Don’t Be Different?

When you grow up in a family that does not value college degrees or new ways of thinking, you become the family ostrich, or experience ostracization, if you pursue more knowledge or a college degree.

This is what happened to me when I went to college. First I was criticized for even thinking of giving up my forty hour a week “good job” to go into debt to get a college degree and a teaching job that I dreamed of having.

I don’t think my immediate family had any idea what I was going through as I struggled financially and in other ways to complete four years of college study with no family support.

I was very fortunate to be placed in a Work Study situation ,through the financial aid office, where I worked with people (fifteen hours a week) who valued me and helped me. I worked there the whole four years I was in college.

I enjoyed most of my classes and learned new ideas and new ways of doing things. I even tried new foods, but when I tried to share these delights with my immediate family, I was ridiculed and asked why I’d want to eat that? (I remember that question about mushrooms, but no matter what new experience I had, I learned not to share it at home.)

At first I went home every weekend, but by the fall of my freshman year, I wanted to stay on campus for the weekend. My then boyfriend, who picked me up every Friday to drive me home for the weekend stay at my mother’s, broke up with me because I just wanted to stay on campus and go to one of the school’s football games.

It seems whatever I did that made me “different” from how I was caused a rift between me and the person who did not want me to change – not one bit! No change, come back home where you belong, and forget that foolishness! seemed to be the messages I received.

But while stuck in that chasm of change, I looked from one side to the other and chose to be different. I still was teased badly if I used a big word no one used in my family. I never fit into my family’s needed perception of me after my college graduation. It seemed I wore my own scarlet letter, much as Hester Prynne wore, except my was a C for College while hers was an A, whenever I went home to visit.

The funniest part was my mother never understanding why I didn’t choose to come back home to live after finally graduating. None of my family attended my college graduation. I went through the ceremony and wanted to tell all the complaining other graduates who fussed about having to wear that hot gown to make their parents happy, that at least they were able to make their parents happy and to enjoy the day.



To All Student Loan Debtors In America

There needs to be a consensus that these loans will no longer dominate every college educated young person in America. Enough is enough. Either the lawmakers can bail them out like they do the banks, OR the students in outrageous debt need to flee the country with their degrees and knowledge and go make another country great again. I’m sick of this modern indentured servitude of today’s best and brightest young Americans. If Trump wants to make america great again, he needs to focus on helping out the young people who struggle under enough debt to buy a house that they incurred just for trying to better themselves. What country would welcome educated professionals? The cost of these loans double while graduates struggle to pay them off in a country whose older generation refuses to retire so there’s jobs for the young, newly educated INDEBTED graduates. Get your passports and GO. You are obviously not appreciated in America.


I was outside with my dog, Joy, this morning when she got her lead wrapped around a tree. I was able to guide her into unwrapping herself by a series of hand and vocal directions. When she finished unwinding herself, I highly praised her. I remembered the dog trainer who led me into training my dog, Atlas, The first thing that trainer taught his class of twenty-some students (and their dogs) was to praise your dog! Actually, the first thing he taught us was to get your dog to look at you. Then whenever your dog does one thing towards what you want him to do, PRAISE HIM!

This works with children as well. It works very well. When your child is doing the wrong thing, first you need to get his/her attention. If you’ve trained your child well, s/he will look at you when you call his/her name. You can begin to make silent gestures as well. If your child is doing something wrong or inappropriate, you shake your head while saying, “Don’t do that.” It works best with a child if you give them something different to do . . . tell them what they should be doing instead.

You would think this was apparent, but it’s not – the part of telling a child what to do instead. Too often we will scold a child when s/he is doing wrong, but fail to tell him or her what s/he should be doing. That’s actually the most important part. If you fail to tell him or her what they should be doing, they will gravitate back to the inappropriate behavior because to them, that felt “right”.

I substitute taught in a classroom and a little boy kept “misbehaving”. No matter what we were doing, he did something entirely different. Finally I went over to him . . . his desk was already up against the teacher’s desk, which was a clear indication that he had some behavior problems, and I got on his eye level so we could look in each other’s eyes without my looming above him, and I asked, “What SHOULD you be doing?” His simple answer explained it all. He said, “I don’t know.” So I patiently explained the directions again to him and stayed with him until he started doing the activity the correct way. I suggested that when he was confused about what to do, for him to look at his classmates and try to do what they were doing. This was going to be difficult because he sat with his back to most of his classmates, but he could turn his head and try to watch.

And I praised him! I told him what a good job he was doing and how proud I was of him! He continued to do well, with redirecting comments from me, the rest of the day.

Instruction in what to do is necessary, for if we only tell them what not to do, they learn nothing; if we tell them what to do instead of what they are doing, they learn everything.

And praise. Do not be afraid to tell your child when he is doing the right thing. Even if he hasn’t done something wrong, when you see him/her doing what you want, tell him/her that is correct. Those words can be short and sweet. Here are examples:

Good Job!

Well done!

Nice work!

Look at YOU!

Way to Go!


You can come up with your own words of praise, but find a few comments that are easy to say and use them to train, or discipline, your child.

Discipline is teaching what to do; it’s not all about punishment.

For my interested friends, here is a Bible verse to remember: Proverbs 22:6 KJV Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


News Reporter’s Opinion Not Needed

The news tried to make it sound like people stayed away to boycott the idea. That’s silly. They would have voted against it, if they’d been trying to boycott the idea. I remember when the news told the facts and only the facts. Now they try to color your opinion.

Ignorant, Bigoted, Young People Cause It

The general concensus is no one wants to look old. A lot of money is made by companies who are well aware of this fact. Heaven forbid! that you don’t look like you’re young!

Why is this?

It’s because of the condescending view the younger ones have about older people.

I had an eye exam yesterday and I believe that will be my last one . . . at least my last one done by a “young professional”.

She insisted on using numbing drops that have caused severe redness and irritation. I have a high school reunion to go to tomorrow and I hope my eyes are cleared up by then, but I doubt it. Why did she use the numbing drops? She wanted to check for Glaucoma. I don’t have Glaucoma. My ex-husband has it and when I heard about that, I looked up the symptoms to see what he was going through. I’ve had no symptoms of Glaucoma. As I told her, and as the unnecessary  test she did showed, I did not have Glaucoma.

I also don’t have any damage caused by Diabetes. This is the second time that a primary care physician has referred me for a Diabetes Eye Exam. They are supposedly free with insurance, but she still collected $110 from me. All I got was this irritation to my eyes.

This is why I don’t like doctors. They frequently do unnecessary tests that cause unnecessary suffering when there was none before.

The Pulmonary doctor damaged my teeth with his breathing test. I’ll never go to one of them again. The first one, who did the same test a few years earlier, didn’t cause that damage, so I know it isn’t always caused, but I’m still suffering two years later from that Pulmonary test and I wonder how long I’ll suffer now from  those numbing drops?

But, as usual, I digress. The “eye doctor” said yesterday that all old people do is watch TV or read and they need their eyes for both of those. Can you imagine that? I am a published writer, a Reading Specialist, and I do much more than watch TV and read. In fact, I don’t even watch TV.

But that is the consensus of younger people and that is why as people age, they frantically try to keep looking young.

I earned every wrinkle and gray hair I have. With them came knowledge and wisdom and understanding that far surpasses what I knew when I was younger,  I wouldn’t trade one of them for a chance to go back in time. Younger people are too unworldly or unknowledgeable to understand what being old is. The so called Fountain of Youth cannot compare to the Fountain of Wisdom, which comes with age.

I watch the younger generations prance around like they have the answers to everything when I know they do not. I resent being insulted by them, for they know far less than they think they do. They scream and complain when older people imply that they might have a defect or problem themselves, but they see no problem in insulting the older ones.

IF they’re lucky, one day they will have gray hair and wrinkles. They will be surprised to learn that older people have something the younger ones can never have.



Cheer Up?

I hate being told to “cheer up”. I just saw that written somewhere, and it irked me. Maybe some people’s problems are trivial and all they need to do is cheer up, but others have major problems and being told to “cheer up” trivalizes them and brushes off the true nature of what’s going on in their lives.

Would you walk up to a cancer patient and say, “cheer up’? or would you understand that maybe at that moment it was hard, or impossible to cheer up.

People have great sympathy for physical illnesses, but physical illnesses are not the only things that can get you down so low that you cannot cheer up. You may try and fail, and then having someone walk by and glibly say, “cheer up” makes you feel that much worse, like you’re failed them by being sad or overwhelmed or worried.

Don’t assume everyone you meet can express the wonderful cheerful emotions you exude. Many can’t, and your inability to see that is hurtful.


America and Illegals

I keep reading about illegals being deported and how upset they are. They don’t seem to understand that in most countries, you don’t sneak in and live and get to stay once it’s noticed that you did that. There are ways to become a citizen of another country, but breaking the law that says it must be done a certain way is serious.

I think Americans embrace others who are hurting or need help, but at some point people must look after their own interests and their own lives.

Americans pay taxes to support public schools. When an ESL teacher (English as Second Language) became necessary in every school, it began to affect American citizens. That’s a teacher being paid to teach a large group of people the English language. Her or his salary comes from tax dollars.

Then there is the annoyance of being told to “Press One for English”. This was a new thing at one time, but now it’s the norm.

When immigrants come to America, they should expect to learn the language and the customs and assimilate into American society. You would not sneak into China and expect the people in China to learn your language.

If I move to another country, or even if I just visit, I will try to learn the language of that country and not expect them to know my language just because I show up. That’s arrogance.

I do feel for the people being deported. I wish they had entered the country legally in the first place.

As part Native American, I also wish the Native Americans had been more savvy about allowing immigrants to enter their country. You see how that worked out.

There have to be rules and they have to be followed. If immigrants cannot be bothered to learn the country’s language and to teach it to their children, then how interested are they really in the success of the country? If they want things to stay exactly like they were in their former country, why did they come here? This is America.