I would be lying if I said I wasn't remiss in updating lately. To tell the truth, not much has been going on. The highpoint of my weekend was a delicious chocolate cake for Scott's birthday.

It was brought to my attention over birthday cake that I'm entirely too hard on myself. Charlie and I talked about this on the way home and I realize that I do come off as incredibly critical of myself to some people, while others think my ego is huge. For example, I constantly criticize my cooking because I'm used to my dad's and Jay's cooking, both of whom are really good cooks. But in class people think I'm an intellectual snob and that I correct the instructors.

This morning, for instance, in my social work class. One of the students (an older woman probably in her late forties or early fifties who has said twelve times already that she wants to work for the crisis pregnancy center people — the ones who get girls to name their “babies” and offer to pay for everything but never really follow through) commented on the lecture about the Industrial Revolution, pointing out that “this was the time when the family unit really started to break down, wasn't it?” She said it in such a way that it sounded as if she were really proud of herself for getting this tasty little bit of information out of something more broad. Like, everything we'd heard up to this point led to her epiphany.

She and several other students have a habit of doing this. They sort of half-listen to lectures until their hear something that applies to their own personal religious philosophies, then they attempt to gain validation from the instructor, or other students, if all else fails. I've only been in the class three times, but it's from 9:30 in the morning till almost 12:30. You hear a lot of bullshit when you're crammed in a little room with 20 martyrs for three hours on a Monday morning.

So this woman's statement sounded to me as if she was trying to find yet another way to bring things around to how she sees the world. It seemed to me that she wanted to point out that she was paying attention, as well as the fact that she clearly finds “Family” (whatever that means) incredibly important. Obviously, or she wouldn't want her human services career to revolve around trying to talk women out of abortions.

It irritated me, too, though, because it was a stupid comment that made her look ignorant about history. She also pissed me off because she came in to class 20 minutes late for the third Monday in a row (excluding Labor Day) and wears entirely too much perfume. My head was throbbing and my eyes were swimming after five minutes of her sitting in front of me.
But I think a woman her age should be ashamed of herself for not having any working knowledge of rural life in the late 1800s. She made her comment right after the instructor had spoken about the difficulty of city life on people who had moved from farms in the country, and how it was harder for women to find child care (as it still is to this day), when they had to go to work. You know, since the groceries were bought now, rather than picked or killed in the backyard.

So I waited until I couldn't hold it back anymore and raised my hand. My instructor loves to hear herself talk (it's a three hour class once a week and she wouldn't give us breaks if she could get away with it), so it took her a while to call on me. When she finally did, I said: “I understand the points you're making, but I wanted to call attention to the fact that at this time in history we didn't revere children the way we do today. Back then, kids were treated more like 'small adults' and the more kids you had, the more help you had on the farm. I think it's important to note that it wasn't that the 'family' was more functional during that time, it just functioned differently.”

Whether or not this makes any sense to you isn't all that important. Maybe it sounds as snotty to you as it did to the other people in class who grimaced at me. It was my tactful way of pointing out that this woman's remarks didn't make any sense and she didn't have any information to back up her claims about the “breakdown of the family unit.”
It just annoys the holy hell out of me when people constantly try to interject their personal beliefs into the classroom. If I keep hearing that kind of stuff I am going to ask people to quit bringing it up.
If there's one major thing that bothers me the most about social work, it's that everyone thinks you have to be “Christian” to do it and do it well. I'd like to point out my own atheistic-agnosticism (or whatever you want to call it) just so they understand everyone isn't in there because they think they should be.
It's not a personal obligation on my part to have working in social services all the years I was there – I wanted to do it. My preacher didn't tell me I had to get a signed form to take to Jesus proving I did charity work.
Besides, I don't like to think of it as charity. I think everyone is collectively responsible for everyone else in whatever way they can be.

Which is why I'm basically a socialist.


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