Category Archives: Kitchen Sink

What are these Trump supporters so fucking angry about?

So….I got into a battle with someone on facebook who claimed we are all filled with hate.  He tried to claim that there is no basis for the frustration that so many Americans feel. He could not understand why people  would support Trump. I do not support Trump, but I would like to offer a reason for the anger and outrage many supporters feel. Below, is my reply. Please share your thoughts….

I get your frustration. I think most of us do from various angles. I don’t think the “why” is as complicated as we think. Republicans have tapped into a valid anger that many conservatives and rural folks feel as our manufacturing industry has slowly moved overseas thanks in large part to NAFTA. They’ve watched their jobs go away, they’ve struggled to support their families. The unions that used to protect them have all but been dismantled and they’ve put up with years of empty promises from politicians politicking their way in and out of their neighborhoods. This is REAL. This should not be dismissed and disregarded by democrats as has been the case for so long. Imagine the frustration that builds up over time when you feel your voice and your circumstances are never heard. Then, one day a guy kind of like them but also someone they aspire to be shows up and gives them a place for that anger. They vote for him, cheer for him, let al those years of anger out. That’s going to take a while to vent. Now, while the anger is valid the targets of the anger are not. But unless democrats figure out a way to resolve the circumstances that give rise to that anger in many rural communities through the USA, we will have a mostly red country for a very long time. Can we change things? Can we bring people together despite differences of opinion? Of course we can! That is the nature of the American Experiment. However, we need to come to terms, without any useless blaming, of what strategies and priorities will make that happen. Then, allocate funding to make it real. That is what will heal America. That is what will make America great again.

What is leadership? A doctoral student’s perspective.

Evolving as a Leader

Leadership is a process of constantly trying, reflecting, and growing (Kolb, 1984).  Developing as a leader involves so many puzzle pieces that create a unique picture depending on how we utilize them.  Ethics, social justice, plagiarism, reliability, and validity in the research process, are just a handful of areas to address as a scholar, researcher and leader.  .

Ethical Leadership

    Trevino, Hartman, & Brown (2000) chose a famous philosophical question when introducing their proposal that a moral person make a moral leader.  Plato asked, which extreme would you rather be: “an unethical person with a good reputation or an ethical person with a reputation for injustice?” Plato might have added, “or would you rather be perceived as ethically neutral–someone who has no ethical reputation at all ?”    

    This is a great way to begin a journey into the reflective process that is a critical part of leadership development and determining one’s ethical framework.  Trevino, Hartman & Brown (2000) note that there are two main factors upon which ethical leadership is determined; “perceptions of you as a moral person and perceptions of you as a moral manager” (Brown, 2000).   As with so many aspects of life, it is not enough to say that you are ethical, you must demonstrate it in your actions continuously over time. If a person is perceived as unethical in their personal lives, they are less likely to be trusted in their professional lives.  In fact, even organizations that are struggling can change with a commitment to the implementation of training in ethical leadership and continuing to consistently lead by example (Schraeder,Tears, & Jordan, 2005).

    As a budding scholar-practitioner, the entire academic and research process must be held to the highest ethical standard during completion of each step.  I like to live by the expression “begin as you intend to proceed.” Ethics is a constant process of making choices to do the right thing consistently. Plagiarism, short cuts to research which call into question the reliability and validity of research, inviting outside sources to do your work for you are all examples of unethical behavior that will negatively impact the value of the doctoral process, the degree itself and any work that proceeds from it.  One cannot live an unethical life and then suddenly become ethical. Again, it is a process not a spontaneous occurrence.

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Ethics is a choice to act with integrity (Brickley, Smith, Zimmerman, 2002).  Throughout my doctoral journey as in life, I intend to find strength to have courageous conversations, to stay true to my integrity and to lead by example in all I do so as to inspire others to do the same.

External Impact

    First and foremost, I have to thank my family for being a great support to me as I go

through this doctoral journey.  It has not been easy. As a single person who is working 60 + hours a week and managing a household, I feel at times at my wits end.  My family has been there through many phone calls, visits and holidays where I am exhausted and have helped me relax and keep me on track.  I also feel support from my colleagues and students at work which keeps me going. I am extremely grateful that I have this support system in place.

What is hardest for me is that the administration at my school doesn’t recognize the intensity of what I am doing and instead wants to try to pile on more.  That is a major frustration that leads me to consider alternatives as I reach the conclusion of my doctorate. I am at the point where I feel like I will do whatever it takes so no one gets in the way of its completion.  I wish administration could be more supportive so that I did not feel like I needed to make such a choice. The administration at my school has taught me more about what not to do as a leader to keep great talent and a positive school climate than they have taught me positives about leadership. Sometimes, those who lead poorly can have an equally strong impact on one’s learning as those who lead well.  I am taking my lessons as they come and I am working to put myself in the best position while keeping my focus on my end goal with relentless drive. No matter what I will succeed, whether because or despite others.

Growth as a Leader

    I have learned that leadership is the culmination of one’s experiences, reflection on those experiences and how one chooses to interpret them in their environment.  There is no one right way to lead or one great theory that works better than another (Kruse, 2013).  If this were true, there would not constantly be new ones sprouting up.  Everyone searches for answers, to understand the world around them and how to control as much of it as they can.  This is biological and socialized, especially in the Western world. Some people are able to lead others through positive transformational methods that inspire people to join in the vision.  However, there are also transformational leaders that become dictators who get whole nations to believe in and fight for a vision.

    Power is seductive.  It makes us wonder what to do with it when we have it.  We have many choices and only our character, influences, personal ethics, and perceived consequences will determine the specific blend of decisions we make.  Society reminds us what is popular, preferred and promoted. It also serves to keep in line those qualities that are less preferred. Further, some social, racial, gender and economic classes are held to different standards within those societal norms.  

    Choosing to lead is no insignificant matter for consideration.  In the worst of times, it will show you and others exactly what you are made of.  It will test your will daily. Again, there is no one right way to lead. Leadership has conditions within a given environment.  When the right leader matches those conditions and thrives in that environment, they will be successful, for better or worse. In some ways, the more I have studied leadership, the more I feel myself a reluctant leader.  Sometimes, I wonder how one leads well in the world we currently live. I enjoy observing the world around me. I am a born scientist in that way. The more I observe though, the more questions I have than answers. I realize that most people do not stop long enough to observe let alone reflect.  Leadership so often looks like pandering to the public, to donors, to people that want a piece of something from someone (Landa & Tyson, 2017).  This is disappointing in so many ways, but I fear it may be a symptom of the very sick society we have developed into over time.

    My growth as a person over time has been based on observation, experience, reflection and action.  Sometimes I have been a follower, other times a leader. I have often been held to ridiculous standards by others and at times by myself.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned. I have found that there is no real benefit in doing more if you sacrifice the excellence of what you are doing now.  Character should never be compromised for anyone. It is better to walk away than to live with self-hate. Everyone should walk through life with a vision bigger than themselves, but driven by the force of their own experience and passion.  Each day one should accomplish something they can feel good about as a witness to the day’s existence and significance. People should not wait to be ready to do hard things, they should just get started instead. Most importantly, we should not try to change the world, we should try to find out the conditions that caused the discontent and resolve them.  

Peace does not exist.  Life is a struggle as it was meant to be.  Though humans spend so much time trying to deny it, we are part of the animal kingdom and like other animals, we are always searching for greater certainty, more resources, comfort and power (Leotti, Iyengar, Ochsner, 2010).  Charles Darwin in the book On the Origin of Species showed us that every species survives and evolves because of struggle within a given environment.  Having spent time in the Galapagos Islands, it was fascinating to see how an iguana could adapt to swim for food because of scarcity of land resources, while their land dwelling counterparts continue to hunt only on land on another island whose resources are more plentiful.   

Easiness in existence, is not a right given to any organism on the planet.  So, people should accept that growth comes from struggle instead of spending so much time resisting.  That saved time could be spent using our large highly developed brains finding ways to really grow as co-exist.  We are all connected. No decision is made in a vacuum. As leaders we must never forget that we’ve been given an opportunity to represent others.  We can do this with integrity or with debauchery. Being human, the decision is always just a series of choices. The impact of those choices determines how we evolve within our environment over time and the kinds of leaders we choose and become.

To say it has been an interesting journey is an understatement for me.  Without a doubt, I value this new experience in my life and I look forward to how it will change me.  I enjoy learning from others, offering my thoughts, observations, and reflections. My professors have pushed my perceptions and opened my mind.  I appreciate the struggle and the evolution of myself as a person and as a leader.

   

 

References

Brickley, J. A., Smith Jr, C. W., & Zimmerman, J. L. (2002). Business ethics and organizational architecture. Journal of Banking & Finance, 26(9), 1821-1835.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (Vol. 1). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Kruse, K. (2013). What is leadership. Forbes Magazine, 3.

Landa, D., & Tyson, S. A. (2017). Coercive Leadership. American Journal of Political Science, 61(3), 559-574.

Leotti, L. A., Iyengar, S. S., & Ochsner, K. N. (2010). Born to choose: The origins and value of the need for control. Trends in cognitive sciences, 14(10), 457-463.

Schraeder, M., Tears, R. S., & Jordan, M. H. (2005). Organizational culture in public sector organizations: Promoting change through training and leading by example. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(6), 492-502.

Trevino, L. K., Hartman, L. P., & Brown, M. (2000). Moral person and moral manager: How executives develop a reputation for ethical leadership. California management review, 42(4), 128-142.

 

Independence

As I start a new year as teacher in my 4th year, I have to say all the hard work of the pat 3 years has paid off!

I’ve started a new year with a new classroom and a new role. I get to teach students stem education specifically in robotics in 6th 7th and 8th grade. It is the most amazing feeling to be able to create a curriculum that I know these students will absolutely enjoy. While at the same time I’m working on my doctorate in stem education leadership I get to see how making a difference in these child’s life turns into something so much more than most of us get to experience in the field of Education. Too often we restricted to the boxes that education asks us to fit into and for the first time in my life I feel free. I can teach these kids were they really need to learn to be prepared for the future. I draw on my 15 years experience as the Director of a program and show these children what really is required of them if they want to go into a science technology engineering or math type of field. It is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever felt as a person as a scientist and as an educator. I get the chance to teach while learning with these students. I will be teaching them how to program how to make robots do what we want them to do and more importantly how to think. I have never felt more satisfied. I’m looking forward to a new year for the new prospects to teach these students with their really going to need to know to prepare themselves to meet the global need that we face as Americans. I feel I’m charged with a deep and profound need to educate our children to be able to perform at a level where they can actually compete in a global market. It was exciting to be able to be in a new classroom that made me feel in some respects more like a professor than a middle school stem educator. I look forward to sharing with you the discoveries that we make together. More importantly I look forward to sharing with you what education in my opinion should really look like in the 21st century. Having the freedom to be able to educate students in a way that will truly prepare them for the future and which we face, our reality, is one of the most exciting prospects I have ever felt in my entire life. To do this while simultaneously achieving a doctorate in stem education leadership is an opportunity unlike most people get to experience. This is day one. I look forward to whatever comes.

So…It’s been awhile…

It has been a long time since last we’ve talked.  So much has changed.  I’ve begun a doctorate in STEM education leadership, Trump has become president, I’ve started an Organic Farming side business and medication has changed my life. Whew. So much to share.

I’ve gone into hiding for a while which I tend to do when there is a lot to process.  My career in education has taken off.  I’ve just completed my 3rd year as a science teacher and now I am spearheading a brand new STEM education program at my middle school to get students involved in robotics and programming.  As a trained biologist this is pretty new to me.  I am taking it one week at a time on this ambitious endeavor.  I am grateful to have been given a state of the art lab because people believe in what I can do for these kiddos.  Make no mistake, I will deliver.  These kids who are economically disadvantaged will have the unique opportunity to learn about Lego Mindstorm and Fishertecknick robotics, Arduino basic and advanced programming.  Needless, to say my summer has been eventful.  So much for teachers having it easy over summer break.  I just finished a 3 week course on 3D printing which I designed and taught at the same middle school.  Meanwhile, back in November I’ve started a Doctorate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Leadership.  It seems I don’t know how to rest!  Really, it is more than that.  To encourage excellence, one must act with excellence.  If I don’t live up to my potential, how can I ask my students to do the same?  All things going well, I will graduate in 2020. Perhaps, my vision for the future will clarify at this time? How ironic!

In the meanwhile, I hope to guide my county towards an understanding that it is never to early to begin preparing students for future opportunities.

Wish me luck.  The journey of this traveler continues…..

I love you, but change.

I have to let go. I’ve built this protective layer of fat around me to insulate me from the emotional pain. It used to feel good. It felt safe. It doesn’t feel that way anymore. Now, I hate myself. I laugh at my self. I puke out the over indulgence. I have overeaten my pain en route to the satisfaction that never came.  It doesn’t work. It hurts now. It’s time for change. Abuse isn’t  love…even when you do it to yourself. No exceptions.

Just Sayin’… 6/10/17

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been avoiding the fact that I’ve always longed to be left alone and by that also alone without a partner.  I wonder sometimes who I was when I managed to marry 2 different men and yet who the fuck I am now at 40 that makes it hard to even find a decent man to have a second date with.  Trust me, I’ve tried the full gamet of ages; 23 all the way up to 50 and it doesn’t seem to make a darn bit of difference. Sometimes it feels like I was given the unfortunate opportunity to date in the era of the “dick pic”.  Do they really think I’m thinking “oh now i don’t feel like I’ll be wasting my time”?  Are you serious?  Contemporary dating makes me feel like the romance has been sucked like marrow out of the bone of true love.

At this point in my life, I am pretty content with my life. I have a house I love, I have projects I work on that are important to me, I have a great job, I am blessed with great friends and family, and I have enough money or negotiating skills to travel multiple times a year.  I really have worked my ass off to be here.  I’m not going to pretend it’s luck, because it’s not.  It’s blood, sweat and tears worked, released and shed throughout the years. It’s a lot of figuring things out the hard way and having the perseverance to come out the other end having gained something useful for your life.

I want a special guy to share it with.  I want to feel loved like a woman you’d rather not live without.  I want to be treated with loyalty and honor. I want to be rocked like my backbone was his own.  I want a man that makes my life an even bigger thrill to live than it already is. I don’t mean it like some setup or some test.  I just really mean it like I say it – love me like a man.

Where are the men with a vision for the future? Where are the ones that aren’t bitter about “being shit on”, as if they were the first and only person that bad things happened to?  Where are the men that pride themselves on finding dates that would interest a woman to go on?  I know they are real, I married two of them. Thought it ended like it did, they always treated me like a woman of value and acted like men of substance.  They enjoyed taking the time, talking, getting to know a woman that they were fascinated with.  Have I become less fascinating? That would be hard to believe with more years of experiences.

Sometimes I lay out on one of my awesome space chairs on my patio and I look up into the leaf canopy above me and I imagine I’m looking up at a different sky. A sky far from here with a canopy of foreign leafs.  I imagine that I’m laying out after an invigorating day tending vegetables and attending to guests in my hostel/home in Ecuador. I see myself smoking cigars and drinking rum at the end of the day. I see parties with the locals at the house. I feel real. I feel at home. I feel confused that home is somewhere else now.

Still traveling,

—aneternaltraveler

 

TV Diet Day 2

Image result for science teacherToday was awesomely fun and crazily hectic.  At school, I had to prepare a pretty involved lab for my science students that would allow them to analyze the presence our primary macro-nutrients in food samples.  For me, it is so much fun to create ever more efficient labs that give the students the best hands-on experience possible. Every year, I learn something new that I can improve on.  I love watching the kids do it and get totally impressed with themselves.  I love that I really reach them with Science and make them realize how cool it is.  The stress comes in making sure I corral the students appropriately so that they keep moving along, instead of stopping and socializing.  I try not to have a dull moment in my classroom.

Image result for sick kittyThen, onto my personal life—-my baby (cat) had to be taken to the Vet because he hasn’t been eating the last few days.  He is only about 8 months old and when it comes to cats it can be a matter of days without eating until kitty is in critical condition.  So, I passed off hosting my after school STEM club to a couple of other Science teachers and flew from school to home with 10 min. to spare to pack up kitty and get to the vet.  We were there for about 1/2 hr, then I came home for my regular meet up with a friend at 5:00 pm, another hour goes by.  I finally eat and then I realize I’m really, really  beat.  I am so tired that could just lay back and watch some TV and not think.

Image result for no tvOh my god, was that a strong pull. I really had to think my way out of that one.  So, I just started putting the dishes away in the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen to re-direct my mind.  This definitely reminds me of quitting smoking. After that, I decided I’d write my blog post.  So here we are. I do not know what the heck I’m going to do with the rest of the night.

Maybe tonight could be a reeeeeeealy early to bed kinda night?

TV Diet Day 1

Image result for no tvJust so you know, this is waaaaay easier than quitting smoking. Giving up TV is more like that awkward friend standing in the middle of the room that you feel like you have to explain. I went for the remote a few times, but managed relatively easily. I did notice that it was easier to fall asleep and I got tired more progressively; as if I watched all the machinery slow down. Normally, I practically pass out to the TV blaring away. If I am too lazy to turn it off in the middle of the night, sometimes it would still be on the next morning. I wonder what kind of programming I’ve tuned into. But seriously, that can’t be good. I also noticed that I feel calmer overall. It seems like I have more hours in the evening. I’m just happy I’m blogging again with my newfound spare time. I’ve started getting my news as a feed on my phone. NO VIDEOS. I actually read more news now because everything is in digest form. I like feeling more informed. I still don’t feel motivated to clean the house, but I’m hoping that will kick in soon…..

with love from
aneternaltraveler 😉

TV Diet

Let’s face it. This election is one of history’s greatest political debuts into reality TV. On Nov. 9th at 2:30 am EST, I was awoken like a bolt of lighting after a bad dream, by my TV announcing that “Hillary has called Donald Trump and conceded the election”. This could not be. I must have heard wrong being half asleep.

But the band played on and I had heard it right. In fact, America said yes indeed-y I want a racist, bigoted, sexist, misogynist, pervert as MY PRESIDENT! I couldn’t fall asleep again after that.

When I went to my school, which has a nearly 50% Hispanic population, many of which come from homes of undocumented parents, I had to field questions from scared faces. Questions like Ms. P will I be deported now? What will happen to my family?, Will you hide us in your house? Statements like, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to lose my family.

Documented or Undocumented these are people first. They deserve the same dignity afforded the rest of us. These are not automatic criminals because of their skin color and language. These are people that you use as placeholders for your rage about your own life. Damn straight! Some of it was caused by this government and you have every right to be mad at it. But at the same time, be honest, no Hispanic person ever took “your” job. I dare you to prove me otherwise. Be angry. But at the right person or system. Nobody likes a target on their back.

Anyway, I could rant on and on. The more I’ve watched the news over the last week, the sicker I stayed. Looping clips of tragedy folding in on themselves just like watching ribbons of taffy from outside a window on the boardwalk. Media’s unending stifled loops of laughter and distress reminds me of the old time movie strip players – you play and play the movie reel and the player would over heat like hell; at times burning up the reel and sometimes even burning the whole place down. I say, alright already Media hype – burn baby burn. Make the looping stop! Hey, Digital Technology. Thanks a lot for this unforeseen consequence.

And yet again, I must digress. What do they say in therapy? Oh yes, “The only person’s behavior you have control over is your own”. So, in the spirit of therapy and rugged Americanism, I’ve decided to go off TV….COLD….TURKEY. Already, it has proven invaluable, as I’ve managed to thrill and entertain you with a version of our nations tragedy and my reaction to it. I can assure you this level of brilliant creativity does not come from a mind half (or more) watching Criminal Minds while blogging. This is my all people. 100%.

So I’ve decided to see how long I can go without watching any television. I also want to track the sorts of things I do as alternatives – you know other than going to bed reeeeealy early. Why not join me? I’ll share my daily experience and you can share yours. If you’re not too busy watching TV, that is.

with love from,
aneternaltraveler 😉

Being High. Who does it hurt?

A friend said to me,”is it wrong that I enjoy being high? Shouldn’t we, as adults, be allowed to change states as we choose? Should the state really have control over our freedom of choice? Should we be imprisioned for making a choice to live in a different state? ”

A lot of interesting questions. Personally, I live in a state that doesn’t appprove of neurochemical state changes. 

I’ve never really had an issue with the use of “alternative” natural medications to get you where you need to be. One caveat…it can’t hurt others or keep you from supporting yourself like a freaking adult.

Otherwise, have at it. 

What do you think?

with love from aneternaltraveler 🙂