Sunday, September 22, 2013

Halloween is the scariest holiday of the year

During my craft and fabric store adventures on Friday, I also stopped by the Halloween store next to Hobby Lobby.  I am always curious to see what kind of costumes are popular and see what the hot trends are this year.  As usual, and honestly as I expected, the costumes aimed at adult women almost all featured mini skirts, low cut tops (more often than not a bustier), and fishnet stockings.  I cannot figure out why a police officer or nurse would wear fishnet stockings but that's what they sell.  As much as the need for all women's Halloween costumes to be sexy pisses me off, that was not nearly as disturbing as my trip to the children's section.  

Amongst the racks of cheaply made princess dresses and the super hero costumes with the sculpted padded abs I found costumes that were far more disturbing to my sensibilities.  In addition to the fluffy princess dresses and the stereotypical ghost and pirate costumes were duplicates of the "sexy" womens' Halloween costumes.  

Some of you may be going, "What's the big deal?" but I hope most of you are just as appalled as I am.  Now let me explain the problem.  As an adult woman, I am expected to wear something like THIS or THIS in order to be "sexy" or "desirable."  Notice the micro-mini skirts and the ultra tight fit.  One reviewer on the sheriff costume said that even though she was petite (5'2" or so) the skirt was not long enough to cover her butt.  And this is decent to wear in public?  

Now let's take a look at THIS costume.  I would guess the age of the girl in the photo to be around 9 or 10.  She is dressed as a referee but certainly like no referee I have ever seen.  Notice the close fit of the top and most noticeable for me:  the hemline.  It's not much if any long than the skirts on the sheriff or taxi costumes.  Yet this costume is somehow appropriate for a 9 year old.  

This "Night Wing" Costume probably takes the cake for me though.  Notice the spandex top that is printed to look like a bustier.  Notice the skirt so short I would hedge my bets that it doesn't cover her butt in the back.  And notice the fine print that the leggings are not included so essential you're supposed to send your preteen daughter out in her underwear.  

I've blogged before about my commitment to purity.  That commitment is deeply personal and I don't look down on people for making different decisions but do pray to sweet Lord Jesus in heaven that being sexy is not on the priority list of your average preteen.  Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like to think that the most valuable part of who I am is my mind and heart, not my body and I think we should be teaching young girls (and boys for that matter) the same thing.  The message that these costumes show, both the adult and children's versions, is that our bodies are the most important part of who we are and that showing as much skin as possible is how one is cute or pretty or whatever.  

A lot of this is probably semi-incoherent blathering so I'll give you my main point right here:  What kind of world do we live in where "sexy" is the standard for preteens?  I find it completely unacceptable and I hope you do too.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Things I've been reading lately

So one of my little secrets is my love for Young Adult and children's fiction.  I just love it.  I don't care if the books are too easy or beneath my level; I enjoy them so I'm going to read them.  Recently, the Scholastic book fair came to our school.  Being the thoughtful and supportive teacher that I am, I took this as an opportunity to support our school by buying lots of books.  

I remember the joy of Book Fair time when I was in school.  The shiny metal shelves of the latest in kid's literary greatness, just waiting to be bought and read.  The stacks of kitten posters, the light up pens and funny erasers.  It was all paradise.  As an adult, I find myself ignoring the stacks of posters and the pretty pink books that I MUST HAVE BECAUSE THEY COME WITH A NECKLACE. This is to be expected as I am now an adult and the idea of a cheap star necklace that will turn my neck green is no longer appealing.  The books themselves are as tantalizing as ever however.  

Book and Image Found HERE
Think Hunger Games.  It is a dystopian world where citizens are broken down into five factions.  Each person chooses his or her faction and is forever separated from the other factions.  They are tested to see what group they belong in and for most it is crystal clear but for Beatrice it is not.  She is Divergent.  She chooses to abandon her family to join the Dauntless faction where she finds herself fighting to remain part of the group she has chosen.  There is some romance woven in but the story would still stand up without it.  She uncovers corruption and has to hide her true identity meanwhile fighting for what is right and learning that it is the combination of her traits that truly make her brave.  This is also becoming a movie that comes out 3/21/14 for which I am excited.  I need to get Book 2: Insurgent and devour that before Book 3 comes out in October. 

Book and Image found HERE

An unlikely friendship is formed between two teenagers passing notes back and forth in a tiny practice room they use.  They are brought together through music as both try to stand up to the pressure coming from all sides.  A friendship is formed, but their other friends and families don't understand.  When music is involved, beauty is created.  

Book and Image found HERE
The fourth and final installment in Lois Lowry's "The Giver" series.  So good.  SOOOO good.  All four books in the series can stand up on their own and be understood but the four in context creates a wonderful story.  Claire was once a member of the Society and gives birth to a son.  He is taken from her and she will go to the ends of the earth to find him.  She sacrifices nearly everything for him and in the end it is her son who must save her.  

Book and Image found HERE
A sci-fi cinderella story.  I'm actually still reading this one but I love it so far.  Cinder is a cyborg and a second class citizen.  Her adoptive step mother hates her and essentially sells her to get rid of her but all is not as it seems.  Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing, so good that even Prince Kai has heard of her skill and brings her a broken android with information that just might change Cinder's life.  I can hardly wait for the ending.  :) 

Book and Image found HERE

Azalea and her sisters love to dance more than just about anything else but when their mother dies on Christmas giving birth to their twelfth sister Lily, they are thrust into the world of mourning: no color, no light, no music, and especially no dancing.  Her father the king does not understand them and treats Azalea like a child.  She rebels, finding a hidden place in the castle guarded by a mysterious man called the Keeper where she and her sisters can go to dance at night.  As the year of mourning draws to a close, she may find that the keeper's price is too high.  Yet, through the love of her family and friends and Azalea's own stubbornness he will be defeated.  I don't want to give away all the plot twists so I will leave it at that.  

I love reading.  I did buy other books when I bought these and I'll probably post about them another time.  If you want to borrow these, let me know.  I'll give you the hook up.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gotta Get Down on Friday...

...Everybody's looking forward to the weekend.  Partying?  Not so much.  Tonight, I made a very exciting trip to Walmart to hit redbox and get hagan daas.  I watched Star Trek and ate sorbet and have soaked in the tub with a glass of Niagra and my book.  Mmmmm....  I feel so good right now.  

Tomorrow, I am going to a vocal workshop in Lewes.  I haven't done much with my voice lately so this is a nice change.  I hope to ask about how to preserve my voice when I find myself talking and shouting so much in my life as a teacher.  I was so exhausted, vocally and physically, on Tuesday night and I can't keep on like that.  Maybe if the kids behaved themselves I wouldn't have to yell?  Somehow I don't think this is a good long term plan...

After I return from this workshop, Mom and I are going to go shopping at Goodwill.  With the whole I'm-losing-weight thing, I almost perpetually need new clothing.  On Sunday I realized my leggings were too big.  As in sagging in the butt too big.  Enter today when I decided to wear tights with my skirt.  They were a new pair that I bought in the spring.  When I first put them on, all was fine but as the day drew on, I kept having to yank them up as they were sagging around the knees.  Not a look I was going for.  

I am at the point where people are suddenly realizing that I have, in fact, lost a lot of weight.  I am down two sizes in pants and three in dresses (well, depending on the cut.  I still have huge hips).  I used to use my hips as shelves for carrying things.  I can still do that but not as easily.  The other day I was carrying a cardboard box on my hip and had to stop every 30 seconds to adjust because it was digging into my hip bone.  Ouch.  I haven't had that problem before.  Don't get me wrong--I still have more padding than I would like but I am now wearing smaller clothes than I wore in high school, a very good feeling.  

It was a rough week at work for a lot of different reasons I won't get into here.  Frustrating as it has been, the people that I work with are amazing and I believe that we are all committed to making a positive impact on these kids' lives.  I am so thankful for the friends that I have made in work, both last year and this year.  

Sunday is church day.  I am digging my new Sunday school class and it is also a youth luncheon Sunday, which I will be helping with because apparently 8 hours a day five days a week is not enough time with kids for me.  Middle school kids have wormed their way into my heart.  Apparently this is the age group of my heart.  Go figure.  

After church, I need to make a run down to Salisbury to pick up a birthday gift for my brother.  And also starbucks.  and possibly Old Navy.  oh, and Michaels.  I haven't been to Michael's in FOREVER.  ...This is starting to sound expensive.  Probably not the best since I was a week to wait before I get a real paycheck...  One way or another, I will figure it out.  

Hopefully I'll get to do some sewing this weekend.  I've knocked out a new garment each weekend and it would be a shame to break the streak...  I'm sure there is something in my stash waiting to become gorgeous.  :)  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Entry in which I make fun of myself

So funny story.  I worked very hard to try to remember all the French I know and post signage in the room in French.  I made verb conjugation charts and tried very hard to remember basic classroom commands.  I didn't fully trust myself to remember it all so I looked a lot of it up to double check.  Unfortunately, despite those precautions, I seem to have made some mistakes.  The teacher I will be working with pointed a few of these out.  Another one occurred to me after she left.  

On the door to my room, I have a sign that says "Chambre 107, Mademoiselle Wasson, Classe francaise."  This is one I didn't look up.  I knew "chambre" is a word for room.  It was the sign about the bathroom that made me realize me error.  See, in France, and in a lot of Europe in fact, they have split bathrooms that would have the toilet in one room and the shower and sink in another.  So I was thinking about how the toilet room is called "la toilette" or "le W.C." and how the shower room is called "la salle de bains" which literally means room of baths.  Room of baths.  Salle=room.  Crap.  But I know chambre means room.  Some kind of room anyway.  So what does chambre mean?  

La chambre can mean a few different things.  It is an antiquated term for room in general, but it usually means "chambers" as in court chambers or the like... or it means bedroom.  Or hotel room.  So welcome to bedroom 107.  I'll need to make a new sign now.  It's not *technically* incorrect but "salle de classe 107" certainly has better implications.  

In other news, two weeks down.  Apparently I rock as a facilitator.  But we all know that I'm awesome anyway.  This year's staff is awesome.  And I'm here permanently which is like the best thing ever.  Because I'm not subbing and I have my own classroom.  

Outside of school, I am sewing whenever possible.  In fact, I am getting ready to go turn a pile of waiting fabric into a new dress.  And reading.  Lots of reading.  Which is why I haven't been blogging.  Oh well.  Enjoy this post and maybe I'll post something else... at some point. :)