Saturday, March 31, 2007

Writing and Sharing

I'm in the process of reading for my writing projects. The new material is most interesting as it seems to indicate that the need to communicate ran deep and strong during early eras in history among a group of women who had very little to join them in a community. I'm finding the ways that they use the contexts of their environment and their rhetorical strategies are ways well known to linguists and women's studies professionals. The Submissive Subversive Rhetoric as I call it lingers to this day amongst many writings put forth by current Latinas. I'm theorizing a bit and need to do more research but I intuit that so called magic realism may in fact be a creative way to continue the submissive subversive pose.

Aries Women

Just a note to reflect on the many awesome and awe inspiring friends I have born under the sign of Aries. Don't know for sure if the astrological signs really tell us anything but it can't be happenstance that many of my good and outstanding women friends were born under this sign.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Elizabeth and John Edwards - Press Conference

Elizabeth Edwards' ordeal with cancer shows Americans a brave woman who chooses to continue to support her husband's presidential campaign. This has been questioned by those who would like to see Edwards end his run for president.

She shows however that people can be productive despite a cancer diagnosis. I hope more of us can follow her example. We may not all have cancer but surely comparisons with other conditions can be made and thus her example is a wonderful one for us to emulate.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

After Tucson onto New York

Next week I fly off to the Big Apple to work my little self into a smaller version of myself. I finally have the Exec Committee book half reorganized. The next step will be to read relevant parts of the material sent to us for discussion.

3/31/07 Have returned from the conference and must comment on some of my experiences. New York as always is great. Of course it is as I was born there. However, the unexpectedly cold weather had a lasting effect on me. I still cough and hack. The side trip to Miami was interesting as it presented me with the opportunity to travel alone to an environment I had never experienced. It was great to hear lots of Spanish with Caribbean accents. The people were friendly and that part of the experiences was wonderful.

The environment in Miami Beach, however, showed me a dirty, over built beach area. It looks great from afar but when you're down on the street the filth is there to see. It's great for younger people who want to party and I know that if I were such a younger person I wouldn't notice dirty streets and beaches too dirty to swim in.

I did get to attempt to conquer the cold that I picked up in New York but as yet am still wheezing, coughing, etc. If this keeps up, I'll have to see a doctor. Ugh!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

TPMmuckraker March 13, 2007 01:07 PM

TPMmuckraker March 13, 2007 01:07 PM

In the HuffPost the preceding link demonstrates the reason for not hiring people without values of our country's founders. Of course, there have been liars and con men in our government previously, but for a country who claims to mete out justice and base its judicial system on the rule of law, the current scandal is serious indeed.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tucson

Went to Tucson for a treat at Gadabouts and came away inspired. However, the growth of the city is quite evident. Yet Tucson would be a great retirement spot because of the way the city protects itself from too much street light---mesquite and palo verde trees are all over town. Most attractive houses and apartment complexes look best when they keep to a desert landscape. A few apartment near Ft Lowell and Campbell were quite reasonably priced. I wonder if the same is true further east of town. I'll find out more at another time.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Obsenity

My colleague in Detroit posted a story about an upcoming case to judge whether or not certain books will be marked "obscene" so I looked a the story and low and behold one of my favorite authors and her work are on the hit list. Before going into the details of the story, I just wondered who gives license to "kill" to district attorneys. Whose definitions of decency do they use? Why are stories that highlight the incredible sufferings of people of color deemed indecent?

These recurrent attacks on language and literature stem, in my humble opinion, from total ignorance of the lives and cultures of others of those people who don't look like what I'll label "white bread" or bland USAmerican culture. I'm excluding lots of great people from my definition in order to zero in on the kind of thinking that seems to go into fear of changes in language and in the literatures of people whose lives differ from that portrayed in the Fun with Dick and Jane kind of literature so prevalent in my early years or in the cute and always entertaining but popular to mainstream Americana such as Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew whose families resembled the nuclear families we were all told were the ideals to which we should strive to attain.

Citing Bill DeGenero's comments: I must concur. Bill points out the following: "What are the three books? Erin Gruwell's "Freedom Writers Diary," Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," and Richard Wright's "Black Boy." Yes, all three books are about people of color. Yes, two out of three are written by people of color."

I cringe at the thought that stories that touched me, particularly Morrison's The Bluest Eye should be defamed by such an attack. I say this as a fairly light skinned Puerto Rican woman who has had experiences not that different from the central character in Morrison's book. MORE not FEWER works that point to the abuse of children. the abuse of cultural conflicts. and the power in balances that create the kinds of situations in which children of color often find themselves should be written. Better than that, after being awakened to the facts of these dreadful situations more not less should be done to prevent further abuse of children. And in Morrison's book, the abuser, himself a product of lack of love and of abuse, is also to be understood in the context of his environment and life. There are some abusers who need redemption because the contexts and horrors of their own lives lead them to reach out for love in a most inappropriate manner. So the Breedloves will again be "dumped on" instead of understood and the abuse they experienced will be relegated to the pyre of obscenity and high school students will not understand that people outside their immediate cultural milieu live different lives that require a different sensibility and perhaps a diffeent approach which will allow for understanding and the kind of outreach that leads to healing as well the personal growth we seek when reading literature that represents lives like and sometimes different from what we live.

Personal Expectations

With respect to identity politics and doing what one wants to do: When do I really do what I want versus what I think I want? These distinctions are important to me recently because I seem to have fallen into an old trap--doing what others expect from me as a mother, woman, teacher, etc. This day, March 2, 2007, I want to run away and be free from all labels. I want to dance, sing, and maybe even doodle without having to answer to anyone. Yet no matter what I'm doing now, by two I must be somewhere to pick up a grandchild. He's a love and not the source of my feeling stifled, but I did not sign up for being a stay at home Grannie.

It seems as if no matter where I land--here, Chicago, Detroit, or California someone finds me and I'm expected to be or do something. It seems as if old roles are hard to drop totally.