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Jumping Through Hoops

19 May

Today marks a monumental occasion. After weeks of trying to get all my medical records together for GW health services, I can finally mail the form back, knowing it’s never going to come back to my house.

How do I know this?

Because it already came back once.

My mom spent many hours on the phone before mailing it, getting documentation that I’ve had the chicken pox. Apparently kids don’t get chicken pox anymore – did you know that? I certainly didn’t. Back in the day, everyone got it; there wasn’t a vaccine for it, so you just hoped your kids got it before they were old enough to scratch and pick at the sores. I have no memory of having chicken pox, but I do have a few scars to prove it. Anyway, it took forever to get documented proof of that, because my pediatrician doesn’t have my medical records anymore. My next doctor had all other documentation of my shots and medical history, except chicken pox, because I’d had them already by the time I started going there. Of course, my current doctor couldn’t sign off on that, either. I don’t know how she did it, but eventually my mom got that part of my form signed.

We thought we were in the clear.

We thought wrong.

We missed the part on the form about having to have a current meningitis shot. As in, within the last 5 years. Wouldn’t you know, mine was June 2005, after high school graduation, getting ready to go to Converse. So, the form came back, with that specific detail highlighted. You know what that means, right? I had to have a meningitis shot. Well, apparently my current doctor (the lady doctor, if you know what I mean) doesn’t do those shots. Neither do the first assist people. I would have gone to my mom’s internist, but they weren’t taking any new patients. Finally my mom discovered I could get the shot at the health department. So we go down there, make an appointment, everything’s fine. I show up a few days later, bright and early in the morning, ready to get it overwith. Except that the health department doesn’t give meningitis boosters if you had one after age 16. Why, I have no idea. So I basically wasted an hour in the health department, waiting to for nothing.

Very luckily, and I suspect in a bending of the rules, my mom’s internists decided to accept me as a patient. So this morning, I headed off there instead of work, to finally get my meningitis shot, my form signed, and mailed off. I hate getting shots – I can’t watch when it happens. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, and my arm isn’t really that sore anymore. I’m just glad to have it overwith. And even more importantly, I’m glad to finally have that form completely filled out, accurate, and out of my life.

Seriously, it shouldn’t have been this much of a hassle to track down my medical records and then find someone to give me a measly shot. If, after this, I end up with meningitis, I will be so pissed.

Round Robin

12 May

Plinky prompt of the day: You’re gathering signatures for a petition. What’s your cause?

I’m starting a petition to repeal those terrible No Child Left Behind policies, completely overhaul our education system to one that actually benefits kids and encourages teachers, directing the blame for failing schools away from teachers and demanding accountability from parents, and a serious investigation of the effectiveness of all those standardized tests.

I don’t know exactly what this form would look like – it sounds complicated, I know. It’s a lot to fit onto one form. But something has to be done around here – kids are growing up dumber than ever, allowed to slide by because of terrible policies in the education system. Teachers are blamed for every shortcoming of kids who just aren’t going to be college-bound. Parents let their kids do anything they want, except homework. It’s just awful, the state of our public education system. I believe it can work for the good of those involved, but not in its current condition. We have lawmakers who barely remember being students, and have never once set foot inside a classroom to teach. Are these the people we really want making laws about the future of the country? Not me. I’m starting a petition right now to change all this. Who’s with me?

Ten Things Tuesday – May 10

10 May

Ten things that would make the world a better place:

1. If kids actually respected and obeyed their parents. But before that can happen, parents need to take charge of their kids’ behavior, discipline them, and care about what happens to them. If they did these things, and oh, I don’t know, acted like an actual parent, their kids would actually listen to them. I’m more than worried for the youth of this country, and I blame parents, mostly.

2. Secondly I blame video games. I think kids should quit playing so many video games and get outside more often. I have a big problem with really young kids who play violent video games. It does nothing but encourage rage, laziness, and easy distraction while completely ruining problem-solving skills.

3. An education system that actually serves kids. Lawmakers and politicians have gotten their hands far too deep into the education system, and it doesn’t really work anymore. No wonder so many kids and schools are failing – they rely on data and completely unrealistic expectations and evaluation systems. We forget that it’s people who need to benefit from education, and people that it affects. We’re not a number, or a textbook, or a test score. We are people who benefit from quality education.

4. An attitude of servitude and a willingness to volunteer. If people actually served each other, instead of their own interests, I think we’d be much more cooperative as a society. I realize that this is totally unrealistic, but I would love to see some kind of instituted service for everyone. Sure, sure, not everyone would appreciate it or enjoy it, but I think it would be highly beneficial. When you graduate high school, spend one year of your life dedicated to service learning, then go on to pursue an education or a career. See how your perspective changes then.

5. Being able to eat as much ice cream as you want, without getting sick or fat. Ice cream just makes you feel better, hands down. And how could that possibly make the world worse?

6. Handwritten letters. I do see the irony of this, as I type this sentence on my computer. We’ve forgotten the art of letter-writing, and conversing with others just because it makes us feel good to have someone to talk to and listen to. Now, we don’t even have enough time to write out a complete word in a text message – we have to abbreviate it into this nonsensical shorthand. We have all these forms of instant mass communication at our hands, and still we feel more disconnected than ever. Along those lines, we need to quit texting each other and actually have a conversation with a real, live person. Especially when you’re in the company of others, and all you can do is type away on your phone to people you’re not even with. As previously stated, we don’t even know how to talk to each other anymore.

7. Show respect for so-called “blue collar” jobs. You don’t want to pick up trash for a living? Fine, you don’t have to. You don’t know how to fix a car? That’s OK. But just because you’re highly educated, don’t undervalue or underestimate the value and importance of people able and willing to do these things. Someone has to get their hands dirty. While it probably won’t be me, I have a great respect for the people who do. I admire people who happily work in labor jobs that bring a sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment. These people are some of the happiest around. They do an honest day’s work at a job that truly needs doing. If we don’t have people to repair our roads, build houses, clean clogged pipes, and recycle garbage, our country’s infrastructure will collapse. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see what that looks like.

8. The three R’s. No, I’m not talking abour Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (although we have forgotten the value of these things), but Recycling, Reducing, and Reusing. We’re terribly self-centered as a species; we think everything is here just for our exclusive benefit. We don’t often stop to consider the environmental consequences of our actions. While it’s nearly impossible to be environmentally-friendly in every single thing we do, there are some major things we can do to help out our dear old planet. Recycling things that can be used multiple times, reducing the amount we waste, and reusing things that can get a second life are all great ideas for positive impact on the environment.

9. Quit arguing about things that don’t matter and start to love people. Politicians, I’m looking at you. We’ve forgotten that we should love others, and treat them kindly, rather than looking for everything we don’t like or everything we want to change. Why can’t we all just get along?

10. Be thankful. Truly thankful. Not just going around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and saying one thing you’re thankful for that year, but really practicing thankfulness on a daily basis. Appreciating the things you have – material and intangible – helps us all to remember the less fortunate and ultimately makes us happier people. I think we tend to want less when we’re really thankful for what we already have. Let’s focus on that, rather than the have-nots.

The Grass is Always Greener

16 Apr

I’m happy to report that I’m now on the other side of Earth Day, and the grass really is greener now that it’s over. The event went far better than I had anticipated, which truthfully wasn’t a very high bar. There were even more people in attendance than last year, we ended up with way more volunteers than we knew were coming, and there were no major or minor catastrophes. I’d call that a raging success any day.

I have to say, we were really sweating out having enough volunteers for the event. The person responsible for recruiting the majority of them didn’t pull her weight, leaving us hanging and literally helpless at the last minute. By an act of God, we were able to find enough people looking to help out at the last minute, and they ended up being real life-savers. There’s no way we could have pulled that off without our volunteers.

I’m just so glad we ended up with a successful event. I’m even more glad that I don’t have to do it again next year. Maybe I’m stressing over it too much, or being too much of a control freak, but it really has caused a lot of turmoil in my life each time I’ve had to do it. I hope that whoever ends up replacing me at the Museum decides not to continue having such an involved role with Earth Day. It takes up an incredible amount of time that could be spent doing other, more pertinent things. It’s not directly related to the Outreach program, nor does it really benefit the Museum. Like I said, I’m just glad it’s not my problem any more!

A First Time for Everything

11 Apr

Today, for the first time ever, I got extremely lost on my way to an Outreach and was quite late. Like, 20 minutes late. Blame it on my misreading of addresses and directions, and probably being in too big of a hurry. That’s what you get for doing things at the last minute. I drove so far out of my way, and didn’t listen to my inner sense of direction telling me I wasn’t going the right way. I hate that feeling – knowing you’ve really driven the wrong way, are rushing to be on time, and feel that pressure to make up for lost time. In the year or so I’ve been doing this, this is the first time I’ve had this problem. That’s a pretty good track record, when you consider how many miles I’ve got under my belt just for work. I hope it doesn’t happen again, though. It didn’t really seem to bother the kids or teachers too much – that I noticed, anyway – so everything turned out OK in the end. But I never want to do that again!

Health Nut

26 Mar

Sometimes I think we overreact when it comes to our health, appearances, and well-being. You see all these commercials warning you about eating healthy, losing weight, staying active, drinking responsibly, and not smoking. Those things are all wise, of course, but then you get into all the conflicting views about wellness.

You should have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. But all that acid in the fruit wears away the enamel on your teeth!

Use anti-bacterial EVERYTHING. And screw over your immune system by never building up tolerance for bacteria and germs.

Use a fresh, clean paper towel in your home bathroom every time. And fill up the landfill more quickly.

The truth is, we’re never going to find that perfect system. That exact balance of eating right, taking care of our bodies and minds, not causing waste, protecting ourselves from germs, etc. I just don’t think there’s a way to do it all. Every day we live takes us one day closer to death. That’s a pretty grim fact of life, but it’s true. You might as well live it while you can.

And that means to go ahead and eat that last cookie.

Ten Things Tuesday – March 15

15 Mar

Today is the Ides of March, so naturally today’s list is ten things you should beware of:

1. The undead. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, skeletons, mummies, ghosts. They seem to be making a comeback in the most dominant way.

2. Believing you are entitled to everything, despite being undeserving or too lazy to have earned it.

3. The Jabberwocky.

4. The need to share absolutely everything about your life (likely on Facebook or Twitter): little random thoughts you have throughout the day, your personal informaton, naked pictures of yourself, ill-advised politics, personal vendettas against your boss. It’s annoying, and most people really don’t care.

5. Weird conspiracy theories.

6. The Death Starbucks.

7. Saran wrap. That stuff is the devil.

8. Hipsters.

9. Terrible books masquerading as best-sellers.

10. Believing everything you read on the internet. We’re here to spread information, although it’s not always helpful or reliable.