Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Notes, Some Books and a Movie

I have a couple unrelated items for you today...

Last week, a Lincoln High School history teacher called asking if she could buy some of the hydrangeas from the side of our building. She
puts flowers on her students' desk...makes the day merrier for them. I told her to take as many as she wanted, and, a few days later, she stopped by with a nice surprise. Her kids has written thank-you notes. Now, granted, the notes were teacher "inspired," but I appreciated them none-the less. Like the flowers on the desks, the notes pepped up my day because they were unexpected. They ran the gamut from required to sincere to silly. I enjoyed every one of them, and thought you might like some of them as well.

Let's start with a note from an old soul..."Hey, thank you for the flowers. They make me think of the good old days when things were okay."

"Your flowers make me think." Hmmm. About what, I wonder.

I like this one for the scentiment and the signature: "Thank you very much for the flowers. They make the room smell a lot better. Thanks a lot from a kid in our class.

I received notes about butterflies, deodorant, allergies, and welcome breaks from studying. Some even included tiny pieces of artwork - flowers and smiley faces, and bits of advice..." keep smiling no matter how bad things get."

Did you know that there is a celeb at Lincoln? It's true. Here's his note: "My name is Justin Bieber and I fricken love you 4 all the flowers."

Another student, who appears to know me began her note, "Beave..."..she was heading for Bev, I assume, and got sidetracked.

My favorite was short, simple and fresh, "Thanks Homie."


If you're a regular "Fine Print" reader, you know that from time to time, my animal, Mrs. George Burns (GB) hijacks the blog and writes a post in what she calls "The Dog Blog." It seems she's not the only opinionated dog around. Chet, from Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie books writes his own blog. You can check it out athttp://chetthedog,com/.

Have you ever had one of those experiences that leaves you knowing something has to be done, but not knowing what to do? Last night I watched "The Stoning of Soraya M," which left me with a beyond helpless feeling. The film is based on actual incidents involving an Iranian woman named Soraya. Her husband has been promised a fourteen year old girl in marriage, if he can help the girl's father escape the death penalty. Soraya refuses to free him from the marriage, knowing she will not be able to care for her children alone. The mayor offers her an indecent proposal, which she also rejects. Eventually, her husband, along with religious and political leaders, schemes to accuse and convict her of adultery, punishable by death.

That's the plot, but the underlying devaluation of women depicted is both stunning and sickening. I know reports say things are changing, but years will pass before any significant moves toward freedom, dignity and happiness are the norm for Middle Eastern women. This is where I get angry and confused. Is awareness enough? I think, had I gone to school at a different time in our cultural and political history, had I been instilled with a different mindset, and if I were a different and more courageous person, I would probably have carved out an activist dirt poor, but trying to make a difference in some small way.

For many people awareness is enough. Far too many individuals simply need a good kick in the butt once in a while to open their eyes so they stop complaining and start appreciating what they have. I'm still stuck with the question about what do those of us who already know how wonderful our lives are...what can we do for those who don't? So, last year I promised myself to obsess less and laugh more. Looks like my personal goal for the coming months dropped in my lap last night. We'll see where this takes me.
What am I reading? I started a ghost story called The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters. Looks like it will span several generations...the characters' generastions, not mine.