Letter to Hilary Clinton

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

I know it’s strange that you would dare stare at this, but if you come across this letter posted here on my website, denverqueen.com, I would like to inform you that yes, I do not stand with the GOP. My parents do. Some guy I know called Bill does. Too many of my Christian friends do. But I don’t.

Hilary, you do not realize how important a win for you is to me. It’s my whole life. As I was born blind, I could have had nothing. My family could have easily chosen to abandon me so easily because they seriously can’t handle a disabled child. But dear Hilary, I know your daughter now has a healthy and bouncing baby boy, a treasure she would kiss and play with regardless of whether the boy develops autistic tendencies or not. I trust you, Hilary,  because let’s face it. You and I have the same parts, no joke. I totally get how it would make you feel if someone said you belonged “in jail.” This is not political campaigning. This is truly shaming because of your gender and because Christian white males are becoming no more than a pile of misogynistic creeps who’d like nothing better than to not only throw you around like a rag doll, but to have the “noble” right to sexually assault their spouses, call us women lesser cuts of meat, etc. Let me just turn the tables on the bad boys. Would you like to know a secret, Hilary?

First off, Donald Trump is a lesser cut of meat than me, and you ask why. Well, I don’t watch pictures of myself over and over again. I enjoy playing my music, but don’t think I want to do it to make people pay me for ticket sales. Yes, I need money, but I just want people to realize I put my heart and soul into the music. Trump, for the love of all things holy, is a lesser cut of steak to me because he thinks he’s all that. And he probably never grew up watching the Nickolodeon sitcom style kids’ comedy show either.

Rush Limbaugh is also somebody you oughta know I would do anything to see off the air. The guy made brazen and nasty comments about free birth control. But really, Hilary, he has no idea. Rush doesn’t care that my fiance Trenton and I are simply not going to have kids at this present time, maybe later, but then he didn’t realize that the women taking birth control don’t just do it for pregnancy prevention, they do it for health and medical things like regulating periods. And this misogynistic thought of “do not have sex until you’re ready for kids”, that is so Bill. I can’t tell you how many Bills, not your Bill of course, but so many guys just don’t get it. Some women just want to have fun, right? But then we have medical issues, and don’t tell me Christian owned businesses should tell me not to take something contraceptive.

Even my buddy Blake agrees. Blake is Christian, too, but for heaven’s sake, Blake would have never gotten me pregnant if it wasn’t healthy. Sex isn’t about babies only, it’s a bonding mechanism, and what the Bill and Teds of this world don’t know could hurt their chances of staying on this planet. The misogyny has gotta stop. Some women don’t have vaginas and uteruses, and some women don’t have good ovaries, and if they wish to have sex, let them. If we wish to be able to bond with someone we care about, a kiss, an embrace, and by God that all out bed session is all fine and dandy. But Hilary, I am honest. As long as you keep your husband in check, hey, it’ll be entertaining to watch as you make this country great again.

Donald wants a wall? Well, Hilary, I want a rainbow. Meaning I want people of all colors living together, enjoying each other’s food and culture. Hilary, I miss the days when schools taught us how to say “I like you” in Spanish. I literally break into tears thinking about how “me gusta” from Sesame Street just doesn’t sound the same anymore, all that if Trump built a wall. He wants to ban and deport Mexicans, but then what? My caregiver, a lady of middle age with a few kids, one being pregnant and she’ll be Grandma soon, this woman is so strong and amazing … and Mexican. This lady cooked the best darn Spanish videllos ever, and don’t get me so happy about the enchiladas.

Donald wants to ban Muslims. But I just want to praise God in any way I please. Donald obviously has not read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, Heretic. Three sets of Muslims, and Medina Muslims are the ones to blame for all of our recent Terror attacks. Hilary, your buddy Huma Abedin is Muslim, right? So please, if Donald even mentions this again, let’s make HIM the victim of some female misogyny. LEt him wear a veil and get beaten a few times, and give him no hope of having love. Arrange his marriage to one of those Slovenian girls but let the girls have their way with him. I have a secret longing to see guys like Donald feel our pain, the collective pain of harem wives and many prostitutes and so many modern teenage girls slut shamed in school. Need I say more?

But above all, Hilary, I want you to better the lives of those with disabilities. I am blind, I love my blind boyfriend, we want to be married. And yet, we can’t find jobs. My wish in life is to wake up in a world where I can get a job not because I’m blind, or because my name sounds funny, or because I’m pale as a ghost or black as a pile of ash, or because my hair is brown, red, or blonde, forget the way I talk or walk. Who cares. I’d rather get a job because I can do what the job description entails. But I’d like to take it a step forward: I want guys like fifteen-year-old Ivan Soto permanently banned from the polling places on Election Day if he even so much as trolls my blog. Ivan wrote horrible things about me, you, my fiance, mentally ill people, etc. And don’t tell me white people contribute more to society. Honestly, black folks have done more. Who invented peanuts and crop rotation? Who invented ice cream? Who did all this? Black people. And what white people have done is horrendous.

Hilary, I’m sure your family is progressive, but the general history and background of Caucasian Americans is abysmal. Old Chris Columbus, the guy who sailed in 1492, killed so many because they don’t look like you. His unsanitary sailors and seamen brought not only the bad days for the Arawak Tano people, but they brought so many microscopic armies of diseases that killed off so many kinds of people. My native Florida suffered bunches. Let’s not forget that the Ais, the Timucua, Tequesta, and many other tribes were decimated to extinction. Thanks in large part to Caucasians, they all went out of the list of persons to admire, and then some. And Caucasian have a large problem with stealing, and white privilege is making it seem more real. This kind of privilege allows the history to look darker, and the people have actually done a lot of “landlifting”, as I might call shoplifting other people’s land. Ever seen Chelsea fight with your son? See when Chelsea sat down and then the boy walks up to her demanding her place on the sofa? That’s a smaller scale situation of sorts that if taken into a larger perspective, that’s what white people did to black folks, First Nations, many others. I deplore and condemn Andrew Jackson for his misdeeds, he knew in his dead self what was coming to him. He’s off the $20 in favor of Harriet (Araminta) Tubman, born to Ben and “Old Rit” Ross, known also as Harriet Ross. Ben was Mrs. Tubman’s dad, and he was great. I always thought Tubman had it all right when she freed everybody, and as is written in her epitaph on her stone: “I neb’er run de train off de tracks, and I never lost a passenger.” No kidding.

But if Trump gets the trophy, we’ll all crash. And he’ll lose all the passengers, and I am counting on you. Please read this blog. You don’t know how much I do care about this country’s future. Do something better.

While Donald wants a wall, I want a rainbow. Many rainbows. While Donald wants to ban gay marriage, I want him to feel the love and realize what pain he’d cause if I couldn’t marry because I’m either disabled or gay. What ever.

Just win for me, okay? Do you get it? HEar me out. I love you, and kiss the grandbaby for me. And all of us.

And do give Chelsea and the son in law a hug. Your family owes it to you, and all of us.

Sincerely,

Beth Taurasi,

Denver, Colorado

Racism Is Everywhere

Imagine you’re a Native American (or First Nations as it is currently called) and you are stalked by two employees. You are accused of shoplifting when you clearly weren’t shoplifting. You were actually just browsing.

What if you wanted an apartment? As an African descent person, you could be offered different deals than the white guy behind you. Sadly, racism in Canada is exposed in an hour long video I found. Please feel free to subscribe to CBC News, and take a look at the marketplace. IF you would like to watch this video, go ahead and give it a try. Leave a comment, let me know.

Summer Camp for the Disabled: A Rumination Station

Ah, the dog days of summer. You are looking forward to going to a beachside resort, or you’re wanting to hike in the woods, or go chase squirrels off your porch. Any sort of thing will do, but when a family member is disabled or blind or what have you, the choice becomes, “What can this person do?” Well? In this post, I’m going to take a close look at the lives of some campers in a disabled people camp, and we will tell you, what you’re about to see is a shocker.

Ruth Ann was just 8 or so, and she attended the now defunct Florida Lions Camp. She was a cabin mate of mine in Cabin 12. Cabins had numbers or letters, and it seemed like a camp, but look deeper.

When Ruth Ann grows up, she doesn’t have as many options that allow her and other disabled adults to keep adult autonomy. Children and adults with disabilities face a very tough choice in the matter of camp.

Julie Morales would write frequent status updates on Facebook about her experiences at camp. What we see in the posts is anything but fostering adult independence. Julie sometimes says things about the kind of food offered, but when she wanted to go swimming in the camp’s pool, she and her husband, yes that’s right, her husband, were told they could NOT go swimming due to short staff needs. Oh the wonders of disabled camp. This puts the staff in charge of her, something she probably doesn’t want. Ugh.

How many of you adults with disabilities have faced the same story? Think about how many adults with disabilities have to bend to the wishes of counselors, something kids do. Let’s take a look at a sighted kids’ camp, and we’ll tell you, the quality of these camps is ten times better.

I’ll tell you a bit about my experiences at FSU’s Chorus Camp. To start, I had a teenage roommate, and we both had some girly fun, no counselor lived with us. Secondly, we were able to eat with a thousand different girls, all of this taking place in a dorm with a kitchen right below the bedrooms. Then, there was barely any sighted counselor problems, we did not have so much rigid structure! But we did have rehearsals, something you would expect from camps with musicians in it. I was thoroughly able to bond with the students, we being musicians. Something to take note of: there was a professor there that later became a very handy teacher and we’ve crossed paths again and again. Dr. J. Bowers, the best of all the chorus teachers, is someone I’d never not pause to honor. She is like one of those energy bars you can eat, and never eat another thing again. She had so much to offer the campers, and still works today with chorus kids. She crossed paths with both myself and a Maryland All State chorus member who is also blind. She has had nothing but the gold standard of teaching in mind, and I believe that with people like her in the chorus programs of all college and university camps and so on, we could create better musicians and singers. With the kind of energy Bowers brings to the table, we see that there can be a way for disabled musicians to bond with those who don’t have a disability. I had to sadly drop out of the tribe, the Seminole territory being far from inaccessible now that I’ve moved to Colorado for independence training and skills that sadly, no one at FSU could adequately equip me with.

The lesson here is that a subject based summer camp could work for your child. For instance, a blind person could attend a science camp, but with some accommodations. It may not be feasible to do a camp with others who have disabilities not sponsored by consumer groups like the National Federation of the Blind. They offer YouthSlam, a camp for young blind teens that focuses on science, tech, engineering, and math. The “stem” professions as they are called boast high demand, and NFB based science and technology camps can teach these youngsters about ways they can be innovative. There is a huge difference in this camp. One thing I would notice as well as the next guy is that this camp is geared for the blind.  Science can sometimes be visual in the way it works, so a science camp for blind youth is essential. If your blind nerd child wants to be a programmer, this camp is perfect for this.

However, what about fashion and modeling camps? What about cheerleading? When you gave life to your child, was it ever on your mind that she could not cheer with other girls or that he couldn’t play football? I wrote much earlier that cheerleading and football are unimportant aspects of our society, and depending on your town, it just isn’t worth trying to force your son or daughter into a walled up cell called “I can’t cheerlead or play football.” Cheerleaders are often the seductive female figures in sports, so what is the point! Dance camp could be more appropriate.

We oftentimes wonder what our disabled adults can do. When your child ages out at eighteen, he or she cannot attend a regular camp. So the next question is an obvious one, what do you and your adult with disabilities do during the summer? What can be done to ease that person’s boredom? I wouldn’t recommend the kind of camp Julie and others attend, it being too supervised and not fostering adult independence.

What kind of solution could work? Well? Here’s a proposal.

I remember reading a status from my buddy Reina, a gifted programming nerd who also works a full time job, has multiple disabilities, and is so insightful in many areas. Reina was married once, then got rid of her husband, then she decided to go with someone else. Reina currently has lots of these posts up. One of these informative posts had a string of comments, commentary that actually offered a solution to the adult camp brouhaha.

One user says she’d like to see a tiki bar and a beach setting for a camp. That totally tickled my fancy when I saw that and then some. Just imagine all those adults with disabilities being allowed to sip some margaritas and sex on the beach and other kinds of rum beverages on a beach setting, the tiki umbrellas flapping in the breeze. The most ideal locations for this type of camp would be the coastal areas of Florida, anywhere from Miami Beach to the Ponte Vedra beaches around St. Augustine and so many other places. St. Augustine has lots of sites to see, including Castille de San Marcos, the Spanish Coquina fort famous for its choice of the tiny shells as construction bricks. Imagine the safety the Spanish had with this big wonder. Now, put that beach camp nearby. You’ve got a really great site for a really awesome camp.

You could also put the same camp in California’s coastal areas, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, but we’ll let you decide the cheapest location. The Caribbean is not always a friendly place for disabled folks, not always inclusive toward LGBT folks either. Try Antigua and see what that does.

I would not recommend Jamaica because of the expense and the frequent tourism there, worse off for gay people, the thought that Jamaica is dangerous for them as well. Jamaica, while it is a beautiful country full of fun and cultural differences, must conform to inclusivity to make the cut for this camp. It is the third poorest country in the world, so no wonder I wouldn’t pick it. Aruba is fine, but beware the possibility of another Natalie Holloway. Joran Van der Sleut, a young Dutch Aruban boy, was suspect in the case, this involving a mysterious disappearance. Awful, right?

Antigua and Barbuda is a beautiful dual island nation that is situated in the same sort of area. It is a beautifully inclusive area in many ways, and I can tell you that I’ve met several Antiguans. Antigua does not rank as poor as Jamaica but it does have some touristy places. If you’re looking for tiny villages, this might work. And yes, fun in the sun. And it is part of the British commonwealth, so the Queen or other British monarchy reigns as head of state. Britain has a good history behind it. Right next door to Antigua and Barbuda sits St. Kits and then the Grenadines. Whatever island we situate this camp on, it must be inclusive, fascinating, and pristine, fun in the sun.

Suppose you want a more mountainous region. I’d suggest Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Imagine this: you walk to a wooden cabin, some electricity, some form of signal, and then you just have one or two cabin mates, and then you got it. For an adult with a disability, this might work if they do not have heart problems stemming from congenital defects because the altitude could get the person dizzy even for average folks. But the mountains could be a great place to hang out. Imagine a few cabins with logs around a river, some woods, and some hiking spaces. You got it. And remember that the trails have to be wide enough to fit wheelchairs, but it would work with all that pretty scenery.

You could try the area of Maggie Valley, a picturesque location in the Appalachians, or the Great Smoky Mountains. Both regions are great choices, but think about the inclusive nature of each. Would you want your LGBT adult with disabilities to be told which bathroom to use based on the fact that they were born the opposite of who they are? Do you want your child with disabilities to be looked upon as an idiot or something? In Colorado, we boast a few different metropolitan sites, including a community center that helped get buses accessibly fit for wheelchair users. Go figure I chose Colorado.

For all people, think about the camp you want your member of the family to go to, and just let your mind wander. WE hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

School Days: Residential Schools For the Handicapped

Your child is handicapped, whether blind or deaf or something else altogether. you want to educate your child, but what to do so that your child can still share common bonds with your other children or neighborhood kids? It’s not easy, but I’ve got some dirt on residential schools for the handicapped, blind mostly, and you’ll be a bit shocked.

The first things you should know about residential schools for blind or physically disabled kids is that they all sleep at the school if they are not day students. The schools often have special classes to help the disabled student in more inclusive manner, things like gym and reading being among the many things kids are excluded from in regular public schools and private schools. The thing to know is that expectations of these children can vary from school to school, but today’s blind children are not often taught Braille. Look carefully for names like “Sight Saving School” when selecting your child’s residential school if that is your choice. A sight saving institution does not allow the child to adjust to blindness, and the name alone can throw you off. One Michigan schoolteacher, we’ll call her Kathy Miller, went to a “Sight Saving” school in Illinois and was told she was a nobody and didn’t need special skills. Kathy, however, and her parents knew better. They decided against the residential school altogether and now she is successfully employed as a schoolteacher for regular kids.

The next thing you should know about your potential choice of residential school? Look at the history of the school, and do some intense Googling if necessary. Talk to others about their experience at the school. If you look at the history of both Florida and Alabama schools for blind children, you’ll be shocked, and I would say a bit sick by the end of the paragraph. If you dig deep, you’ll find that the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind has a colorful history as recorded in the National Federation of the Blind’s infamous book, well more famous work, Walking Alone and Marching Together. Remember that kids at residential schools also live together in dormitory settings? Well, this could make it more fun for predatory staff to march in and molest your children. R. J. Sandefur remembers the horrors of that time. I remember sitting in calls with him, and as a longtime buddy of mine, Sandefur has told me loads about the school. He and Governor Staten and Volly Nelson (not his name at the time of enrollment) all had to witness the events that took place during their student tenure. The first thing that Sandefur remembers was the frequent begging of school officials to parents that urged them to ask their children if they’d been touched, “below the waist. Sometimes the people would ask if we got touched in the pee pee.” This was not the only thing. Sandefur also remembers events surrounding the death of a nine-year-old student, Jennifer Driggers. What the school might not have wanted you to know was that the book Walking Alone and Marching Together contains not only clips from the papers about Driggers’ death, but there is ample record of her staff’s comment sheets, filled out each day. The staff wrote very dark and biased commentary about Driggers, and if Sandefur and others had seen the sheets, one would know why they are shaken by their end. Christi Edelmann died at age 10 in the infirmary. She was injured, and yet Edelmann was not given proper supervision at the school. After the deaths of Driggers and Edelmann, it was then discovered that FSDB was not following general public fire code laws and other problems arose.

While FSDB has since improved its image, there is still a long way to go.

The next thing a parents must ask about is the curriculum. IS your child’s textbook at either the feeder public high school or the residential school up to date? What about Braille books and their availability for the blind kids? Is there still current abuse? What about the teacher quality? Read the entire handbook from front to back, and go over the credit requirements to graduate with your high school student. Is the health education worth your time? Here’s something to take into consideration. Trenton had a health class at the Colorado School in the Colorado Springs area. CSDB now does not have a health class, no sex education either. What does this mean? Your teenager’s expectations for herself could be too low and she could face more abuse from men she does not want.

So what is the health requirement at a residential school? Aaron Reed, a former student at the Kentucky School for the Blind, long associated with its musical traditions, remembers taking a child development class. Reed and the other students had to use a fake baby, okay, but the fake baby is not truly the way to teach child development. Anyone ever told these Kentucky children that babies drool and poop? What about other messy things? The fake baby does not make a mess. … For real. Though it does teach some rudimentary care skills, if the school kids wanted more study of this skill, they should then be encouraged to volunteer at daycare or childcare facilities.

The next thing I bring here might shock you, but Florida’s handbook says you’re required to take a … *gasp* marriage education. What is that? Marriage education is supposed to tell your student to abstain until marriage, perfectly in line with the Florida Conservative governing body and all, but the kind of class we’re talking about is seriously a bad one. Marriage education is a joke, and it could lead to sheltering and your child being told that blind spouses aren’t appropriate. Trenton and I are a good pair, and we work together, on occasion having arguments, but still, we work together. A sighted male is often encouraged to marry a blind female, given the misconception and misogyny of schools like this.

How does your school feel about Muslim dress? For the Muslim parents of disabled students, you must ask the school to exempt your student, your male or female one, from a no head covering rule at most of these places. Islamic students could face discrimination, and the same would go for LGBTQ students. Is residential schooling truly the right thing? Really do some digging, and then give me the answer. I would not use a residential school because of the faraway location, the risk of abuse, and the mind numbing educational curriculum at said school.

School Days: Private School and the Realities Behind It

Ah, school days, you get the children up for school, put them in the car, and off you go. Some of your children will ride a yellow bus that pulls up to your driveway or the street cul-de-sac once a day. Or twice if you count the bus returning. But something in your mind tells you that your child could do better. Most public schoolkids are reading out of date history books that are falling apart and the pages fall out. Most public schools are throwing away music and not even requiring it, and that should be the case. Most public schools in the United States do not offer a vocational education, often dubbed “Public school’s neglected stepchild.” Okay, so then what? What alternatives do you truly see as a parent of a student? What are the first things that come to mind?

You want a world class education for your child, but what education is available in your area? Suppose you go to a church with an attached private education school. AS the Christian you are, you feel that God is not at public school. Well, in a way you are correct, but at the same time, what is worth doing to limit your child’s perception of things in this world?

Is that $2000 plus price tag really worth the effort? In this post, I’m going to take you inside my own personal experiences with private school and explain why it is not the best choice, and I will attempt to interweave this experience with scholarly work from a couple different places.

The first thing I noticed about St. Teresa’s School was its size. When I attended, the school was only one small building attached to the property of the church, St. Teresa Catholic. The building did not have an accessible look to it, and you would have to navigate up and down a largely echoed stairwell to get to your upper grade level classroom. Quaint, right? It reminded me of Matilda’s school as described by Roald Dahl’s masterwork, with the “top form” classrooms above Matilda and the other smaller kids on the bottom. But St. Teresa’s School is anything but something like Crunchem Hall Primary. There are a few differences.

For one, the American private school charges Catholic parish families a price of $1500 in estimated tuition costs, and the price is higher for anyone else. This is a basic scream of religious discrimination. Offering Catholic church members discounts would make any federal funding get poopooed. In other words, all fed money would go down the drain. What is odd about this is that President George W. Bush wanted to fund faith based schools, and Florida wanted to use public school money for schools like St. Teresa, but this was found unconstitutional.

The next thing about St. Teresa that any parent should take notice of is the way students are dressed. I described the dress code in all its austerity, but in case you missed it, here’s a simplified breakdown of what is and isn’t allowed for each gender student.

For me, and other females besides, the younger grades had to wear a jumper that had a skirt thing that tapered off at the knee, STS printed on the left side. The higher grades had an awful looking primitive skirt, and both are puke plaid blue and white color. The females did not receive long pants until a good number of years after the school was founded, and it happened that I was in seventh grade at that point. By this time, girls were probably chilling out, literally, in their prescribed dress clothes.

Females were not allowed decorative shoes or high heels,, and all such shoes had to have no higher than half an inch in the heel. All dress shoes for girls had to be Oxfords, black or white, and lace up. And the shoe brand or logo could not be any larger than a quarter.

The male students had some other requirements. On top of being forced to cut their hair short, a sexist move on the school’s part, the male students wore long pants and the standard issue shirt, were required a belt, and had to tuck in their shirts. No jewelry except Catholic approved cross symbols was allowed for the males. Females could wear no nail polish, something I forgot to add. Any infraction of the dress code was grounds for punishment, so you had to follow it.

The thing about the students that might floor you was the requirement that every so often, they attend mass and holy services. This can intimidate Muslim students as they despise the principles of some religious groups. A Catholic education is just one of a few different ways a parent can shelter the prospective student.

To enter as a student at St. Teresa and schools like it, the student prospect must pass a test to determine grade placement, and then books are bought. For the typical blind person, a book must be transcribed, but without public money to support, some of you parents might not be able to do this. When I attended, the same old story was heard: books never arrived on time, math book included. Bogus study classes were instituted, including the most mind numbing subjects such as morality and “new creation”, which supposedly teaches someone about the puberty years, the changes a person goes through, pregnancy, etc., but the largest problem is the lack of centrality and neutrality when it comes to birth control.

The same is true of Jewish, Islamic, or any other religious private school. If you are paying $1500 or more a month to send your child to school, then get nickel and dimed to death for uniform expenses and books, and then comes the mind numbing subjects, then what is the justification for sending your child to a school like that?

According to Brian Crosby, author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools: Thirty-Eight Ways to Save America’s Future, private schools are no viable option. Crosby explains that a child may be a child, and being a parent means you want what’s best for your child, but in truth, Crosby is correct to say that as adults, we can’t choose where to work in theory. We can’t choose what is available to us for a job. Private schools are also able to expel students for stupid things, and one being a man with long hair, and recently one fired an openly gay Catholic music teacher. This isn’t a good environment for any child who is handicapped or has a different sexual preference.

When I graduated in eighth grade from this school, there was a chorus of monotony as we did a few different ceremonial rituals, one of which was a torch and rose ceremony. Roses, as it is always the case, are the most expensive flower on the market, and all the roses are taken to the student’s home upon completion of the torch and rose ceremony. When I got my rose, I took it home, but personally, roses being pretty aren’t the reason I don’t often beg my fiance for them. It is the fact that the cut flowers waste volume in the garbage and get ground up in your local landfill. It’s worse when you think about where the flowers come from.

Ever thought about where the candles came from as well? Wax and paraffin based candles and torches are dangerous, and should be handled with care. Thankfully, the school’s candle and rose ceremony hasn’t had much danger, but I only pray that people handle the costs of such a thing better.

Every graduation can’t be complete without a cap and gown. I’ll confess that I looked great in my STS cap and gown, but any form of the garb is expensive, and inner city parents already struggle to do basics. What can be done to help them pay for this?

The yearbook is always a school tradition at all educational institutions. My yearbooks, sadly, were in print. All the books are print, no consideration for the blind child who cannot read the funny and sometimes amusing scribbles that appear on the pages of the yearbook. My favorite comment in a book came from high school, and it was weird. “Have a tubular senior year, dude.” Okay, can I move to California? I’ll have more tubular experiences over there. I can only imagine what the author of this comment was really thinking about.

One of the problems of private education is the complete lack of services for the disabled in many of these schools. St. Teresa School had no wheelchair access in its old building, though they did build a new one. The old building is still being used for the younger children, however, the school is not able to accommodate the wheelchair bound students, and if there were any accommodating factors, there would be a better environment that truly aligns with God’s word, teaching that all are welcome to come to the water and rest in his holy place. However, the school’s lack of good and sound disability friendly architecture has ruled for many years, making it unsuitable for handicapped children.

The school also lacks services that could support those on the autism spectrum. More and more children and adults are living with ASD disorders which can irritate even the most patient Irish nuns. When I attended STS, we had a fine principal, Sister Vera Whalen, and then a petite old lady nun called Kathleen OBrien. Sister Kathleen, as she was affectionately called, would probably have made a good teacher for autistic kids, but did she receive training in this type of child education? No.

Crosby also points at private educators as being not qualified to teach. St. Teresa has enough qualified teachers, but there is more to the requirements than is needed. My mom had to take a course on the education in religious studies for the purpose of St. Teresa School’s requirement that all the teachers who are working there have some certificate to teach religion. Religion is not something taught in regular public education.

The Islamic school system also lacks qualified teachers in some areas. The teachers are not chosen because they are board certified educators or have credentials in the chosen subject matter. It becomes a question of piety. Ayaan Hirsi Ali fondly remembers her days at Muslim Girls Secondary School, a place in Kenya where she and her sister Haweya attended. Both the girls were given the usual boring subjects like literature, math, and science, but my ex could probably laugh at the things the biology lessons talked about. Because the school lacked a lot and left the sexual and mating parts out of all the things taught, including the science curriculum, Hirsi Ali was left to be a curious child. When her mother did not approve of the science she learned dealing with evolution, the abuse got worse in her home. Hirsi Ali writes that her mother just scolded her when she said humans were descended from apes. Her mother, Asha Artan Umar, said that Allah created humans period. There was no mention of apes, and she said racist things about the Kenyan people, but she glorified Muslims. The same could not be said when Ayaan and Haweya went to their Muslim school.

All the Muslim students were required to wear a headscarf as is proper in the religion. Christian girls also attended, however Ayaan’s Islamic classmates were encouraged to impose conversion on the Christians. Is that education?

What Ayaan later recalls in her book Infidel will leave you wondering, is this truly right for my child! Ayaan says that a new teacher arrived at Muslim Girls to teach the Islamic studies class. Gone was the instruction on battles, history, and religious good stuff, but here was the era of indoctrination. A lady called Aziza came from the coast of Yemen or something, had been trained by the Saudi government, and here she was, all dressed in black. She questioned the girls’ lives, and even though the girls were allowed to ask and get answers about things of Islamic nature, Ayaan says Sister Aziza did not encourage forward thinking. Her book Heretic is a true example of how Islam will be facing reformation or transformation of its principles, including how it educates its children.

This may not be an American example. However, Islamic and all other parents should take note that sheltering your child is not an option. Crosby’s statement regarding teacher quality rings true. Teachers such as Mrs. P. Hutniek probably got better qualifications than even the most pious Saudi Muslim teachers. Mrs. Hutniek used to encourage stimulating and thought provoking discussions, encouraged all her students to search their souls and ask the question of whether things like cloning, surrogate motherhood, and other scientific breakthroughs were indeed ethical. Mrs. Hutniek had a large amount of hair and like me, she had a larger than life presence. I’ll never forget her.

Of course, the best teachers I’ve had were ones in public schools. My favorite teacher so far was my second grade one, a lady I have not spoken to for years. Behind her, I am trying to decide whether Mary Ann Shaka comes next. But the thing is that both teachers and others in the public sector seemed to have had better credentials, opened the door for more, and even encouraged conversation.

I’d like to pick on a couple high school teachers. I have a buddy, well, many of them, who attended classes under the instruction of Jennifer D. Thomas, the best English teacher on the planet. She is board certified to teach English, and teaching is her passion. She is a grammar fanatic, and with her credentials, she also teaches beginning and intermediate lit classes in her current location. She has moved a bit west, but she still enjoys herself. I took a good bit from her class, ultimately seeing that she had more engaging topics to fill the class with than someone with no class management skill.

I had a couple other great teachers, both of whom taught history. My history teachers by far were really good at making the lectures more relatable and fun. I’m trying to remember who taught me the best. In high school, it’s hard to say that teachers are bad when they’ve done their own work. But my favorite teacher across the subjects has got to have been Coach Ronsival in Algebra II. He was awesome, and his catch phrase was “Remember your P’s and Q’s.” Well? He also has credentials, teaches wrestling as well, and most of the sports coaches are like that. Could I add Siridge to the list? She taught geometry. She said once she’d sing your theorems to you in order to get you to learn them. And her jokes? Awesome.

The memories wouldn’t be here if I attended the infamous MCC, Melbourne Central Catholic High School. On top of austere dress, the students do not have a bus to take them to school, and my mother finally had her brain turned on when she told me I could not have gone. So we went with Titusville High.

I graduated THS in 2005 having done so with honors, but not without my share of memory that is still guiding the decision I want to talk about in my next post. Private education is truly not what your $2000 plus is worth, whether Catholic or Muslim or Jewish or what have you. When you do choose a private school for a child with ASD or disability of any sort, do your homework. Are the teachers qualified to teach? Can your child navigate the building? Does the staff have a colorful record for any of the people in it?

Thank you for your time.

How to DriveSomeone with Disabilities Crazy

Dear Readers,

As it stands, I was recently accused, blatantly accused, of not having permission to talk about subjects, violating trust and privacy, and just plain being bad. At 29 years old, my opinions, writing, and all the things I have to say are now being labeled “disturbed” and “invalid” even if it is a word of praise or warning and even if I’m framing situations that could happen. One Facebook user in particular is begging to talk to me about said things in question, but I have a few words for a lot of other individuals. There are many ways that you can derail a person’s psychological state of mind, and here’s how. If you are someone who has previously done stuff with me, or has previously seen me around, read this and try to understand why all of what I’m about to write is above un American. First of all, my First Amendment Rights are frequently encroached upon due to my disability and that is the first line of things you can do to drive someone like me over the edge.

Step 1. Tell your disabled adult subject that nothing they say matters, that their opinions and love of another person is disturbed, even if it is a good thing. This has happened in repeated patterns. I can’t tell you how many times the Backstreet Boys and my fandom of such people was frequently targeted as an obsession or something rather disturbing. While I wanted to be a singer, enjoyed listening to boy band music, and struggled to find out who I was as a teenager with disability, my brothers were lavished over the top with a seemingly equally disturbing obsession. I am repulsed by the thought that my parents fed my brothers’ obsession with Pokemon by handing them cards of Machamp and other of the anime characters right in front of me. Just what kind of family encroaches upon their disabled member’s rights to an opinion? My family did. I could not be honest about my parents’ brazen attempt to punish out all the traits they did not want me to have in my personality. Unfortunately, professional teachers and others in the schools did not care and would not care because my parents were successful in telling the schoolteachers I was a disturbed individual. Subtle cues might have told you that this was way off. First, there are many teenage girls at this point who like One Direction, and they don’t get written off as disturbed demons who only want to meet boy bands. My parents, in an ill fated attempt to force me to like sports, deal with their stressful and cold air in the living room, and tell me what I did was invalid, basically encroached in all sorts of ways on my First Amendment rights just because they felt it necessary. How do you explain a parental couple who even bothers to raise a special needs child when they are still sitting on their big plush sofa watching football and stock car racing and NOT saying a word! They would never engage in any meaningful family dialogue about anything worth saying or talking about. The only things we would discuss as a family, and it was barely anything by the time I was ten or so, was sports, details about sports, automobile racing which is too risky at all, and we don’t wanna hear any more talk about the Backstreet Boys, this opinion you have, or that opinion you have. I was frequently called out by my father and mother, and punishment was unfairly used. If my parents claim American citizenship, there is something to be said of us having opinions. If we were Chinese, I would be taught family respect, sure, but then there would be an added problem. My family, if we were born and bred Chinese, would likely force me to respect a government that frequently hates baby girls and puts blind boys and girls at risk in poor and unsanitary schools for the blind. Please read the Barefoot Lawyer. In this book, a blind man is telling a story about China, and it’s a shocking and muddy truth you barely could recognize. China’s people are banned from multiple Internet sites like Facebook, and instead, they have QQ and Gadu Gadu and other sites that are highly censored and monitored. Don’t even get me started on North Korea and the secrecy behind how they try and make their people into puppets for Kim Jong Un. I’ll shut up now, but America! If you are American and reading this, you should remember probably one day in your school days when you recited or memorized the preamble of the Constitution. How was your country founded? And what was banned from the old colonial places? If you were a colonist, you would have been required to practically call the king of taxation without representation a God in human form. You would be required to pay taxes to Britain in those days, and you had to be an Anglican. Today, you can be anything, Shinto, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist, whatever. You could be Bohemian in your viewpoints, and the best thing is that you’re not gonna get shot or thrown in jail for writing that Muslims are evil if that’s your opinion. But I do beg to differ because of experience and observing the Islamic communities. Muslims are not evil all the way through. The Medina ones are, but according to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, there are three sets of Muslims but there’s just one Islam. Her kinds of Muslims have to do with what brand of the stage of Islam they practice. Is it okay for someone to shoot Ms. Hirsi Ali because she wrote so scathingly about Islamic countries? No. In America, she has all the rights in the world to say what she says, and people are not backing her up because they are more often being apologetic. Okay, apologists for Terrorists are not a good thing, but Ayaan is no douchebag. She was on a Bill Maher show, and his name appears on a list of ten douchebags according to Watch Mojo. I have scanned lots of the ten things Watch Mojo puts together, and no surprise, the head of Duck Dynasty also appeared there. Should we tell Mr. Robertson that his opinion isn’t valid? Of course no, but to suggest that homosexuals should suffer or that any persons under Phil Robertson’s shit list are worthy of being hurt and attacked is pure bull. now, I was accused of violating privacy. I was flatly denied my right to free speech. Let me give you two examples of free speech and just plain attacking someone. I was not attacking this person, no, I was not. I never meant to do that, and all I am seeing in my mind is the pattern of disregard for what I have to say.

Step 2. Tell the person in question that you are being harassed by him/her. Here’s an example of harassment. Fifteen-year-old Ivan Soto was caught six times trolling my blog. This blog was targeted on a post having to do with the intricacies of welfare and food safety. It is a perfectly valid need for both myself and Trenton, safe foods to eat and drink and cook with, but this little fly on the wall flew around my blog and posted gross profanity, violating my right to even survive. Ivan’s comments may sound unbelievable, but when his last comment showed 50 plus uses of the word “fuck”, and then to top it off, the words bitch and cunt and all that, this young boy truly began to come off as a threat to me. Nobody calls any woman in my book a bitch. The word “cunt” is commonly used in the United Kingdom or Australia about as much as we’d use the f word. The word “cunt”, however, did appear in a previous comment, which initially got me wondering if it was a foreign guy in New Zealand who got jealous of me because I am or was just beginning a relationship with Trenton. We’re still together.

The other example which is not harassment is this. My buddy Blake and I were dating at one point, not sure what prompted this comment on my post back in the day, but I received a really brazen comment that stated that I was no more grown up than I was as a teenager. A TVI I have worked with and no longer speak to stated, and to a strange person she does not know in person, that I was “chasing boys” like I “always did” back in high school. Back then, Blake was upset and infuriated by these comments. He might have been so furious that he agreed when I proposed to him. Blake and I broke up in October, but the comment and its aftermath still remain. I was openly accused of harassing or stalking Blake when clearly, he was in a relationship with me. I was flatly and blatantly accused of being pushy, but guess what? If you are told that nothing you do or say is valid, then what choice do you have? Sit there and let the world pass you by? Never thought so.

Step 3. Take away the person’s civil rights. If you’re tired of the adult or child with a disability having disturbing things to say in your mind, take away their civil rights. But you must have a real and not a fabricated story to give the court. My parents managed a sob story for the court. In this story, I was severely emotionally “handicapped” and needed to be taken care of. I honestly blame my parents’ empty and hollow interpretation of the world for the decisions that followed. They got this so they could just be powerful. Well? Those are the things that you fcan do to drive me over the edge. Note to readers and others who say they don’t like waht I have to say: I will not ask or have to ask permission for anything in life. A listener who asks me who gave permission to talk about another person on a live video feed is beyond treacherous because in America, all the talk of permitting someone all the time is a farse. I’m disabled, female, and proud, and having to have permission to talk and have opinions is not American and culturally empty and void. So if you are willing to continue to give me or my fiance nightmares and anxiety about what you say or do over live feeds, over the phone, etc, keep up the good or bad work, but if you are an American, then read the constitution of your country. Respect all opinions and as mine does not contain hateful language, then at least respect what I have to offer. Thank you for your attempts to sabotage American freedoms, especially mine, and no thanks, I won’t listen or believe a word anyone says.

Surprise, note to those who probably weren’t paying attention

First, I’d like to apologize and center a few things. THis one’s aimed at someone who called me while I was busy, sadly, with two friends who came in from out of state. First, Theresa, if you have a problem with something I wrote, let me ask you a few questions. First off, do you realize you’re living on a highly coveted spot in Florida? Well, … ??? Maybe you do. Ocean property anywhere whether it be Florida or California is highly expensive and valuable, spending thousands of dollars being the norm for someone on such property. I am not heavily surprised anyone has any problem with anything I happen to write. However, here’s another thought provoking argument question: who in a list of people numbering ten as a sample would you guess would covet or die for a property on the beach? Everybody! And who wouldn’t want to get away in the SOuth Beach area? Well, who wouldn’t.

Florida attracts some pretty cool stuff, including theme parks, sunny days, and unfortunately those criminal masterminds in guardianship fraud and sex offenses against kids! Let’s just say that there is a time and place to do everything, and Theresa, some people just don’t know where to stop when it comes to their desperation for stuff. I do apologize if you felt offended, but please take this seriously. You’re aging well, I suppose, but when you reach a possible 90 years old, there are obvious vulnerabilities that all people of this age must remember and take full account of. You will probably never face this, but most of the people in this age bracket become very delicate. My great grandmother, Rose Gravina, sadly did. Her memory failed, and as so many other dlerly folks’ memory fails, you will not be shocked when a friend or a peer mate forgets your name by this time. Sometimes, though, anyone scrupulous enough to take money and things and who is so desperate can try and pull out weaknesses. Let’s try a few examples, shall we?

If you turn 90 or something, please live that long okay?, you might run into a simple home improvement charlatan who might try to trip you up with a scammy promo for his business. This happens so often I don’t know what else to say. The center of the post with your name on it, however, exposes something much less known in Florida. While you’re hanging around with your dogs and family and not realizing that this problem exists, many elders in Florida face the possibility that a strange guardian or a scrupulous family guardian approaches them, gains control, and steals the bank account they own, the assets, and a possible oceanside estate! Please be careful what happens to all the stuff you own, and somebody please be careful not to let anyone have access to your wallet!

SEcond, Theresa, I was attempting to expose the statewide problem of isolation in the guardianships that many elders may face. You and someone in your family might face this, given a few stories I’ve seen, and the stories could multiply. Ever wonder what could happen if it is impossible for your aged parents to live at home? Or is it possible for your aging family to live at home? Well? Okay. So if it’s possible for you to stay home, then it should be your decision alone with the help of a highly credentialed doctor. If you do develop a bone or muscle condition that prohibits you from holding steady in the bath, doing basic cooking, etc., then should you really have a nursing facility at the top of your list? Not all nursing facilities are good, but not all are bad either. For example, I visited a long dead Nana Taurasi at an excellent nursing facility, and they even allowed privacy for the couple when her husband was alive. Nana and Papa Taurasi at least had the decency as given to them by nursing home staff, and they as far as I know were not abused or mistreated. The nursing home abuse, however, could be caught on tape and nobody does anything about it. In Florida nursing homes, it is widely believed that your family member, friends, siblings, anyone you know, or even yourself, could fall victim to horrible abuse by people who don’t qualify to work at such a place. What do you want to do with your golden years?

Not just Thersa, but other people should be looking carefully at the golden years of their life. How do you want to end your life? While we can’t tell or ask God or what have you to end our lives a certain way, we can if possible make a clear and conscious decision about where we want to end up in our lives. For example, I want to die in peace in a place that I made a decision about living in. I want to end my life having done something to change the way people act toward others, and I’d like to clean up something that needs to be cleaned up. In my golden years, I want my children and grandchildren around, no nursing facility at all, and if Trenton’s gone, I’d like to make sure that he has purchased life insurance and other things to ensure that both his and my assets, estate, funeral expenses, etc., all are paid for and covered. When I’m in my golden years, I don’t think Florida will be a good place to retire, on top of it being mosquito infested, and we all have had bug bites bigger than a seed, but it could mean scrupulous professionals acting as a guardian stealing my monetary assets. My family could be told never to see me again, and Theresa,  you really should ask yourself, is it truly necessary that in my golden years, I should never see my children and so on? Wrong, it isn’t. If Trenton were as old as I was in a certain given point in time, I’d want us to be able to enjoy ourselves, hang out, retire for goodness sakes. But there’s one thing that can be left firmly out of the picture: guardians, nursing homes, and certain aging services. Is the concept of guardianship necessary? It could put you, me, or anyone in the vulnerability box. Have any of you readers checked out a website that screams guardianship abuse? There was a case involving a tourist, yes, a tourist in the Florida Keys, and because she had a brain injury, she was declared incapacitated, but was it really necessary? I don’t think you know just how vulnerable every person in Florida is to guardianship abuse and corruption. There have been multiple cases that National ASsociation to Stop Guardianship Abuse have been highlighting in recent decades. One of those cases, the one involving the tourist from the Keys, is a clear reminder that to exaggerate permanent injury when it isn’t permanent is bad. Second, the lady healed up and could have done all the things the incapacitation order said she was permanently unable to do. What this scrupulous judge, lawyers, and guardian all did was steal the woman’s rights, money, and time. The reason I used your example here, all this, was to point out that even the strongest persons in Florida are vulnerable, even you are. We’re all vulnerable. So here’s something to think about: I’d like to ask all readers to please realize that though you may think I am the absolute queen of “inappropriate” writings, this is not true. Real life examples bring the picture together, and using fake names is only going to make things a bit … fake.

Let’s try and analyze the reason I’m exposing Florida’s corrupt guardianship system. I am facing, Theresa, a possible traumatic moment. My fiance is having nightmares, distressing dreams, what ever you call those, about me being forcibly taken back. This is not only traumatic if it happens, it’s an invasion of mine and Trenton’s civil right to privacy, living together, and crosses the line. My parents might have felt this was in my best interest, but Theresa, you do not know Trenton’s family from Adam. I apologize for not having gotten to you on the phone, and to anyone I might have offended, take a deeper look at how you might have felt that way. Theresa, you should be able to age gracefully without a scrupulous adult, and lucky you have a great and supportive family. That isn’t the case for all Floridians with age stuff and disabilities. Those who are in the late period of their lives and don’t have the outstanding awareness of disability or the supports you got in your career should be making a mark in the exposure of the corruption of Florida’s supposed attempt to “help” elders. You’ve gotta realize that someone you know, someone in the list of people you have taught, touched, or spoken to, including myself, is vulnerable. The only way to fix things like this is to bring to fruition the issues that lie underneath.

Family guardians in Florida have not all been known for abuse. But this particular expose is something you should be thinking deeply about. How would you like it if someone like a police officer walked into your house and said, you’re coming with us, and then told your significant other that he was “under arrest” for perjury? What about a situation where he is harassed by my father? We’re currently screening all calls on our home phone line, and have blocked people we don’t feel will give us any good vibes. My parentws believe I”m still seventeen, but Theresa, yeah, I’m old. You’re a really old person, not seventeen. At least you aren’t staring at my hideous acne coated face in high school right now. You should truly be staring at a picture on the wall of something better understood. Perhaps it is time to see the error in my parents’ ways. Not only did they attempt to worm their way into someone’s life without permission, but they’re attempting to cause a serious trauma to both of us. Trenton would be barred from contact with me, I can’t say the same for you. You found your happy match, and you will stay with said match, and your family approves and there’s almost nothing to be afraid of. No heated arguments that lead to throwing glass and other things. And I imagine though you clean up thousands of messy patches of floor and lawn, you don’t have to worry as much about sticky situations with a family member who constantly tries to put unreasonable requirements in your life. Your sibs probably have more success, and it comes mostly with more supports. I seriously want to bring to the fruition the largest scandal Florida has faced, and Satellite Beach, Melbourne, and other ocean front places in Brevard as well as delray Beach, Miami Dade, and other spots just aren’t attracting good vibes with all of us who want to take things seriously.

While Florida government has been outstanding in most areas in fending off sexual assaults on children in passing of the Jessica Lunceford Law, and while there is a good parole system and other bits and pieces of mind, one must now look to the rest of the general public and address the scrupulous ways we earn money. I’m luckty I have gone off on telemarketing schemes who try to call me, but when I turn eighty or so, then what? Trenton is peacefully snoring next to me as I write this, and I can’t imagine life without him. Theresa, with all the great memories we’ve had, and the squabbles, go figure, it does not shock me that you are offended by anything I write. Message to those who are associated with the recent cases with my parents, I won’t be picking up any phone calls from either of them. It’s one thing to try to mess up my life, my stuff, my personal private intimate portions and such like, but it’s another when any family member attempts to mess up another person’s life by using me as a bargaining chip or jail bait. Trent gets these feelings that trauma will occur, and I will be switching mental health providers due to the last one excluding Trenton for lack of consumership. We need couple counseling services, something my last provider lacked. Plus I might get more frequent treatments, and with a fully employed member of the team, a doctor of psychology with a license, not a residency student. No question about the lady’s credentials either. We will also be litigating the state for something, but we will be receiving guidance from both a legal team and a counselor. I’m fighting to stay with Trenton, and I refuse to think that any third party can step in. If this happened, my life would end there. I don’t want to end my life in an empty bed, in the arms of Hell’s angels, or anyone rather who is bad, or in a lonely state of mind. Look about the state. It’s packed with all those mindless idiotic actions, and we’re just beginning to dig through the surface. Please feel free to address this situation with yourself only, but I have the freedom of speech to expose the future and the current corrupted structure of Florida’s failing guardianship system. If you think I’m not the change the nation needs to get folks to leave elderly folks’ bank accounts and lives alone, then you’ve got the wrong website to read. You may at this point want to skip all entries on this blog and fastforward to fluffy genres of reading that may not be the greatest, or in Theresa’s case, why not skip ahead to the next step? Feel free to ralk, but if you are taking too much uffense to something, odds are you’re not understanding. You do live on a much highly valued piece of Florida, and someone likely is thinking about a sunny day in Florida. Period. If you’d like to try something cheaper, readers, I’m told a few places could top the list. Now, before I break my guts writing this defense of how I exposed the corruption of Florida’s guardian laws, I better talk to Trenton right now. We’re going to close some doors here, so if calling me in the middle of a visit with guests is acceptable, well, I can’t do that. I have my life. And if you think I’m not sorry or have no consideration for you whatsoever, you’re wrong. Theresa, the purpose of my exposes, informative things, and the other things I’ve written, is to share some ideas and possible solutions and note observations to readers about all kinds of stuff. For instance, I was shocked to learn that Eggland’s Best is still not cage free with their eggs and chickens. Therefore, I find it appalling that the treatment of these birds is what it is, and like anyone else, I’m spreading the word! But to take umbridge with anything so simple as the important work this blog is here for is a doorway to trouble. Next time you wish to speak with me, do so in a more positive mindset and try a more casual topic. And do not let me caatch myself speaking with you without my fiance there because we’ve both been through enough. Thank you for the time and patience with reading this, and I hope you learn something important. I will be sending links to all recent stories, but one organization to look up is a Florida based organization called the Americans Against the Abuse of Probate Guardianship, AAAPG, run by a Sam Sugar, and it really goes ballistic with how one person control of another person’s life is bad for the state. I’m in Colorado, so I want absolutely nobody in Florida to muddy up my whole life. AGain, thank you for taking the time to realize what I’m trying to say without screaming, “Censorship.”