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What Fresh Hell Can This Be: Stars

I haven’t been this inspired to write a blog post in a while, but here I am, and surprise, a rant. Well, more like a curiosity. Or a facepalm. You be the judge.

Last night, I was searching for some activities to use with my class today to teach the lesson of the day, humility. So, I do some Googling. Usually when I search for Thursday activities with ethical themes (truth, integrity, patience) I get homeschooling websites and blogs, almost always Christian. Sometimes, the activities are adaptable for a Jewish school, but if they include something from the New Testament, I click away. I came across this interesting website.

At first glance, it didn’t seem so bad. Then I scrolled down to read some of the details of the activity, and here’s an…interesting one.

Wear Humility: Cut a large star out of yellow or gold posterboard and tie yarn on it so it can be placed around a child’s neck. Explain that wearing the yellow star represents being prideful and place it around the child’s neck. Then, take off the yellow star and give the child a small star sticker to wear and explain that the smaller star represents being humble.

Image result for fran drescher

Ummmmmmmmmmm…yeah. About that.

Obviously, Stacy Zeiger, the author of this article, has either never taken a history course or has not spent enough time around Jews. For those of you who are unaware as to why this is a problem (and Ms. Zeiger, if you’re reading this), allow me to explain.

So, one time, there was this thing called World War II. During this time, the Holocaust occurred, and six million European Jews were killed. But before they were sent off to concentration camps, while they were still allowed to live in cities and towns, they were forced to wear identification in the form of a yellow star, usually saying Jude or Juif inside it, depending on the country and its language. They looked like this:

So, fast forward to now, where Stacy Zeiger is living in New Jersey and putting large yellow stars on children, as a negative symbol. If there ever was a time to clap back, it’s now.

Image result for oh no you didn't jewish

This ::clap:: does ::clap:: not ::clap:: fly ::clap::

Especially not in a Jewish school. I can only imagine this lesson being done in the classroom, and then Grandma coming to pick up little Sarah for a dentist appointment, only to see a room full of children wearing yellow stars symbolizing “excessive pride.” I think you’d need a paramedic before a dentist for that reaction.

I’m not saying that gold stars are bad. I have star stickers, some are yellow, and I use them sometimes. On papers, though. Not on humans. A yellow star on an essay says one thing; a yellow star on a person says quite another. I mean, seriously? Really? You thought this was a good idea to publish? On a website? For anyone to read?

I decided to look up a little more on this Stacy character, and I have to say, everything I’ve found is just. so. awful. Not in an evil way, but…she just sounds terrible. She lives in Bridgeton, New Jersey, even though she is originally from Ohio with degrees from Miami University and Ohio State. She’s a Christian, which goes without saying. According to her Twitter, she’s “Mother of the Year.” Her Amazon.com page is full of self-published books with crappily-designed covers.

Humility is an important lesson, but yeah, this is probably one of the dumbest ways anyone’s thought to go about it.

A gold star for you, Stacy.

Image result for fran drescher shade

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Meet the Newest Toy in the Cabinet

Just announced, from the makers of Caribou Barbie…it’s Betsy Regretsy!

She comes with pantsuits in three exciting colors: royal blue, midnight blue, and cerulean.

Pull her string to hear her say, “I support accountability!” “Look at all this money I have!” and “School is hard. Let’s go shopping!”

Batteries not included because she lacks any current knowledge.

Only 36 more weeks to shop for Christmas.

4

On Being Needed

The last 48 hours have been among the most tumultuous in my life. Probably in most people’s lives, unless they lived through World War II or the Cuban Missile Crisis or something. In less time than it takes to get a jacket shipped to you from an online retailer, the United States of America has spun out of control. Mostly in its leadership, but also in its media, who can’t make heads or tails of anything anymore, and its people, who have become more divided than ever before. The last 48 hours have basically been a giant parade of insanity and inhumanity, from many different areas but most importantly from the highest office in the nation, which has now been turned into a colossal joke. I mean, it had to happen sometime. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

What makes a difference is being needed. All weekend, I was off duty. No work or class, so I was free to mope about, play Pong between bed and couch, hide out at Colectivo or Hubbard Avenue Diner. Days spent on social media, eyes glazed over with saturated images, videos with digitally inserted sound bites, nights awake in fear and regret. Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I had to. I didn’t know how I could teach, but it happened. I barely made it to my first class on time, but once I had put my stuff down, I was ready to get my teach on for 2 sections in 2 hours. Then, riding high, I got a tuna melt and a drink at Espresso Royale, hosted office hours (no students visited, but I got some other work/writing done), and trudged through the snow to APO. I gave Cindy a packet of stuff I’d been holding onto for her for a month, and she was so happy to get it. And the chapter prez and I had a long and fruitful conversation on our walk home.

And I felt…needed.

It was a good feeling.

When you are needed, or when someone else needs you, things change. You become more acutely aware of your surroundings. You are given tasks sometimes, and the tools to complete them. Most of all, you get to make a priority out of someone that is almost unknown but just as deserving of attention as any other human, and that is you.

Just being able to feel needed came me to willpower to get through the day.

Here’s Anne Murray

15

iOS 10, What the Fresh Hell?

I updated my iPhone to iOS 10 because it was getting very slow, and I so regret that decision.

It took me at least two hours to figure out how to turn off the suggest words feature, and I’m still trying to get used to the new font, the weirdly big letters/numbers, the terrible music app that rearranged all my songs.

Hope I can figure this out before iOS 11 comes out.

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Good Morning…I Think?

So, today, I went shopping and then was super hungry, so I had dinner at Journey, the Chinese/Japanese/crazy seafood (and everything else) all you can eat buffet, and after three plates, I was so full I could have rolled home. When I got home, I was so tired that I completely passed out in bed, in my clothes, with my laptop next to me.

I opened my eyes, and it was 7:50. Darn, I thought, must’ve slept the whole night in my clothes. Oh well, that’s okay, time to get up anyway. Then I looked outside as I was getting up and going through my sock drawer, and I realized that it was kind of dark for for this hour in the morning.

So I checked my phone, and it was, of course, 7:50 PM, and still Sunday, and I had a meeting to get to at 8 PM. I ended up getting to the meeting just a few minutes late, but seriously, how did I sleep for two hours, max, and think it was the next morning?

It’s weird…I’m kind of sick of this weekend, which I needed so desperately, but now that I’ve had a day of mostly nothing, I’m kind of ready to go back to doing stuff. Kind of.

How’s your weekend going?

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On Gourmet Toy Shops

Today, my parents and I were in the mall, and we went into a store that seemed to be quite specific, and overpriced at that…

It’s what I call a gourmet toy shop.

Not quite The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, but not quite The Disney Store either. Apparently the brand Melissa & Doug is the big thing, but seriously, patented play toys seem to be the go-to business. I mean, the cheapest item I saw was 10 dollars. There were all the toys I played with as a kid, but modernized versions of hyper-bright colors and with way more plastic packaging. And in a few years, the toy will end up in the trash or at a thrift stop when the child ages out.

But there was a magnetic fridge puzzle of the state of Wisconsin.

And that’s how I now have $10 at Playthings on my credit card bill.

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Yet Another Reason Why I Don’t Like Car Dealerships (And Why I Love Amazon Prime)

Wow, a daytime post. Yada yada yada.

So, last week, the lightning adapter on my car’s iPhone charger came off and disappeared somewhere in or out of my car. So, I went to Target, bought a new adapter, put it on the cord, plugged it back in, and…nothing. When I tried to take it off, it was stuck. So stuck that I literally had to rip it off, damaging the iPhone charger cord in the process. I took it to Graphite (a niche computer store on University Avenue with actual technicians who know what they are talking about, unlike Target), and they said that it was a specialty piece for my car, and they had nothing like it in their store. They suggested I either a) go to the dealership, or b) go online (they did a cursory search, and found one for $50).

I chose the first option, and after a few days (and buying a cheap cigarette lighter charger that would charge my phone, but not play music over the stereo system), I went to a Nissan dealership that shall remain unnamed, to see if they could help me. I was directed to the parts department, gave them my cord, and after about 10 minutes, the guy who works there returned, and said.

“We have one left in stock. It’s $100”

Obviously, no deal. After calling my dad in shock at how much this stupid cord cost, I decided to look online for one. So last night, I went on Amazon and searched. I found a cord advertised for 2013 model of my car (which is 2015) that looked very similar, so I put it in my cart and bought it. How much was it?

Fourteen. Ninety. Nine.

And because I’m an Amazon Prime member, there was free one-day shipping or free two-day shipping available (but seriously, why would you want two-day shipping when you could have one-day shipping? Logic?). Despite ordering it relatively late at night, it showed up early this morning, having come from Indiana (despite the return address being a warehouse in Kentucky). I got in my car at about 1 PM, plugged it into the car, put on the Lightning adapter, and plugged my iPhone in, and prayed that it would work.

Unsurprisingly, it did.

Seriously, car dealership guy, not cool. 100 dollars for something I could get online for 14.99? This is why nobody wants to be friends with you. People claim that the Internet can be bad for business, but in this case? Not so much.

And that’s another reason why a) car dealerships are terrible and b) Amazon Prime is amazing.