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Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

They keep chipping away at our illusion of safety

Whenever something happens to kids, we, us homeschoolers want to find a way to say "this wouldn't happen to my kids, because they are home with us."  But those days eventually end.  My kids are in college now.  They are home for the summer, but in about 8 weeks, they will pack their belongings and go back to college campuses where there will be at the mercy of others with mental illnesses and an axe to grind.

Yes, I am talking about Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, who shot numerous students and got himself killed last Friday night, all because he felt rejected by hot college girls.  I am pretty angry with the media for plastering his face on the TV screen.  We all knew where to find his YouTube ramblings and manifesto if we so desired, but nope, there it was, right on the TV screen... a rather attractive young college student who spoke in an eerie, measured tone.  He was someone who, if I was not aware of who he was and what he had done, I would find him likable... odd, but likable.

But his words just made me mad! He was angry that girls were attracted to other guys, and not to him. But what did HE do to make himself desirable?  I feel like he thought he was so special that the girls he liked should automatically fall at his feet, but that is not how the world should work.  Was he so caught up in what the world owed him, that he never considered what he owed to the world? You have to be loving and give attention to attract love and attention.  But it feels like people aren't raised to give of themselves anymore. They are raised to take, even when things, love, affection, lives, are

Thursday, May 08, 2014

3 degrees of Separation - Bring Back Our Girls

IMAGE: TWITTER/@FLOTUS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
I have been spending the better part of a month trying to digest the gravity of the girls stolen in from a Nigerian High School. It saddens me greatly, and also disturbs me that it took 2 weeks before the news even got onto the world's radar.

Meanwhile, my homeschool daughter, attends an all women's college. In my mind, I have imagined that schools like hers, that educate and empower girls to be leaders would really tick off the "Boko Haram", and that if we were not in a free country girls like my daughter, and a dozen other girls I have grown to love this past year would be in constant danger, or even worse, left unable to get an education.

I spoke to my daughter today, who is finishing her freshman year at college and asked her how many nigerian girls were at her college right now. You see, not only is her school a woman's college, but it is also a college with a student body that is largely international. While 68% of the student body are Southern US girls, 20% represent 25 other countries, and the remaining 12 percent from from other US states. There are girls from China, Japan, UK, Jamaica, India, and several African countries including Nigeria. So when I asked my daughter that question today, she rattled off a few names, and

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I know you'd rather me not talk about the Zimmerman Trial

Things are strangely quiet around here.  There has been nothing on my mind but the Zimmerman trial, and I know that a great deal of my subscribers don't agree with me politically or socially... (but I love you nonetheless).  So that told me that they would certainly not agree with me on this trail.

Another reason I have been so quiet is that I am still processing how I feel.  Stunned, blown away, confused... this does not even begin to touch on the depth of my feelings.

I went head to head with an old friend who was defending why Zimmerman may have been so gun-shy  (realizing the pun) that night, and I really could just not see past my own pain.  Nor could I really communicate my pain. I just know that I keep looking at my wonderful son who I put so much effort into raising and homeschooling and I am still wondering how safe he really is.

We made sure he was polite.
We made sure he was smart.
We made sure he was classy and classic.
We made sure he was a man of integrity and honor....

But these are things you cannot tell when you see a young man that it 6'3, 240lbs,  and walks with a slow deliberate gait.  If it's raining, he may even want to pull on a hood.  How does he not look like a profilers definition of a thug?  All my work.  All my effort.  All of his success, and the content of his character is still not the first thing people see?

So excuse me that I can't see past my point of view when looking at this issue, which by the way has NOTHING to do with Zimmerman's actions or motives.

Like I told my old friend, who tried to suggest that we both need to repent for jumping to conclusions...

 I can only repent for myself. I can't repent for how some .... person will react to my son. I literally saw a waiter once literally jump 2 feet because my son walked up to him. He was shaking. Took him a minute to calm down, so excuse my reaction, but I am living in a real world of real actions that happen day-in and day-out. I don't want to hear another word about Zimmerman, because at the end of the day, someone's boy got killed over the same assumption that I have SEEN people make about MY kid.
But, who am I to second guess a trial.  Who am I to second guess God at work. Maybe being free in a world that is now hostile toward you is punishment enough???  But I have lived long enough to know that such a verdict gives others cart blanche to also say... "that person scared me, or worried me, so I confronted him.  He hit me, so I shot him."

Funny, I didn't really mean to  write all this, but this is how emotionally twisted up I am.  I open my mouth and all this stuff just floods out... and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know that race is always the furthest thing from my mind, but I think I am realizing that at the end of the day, we are STILL considered undesirable by many, and that is not cool.

I thought I was just going to introduce a video here, but still have so much to say... so, let me go ahead and introduce the video.  This young lady is a YouTube star, a comedian, and a social activist, and she really does have some great healing things to say about this situation.    If you have any attention span left after my diatribe, please watch her video.
 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

After the Zimmerman verdict

I could tell you how much I fear for my son's safety. I could tell you that in spite of the stellar efforts into his upbringing, and in spite of his strength of character, at a glance or on a dark rainy night, he would be perceived as dangerous. But I won't tell you anymore.

This post from an inner city school teacher about her student in a similar situation is much more powerful, and no matter how much I have sheltered my son  he is no different than Trayvon.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Weed makes them better moms?

There are a group of moms making the talk show rounds advocating for legalizing marijuana, saying that weed makes them better mothers.

What are they smoking???

Oh... wait.

But seriously, I am watching three women on The View right now who are taking MEDICINAL marijuana.  They have serious diseases and canibus is the only drug that helps them function... and so that does make them better mothers.

But... I think that there is a difference between using medicinal weed and having marijuana themed parties.  I feel that this crosses the line and makes the drug more attractive to those who don't need it.  Who in their right mind throws a party to take their medicine?  Glucophage soirĂ©e anyone?

FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE ahermitt.com

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Paula Dean really a racist villain?

Four years ago, I was in Los Angeles California for a pageant activity  my daughter was in.  We decided to take one of our free days and go see "Who's smarter than a 5th grader".  It was a celebrity edition.  One celebrity was a racer.  The other was Paula Dean.

Long story short... Paula Dean was not smarter than a 5th grader.  I doubt she was smarter than a 2nd grader.  But she was charming, and self-depricating in a way that made her endearing to the crowd.  I suspect it is that personality that has propelled her through her career and made a celebrity "chef".

I am very sad about the current pickle she has found herself in.  She has been tagged as a blatant racist and many of the same people who have built her up over the years are now tearing her down.  As a black person, I am usually pretty offended by racism when it shows up in the media and in people who are supposed to be role models.  Paula Dean is a great example that you can be lower than low and pull yourself up and accomplish anything.  Now she is an example that if you make one mistake, you will find yourself back in the gutter.

My kids and I talk about racism from time to time.  I have taught them that there are people in this world who are color blind and don't even notice race.  Then there are people in this world who are racist and have no idea that they are... you know- they have black friends and all.  Then there are those who make no bones about being racist.  I believe that if Paula Dean is in fact racist, she may be the type that has no idea.  Unfortunately, she was probably raised in family that made no bones about it.

It's too bad really.  I feel really bad for her.  I pray that she can use this incident to speak out against racial bias and misconceptions.  Heck, if Martha Stewart can go to jail and come out still in full swing of her career, than hopefully Paula Dean can take a few lumps and make something good of it.


FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE ahermitt.com

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Best argument for homeschooling to date.

As I watch young nieces, nephews, and extended family struggle with high school, I would try to compare their struggle to my own personal experience as a public school student over 20 years ago. I knew things had changed, but because I chose to homeschool my own, I have remained pretty ignorant of just how much things have changed. Here an excerpt from a a retirement letter recently written by Mr. Conti, who has taught for 40 years:
“For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, ‘Words Matter’ and ‘Ideas Matter.’ While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean... My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom."
Read the full letter here Based on this information, I have to say I am really glad that have homeschooled my kids, and I only have one piece of advice... one that I have surprisingly never given before. If you want your child to be successful in education and in life.. you will want to homeschool them. FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE ahermitt.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

Somewhere between mad and sad

At the Alamo, 11/1999
Most people who know me in real life would say that I am a "strong person".  I hate that phrase.  Probably because it is not true.  I am more of a 'stiff upper lip' type of person, able to hide my emotions, especially when and I am distraught.  I am not strong at all.  I am sensitive, and repressed.

With that said, I am just so mad right now.  I am mad and I am sad. The connecticut school shootings are killing me.  I am over here ugly-crying, brooding, sobbing, and just overall ticked off.  I have so much to say, and can barely phrase my emotions today.

I managed to squeeze out abbreviated versions of how I was feeling at Examiner.com today, but there is soooo much more in me that I need to get out.

Will mental health professionals in the school prevent future school shootings?
Media unfairly pointing to the fact that Adam Lanza was homeschooled

I looked at an old family photo of my family taken when my son was in Kindergarten, and I am sharing it with you.  I can't imagine the little kids in that photo being taken in violence and not allowed to grow up and be as amazing as they are today.   

This is all beyond tragic. 

FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE
ahermitt.com

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week in Review: Tears and Joy


I am still in shock over the Connecticut school shootings on Friday. When it first popped up on the news, I actually remember trying to ignore, it, but the that didn't last long.  This news was going to grab my heart and infect my physche.  I was about to be drawn in and transported to a place I did not want to go. I was going to witness and internalize horror, and disbelief along with the rest of the country.  I was going to internalize this and find myself tearing up every 15 minutes, unable to speak.  I was going to seek out my almost grown children, hoping to get same hugs they freely gave at 6 or 7 years old.  They tried, but I knew they could not hug out the pain of a mother in mourning for another, and another, and another.

As the details emerge, and the names of the victims are released, I feel like I have reached a point of complete saturation. I can't hear another word. I can't see another picture. My faucet won't turn off. My heart won't stop hurting.  I keep putting myself in the place of the parents who have lost children,

Friday, December 14, 2012

Over two dozen dead in Connecticut School Shooting?

Someone explain to me how you go into a school and kill children.  Here is my summary of the devastation in Newtown Connecticut. 

As of right how, there are still a lot of rumors abound.  The most disturbing of these rumors is that the gunman was the father of a Kindergartener whose intention was to kill his own child (and many others) in retaliation against the other parent.  I don't know if this is true or not.

The consensus is that there were two gunmen, one who killed himself and was about 24.  The  other person may have escaped.

Hug your kids a little tighter today.  I for one am very glad my very, very big son is home from college today, and my daughter is down the hall from me, safely sprawled across her bed reading.  As for me, my heart is sick and hurting for these innocent souls and their parents.


FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE
ahermitt.com

Friday, September 21, 2012

Plan it out, don't be a bone-head



On Tuesday mornings, my daughter has to be on the other side of the county, 35 minutes away by 8am.  If she is in the car by 7:00- 7:10 at the latest she can drive.  If we don't make it to the car until 7:15-7:20, I have to drive.  Why?  She's a new driver and I don't want her to feel rushed.

Now, when we leave the house at 7:00 am, we get to the homeschool program almost a half hour early.  If we leave just 10 minutes later, we are just on time, if not 5 minutes late.  The trick is to beat the school buses.  If you don't leave before the school buses get on the street, the commute can take as long as an hour on the wrong day, but get on the road before the school buses, and we get there quickly.   A little planning makes all the difference.

So this story makes me sick.  A Cleveland driver has taken to driving on the sidewalk to go around the school bus (it does take a while to load handicapped kids).  Then her mom makes excuses saying the school bus takes too long.  But she is speeding on the sidewalk next to a daycare center.  So here's the deal...  Leave the house 10 minutes earlier and guess what?  That school bus won't be there.  It's so simple.  So now that lazy chick is in hot water, deservedly.

In life, you just have to be purposeful.  It's not really about school buses and traffic.  My email tagline is "A vision without a plan is an illusion".   In other words, you can have all the hopes and dreams that you want, but winging it is not going to get you there.  Whether it be homeschooling, being a writer, being an artist, or being an accountant.  Daydreaming is not going to get you there.  You have to sit down, make a plan and stick to it. You have to plan your life down to the minute.  You have to pick your friends carefully.  You have to pick your activities carefully.  You need a game-plan.  Then, you need to review and revise often.

...because if you don't, get pushed to the wire and end up making bone-head moves.


FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE
ahermitt.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DragonCon and other news... according to me

 Here I am drinking a Big Carl sized cup of water trying to force a tension headache out of my body.  I always get sick when I am excited... or when I am braiding my hair... both of which I am doing this week.  I am excited to be taking my daughter (and my husband and myself) to the Dragon*Con convention downtown. 

It's funny how people react when I say I am going to Dragon*Con.  Makes me wonder if I should keep it to myself.  It's like I'm a great big freakazoid, going to hang out with the other freaks.  First of all, I never-ever professed to be anything less than completely crazy and wildly eclectic.  After all, I homeschool, don't I?  Isn't that a fringe activity?  My daughter did pageants during her tween years... another fringe hobby.  Why