Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Democratic Convention

As much as I love politics, watching Obama speak and smack myself for missing Michelle Obama's speech, I've had tons of reading to do. So the TV has been off, music on and I catch the highlights on the Today Show the next morning.

My education is quickly becoming paramount. So I really don't have anything to say on the matter.

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So about my classes....

Can I just say I’ll have a lot of reading to do?

I think the highlight of my evening yesterday was when the prof was telling us to do it right the first time, write professionally, read, read, read, check behind yourself, etc. So I started psyching myself out.

And then I read this:

Please read the Preference, Introduction and Chapter 9 of Social Welfare: A history of America response to nee.d

I decided I have nothing to worry about writing wise. Because he won’t know when I mess up, grammatically, anyway.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Information Overload!

I attended the Masters in Social Work (MSW) Graduate School Orientation today. The first half was boring, the second half did nothing to assuage my fears.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Hey you, retard!

I’ve already made mention of this word and subject before, but in light of a recent movie being released into the wild soon enough, much is being made of this one tiny supposed innocuous word.

Let us begin with the origins and meaning of the word versus its current usage and new slang-like meaning shall we?

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

1426, "fact or action of making slower in movement or time," from L. retardationem, from retardare "to make slow, delay, keep back, hinder," from re-, intensive prefix, + tardare "to slow" (see tardy). Retarded "mentally slow" first recorded 1895. Retard (v.) first recorded 1489, from O.Fr. retarder (13c.); offensive noun meaning "stupid person" (with accent on first syllable) is from 1960s slang.

The term, or “condition”, Mental Retardation, is used as a medical diagnosis for many state Medicaid and Medicare programs and encompasses one or several of the following: significantly lower intelligence than the average for individuals of the same age, delays in developing social skills, communication skills, and the ability to care for oneself and live independently. (via)


The slang use of the word “retarded” is used heavily in most conversations especially among teenagers and the ill informed and inappropriately so.

Used then and now, the word is one that labels and in fact limits ones ability to judge properly the life experiences a person with an intellectual disability has had which can negate or even overshadow their slowness. Just because someone is delayed in processing and responding back in conversation in rapid fire succession does not mean they do not get what you are saying; they get it a little slower is all.

A derogatory word now in most friendly conversation, “retard” is often used to describe a *normal* person who is slow to pick up on something or acting in a defunct manner.

Meaning they are stupid and should be dealt with in a condescending manner because they are less than. Thus making them the *other*.

Who wants to be reminded they are stupid all the time, or treated like a child, especially when it’s someone making fun of you by joking someone else?

It’s the same concept behind referring to something as “gay” or “faggoty” isn’t it?

Sure it seems I’m being the Politically Correct Police. I get that a lot and honestly, I do not give a shit. I believe in treating everyone equally regardless of their mental status and/or capacity and of course their race, class, creed, gender and so on. And I wish everyone else did, too.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pardon the mess

I upgraded my template because blogger made me and of course that wiped all my stuff out. Then I tried cutting and pasting only to be told my previous coding was ill formed. Argh!

So while I recruit a friend to help me out, bare with me while I straighten things out.


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How could I forget?

Me, along with 4 other people that make up the Church Hill Dog Park Committee, have officially opened Richmond's 2nd dog park:

Here's a birds eye view but you get the point. Me and my dogs can be found in the larger section to the left.

It was last August when we started the process and this August when we finish it as our Grand Opening will be this Saturday, August 16th. Can you believe it?

There is still lots of work to be done, but the major pieces are almost complete. Whew!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today Bernie Mac died. He was only 50.

Then halfway across the world the Olympics are happening and Americans have so far kicked ass in fencing, swimming and maybe even men's gymnastics for at least the individual portion anyway.

Meanwhile I've been sitting back wondering how all this goes on and we somehow not remain ambivalent. Or maybe even patriotic? Two contradictions in terms I know, but so are the feelings those 2 stories bring up.

Our country has been quite the bully over the past few decades and this one has been no different. We've got thousands of soldiers in Iraq fighting for our supposed "freedom", Afghanistan is growing bolder with every passing hour and I sure hope Iran isn't stupid.

And let us not forget China, where, just weeks before the Olympics were to start, there was an uprising between them and Tibet.

Somehow, through all this, we're supposed to remain hopeful and optimistic, shunning words like jaded and bitter from our vocabulary, misanthropic even. Budding relationships bringing up new doubts but old worries.

I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago to a place cell phones don't work, tvs a commodity, not a necessity, newspapers have to be sought first morning back in the "real world" was met with news of a man walking into a church and opening fire, killing 2 people I believe it was and injuring several more. That first half hour of the news was nothing but sadness, drawing out a depressive nature in most who watched I'm sure.

So is it any wonder when you meet someone new, who seems to be mostly spot on with all that you've been hoping for, you're a bit skeptical and need to wait for the smoke to clear to be sure it's not just an illusion?

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Has it really been that long?

It's much harder to produce posts worthy of a readership when you're working full time, getting more involved in various outside activities such as pit rescue, spay/neuter programs, YWCA hospital advocacy, trying to have a life, etc. Not to mention I get in trouble for spending too much time on the internet at work.

Needless to say, I really want to get back into this so I'm going to make a concerted effort to post a few times a week at the very least. After all, crazy me is starting grad school in just 2 weeks (hopefully but that's another story for another day).

So y'all wanna see my newest foster baby? Her name is Radar and she's got a lot of terrier in her which isn't bad necessarily, but instead needs a little more attention.

I'm sure you can see from her ears where her name came from. Don't let them fool you either; she is full pit with strong cartilage in her ears hence the sticking straight up factor. I found her wandering my neighborhood with, surprise!, no leash and no collar. And no one, almost a full month later, has come forward to claim her either.

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