Archive for December, 2016

Mansplaining and Consent

A win and a wondering.

 

I have said again and again and AGAIN, especially in one particular class, that if someone doesn’t ask for help and isn’t obviously struggling, it’s not helping. It’s bad manners. Last week a kid asked another kid if they needed help, kid said no, so the first kid sat back down. People, a month ago this would not have happened. In fact a month ago this didn’t happen. Not that some girls don’t try to boss others, but in this particular group it’s been boys getting up and trying to take over for girls. And I have been shutting it down as kindly as possible and trying to teach them how to be, because no one likes a mansplainer. I just didn’t realize it started so young.

 

Same group of kids. We had a pretty significant conversation about consent the other day. Kid was blowing on another kid’s hair. When I asked why, the response was ‘I just wanted to have a little fun’. This makes my blood run cold. I know the kid is little, but eventually the kid will be older. And the attitude of ‘having a little fun’ by using someone else’s body makes me want to vomit. (This kid also gets in others’ personal space and touches other kids even past the point of them saying ‘stop’, so I don’t think I’m putting too fine a point on it. And there are several in this group who think it’s hilarious to drop trou for all to see in the bathroom or grab each other’s backsides.)

 

It baffles me that I have to have this conversation as a teacher. As a parent, yes. I talk to my kids about consent. Is it that the parents of some of these kids haven’t had the conversation? Because some of them don’t seem to understand or respect the need for it. And some of them don’t seem to understand they need to grant it and if they don’t and the other person doesn’t respect that, there’s a problem. Or is it this is just a thing kids need all the adults in their lives to talk to them about?

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Why We’re Not Sending Christmas Cards

A year or two ago (maybe last year? I don’t remember) my husband asked about Christmas cards. I told him I wasn’t going to have the time to send them out, but if he wanted to get them ordered, envelopes stuffed, addresses written, and mailed, he could go for it. So he did. And now he knows what a large pain in the ass it is.

 

We were talking this year about cards and decided we wouldn’t mail them out.¬†We figured, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, everyone we’d send a card to knows what our kids look like. Woven through the conversation was discussion about how we could spend the money we’d decided not to spend on cards and the fact that we have a friend who is irrationally irritated by cards that are simply signed with a name. (Like, generic boxed cards…no photos, no note, just a name. I get where she’s coming from.) So we decided to donate to the International Rescue Committee and we purchased shelters for 4 refugee families in our friend’s honor. I filled out the form to have the card sent to her, but she hasn’t mentioned it so I’m assuming she hasn’t gotten it yet.

 

Two birds, one stone. We were able to be generous and we avoided the work of sending out cards.

Trying This On

I started this as a running-related blog. Except…I’m not especially consistent with running. And I’m not really a writer. So this might turn into something more broad that features running when I actually do that.

 

I’m going to unpack that ‘not really a writer’ bit a little. I say that primarily because I am not driven to write. (My husband gets up at 4am 5 or 6 days a week to write. I…do not.) Secondary to that is I don’t think anyone *really* wants to know what I think about *everything*. (Except said husband. And I can just tell him with words from my face.) Third on the list is I prefer action to talk. That sounds way more James Bond than it is. But really. Are you going to talk about doing the thing or are you going to do the thing? I prefer to do the thing. (Related: I am bad at having feelings.)

 

Lately I’ve been finding myself thinking thoughts about things and I figured I’d give this another shot. I didn’t want to post on my craft-related blog because I like the purity of focus over there. I thought about starting a new blog but decided this one would be a fine platform, particularly if I fold in bits about running. Even though the address is very specifically running-related, it applies to life too. There are no junk miles. The small interactions matter.