I like to walk.It combines exercise, being outdoors, and thinking. Love it!
Lately it's become frustrating.
My mind wanders and I worry.
And I can't let go of my fears.
Sometimes when I write about something it allows me to let go of it.
As an enamel teacher, I often discuss the concept of Preciousness with my students.
Things feel Precious when they are rare, scarce, unable to be replaced, and meaningful.
In art-making, the more Precious the object becomes, the more fearful I generally feel.
Afraid of making a mistake, ruining something I like, failing.
But Preciousness can also make me Pay Attention.
Because it is Precious I pay more attention, I make sure I don't ruin it, I am careful.
Things in my life are Precious too.
I don't want them to be ruined, damaged, or lost.
My Daughter and my Wife.
Literally their lives,
but also their Spirit.
The way they feel about themselves
How they think and feel about their lives.
My friends and family
My career and income
The students I teach
I watch my Precious Daughter grow older
She is almost 17 years old
I watch her struggle with basic high school problems:
Boys, Peer Groups, Homework & Grades, Learning to Drive, the newest phone
Thoughts about her future: College and Career
And I don't want to loose her.
Loose her enthusiastic spirit, her smile, her laugh, her joy when she tells me about her latest school success
But I almost lost that.
In Sixth Grade she was threatened with Sexual Assault
at the School Bus Stop!
When I called the school counselor, she wasn't surprised.
Said it had happened several times already that year.
This was the week following the school's Anti-Bullying Education Program
It was a boy she knew; he lived up the street.
Probably only "locker room talk", but we took it seriously and reported it.
And then it happened in Eight Grade.
Same bus stop, different boy.
But this was different.
This was an escalation of several previous instances of harassment.
Name calling about sex and race.
She hadn't told us.
But then he grabbed her,
and sang a little song he made up about "raping her Ass".
And she couldn't hide that from us.
How does this change a person?
Just the threat?
Same as an adult
Fear to be around that person. But he was riding the bus each day.
Fear for her safety.
Fear to "get someone in trouble".
Fear to be the center of attention.
Fear that possibly SHE had done something wrong.
Or even worse that SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH HER!
We dealt with it.
School, Police, Parents, Counseling.
And she will be a stronger woman. But why did she have to deal with this?
The threat was bad enough.
But what might have happened if the assault was actually carried out?
And what made these young boys (sixth and seventh graders)
think it was acceptable to say or threaten my daughter?
Why was the school counselor not surprised?
And why wasn't this type of behavior address with the students at her school?
This was not acceptable when I was in school (the 60's and 70's)
I don't believe most Americans believe it is acceptable today.
But there has been a growing epidemic in our culture of this type of behavior
This Mindset does not make America Great.
It never did and never will.
It is illegal
Whether it is talk on the street or talk in the locker room
it creates a culture which says:
"Women are objects to be used."
"Women are expendable."
"Women are inferior to Men."
"My needs and feelings are the most important things in the world.
We need to eliminate this rape culture from our society.
And we need to make sure that we don't elect someone as President
who doesn't understand this.
Need convincing or just want to learn more?
It really has become an epidemic.
Many men believe they can get away with this.
As do the Boys they are raising.
Read: Missoula by Jon Krakauer: https://www.amazon.com/Missoula-Rape-Justice-System-College/dp/0804170568/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476296568&sr=8-1&keywords=missoula+jon+krakauer
Watch: The Hunting Ground: http://thehuntinggroundfilm.com/