie. It is simply a defense mechanism meant to buy you some time until you can get home and cry your eyes out.

My mama and daddy also taught me that we should look at others with the eyes of Christ.  How would Jesus treat that person? Is it really so hard to see people first as God’s children and not as their behaviors or various diagnoses? Can we see them, instead, as children of God who need compassion and understanding, not harsh judgment and slander? People are more than the sum of their diagnoses. And they deserve more than to be talked about with such insensitivity—in public, no less!

We don’t always know what is going on behind closed doors.

And we don’t always know who is overhearing our conversations.

The oblivious guy has finally shut his mouth now. And by some miracle, I managed to keep mine closed as well.

Thank God I have y’all to talk to or else I might be getting hauled off to jail right about now.

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Rants

The one in which the soapbox rears its ugly head

And so it begins…another season of standardized torture, er, I mean, testing.  It makes me want to give a hearty Charlie Brown-esque AAaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh!

AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

So where was I??

I just get so annoyed with the whole process.  And have yet to understand the point.  My kids have been in school for some time now and it never gets less annoying.  Anyway, it’s been a long while since I had a good rant here at the blog, so here goes…you have been warned!

My kids are stressed, y’all.  The school puts too much pressure on these kids.  The schools/school district/government/whoever…puts too much pressure on the teachers for their students to “perform”.  And for what?  Some kids simply don’t test well–cliche, yes, but it’s a fact.  Some kids are not going to master certain subject matter whatever you do, however you teach it.  These kids don’t know why they are taking these tests, only that they have to take them.  Don’t get me wrong, I agree that tests such as the SAT and ACT, actually serve a purpose.  And when you are taking a college entrance exam, you know WHY.  When my kids ask me, “Mom, WHY do we have to take these tests?”  It’s not an easy question for me to answer because I feel so strongly about it.  And I don’t want my children not to care.  So I tell them that they are designed more to test your teacher than to test you.  I tell them to give their best effort and then don’t give it another thought.  “But my teacher said I have to do well or, or, or…”  Or what?  This year, I chose to give my kids a sage piece of advice my dad once gave me…”In 20 years, who is going to know or care that you made a D in that class?” 

What?

Yes, 20 years ago, I, a student at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina,  a preacher’s kid, no less, made a D in Religion.  Go ahead and have a laugh at the irony.  It’s okay.  At the time, I thought the world was going to cave in around my pretty little head.  Also, I knew my parents were forking out a ridiculous amount of moola for me to attend college and so that was stressful for me.  But when my dad said those words to me that day when I was so distressed, I learned that keeping things in perspective goes a long way toward keeping a girl sane. 

SIDEBAR:  Now, let me mention here, that “Dr. I-know-your-name-but-I’m-not-going-to-use-it-here”, professor of Religion at Meredith College (a women’s college with Baptist roots! <clears throat>) was a bespectacled, clog wearing, mustachioed, tweed jacket and khaki wearing, sitting on the front of his desk, atheist who in NO WAY should have been teaching a religion class.  Now that is my humble opinion.  But I sat there every class and had to listen to that man malign my personal belief system and tell me that the Holy Bible was nothing more than a historical work of fiction.  UGH!  (You are entitled to your own opinion about Jesus and the authenticity of the Bible, but please allow me that same courtesy.)

But I’m afraid I digress…

Anyway, that piece of advice from my dad really took a load off my shoulders.  And so I shared it with my kids…”In 20 years, no one is going to know or care how you scored on this test.  So, just keep it in perspective!” 

Yes, teachers and schools need to be held accountable for providing a fair and adequate education for our kids, but is this the right way?  And I’m not saying there should be no expectations of students to learn certain things.  Let’s just suppose for a second, that these standardized tests are meant to assess how well the teachers are doing…

You can be the best teacher that ever walked the face of God’s green Earth and your students may not “perform” to the “standard”.  And even if they DO meet or exceed the standards, does that mean you have a good teacher on your hands?  What your students know or don’t know, in my opinion, does not define how a good a teacher is.  A good teacher is defined by compassion.  Willingness to think outside of the box.  Flexibility.  Making learning fun and interesting.  NOT teaching to some test. 

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know this…there has to be a better way. 

But then, nobody ever consults me about these things. 

<steps down from soapbox>

2 Comments

Filed under Rants

Another Brick In The Wall

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”  ~Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

 

Someone please tell me there is more to life than homework.  OY!  My son spends nearly 8 hours at school and then comes home and works on homework for 2 hours.  There is something seriously wrong with that.  Wait, I feel a song coming on…

…we don’t need no education…we don’t need no thought control…no dark sarcasm in the classroom…teacher leave those kids alone… 

The government and the public education system has sucked all the fun out of learning and instead, replaced that with No Child Left Behind and meeting standards and needing to meet their quota of kids scoring “proficient” on the most recent round of standardized torture, er, I mean, tests.  All of which leaves no room for fun.  We’re too busy making sure those kids can pass those standardized end of year tests, by golly!  No fun for them, no siree.  No inspired learning.  No creativity allowed.  Disclaimer:  I am not bashing teachers…it isn’t their fault.  They are doing what they are mandated to do and they have the hardest jobs in the world.  They have been more than wonderful in our educational journey with Jacob. 

Just let me have my rant, okay?

Both my kids hate going to school. 

And frankly, I don’t blame them. 

But I would never say that to them.

In other non-ranty type news…Can you say “Road Trip”?!  Jacob and I spent a fun weekend in North Carolina visiting with my family.  Emma had a very-important-could-not-be-missed birthday sleepover to attend and so she and Hubby stayed home and had some father-daughter time…after she got home from her sleepover, that is.  And that allowed Jacob and me to have a nice mother-son road trip.  First road trip for The Edge, I might add. 

He sat in the front passenger seat like the half grown person that he is.  I looked over there at him and realized how much he is growing up.  Here’s what he spent most of the trip doing—> 

Yeah.  Gameboy.  He did read some and watched a movie.  But he does enjoy his gameboy.  It was quality time, nonetheless.  We chatted a bit.  Nothing too serious, but it was precious just to be with him.

I also spent time with my younger brother, Scott, and his family (who were down from Delaware) and my older brother John and his family.  If you have been reading a while, you’ll recall that Scott and his wife, Lisa, had a baby girl, Olivia, back in May.  She is quite adorable and what a set of lungs that girl has!  Woo!  Such a Cutie!  I spent time with my mom and both my grandmas as well.  We spent Saturday at the park enjoying a music and art shindig, put on by Scott’s friends, Mike (musician) and Sarah Blair (artist) who are brother and sister, and both extremely talented young folks. Scott (pictured) is also a musician, the worship pastor at his church, and I don’t get to listen to him play very often.  It was a very enjoyable day.  Sunday was spent at church, where my brother John is the pastor.  It was a treat to hear him share and then have lunch at his house with our whole family (minus my dad, unfortunately, who was out of town and Hubby and Emma).  It is a good thing to be within driving distance of my people. 

Yeah, spending time with my people definitely balances out the crazy homework.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Family, Rants