As I sit down to register for some of the last classes of my undergraduate degree I couldn’t help but take a look at my transcripts, see what classes I have taken and all the changes along the way.

I graduated high school in 1997 at the ripe old age of 17. I was living in my own apartment, had a roommate, worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, and was now a full-time student at Central Connecticut State University. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do. I was leaning toward Criminal Justice after taking a required First-Year Experience course in the Fall of 1997, Criminal Justice and Society. I loved the subject matter, I loved how my professor taught the class, and I loved the fact that there was a whole community of people that really gave a shit about society, people, ‘ghettos,’ prisoners, and justice. In the spring I firmly switched from undecided to Criminal Justice as my major. I took a smart balance of classes, making sure to get the boring and painful ones out of the way early. Foreign language, Philosophy, College Writing, blah blah blah. Some events transpired and I moved from my familiar comfort zone in Central Connecticut and rooted myself in Southeastern Connecticut.

I signed up for classes right after Emma was born and got my Associates Degree in General Studies. I fell in love with Sociology (thank you Professor Derr) and teaching of all things. Professor Derr offered a volunteer opportunity at the high school he was the principal of, Norwich High School. This was a school that took in the kids that NFA expelled, were truant, had criminal records, bad home lives, learning disabilities, social disabilities. In other words, kids I really connected with and fell in love with. I decided then and there that I would love to be a Special Education teacher, not the kind that worked with kids with mental retardation or cerebral palsy — the kids that everyone else gave up on. I graduated in June 2003 from Three Rivers Community College and I had a picture of Emma (then just 18 months old … is that right??) on my cap.

Fall 2003 I became a student at Eastern Connecticut State University. I was a Pre-Education major which I focused on History and Social Sciences. My goal, a Master’s degree in Special Education. I followed with this course until I chose money over all else and dropped out of school to work at a company that offered free health insurance and decent wages as my husband fell victim to Electric Boat’s massive layoff in 2005. Looking back, not the best choice I have ever made but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, once again, I find myself changing once again. Instead of going the Special Education route, I feel I would be much more fulfilled if I stay out of the education profession, if for no other reason, I feel I would have more flexibility and more control of my own agenda. I do not care to deal with the bureaucracy of the Board of Education or the blasé attitudes of parents, No Child Left Behind or budget cuts. So here I am again, at a crossroads. Take the easy way out and stay enrolled in the Bachelor of General Studies program (that is “only available to students 25 years of age or older”) and graduate in December 2013 or go with my gut, jump through those few extra hoops–ask a professor to allow me to take a class and it’s pre-requisite concurrently–and possibly add another semester. So I’ll graduate in May 2014 instead of December 2013. What the hell I’ve been going to college since 1997 (with a few years off here and there).

I almost wish I was independently wealthy because I would totally take some classes over. I believe I would get a whole lot more out of my first 2 years at CCSU. Studying Western Civ might be a little more interesting, PoliSci would be amazing, Abnormal Psych–if at all possible– would be even more fascinating. Ah, to be young again…

But seriously, I’ve taken a shit load of classes. And its ALMOST over… almost.

Education brings me peace.

CCSU 1997-1999
ENG 100 – College Writing
ENG 200 – Expository Writing
ENG 2xx – ENG Elective
GEN 1xx – General Elective
GEO 2xx – Geography Elective
HIS 231 – Western Civ Since 1500
MAT 203 – Statistical Decisions in Society
MUS 1xx – Music Elective
PHI 120 – Perspectives in Philosophy
PSC 110 – American Government & Politics
PSY 100 – Intro to Psychology (technically I took this one at Tunxis CC)
PSY 2xx – Psychology Elective
SOC 101 – Criminal Justice & Society
SOC 2xx – Sociology Elective
SPA 110 – Spanish I
SPA 111 – Spanish II

TRCC 2001-2003
CSC 100 – Computer Concepts
EES 304 – Environmental Issues
GEN 1xx General Elective
HIS 116 – Intro to Modern World History
HIS 2xx – History Elective
PSY 1xx – Psychology Elective
SOC 107 – Social Problems

ECSU 2003-2005
EDU 200 – Child/Adolescent Development & Exceptionalism
EDU 210 – Foundations of US Education
ANT 337 – Urban Anthropology
BIO 308 – General Ecology
GEO 228 – Historical Geography of the US
HIS 200 – Historical Research & Writing
ENG 357 – 20th Century Women Writers
GEO 333 – Global Geopolitical Divisions
HIS 322 – African American History from 1877
HIS 327 – Disasters in America

ECSU 2012-2014
SOC 250 – Social Inequality
SOC 309 – Criminology

I wish they didn’t xx out my classes and classify them as electives, I can’t remember some of those classes. I know one was Literature and Native American Culture — KILLER class! I will have to do some digging to see if I can find out what the original classes were. Oh well, enough of my boring blog.

Looking back — I’m really proud of myself! Knowing where I came from and where I am today … whoa!

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition…cops bring me peace

The end to Prohibition, and the failed War on Drugs, will bring me (us) peace

This post is in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals hearing opening arguments next week in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s refusal to consider reclassifying cannabis as a schedule I prohibited substance under federal law…

This is a description of Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act for the United States according to Wikipedia (I’m not writing a scholarly article…Wiki will suffice).

  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
  4. Except as specifically authorized, it is illegal for any person to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

Schedule I drugs include:
heroin, LSD, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin (mushrooms), and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), to name a few…

Marijuana has been proven to provide relief to certain medical patients for anything from anxiety to crohns disease, glaucoma to appetite stimulant for chemo patients. Many studies have shown that it IS NOT a gateway drug, alcohol is. In all honesty I believe that ALL drug prohibition should end. By taking drugs out of the street and putting them in legitimate businesses…the criminal element goes away. From 1920-1933 the US was in the Prohibition Era. During that time, gangsters and the criminal element had a monopoly on the market. Violence erupted between competing criminal organizations, and people got very ill and even died from ingesting home brews. Once they ended alcohol prohibition the government was able to regulate and TAX alcohol. Criminal enterprises no longer had the monopoly.

Throughout our history the percentage of US population addicted to some kind of drug hovered right around 1.4%. That’s right, even after the War on Drugs amped up in the 70’s. It hasn’t changed. Does anyone think we will EVER win the War on Drugs? Get rid of all drugs, all drug use, all crime related to drug consumption? Studies have also shown that in countries that completely did away with prohibition of ALL drugs experienced a slight increase in use at first, but then guess what? DRUG USE STARTED TO DECLINE, and remains lower than drug use during prohibition.

So I guess the moral of this long drawn out story: The US Government can only WIN if they completely do away with prohibition. Look up LEAP on YouTube. You should find a great video. There is an entire organization of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. If you don’t believe me, will you believe a cop?

Long story short, let cancer patients buy marijuana or edibles to deal with chemo. Allow people with anxiety disorders to purchase medicine that has barely any side affects (as opposed to whatever pills are shoved down their throats). Allow people with crohns disease access to a medicine that will help them with their disease. Marijuana does so much less damage to the body than alcohol does. NO ONE has EVER died consuming marijuana. According to the CDC the number of alcoholic liver disease deaths per year: 15,183. The number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 24,518. Quick math — thats 39,701 alcohol related deaths per year EXCLUDING ACCIDENTS AND HOMICIDES! Deaths per year caused by marijuana consumption: ZERO.

Okay, I’m off my soap box.

Following this post I will also post an informative clip from YouTube.

Why we’re all here

In case you have never read this, may I suggest today may just be the perfect day. I copied this from the US National Archives….

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Let it all soak in. Now close your eyes and imagine what bravery it took to sign this document. Amazing.

No Movement Allowed

No movement allowed.

So those are three words you don’t hear everyday, but those are some powerful words when strung together in that particular arrangement.  No movement. That is one huge sweeping notion, no? How can something have NO movement. Some small twitch, the rise and fall of your chest. An unexpected sneeze. A heartbeat. It is all movement. In any normal set of circumstances these nuances, these insignificant movements seem redundant, minute, inconsequential. What happens when those small movements, those insignificant moments became scrutinized? Do we all become deviants, refusing to cease movement?

When I move freely I am at peace.

Sleep gives me peace

So my husband went to the doctor this afternoon to get the results of his sleep study. He stops breathing OVER 70 TIMES AN HOUR! I knew he had sleep apnea but to know his case is a SEVERE case really sent me for a loop. He is at risk for so many things that I wasn’t aware of. Time to start taking better care of ourselves so that we are around for our children for a very long time.

He will be getting a breathing machine which will keep his airway open throughout the night, thus eliminating all of the dangerous side effects of sleep apnea. He had one during his sleep study and claims it is very quiet and he was very well rested in the morning. Knowing how much I LOVE to sleep, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. He wakes up more than once a minute on average which makes me think that he never enters into REM sleep. No dreaming? What an awful way to sleep.

Maybe once he gets the machine I will sleep a little better too.

one month out

It is almost as if it never was, that part of my life that was a big part of my life for entirely too long. Did I in fact work at the Mohegan Sun? It seems like a lifetime ago, another life, a different life, a life that had surrendered. I feel oddly empowered these past couple of weeks. I have a renewed sense of family, a stronger connection to my children, a greater love for my husband. I am no longer made miserable by the job that almost was my career. I am no longer bound by the chains that stifled my inner beauty. No more name tags. No more badges. No more 20/40. No more bus. I am free.

I am not used to these things called free time, quality time, weekends, and holidays. President’s Day? Huh.

With all my worries brushed away I can begin to focus on who I am, not who I am supposed to be. I am no longer a number, 142090. No longer made to be someone’s puppet. I am an individual, a very intelligent individual. The mind-numbing effects are beginning to wear off and I can see the forest through the trees.

I am a mother.
I am a wife.
I am who I was always meant to be.

A Monday through Friday work week gives me peace.