Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Educate Yourself

posted by Melissa Baumgart
After days of sloth and anger towards the system, I am stepping out, back into the world.

I ran today and yesterday.  I feel very, very good about that.  Especially since I did not want to do that at all.  Today's run was fun, and dare I say....effortless.  OK, not effortless, but moderately easy.

There are lots of things on my mind though, lots more than just running.

Getting an Education
I mentioned before that I was forced to quit school for this quarter.  I found out today that it was completely due to the fact that I was not informed about a Worker Retraining orientation that EVERYONE in the program is required to attend.  No one ever told me about it, and there happened to be essential information about how to fund my studies while on unemployment (because I was laid off at my job).  If I had attended this orientation, I would have had the tools to make funding available for myself this quarter.  Did I mention, I was 3 weeks into my classes when I finally found all this out?  And that I have been carrying a 3.98 GPA?  But, whatever.

There were a lot of other critical points of misinformation, due to too many people giving me the information,  in regards to the lack of funding for my schooling.  But I really don't need to get into all that.  I'll just leave it with this quote from my new advisor, "I am so sorry you have had to go through all of this.  It is not OK, at all.  And I will make sure this gets back on track and you get funding for winter and spring quarter."

"Thank you," I replied.  "It totally was not OK."

Before this meeting, I was in a place of not wanting to blame.  I was willing to accept total (well, kinda) responsibility for my lack of funding.  Today's meeting left me feeling better about myself and worse about the system, and it's lack of cohesiveness.

Getting an Education: Part II
Today I went to my first protest.  I joined the Occupy Seattle movement at Westlake.  I also attended the General Assembly (GA) this evening at 6:30pm.

It had a sense of cohesiveness for some time, and then it went off-topic.  We voted Yes on the proposal to not have any other proposals on the table for the rest of the meeting. We voted to spend the rest of the GA focused on an open-ended discussion as to where the people that were committed to sleeping in tents would sleep at night.  (There seems to be a lot of opinions about where to set up the permanent Occupy site of tents etc.)

After numerous announcements by the various working groups, some late-comers (the People of Color Caucus) chose to shift the GA to a conversation about racism and police presence.  It was difficult for me to take it all in, and to feel safe with my 6 year old in tow, as the comments grew more and more passionate.

Getting an Education: Part III
Tomorrow I will rejoin the Occupy Seattle movement.  During the day, my kids are in school, and I am not in school or working.  So, I can stay home and clean my house, or I can get out there and fight for something that affects myself and so many others I love.

I am in the process of learning more about the history behind what is happening in our country.  I admit, I am not one that has kept up with economics and government.  But I also know, inherently, that I feel something is not right.  I have felt it for a long time.  And maybe, just maybe, the powers that be had me dropped out of school to support this cause.  Not to sit on my couch and watch the Kardashians.

But, seriously, let me get real for a minute.  How is it that I can fall in love with Keeping up with the Kardashians in two episodes and still feel tied with my heartstrings to this Occupy movement?  The 1% is SO seductive!  They want us to love them; they survive off of us loving them and wanting to be them.  BE YOURSELF!  As much as I love you, Kardashians, I quit you.  Forever.

I am going to create my own fun family and enjoy my life.

Rant officially over,


Jamie said...

Maybe you could do a little house cleaning before you go make history?

Melissa Baumgart said...

That's bullshit, Jamie. ;)