Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughts on Trayvon

I never write in this blog anymore. I don't have time and I guess I just don't think I have many deep thoughts worth sharing with the world (or with my one reader, my husband). However, the recent events surrounding the murder of Trayvon Martin have really got me thinking and I wanted to write them down and share them. I look at the picture of Trayvon that is on the news and I see a baby. He was just a kid. How could anyone think he was a thug? I don't know Trayvon, I don't know his family. All I know is what has been presented on the news programs that I typically watch (The Today Show and Keith Olbermann). His face just looks so full of promise and even though I don't know him, it saddens me that he is gone from this world. It also angers me that his killer is not in jail. I think that alone speaks volume about the society we live in.

I read an article in Time recently. Unfortunately, I don't remember title of it or who wrote it. It was a one page piece giving advice to young black men on how to conduct themselves in public so they can avoid the fate of Trayvon Martin. It gave advise on how to move in a non-threatening manner, how to react to situations when people may want to harm you and even how to dress. That article got me thinking a lot. I was under the impression that in the America of 2012 we had moved beyond this. I am not completely naive . I know that racism is still alive in America. I just didn't think it was to the point that a whole race of young men had to think about how they are presenting themselves to the public every second of the day. That just makes me sad. It also makes me hope that I have never acted in a way that has made a fellow human being have to act different that they really are because they are black and I am white.

I have so many random thoughts on this. The whole hoodie issue. I wear hoodies all the time on the weekends. They are warm and comfy and I like them. I can't imagine being gunned down because my hoodie was threatening. Then again, I probably never would be because I am white.

My thoughts on the President's comments on the topic, if he had a son that son would look like Trayvon: That probably wasn't the most eloquent statement the president has ever made and a lot of people came down hard on it. I think what he was trying to say is that even though our country has evolved to the point where a black man is president, we are still in a place where a black kid can get shot simply for being black.

My thoughts on the congressman who was kicked off the floor just for wearing a hoodie: That man was just trying to support Trayvon's family and make a statement that you shouldn't judge someone by what they are wearing. I think the fact that he was kicked out for some ridiculous bylaw (wearing a hat?!?) says a lot about how out of touch our elected officials are with the American People.

My thoughts on the slandering of Trayvon's name: I have heard reports that people (and I don't know who these people are) saying that Trayvon did drugs and had recently been caught with drugs at school. I don't know if these allegations are actually true or just an attempt to slander a child. Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the biggest anti-drug people around. I have never done drugs and I expect the people in my world don't do them around me. I believe drugs rob potential from young kids and I pray that my daughter stays away from them when she grows up. Even with my adamant anti-drug stance, I still say who cares? It's not relevant. It doesn't matter if Trayvon was the bigger drug pusher in school or if he had never used drugs. At the time he was murdered, he was not selling or using drugs. All he had on him was a bag of skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Furthermore, even if he were selling or using drugs at the time, he didn't deserve to be shot. If that were the case, that is a job for the police, not some self-appointed neighborhood watch guy with a gun. The attempt to slander a 17 year old boy who was doing nothing but walking through a neighborhood at the time of his death sickens me.

One thing that does make me hopeful in the aftermath of Trayvon's murder is the cries for justice that have been expressed by people of all races and ethnicities throughout this country. Our country has been thrown into rioting and turmoil for lesser crimes than this. People are demanding justice, but they are doing so peacefully. I think the calm but insistent pleas for justice by Trayvon's parents have helped to set the tone for the country and for that they should be commended.

As for the shooter, George Zimmerman. He needs to be arrested and put on trial in front of a jury of his peers. That due process of law is one of the basic tenants that this country was founded upon. What the jury's decision will be is out of our hands but the trial needs to happen. Anything less presents the image to Americans and to the world that it is ok to shoot someone just for walking in your neighborhood. That is not an America I want to live in and I hope I never have to.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Never Write in My Blog Anymore

Things that have happened since I have last written:

*I got a job with Matthew's Center
*I got pregnant
*I bought a Prius
*We got Willie Dog a sweet old beagle from the pound
*I discovered I hated my job at Matthew's Center
*I lost my job at Matthew's Center
*We had a baby girl! Addison Brooklyn Kenney was born on 4/27/10. She was 5 lbs 15 oz and 17 1/2 inches. She is beautiful! She is almost 6 months old now and so smart!
*Since I didn't have a job anymore I got to experience being a stay at home mom. I am really grateful for the time I got to spend with Addie in the first 6 months of her life.
*We moved back to PA. We live in Lansdale now and love it. We missed PA lots and are so happy to be back, although we do miss our VA friends.
*We had to give away Willie Dog because we couldn't have him in our new apartment. I still miss him terribly and hope he is happy with his new family.
*I just got a new job. On November 1st I start as the Director of the Logan/Olney preschool in Philadelphia. It is a preschool for children with disabilities.

I think that is about it. It has been an interesting year. I will try to write in my blog more but I doubt that it will actually happen since I am now a working mom!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm Graduated!

After 4 and a half years in my doctoral program for special education, I finally graduated on Saturday. It was a great weekend filled with friends and family. My parents came from Maine and Bill's family came from Pennsylvania. The only one missing was my brother Jason, but being the he lives in Japan, I think its ok he wasn't there :). It was a beautiful day (it was supposed to rain and ended up being 80 degrees and sunny) and the ceremony was very meaningful. Instead of reading our names and herding us through a line like cattle like most graduation ceremonies, they took the time to read a statement that our advisors wrote about us as we were being hooded. It was really nice. I am still in shock that I am finally done. After 4 and a half years or a doctoral program and 10 1/2 years of college education (undergrad-doctorate, thankfully not consecutively), I don't quite know what to do with myself not being in school. I'm sure I will figure it out soon though. One thing I do know. The doctoral program was one of the toughest challenges I have encountered so if I can do that, I can take on pretty much anything a future job could throw at me. Now if only I could find a job! I want to thank my family and Bill for encouraging me and believing in me. I couldn't have done it without you. I haven't downloaded the pictures on my computer yet so check out the hubby's blog to see them. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering Catherine

I got the news today that one of my former students, Catherine, passed away yesterday. Catherine was in my class for all four years that I taught and she quickly became my favorite (teachers are not supposed to have favorites but we all do). Catherine was really quiet and reserved when I first met her. A lot of people didn't even realize she could talk but it didn't take long to discover that she could talk up a storm. Every time something crazy happened in our classroom (which was often) Catherine would say "Oh My God". Writing that in a blog doesn't really do it justice because the tone of voice she used when she said it was really funny. Catherine loved cats and every so often, out of nowhere she would just say "meow". I had kept in touch with Catherine's family since I left teaching and just last week Catherine's mother said that they were going to her sister's to watch their cat and she could hear Catherine meowing. I just can't believe she's gone. In my line of work, it is an occupational hazard to have students die before their time. I've had three students from my last class die in the last four years (that is almost half the class from that year- we had 8 students in that class). Each of the deaths were very sad and difficult to take. Catherine was just so alive though. She wasn't sick. She had a disability but she was healthy. Its really a shock. When Tom (the principal of the school I worked at) told me about Catherine he said that when people hear about our job they think we are doing so much for kids but the students we work with give us back so much more. It is true. Catherine gave me so much more than I gave her. When I first started teaching, it was really difficult for me. It was my first "real" job and I had to create all my lessons and materials from scratch. I was so stressed out. When Catherine started coming out of her shell and talking, it made me think that maybe I was a good teacher and maybe I could do this job after all. She gave me the confidence to keep on going. Who knew a little girl with a big voice could shape the direction of my life. I never got to thank her properly for that. So Catherine, thank you so much for making such a difference in my life. I will miss you so much. Every time I hear a "Kitty Cat" meow I will think of you. Above are pictures of Catherine when she graduated last June.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Goodbye PA

In four days I will be moving from Pennsylvania back to Northern Virginia. I have some mixed feelings about this. While I'm happy to be moving near friends again and excited about Bill's first full time job in baseball, I remember how much Bill and I hated that area and how much we wanted to move. Below is my list of things I will miss and wont miss from our great adventure in Pennsylvania:

Things I will miss about PA:
*Our first apartment as husband and wife with the huge living room and kitchen
*Quakertown Farmer's Market (even though it smells funny, you can't get better quality produce)
*Lee's Hoagie House
*My friends at work
*The comparative (compared to NOVA) lack of traffic
*Good pizza

Things I absolutely WILL NOT miss about PA:
*The people who live below us who constantly slam the door and make our whole house shake
*My job
*The extra pounds I've gained from eating all the good food around here. Now that we are moving back to the crappy restaurants in VA, I expect to lose those pounds.

So goodbye PA. Bill and I started our marriage here. I've enjoyed the time we have spent here and maybe will Bill and I will be back again. I'm sure it wont take long before we realize that the reason we moved to PA in the first place is because we hated VA and want to move again. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


That is the only word I can use to describe the whole A Rod steroid scandal. Although I have to say that I'm only somewhat surprised. I am a huge Yankees fan, but I've never really cared for A Rod. I appreciated his talent but did not care for his personality. He is too egotistical and whiney for my taste. I am more of a Derek Jeter girl. Anyway, it doesn't really surprise me that someone with his personality would turn to steroids if his performance was not meeting expectations. I don't give any credit to A Rod for admitting his steroid use either. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the pariah that Roger Clemens has become by denying the obvious and compare that with the forgiveness that Andy Pettite got by admitting steroid use and realize that coming clean is the better option. The worst part about all of this is that A Rod has a good chance of breaking Barry Bonds fake record. I was looking forward to Big Head's record falling but now its going to fall to another cheater. Its really sad that a record that was hard earned by Hank Aaron has to fall to two cheaters.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our New Baby

This morning Bill and I brought home our baby. This baby is 42" long. We have named him Samsung Kenney. Of course I am talking about our new 42" plasma flat screen HD TV. We got up extra early this morning to wait in line at Kmart for a chance to get the TV for the unheard of price of $700 and we got one! After years of watching TV on a 20" screen, I don't know what to do with myself. I know we will have many years of TV watching with our new baby. :)