The Western Canon – what’s your take?

Earlier this week I came “out” as not having taken a Literature course since High School. Whether that’s ironic or not depends on what you think of someone with a freshly minted MA in English not having taken a lit class in the better part of 20 years …

Despite that, I did spend that time that I wasn’t in school doing a pretty significant self-study of the Western Canon – I didn’t read it all … it’s a lifetime pursuit … and I intentionally omitted Victorian Literature and American literature from the same era.

 

The internet wasn’t what it is today when I started it – I actually got the hardcover version of Howard Bloom’s book from the Library & used it to select my reading (I see there’s a new text called All Things Shining that might serve as a shortcut to the Bloom text)

 

But now that we’ve got our ever present albatross (monkey? demon?) Wikipedia, the contents of the Western Canon are a lot easier to list than they once were:

For purposes of discussion – let’s use the Harvard Classics  (copied wholesale from the Wiki page) – what would you add? what would you remove?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_canon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Classics

Contents[edit source | editbeta]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction[edit source | editbeta]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction was selected by Charles W. Eliot, LLD (1834-1926), with notes and introductions by William Allan Neilson. It also features an index to Criticisms and Interpretations.

UPDATED with a challenge ;) Culture: make your own – no not yogurt – and quit letting 2 people define culture rot

Can’t speak for anyone else but I think this needs to be said:

What matters to you, your kids, your life, your happiness, your satisfaction happens right there within your family. Turn off the t.v. if it offends you (duh?) If you object to the lousy role models you see on t.v. then FIND OTHER ROLE MODELS. It’s not difficult. If you can’t find a grandparent, teacher, coach, volunteer, or other excellent role model in your day to day life, there are MILLIONS of them in the US alone.

AT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

There are 4,495 Title IV eligible degree granting institutions of higher education in the US and 14.6 MILLION full time college students. Fourteen point six million people pursuing higher education and you’re focused on a music awards show. YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Regardless of your “margin of error” 2 people vs 14.6 MILLION isn’t statistically significant.

AT LIBRARIES

Ok, degree granting institutions are too intimidating for you or too far away? There are one hundred nineteen THOUSAND nine hundred eighty-seven (yes, 119,987) LIBRARIES in the united states.

AT MUSEUMS

You say you don’t want to read a book, look at a magazine, thumb through the paper, borrow a movie, listen to an audio book to absorb the single most wonderful miracle in the entirety of humanity: human & the pursuit of knowledge? Fine. Go to a museum & absorb it there.

There are 17,500 museums in the United States.

The US is composed of about 3.794 million square miles.

And the average licensed driver in the US drives 13,476 miles per year.

So every year with your car, you’re covering enough distance to encompass 15,858 full time college students, 15 degree-granting institutions, 426 libraries and 62 museums. And you’re focused on 2 idiots on an awards show as representing our “culture rot”?

I’m willing to bet the people who are sharing the 2 idiots – whether positive or negative – on Facebook haven’t spent as much time at museums, libraries, or universities COMBINED in the past year as they’ve spent complaining about those 2 idiots.

It’s marketing … and not only is it working … it’s making you its slave. Who’s the idiot? You or them?

P.S. if you can find 5 people who posted a photo of or the names of those 2 examples of “culture rot” in the past 4 days AND have also been to a Library, Museum AND University (for the pursuit of new knowledge, not for alcohol, drugs, standardized tests, or athletic events) in the past year – I will read a piece of Victorian Era literature or one of its American contemporaries (which I loathe as much as the whigners loathe the 2 examples of culture rot). So bring it on – prove to me you’re not a bunch of uncultured whigners and I’ll be lady enough to read Brontë or Austen or Tennyson. One piece of Victorian literature per five “found” exhortants of culture rot who’ve been to a museum, library AND University in the pursuit of knowledge in the past year (yes, online universities count)

Things You Need to be Told – August 2013 Edition

The web is rife with articles about things teachers wish parents knew and over 240 people echoed a kvetch about other people having the audacity to interfere with bedtime and naptime when Lisa-Jo Baker posted about it the other night.

Back in 2001, this gem Things You Need to be Told was a gift to the literary and etiquette world – I think the Etiquette Grrls had the right idea … so here’s mine 😉

032513 002

7 Things I Wish Teachers Knew

1) We’re not idiots – the vast majority of the parents whose children you’re teaching have the same quantity & quality of education that teachers do; please stop addressing us as though we’re technologically illiterate monkeys with a kindergarten education. The parents you’re trying to reach are the exception, not the rule. (and no, those “Exception” parents aren’t reading WSJ.com or its print counterpart … let’s be serious here, you’re condescending to an entire generation of parents in paper that we’re reading for business news not parenting advice LOL)

chive-wallpapers-201

1a) We’re not technologically illiterate – at least not all of us – and some of us are more technologically savvy than you are; so save your sermon on social media for your grandma. (meaning: The tech savvy parents saw your diatribe not only in the daily WSJ delivered to their inbox, but on Twitter and FB as well …)

2) When you tell us “we love kids” we don’t believe you – at least not wholesale. We know you love the idea of fostering a love of learning in healthy hale kids who come to school from solid homelives with a healthy nutritious breakfast ready and eager to learn. We know that your hearts get broken by the kids whose parents do not provide that. The parents whose education is on par with yours know at least 2 if not 6 or 10 former classmates who became teachers for reasons other than loving children.

2a) When you tell us you didn’t go into the profession for the money or the glory, we do believe you. We didn’t become parents for fortune & glory either 😉  teaching, as anything else, is a calling. But we also know plenty of people who teach because they need the same work schedule as their kids (because childcare is expensive) or people who went into teaching to help put their spouse through grad school or to pay off student loans from an undergrad major that didn’t manifest into a career.

279575089337446320_PwU4gG4r_c

3) The things that we (as parents) teach our children are important, too – and a lot of those things aren’t things that you can teach our children nor should you. So when you overstep that line and try to impart morality in the classroom or try to brain wash our kids into following your lifestyle choice, we react. You raise your own children & let us raise ours; please.

4) We choose our battles and we do expect our children to learn from their mistakes, so stand by the consequences you attached to poor decision making at the beginning of the year. It’s part of the team that we’re all on.

5) If you work for an administrator who values children by the $$ attached to them from programs, no amount of classroom excellence will overcome that.

136163588703270683_UImXUMPa_c

6) If you believe that a child’s only need for math in the future will be for money, you need to get out of teaching and go work in any other field. Pick rice for all I care, but stop perpetuating the soft bigotry of low expectations. It might be ok at your house, but it’s not ok at mine and I will get my child out of your sexist bassackwards classroom asap.

7) When a parent asks you a question, they expect a professional well-thought-out response – in complete sentences. Otherwise you’re proving that your pedagogy is the nonsense that it sounds like when you preach it.

424170_510640915643438_1115339365_n

7 Things I Wish my Fellow Moms Knew

1) We’re not mowing the lawn at your kids’ naptime intentionally – we’re mowing the lawn because it needs to get done. If you want to change our schedule, feel free to pony up for a landscaping company to come do it for us.

2) Motherhood is not a competition. Nobody wins. Being alive is being alive. Whatever happens after that is up for religious & philosophical debate – presumably it has nothing to do with whether a parent SAH or WOH.

3) It’s not about you – the things that WOHM do or say are NOT about SAHM – we’re not out to “get” you or out to “undermine” you by not adopting traditional gender roles.

4) It’s not about us either – the things that we all do are what’s best for OUR family; if you’re doing whatever you’re doing as a political or gender role “stance” you should probably enroll in a philosophy course at the local community college & explore your cave a little better.

5) If you’re peddling guilt – particularly if you’re dragging the Bible into it  – you might need a new hobby. No, taking it to Pinterest doesn’t count.

38860_1449528371445_1630310898_1722092_2862574_n

6) If you homeschool and your social media is regularly afflicted with spelling, grammar, or usage errors you’re passing that on to your children – both in how you’re homeschooling them because you clearly can’t correct your own work, nevermind theirs – and in so far as you’re teaching them that adults can be sloppy & lazy about their writing and it doesn’t matter.  it DOES matter. resumes with misspellings go to file 13. colleagues with poor communication skills are ignored.

So true

7) Your friends will be there for you regardless of how many times you’ve had to eat crow or how many times they’ve passed you the ketchup to make your own crow more palatable – but it’s ok to have an “out” – a safe word or some other “cue” for your friends to give you or you to give your friends to indicate “ok, enough about little Johnny’s green snot” or that you can give your friends to say “excuse me, you’re starting to sound like Super Nanny not my bff, and I need you to let me kvetch, not try to fix it for me”

chive-wallpapers-61

 

Five Minute Friday – Last

Last … from Five Minute Friday at LisaJoBaker (whew! I’m back … it’s been too long!)

next Tuesday I begin my next last academic adventure 😉 I always say it’s the LAST ONE but this one might really be it.

But this morning I’m mulling over the other “last” things that others may cherish more than we do ourselves – for example Tales from the Nursery is raising 4 boys, the eldest is 5 years younger than my daughter (actually TFTN is the same age younger than I than her eldest is from my dd). It’s funny how your perspective changes as your kids age  –  and the things you forget you worried about – and the things that you realize worried you just the right amount.

Last also reminds me of the print that hung in my Grandma’s kitchen for as long as my childhood – a gilded frame with tempered glass and a painting of The Last Supper in it. The last time I visited her it wasn’t there – funny that I didn’t notice when she took it down – or even when and trying to reimagine her kitchen on various visits with or without seems impossible …

Which makes you wonder what will be important to you when you’re in your dotage that’s important to you now that was important to you when your brain was abducted by littles … and it makes you contemplate this cartoon that I found this morning

with props to Col Chris Hadfield and Zen Pencils for the quote and the rendering:

zen pencils cartoon

five minute friday – belong

Earlier this summer I finished my final project in my English program and an interesting element of the reading I did included the 3 or 4 ways (depending on how you look at it) that people are able to temper/mitigate the stresses in their lives.

BELONGING is one of them.

We all knew that right? I mean Maslow blah blah blah needs blah blah blah hierarchy blah blah blah blah blah.

But did we ever really THINK about how our ACTIONS translate into creating a culture or environment conducive to enhancing someone else’s experience of BELONGING?

Families have traditions for it – wedding showers, engagement parties, weddings themselves, and then later baptisms and baby showers and birthday parties and whatnot.

Religions do but whether they enhance the belonging or exacerbate the separateness is up for debate (gee you had your first live snake handling … do you “belong” to those nut job snake handlers or are you separate from the rest of us? Or are we separate from you? And O BTW WHERE THE F is the snake NOW?!?!? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!) If you’re interested in learning more about that aspect of belonging, I advocate reading AJ Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically. And yes, I can live with the fact that he went to Brown … because HE isn’t the Brown student who tried to hack the IRS’s website this week and sent out a bajillion spam phishing emails to state university students all over the country (which BTW, reporting to both the IRS & to Brown University was useless … thus it’s on my blog).

chive-wallpapers-191

So go forth. Make people belong. Belong to someone. To something. To yourself. To the world. And don’t forget at the end of the day – no matter who has let you down – you’ll always belong to the dog. Because she doesn’t have thumbs & you do. Now go open the fridge and make some noms appear before you belong to the barked-at-guild-of-America.

STOP

 

Present – Five Minute Friday – from LisaJoBaker.com

Five Minute Friday – Present

Present …. The first thought that comes to mind is Van Dyke’s book The 4th Wise Man – an excellent story about the gifts that each of us brings to the lives we live through the blessings we receive from the Lord. Blessings that, until we give of them to others, prevent us from truly seeing the Lord in our lives.

set godin

Present … here and now … challenging my deodorant to live up to its Marathon Sport Clinical Strength labeling when speaking in public about the importance of a blended learning option in our school district.

Present … being able to think on your feet because you’re in the moment, not dwelling on the past not dreaming of the future, but firmly grounded in the path which is set before you – and knowing that the thing you MUST do is take the next right step (thank you Regina Brett for putting it much more eloquently than I)

for steph
Present … being able to preorder books from Amazon so they’re waiting for you to rip open the box and dive into the pages when the time is right.

 

Present … the touchstones that remind us of who we are, what we mean to others, how we connect with them and the world around us, the thrumming of the universal language of humanity; not words; but harmony and connection. A touch. A smile. A gift of presence.

 

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

Present … being able to laugh and cry at the same time; being blessed to have the words to tell someone else how much they’re valued and how deeply their friendship meets others hearts and emboldens them to go beyond their shell and into the greater good they have to offer the world.

phd042701s

Present … what’s apparently “lacking” from those of us who chose outward migration from our hometown … that gives rise to challenge – a gauntlet as it were – from those who remained and feel that those who departed somehow took the answers and solutions “con migo”

 

Present … with diet dr pepper and the freedom to wear whatever shoes I want after 466 days of sneaker imprisonment! Present … wondering if sometimes Doctor’s Orders are meant to push us to the breaking point … or to repair us from it.

197173289905310612_URv0xY7h_c

STOP

 

Five minute Friday – In Between a quoka & a wokka

Well this little

image

guy in my newsfeed made me smile between kicking the computer in the butt because it was eating reports (and queries and all that nerdy stuff that I do for a living) and reading my 3rd selection in the 1 Minute Manager Series: the one minute manager meets the monkey (which is awesome – so much so that I bought myself a sheet of fuzzy monkey stickers to keep myself accountable to not be a compulsive monkey picker upper. Which it seems I am. Not as a manager, but as an everything else er.

And somehow in between selling raffle tickets & eating the 61st workday salad in a row, I managed to run to the post office & stock up on priority mail envelopes (because I’m one of those loathsome beasts who prints her own priority postage to save 11% and not have to go to the post office – which in small town America is only open in between the hours of 8:30am & 4:30pm)

Which
Brings
me
To
where I am
Right
now

In Between the “I turned it in” and “what does my mentor think of my work” between the first submitted copy and the revision time. and it’s weird. I didn’t realize how much of the grey matter in between my ears was preoccupied with the project.

Between you, me & the internet … be blessed & have a good weekend. I’ll linkup to LisaJoBaker later

Kitchen Witchin … Early June Edition

First Tales From The Nursery could probably use some hugs right about now since it’s almost bedtime on the first Sunday of Summer Vacation, so please stop over and give her one, ok? She’s an awesome momma and an awesome lady & she’s taking The Orange Rhino Challenge and she’s doing really well with it. Plus she’s just all ’round amazing so please go give her a hug :*

 

3 timezones away, it’s also the first Sunday of Summer Vacation since MadiKinz93TheUnicorn is on vacation having safely arrived at her destination. Nikki  has been sending her Project Updates to add to the site though 🙂 (since that’s a summer occupation) and I’m 8100 words into Le Capstone … and 8 more books to read for it LOL but it’s overall going well and if you’re interested in participating in my survey for it, go ahead and hit me up via email 🙂  (and no, even though I suggested that Diary of a Zookeeper  try it, I haven’t been over to Five Minute Friday at LisaJoBaker’s site this week).

54958057924275014_l1Nx4G7M_c

But right now it’s time to take a break from all that for some Kitchin Witchin …

Last night we had fabulous grilled chicken w/ satay sauce, Asian salad, and grilled zucchini with Szechuan Spice.

There’s chicken ready to go on the grill for grilled chicken Cesar salads.

Greek salads are going to be put together after I build some Tzatziki (from the awesome Lemon Bowl site!)  for tomorrow’s lunches.

Cherry, Almond & Balsamic will be the salad for Tuesday.

Wednesday might be some sort of tuna torture.

Thursday’s lunches will probably be Cesar salads.

Friday’s lunches will be whatever we’re not tired of by the time we get there 😉

Carrot sticks will be made for hummus dipping.

Need to figure out something to do with zucchini & fish for tonight …

And our favorite stuffed peppers will end up on the menu somewhere this week.

 

found this on Pinterest - it fits - even when my pants don't

found this on Pinterest – it fits – even when my pants don’t

 

And just as a point of note … if someone contacts you through your “contact us” (or Contact Robert) link, if you choose to write back to them (or have interns doing it for you) have a double check on the spelling of the person’s name. I was reading the book for my capstone … I emailed the author … he wrote back & misspelled my name. Um gee, should I give the books props in my Capstone? Or just its editors?

Honestly, it’s better for a fan to NOT hear back at all than to get an email with their name spelled wrong. An automated response loop would even get that correct.

Quality – the Documentation Challenge

Once upon a time, the healthcare industry was where the public turned when they were ill, injured or seeking preventative medicine and those services were rendered by caring medical professionals whose mission in life was to heal people and prevent/detect illnesses/injuries through appropriate interventions such as screenings and vaccines.

Improving Access to Care – Roosevelt & Beyond

Even children as young as 6th grade (in AZ) are familiar with the iconic photos that became the face of the Medicaid and farm relief endeavors of the Roosevelt administration. But assistance on that grand a scale has a cost and that cost has to

As the Rand Group reports,

Since at least the 1980s, the traditional fee-for-service model of health care payment has been challenged by reforms that alter payment methods in order to limit costs. Critics say that the persistent use of fee-for-service—where health providers are rewarded only when they provide more care—encourages unnecessary health care spending without enhancing quality or efficiency (2011) http://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/02/22/index1.html

Fast-forward to 2013 – the documentation, one-size-fits-all, government-regulation-addled healthcare industry has become the single most obvious case of failures in effective documentation engineering (technical writing) in the United States (my opinion not a researched fact). Members of the public are trifurcated into the strata of

    • Publicly Funded & Government Overseen Care (Medicaid/Medicare)
    • Privately Insured
    • Uninsured

Quality – the Documentation Challenge

CMS has endeavored to restore quality as the basis of healthcare in the United States, but rather than empowering providers to resume their healing & prevention mission; the quality endeavors have furthered the documentation doom of the industry.

17 Quality Measures are applied to the healthcare industry & are measured only in part through clinical outcomes and evidence based care. The best study that’s available on the impact of these measures can be downloaded for individual reading/use athttp://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR841.html

The burden of measuring quality – in a way that meets the CMS standards so that Medicare reimbursement occurs at the corresponding quality-based rate – is on all Medicare providers. Each of them has to either devise a measurement tool or contract services from a quality surveying company that extracts the data.

And THAT is where documentation, accuracy AND audience analysis go “humpty dumpty” … engineering data collection models to reflect the “right” data compared to the “right” measures, funding the electronic health record mandate, cultivating survey questions so that they solicit accurate information from patients without bordering on inane is a challenge, delivering the survey in a cost effective manner by culturally competent individuals, reporting the data in a way that promotes accountable care models, scrutinizing the data to understand that sometimes the “beans” of data are actually pebbles that the patient was carrying at the time of care and needed to offload, the litany of challenges goes on and grows in complexity as the infrastructure for care delivery becomes more weighted down.

Audiences

Further complicating the engineering of ‘measuring’ quality is determining which audience is being served. “Quality” as a term implies that we’re seeking to “serve” the patient by improving the delivery and standard of care. But to have the “quality” measures be manageable, the “audience” needs to be the facility & the provider. To have the “quality” measures positively impact reimbursement rates, the “audience” needs to be Medicare (as a general term, there are nuances that aren’t warranted here). Compound all that with the consideration that eventually our legislators are going to “do something” with this data (snarky air-quotes relating bureaucrats to doing something fully intended) – most likely decide that the care can be delivered faster, cheaper and with more administrative fees getting paid to the government entities whose job it is to provide payment.

AND Community Benefit is a Factor

AND if the provider whose quality is being documented happens to be not-for-profit (more than ½ of the facilities nationwide ~2900 +/- hospitals according to the American Hospital Association) the costs of those surveys AND the data from them becomes available to the public (at least in part) via the annual 990-H filing. So the data has to be rendered in a way that blots out any information that might identify the patient or his/her DRG (diagnostic related group) – but use the data to figure out what programs need to be constructed to meet community needs … programs that aren’t replicated in the community and with outcomes that are measureable and reportable.

The Best Analogy

For the past 2 semesters in addition to completing my academic and professional workloads, I studied for a professional certification exam (I work in healthcare finance) – an exam that I blessedly passed 4 days ago – and it occurred to me, as I was driving home that healthcare quality & community benefit are a lot like listening to the woes of a couple going through fertility treatments – regardless of the length of treatment and level of intervention – at some point the couple despairs “it’s starting to feel like a job” … taking what should be a simple normal aspect of human existence and turning it into a series of interventions, documentations, and quality analyses obfuscated & distanced by cold sterile clinical environs.

So …

The Pollyanna perspective is that the bureaucrats and legislators need to get back in touch with the people their programs are meant to serve.

Make them hold the hand of a cancer patient who lost her insurance in an ugly divorce and whose medications aren’t covered, so she is only eligible for palliative care. Make them be accountable for telling her children that the government doesn’t care enough to “count” their mom’s care as charity care because she’s too sick to do the financial assistance paperwork and “presumptive charity” hasn’t gained the stamp of approval yet.

Make them sit in the Head-Start/Early Intervention meetings with parents whose children need OT/PT and speech but can’t afford it – watch as they discover that the cost of what they “need” to provide for their children forces them to accept the publicly available one or two sessions a month and see the child’s progress stagnate because his/her parents can’t afford $5K/month in private party copays to access 3x/week services that would catapult the child past early intervention and into success.

Spend a late night in the ER with a young mother whose child is sick and watch as her joie de vivre is quashed by a reminder from an ER Doctor that the child’s immunizations aren’t up to date & that’s borderline neglect – and recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances such as the child’s insurance lapsing and the “affordable” care act’s impact making regular childhood immunizations to cost $300 every 3 months in the first year of life. And then listen in a week later when the surveying company calls and asks the young mother (in 10 minutes of her non-existent free time) about her experience – listen as she recounts that she went to the ER because her child was that sick & she didn’t know what to do or how to get his fever to come down and she was worried he might have a febrile seizure … and how her take-away from the experience wasn’t that she did the right thing (to bring him in for iv fluids and oxygen and antibiotics) but that she’s a bad mom because her baby’s shots are a few weeks over-due.

The realistic perspective is that the issues need to be taken TO the bureaucrats & legislators by people who: speak their language & play hard-ball at the same game of semantics and cost-containment initiatives; people who have seen the miracles of modern medicine save lives and change outcomes when providers and patients are able to be a team allowing intuition – not legislation – to lead the way; people whose give-a-damn is fueled by wanting to bring comfort, healing, and wellness to individual people, not by re-election and campaign contributions.

The discourse about healthcare in the US is broken – and the path to setting it right starts with changing the documentation challenges.

For all the kids out there who live in fear, I hope there’s a spark of something somewhere in their lives that makes a difference.

Have you ever had one of those weird experiences where something beyond “us” is driving something to happen?

cool-desktop-wallpapers-15

(note – it’s finals week right now  & I missed posting in Five Minute Friday last week also because of school … but this is important … child abuse is a very real thing in our nation and I think that more people need to take a stand about it, so I’m “linking back” this post from last night … and then getting back to school work)

DH had to get to the lumber yard by 5pm because our special order swamp-cooler pads had arrived & he asked if I would stop at (grocery store) to get some sweet red wine on my way home because he wanted to make a batch of sangria for the weekend.

ok, no biggie. I leave work carrying 3 huge bakery boxes w/ cake and muffins in them and get them piled in my car (planning to take to the nursing home when I visit my uncle so they’re not in my house) and started driving and realized it was too darn hot to leave whipped cream frosting sitting in the hot car while I ran into (grocery store) so I ran to (different store closer to work) even though stuff’s usually more expensive there. Found the sweet red wine and wandered around while I was waiting to hear from DH if M was home or at a friend’s house so I knew if I needed to pick her up. Got the text just as the folks at (different store closer to work) were asking “can we help you find something” because I was wandering aimlessly. Told ’em I was just waiting for that text and was good to go.

Paid.

Complimented the staff member’s shirt (it’s all fun & games til someone gets hurt & then it’s hilarious). Started walking to my car. from my left I hear someone cussing and a child crying – that high pitched scared cry – saying horrible things calling her child a dumbass and saying she was going to beat her f’ing a– again and this that and the other. She’s got a little girl by the shoulder of her shirt, a little African American girl about 5 or 6 years old – she had a hello kitty button w/ a ribbon on it, made me think it was a special day for her … some special day … but the poor kid’s wailing (honestly at first I thought it was the “I don’t feel well” cry) and I thought maybe the mom was just talking trash out of frustration, so I tried to ignore her mouth.

So I get to my car and I see her open up the side of her minivan and I think she’s just sitting her kids in it and they’re leaving. I’m putting on my seatbelt when I see that this psychopath is folding over a men’s leather belt … and then hear the sickening & unmistakable sound of a child being beaten with it … at first I started to leave that “it’s not my business that someone else raises their kids that way; they’re from out of state, it’s really REALLY not my problem” mentality having gotten ahold of me.

But dammit,  The mom was probably 300 – 325 pounds, I couldn’t have taken her in a fight even if I had to, gravity & momentum would’ve been on her side. Plus she was wearing stretch pants and a t-shirt … easily defeats button down oxford & khakis. And she was whaling on a little girl who couldn’t have weighed more than 50 pounds. Whatever that poor child did in Family Dollar (where she got dragged out of) it couldn’t have been bad enough to deserve a beating from someone 6x her size.

that little girl wasn’t carrying on like that because she’s coming down with something that little girl’s carrying on like that because she’s scared of her momma and she’s not old enough to do anything about it; all she can do is scream and cry and carry-on. I was nauseated. That momma had a belt IN THE CAR ready to go. This isn’t the first time she’s done this. Which made me realize that it might make her kids’ lives better if just ONE adult had taken 5 minutes to make a phone call and have someone in authority tell tell her that’s not an acceptable (or legal) way to raise a child.

So I texted myself the lady’s plate #, started up my vehicle & moved over to the other side of the parking lot and called the non-emergency # for the cops. Wow – it seemed like I was on the phone forever with dispatch but it was only 8 minutes and 31 seconds according to my call log from when I called them until the dispatched officers got there.

All I could do was tell them what I saw & heard.

Probably nothing will come of it. Maybe the cops can’t really do anything unless the poor kid really got hurt – and probably a well practiced belt whippin momma knows how to beat her kids so it don’t show. Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe the psycho is going to beat her kids harder because they got “caught” getting beat. IDK.

But for some reason God put me in those children’s path tonight and gave me the best birthday gift I’ve gotten in a long time: the opportunity to make a difference for some little kid that I’ve never met and will probably never see again … maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but I really hope that the little girl who got her butt whipped tonight finds a little spark of courage from knowing that someone stood up for her and that when she’s grown she doesn’t raise her hand to her kids in anger or violence and that she doesn’t end up in a relationship with a man or woman who physically, verbally, mentally or emotionally abuses her.

For all the kids out there who live in fear, I hope there’s a spark of something somewhere in their lives that makes a difference. And I’m kind of embarrassed that I complimented the lady’s shirt at (the store closer to work), it seems inappropriate given what I witnessed and the phonecall I made.