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owl

September 2010

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Sep. 8th, 2010

owl

Public vs. Private

 I recently read an article that talks about the pros and cons of a public education versus a private education. It concludes that parents who send their children to private schools are only lengthening the divide between the public and private schooling systems, and that it's a form of racism because the majority of students enrolled in a private school are white and come from affluent families. Therefore, the majority of students "left behind" in the public schools are minorities and from middle to lower classes. 

While I do agree that to a certain extent a private education can provide a child with a better education, it is only because the students in a private school education tend to be given more attention to their needs and talents. I've attended both a private school and a public school, and I will never forget making the shift between the two. My grandparents had moved from the city (where I was enrolled in the private school) to a small country town (where I made my debut in the public schooling system). The day I set foot into the public school I remember first feeling odd that we were not required to wear uniforms, but that feeling quickly faded. Secondly, I remember when my teacher handed out a worksheet that was to be worked on for the next half hour or so. I remember looking at the worksheet, frowning, and raising my hand. I told my teacher that I had already completed that worksheet the year before at my old school. Needless to say she looked shocked, but told me to complete the worksheet anyway. I completed it in about 5 minutes...

It is this obvious demonstration of difference that still astounds me to this day. It's hard to believe that the difference between the second grade at my public school and the first grade at my private school is nothing... How is it okay to allow public schools to be up to a YEAR behind private schools in regards to education?

I also recall the day that I set foot onto my college campus freshman year. Every freshman was required to meet with her advisor so that she could choose classes for the semester. I remember that even though I walked into college with 24 college credits I had attained from honors courses in high school, my advisor made me take the second to lowest English course because he wasn't sure if I had "learned everything I needed to know for a college English course." For what reason did I take two dual-enrollment English honors courses in high school if they weren't going to count towards my college education? The only reason I can think as to why he put me in a lower English course is because I'm from a public school, and the stigma often associated with public schooling systems is that they provide a lower education than private schools. Other women, who had the same dual-enrollment credits as I did, were admitted into the upper-level English courses...but being that my alma mater is largely made up of students from affluent families, the majority of the women had attended private schools. That semester in English was very difficult for me because I felt I was miles ahead of the other women in my class, but the professor insisted that I "think inside the box" and not stray too far ahead of the other students in class. I had planned on majoring in English and Creative Writing...needless to say that I dropped that major after my first semester.

Again, it must be stated that I do agree to an extent that a private school provides a somewhat better education than a public school. However, it cannot be said that the students that are the product of either education system should automatically be judged as either educated or uneducated just because their parents could or could not afford a better school's tuition. I was the victim of discrimination because I attended a public school, and I do not foresee this form of discrimination changing anytime soon especially if particular stigmas stay with students forever. 

Sep. 7th, 2010

owl

The Episcopagan

 So I've been visiting an Episcopal church since the beginning of June. K., of course, has been attending with me even though he does not identify with Episcopalians (he was raised Methodist like me). Anyway, it kind of started out as a summer project that my college chaplain assigned me to do as a way for me to explore different religious traditions. Up until this point I had been practicing Wicca for about 7 years, and hadn't really considered anything else to be in my realm of religious possibility. Well, I remember back in April when I started having some doubts about my pagan beliefs...I slowly started to feel that the sense of community that I was seeking in paganism, and even in the pagan group I started my sophomore year of college, was severely lacking and didn't really exist in the first place (for me). Yes, I had plenty of friends who were some form of pagan but none of us practiced the same tradition or the same extent thereof. It is because we all practiced (or didn't practice) the same tradition that sabbats and rituals were often diluted to suite SO many traditions' needs. Eventually the group met less and less, and by the second semester of my senior year we weren't meeting at all. So I e-mailed my chaplain.

I explained to Chaplain A.W. that I needed community and a religion that expects and encourages me to participate in ritual and prayer. He recommended that I attend a local Methodist church and the Episcopal church. Because I had attended a Methodist church growing up, I wanted to try something new and a bit foreign to my upbringing. I attended the Episcopal church first...and I haven't felt the desire to attend any other church. I cannot quite explain what it is that draws me to this particular church; perhaps the smell is familiar. It smells like my grandparents' old house and the jewelry box my grandmother gave me when I moved in my freshman year of college.

The church is also very small, like the one that I attended when I was much younger, and is mostly attended by the elderly (again, like my old Methodist church). There are women priests and deacons, which I feel is a must for my personal brand of religion. On top of it all, everyone is so damn friendly and welcoming. The first Sunday that I attended I remember being given special attention, and the attention hasn't ended; the church members continue to treat me like they do everyone else: with respect and like an old friend. It's difficult to explain, but it feels like a home away from home. This is a place that I can easily call my own as well as everyone else's.

What is perhaps a bit disturbing is that I was so easily able to remove my pagan identity that I had created over the period of 7 years and slide right into a new one, an Episcopalian one. I've decided to join the Episcopal Church, and my confirmation classes begin in November. The excitement I feel is ineffable, and it feels right and good. I do not feel that I am betraying neopagans or the spiritual experiences I had with neopaganism. In fact, I very much feel that neopaganism has opened my eyes to a type of spirituality that cannot be taught simply through a church sermon or class. Wicca taught me to seek God in everything and everywhere, and to attune both my mind and body with rituals, prayers, and the divine. I feel very grateful to have experienced such a rich form of spirituality even if it was not the form that would eventually lead me to feel whole, divine, and communal. 

It must be said that even though I do plan on joining the Episcopal Church, I do realize that I am only 21 years old; that at any time and place I could change my mind about my religious affiliation and begin something anew. However, at this point in my life it doesn't matter and if the day comes when I desire a religious change I will welcome it and respect it as easily and eagerly as this small-town Episcopal church embraced me.

Aug. 12th, 2010

owl

It's Been Awhile...

 Woah, it has definitely been about a year and a half since I've last posted. A lot has gone on since my last post.

I graduated from college...and did other stuff, too.

Anyway, too tired to post for now. 

Tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.

Mar. 11th, 2009

owl

So...close...

 So I stayed up until 5 AM this morning finishing my Buddhism exam. I wasn't able to fall asleep until 6 and then got up at 8:40. Luckily I was able to squeeze in about an hour "nap". The rest of the day has gone pretty smoothly -- I made my SWEEP flag for the door, and I also found out that the exam I'm taking tomorrow for Latin American Religions is open-note, open-book! WHOOPIE!!!!! That means I get to go to bed early-ish...

Friday...come on, Friday!

Mar. 10th, 2009

owl

Bloop

 Today was a relatively nice day. I couldn't wake up for my first class due to exhaustion, but I made it through the rest of the day due to a dose of Airborne and Excedrin. Yummers. Tonight is Briar Bowl and I'm on Demaree's team -- great googly moogly, this is going to be awesome! I just finished helping set the Bistro up for the Briar Bowl, which consisted of moving a billion chairs and tables to fit a tiny, cramped room about the size of a garage. Oh well, it's done. 

One of my professors moved his midterm essay to be due on Sunday, but I still have an exam on Thursday and an exam due Friday. Tonight and Thursday night I'll be up late doing Buddhism, and tomorrow night I'll be up late studying for Thursday's exam. Oh how I love to lose sleep do to ungodly loads of work.

So Emma suggested that I learn how to spin. Personally, I think she's trying to induct me into the Knitters Cult. She's a Knit Evangelist. Worships yarn, needles, and sheep. 

Mar. 9th, 2009

owl

Today can suck it

 I posted, but it's private. Sorry kids.
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Mar. 8th, 2009

owl

Reciprocal Privacy

 Ever have a journal read that you desperately tried to keep private? Ever have something so personal stolen from you and then revealed to the public? 

This post is about privacy and what it means.

I just had a friend tell me a story about how when she was younger she used to keep a diary to write down songs because she aspired to become a singer. One day when she came home from school, she found her brother, parents, and her parent's friend laughing at her journal that lay wide open on the kitchen table. When she entered the room, they began to laugh harder and then proceeded to laugh even harder when she began to cry. She told me that after that she never kept a material journal ever again, but occasionally wrote in one on the internet. 

What is it that makes humans want to keep things so private from public view, yet they are comfortable enough to post private views and pictures of themselves onto the internet via Facebook, MySpace, etc. It appears that the individuals who post their private lives on these internet communties are very comfortable with people looking at their racey photos or drunken shots, but would never reveal that information otherwise. I've overheard countless people express that their photos on Facebook would never be shown to their parents, or that they have certain people on a limited profile view. But what about other people they don't necessarily know that still have access to their information and photos? Some even post their phone numbers, which I still can't quite understand. These people, however, are also against giving out phone numbers if some random stranger walked up to them asking for it yet are willing to post it on the internet for everyone and anyone to see. Where does the bar need to be raised regarding privacy? Censorship appears to only be applied in public meetings yet not the source which is dicated to the entire world via a phoneline or other internet connection source. 

I remember my aunt bought me a diary about a decade ago, and I used it religiously. I found out about 1 year ago from my sister that she the reason she bought me that diary was so that she could later invade my privacy and read my personal thoughts and experiences. What is it about parents that make them want to delve into every nook and cranny of their children's lives? I think of myself as a semi-private person. I do not talk about my past unless I'm completely comfortable with a friend and have known them for years. 

Here's the point I wish to make: reciprocity is the key to priviacy. Humans have an innate desire to share experiences with other humans and they feel like they are less thought of if a friend does not also share private experiences with them. "If I share this dark secret with you then I expect you to share one with me." Almost like blackmail, but more along the lines of establishing a trust and sense of equality. "I know you won't share my secret because you just told me yours." On the internet, it is my opinion that the reason people are willing to publish private information in public communities is because everyone else is also willing to do so. Fortunately, about 95% of the people you meet on the internet you will never meet so the privacy issue is constant. 

Makes you wonder though...who was the first person to publish their privacy on the web?
owl

Inconsiderate

 Yeah, so this is my first post. I used to have two other LJ accounts from back in high school, but I thought it was most appropriate to start a new one dedicated to a newer life I'm now leading.

Here's me in a nutshell:
Gender: Female, baby
Age: 20
Education: junior at a women's college
Religion: Wicca
Favorites: music, jokes, books, religion, philosophy, comics, video games
Dislikes: bugs, spiders, gooey things, boredom
Hobbies: DJing, newbie knitting, reading, researching paganism/Wicca, riding horses

I also helped a new roommate move in last night. My old one had to go home for this semester due to medical reasons, and although we're best friends she never calls and lets me know what's up with her. It still angers me a little. 

Time to talk about inconsiderate people.
I cannot understand those who are completely and utterly inconsiderate to those who take the time out of their busy schedule to put something together for a community of individuals. I'm the Station Manager for my radio station and two DJs who attend a neighbor college decided not to let anyone know that they would not be able to man their time slots tonight. I specifically remember sending out an e-mail to everyone about our new policy that says that anyone who does not let someone know that they will not be able to cover their shift in a timely manner, or at all, will be removed from the station. I just sent the e-mail removing them from the station 30 seconds ago. They are fired.

More inconsiderate things.
I live in a quad (4 people in a dorm room, two double-rooms connected by a common room). One particular roommate, JG, uses my migraine medication for her sinus headaches without letting me know, eats our food, and leaves her shit everywhere. I clean up after her nearly every day and yesterday I cleaned up the common room and shoved all of her shit in one corner. So when she gets back from screwing her ex-boyfriend, she'll see that I've also removed her things from one of the TWO closets she has taken over and shoved it all into the ONE that she has been allotted. Also, she was my senior for Junior Banquet and didn't show up to an event that has an impact on my life because she wanted to screw her ex-boyfriend (who is a male prostitute) rather than be with me. Granted, my other roommate, LM, came as my date and we had a fabulous time. I'm grateful to have LM as my roommate.