Tag Archives: school

Blaming the Victim

2 May

The line that defines a victim from an instigator can be very hard to recognize, but figuring out if that line even matters might even be a harder task.

In the news not terribly long ago was a story about a boy who was getting bullied at school because of his My Little Pony backpack. When this child tried to get help and stop his bullies, he was instead reprimanded for contributing to bullying by choosing to wear said backpack.

In other words, he was asking for it.

Let’s say that this little boy just really, really liked his backpack and didn’t understand why he was being picked on. It’s absolutely horrible that school officials would punish him, and not the children bullying him.

But lets switch things up a bit. Let’s say this little boy doesn’t have any attachment to his My Little Pony backpack, and simply wore it because he knew these other kids would pick on him for it; he wanted to get them in trouble. Instead of being “the victim” in this case, he might more readily be considered an instigator.

To me, the most likely scenario falls in between: he liked his backpack, and when the other children picked on him, he didn’t want to give into peer pressure, and continued to wear it.

While these three scenarios are only slightly different, the view of this little boy with a backpack changes how we think he should be treated. Should it? I’m not convinced either way, but I do know that he shouldn’t have been punished. He has no control over how other children treat him – only they have control over their own actions. Even if he had no attachment to his backpack, these kids should still know better than to pick on another child.

If we think of this child as an “instigator”, should he have been reprimanded for contributing to bullying or should the other children have been disciplined? Does someone being a “victim” and an “instigator” at the same time change how we should handle the situation? Have you ever been picked on my kids for something silly like this – what was it? Have you ever purposely done something just because others thought it was weird?

My Decision to Postpone College

28 Aug

When I was in 3rd grade, I made a decision that affected the rest of my life. I decided, at the ripe old age of 9, that I was going to pursue veterinary medicine as my career. To this day, that has remained my goal.

I finally finished classes for my bachelors degree, but that isn’t even close to my goal. At this point, I still have 6 years of college ahead of me, as I am going to get my vet tech certificate before going to vet school.

Originally I planned on beginning at the local community college in the fall following the completion of my bachelors, but that ended up being pushed back to the spring. In retrospect, I think that was the better decision – after being in school for 18 years, a break is inviting and welcome.

And that brings me to the present. I’ve reached a point at my current job at which I find myself unable to advance or grow, and that is, in a word…unfortunate. The unfortunate part of it all is that I don’t feel as though I am done with my non-profit job. I like the work we do, but I can’t handle another year if scooping poop and scrubbing floors.

Call me conceited, but I think I’ve paid my dues.

But, because of my decision to go back to school, I can’t work any other position at my current company.

That is why I have decided to wait until next fall to continue my education.

First, if I get the position I am applying for, I will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with a certified dog behaviorist. That isn’t an opportunity that comes around every day.

Second, I need a break. I need to want to study. I need to miss the knowledge.

And finally, I need to be a young adult for a while. All I have known is barely scraping by because I am going to school full time and working the rest of the time just to be able to pay bills. I want to enjoy being on my own, and being an adult, and being a 20-something while I am still a 20-something. When I finish college, I will be about 31. That’s too old to not have had some life me time.

What do you think of my decision? Are my reasons valid? What has your experience with school and your career been?

Dating a Friend’s Ex

3 Sep


Its a really big thing in middle school and high school, but I can’t be sure about college and life outside of school entirely. Its like an unspoken rule: you should never date your friend’s, especially best friend’s, ex-boyfriend.

I kind of have a problem with that. Just because your friend’s ex wasn’t right for her, doesn’t mean he is wrong for you, and limiting your options isn’t fair to you. I understand that your friend might feel hurt, but life goes on.

Is this really a rule people follow after high school? Is it okay to date a friend ex?

Who Needs Critical Thinking Anyway?

20 Jul


Apparently, critical thinking isn’t something that Texans or Republicans value as important. To them, parental authority and belief systems are more important than free-thinking and outcome-based knowledge. The Texas Republican GOP has officially added this to their 2012 platform. The document states “Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

This is absolutely ridiculous. Outcome-based knowledge is so important in life, and if you don’t learn things like this early, its even harder to learn them later in life. Critical thinking skills are also extremely valuable and don’t ever stop being valuable. Think about how many times job descriptions are looking for someone with critical thinking skills.

That’s not to mention that children should have the ability to think freely. I agree that parents should help shape their child to be the best they can be, but beliefs should always be questioned and revised, never fixed. If beliefs are fixed, nothing can be improved nor progress. Maybe progressive thinking is the basis for what the Texas Republicans are actually against.

Do you think critical thinking and outcome-based education are important?

How About That Undie Run?

4 May

Its that time of year again. The week before finals and the time when people at Colorado State University strip down into their tighty whities and run around campus to support the less fortunate by giving their clothes to them. Now don’t get me wrong, I support the cause, because we all have clothes that we don’t use any more that would benefit others much more than they benefit our closets, however, I feel like this might just be an excuse to get drunk and half-naked and be sleezy.

A friend who participated in it last year was recounting the experience to me, and noted that a few girls slapped him on the ass, and another tried to pull his underwear down. Personally, I think thats inappropriate behavior in a mass group of people all in their underwear.  Just because you are in your underwear doesn’t give you a right to sexually harass people.

I think I’m definitely in the minority about this, though.

Do you think its acceptable for large groups of half-naked people to get together and run around? Do you think the original cause for this event is enough to overlook the drunken sleeziness of the men and women participating? 

Teachers Are People Too, Right?

12 Apr

Teachers. Such great terrible interesting things.  You can’t help but hate them and love them simultaneously (I’m also a scholar, so…I enjoy learning and often those who teach me).  Considering that I’ve been in school for 17 straight years, I’ve had a vast number of teachers.  I’ve also had to deal with the rockiness of not having stable teachers. My high school was often a stop for teachers desperately needing jobs, or for teachers fresh out of college. This gave rise to some really awesome teachers…and some not so great teachers.

I’ve also done very bad things to teachers. I probably shouldn’t have, but my reasons are my own (along with being shared with many other people, of course).  Personally, I think the best teachers are those that are easy to relate to. You know what I mean…those teachers that make you laugh, talk to you about life, and still get you to do homework and pay attention? The bad ones are those who think they have to be strict in order to keep…well…order.

I had a band teacher once, whom everyone disliked. Partially because he was trained as a choir teacher, and partially because he was a prude, stuck up, anal SOB (can you say, bad teacher?). My bandmates and I were in middle school at the time, and we did any number of things to try to make him quit. Well, he did. But not after crying several times in frustration.

One of my (many) chemistry professors at my university was also a terrible teacher.  He didn’t do his job very well, and it resulted in the average on one of our exams being a 60. He refused to curve it.  Instead, when asked by a student about a curve, he replied “if you failed your test, then you’re the failure. Not me.” What??? I don’t even think thats close to acceptable.  When it came time for teacher evaluations, he played the pity card. He asked us to say what we thought of him, not as a teacher, but as a person. “An alright guy” was shown as an option, along with a picture of him with his children. Who can put something different after seeing that?

All of this brings me to my point: teachers say that they don’t care what their students think of them, but on some level, they have to. Right? Maybe they don’t, but they are human just like the rest of us. They have the same desires, interests, attractions, repulsions, and feelings that everyone else does, yet they still put this wall. Maybe its because they are afraid what happened to my band teacher will happen to them. Maybe students won’t accept their authority. But like I’ve said, I think those easy-to-relate teachers are the best. Its all quite a curiosity to me

I also think that the picture above, regardless of how it makes you feel, has some level of accuracy.  We all think certain things are attractive, and its not as though we can consciously control what we find attractive, so it comes to reason that teachers not only care what students think (sometimes) but they also find themselves subject to the most primal of feelings.  You also know that there has to be kids that they only deal with because its their job.  And all the things they wish they could say, but can’t? This video sums up what I would want to say if I was a teacher.

Teachers are pretty awesome, and I’m glad for their existence (at least most of them). But you know there is stuff they hold back. And I invite all, especially teachers, to let me know what you think.

Do teachers care what their students think about them? Do you think its different between younger teachers and older ones? Have you ever done something terrible to a teacher (or had something done to you, as a teacher)? Teachers: we know there is a person in there with feelings and emotion, so whats the deal?