Did You Miss Me?

Clearly, I overestimated my ability to work, go to graduate school and write for fun. Since I last wrote about my brush with youth, I found myself hunkered down under a pile of books, research articles and study guides desperately trying to meet my course deadlines while juggling other responsibilities. Happily I can report that I passed all of my courses with flying colors and am now on break for a couple of weeks so I can spend some time writing for fun.

Things I wish I could have written about while studying:

1.) Rep. Todd Akin‘s ridiculous comment about “legitimate rape” which was only outdone by the comment of Pensylvania‘s Senate Candidate Tom Smith, who said that having his daughter come to him with an unplanned pregnancy is similar to what a father is faced with if his daughter is raped and becomes pregnant by that rape.

I may have to come back to that one.

2.) Clint Eastwood losing his mind.

Nothing to write at this point. You either watched in horror or missed it, but I highly recommend going to YouTube to see Jon Stewart‘s take on it.

3.) My town’s new high school football stadium. My friends from the Northeast would not recognize me come Friday nights in the fall because I turn into the looniest Texas Football looney there is. Our town has a brand spanking new stadium that cost $60 million dollars. I understand there is a lot of eye rolling and even some outrage about that, but I need a chance to set the record straight!

4.) Governor Romney’s secretly taped conversation in which he talks about non-tax paying Americans and why he’ll never reach them.

So much to say here, and I will definitely get to it, but here is my big question to all of my Republican friends out there (Which I am going to link back to my town’s high school football team):

In my rather large town there is only 1 high school which means that there is a huge number of kids funneling into the system as they get older. The most competitive activity they can get into and the one that is most important to most of the town is football, so you know that the varsity football team has the best of the best players, and even the second string is pretty damn good.

So why is it, in a nation as large as ours which is 50% (ish) politically conservative, can we not whittle down the field to one candidate who is the best and brightest the Republican Party has to offer? I’m not like a lot of my Democratic friends who like nothing more than to bash the Republican Party…..I tend to the liberal, but I understand fiscal conservatism and certainly support it in some circumstances. I have to believe that there are Republicans out there who can be as charismatic and well spoken as President Obama. Seriously, at this point the message of the party can’t even get out because of all of the mis-steps and out and out errors put forth by the candidates. (Not to mention the fact that all of the stuff that Republicans used to be good at, like foreign policy and budget…is overshadowed by morality issues.) Republicans, please do a better job. I beg you. And I think it’s too late this go around.

5.) Chik-Fil-A has (possibly…it’s not super clear) reversed it’s stance on the funding of groups that work against gay marriage initiatives. Love to hear this if it’s true, and the reports are good enough for my daughter who is happy that she can now eat there without feeling guilty.

6.) Is something I never thought I’d write about and will be the topic of my next blog…

Yup, Justin Bieber’s mom. Stay tuned!

Ah, the Life of a Graduate Student

Well, it finally happened.

Someone, actually two people,  asked me what was up with my blog. I was expecting it, of course, but I was chagrined just the same at being called out (albeit, very gently) for not writing for the past couple of weeks.

Now, as a matter of fact, I have been writing….. and reading, and note taking, and outlining, and researching, and reading some more……but not as the Passionate Moderate…..I’ve been doing those things as a first term midwifery student. And this will be one of my easiest terms according to those who have gone before me. The thought makes me a bit nauseous….or is it nauseated?

Not that I’m complaining! I’m thoroughly enjoying my new role and eager to learn as much as I can, but I must be truthful about one thing. Being a blogger who writes about current events is very difficult when you don’t know what’s going on in the world. My life right now is consumed with pathophysiology, the history of midwifery and nursing theory (yuck). No time for politics and scandal….which is fine for the moment. I’m sure as the election season revs up I’ll be sufficiently motivated to share my thoughts on the subject.

To give you an idea of how immersed I am in what I am learning, and probably an idea of what a dork I am, let me tell you this little story:

Last week I had an exam in pathophysiology, and one of the topics covered was the stress response. I spent an evening really trying to study the cascade of hormones and resultant physical changes which happen when the body is in danger, either in reality or imagined. Then I went to sleep, and I should point out that I tend to dream very vivid, wild dreams in general, but his particular night was like an action, adventure movie with many heart-stopping and tense moments, chases, gunshots, near drownings, you name it, and every time I noticed a physical reaction or sensation in myself I’d think, “That’s part of the stress response.”….over and over again. (I did quite well on the exam, by the way.)

So there you have it, I’m a little…shall we say…preoccupied with school, but I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog or my readers.

Still to come, a “con” guest blog about Obamacare from a medical student you can find at littleredmed.wordpress.com. I have no idea who this student is, but the blog writing is phenomenal. I highly recommend you start to follow.

Also, a musing about emotional energy and what it means to our physical and mental well-being.

Beyond that who knows……

Time Magazine Overload

Are we all sick of this story yet? Are we done ranting about one side or the other? I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.

I’ve spent more time thinking about everything I’ve seen and read over the last week, than I will admit publicly, (I would diagnose myself as OCD, but looking around my less than sparkling clean house I know that’s not the case.) and there are two things that I keep coming back to.

  1. The comments of people who disagree with me.
  2. Why we’re collectively spending so much time arguing about whether or not a particular person is too affectionate/nurturing/attached to her kids when there are so many horrific cases of actual child abuse in the news, not to mention every other thing that’s wrong with the world we’re living in.

I’m not averse to people disagreeing with me, generally speaking. (My kids would scoff at that statement I’m sure….and perhaps my husband too) I didn’t have a problem with any thoughtful comment from people who had obviously taken the time to get the facts but had a differing opinion from my own. What I didn’t understand, and am not sure I will ever understand, is disagreeing without hearing the other side of the argument. Basically just putting your foot down and saying, “I think that’s wrong, so its wrong.” Or sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.”  I guess there’s no arguing with that sentiment, but I still want to.

What I spent most of my time thinking about however, was deeper. I found myself wondering about the topics I blog about and whether I feel like I’m part of the problem or part of the solution. I started blogging to add a voice I wasn’t hearing in my day to day life and with the best of intentions…….but you know what they say about good intentions….

The road to Hell

So I had to take an honest look at myself and say, am I just like everyone else out there with a keyboard and an opinion? Am I jumping on the pop news bandwagon? Why do we get fired up about a person we’ll never meet, or a celebrity, or a sports figure? Why do these seemingly trivial things end up on the front page and then taking the internet by storm? Surely there are more important things to discuss and pour our energies into.

As luck would have it, in the midst of pondering all of this, a new post from a fellow blogger appeared in my in box giving me the answer I was looking for, at least to the question of why we pay attention to seemingly small stories while essentially ignoring the bigger picture.

It was called “Everything’s a Circle” by True Stories: http://jessicavealitzek.com/

In it the author talks about the phenomenon of “psychic numbing” and how in today’s climate of 24 hour news coverage our minds get so overloaded with information, we can’t process all of the difficult subjects we’re faced with, and the greater the problem, the more likely we are to tune out. Seems about right to me; not right in the sense of okay, but right in the sense that that kind of behavior is just plain human nature. Unless we’re confronted with an “in your face” crisis, there are just too many worthy causes clamoring for our attention and we don’t know where to focus, which means, I guess, that we will focus on the easiest target.

Alternative parenting techniques, gay marriage, politicians’ thoughts on gay marriage, Kardashians, flesh eating bacteria, Jessica Simpson‘s pregnancy weight gain,  the war on women, Fifty Shades of Grey….and on and on it goes.

And, yes, I guess I have to admit that I do get caught up in the emotion of the sensational news stories of the day, but what I’ve noticed, is that my best writing and my best reader responses come when the story du jour aligns with the things I’m most passionate about, like the breastfeeding cover, the debates on birth choice and women’s healthcare. So I will keep looking for things to talk about and pick carefully those topics which mean something to me. It may mean that my blog starts going in a different direction than I originally foresaw, but I will endeavor to never have to wonder again if what I’m blogging about is worthy of putting out there.

Kreativ-ity: Who Knew I Would Be Considered a Creative Blogger?

This has been a week full of surprises.

I started writing more as a form of therapy than anything else. I needed a chance to express how I really feel about things from politics, to birth to religion and thought I’d explore my writing abilities. Having never written before, except for school, I wasn’t sure if I could write anything that would  be interesting to anyone but me, however the response from everyone has been overwhelming and very gratifying.

My Time Magazine posts, seem to have jump started my readership in a way I really never expected, and then to top it all off, a fellow blogger, Jessica Vealitzek, nominated me for the “Kreativ Blogger Award”. Thank you Jessica! Jessica has a wonderful blog which I follow called True Stories (http://jessicavealitzek.com/), where she uses real life stories to illustrate important truths about life. I love it every time I see a new post in my e-mail.

So what is the Kreativ Blogger Award? Well, it’s an unofficial blogger to blogger award, which is a validation that someone out there thinks your writing is entertaining and worthwhile, a great chance to learn some personal facts about the blogger, and chance for one blogger to share their favorite blogs with their readers.

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share 7 interesting things about yourself.
  • Share 7 of your favorite blogs for others to check out.

I like it. Gratitude first. Thank you again Jessica!

Seven interesting things about me……hmmm……that’s a little bit harder, but here goes:

  1. My husband and I met when we were 14, started dating at 16 and are about to celebrate our 18th anniversary. They don’t make many couples like us anymore.
  2. At the ripe old age of (just about to turn) 40, I have had my mid-life crisis and am going back to graduate school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (The opportunity for blogging material from this new venture is pretty exciting.)
  3. I was tricked into vegetarianism by reading Skinny Bitch 4 years ago. I sat sobbing on the couch, reading the book and vowed to never eat meat again…..but occasionally I succumb to the temptation of bacon.
  4. When asked what makes me interesting, my son said, “The fact that you’re not scared to talk to us about adult things like sex and stuff.”…….I must take a moment here to give myself a little pat on the back.
  5. The closest I think I’ve ever come to dying was on a flight from Philadelphia to Dallas which should never have taken off due to bad weather. We then had mechanical trouble, an aborted landing attempt back in Philly, followed by a shaky voiced captain telling us we were going to divert to Pittsburg, all the while not telling us what the mechanical problem was. The hour and a half from Philly to Pittsburg was the longest of my life and half the plane burst into tears when we landed. (I still love to fly though.)
  6. I am not as domestic as I’d like to be as evidenced by my piles of pictures that are not in scrapbooks yet, my crocheted blanket that I have been working on for 4 years, cross stitches I’ve left incomplete for 16 years and the fact that I have a cleaning service avery other week. I’d rather be reading.
  7. I can’t wait to travel the globe. I have a deep yearning to visit as many places on earth as possible before I die. I have always felt that if I need to give an accounting of my life before God, He/She won’t ask me about my sins but why I didn’t explore this great big beautiful world when I had the chance.

My seven nominations for the Kreativ Blogger Award……much easier: