Friday, November 20, 2009


What looks the strongest has outlived its term
The future lies with what's affirmed from under.
Seamus Heaney

The quote above I stole from a report (Jaime Kalven's Garden Conversations) because it finally caused something that I've wondered about to click in.

The reason why we give back is because fate is a wheel - it's undeniable that we will not be permanent, and that someone else will come to power. That is the way of things. So when you give back to others and guide them, you make your world better and enhance the chances that the person at the top will not only be sympathetic to your causes but will treat you the same way you treated them and build in the way that you taught them. It's almost the same aspects as religious-type tenets, but more forward thinking than I've ever heard put forth. You literally build the world you live in.

Idealistic, of course. But it makes sense!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walmart isn't the end-all of evil

I was just reading a post about a couple that was detained at Wal-mart and very crudely treated. Mind you, this isn't the only report of Big Business© causing issues with customers. United was spotted for their kerfluffle with a musician who decided to write a song about the affair - United Breaks Guitars , which has apparently actually caught their attention finally and prodded them to do something about it. There are probably only about several thousand stories such as these that I haven't read.
My point - now is not the time to mistreat customers, or to allow employees who do so to continue working for you. Unemployment is the highest it's been since the early 90's - find someone else to do the job you pay them to do, which is treat your customers with respect and dignity regardless of everything else. Any one who has worked retail/sales/etc. knows that there are complete jerks who come into the store just to abuse you and make themselves feel better about their shitty lives, but guess what? You're still paid to do the job of helping customers. Good clerks still find a way to do that and then mutter under their breaths or in the breakroom. It's the way of it. It's why you get an education and move to a job that doesn't require you to be looked down upon.
Also, Big Business©, you might think about treating your workers better and paying them more. Otherwise, it's your name that gets trashed, not the worker's name.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Detachable head

I've been watching the free TED talks today, which are fabulous by the way, and one of the talks struck me. The talk is by Sir Ken Robinson and it's about how schools kill creativity. (link) I think the title is a little broad for what he's actually talking about (and a little misleading as to the main point of the talk) but he says something about university professors to the gist of their bodies becoming transports for their heads. It's quite funny when he says it (the whole talk is very entertaining) but it got me - that's exactly how I feel now in law school.
I am not independently wealthy, no parental support, so law school is a reach for me. I am extremely lucky to have a scholarship that I hope I get to keep (it's based on scholarship, and law school is beyond competitive.) I work full-time as well, which is the only way I would be able to support myself. Some days are harder than others. I must honestly say this is the most homework I've ever done, and the most hours ever spent on class work. It's fun, sometimes, too; I suppose I'd be in the wrong school if it wasn't.
Consequently, I really have become a machine to move my head around. In the morning I wake up and go to work where I sit at a desk and let my head read lists for databases, talk on the phone, and snack on stuff that is terrible for me. Then I get in my car and drive my head to school, where it listens intently, instructs my hands to take notes, and generally tries to give a coherent answer to the questions in class. After that, I drive my head home where it hits the pillow and sleeps (hopefully.) If not, it reads a bit. On the weekend my head reads cases and does homework. Honestly, if I were to be changed over to a roofing job or some kind of physical labor, I think my body would die of shock - "What? You're using me? Gasp!" Which is not to say that I don't miss physical activity. I pine when it's sunny outside and I'd like to be out walking or hiking or something that requires a decent amount of effort. It would almost be wonderful to have a detachable head so that it could do all this reading and whatnot and my body could go do body-things like dance or lift things. Of course, body would need supervision, so that probably wouldn't work out as well as I'd like, but overall seems like it would be healthier.
Another thing that Sir Robinson spoke about was that education was built to serve industry - what the industry's needs were rather than our own as humans. Isn't that profound when you really think about it? You get one go on this planet and you're conditioned to serve in a system that doesn't serve you.
All in all, I can't complain. I have a lot of anxiety and a lot of sitting around, but my life is good and fulfilling for the most part. But ah the days when I wish that I didn't need structure and could just run away from it all...those days happen quite frequently now. Do me a favor and go to the park and just soak in the atmosphere - the green (or red) of the leaves, the grass, the kids going crazy. My head will thank you.