Thursday, April 22, 2010

My thoughts.

I can't stand ignorant people. I just can't even tolerate them. That doesn't mean you have to be brilliant, or heck even smart, for me to like you. To clarify this is the definition for ignorant.

Ignorant: noun
The condition of being uninformed or uneducated. Lacking knowledge or information.

Except I don't really mind if people lack knowledge or are just uninformed. There are things I lack knowledge in, and I don't feel like everyone has to be a college graduate for me to want to be their friend. So to make it more clear I hate, yes a strong word, willful ignorance. Definition.

Willful ignorance: (unaccountable)
A bad faith decision to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt. It may also be shown as for a person to have no clue in a decision but still goes ahead in their decision.

I'm sure everyone deals with ignorance, even willful ignorance, but I got kicked in the gut with it the other day. A quick, vague explanation so years down the road I can remember WHY I started the battle that I'm taking on.

I believe a school psychologist would have to have some kind of degree, credential maybe compassion and be educated in her field? I guess not. I was told that people with a mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar) are, ready, MENTALLY DISTURBED! Of course that doesn't sit well with me. When I hear mentally disturbed I picture a serial killed cutting his victim into tiny pieces. I was also informed that bipolar is a brand new illness that hasn't really been studied yet. Really? I mean does this woman live under a rock? I don't expect the average person to be an expert on mental illness, or even know much at all about it. I do absolutely expect a psychologist that works every day with children to know at least a minimal amount. It is unacceptable to me that she is willfully ignorant! She knew of my bipolar and continued to tell me the myths she believed to be true. She had no desire to ask any questions or clarify what she didn't understand and even when our encounter was over I don't believe she had any interest in educating herself about it. Because in her words "mental illness doesn't really affect our valley, it's just too rare and we don't know how to handle those type of children so we would have to ship them somewhere else." At that point it took a ton of self restraint to not show her mentally disturbed! I haven't been an unashamed advocate for mental illness for very long, but I DO know that mental illness in one form or another effects over 25% of adolescents.

I ended my conversation with her by letting her know that I would be in close contact with her often, and that until she could educate her ignorant self on mental illness that I would also need to be in close contact with her supervisors and the district for the safety of our children in this valley.

I'm appalled that this is what Kern high school district would hire for our school psychologist that is supposed to have the best interest of the kids in mind. Looks like I have my work cut out for me because I will FORCE education on all mental illnesses onto her until I can trust the kids she oversees will be protected and given the education they deserve.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The vacation continues...

We left Vegas on Wednesday, no rush. We headed toward Flagstaff Arizona. The drive wouldn't have been so bad except that they are doing road work for about 20 miles near the Hoover Dam and it's only 2 lane road. We didn't stop long to see the dam, but Flat Stanley got out to get his picture taken.
We got to Flagstaff and immediately loved it. We even talked about looking into jobs there. We relaxed that night and when we woke the next morning there was about a foot and a half of snow on our car. I know I've mentioned I HATE SNOW! It melted off pretty quick so we headed up to the Grand Canyon. I went when I was a kid but the rest of my family had never seen it. It really is beautiful but I didn't realize that there is no railing anywhere, and I don't have boring kids. My kids think it's fun to pretend to push the other one over, they didn't realize why this just wasn't funny! My kids also didn't realize that the Grand Canyon is a place to reflect on the beauty and splendor. They ran around laughing and joking like wild banshees. I guess I rather have them like that then some of the boring kids we saw.

Sami made sure we got the picture quick!
Sadly this is the best pictures of my kids that I could get. They're all sticking their tongues out in the rest of them. BRATS!

This is so Sami!

The only thing she would climb the Grand Canyon for.

My boys being dorks. They really play it up when the camera comes out.

Alex, don't jump!

There was this overlook at one point and when we first got there there wasn't too many people there. We started taking pictures, not normal scenery pictures but pictures that made it look like we had fallen off. People started gathering around, we tried to be inconspicuous, but it didn't work. We were all giggling and couldn't stop.
Always a HAM BONE!

We are all surprised he didn't just drop her... I would have.

We drove up a back way to the Grand Canyon. They have a lot of Elk up there and we saw tracks, but no Elk. These were the railroad tracks for the train that goes through the canyon.

We all had a really great time. I am glad that I'm not afraid of heights, and glad that most of my kids are. Everyone needs to see the Grand Canyon at least once and I'm glad I didn't take my kids when they were younger. This family with little kids came up behind us and one of their young boys, probably 4, came flying by me and I wasn't too far from the edge. Mommy mode kicked in and I grabbed for an arm and yelled STOP! I think I scared him, I felt dumb because I don't think he would have fallen off, but the parents were still glad I stopped him. A few memories of this leg of the trip.
1. The highways in Arizona are ridiculous, they have 4 different numbers for one highway. Jim missed a turn and went to turn around. A man rolled down his window and asked Jim "do you know this is a one way street?" Jim felt stupid. We all laughed until we almost cried.
2. Arizona people HATE California people. We were treated very badly, people cutting us off and not letting us over. Then when we were leaving and getting gas, I ran in to get a drink and the guy at the counter said "now get out of here" when I was done.
3. There are no gas stations up by the Grand Canyon. (where we were anyways) We had to back track about 5 miles because we realized we probably would be cutting it close on gas if we didn't.
4. IHOP has cheesecake pancakes. mmmmm
5. The iphone maps are the coolest greatest thing ever ever ever ever. We found our way everywhere with it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vacation Day One and Two, Vegas Baby!

Monday morning, way too early for some of my family, we headed to Vegas. The entire day, well trip, we heard "Vegas baby!" We got there about 2:00, we would have been there a lot earlier but we had to shop for Jimi a bathing suit for 2 hours. Jim LOVED that. (add lots of sarcasm)
We got to Vegas and Jim and I went out to buy show tickets. We got tickets for Blue Man Group for that night. We rushed and ate dinner then headed to the show. It was really amazing, we loved it. The next night we went and say The V Show, ultimate variety show. We didn't think we were going to love it at first but we were wrong. It was really cool. We ate dinner at Pampas in Planet Hollywood, Alex was in Heaven. They had all you can eat meat, but they brought it around to your table and cut it fresh for you. We ate shrimp, prawns, salmon, cod, tri-tip, prime rib, smoked ham, and my very favorite the filet Mignon. We stayed at the MGM Grand, with the lions. The kids didn't believe they had real lions in the hotel, until we saw them. They have an awesome pool that's only 3 feet deep. So the kids played and Jim and I laid in the sun. We had a slight sunburn but it was 86 degrees and we loved it!

We wore our kids out running all over Vegas, when they crashed, they crashed.

Yes, Alex is under the table. I don't know why. Maybe its because it makes him feel like home like his bunk bed.

Most memorable moments from Vegas.
1. Watching the Treasure Island show with the ships and watching the pirates dance on top of the sail. Sami freaking out that they were going to fall. She said "I can't even watch, they're going to fall". Then during the V show they had a drummer that was hanging from the wall playing drums and Sami freaking out again that he was going to fall, she stressed the whole show. I would look over at her and she would watch the drummer and flinch when he would swing out.
2. We were in the elevator and Jimi says "why do they play elevator music in here?" she's our smart one.
3. Vegas Baby!
4. This guy yelling "Smoke week, do pot... blah blah blah..." while we were walking back from a show. Jim telling him to shut up because of the kids (not his exact words, but it wasn't much worse than that) Then him and his friends following us, while Jim gets madder and madder. When Jim gets really mad he goes silent, it scares me. They guys friends thought the guy was stupid too. We all stopped at a light, and after running his mouth for 3 blocks, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with Jim, well his shoulder to Jims chest. He shut up, but started back again when we went the opposite way on the light. It only took one more look from Jim for him to shut up for good. The kids were scared, but I wasn't worried.
5. The Beligio water show.
6. The billboard of a woman's cute butt that was highly visable from our room. Alex was fine with it.
7. The fact that it was Spring Break so there were parties in the hallway most of the night, besides a bunch of women who had barely any cloths on stumbling drunk. I think it was a good lesson for my kids. There is NOTHING attractive about that.