Wish I’d Said That Thursday 7/17/14

Wannabe Arizona Congressional candidate Adam Kwasman (RedicuOP’er), was out ya know, showin’ the fine people of his state how we deal with these menacing brown children who are invadin’ the home land and posing such a threat to all we hold dear in Merika, like with their strange African-diseases Ebola, and their vaccination-less bodies.

And he made this remark in pointing out, that giving these children temporary homes and food and care until legal processes are complete is well, just not compassionate according to the very high standards so far established by the GOP in general, and the Tea suckers in particular.

And he said:

I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces… This is not compassion.”

Nod, nod.

Except these children were all Americans and were from the YMCA and they were on a their way to a camping trip, until forcibly scared half to death by the likes of Kwasman and his band of merry idiots.

I wish I’d said that–in some horrible nightmare……

 

Hold Your Prayers, God is Busy in the Southwest These Days

1913520_ME_MurrietaImmigrants_MJB_See, God is a little bit busy these days. If you hadn’t heard, a lot of children have been making their way to Merika these days, fleeing, you know, violence. Although nobody seems to talk much about that, the violence that is.

A vocal if hopefully small herd of mean people call them “illegals” and scream at the kids, telling them to “go back home”. Some have suggested that a well aimed firearm at the border might do the trick just fine, and no one of course should think they are meaning anything violent by that call to arms.

While not going quite this far, but *nudge nudge, wink wink* maybe they are, a couple of our pious types have ‘splained to us, the spiritually lacking, that this is all part of God’s plan. Brian Fischer, blasphemer-erradicator in charge of American values said thusly:

“Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.”

Just forgettabout that “bring the little children unto me”. You missed the damn footnote: “unless they are from another country and *ick* brown or black, and are entering unto me illegally”.
 
Nodding in agreement is Texas *cough* Pastor Robert Jeffress who points out that God wants a fence between them and us, because, God was always clear about boundaries:
 
“Yes, Jesus loved children, but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” Jeffress clarified for the faithful on Fox News. “So, we need to do both. Show compassion, but secure the borders.”
 
Just forgettabout that stuff in the early part of the bible, about welcoming the stranger and hospitality and so forth. All that, we know, is made irrelevant by Jesus, oh except for that little part about not suffering men who lay with men to live. And maybe that part about witches too. That might stay in too.
 
 
Just before leaving office, on Dec. 23, 2008, George W. Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan measure, named for a 19th century British abolitionist, was aimed at extending and beefing up efforts to prevent and prosecute human trafficking and protect the victims of trafficking.  More importantly, it described exactly how unaccompanied children crossing the border must be treated.
 
The crazies on the Right have of course ignored their own complicity in this legislation, and find it more profitable to insinuate that the President has in fact invited these kids from their violence-wracked homelands to America for some nefarious purpose:
 
I have to believe that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” Perry said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
Ricky (I can’t believe these glasses haven’t made me smart yet) Perry actually said that, although what the conspiracy is for or about, is beyond his meager brain power to discern.
 
Meanwhile, the Right continues to live in cognitive dissonance which prompted one comedienne to suggest that the children should paste the name “fetus” on their forehead. That sounds harsh, but these are the same people who are willing to go to extreme lengths, i.e., Hobby Lobby, to protect the rights of a “fertilized egg”. To turn children away who are fleeing violence and possible death in their own country, seems a interesting juxtaposition to say the least. 
 
To say nothing of our sanctimonious lip service paid to all those poor Syrian children who are living in makeshift tent cities all over the Middle East, having fled the murderous bombardments of Bashar Al-Assad. No finer example is John S. McCain and his wringing of hands at the “humanitarian tragedy” that is going on. Yet we hear nothing from the old fart when it comes to protecting these poor children arriving frightened and alone because their families believe that the trek to Merika is far safer than allowing them to remain at home.
 
 
“It would cost us very little to fly them back, as compared with the cost of taking care of them while they were here,” he said.
 
Mostly McCain has whined about not being allowed to take his cell phone with him in viewing the detainment camps in Arizona. His Senatorial rights, he claims trump these kids right to privacy. Change the policy, he bellowed.
 

We in America are again caught in that position we so often find ourselves in–telling the rest of the world how to behave, all the while doing the in-opposite at home. Another shaming moment in the US of A.

 

I AM My Sister’s Keeper

womengloriousAs with so much with me, a number of widely disparate notions traverse my synaptic receptors before it dawns on me–the greater issue–that is.

Thus it starts with the insanely stupid Hobby Lobby decision, brought to us by five Catholic men who have probably long-since stopped depositing seed in the fertile womb of any woman married to or otherwise.

A perusal of but a few of the rags that pass for “right-wing” blather turns up gems such as “you want to have your fun and make me pay for it”, “keep your legs together or pay for it yourself”, or this upside-down logic, “if you can’t afford contraception, you can’t afford to have a baby anyway!”

Hey there brain-dead XY’er, umm, it seems that you fundamentally misunderstand some rather basic stuff. One,  if women are using contraception to “have fun” well guess who they are having fun with? Second, contraception coverage under an insurance plan is not a “gift”, it is a benefit owed to the employee in lieu of a bigger paycheck. Taxpayers have nothing to do with it bozo. Third, umm, under this theory why are you still getting your I-can’t-get-it-up-without-ya Viagra in your insurance plan? If you want to have fun, pay for it? And fourth, uh, contraception is the way you avoid a pregnancy you cannot afford stupid.

I am post-menopausal, yet this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

Some many years ago, when I still worked for a living, I had a work colleague. “B” as we shall call him was an African-American male and law schooled at U of M. “B” was inordinately proud of his U of M alumni status and wore a lapel pin announcing his alumni status virtually every day.

One day, “B” wandered into the law library (which contained a lunch room at one end) where a number of us (mostly women, Black and white) were discussing affirmative action and how we all were grateful for the opportunities it had given us as both women and women of color to advance in various professions. Added to that were the men and women before us who had labored on our behalf to ensure that we as young women had more opportunities than their generation.

“B” was asked if he too were grateful for the boost given him in his pursuit of a better life. He exploded in a vehement denial of being such a recipient. He got where he was, “by his own talents and abilities” and was beholden to no one for his success. We all were shocked, attempted to argue with him, but B left the room quickly in disgust at our suggestion.

I am retired and no longer work. Yet this fight to level the playing field is my fight.  For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

A friend just a day ago, talked about how she and her family had needed food stamps and other forms of public assistance to get by for a time in the past. All who know her, know she is a hard-working mom, a dedicated wife, a thoroughly responsible person. She puts a face on all “those” people that the Right so snidely likes to look down upon as “takers” and as developing a culture of expectation that the government will take care of them. She belies that picture assuredly.

I can echo that story by one of about my housekeeper who is struggling, working from sun-up to sun-down to raise six children all the while in the midst of a divorce from their father who continues to refuse to pay one penny toward their care as a way to punish her for putting him out for his drinking, drugging, and abusive ways. She receives what aid she can from where she can, and we struggle to find better ways to help her.

I am not receiving assistance, and if all goes as it seems to be, I never shall. But this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

How does this all tie together?

Only in one respect. Read Matthew 25.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41* j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

There are many who say that we are genetically wired to care about each other. Certainly humans are not meant to be alone like the cheetah or polar bear. We have found camaraderie and safety in numbers. We have sacrificed some independence, some freedom for the protection of those numbers. Somewhere in that movement from tribe to village to town and city, we have learned to care about the needs of others, not just ourselves. Beyond our concerns for the progeny we bear, we care for the old, and for the disabled.

Recently remains of a Down’s Syndrome child was found among early human burial remains. The skeleton suggests that rather than kill or expose these disabled babies, they were cared for until their natural death. Similarly we find the remains of elderly who certainly could not have survived without help from others.

From this we learn that the desire to care for each other is ancient. We seek to serve each other,  either by genetics or at the very least by the call of the most perfect prophet the world has known–Jesus Christ.

Unlike our Right-wing evangelicals who twist scripture to reflect a Jesus who counsels against government assistance, eschews the minimum wage, and Paul who taken out of context tells us that those who will not work will not eat, we respond to what is in our hearts and/or in our DNA, called to reflect that what we do to others we inevitably do to ourselves.

When I hear the voices of hate-bearing sanctimonious condemnation, when I listen to their explanation that we are “coddling” and “creating a dependence culture”, I am not sure what comes first to me, the tears of grief that people can drape themselves in the flag while waving the bible in order to hide from the world their true self-centered motives, distorting Christ and his sermon of empathy and love, or the flashes of red-hot anger that wish to explode in slapping such people across the face as hard as I can, watching the self-satisfied holier-than-thou smugness fade as the cheek brightens into a red imprint.

We do what is right because it is right, quite simply. Women as poor as they may be deserve as good health care as the CEO of GM. Everybody gets to where they are in life due to the helping hands of untold dozens if not tens of dozens, and lack of means is no definition of worthiness or lack of it. Dr. Ben Carson has become the darling of the Right with his claims that government assistance to the poor, is akin in some measure to a return to slavery. Well Dr. Carson was the recipient of plenty of that assistance as a child and young adult, and that assistance gave him the opportunity to study hard and do all the things he had to do to achieve great success. He did not do it alone and he would be the first to be offended had his mother or he been treated as something less than the kids who grew up in better circumstances.  How soon we forget from whence we have come.

How soon we fall victim to our own greed for the “good life” and turn our backs on all those who are left behind. How soon we forget that but for the “grace of God, go I”. How soon we twist self-righteous religiosity into some sort of club with which to bludgeon all those who don’t do as we say, while we do as we wish, crying out to God when caught, that we too are sinners, but somehow still not sinners like those awful others. 

So we will gladly pay a little more if it means that everyone has a decent minimum. Everyone should have a home, clothing, medical care, quality education, and a job at a fair and living wage. We will do it because we don’t see the world as them and us, but as we.  It is the human thing to do quite simply. And you will never dissuade us otherwise, though you may win a battle here and there. You will not win in the end, because

WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU ENVISION US AND YOU TO BE.

 

 

Wish I’d Said That Thursday

I truly wish I had said it.

Reblogged from BrainSpank

 

I am a woman. I gave birth. It was painful.  Excruciating.  Agony.  No one knows.  I do.

My child knows no one other purview until it gulps air outside of me. Until it leaves my womb it belongs to me and no one else. No other body, governmental or even judicial matters at all to me.

Not as far as I’m concerned anyway.

I really don’t care what you have to say.

I cannot stand five catholic men in black robes who would decide anything for me or the child in my body.  I loathe you for trying.  Your ignorance.  Your arrogance.  Your hubris.  When the day comes I want to relinquish control of my life, my child’s life, to the likes of you, I’ll let you know.  It will have a big fancy seal.  It will be on parchment.  Sheepskin.  You’ll know.  Champagne and caviar.

Until then, shut the fuck up.

We all know you think it’s your religious privilege.  We all know you think you’re somehow entitled to a voice here.  A heavy legislative hand.  A right.  But you are wrong.  You don’t.  You can’t.  You won’t.  You can’t tell me what contraception to use anymore than you can tell me what to do with my womb.  My body.  You stand there, collecting your filthy lucre from the dirtier angels of our filthiest nature and presume to define sin for me.

Fuck you.

You took a stand on the side of a company that wears its hypocrisy on its goddamn face.  They invest in and make money off of the manufacture of contraceptive products.  They willingly paid for the objectionable products for their employees for years.  Decades.  What changed besides Obamacare?  They say their mission is to prevent abortion but the only net gain from this will be more abortion.

By the way, they say the contraceptive products the won’t pay for kill babies.  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  What they do is prevent fertilization.  No beings.  No babies.  How did we get to a place where the Supreme Court is guilty of science denial while listening to and valuing the opinions of clerics and wizards?

Five Roman Catholic men who wear black robes to work.

In this process you would willingly consign me to a coat hanger.

I am a man and I do not accept this jurisprudence.  It is the antithesis of jurisprudence.

But I am a woman too.

It’s like your whole reason is to make sure it’s born.

After that, it’s nobodies business but mine.  Ironic how you grab responsibility before it’s born and surrender it completely the second after.  How do adult white men entertain the notion that they somehow get to champion the fetus and forgo the child?

Jackasses.

They are the last people.

Then, some sonafabitching congressman comes along to make my last stand.

To pretend to speak for me and all the unborn.

I am a woman and I have given birth and if I begin to understand that delivery might mean my death, I get to decide what to do.  If that child will be born inside out?  My problem.  If that child is born with whatever disability?  My problem.

Not yours.

Fuck off.

The same goes for my contraception.  Sometimes it’s to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. 56% of the women in this country that avail themselves of contraceptive medication have it prescribed to them by doctors for reasons other than preventing pregnancy.  Sometimes it’s to prevent my spending days in bed writhing in the kind of pain that makes botulism or ebola look Fischer Price.  Sometimes it’s to reduce my risk of certain cancers.  Viruses.  You don’t know.  You can’t you bastards.  I am a woman and you are not.

I can no longer countenance five greasy old academic males deciding any of this shit.  It’s none of their business.

None at all.

I am a woman.

I would make each of you pregnant tomorrow morning if I could.

Or, I would visit the menstrual cycle upon each of you if I could.

Then we would see who the women are.

That would be awesome.

Bitches.

I am a man speaking for women.

Drinks for my friends.

It Wasn’t THAT Long Ago. . . .

A little history seems in order.

right to vote Okay, so before we start, let’s get this straight. This is not an anti-male diatribe, much as you may think it is. There are damn well plenty of stupid women out there who have drunk the kool-aid and think women’s place is in the home, tending the kitchen, children and pets, in that order. The trouble is, the women who tell you that are ANYTHING BUT stay-at-homers themselves and even if they are, they are writing blogs, books, and preachin’ on social media that YOU should not be like them, but rather like the fantasy women they envision–pampered, protected, cared for, and wiper of runny noses all wearing that crisp peter pan-collared cotton frock and perfectly shined respectable two-inch pumps and pushing the vacuum with a free hand.

Whew. . . .

No this is against paternalism and all its ugly underbelly of psychological signals that tell the female gender that they are all they can be just by primping in front of the mirror and making very sure that that eyeliner is on straight and that lipstick is the latest fashion color of the season.

Ya see, I grew up in that tween place, on the cusp, able to see both shores as it were.

Women got the vote in 1920. My mother was born in ’26, so she grew up having it, though I must say, she pretty much used is as far as I can tell, as her husbands explained to her was right and good. But her mother came into her adulthood without it, my grandmother was born in ’01, so it impacted her most. I knew these women for whom the vote was a “new” thing,  but grew up knowing that voting was no different for me than for any guy I knew.

It was not until the 60′s, during the general period of awakening that lots of minorities were going through, least of all white males who were being conscripted to be the fodder in another war, but one this time that seemed to merit no one’s patriotic fervor, that we women began to learn of our own deeper oppression. We began to learn that it was not okay that our bodies were not our own to control, that we were not by “nature” relegated to certain types of jobs, and paid less in others simply because we were women.

We learned that there was much more to do in this journey to equality.

And we secured our right to control our bodies–in other words–to make mistakes just like men do with theirs.

And we worked hard to break through glass ceilings that prevented us from being fighter pilots, (if that’s what we wanted), neurosurgeons, police officers, firefighters,  and corporate CEO’s. And then we discovered that even when we got the jobs we didn’t get the pay, and we began that fight too.

Always with a certain segment of scared men and the women they controlled telling us that we were going against God, country, and well, nature itself.

womens_rights2Always with those who believed that as we gained our power to control our lives, theirs would somehow be diminished. Sharing is a hard lesson to learn.

They argued of course that women would become “just like men”, or worse, punish men in some Amazonian-driven lust for power themselves.

They argued that we would cry during tense negotiations with a Khrushchev and rain down upon America the nuclear holocaust that permeated the Cold War era.

They called us atheistic feminists and the spittle trickled down their chins, catching and rerouting through grizzled stubble, that they wiped away with grubby fingers still clutching ragged signs with misspelled words echoing their hate: Back to the kitchen you sluts!

But while these battles went on quietly across America with thousands of dedicated women, all the clamor died down, and life didn’t change a whole lot. We figured we were still on the journey, but life as we know it hadn’t stopped, and someday we would reach our goal of full integration and equality in America. Most of us thrived in a world that seemed increasingly equal to us.

And then along came the “IMMORAL MINORITY”  waving their bibles, and explaining to middle-aged white men who had failed in the great American dream to be great achievers, that women were the problem and not corporate greed. Women were and always were the problem ever since that bitch picked that apple off that tree and seduced God’s great creation Adam into sinning. Women were the problem.

And as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and the great middle started to age and find that damn they weren’t much better off than their parents, some thing had to give. Corporate America became adept at focusing the blame on minorities, takers all. Suddenly, feminism became a dirty word again. Our enemies are mostly aging white men who feel left behind (damn that Rapture, where are you?). The feel and it’s certainly palpable at this point, emasculated by articulate, educated women.

Ask me about it. I belong to a forum of my old high school, and my wars always end up being against these male types (one of which actually said that he ended up calling me names because “I drove him to it.”), and women who believe that women were created to serve me according to their fine uneducated reading of certain pseudo-Pauline texts.  And invariably they block me, so I can read the their comments and they don’t have to respond to mine. Except that there are men on the forum who are just as liberal as I am, just as knowledgeable, and just as “in-your-face”, and they don’t get blocked. Why? Because men can argue with men, but women must be very careful to be properly respectful lest they be branded as “stupid” and “a troll” and “self-defined intellectual”. (I was once told that educated people were “pissants” all, by one tiny-penised patriarchal dope.)

So along comes Hobby Lobby and it’s claim that its corporate religiosity is being assaulted by requiring it “pay” for certain contraceptive methods it in its utter stupidity deems abortifacients, and the Feds have no right to make them offer same to their employees. There is so much wrong here that it’s sick. First, HL provided all these methods before they were picked as the “plaintiff” and then told, “damn, guys, you offer this stuff already!” Hobby Lobby owner Green claims “shit, I have no idea”. Hobby Lobby gets I would guess 80% of its inventory from China, a nation that makes abortion a national policy and until recently required it after one child. Hobby Lobby has a 401K retirement benefits package which includes owning shares of various big pharma companies which, you guessed it, manufacture all the abortifacients that HL moans about.

So the SCROTUS decided that corporate religious well-being trumps women’s rights to good health. Along with that, they decided that there can be no buffer zone between women trying to enter clinics that offer contraceptive care along with abortions and those who want to scream at them demanding that they “think again”.  Women seeking treatment at a PPH clinic must be within “spittin’ distance” of those who seek to turn them away.

Across America, Republican led legislatures make it hard if not impossible for poor women to get reproductive care of any kind by loading down clinics with regulations (aren’t Republicans against business regulation as a matter of principle?) that are so burdensome that they have to close.

And all this in the name of NOT ABORTING. When all of these restrictions do exactly the opposite.

Republicans in Congress vote down equal pay for women.

There is a line.

It has now been crossed.

We will not go back.

Vote in 2014 as if you life depends on it, because control of it is surely at stake.

Womenvote

 

 

 

 

Wish I’d Said That Thursday

sarah-palin-quotes-5.jpgGot this idea sorta from Joey over at Joey’s house and because I’m generally lazy and this seems like a lazy way to blog, and because, I’m feelin’ pretty good cuz it’s Thursday and no longer that hellishly busy Wednesday, we are startin’ this “wish I’d said that Thursdays”.

Basically, when you run across something deliciously good and wish you had said it, remember it (or copy it down somewhere on your intertubes and come leave it as a comment here.

So here is kinda just like the wastepaper basket for collecting all the trash that swims around your head. So get rid of it HERE. <—–.

Got that?

So, to start you off, here’s one or two:

Yesterday, tea party darlin’ Chris McDann’l got his nuclear-bright future as the Very Most Reagany-Pure Senator from Jesusland slapped out of his Neoconfederate paws. ( Driftglass )

95% of all new created wealth now goes to the top 1% but Rand Paul, Ted Cruz & Jeb Bush all have plans to get it up to 96.
@JohnFugelsang

“If Republicans are going to act like Democrats, what’s the use in getting all gung-ho about getting other Republicans in there?”
– Sarah Palin, in an interview on Fox News.

How long before this court decides the Twitter block button is unconstitutional because it prevents conservatives from yelling at women? (From LOLGOP on Twitter)

SCOTUS rules that anti-choice picketers must be allowed within spitting distance of people trying to enter a family planning clinic. Buffer zone cannot exceed average distance a non-professional watermelon spitter can spew.  (me)

Mensa just started a dating site because asking for IQ Scores on first dates wasn’t really working (Slate, Twitter)

The Real Paleo Diet: 50,000-Year-Old Feces Show What Neanderthals Ate (Slate, Twitter)

. do you think you’ll ever break out the old leathers & nipple chains and do a reunion concert with the other Village People? (Joseph Farah is chief hater at World Net Daily Christianist hate rag) (Twitter)

K, that should be enough to get you started….

Come on now gang, I want some good ones or “no soup for you!”

 

He Would Turn Me In a New Direction

mentoring Mentoring.

We hear it a lot today. The need to help young boys and girls who perhaps have challenging lives, to strive for the heights. We are asked to inspire, direct, counsel, set an example.

Mentors are wonderful in their willingness to offer of their time and talent.

Yet, if we delve a bit deeper, we realize that many of the people who affected our lives most deeply and most clearly, had no particular intend to do so, and the interaction may well have been brief.

So it was with me.

I grew up in a factory town called Flint. A grimy hard nut of a town where at one time Buick and Chevrolet ruled. The UAW was also powerful, so much so that the local county prosecutor had a standing order to UAW members that their complaints would be personally attended to. (Of course how their complaints were actually processed was quite another thing.)

My parents worked in “the shop”, (as we called it) my dad as a journeyman mechanic, my mother sat the line at AC Spark Plug. My uncle worked there too. All my neighbors, or at least most it seemed, also built cars or parts that went in them. We had a good life, wages and benefits were good, we lived well for working class folks, we had vacations at Houghton Lake where our family had three cabins all told.

Nobody’s parents in our neighborhood (at least as far as I knew) were college educated. My dad had not finished high school. But they all were good citizens who paid their taxes, read the news, argued about politics, mowed lawns, went fishing and deer hunting, and dreamed–always dreamed that their kids would go to college and not have to work in the shops. Not that it was so bad there, but it was a soul suffering routine, it was work for a paycheck. It paid the bills. It was not the life my parents wanted for me.

Nobody in my family (aunts, uncles, cousins) have ever gone to college. I was thought to be the first.

I had early on been selected to jump ahead in math, and I did okay until Algebra II where I began to struggle. Fearful, since this was the first “mental” obstacle” I’d come up against, I quickly ended my math endeavors and science too for good measure. I settled into “office” classes, learning typing and shorthand and bookkeeping, along with the general fare.

Our school was a county one, peopled mostly with kids like me, working class kids. Our education was good so we thought, but it was basic. There were no sports beyond the ordinary, no serious experiences with anthropology, archaeology, or philosophy.Things like that were not going to help us kids who were, most thought, destined for mid-level white-collar fare. We would be perhaps teachers or police officers, office managers, bookkeepers. A very few of us might become lawyers or doctors. Beyond that, well, we had no clue since astrophysicist was not in the vocabulary nor a topic one heard in the hallways of Hamady. Gasp, I’d never even heard the term paleontology before college, which turned into one my most favorite “hobbies”.

So I opted, because I thought I was a math failure and therefore not “serious” college material, for a junior college education in office management. Since I had taken so many classes in high school, I slid into second year classes in my first, leaving me “free” electives in my second year. I chose as one of them, introduction to political science.

Wow, I sat mesmerized in that class. I was soaking up the stuff faster than a cat with a milk fetish.

Our instructor had had each of us fill out a card at the start indicating what our junior college program was. A few days later, he confronted me in the hall.  In a gruff but entirely friendly manner, he said,

“Ms McCameron, what the hell are you doing in my class?”

I gulped, stammering that I had some electives to use up, and gee wiz I sure loved learning about politics and gosh, if only I’d known, I might have applied to go to a four-year school, but now it was too late. . . .

“See me during office hours when you get a chance and we’ll talk.” he said, and off he went, and off I went, wondering what the hell that was and would be about.

Well, I went to his office, and I found out that damn, I could transfer to another school, and a lot of my credits might well apply, and my last semester could be chock full of stuff that would surely transfer. And he told me, that I had all the “right stuff” from whatever he had gleaned from my answers on quizzes and participating in class.

So, I did. I applied to a couple of places, but I truly only wanted to go to one, Michigan State University!

And they were happy to have me, and I transferred as a full junior.

And that was the beginning.

I got my bachelors in political science. By then the education bug has firmly lodged in my head, and since having such a degree was pretty worthless, I applied to law school, and lo and behold, they wanted me too.

I lot has happened since then. I grew bored with law, nearly became a nun, returned to school again this time in hot pursuit of a degree in theology or biblical studies, fell in love, yada yada.

But that teacher, oh that teacher, I am convinced changed my life. I was too unsophisticated to even know that you could transfer college credits. I would have likely ended up working in some insurance company office as the office manager, married some insurance salesman (no offense), had kids, and stayed within 50 miles of Flint.

Now, all that might be fine, it might grand for others. It would have not been for me. I had dreams that were bigger than Flint, bigger in the end, than Michigan.   And I’m pretty sure that instructor had a very lot to do with starting it all off.

And I wish I knew where he was, so I could thank him. Our lives crossed but for a moment in time, but he had no idea how big a difference he made in my life. Thanks Mr. M. It’s turned out better than I could ever have believed.