Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tag! I'm it...

I was recently tagged by Emily at But the winking of an eye to answer some questions. Emily and I went to the greatest college ever together. She lived down the hall from me freshman year, along with some of the greatest girls I've ever met. Good times. Anyway, everyone knows I love answering random questions, usually randomly, so here we go!

{1} Have you accomplished any of your childhood dreams? If so, which?
Well, I haven't become a princess or even found my Prince Charming yet. I'm not sure I ever had very realistic dreams as a child. They usually involved traveling to other planets or fantasy worlds, for which I blame my family, because they were all in to things like Star Trek and Star Wars and Back to the Future. Can you blame me for not having normal dreams? I can say that my childhood dream of never growing up has certainly been accomplished. I work in an elementary school and my office is full of toys. It's awesome.

{2} All-time favorite CD?
This is a hard one, but I think my favorite is also one that I lost. The Christmas album by N*Sync. That's right. Judge away. It's amazing. I need to download it on iTunes. It's that time of year again, ya know. The most wonderful time.

{3} What is your favorite character from a book?
With as many books as I read, it's hard to come up with a favorite. Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels is hilarious. Or I could be super cliche and say Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. It's true, but still cliche.

{4} Do you remember the moment you realized you were an adult? What were you doing and when was it?
Hasn't happened yet. I'll probably cry when it does. Sure, I get little glimpses every once in a while, like when I'm paying bills or driving in rush hour traffic, but most of the time I pretend to be blissfully unaware that I'm quickly climbing the 20s.

{5} Where is your happy place?
My head. Or the world of books. I moved around so much as a kid that I couldn't really pick a physical location. I make up stories in my head (and sometimes write them down) or open up a book, and I feel safe. And usually happy.

{6} What is your favorite time of day, and why?
Hmm...I really like the late afternoon/early evening time, when my day at work is over and I have the whole night ahead of me. It's my time to just breathe for a few minutes. I also like it a lot when I wake up at like 2 in the morning and realize I still get to sleep for a few more hours. I almost enjoy that more than sleeping straight through until my alarm goes off.

{7} What was your favorite cartoon when you were little?
Lady Lovely Locks! If you haven't heard of her, you NEED to find episodes on YouTube. So great. These girls with gorgeous long hair, and little creatures live in their hair. Sounds gross, but it's MAGICAL. I wanted to BE Lady Lovely Locks when I was little. I also loved The Little Mermaid. I think we rented that video every time we went to the rental store when I was little. My parents finally bought me the video when I was in elementary school.

{8} What is your weirdest quirk?
Just one? I don't know. I'm a pretty quirky person in general. This would be a better question for my friends and family to answer.

Now I'm supposed to tag 8 people and ask them questions. However. I don't have that many friends with blogs. Sooo, I will tag the few people there are and hope for the best! :) First, my questions:
1) If you could live during any time in history or the future, when would it be and why?
2) If you had a day entirely free, no obligations, what would you do?
3) Where would you go on your dream vacation?
4) What is your greatest hope for your future?
5) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
6) Are you doing what you thought you would be doing at this point in your life? If not, what did you think you would be doing?
7) When was the last time you stayed up through an entire night, and what were you doing?
8) What is the meaning of life, to you?

And now my lil tagees:
1) Andrea at Oh Andrea
2) Randi at Hubert Happenings
3) Kim at Minnis Moments
4) Clay at Clay's Ramblings
5) Nik at Handkerchief Confessions

It won't hurt my feelings if you guys don't answer the questions, but I thought I'd continue the spirit of the game of tag! Have fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A world of bullies

You know how it is. Dramatic music, grainy picture/video, patched together soundbites…that’s right.The perfect formula for a terrible political commercial. I really hate this time of year. Election time. Not a time when candidates come forward and talk about reasons why they should be elected, buta time when candidates hide in the background and let annoying commercials tell everyone whytheir opponents shouldn’t be elected. To tell you the truth, I have very little idea where some of the candidates stand. I have seen maybe one commercial where a candidate spends the whole time talking about what he wants to do, and why he would be a good leader.

This is not good. In a society where bullying is a huge (and growing) problem, how can anyone justify putting out such negative ads? That’s what those ads are, by the way, a bullying tactic. Spreading rumors and trying to tear down the other person. Trying to undermine their confidence and others’ confidence in them. How can we stand up and say bullying is wrong when those people we have elected as leaders use dirty bullying tactics to get what they want? What kind of lessons are we teaching kids? Kids are watching those commercials, by the way. How could they not? There are full blocks of commercials that have been bought out by one party or another. I just mute the TV during commercials, or turn the TV off altogether if there’s nothing specific I want to watch. It makes me sick.

We have created a climate in our society where bullying is okay and not okay at the same time. Giventhe choice, which way are kids, teenagers, even adults going to go? It’s so easy to bully. It makes you feel good about yourself. It’s easy to justify. “They deserved it,” or “If I don’t join in, I’m next,” are common thoughts. Even just standing by and watching it happen falls into the realm of bullying. I have been guilty of this myself. Joining in to feel like I belonged. Or simply not saying anything because it “wasn’t my business.” Shocking, considering I was bullied horribly as a child. As in, one summer Irefused to leave the house because I was so afraid I would run into someone who would make fun of me. It’s terrifying, and yet we allow it in the workplace, in church, in government, and any other number of places. The only place it is being scrutinized is in schools. I think there’s something wrong with that.

What is also scary about bullying is where it leads. There have been dozens of news stories lately about teen suicide related to bullying. And those are only the ones being reported. Less severe, but no less damaging, is the psychological pain that victims of bullying have to deal with, possibly for the rest of their lives. Self-esteem issues, relationship issues, even job issues in adulthood can be related to bullying. The politicians in those negative commercials are, for all intents and purposes, attempting to ruin one another’s careers.

What is underlying in bullying? Bullies’ self esteem, for sure. It is a pretty weak person who needs to get their ego boosted by bringing someone else down. The scariest one for me though is the underlying hatred in bullying. People who have a hatred for a person or group of people because they’re different. They don’t look right, they don’t talk right, they don’t believe the right things, so we hate them. I watched part of a documentary on Auschwitz this weekend, and they interviewed people who had been soldiers. Few, if any, of the soldiers, who had been part of the mass murders, firing squads, experiments on children, had any remorse, because they were still harboring their hatred for a group. They are bullies. Hitler was a bully. See where bullying can lead?

I’m not sure what point I wanted to get across here. All I know is that when I watch political commercials, all this sickening stuff comes up. Who is going to be the first to change? How can we expect kids to change if we’re not willing to model that change for them? And if we don’t, then who will?