Thursday, February 26, 2009

Isn't it Ironic?

I have to laugh at irony.  Over the last week, I have read the first two books of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers.  A wonderful modern day Romeo and Juliet love story between a girl, a vampire, and a werewolf.  The series is absolutely engaging and lives up to the expectations set by all my friends and students who have read and recommended it.  It is so well written, that I am in awe of Bella and Edward and Bella's desire to become part of the Cullen family.  Vampires suddenly became "cool".  I like them.

So then why was it that I was shocked and momentarily frightened when vampires moved in next to me in SL?  I raised a wall between our lots.  Then I stepped back and laughed.  Laughed that I could find vampires fascinating in my book fantasy, but frightening in my SL fantasy world.  Is it because my SL world doesn't seem as fantasy-like as a book?  If that is the case...I need to re-examine my perceptions.  Until then, I will wear garlic and a scarf around my neck.  ;-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Times, They are A-Changing

I am very worried about the economic state of the country right now.  The concern is both personal and professional.  On a personal note, I now have probably one third of my closest friends (that includes one sibling) who have been let go recently and/or cannot find work.  What is going to happen to them and their families?  How long can the live off of the reserves they have in the bank - if any?  I am concerned because I have never seen so many people each day worry about whether they will be employed the next.

Professionally, I worry about the impact of the economy on education.  Teachers, teaching assistants, clerical staff, and even administrators are being let go because districts cannot afford to pay everyone.  What will this do to our children?  Will we be able to give our children the education they are entitled to in an environment conducive to learning?  How many students will be left behind and in need of academic intervention services because we cannot afford to give them the proper education in the first place?  Will we be able to teach them 21st century literacy skills to compete in a global economy?  What will this do to the drop-out rate?  I cannot fathom the answers to these questions.  

In half an hour, our district has an emergency faculty meeting to discuss this.  I am curious to hear what our superintendent has to say about all of this, and how our district will handle this difficult economic period. 

I am frightened for what feels like an impending crash of the our entire economic system and how my family will have to handle it.  I know we will have to live more modestly, help others when we can, and be just a little kinder than necessary to put smiles on otherwise worried faces.  This is Tikun Olam.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lessons for a Butterfly

Hello!  Thank you, my friends, for being patient with me while I took a hiatus from writing.  It has been a very turbulent couple of months for me, personally, and although I wanted to write, my thoughts weren't coherent enough to put down in words.  

I have been forced to face a very serious life-long condition - the details of which are personal and I hope you will understand if I don't choose to share them.  As a result, I have been forced to look at myself in ways I never have, and acknowledge the stranger I have become to myself.  I have been forced to take responsibility for my actions and for my health.  I thank God for the good friends and family I have who remind me that each day is worth the fight and will bring me one step closer to fine.

So, my friends.  My FL friends have proven themselves over and over in my life.  And the SL friends with whom I have brought into my FL, either through Facebook, email, Yahoo, phone calls, or "live and in person visits" have also remained true and honest.  And these are the people I need in my life.  Every day is a gift to be shared with friends and family.  I cannot waste my days in either world petty issues, cliques, back-stabbing, and self-righteous people.  

I almost feel fortunate that I am going through what I am (when I am not having a pity party for myself) because I am learning things about myself and others that I would not have otherwise.  It is too bad it often takes a major life event for people to learn these things.  What a better place the world would be if we all shared that perspective.  Life, love, family and friends.  It really is all that matters.

For those of you reading this who have been with me on this journey - you know who you are, THANK YOU!!! You are all making such a difference.

So, with that out of the way......I'M BACK - and this butterfly is still free to fly!!