I love summer. I still have. I love the weather (unless global warming rears its ugly head and it’s 110 degrees). I didn’t become a teacher because of the summers, but that’s a nice bonus. Ironically, I’ve tended to work most summers, but there’s always that feeling of freedom. Of reckless abandon. I like being able to go for walks without snow on the ground. I love sleeping after 5:30 in the morning. When my kids were little, I loved taking them to their various summer activities like the library, tennis lessons in the park and recreation, t-ball (and later baseball) and going with them to the local pool . I love family vacations. And, even though September 1 marked the end of my summer fun, I was okay with it because I loved my job and my colleagues. However, Covid and Trump changed some of that. Unfortunately, I turned into a rather bitter, grumpy, and anxious middle-aged woman. You add to that my frustration with male patriarchy and the suffering of Ukrainians, and I feel sad and upset.
I grew up in suburban Chicago, so I got to ride the fireworks at 4th of July rallies. I’ve been to the ChicagoFest/Taste of Chicago celebrations every year (even when it was really hot and a diet coke cost more than a kidney replacement, but you got this cool souvenir mug). I like the city in summer. Currently, I live near several lakes and rivers, and nothing shines in the sun quite like the Mighty Mississippi (maybe Lake Michigan, but I digress). My town has a terrific fireworks display, which my neighbor is proud to be part of. However, about six years ago he decided not to like us when he realized we didn’t like Trump. It’s a shame because we loved him and his family very much. He always knew the neighborhood gossip and was super hands-on. He helped us install our screen door, among other things. However, now I think he is deliberately throwing off a LOT of loud fireworks as I write this just to be irritating. My poor cats are cowering under my bed.
This 4th of July, I’m mad that the SCOTUS took away my love of 4th of July and fireworks. I just don’t feel the vibe of freedom and justice. I recently learned (a few hours ago actually) that a Chicago loon, Lee Harvey Oswald (supposedly) right-wing lover, held a parade today in Highland Park, Illinois. He placed himself on a roof (like Oswald) and killed six people and injured more than 31. Highland Park is quite rich. We don’t associate the shootings with Highland Park. So why this place? Why this suburb? Well, I’m just spitting here, but Highland Park is one of the few Chicago suburbs that has a sizable population of Jewish residents. Granted, I’m speculating, but after seeing a few shots of this guy, I go with my gut and say, “Yeah, if he’s not a proud boy, he really wants to be.” Yet, ironically, this guy has more rights than I currently do. He bought an assault rifle and was known to associate with hate groups, if Chicago News reports accurately and can be trusted. Yes, this violent and dangerous man now has more rights than my daughter. I pay my taxes. I have always held a job (since 1979), full-time or part-time. I have never been arrested. My worst offense was a speeding ticket. My daughter didn’t even have one. But somehow, this guy who roams the streets and rooftops of Highland Park with an assault rifle has been given more rights than women. This hater. This murderer.
I’m probably going to share too much here, but I feel compelled to do so. My first pregnancy was unplanned. However, we finally embraced this news and started to get excited. We even shared the news with my parents. Unfortunately, the pregnancy turned out to be non-viable, and my OB-GYN suggested it would be best to have a D and C. I wouldn’t have to, but the fetus would eventually be extracted from my body. , and it could turn out to be painful and painful. very unpleasant if I waited. The operation was not child’s play and I was physically and mentally unwell. Unfortunately, many miscarriages would follow, but I would eventually be blessed with children.
Thinking about that D and C. I suspect I wouldn’t be able to have this procedure if I happened to be pregnant and in the same condition today. I really don’t know because I haven’t researched the ramifications of this in my current state. But I am aware that several privileged Supreme Court justices have made a decision that is not based on the wishes of the majority. I am also aware that victims of rape and incest will now be required to bear a child (depending on where they live) if it results, whether they want to or not. The men on the Supreme Court don’t have to worry about that. The chances of them being raped are extraordinarily low and they certainly won’t get pregnant. No skin from their predominantly white nose.
I don’t want to be anti-American. Sure, I’ve definitely had my anti-American moments, but in general, I’m a proud patriot. Nevertheless, I have always supported the students in my classes who did not want to present themselves for the commitment. For whatever reason. If I hadn’t recently retired, it would be me next year. I would refuse to stand up and say the promise. Would I be allowed to do this? Would this decision get me in trouble at my school with my students’ parents? I really do not know. A lot of crazy rules (especially lately) have impacted my teaching and school life, so who knows?
I realize that my two recent blogs ended with questions. I have a type A personality. I like to have my life planned out. I like to know where I stand regarding rules, laws and life. I’m not comfortable with uncertainty, but what choice do I have? I had more rights as a woman when I was a student in the late 70s and 80s. I had more autonomy in my classroom in the 90s. So while I listen to my obnoxious neighbor trigger continuously loud and super loud fireworks, I feel restless and worried. I really don’t know what to expect from my government and my country in the next two years.
Glancing at the clock, I guess my town’s fireworks display is over. Aside from the incessant noise from the next door, tonight was pretty much like all my other nights. It’s a shame. I like to vocalize my satisfaction in front of a well-lit sky. I like to honk my car during the grand finale, but not this year. I may have more to celebrate in 2023. I hope so. Our flag is still there. But land of the free? Not so much anymore.