Category: Important Stuff


My best friend has been encouraging me to go to college. Full disclosure here, it won’t be ‘going back to college’, since I never went. She went to college and has her bachelor’s degree and is now looking at law school. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. None of which is encouraging me to actually apply for college since I know I won’t do as well. I”m about half as intelligent as she is. However tonight I applied. New York State is offering free tuition.

It isn’t as easy as I hoped it would be.

As I was filling out the application it said I needed to submit my FAFSA ID, which I don’t have and I was routed to the website to apply for FAFSA. So I started the application process, including questions I had no clue so I guessed, I hope I’m right, if not I’ll either owe NYS a billion dollars or go to jail. I can handle jail. I couldn’t handle debt. Anyway, somewhere in this process, in the middle of my soul crushing confusion I tweeted:

Someone replied with a gif of Woody saying “You’ll be fine, Partner”. This is someone that I am pretty sure I have never met in person, just on social media. As I looked at the tweet and thought, “She doesn’t know me”, I then thought of the 80 people who formed a human chain to save 9 people caught in a rip tide and saved their lives. To those 80 people, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but it was a huge deal to the people they saved.

Just like, to the person that responded to my tweet, it might not have seemed like a big deal, just a quick search and post, but it encouraged me. It made me think, that maybe I can do this. Maybe I can start a new chapter in my life. Not life saving maybe, but certainly life changing.
 

“Speak” is a young adult novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, it is not a new book, it was first published in 1999. And this is not a review of the book, that will be on my other blog. In fact, this post has a spoiler in it so if you haven’t read the book and are planning to, you might want to not read this post. This is a chance for me to get on my soapbox about my favorite topic to get on my soapbox about, violence against women.

Melinda Sordino’s freshman year is off to a horrible start. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends — and even strangers — all hate her. Months pass and things aren’t getting better. She’s a pariah. The lowest of the low. Avoided by everyone. But eventually, she’ll reveal what happened at the party. And when she finally speaks the truth, everything will change.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what happened at the party. In fact I knew before I read a review of the book with a spoiler that told me what happened that Melinda had been the victim of some sort of sexual assault, either rape or attempted rape, probably by a popular boy. What I didn’t understand when I was reading the book was why no one knew what happened, they all knew she called the police but not why. I was expecting that she was a pariah because she had claimed she was raped at the party but no one believed her, but no one knew why she called the police. The reason (here’s the spoiler) was because when the police got there, she ran away and didn’t talk to them. Of course then, you might ask, if she didn’t talk to the police then how did everybody know she called the police? I don’t remember that being explained. It’s really the only thing in the book that doesn’t make sense. It did not detract from the impact the book has had on its reading audience.

This book has an interview with the author in the back. I didn’t really read it, just kind of skimmed through it, one question and answer caught my attention:

Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?

I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped.

She admits she was horrified, as she kept getting the question over and over she realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a women. I would go a step further and say a lot of young men don’t truly understand what rape actually entails. “Lots of Men Don’t Think Rape is Rape“. I keep reading on social media that we need to talk to our girls and boys about rape, tell girls how to protect themselves and boy to not rape. Parents need to do more. They need to educate their children, boys and girls, about what exactly rape is and why it is wrong. Boys can’t understand the emotional impact of rape unless someone explains it to them. Realize I am speaking in generalities here, I know there are some very aware young men.

Rape is a crime of violence and woman can feel it. Even when their life wasn’t threatened women report being afraid they would be killed. Some men don’t realize they are a threat to women simply because they are bigger and stronger than the woman. Also the way the ‘definition of rape’ has changed and the fact that many men are starting a ‘mens movement’, just makes me more afraid.

O.K. that’s all I can think of right now. Getting off my soapbox.

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Just a quick post to remember the day, it was sudden and I was here, he was there so I didn’t get to say good-bye, something that matters only to me.

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It would be nice, if it was just this easy, but it’s not, because of the reasons for rape and because like it or not we live in a rape culture, just telling people to not rape is not enough.

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No I’m not surprised that people believe this. There are people out there who believe men rape because they are not getting enough sex at home. Excuse me while I go bang my head against a post.
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This is a rugby player (for those of you who don’t know) and I don’t know if he actually said this, of course the cynical side of me says, well of course he doesn’t have to wait for a girl to get drunk he can just hold her down, look how big he is. Sometimes I hate myself.

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Now before you think I am just some fucking man-hating bitch that thinks every man is a rapist, I didn’t say he would, I said he could. That is part of the problem, men don’t realize that by their size alone they can be threatening and frightening to women, it does no good to say, “But I would never” because you’ve already caused fear and distress by just not realizing how threatening you just are. You just are.

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Free Cell Phone and Minutes

Today in the mail I got a notice about ‘The Free Cell Phone & Minutes Program’. I didn’t know such a program existed. If you qualify you can get a free cell phone and 250 free minutes. You may be eligible if you get food stamps, have Medicaid, are Section 8, receive energy assistance, TANF, SSI or free school lunch. I don’t participate in any of those assistance programs, maybe I should pass this on to the homeless guy in front of my building. Oh wait, he already has a cell phone.

At first I didn’t know what to think, I was rather ambivalent. Is a cell phone a necessity? It didn’t use to be, but now it seems like it is. The testimonial included, because there is always a testimonial included is from a elderly woman, disabled and living alone. Since the phone is a cell phone, she can keep it with her and call whenever and wherever she needs help. There are programs to give phones to cab drivers and battered women, so why not the poor and disabled? A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization. ~Samuel Johnson. They are not handing out smart phones with unlimited data plans, if you want one you are required to submit proof that you are receiving assistance or your income is below the levels stated and only one phone per household is allowed. I know there are ways around these qualifications, people get arrested for welfare fraud all the time.

Overall, I think its a good idea for people who need assistance to able to contact help. When I was at the hospital they had this program with pendants for people to push if they needed help. The problem was, they only were effective when the person with the pendant was at home. Just because a person is disabled doesn’t mean they are bed-ridden or house bound. Giving cell phones out is an idea whose time has come.