The title of this article is terrifying. I picture troops, tanks, planes, the core of Iran’s military coming in to attack us on our own soil, and if I were to only read the title, I would start my day frightened. However, the content of this article is nothing new. They are talking about terrorist organizations in Iran that want to commit terrorist acts inside the US borders. These organizations have been around for a long time, they are part of the global jihad, but because tensions are running high between the US and Iran over the potential closure of the Straight of Hormuz, our news organizations jump. The fact is that if you are to go to any online news site and scroll through the article headlines without clicking on them to read further, you are getting a very skewed and sometimes completely opposite version of world current events. I have a lot of spare time, but even so, I don’t have enough time to read every article. It makes me think that we as a whole are not only uninformed, but misinformed, which I think is worse. Read The Atlantic or The Economist if you want real news. Other suggestions are welcomed.
Newt and Mitt. One of these 2 men will likely face our current president in what will be an ugly, depressing, and dirty campaign. I, for one, am not even remotely excited. What really seems to depress me is that no matter what party they represent, our recent presidential candidates seem to come out of a factory mold. Mitt Romney(R): Rich, former governor, known to change his views frequently, not in touch with regular humans, has overwhelming urge to be president. See also- John Kerry (D) Al Gore (D) George W Bush (R) Howard Dean (R). Or his competitor, Newt Gingrich (R)- Outspoken, hypocrite, adulterer, some say inspirational. See also: John Edwards (R) (VP candidate, but the fact that he also cheated on his wife with cancer makes him a must mention) John McCain (R) Bill Clinton (D). I know some of this is a little broad, but the fact is that is takes a certain type of person to become a presidential candidate, and unfortunately, the type of person that makes it through our greasy system is not one that should be leading the free world. When I watch these men speak and try and appease voters it reminds of 7th grade. Awkward kids trying to fit in, doing what they can as their minds and bodies develop. Saying things they don’t really stand by in order to gain relationships. These are our candidates. The difference is when I look at a 7th grader, I feel empathy. I remember being that way, and growing out of it. When I look at our candidates, I wonder why they haven’t.
Even before this week, the idea of going on a cruise has never had much appeal to me, it seems claustrophobic and restrictive to sit aboard a ship for vacation, but I get it. These luxury liners stop at multiple destinations while offering amazing amenities and a social atmosphere. However, after following the events of the Costa Concordia, any future involving me on a cruise ship is in an alternate universe. This story gets worse by the day. The death toll keeps rising, and fingers of blame are now being pointed. It is a sad series of events, that Carnival Cruse Lines (The Costa Concordia’s parent company) has just made much worse. In an attempt to avoid lawsuits and give back to those that took this treacherous journey, Carnival has offered the passengers of the capsized vessel 30% off their next cruise. What? First of all I am pretty sure I could search the internet for 20 minutes and find a code or coupon that would offer me this same deal and I did not have my life threatened, lose my belongings, or sit in the cold dark sea terrified for hours. Secondly, if any of these people were interested in taking a cruise again, it would likely not be with your company. Lastly, who runs your PR? How does this idea come up as bodies are still being discovered and your vessel sits sideways in the Mediterranean? The captain of the CC made an error, a horrific one, but attempting to bring in repeat business while people are still searching for their loved ones makes your entire company the villain. The thing is, human mistakes happen, and while this young captain made a huge one, human mistakes are also oftentimes forgivable. Focusing on covering your own asses instead of relief at a time like this, is not.
How on earth did he make it past the 3rd grade? I looked at him blankly; he looked back, even more blankly. I went through the same explanation again. Then later, again.
I am an educator, but not a well respected one. Driver’s education. Everyone needs it, but it is not considered to be something that “molds minds” or “builds character” it is simply a life skill. On par with coloring in the lines, and making Thanksgiving turkeys from the outline of your hand.
I am also the youngest drivers education instructor I have ever heard of. I’m 26. My job is one that takes a lot of ridicule, but the focus is generally on the instructor and not the actual course itself. I remember my drivers ed. teacher, W.R. Evers.
“I’m looking here, here, here, here, and here” he said to me pointing in various directions. “You must know what is going on at all times!”
He taught all my friends how to drive, and we all had an impression of him, mine was the best. I was often put on the spot to imitate our vehicular master, and was happy to do so, but had I known I would follow in his footsteps, I certainly would not have found the humor in it.
“I have the equivalent of 10 college degrees” W.R. said to me once.
“How many do you actually have?” I quipped back.
“None” he said.
Well, neither do I.
I go out at night with other people my age, and their lives seem so much more exciting, there is an upward optimism, a carrot dangling in front of their young lifeline. I have no carrot. There is nowhere to go in the field of drivers education. What I am doing now will be what I am doing in 30 years, and the pay will be about the same.
I raced go carts growing up, I always loved to drive, and I had aspirations of being a race car driver. At 19 I was there. I had a crew, and was making money. But, almost as soon as my career started, it was wrecked into turn 4 at Stevenson’s expressway. A broken car, a severely broken leg, and no money to fix either, meant a broken career. I dropped from the #2 position I held in the Heart of America Racing Circuit, the two sponsors I had quit, and my crew split to find work with other drivers. I recovered, at least physically, but I am left with hospital bills and shattered dreams. I have become so far removed from that life, it just seems like it was a movie at this point.
I pulled into the parking lot of Edgerton High School, parked, and took a deep breath. One more student left today. I turn and look at the passenger side window and see a skinny girl with a blonde ponytail walking my way. Her book bag bulges out from the sides of her tiny frame, she looks ready for a trek through the Andes.
Carrie Hass, my 4:30. This bitch is going to kill us both.