Another Random Woman With a Random Thought

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award which is very flattering! In order to potentially accept this award, you must answer this list of questions:

1. What’s your favorite thing to wear?

Comfortable skinny jeans and a t-shirt

2.What’s your favorite holiday?

Christmas

3. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Fried okra

4. Veggies or fruits?

Fruit, unless it’s fried okra

5. If you could pack a suitcase to anywhere right now, what would you pack and where would you go?

I would pack 2 simple outfits and a bathing suit and go anywhere with beautiful water like Maldives or Tahiti.

6. Have you ever lived in another country? Where and for how long?

No, but I visited Germany for 3 weeks….it was beautiful, but I hated it.

7. What are your 5 must-have foods?

Peanut Butter, Bread, Fried Okra, Salad, and Bacon

8. What is one of your biggest regrets?

my lack of confidence and my concern for what other people think, especially when I was still in school

9. What do you want your legacy to be?

I would like to be remembered as a kind person who was generous with both my time and money.

10. What is your dream job?

I always wanted to stay home with my children when I had them and that is what I now do, so I have my dream job.

11. Would you rather live on the beach or in the mountains?

I’d live in the mountains, but I’d rather visit the beach.

Babies Are Great!…..but What Do I Do With Them?

10702935-happy-african-american-baby-boy-cartoon-character

Now that my newborn son is finally asleep, I would like to throw out suggestions for some things you can do with your new baby! I realized that this is an issue for some people and especially new fathers. You can hold the baby, but what else can you really do with a newborn?

1. Read: I am constantly reading to my 8 week old son. When I’ve read all the children’s books that I can handle, I read him news articles and novels. I can tell that he is beginning to see better and he seems to finally enjoy looking at the pictures in children’s books, so I now include more stories with elaborate illustrations.

2. Look at Pictures with High Contrasting Patterns: You’re probably already aware that newborns only see clearly objects and faces that are 8 to 12 inches from their eyes. Also, they have difficulty distinguishing between colors that are similar like red and orange. Therefore, babies tend to enjoy looking at black and white pictures. You don’t even have to purchase them if you don’t have any; simply look them up on the internet! I go to Youtube and search for “black and white infant stimulation” to get slide shows of high contrasting patterns. My son loves them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52P6cQneG4M or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFKYQdIer08

3. Mommy and Baby Exercises: I’m almost back to my normal weight after having my son, but I need to tighten things up so to speak. So, I do exercises that my infant can participate in. When I do push-ups, I lay him down on a blanket below me so that I can kiss his cheeks each time I go down. I hold him when I do squats and his favorite thing is what I call the “airplane”. I lay on my back and put him on my legs and move my legs back and forth. Youtube has videos available for ideas regarding other exercises you can do with your infant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUaEA3Yn25w or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zYLxBOIwHQ

4. Take a Walk: Many babies seem to enjoy being outside and a little sunshine is good for them. So, if it is a nice day out, go for a walk. Babies usually like being strolled and the sun normally improves your mood.

5. Do Baby Crafts: There are craft ideas out there that you can do with your newborn such as making a mold of their hands and/or feet or using hand and foot prints to create something. Admittedly, mothers probably enjoy this more than babies, but you can make something that you’ll both cherish and it is a nice way to spend time with your child.

http://theimaginationtree.com/2011/06/salt-dough-footprint-keepsakes.html

6. Talk and Sing Songs: My son really likes it when he is talked to or sung to. We’re partial to songs that you can move with like “The Wheels on the Bus”. When I sing about how “the people on the bus go up and down”, I bounce him up and down. When I sing about the mommies on the bus, I put my finger over my mouth to say, “sshh, sshh, sshh”, etc.

7. Learn Baby Sign Language: I don’t know about everyone else, but I look forward to the day when my son can communicate to me what he wants without crying. That is a good reason to begin teaching your baby some simple signs. Again, I found helpful videos on Youtube for learning useful signs for babies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVRZTN0ay-M or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MivLxcxJ-V4

8. Nap Together: It can be pretty draining learning the habits of your newborn. Therefore if you are able, take a nap with him or her. You’ll both feel better and the closeness encourages proper bonding, so it is a win-win.

I love babies, but as a new parent, the tasks get pretty redundant. It helps me to go down a list of activities that I can do with my son and I hope this helps you as well!

A Tribute to Education: Bon Appétit!

fine-dining-restaurants-kw

Fine dining at an upscale restaurant is a lot like obtaining a college education. Consider Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill in Anderson, South Carolina:

People go to Sullivan’s for the atmosphere, the fine dining experience, and the food. At first glance, the restaurant looks impressive. The inside is beautiful, the servers appear eager to provide, and the food looks delicious. However, after being lead to a table and receiving your drinks and meal, you do not see your waiter or waitress for some time. You find that your glass has been empty for 40 minutes, the roasted chicken you ordered is undercooked, and salt is nowhere to be found. Finally, you see your server again just in time for you to get your bill. Afterward you realize that the overwhelming price was not worth it. After all, you visited the restaurant expecting to pay a hefty bill, but you thought it would be worth the price considering that the advertisements say the food is amazing, the service is exceptional, and the surroundings are breathtaking. Although you leave the restaurant without hunger, you are angry with yourself for not getting a pizza which would have been both delicious and economical.

Attempting to obtain a bachelor’s degree is much like eating at a “nice” restaurant. Your first impression is that the staff are eager to help, that your experience will enlighten you, and the courses will add to your knowledge. However after finishing a semester or two, you can longer find help from administrators, the courses do not help your intelligence because the curriculum is opinion-based, and the atmosphere is no longer  enough to make up for your terrible experience, the overpriced tuition costs, and the lack of quality education. You leave with a degree, so you are no longer “hungry”, but you wish you would have satisfied your hunger in a way that would not have been so demanding of your time and on your bank account.

Shrimp & Grits

Served with tasso cream sauce, also available as an entrée

Society thinks that intelligence and college go together just like Shrimp & Grits. In my opinion, they do not go together at all. Some people who graduate from college feel that they are brighter than those who did not attend. On the contrary, there are a number of intelligent and/or successful people in the world who did amazing things without graduating from college. Some of these people include Harry Truman (33rd President of the U.S.), John Rockefeller (founder of Standard Oil), Thomas Edison (Inventor), Barry Goldwater (U.S. Senator), etc. Sometimes college can ruin a smart and ambitious person, just like a delicious bowl of grits can be ruined by shrimp.

Sullivan’s Hush Puppies

Tossed in a curried honey glaze, with a side
of pimento cheese tartar sauce

Sullivan’s Hush Puppies are just like early American history. If you do not dip them in pimento cheese tartar sauce, they are great. Likewise, early American history is very interesting if the instructor does not assign long papers to write and loathsome reading assignments.

Black Truffle Ravioli

Wild mushroom cream sauce and regiano parmigiano

A good teacher is like a truffle in the way that he or she is hard to find and is very valuable. Bad teachers are like the mushrooms in your yard that are nothing more than fungi that you cannot get rid of. The water that settles in your yard and causes these bad mushrooms to grow is comparable to tenure. Tenure would be a great idea if it only produced truffles, but too often it produces unwanted fungi.

Black Bean Cakes

With guacamole, charred jalapeño aioli and Spanish rice Black Bean Cakes are a pricey dish.

If you were ordering a rib-eyed steak, you expect the price to be high because you are getting a substantial piece of meat and meat is always a bit more costly than vegetables. Like Black Bean Cakes, my Understanding Diversity course left me wondering, “Where’s the beef”? The class seemed to be a course in the hatred of anyone conservative. The only thing I learned was exactly how much blame some people put on society rather than individuals. Where was the substance of the course? I never heard any facts, just opinions. Where was the meat? If there is no meat, why am I paying so much?

Pecan & Basil Encrusted Mahi-Mahi

Served over orange and goat cheese grits drizzled
with a peppercorn honey and fresh vegetables

Pecan & Basil Encrusted Mahi Mahi and Astronomy are alike in the way that you picture a beautiful dish or a beautiful cluster of stars and you are sure that you have made a great choice about what to eat or what to learn about. After eating a bite of Mahi-Mahi, you remember that you are allergic to fish and you have to be rushed to the hospital. After reading the first chapter of your Astronomy book and doing the first quiz, you remember that you are terrible at math, and you try to withdraw only to learn that the withdrawal date has passed. Both actions result in being angry with yourself.

Lemon Blackberry Cheese Cake

When eating a Lemon Blackberry Cheese Cake, you fantasize about being able to make a cheese cake that is even better than this one and for much cheaper at home. In the same way, you sign up for a course in Spanish thinking of how dedicated you are going to be about learning a new language and how helpful it will be to your future. Just like the idea of making a lemon blackberry cheese cake remains an idea, the same goes for learning a language. The idea sounds good, but it is easier just to buy the cake. Likewise, it is easier to accept that you can only speak English.

Motherly Turmult and the Crazies

Foto_apaisada

I knew a girl whose mother had severe mood swings. When the mother was sad, she would experience a total nervous breakdown. When she was angry, she would become abusive. When she was happy, she was hyperactive and cheerful to the point that she was ecstatic and hard to cope with.

In between these mood swings, the mother would have bouts of low energy. She would become very tired and sleep day and night. At the same time, she was always seeking energy. She would take a numerous energy pills, purchase newly advertised low-energy solutions, and constantly drink coffee. And, she would overdose on everything she took. For instance, if she had a headache, instead of taking two 200mg ibuprofen tablets, she would take five. She did this kind of thing with Metabolite as well.

The girl had an immensely difficult time having a normal relationship with her mother considering that she was often abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. If the mother was happy and the girl was not able to match the mother’s level of intensity in happiness, then the mother became angry or depressed and the girl would experience the backlash that came from these emotions.

Growing up in a household where the mother was unbearable and the father was usually either gone or intoxicated, the girl felt that she had no one to rely on. Her family denied that her mother had any problems and chastised her when she made reference to any hardships with her mother. The family, including her mother, felt that the mother functioned normally. Therefore, the mother would always refuse to go to counseling and would not take any medication.

To an outsider, it is not surprising to know that the mother and daughter did not mend their relationship when she became an adult and left home. They could speak with one another for short periods of time, but there was a lot of tension between the two of them. It seemed that the mother was totally unaware of this tension.

Although the mother never admitted that she needed some kind of help, she later apologized to her daughter for everything she had put her through. Literally, she said, “I’m sorry that I was not a good mother.” The girl knew that she would never feel very close to her mother. Really, she was so uneasy around her that even hugging her mother caused her apprehension.  Even though she apologized, they could not have a normal relationship because the mother tried to pretend like the first twenty-one years of the girls life never happened and considering that the girl was only twenty-three, she didn’t have any basis for a solid relationship with her mother.

Not only that, the mother would tell people who knew the girl, including her family, how badly the girl treated her. She would say things like, “Hannah was nice to me today“, implying that the girl was never kind to her. She would complain to others if her daughter visited another family member before visiting her first. She would become upset if the girl went out to eat with someone and did not dine with her. She even became angry when she visited her daughter’s house for Thanksgiving and noticed that one of the picture frames did not include a picture of her even though there were other pictures of her in the house.

The girl could not understand why her mother was so hard to please and why she expected so much when the mother had put so little good into their relationship.

In addition to all of this, the girl was never out-of-control or unruly. She went to church three times a week, made good grades, was involved in the high school band and key club, cleaned the house, etc. However, there was one instance when the daughter fought back with the mother. She was holding her down on her bad and twisting her arms behind her back when the girl snapped and began choking her mother. After the woman was gagging for a bit, the girl came back into reality and quit.

When the girl thinks about the past, she wishes that she would have fought back more often and told more people about her circumstances. After graduating from high school, the girl screamed and cussed at her mother as a means of trying to get through to her, but she realized that what she had done was wrong. To the girl, it felt right to defend her herself in a fight, but wrong to cuss at her mother, especially when they were only in a verbal dispute.

The girl was told by someone very close to her to not think of her mother as a mother or she would be disappointed. Instead, she should think of her as a friend because she really could be a friend at times.

This gave the girl a great amount of comfort. She even began to feel strong because she would tell herself that she did not need a motherly relationship; she was stronger that most of society.

Now, the girl is married and expecting a child of her own. She wants to be a good mother, but she almost feels like she doesn’t know how.

Sometimes the only solution is to simply put your troubles in God’s hands. You have to say, “I know what happened, she knows what happened, and God knows what happened. That’s all that matters.” Then, you pray, do your best, and see where life takes you. Unfortunately, just giving your troubles to God is difficult. As a human, I want to be able to have full control over my life when I simply cannot…

A New Author

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College: What Could Happen to You

I refer to myself as “heatherinbadweather” for a reason.

Like a number of high school graduates, I decided to go to college. I thought it was the best decision I could ever make in regards to my future. However, I learned that college is not for everyone.

At 18yrs. old, I thought that all people should strive to obtain at least a master’s degree in a subject of interest. After all, college always pays off, even if you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, right? Wrong. I’ll admit, when I was very young and more ignorant, my dream was to become a psychiatrist. This was not because I had a real interest in the medical field or that I was obsessed with the human mind…I guess it just seemed like an impressive goal.

Well, I first attended a community college (to be a psychiatrist? Yeah, the dream was probably shot from the beginning) immediately after high school, but due to chaotic circumstances, a counselor suggested that I withdraw. I did. Then, I made one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made in my life by attending Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. At first, I was going to major in psychology; however, I changed my mind and decided to major in art education. What a change! Anyway, an academic adviser placed me in an art 102 class rather than 101 even though I informed the person that I had no experience. They insisted that the classes were not that different and that I would do fine. Well, when I turned in my first project, I lost points on my grade because the picture was not “cut out” right. I pointed out that they never taught that in the class and I was not even aware that there was a correct way to do that. The instructor told me that I should have learned that in 101; I pointed out that he told me that I did not need 101 first. He didn’t have anything to say to that. Also, they docked points from my grade because my picture was drawn too lightly even though he told me that it was done correctly while we were working in class.

In addition, I had an education course in which students were to observe another teacher at an elementary school. At that time, I had a problem with my email account, so I did not get emails from the instructors. While in class, the teacher asked us who still did not have their information about who they were to observe and where. Myself and a number of others raised our hands. I later informed him that my email was not working properly and needed him to simply give me my information. I told him this a number of times. I’m pretty sure I even left a note on his door regarding the fact that he still had not told me who or where to observe. Finally, I reached him in his office. He called the teacher whom I was supposed to observe right in front of me and told her that he had a student who was being slack and still needed to come observe. I was furious. I pointed out that I had told him a number of times, at least 5, that I needed the information. He told me that I needed to stay on him about it. How much more “on him” could I have been? I was a full-time college student with a job. I didn’t have time to sit at his office day all day every day and beg him to do his job.

By the way, I had a work-study job with Anderson University my second semester there and I got paid once a month. For some reason, the school kept asking me to fill out change of address forms which I did at least 6 times. I’m still not sure why they still didn’t have my address, but I finally just tried not caring. I told the people who worked in the office not to send my paycheck to me. Instead, I would just pick it up. So what did they do? They sent it out. It was hard enough that I was poor and only got paid once a month, but to have them send it away so that it takes even longer? What?

I talked to a school counselor about my continuing problems with the school and she told me that “some people just get into the system wrong”. What does that even mean?

After continual problems with the school, I attempted to file a grievance saying that I paid for a service that wasn’t rendered; however, I didn’t get anything out of it.

Later on, I attended a technical school in Indiana where I decided that I would eventually transfer to a 4 year college and major in social work. For the most part, things went fairly well there, with the exception of the beginnings of semesters and a particular instructor. Because I was an independent student with a full-time job, I didn’t get the financial aid that you would expect. Let me explain this further: Because I was not 24 years old, I was considered to be automatically dependent upon my parents even though I lived in a different state  and did not receive any help from them. Thus, when the school saw my income which was a little over poverty level, they judged that I actually made a large amount of money for a full-time college student. Also, I did not have any children to claim, so this weakened my chance for financial help as well….and just when I thought I had made responsible decisions, right? In fact, for me to simply get a loan in my name, I had to have my mother fax a statement to the school saying that I did not receive help from her presently, would not receive help in the future, and had not been supported for five years. My mother ended up sending at least 3 faxes in an attempt to allow me to get loans in my name…without receiving much financial aid. Let me put it to you this way: I owe about $20,000 for college and I will only end up with an associate’s degree in general studies. What in the world will a ‘general studies’ degree do for me anyway? What? I can insist to my interviewers that I know a solid amount of general information?? Wow, what a treasure I am.

Finally, it came to the time when I was supposed to transfer. It was suggested to me that I apply to University of Indianapolis. Of course, I was uneasy about attending another private school since they were so much more expensive than state schools, but my “knowledgeable” friends insisted that I would get enough financial aid to make it worth it. After all, I had excellent grades and was dirt poor. Well, as it turned out, the school was going to cost me a ludicrous amount of money and I simply couldn’t afford. If I were going to be a doctor or lawyer, I could understand being able to pay off extreme debt and have your education be worth it; however, social workers just don’t make that much. So, I applied to IUPUI. Everything seemed like it was working out just fine until I spoke to a counselor who told me that despite the fact that I had been in school for 3 years already, I’d have to go to IUPUI for another 3 years to finish. If that wasn’t bad enough, she also told me that I would have to complete 2 internships while actually attending classes. Thus, there wouldn’t have been enough hours in the day for me to work, handle school, and sleep.

So, I applied to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Because I was married to a South Carolina resident, I should have been able to get in-state tuition even though we had just moved there after getting married. What my husband and I didn’t consider is that financial aid is based on the previous year and we were not married the previous year. Well, we figured we would just pay out-of-state tuition for one semester…..I found out that it was going to cost me $12,000 for one semester. Keep in mind, $12,000 would be expensive for one year, but one semester? Like I said, I just wanted to be a social worker, so it just wasn’t worth being in debt to such an extent. Not only that, my academic adviser at Winthrop guaranteed me a number of times that day that I could finish my degree in one more year; however, I was later told by another person that finishing in one year would be nearly impossible. When I spoke to me academic adviser about it again on another day, she told me that it would definitely take me a year and a half. I reminded her that she just said last week that it would only take me year. She just kind of shrugged.

After this, I went to a school counselor and complained. I told her that if my adviser was supposed to be an example of what a social worker was, then it wasn’t for me. I told her about all the problems I had with Winthrop and in the past. I also informed her that I would not attend Winthrop this semester or ever.

Now, I’m just waiting for the summer semester to begin at Ivy Tech Community College so that I can finish up my unwanted associate’s degree in general studies. Thank God I only have one credit hour to do. They told me that they would just mail me my diploma. To be honest, I just want it to be over. One good thing that has come from all of this is that I now understand why some people say that college is a waste of time. See, I don’t actually think college in general is a waste of time, I just think that bachelor’s degrees are a waste of time and money. That is, unless you are attending in hopes of becoming something that causes you to make an excess of money like a doctor, lawyer, some kind of executive banker, etc. Other than those exceptions, I think it is a better investment to go to some kind of trade school or 2 year community college. I know college advisers and high school teachers will insist to you that college graduates always make more money and that the more years you go to college, the more money you will make. However, they fail to mention all the debt that you will be paying off for the next 20 years or so and the trouble that college advisers and employees will put you through. For goodness sake, consider your sanity!

High School Graduates: Don’t let others push you into attending a 4 year college. If you have a dream that you are dead set on pursuing and you must attain a bachelor’s degree, be aware of the costs. When I say cost, I not only mean the monetary costs, but also the time as well. The time you spend at school is time that could be better spent earning and saving money. People insist that you go to college because “you’re supposed to”, but think carefully about whether that is for you or not. Talk to others who attending 4 year schools and ask them what they think. Also, be aware that your student loans are not free money as some would have you think. You’ll have to pay those back at some time or another….probably at a time when you’re wanting to buy your first home, get married, and start a family. Just think it over.

The Nature of the Unnatural

In America, it seems that more and more people are determining their very own personal standards for moral behavior as if righteousness is a matter of opinion. I suppose some people will say that moral behavior is dependent upon your personal convictions and values; however, there are certain principles that we all know to be correct because they are inherent in nature. Take the abortion issue for example. How appalling is it that there is actually a debate about whether or not abortion should be legal? You would not even expect it to be a controversy. What kind of mother would sacrifice her own child as a means of assisting herself? You would think that any mother would surrender her own life to save her child; however, thousands of innocent lives are terminated due to lack of proper regard for life, specifically your own child’s life.

Sexual orientation is another unrighteous practice in which many people feel that it is a matter of choice. It’s always been astounding to me that all of earth’s creatures know that a male and female unite in order to procreate. Every creature understands this concept except humankind. Even those who are not Christians cannot justify homosexuality to be natural. In the most basic sense, the parts simply do not fit together and if everyone in the world were homosexual, humanity would cease to exists. This in itself should evoke a sense of deep-seated insecurity regarding the idea of homosexuality.

As a Christian, I love everyone and my greatest hope is that everyone will give their life to Jesus.

Of course, I expect to receive a lot of criticism for my little statement; however, I have a right to free speech like everyone else and I feel the urge to use it.


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