ca. November, 2004
Me: I heard this great little story on NPR this morning about some high school in Texas that has always had some stupid ‘cross dressing day’, until this year when the religious crazies got all up in their shit and said they were purporting the “homosexual agenda”. So they changed it… to ‘camo day’… and now the kids dress up as… soldiers…
Ty: I had to tell the recruiter that was after me in High School that I was gay. Otherwise he would have kept calling and asking me to go out to lunch.
*old works here, too, but vintage is just so… um… (cough).
You’ve probably heard about the 7-year-old little girl in Detroit who shielded her mother from her crazy ex-boyfriend when he tried to murder her a couple weeks back.
Today, CNN ran a follow-up story highlighting the fact that the child has a learning disability:
Alexis is learning-disabled and lags behind other youngsters her age. As a result, police say it may never be known whether Alexis meant to shield her mother from the bullets with her body.
As someone who taught a lot of kids with learning disabilities the past couple of years, I’m not sure if I can put into words just how disturbing this statement is to me.
First of all, having a learning disability does not mean you’re stupid. In fact, a kid can only be diagnosed with a learning disability if there is a notable disparity between their academic performance and their raw aptitude–i.e., poor school performance coupled with average or above average aptitude. Second of all, last time I checked, police officers weren’t the folks most qualified to analyze the capabilities of learning disabled children. And third of all, the whole tone of the comment makes it sound like people with learning disabilities are wackos. Having a learning disability has as much to do with mental or emotional stability as it does aptitude, and to say this kid just didn’t know what she was doing in the situation is degrading and ignorant.
CNN, you get an F for “fucking irresponsible reporting.”
I got a physical last week for the first time in five years or so, and, according to the handy little BMI chart they had up on the wall, I have eeked into the “overweight” column.
This doesn’t worry me because I have high blood pressure (I don’t), or high cholesterol (I don’t), or a sedentary lifestyle (I don’t). It worries me because, even though I know better, this bothered me a little. This glorified height-weight chart that doesn’t take muscle mass or body type into consideration actually bothered me. And this worries me because I can’t imagine the types of ridiculous shit it puts in the heads of girls who don’t know that the lines it draws aren’t as cut and dry as they might seem, or whose doctors see the categories they mark as absolute.
Don’t feel bad, Kellie Pickler.
I had no idea you were an American Idol alum, a bit of information that I’m sure most 5th graders also know.