Tag Archives: friends

Walking Challenge Update #1

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At the 40 mile marker

I apologize for taking so long to update my progress on the walking challenge.  I have been so busy with traveling and finding a new house and then organizing and packing everything up.

So, to date, I have walked a total of 40.90 miles.  Not as far as I would like to be, but still making progress.  I have walked a total of 81,806 steps.  Every 2,000 steps counts as 1 mile.

Since I found a house in New Castle, CO, instead of Silt, CO, I got to subtract a few miles off my original total.  Now I only have to walk 1487 miles – HA!

Only 1446.10 miles left to go!  Wish me luck!

Have you picked a destination to walk to?  Share your progress with me!  I would love to hear how things are going.  Do you have any tips you can share to make the walk easier or more interesting?

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When Did Kids Get So Mean?

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My son is in the 6th grade, which means this is his first year in middle school.  Every day he comes home and tells me some kind of horror story from either the bus, the gym, the cafeteria, the hallway, or a classroom.

Two days this week, and yes today is only Tuesday, he has told me about either an 8th grader or a kid the size of an 8th grader grabbing him by the throat and threatening him.  He’s managed to talk his way out of about 3 or 4 fights, thankfully!  He’s had to shove other kids and has been shoved himself, pushed over a railing, had pencils thrown at him, and the list just goes on and on.

I ask him, “Where are the teachers when this is going on?

He says, “They are right there, Mom!  But they don’t do anything!”

This is the third week of school and his locker has been broken into 3 times!!  Every time he tells the teachers what happened, that things are moved around, that his things are on top of his locker, or that his book has been taken – they tell him, “No one has the combination but you.” or “Who did you give your combination to?” or “You need to check at home for the missing book.” – in this instance, he never brought the book home, it ain’t here.  He caught one kid trying to break into his locker, joking with his friends about how he had been trying to get into it all week.  My son chased him down the hall, but lost him.  Another of my son’s friends showed him how you can open a locker if you hit it in 3 specific places.  My son figured out that if you just put the combination lock on the last number of the combination, the lock will open every time.

So, this is how my son’s day went today.

The kids come in off the buses and sit in the gym until they can go to the cafeteria to get breakfast.  While they are sitting on the bleachers the 8th graders throw pencils at them until they all get to leave.

Leaving the gym, the 8th graders push them around or run into the smaller kids.

He gets to the cafeteria and gets in line when a 7th grader cuts in front of him.  When my son challenges him about it and asks why he is cutting, the kid responds that he is a 7th grader(like it’s his right as a 7th grader to cut whenever he wants to).  After they exchange words, he went to another line where a kid he calls “butt chin kid” starts pushing him and poking him. After he gets tired of that, he went to another line and butt chin kid follows him there and starts pushing and poking him again.  He goes to a fourth line and asked another kid if he could get in line with him and he said no because he wanted to see him get into a fight with butt chin kid.  Eventually got he got his breakfast, only to be bullied and called names by 8th graders trying to kick them out of their seats.

As he is trying to leave, butt chin kid starts bragging to his friends that he has been hassling this kid (my son) for the last 3 days and then pushes my son into my son’s friend and they both fall over the rail.  All the way to their building, the kids call them names and push them around.

On the way back from his 3rd period class, around 10 am, he is pushed into the grass trying to get from the band building to his regular classroom building by 8th graders.

In his fourth period class, the child that was passing out the classwork missed my son’s table.  When he told the teacher that he didn’t have the paper, she asked the other student at the table if he had his.  He thought he did and told the teacher that he did.  Later, when he couldn’t find the paper, he told the teacher that he didn’t have the paper after-all.  So the teacher refuses to give the boys the classwork because they “lost” the first one that was given to them.  Eventually, she did give them the paper.

On the way to his 5th period class, which is in a different building, he is pushed around and man handled by the 8th graders – again.

By this time of the day he’s pretty worn out.  Apparently the teacher in his 5th period class has a very nasal voice and he said,  “I just couldn’t take it today, Mom.  I tuned her out.”  Of course when he tuned out the teacher, he missed instructions for an exercise they were doing and had to figure it out for himself.  This, of course, put him a little behind the rest of the class and he was running a little late going to his next class.

He is at his locker getting his book for the next class, when he discovers that someone has broken into his locker and put all of his stuff on the top of it.   And on top of this, there is this kid that keeps trying to pick a fight with him.  This kid is getting in between my son and his locker so my son pushes him aside as he is telling him that he is not going to fight with him. At this time, the kid’s big friend grabs my son by the throat and tells him to leave his friend alone.  My son manages to talk his way out of this fight by telling both kids that he is not going to fight with them.  After that is settled, my son discovers that his workbook for his next class is gone.

When he tells the teacher that someone has broken into his locker and taken his workbook, she responds that he must have left his book at home.  When he tells her that he never took the book home, she asks him who he shared the combination to his locker with.  He tells her that he hasn’t shared the combination and explains the 2 ways that he knows of that a locker can be broken into.  She says that he will have to tell his mother or the principal.

And, finally, the day is over.

I hear stories of days like this, day after day after day!  I am so angry at the teachers, at the kids, at the parents of these kids, and at the school administration.  I don’t know what to do!!!!!  Most days he tells me not to be a Mama Bear and that it will be alright.  Other days, he is so worn out from the hostile environment he has been in all day, that he just breaks down and cries.  I am exhausted after he tells me about his day, I can’t imagine having to actually live it.

My knee-jerk reaction is to rip him out of that school and home-school him.  But I know that is not the answer.  That possibly teaches him that it’s okay to run away from bullies and intimidating people.  I know that we should stay and try to change the school.

Is anyone else out there having the same kinds of experiences at school?  Is it just my kid that is going through this?  What are you doing to help your kids cope with this kind of aggression and hostility?

Philosp

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My Dad sent me this PowerPoint Presentation today and I really wanted to share it with more than just a few email buddies. So, I am sharing it with everyone!!

The pictures are spectacular and the ideas are phenomenal. I hope that you will enjoy it and take it to heart.

Philosop

You never know, do you.

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1978 was when all hell broke loose in my sister and my world and she ran away from home.   She was 15 and I was 12.

She was being tormented and emotionally abused and I was completely powerless to stop it.  She finally had enough and ran away from home.  Our step-father was mean, abusive, manipulative, a drug addict and an alcoholic.  Our mother was addicted to prescription pain killers and also an alcoholic.  They were completely out of touch with what was going on in our world.  And so my sister did the only thing she could do in order to survive.  She left.

I had spent the last few years watching the systematic destruction of my sister and had become pretty good at becoming invisible, or so I thought.  You be good, you do everything your told, plus some and everyone will leave you alone.  It worked pretty well on the home front.  I thought it worked pretty well wherever I went.

I just figured out today, that this is not so.

When I started high school, I was terrified.  My big sister was not going to be there to protect me.  I wasn’t going to have that automatic in with all the older kids.  You know how terrifying it is to be a freshman – anything is fair game on freshman. I did what came the most naturally to me.  I tried to become invisible.  I tried to blend into the walls so that I wouldn’t rock the boat or draw attention to myself.  So, I drifted through my entire freshman year like that.  Just trying to not be seen.

The next year, I was ready to come out of my shell, a little.  My girlfriends were trying to talk me into joining a club or team so that I would have something in my life.  I tried out for cheerleading, which was a colossal failure.  First of all, I am not that coordinated when it comes to dance routines; and second of all, I am not outgoing – at all.  So my next trial was the cross country running team.  There I fit right in.  I could run for miles and escape my troubles.  I had an excuse to stay after school and not have to go home.  And I was actually pretty decent at it, who knew?!

Lately, my sister and I have been having a conversation with a person on facebook.  We were talking about the old stomping grounds in CT and she was curious how this person knew both me and my sister.  There was only a couple of years that any one person could have gone to school with the both of us.  It would had to have been between 1975 and 1978, because those were the only years that we actually went to the same school, just not at the same time.

Turns out this person was was a freshman when my sister was a junior. And this same person was a Junior when I was a Sophomore.  So I actually ran with this person on the cross country team for 2 years before they graduated in 1980/1981.

This person witnessed my sister and I going through some of the toughest times in our lives.  During those times, both of us thought we were so alone in the world.  We thought no one cared about either one of us, that no one noticed the pain we were going through.  We both found solace in alcohol and drugs during those years of our lives.  We didn’t think anyone noticed us at all.

Now, almost 30 years later, this guy remembers both of us.  It made me feel comforted in a creepy sort of way.  Here we were so desperately alone in the world, and yet we were not alone – ever!  I am sure that this person was watching us spiral out of control with our drug and alcohol addictions.  Possibly this person was feeling powerless or maybe he didn’t care at all, who knows.  What does matter, is that he remembers us now.  Maybe our decent into hell, kept him from following the same path.  He seems to really have a good life now.

I guess my point with all this rambling is that you never know how you touch other people’s lives.  You never know if, just by saying hello to someone, that you just made a big enough difference in their life to keep living theirs.  Just by acknowledging to that person that you see them, you could be giving them strength.

So, say hello to that wall-flower or smile at someone on the street, you may make a difference in their life today!!!