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Just Posts for a Just World, July 2010

Just Posts for a Just World, July 2010.

Readers:

Just Posts are a collaborative between myself and Alejna.  We collect posts written each month by regular folks about social justice issues.  Any and all are encouraged to submit posts.  (Go here for more info!)

Thanks to all the participants, readers, and supporters of the Just Posts for a Just World!

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Just Posts: April 2010

Happy April, Just Posts.  We’re into May now… so send us whatever you’re reading that is making you think, act, do, and be better in our world!

The posts of this month’s roundtable were nominated by:

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Exercise your Voting Power! (And help us test!)

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The Best of the Just Posts for 2009: Semi-finalists!

Did you notice Alejna‘s post about how we’re announcing that the finalists for the Best Just Posts of 2009 will be up and ready for your voting by the end of January?  I know, exciting!  Let me tell you on no uncertain terms: Alejna?  She gets stuff DONE.

Oh, wait, except that *I* am involved.  Seeing as how I’ve been writing that dissertation for… can we just say a long time and leave it at that?… getting stuff done is not really my best strength.  I think having lots of unfinished projects makes me feel secure or something.

Back to the JPs.  Okay, so it’s a few days past the end of January.  But we’re on it.  We got a little behind because we had to read 300 posts.  But then we wanted more than our collective four cents weighing in.  And because we’re academics who have done way too many conference paper reviews, we decided it was important that all 300 were read by at least 2 different people that weren’t us.  Which meant… 600 separate reviews.

600.  Whoa.

There were a lot of emails.  There were a lot of numbers.  And now, there are a lot of thank-yous.

Thank you thank you and thank you, friends and Just Post supporters, who read and evaluated batches of posts.  You rock stars made our days.  Each evaluation was like a big internet hug, followed by a Saints first down.

For their time and care, we send out sincere thanks and grateful hugs to the following beautiful people: Amanda, Anne-Marie, antropologa, Barbara, blc, bon, bshep, Catherine, Charlotte, Chrissie, Christine, Christine, De, dee, defiantmuse, denguy, Donna, Elizabeth B, Eli, Emily, Erica, Erika , Heather, Janet, Jean, jen, Julie, KC, Kitty, laloca, Leslie, Lin, Mad, Magpie, Mary G., Meagan, Mme. Meow, Painted, Robin, Sarah, Shokufeh, Stacie, submom, Susanne, Tabba, and wreke.

And extra big fat sloppy kisses go to De, denguy, Donna, Erika , Heather, Kitty, Leslie, Mad, Mary G., Sarah and Tabba for going above and beyond the call of duty, and coming back to help with more.  Or, in the case of Heather, came back and back and back again.  Heather, would a kidney do?

And to all of you above: each time you said, ‘wow, I’m so glad to have found this new blog,’ or ‘thanks for giving me the opportunity to read these,’ or ‘I learn so much from the Just Posts,’ it was like the internet opened up, handed us hand-made chocolates served on paper doilies, then cleaned our houses and did the laundry.  I mean it.

Y’all got a round of free drinks waitin’ for you in NOLA, baby.

We also appreciate those of you who, while you were not able to actively participate in the project through reading and reviewing posts, expressed your interest and support in the endeavor.  (Also, I feel like I need to thank John, who let me keep Alejna up chatting online and by phone waaaay past her bedtime.)

In the meantime, would you like to see our list of semi-finalists?  These posts are those which at least one of two reviewers asserted should make our finalist list.  We’re categorizing these and the top scores in each category will be our final-finalist list.

Then, we really hope that you and your friends and your family and your co-workers and neighbors and school teachers and dentists and all those other people you interact with each day will ALL VOTE.  Because we’ve got PRIZES.  OH YES, wonderful and beautiful and fantastic hand-made prizes.  Stay tuned.  Because we have a new deadline!  March 1st.  That’s, like, next Friday, right??

Semi-finalists!  Below!

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Just Posts for a Just World: January 2010


Here’s my small effort to spread happiness into your world.


And here’s our monthly round-up for January!


The January Just Posts

This month’s posts were nominated by:

  • submom
  • Mad
  • Emily
  • Kitty
  • Holly
  • Alejna


  • Send some love to Alejna, who is leading the Just Post charge here while I drown in Lombardi Gras goodness.

    HAPPY MARDI GRAS, Y’ALL!!!!

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    Learning from the Soaps

    P: OH MY, have you seen how much Sam* looks like Will?

    H: I know, isn’t he adorable?

    P: If I didn’t know better, I’d have to ask for a paternity test.

    H: Paternity?  For who?

    P: For Will!

    H: What?  How would THAT have worked.

    P: Well, they were here for Mardi Gras a few years back.  WHO KNOWS what happened then between you all.

    H: Will was ALREADY BORN then.

    P: So?  Have soap operas taught you NOTHING?

    *This is not the Sam you’re looking for.

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    Calling all socially-minded readers and writers…

    It’s that time again!

    Alejna and I are seeking nominations for Just Posts for a Just World for the month of July. What did you read this month that made you think, blew your mind, or tugged your heart into a broader perspective? We’re looking for thoughtful posts made by people who write personal blogs. For more information, see the Just Posts page.

    We welcome nominations from EVERYONE and hope you’ll contribute to our roundtable!

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    Call for JPs…

    Alejna and I are sending out the call for Just Posts for May! We’re hoping to get the round table up early(er) this month… so please send on your nominations!

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    Just Posts in a Pun World.

    The calendar tells me it’s the 30th, the last day of April.  (That’s the thing about calendars.  Their days are all numbered.)

    So we’re gathering up Just Posts.  Please send on posts written in April that brightened your day, expanded your horizons, helped you learn new things.  (We don’t want someone’s photographic mind to be left undeveloped.)

    Get ‘em in as soon as you can… (Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like bananas.)

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    On Being Heard, or Not Heard, and what lies between.

    One of the best lessons I learned during my social work internship at Michigan hospital system was from a Mother of a sick child.  She described how she used to think that families with sick kids were stronger people, that she would never be able to handle it if one of her kids got sick.  “But now,” and I’m paraphrasing her here, “I know the truth.  We’re not stronger than anyone, we are just doing what we have to do.”

    Her words have stuck with me all through my parenting.  That there is no immunity from illness and, as a parent, anything can happen.

    Being a parent of two healthy children, I am so selfishly ignorant of thinking about their health.  I don’t worry about them because I know that they are healthy kids.   And when I see kids without the same opportunities for health: whether it is because they are limited in access to quality food and water, or to adequate medicines, or do not have the right identification to be allowed medical care — and I feel anger and shame and sadness for the screwed up ways of the world, my thoughts go to the parents.  Who are, more often than not, just regular people trying to do what they have to do.




    So it’s not that I don’t believe that my kids can be sick.  It’s just that, unless they are bleeding or turning blue, I have a hard time believing that what is happening is any other than completely normal.  They are healthy kids who have everything they need.  Besides, I’m the Mom.  I’d notice if something were really, really wrong.  Right?

    Um, well, maybe not.

    And then.

    We had the kids’ second parent-teacher conferences last night.  Will, the child who a few months ago was proclaimed “amazing,” had a mixed report card.  He is very quiet.  He is often in his own little world.  When he speaks French, it’s often difficult to understand.  To ‘test’ them for their reports this week, the teacher played a tape of a story they had heard many times before.  Then they were asked to repeat back parts of the story with cards that they organized in the stages of that story.  Will knew the story, could describe it, but was unable to repeat back the phrases from the tape.  Instead, he gave mumbled responses that were difficult to hear and understand, or, he repeated back phrases that had similar sounds but totally different meanings — like similarly sounding phrases from other songs or stories.  The bottom line:

    “Do you think that maybe he is having trouble hearing?”

    If you heard the giant GONG sound that rung through New Orleans late yesterday afternoon, it was the sound of the mammoth cymbal in my head, calling my attention to the obvious.  Oh my goodness.  Weren’t Paul and I just wondering about Will’s hearing a few days ago?

    I explored it when we were alone, driving to Kate’s appointment.  “Will, do things ever sound funny to you?”

    “Yeah, a lot of times, I hear two things.”

    “Two things?”

    “Yeah, like two voices.”

    GONG.  Um, maybe like an echo, Mom?

    And then, Kate’s teacher, whose son has had chronic ear problems for almost a decade, “we didn’t realize my son was having problems because he was reading lips.”

    GONG. GONG. GONG.  HELLO??  ARE YOU REALLY THIS CLUELESS?

    A list formed in my head….Couldn’t repeat back lines from a tape.  Can’t understand my directions unless I make him look at my face.  Irritable for no reason.  Complains that there is too much wax in his ear.  History of fluid build up with no fever.

    Head, *desk*.

    And still, I hesitate.  Am I being alarmist to think that there is a hearing loss issue here?  Sometimes, kids don’t listen. That is normal. Maybe he’s just over school or listening or whatever. Maybe he’s just being surly. Surely, I couldn’t miss something like hearing loss in my child FOR MONTHS?  Could I…?

    Well, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.  He’s being seen by the pediatrician for a hearing test… during the same appointment Kate has for getting her ears checked.  Am I the least observant Mother on the planet?  Or the most hardened?  Or am I just clueless?

    Stay tuned.

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