Procrastination, in Poem Form

By Persephone

 

We all know what needs to get done,

We know which tasks cannot be outrun.

We know this,

Yet so far from bliss

Are fulfilling our obligations

That other duties require our absorption.

For who else can paint our toenails?

Who else could clear out our old emails?

There are random youtube videos to partake–

Or the cookies we might bake.

There are so many other things we could do:

Read a book, marry a banker, or ride a bike (to name a few).

Given some thought, we could find plenty of chores.

It’s human nature to look to other shores.

However, for all these excuses, I must warn ya’

All boil down to “I don’t wanna!”

 

Why I’m Tired…

 

By Persephone

Above, you’ll see a sideways shot of the reason why I’m not writing an article tonight.  I stayed up late to shop at a town 35 minutes away to get the last ingredients for the buttercream, then I decorated a bunch of cupcakes to make a pretty-ish cake.  This is all in pursuit of a happy niece, whose birthday is this weekend.  However, we all know that my niece will instead be disappointed somehow in whatever the festivities may be.  My sister’s kids really are spoiled.

Like, really spoiled.

Just Because I’m Good at Something…

By Persephone

I just took a final for one of my classes on Saturday, and I passed it.  I have an endorsement test scheduled for Tuesday because I obviously know how to schedule things well.  Seriously, you’d think I’d give myself a chance to breathe somewhere in my week.  Anyway, I’m a little worried about Tuesday’s test.  A friend of mine pointed out yesterday that I “worry too much,” pointing out my recent track record.  I’ve passed all of my endorsement tests and finals on the first try.  My friend figured reminding me of this fact would comfort me.  Instead, I think it skips over the reason I keep passing tests.

I don’t pass tests because I’m smart, as she claimed.  Sure, I’m not stupid, but no one remembers key information about the economics and the preamble to the Constitution because they know it instinctively.  I learn about this stuff because I study.  And I study.  And I study.  It’s an neverending process that results in academic success.

So, yeah.  I might be smart, but saying that I pass tests simply because I’m smart ignores all the hard work that goes into my test-taking.  Natural ability only goes so far on this one.  I also take this shit seriously.  Knowledge is a serious business.

Having said all this, there’s one more factor that promotes my success in this matter.

I hate taking tests.  I work that much harder to only take them once.  Just saying.

Why Sleep is Important

By Persephone

I’m taking a test today.  It’s an endorsement test in Social Studies so that I can eventually teach this subject after finishing my Master’s.  Having already taken such tests before (and passed them), I tried something different from my usual methodology this time around.  Usually, I study for weeks, then I pull a borderline all-nighter the night before the test, staying up late studying and getting up extremely early.  This generally results in my taking the test with a headache and feeling very groggy, as my normal state is quite sleep deprived before the all nighter.  It’s a pretty dumb process.  I might have already taken and passed all my basic skills exams, English Language Arts endorsement test, and a different Social Studies exam (don’t ask why I have to take a different one now…my school is weird), but this is still a pretty dumb method.

So, yesterday I tried something different.  I’ve been studying for this test for weeks, so that step in my process didn’t change.  However, I spent all day yesterday studying and napping.  I wasn’t kidding when I said my normal state was pretty sleep deprived.  I slept for an extra three hours at least yesterday, and this is not normal for me.  As a result, I feel much more refreshed and a hell of a lot less groggy.  When I started studying after my naps, I was able to retain a great deal more information.

This does make me wonder why I don’t do such things more often.  It seems obvious, right?  More sleep means you’ll be able to concentrate more and focus.  Yet, I’m always trying desperately to keep up with my schoolwork and working at schools on top of reading news, playing in a band, working out most days, and writing for this blog.  When you add in my helping raise my sister’s kids, it’s a wonder I have time for any sleep at all.

I guess I don’t need to wonder why I don’t nap more often.  However, I think I need to make the time.  This touches right on the subject of those individuals who are spending all their time working, attending school, protesting, or other high-stress and time-consuming activities.  No matter how sucked into these activities you might be, you have to take care of you first.

Just saying.

 

Some Words Are Just NOT Okay

By Persephone

There’s a word that I frequently hear whenever I’m teaching.  I always put a stop to it, asking the student not to use it again, and then we move on.  I’m consistent with this practice, so it hasn’t been a huge problem with my students.  If they ask why, I simply explain that I think it’s hate speech and that there are simply no good reasons to call anyone or anything by that title.

I’m talking, of course, of the word “retard.”  I remember being called this word myself many times as a teenager.  It was a relatively common insult, and I was just different enough to be called this with significant frequency.

My main problem with this word is…it just isn’t kind.  It isn’t kind to whoever you are calling that, and it seriously isn’t kind to anyone who historically falls into that category.  Anyone who is born or develops intellectual delays in their lifetime already have to face serious hardships.  These hardships include a lack of dependence, a struggle to conform socially, and a lack of career choices.  Please don’t add onto this by mocking individuals who literally can’t help how they are.  When you belittle people who already got dealt a shit deal at birth, you’re not making yourself seem smarter in comparison.  Believe me.

I only say all this because I’m tired of adults saying this word, too.  Teenagers, I can tell to stop.  I tell adults to stop, too (like I said, I’m a consistent person).  They’re just less likely to listen.

I Get a Lot of Questions About This…

By Persephone

As a member of the gay community, it’s amazing just what kind of random questions I’ve received over the years.  Well, it’s not that amazing.  I’ve always lived in very rural communities with very closeted (as in, nonexistent) gay communities, so I somehow have become a spokesperson for our minority.

Meh.  I’d prefer they ask questions than ignored their curiosity or went straight to condemnation.  I consider this progress.

Having said this, I find it interesting which questions crop up more often than not.  I get it when guys ask, “Just what is it you lesbians do?”  The answer: whatever we want.  We aren’t limited by anything but our wants and needs.  And women have a lot of imagination.  Although it reduces lesbianism to nothing more than questions about sex, this is an obvious question to ask me, so I can deal.  You also get a lot of follow-up questions about penetration and sex toys, but I won’t divulge too far into such topics at this time.

More than anything else, though, people are extremely curious about the transgendered community, and this I struggle with.  While they’re a part of the gay community, it’s not like I’ve met dozens and dozens of transgendered individuals.  I’ve met several, and everyone is different.  Just like everyone else.  The transgendered community only make up 0.6% of the American population, but they seem to puzzle conservatives more than any other group.  It’s weird, how fascinated my neighbors are about this topic.  Not as weird as how obsessed Republicans are with transgendered people’s bathroom habits, but what is?

So, here’s what I know about members of the transgendered community, and I admit it isn’t a lot.  While I’m a lesbian, I’ve always loved being a woman, and I don’t see this changing.  As a result, I haven’t read up as much about gender identity as I have about sexual orientation, which are two very different things.

But here goes.  Less than one in one hundred people are born in a body that feels biologically different than their emotional gender.  That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  This, I get.  If I had been born male, I can’t imagine not fighting and doing whatever it took to become female.  A woman is what I am, and losing the genetic lottery wouldn’t change that.  We are very fortunate to live in a time where hormone therapy, counseling, and surgery can help people achieve their real gender.  And, let me tell you, if someone undergoes all the social stigma of hormone therapy, the degradation of therapeutic questioning of their gender identities, and the very real physical pain and financial strain of surgery, then they have earned the right to be whichever gender they wish.

And after all this work, transgendered individuals might not turn out to be straight.  Like I said, gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing.  You could easily be a transgendered woman who is attracted to other women.  You could just as easily be a transgendered male who is attracted to women.  The point of all these trials and tribulations comes down to this at the end of the day: you are who are, and you like who you like.  While most of the population seems to like the opposite gender and refuse to question their own gender identity, this isn’t true for all of us.

We hurt no one (unless that’s what we’re into), so why do so many politicians care?  The collective gay community only makes up 4% of the population.  Anything we do in our personal lives will make very little impact on the rest of our country.  However, any decisions that politicians and other policymakers pass over the gay community only impact us.  That’s why we fight.  That’s why we work so hard to be pillars of our community.  In my case, I’m a gay community of one in my town in central Washington.  I’m fully aware that if I screw up, everyone around me will lump all gay people into the same category as me.

But no pressure.

 

 

Multidiversity in Action

By Persephone

I’m too tired tonight to write a whole lot…I’ve been studying like crazy all day, and my brain’s dead.  Having said that, I’d like to at least discuss a few observations I made earlier today.

While out with my family, we went out to lunch at a Chinese buffet.  It was just something fast with lots of options to choose from, as my sister’s kids are pretty picky.  While there, I noticed the other consumers.  About 80 to 90% of all the restaurant’s patrons were Hispanic.  Other the two servers of Asian descent, everyone else in the building was white.  It was a smorgasbord of national origins, and we were all feasting on highly Americanized Chinese cuisine that had very little to do with actual Chinese food.

This observation proved Americans tend not to notice irony even when it’s staring them in the face.  I really do love this country sometimes.  We can be so clueless, but this lack of awareness demonstrates just how far we’ve come in regards to race relations, too.  We are all simply Americans, and we were all hungry for some fried chicken swimming in soy sauce.  For some reason.