Saturday, March 31, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. on Speaking for Social Justice

Martin Luther King Jr. said spiritual solutions were not enough for a Christian. He said social action was necessary as well. It is a shame this nation is filled with people who are too afraid or self-centered to speak out against that which is wrong and needs to be changed. Right now in these times, we need brave people, not cowards hiding in fear.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Harrowing Semester at The University of Nebraska School of Journalism

Please kill me if I ever live in Nebraska again.
If you live in the midwestern part of The United States and this offends you, well I must be doing something right.

In the spring of 1986 I left a pristine campus here in Tacoma, Washington and enrolled as a student at the school of journalism. Where you ask? The University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

I was chasing a boy. I was chasing a boy not worth chasing, and furthermore, women, never ever chase boys. Make them chase you or just get your friggin' act together.

The journalism professor was a nightmare. He chain smoked because this was still legal in classrooms in 1986 and also because he was a freaky nightmare. To scare us, he gave all of us a "F" on the same assignment. I took that "F" and drew lines around it to make it into an "A." He yelled at all of us. He told us if we made the decision to be journalists, we'd all become alcoholics or die. "Think this over carefully," the freaky man said.

One afternoon the sirens indicating a very bad funnel cloud might suck us into the vortex of midwestern hell sounded. Mr. Freak did excuse us at last after quite a delay. I walked across the campus noting that no one was there. It's astounding I did not fling my arms in the air. This was a sure sign I could have been an incredible reporter. To this day I am often brazen in asking cops questions such as, "Is there some particular reason you are arresting a homeless person for no reason?" So far I have not been shot dead, but the day is not over just yet.

Nebraska was disturbing to me. The dorm floor on Sunday resembled the rapture. No one was there and everyone was at church. I befriended every student who was from another country I could find. I am not sure, I might have known at least a dozen people. Mostly I was making frantic phone calls back to The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and figuring out a way to get back to the west coast. I am not suggesting UPS is a diverse campus. In fact, it is quite caucasion. The booklets this university sends out to this day are hilarious. Photographers pick the twenty or so minority students and talk about how diverse the school is. I returned to the school because I enjoyed the feeling of my feet sinking into the mud, the rain, the water and the much higher academic standards.

Aside from actually having to produce documents in the journalism class in Lincoln, I did not open a single textbook. Tests were fill in the circles and I passed them all. I passed astronomy without cracking the textbook. Meanwhile back at the University of Puget Sound I had the continued pleasure of being mail stalked by a non-tenured professor. Of course I was too naive to think his carefully drawn sketches of Shakespeare characters amounted to stalking. Oh, they sure did. I graduated in 1988. In 1998, I ran into him at Safeway and told him I had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He said, "Well, sex after fifty is pretty good, Alison." I just stared at him instead of beating him with my cane. Then, as any unemployed reporter would do, I started asking questions. Did other English majors get stalked by him as well? Oh they sure did.

I am not slandering him by using his name because he is dead. He died right in a downtown Tacoma office of heart failure several weeks after I told him I took all those sketches right to the Dean at UPS. Now, these are not related events. He had a heart problem and had been struggling with his health for a long time. His name was, no I am not going to reveal this. I call him "the man who never finished his doctoral thesis" and raged about not getting tenure. Later I found out he hated women so much he would steal things from their purses. I am not sure how any of this relates to the beginning of my blog, I am just suggesting that life is continually strange. It was oddly disappointing I was not his only stalking target. It turns out I am just an ordinary person. Please pass the Kleenex! I am woe now! -AW

Monday, March 12, 2012

Get Your Cold On!

If you like this stuff, well, okay. It's not my problem.
Well, after attending a church service yesterday, I now have a cold going on in my, well, entire body.

If one does not have much interaction with the public, one does not get colds. I also forgot the cardinal rule of going out: do not place your hands near your nose.

I was dancing, peeps. I was dancing to drums and lively upbeat folks who dance in spite of all the bad news they are ignoring. I think this is fine. The news lately...well....I am just not going there.

Hello Kleenex! Hello and soon goodbye to cold! Kudos to vitamin C and water and herbal tea! See ya! -AW

Nationally Known Published Tacoma Poet Addressing Reality

This poem speaks for itself.

Writing, I think, is the strongest way to combat racism. -AW

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Attention to all of all faiths, including new age beliefs

Sleet stings when it's flying sideways!

It seems to me and others that the entire world is going up in flames or snow or today, in Washington State it is sleet.

All religions appear to be on the same page. It's weird or not weird. I am a Christian (oftentimes not a very good one though) and therefore think it is weird. I have no idea if this is the end times and think I should be so lucky to be living in the end times. (emphasis meaning I could not be so lucky as to be living in the end times---because the world has gone crazy before and it was not the end times).

One thing is for certain, these are weird times. Mortgages are upside down, people are getting evicted, hate groups are growing, and the middle east is exploding into war. Yet today I met many who have faith. What they said is similar to anything I have heard from any faith or even New Age group. Stay grounded, watch the news or don't, but if you do watch it in a detached not angry way. Do not let fear rule you and carry on. It is going to be okay.

However, something is going on out there and I certainly cannot explain it. -AW