no delete....friday

I mean, we can pretend it is Thursday, if you want. I would have done a no-delete post yesterday, but I was busy napping and eating sour patch kids.

This post is brought to you by the fact that Clara is exhausted from another riveting day at daycare, but absolutely refuses to sleep, because why sleep? Last time she fell asleep Mom abandoned her and left her in the care of teens, so instead, she will just lay on my side and stare at me angrily. How dare you, Mom, how dare you? It is sad, how desperately she fights sleep, and how she absolutely refuses to be held or cuddled, since that would lead to sleep. Stubborn little nugget. (We should have expected this behavior, coming from the former-fetus who would start moving head down, only to flip back up. My c-section scar thanks you for that, Clara Alice.)

Anyway, when I say riveting in reference to daycare, I mean it, that isn't the usual Child Bride sarcastic bullshittery you've grown to know and love. They take very good care of her there, despite the fact that until recently she was very fussy, and had a habit of staging passive aggressive diaper blow-outs every day during her nap. I guess that isn't passive aggressive  that is just regular aggressive  Way to break gender normative expectations of conflict avoidance, child. Anyway, they take very good care of her, and there really is only one teen who comes in as an aide, and I like her. 

What else is new? Not much. I thought Mimi Smartypants had a funny post today. (CAUTION: blog linked is profane sometimes, politically incorrect often, and occasionally sweet and tender. So read at your own will and pleasure and please don't email me some nonsense about how you just cannot believe that a sweet Mormon girl would link to such trash. Because I will just laugh at you because WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.) 

Anyway, here is a link to the Smartypants blog: http://mimismartypants.com/

Here is my favorite blurb from her last post: 

"Her teacher is a dude, and is of the “Entertaining Rockstar” ilk—chatty, goofy, fond of props and technology and humor. The kind of teacher that kids LOVE and parents…also love, although my inner bitch sometimes silently rolls her eyes at the level of sparkly enthusiasm. Do not get me wrong, if there is any profession where daily sparkly passionate enthusiasm is a huge plus it is probably teaching. I am super grateful that people like that exist and are making my kid’s fourth-grade year a joyful, learning-rich time. I just get a little mentally worn out being around such people."

I probably would wear out Mimi smartypants, especially today when I drank so much caffeine to get through the day that I was walking the fine line between "enthusiastic educator" and "manic lunatic not to be left in the presence of children."  Also, Mimi Smartypants is not a fan of Mormons, so I'm probably screwed on that front too. (I can't  believe a sweet little Mormon girl would link to such trash, yada yada yada I hate you....)

Maybe Smartypants lady wouldn't like me, but it doesn't stop me from reading and enjoying her blog. Sometimes I get comments or emails from people saying things like "I like your blog, even though you probably don't like mine." I always wonder about that. I click over to their blogs and they are usually mommy- type blogs, and I am, despite frequent accusations to the contrary, cool with moms. Are you nice? Do you talk about your kids in a funny way? Do you occasionally post really easy recipes that are delicious? I will probably like your blog just fine. Do you humblebrag about how awesome you and your spouse are, including the inability to separate yourself from your spouse's academic or career accomplishments ("We are in Medical School....".) Game over, in that case. Otherwise, please proceed  I probably like you fine, and probably even find your children adorable. Be funny. Don't be a dickalope.

Speaking of children, my students were very funny today. If you are my friend on facebook, you already hear a lot about the funny things they say, but what if you are not my friend? If you are not my friend please enjoy the following gems for the first time. 

Student A: "I hate this class! We spend so much time looking at words!" 
Student B: "That's called reading, this is English, and you are an idiot."


Best tattletale student ever: " Richard won't give up his notions of normative gender roles! He's being a privileged male again!"

See? They are funny. If you are seeing those gems for a second time, I apologize. Clearly, my blogging skills are bordering awfully close to non-existent. I did not even swear creatively in this post.  Unless you count dickalope, which I guess I do.

Thus ends this edition of no-delete Day-Ending-With-Y. I cheated a few times. I was going to talk about a mom-blogger that is rude to me, but I decided I've got 99 problems but a crazy mom-blogger ain't one.


part-time and half-lives


I felt like I needed a break from the internet. Do you ever feel that way? I even deleted my Facebook account for about....34 hours. (I really enjoy Facebook, all right?) I thought about explaining why I needed a break from the internet, but then I recognized that potential post as the most boring thing ever.(Life! Transitions! Sad feelings! Happy feelings!) So instead you get a blurb, and an update. Woot to you, good sirs and madams. Here's what is new with me:

School started again. Would you like to read about my schedule? I teach four classes instead of six, and I only work on B days. (High school schedules have four classes on A days, and four different classes on B days.) So for the first few weeks of school, by the miracle of Labor Day, I only had to teach 4 times. Things are a little  bit busier now, but I like part time teaching for the time being. It was really important to me to go back to work, but I'm glad (and very aware* of how privileged** I am,) to have a gig where I spend lots of time with  Clara Chubzilla and lots of time with squirrelly teens.

Clara goes to a daycare at my school, and she copes by either sleeping a lot, or not sleeping at all and screaming a lot. One time I went to collect her and an anxious looking teen was holding her and bouncing her up and down. As she carefully passed her over, she sighed and stretched out her arm, wincing. "My arm has been asleep for the last hour, but I didn't want to put her down or she would start screaming again." Sheesh. Sorry teen, hope that helps you remember to play it safe should you ever decide to engage in adult relationships with a romantic partner.

The moral of the story? Hopefully Clara adapts to daycare soon, and I really, really, enjoy my job. I was away for a long time, and I have less on my plate this year, so I've really been able to enjoy working. The class dynamics have been pretty positive so far, and I love what I teach, and I feel really alive and happy when a lesson goes particularly well, or a student says something truly insightful.

Every summer I debate about my job. It is hard, and stressful, and the pay is bullshit. But the first few weeks of school always suck me back in. I love my job. Every September I remember the sixteen-year- old girl who sat in AP U.S. History beaming as she realized she was good at learning. And ten years later she has her own classroom, and her students are watching her because, damn, she has great teacher presence, and that woman and those students are learning together. I'm still beaming, and it is a dream come true, and I'm glad I stuck with it.

This feeling? I want Clara to have it. Whatever it is that makes her feel just a little bit more alive than she felt when she woke up. I hope I show her that, when she watches me work, that what I am doing helps me feel more alive, and she deserves that feeling too.

You know what really helps one appreciate being a woman and having something that makes one feel alive? Reading The Feminine Mystique for book club last month. I felt enraged and discouraged, but happy and hopeful the whole time I read it. I've lived in worlds where I was forced to accept "The Problem That Has No Name," as inevitable, and even as a godly trial. To fight against that constantly, and to fight against that for my child, is exhausting. But as Betty Friedan so beautifully put it, before women started fighting for freedom, "Only men had the freedom to love, and enjoy love, and decide for themselves in the eyes of their God the problems of right and wrong. Did women want these freedoms because they wanted to be men? Or did they want them because they also were human?" Amen, Betty, amen.

A few weeks ago, someone left a comment on my blog, (and to be fair, I'm unsure of the intended tone,) about women wanting the Priesthood. "Is Priesthood Envy the new Penis Envy? Just askin'?"

I ignored the comment because I don't think that person meant it as a question. I think they were stating something they believed to be fact, and by reducing female ordination to a flippant comment about female pettiness, they might not have to think about it anymore.

But I guess I'm not ignoring it now, just long enough to say that Penis Envy (and it's various incarnations, including Priesthood Envy,) is a stupid myth meant to demonize feminism and shut down meaningful discourse between people. Women do not want equality so that they can be men. Women want equality, as Friedan points out, so that we can be human. We do not want your body parts, we want your rights and privileges, which in the case of Priesthood, are granted based on those body parts.

I am lucky that I have a job and a life that most of the time, helps me feel alive. But there are so many women who still feel "stopped at a stage of evolution far short of their human capacity" (Friedan). Sometimes they feel like me, that their spiritual evolution stopped when they turned 12, or when they went through the temple, or when they had a good idea, but no "Presiding Priesthood Authority" to fight for them. Wherever you fall on the question of feminism, or the question of female ordination in your church, you should stop thinking of these movements and questions as an attempt to take something from someone else. (Penises, Priesthood, authority, etc.)

Instead, you should start seeing these movements and questions as what they are: the simple desire to feel human. To feel more alive.

So that's what's new with me.

*Liberal blogger buzzword alert! Aware, AND **Privilege! Bam.