Saturday, April 16, 2022

Request for Parts

To Whom It May Concern, 

On behalf of the Brain department, I am writing this letter to request you to provide us with a new Thought Processing Filter, as the old Filter is not in good condition. We urgently need to replace the Filter so that our human can avoid the following:

        - Calling her mother "a fancy mf"

        - Telling her uncle that she "hates everything" when he asks her how she is doing

Please send the new Filter as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

The Brain Department

Friday, April 15, 2022

Ramble

I find it funny how I hate my full time job so much that I look forward to going home, but the minute I have a day off with nothing to do, I am immensely bored and miss working my part time job  (I took this weekend off because of Easter plans).  Maybe I really am an ambivert, just slightly more on the introvert side. 

On a slightly unrelated note, I am ready to be and do what makes me happy again. I am ready to change my path so that I can look back on it with pride, not painful indifference. I want to be proud of how happy I've become, not just trying to survive.

That's all. Peace out. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again

Hello.

So yeah... I spectacularly suck at keeping up with posting regularly. My last post was published in January of 2021, and my goodness, much as happened since then! I have a two new jobs: one full-time that I am trying to make it through the end of the school year with, and one part time/weekend job that provides me with everything that I wish my full-time job would supply. Needless to say, if I could support myself just on the part time job, things would be a lot more bright than they have been. This school year has been rough.

As I contemplate on how things have been this year and the impact it has had on me, I think back to a period during my high school years when my aunt was going through a particularly hard time in her life. I remember the younger version of myself observing and listening about what was going on. I watched as my aunt learned bitter life lessons and emerged from the unfortunate events as a changed woman who had suffered emotional and mental turmoil. My young self saw the difference in her demeanor; the tone of her happiness and enthusiasm changed its pitch. It was not that she showed out-right sadness or unhappiness (though I can imagine that she surely felt this), but what she chose to emote and show to the world became more muted in tone. I remember thinking to myself, 'I will never let the world hurt me the way it has hurt her.' 

What an incredibly niave notion. The world sucks. People can be so passive it hurts, as well as downright cruel. This year has shown me exactly how wrong my teenage self was in that line of thinking. To clarify, I have never thought my aunt weak by any means; she is one of the strongest people I know and has gone through more traumatic familial circumstances over the last five years than anyone should have to go through in their entire lifetime. I simply never imagined that I would go through life events that would wear me down in the same manner as they did for her. I am simply trying to make it through, to tread water until I reach the opposite shoreline. Similar to how a swimmer holds their breath underwater, I feel as though I am a hollow version of myself with my emotions shoved down deep in order to finish the journey without drowning.

I now see the similarities between myself this year and my aunt those many years ago. Both of us acting like soldiers battling to move forward, to make it through, albeit in vastly different ways given our individual circumstances. Two things about this commonality give me hope: firstly, the end is near in sight for me and I will make new decisions for myself next year. Secondly, things worked out for my aunt in ways I am sure she never imagined. Since that period of her life, she has received several blessings that changed her life for the better and gave her the narrative I think she long desired. If she can power through to a better period in her life, than so can I. How her story has developed gives me hope; the future can and will be better.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

A Day of Infamy, Sedition, and Terror

In retrospect, I wish I had saved the Shakespeare quote and used it for this post. It would have been just as fitting. 

I cannot describe the dread I felt during the middle of my workday when I looked down at the words written in the Buzzfeed notification my phone had pinged at me. My first thought was, “There’s no way. No one in their right mind…” But it was true. A group of Trump supporters were essentially breaking into the U.S. Capitol to protest the democratic process that was taking place.

Just to provide clarity, the definition of democracy as stated by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is as follows: “1a. government by the people; 1b. a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” To put it simply, we (the citizens of this country) elect the people who represent us. We vote, and whichever candidate gets more votes wins that election fair and square. Fair. And. Square.

Sometimes a candidate that I did not vote for or support will win. Sometimes a candidate I did support and vote for will win. Either way, the results are fair, because the winner is the one who received the most support. I will respectfully and good-naturedly accept that result and move on, while still supporting and upholding the beliefs and morals that I hold true.

Because of this sentiment, I could not wrap my head around the reasoning for the actions of the so-called “patriotic” protestors who infiltrated the United States Capitol this afternoon. Yes, I am aware that the current commander in chief of this country was sowing seeds of distrust and opposition in his supporters regarding the validity of the election process, so I suppose the events of today are not terribly surprising. But I had thought the American people, the citizens of this country, of the United States, were better than this. Instead, what occurred at the location of the Legislative Branch was “an attack on America”, and U.S. Representatives were “instructed to lie down on the floor and put on [their] gas masks” (quoted from Dan Kildee's Twitter page) while the House Chambers were bombarded by protestors.

Meanwhile, the president sat in the oval office and watched it all unfold, tweeting, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” It wasn’t until hours later, after one woman suffered a gunshot wound, many of his supporters vandalized the capitol, and countless congresspeople, as well as President Elect Joe Biden, called for Trump to call off the protestors that he finally posted another tweet, saying:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have badly and unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

He also made a video from the White House, which included the following message:

“You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt. We love you. You’re very special and I know how you feel.”

This message is problematic in countless ways. Firstly, he did not get a “landslide majority” of the votes stripped away from him. He simply lost. Secondly, how exactly have his “great patriots” been treated badly and unfairly? Please do explain, because I do not understand. Did they get pinned to the ground while a police officer kneeled on the back of their neck for 8 minutes? Did they get shot in the chest while reaching for their driver’s license? Did they get murdered in their own home in the dead of night? No? Didn’t think so.

Thirdly, these very much are not “the things and events that happen” because of the results of an election. How DARE you tell vandals and terrorists to go home with love and in peace? How DARE you normalize this behavior of hate and violence. You are a spoiled little boy in a grown man’s body throwing a temper tantrum because you lost the game after cheating for so long. Grow up.

And to people like this woman (whose identity will remain anonymous), who say, “The people are angry. Nobody’s listening to us, Republicans or Democrats. We’re Trumpers.” Fine. You don’t have to like that your candidate lost. No one likes it when their candidate loses. But you don’t see the rest of us flipping tables and throwing the chess pieces all over the floor; we accept the loss with grace. The way in which you used your voice so that people “listened to you” was through your vote; the other team simply cheered louder.

This country’s political system is not something you can just physically and harmfully rage against when things don’t go your way. It is an organized system in which everyone’s opinion is considered. It may be flawed, but this unprecedented attack on it is simply inappropriate and unnecessary. If you want change, start a petition or create a bill and send it to congress. Act like an adult. Try teaching your fearless leader a thing or two about what it means to be an American.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.

In my last post, I shared information regarding the case of Brandon Bernard, a Black man who received the death penalty and was executed via lethal injection at 9:27pm on December 10th, 2020. May he rest in power. 

The date of his execution happened almost a month ago already; it seems scarily unbelievable that almost that much time has passed already. What is even more scary is that, just over a month after the government approved and officiated death of two African American males (Bernard and Alfred Bourgeois) in December, a third is set to be executed on January 15th, just five days before President Elect Joe Biden is to be sworn into office. 

Dustin John Higgs is charged with the kidnapping and murder of three females in January of 1996. Just as was the case with Brandon Bernard, Higgs was not the person who killed the victims (Tamika Black, Tanji Jackson, and Mishann Chinn). The man responsible for their death is Willis Haynes, who "pleaded guilty to shooting the three victims" and stated that “the prosecution’s theory of our case was bullshit. Dustin didn’t threaten me. I was not scared of him. Dustin didn’t make me do anything that night or ever.” Haynes was sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Higgs will be sentenced to death on Martin Luther King Jr's birthday for a crime he did not commit. 

Let me say that again: The perpetrator responsible for the triple murder will spend his life in prison, while an innocent Black man will be killed for no reason on the birthday of a historical figure who fought and died for him to have equal rights and freedoms in this country

I am angry; the very institution sworn to protect our lives and liberty is picking and choosing who they deem worthy; the message this sends to the African American people is unacceptable. I will continue to be angry, but I refuse to sit around and do nothing. 

Below I have put several links and a description above each one. Please read and educate yourself more about this issue. Dustin himself has been actively trying to promote his horrid situation; PLEASE sign his petition if you do nothing else!


Dustin's Petition:

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-wrongly-convicted-savedustinjhiggs-com-help-me-change-the-narrative?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_23074696_en-US%3A1&recruiter=1124020166&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=petition_dashboard


Dustin's Website:

http://www.savedustinjhiggs.com/ 


Dustin's Official Clemency Petition to the President:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tcILPcHeP8MNOgwemxfqrDL5kzRm-4zA/view 


An article I quoted above:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-is-the-last-man-due-to-be-executed-by-the-trump-administration 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Morals

    You know you’re frustrated and dying to write when you’re trying to log in to your computer and end up typing in the name you’re thinking about instead of the proper password. It was just over a week ago when I came across the name Brandon Bernard for the first time. I was reading CNN’s daily “5 Things” email, and Brandon Bernard had made the list for that day. This is what I learned from CNN:

“Brandon Bernard, a federal prisoner convicted of murder for his part in the gang killing of a couple in 1999, was executed last night by lethal injection, much to the dismay of the activists who had been pleading for a stay of execution. He was the youngest person in the United States to receive a death sentence in nearly 70 years for a crime her committed when he was an adolescent, and his execution is the ninth to be carried out since Attorney General William Barr restarted federal executions after a 17-year hiatus. Bernard’s case garnered lots of attention from activists, including Kim Kardashian West, who argued against Bernard’s execution because he was a teenager at the time of the double murder, and was not the person who actually shot and killed the two victims.” 

    In addition to Kim Kardashian West, over 20 other political figures attempted to halt Bernard’s sentence as well. The various appeals made by political figures were denied at multiple court levels, including the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Supreme Court.

    Bernard expressed remorse and a sincere apology to the family impacted by the murder. Charles Woodward, the father of one of the victims, Stacie Bagley, stated, "I pray that Brandon has accepted Christ as his Savior, because if he has, Todd and Stacie will welcome him into Heaven with love and forgiveness."

I have a lot going on inside my head about this, and the easiest way for me to effectively share this is by making a list, so here goes:

  • It is important to note that Bernard was 19 years old when he played a part in this crime. I am struggling with the fact that he remained on Death Row for twenty-one years as he awaited punishment.
  • He was not the one who had a direct role in killing the victims, so why did he pay for this crime with his life?
  • I can’t wrap my head around Charles Woodward’s statement. The fact that he is hoping that another man has accepted Christ as his savior leads me to believe that Woodward himself identifies as Christian. I understand firsthand that forgiveness is incredibly difficult, and I have no idea how hard it must have been to lose a child, especially when they are taken from you forcefully. But how, in good faith, can one just sit there and accept this outcome, this “eye for an eye” behavior when they have been taught their whole life to turn the other cheek? How can someone be content with the fact that another life will be taken in addition to the lives that have already been lost?
  • I can’t even begin to imagine the despair, rage, frustration, and anguish the Black community is feeling right now. This gives evidence of racial inequality. The highest level of the justice system, the very institution sworn to fairly and equitably uphold the rights and freedoms of all people (ALL people) is letting them down.
  • Will the same standard be held to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed three people with an AR-15 rifle in Kenosha on August 25th, 2020? Or will he be off the hook because of the color of his skin?

For those reading this, I’ve added a link below to CNN’s article on Brandon Bernard’s execution. I highly recommend reading it.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/10/politics/brandon-bernard-executed/index.html

Please feel free to start a dialogue with me on the points I’ve listed above. I will gladly have a respectful conversation with anyone who wants to talk about this topic.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Hello! Life Update

Hello, Friends and Family!

Here's a quick life update:

The school I worked at moved into full Distance Learning this week (as of this moment, we are scheduled to go back on January 4th, but who knows if that will truly happen. COVID numbers continue to be at a new all-time high every day, so.....) and it's been an interesting transition, but not horrid by any means. I am grateful and thankful that my students and I are staying safe and healthy by learning/teaching from home. 

On the other hand, by the time 3pm rolls around during the week, I am met with a nauseating and miserable sense of boredom. My afternoon/nightly routine consists of a daily walk/alternate form of exercise, dinner, a random magazine logic puzzle or two, a few chapters of a good book, then sleep. Within this last week, I have found that solo crazy dance parties or lengthy video chats with friends, even walking the halls of my apartment complex with my cat are necessary to cure my boredom. I am afraid that this won't be enough soon, and I have no idea what I am going to do. 

During last year's school year, I believed myself to be a slightly extroverted introvert, given the fact that I would come home from work and not want to interact with any other humans whatsoever at all. However, being antisocial by choice is one thing. Being required to be solely by myself and unable to get my daily dose of in-person human interaction from going into work is another thing entirely. Quarantine has caused me to realize that I am in fact equal parts introverted and extroverted (which I hear is called being an "ambivert"), and that I use to use up all my extrovert energy during the day on a normal sized class (24 young people) during the majority of the 2019-2020 school year. Now that I have smaller class sizes, as well as much more time at home to myself, my extroverted side is going crazy. 

So, if you have any ideas or recommendations on what to do to during free time, please let me know! New recipes, activities, crafts - all are welcome!

In other news, Thanksgiving was lovely; I got to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, grandpa (mom's side) and grandpa and grandma (part of my dad's side) and have a delicious meal with my parents. It was lovely to be able to spend time with all of them! 

Also, now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I have put up a few Christmas decorations (I don't have many), and have been playing my Christmas playlist on repeat - I love the Christmas season Hopefully we get a good snowfall before Christmas Day; I do appreciate a white Christmas...!

I hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and busy! I wish you the best and a fabulous holiday season! I cannot WAIT for New Year's!!!

Rachel

Request for Parts

To Whom It May Concern,  On behalf of the Brain department, I am writing this letter to request you to provide us with a new Thought Process...