Commemorating an Extraordinary Teacher and Person: Bill Heyde, who passed on 10/26/16

Celebrating an Extraordinary Teacher and Person:
Bill Heyde, R.I.P., 10/26/16, reported by the Ladue Education Foundation in St. Louis, MO, USA

bill-heyde
Mr. Heyde, circa 1973, courtesy of the Ladue Horton Watkins High School yearbooks, as published for his obituary in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Dear Friends of Mr. Heyde,

I am saddened to share with you the news that our wonderful Mr. Heyde passed away on Wednesday. His health had recently been improving, and he was scheduled to return to his assisted living facility, but his life came to a close on October 26, 2016. As you all know, he had a life-changing impact on many of his students’, colleagues’, and friends’ lives.

Visitation will be on Sunday, October 30, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Road in Kirkwood, MO.

The funeral service will be Monday, October 31 at 10:00 a.m. at Bopp Chapel.

Burial will be immediately following the service in Cape Girardeau.

Condolences may be sent to Bill’s sister: Adelaide Parsons and her husband Robert, 3120 Independence, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to two of Bill’s favorite organizations:
Missouri Scholars Academy Development Fund
c/o Honors College
210 Lowry Hall
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211

and

The Ladue Education Foundation
9703 Conway Road
St. Louis, MO 63124

Here is the link to the obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/stltoday/obituary.aspx?n=william-albert-heyde-bill&pid=182178423&fhid=6378

For those of you who missed it the first time around, here is the link to the clever rap written and performed by 1972 alumnus Steve Levin to honor Mr. Heyde in 2015: https://youtu.be/tA5F3XdNcwI

As a grateful former student of Mr. Heyde’s, I’m so glad I was in St. Louis for the wonderful event honoring him as an amazing teacher and person in April, 2015!

Mr Heyde and students circa 1970
Mr. Bill Heyde and students, Ladue High School, circa 1970?

We had a BLAST!
Bill H and Bill W - Copy
Bill Heyde and Bill Weiss

Doug Cassel and Tom Newmark - Copy
Doug Cassel and Tom Newmark (sorry it’s blurry)

Jim McKelvy - Copy
Jim McKelvy and ??

Mark Zooie and Mr H mock debate - Copy
Mark Zooie (sp?) in mock debate

Randy Rubin mock debate - Copy
Randy Rubin in mock debate

Scott Anderson and Glenn Caplin - Copy
Scott Anderson and Glenn Caplin (former Debate captain)

Tripp Frolichstein mock debate - Copy
Tripp Frolichstein in mock debate

At the actual event, many people contributed to a large scrapbook and to the event’s festivities, including an amazing speech by former Missouri state debate champ, Neal Osherow, and an incredible original poem/rap, written and performed by former debater, Steve Levin https://youtu.be/tA5F3XdNcwI, and a mock debate (pictures, above) with many former debaters. So much fun! So much respect, admiration, love, re-connecting.

Mr. Heyde gave a prepared speech (but mostly from his memory!!) of the history of the debate team at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis and that was fascinating. There were many former debaters and Speech competitors there (as I was, having won 4th place at the Missouri state level with my acting partner, Karen Raskin, in Duet Acting!), and students of Mr. Heyde’s. Excellent turnout: many had to be turned away due to fire code restrictions!

Thanks, Ladue Education Foundation organizers, for imagining, creating and hosting this excellent festival!

Here is my letter, sent to Mr. Heyde in 2012 and again in 2015 for this event:


Hi, Mr. Heyde,

I just found out how to contact you and wanted to thank you. You may not remember me, since you have had thousands of students, so let me jog your memory: I was then Sally Fleischmann (Jonathan’s next-younger sister) at Ladue High School (we have 2 younger sibs you may also have taught, Wendy [now, Ellen] and Lauri). I took your Advanced Composition class in 1970-71. I was one of the only students to get a “B+” on a first draft, while most received “D”s and “F”s. So, I suppose I can’t give you credit for ALL of my writing skills and abilities, but please, read on.

Another memory jog: One of the essays written for your class (about game-playing imagery in a short story by William James) was published in that year’s LHS creative writing journal. I then went on to torment Ms. Cannon in the Advanced Placement English class my senior year by never getting less than a “B” on any written paper, while acting up in her class a lot (I did win the vote [along with our class President, Andy Eder] for “Class Clown” in our yearbook’s “Senior Superlatives,” after all…).

Although I had been published, starting as a 4th-grader, in school and camp newsletters, for short stories, articles, poetry and songs, and again as a freshman, in Missouri Youth Writes, for a poem, prior to having your class, I felt that this essay’s being published was my first “adult” placement. As an actual adult, I have had short stories, poetry, articles, nonfiction books, songs and plays published and produced by others, and served as an editor/rewriter/proofreader for many publications.

In 2013, I became a blogger (Sally Ember, Ed.D., http://www.sallyember.com), and a self-published science-fiction author with Volume I, This Changes Everything, of The Spanners Series</strong>; in 2014, I added Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, and I hope to add Volume III, This Is/is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, in 2015 and seven more after that! In 2014, I began hosting my own talk show, conversations between authors, CHANGES, and I often think of you while talking to others about their writing. I also write reviews for Goodreads and Amazon, and while critiquing others’ books, your phrases about what constitutes “good” or “bad” writing often come to mind.

I credit you and want to thank you for modeling for me (and many others, I’m sure) how to teach and inspiring me to teach composition and writing to adolescents and young adults. I went on, after teaching elementary school and middle school language arts, to teach writing: for five summers at Upward Bound; for several years at three community colleges; for five years at two different universities; and, for six years in community education locales, including Corrections Education, in several states. While acquiring my Master’s and doctorate at UMASS/Amherst, I taught writing in Peter Elbow’s peer review process’ domain. I also have had occasional contract work as a researcher/ writer/ editor/ proofreader. I know that your recognition of my writing as “good” (a characterization you did not give out to many pieces) set me on this path.

I think of you often, as a great teacher and someone who inspired me to write more and to teach writing. Even 43 years later, I can picture you perfectly, gesticulating strongly, your necktie blowing about as you passionately enjoined us to become literary critics, not just essay-writers. “Literary criticism” was a foreign concept to me as a junior in high school, until your class. I had learned about symbolism, metaphor and allusion, even how to cite quotations. But, putting it all together analytically, originally, and interestingly? Never even crossed my mind, until you gave us your assignments.

You opened me to a whole new intellectual world. I remember with intense clarity the exact moment when I first “got” what you were trying to convey, and understood (in a very basic way, but still, understood) how to construct a critique. I was astonished. It was as if you had been decrypting a code, helping us to begin using a secret language within English. I really was thrilled to be part of this new “club.”

Yes, I am a geek. I usually read over 250 books a year. Yes; I do. I have, since elementary school, been an avid reader. I was also an athlete: a runner, a cheerleader in 9th grade, a gymnast and field hockey player; also, I am a musician and singer/actor; and, in high school, I was “popular,” including having been elected/selected to that pinnacle for girls in that era, a cheerleader. This is to say to your students that these “identities” are not mutually exclusive: being inducted into the National Honor Society and having lots of friends happily co-exist in many, and I heartily encourage your students to cultivate both their brains and their hearts.You will help them, I’m sure.

I mainly wanted you to know what a great influence and help you were in my professional life, and what warm memories I have of your class. Never think your import was forgotten or unsung, even if we don’t find you to tell you: THANK YOU!

Best to you and your students, past, current and future. Write on!

Take care,

Sally (Fleischmann) Ember, Ed.D.


Do you have a teacher, coach or other mentor you’d like to thank? Start by commenting here and keep on sharing! #thankateacher

Mr Heyde and one student
Mr. Bill Heyde and student, Ladue High School, circa 1970?

#justyournumber and #wherewhatwhowhen

It is with great sadness and anger that I have heard about (and read a few of) the disgusting responses on social media. These remarks have been cruelly and ignorantly denigrating and re-traumatizing sexual assault survivors.

maxresdefault
from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDLVDzaw2vc

I noticed that whatever details a survivor provided, some creeps decided to question, argue, judge or condemn, doubting and despising her for reporting her experiences.

I call BULLSHIT.

bullshit-pile
from http://Canstockphoto.com

Is anyone unclear on this concept? Really?

sa-definition
from Human Response Network

Give them nothing to respond to except a number, I say. Then, where is the argument?

#justyournumber (mine is a countable 46, but decidedly higher) allows survivors to report our sexual assaults, molestations, public exposures, sexual coercions, rapes, and any other kinds of private or public sexual threats, to be counted. No arguing.

Then, I thought, what about locations or one or two salient facts? Let’s provide those lucky enough to have no or low numbers or anyone else who is interested with some context. We need more people to begin to grasp the breadth of the problem.

By the way, when you read my or anyone’s list, imagine trying to “report” these incidents: to whom? with what results?

#justyournumbers is now joined by #wherewhatwhowhen

46
—30+ assaults by “family friends,” teachers and family members, starting at age 5, including a step-uncle who was a teacher. This man assaulted me (at age 10) in his classroom after school while my grandmother and his father (her second husband) were talking in the hallway outside the classroom. Our 6th-grade teacher, Ken Weber (long dead), at Central School in Olivette, Missouri, molested almost every girl in my class whose breasts had begun to develop by “dropping” paper clips, chalk or pencils down the fronts of our blouses and retrieving them with his own hand. As a freshman at the University of Wisconsin/Madison, all the female students were required to strip down to our underwear and pose for “posture pictures” during our Physical Education “exam.” I later found out that these questionably obtained “soft porn” shots were circulated, sold and posted in multiple locations for many decades;

—3 assaults on a bus (2 public exposures and 1 molestation), all while in my pre-teen/teen years. One very large young adult who was one of my “campers” had Down’s Syndrome. When he molested me by trapping me in the aisle of the bus (he was 6′ tall and about 225 pounds to my 5’1″ and 120 pounds) and mashing his hands all over my breasts, the older counselor told me “he couldn’t help it” and not to yell at him, but just to “push him away and go sit down.” This was in 1972 in St. Louis, Missouri;

—2 assaults/maulings while walking in daylight in public spaces on a college campus. One was a teen on a bicycle who grabbed my breast, squeezed hard, laughed and rode away; I was in my 30s. I DID go to the “campus police” who practically laughed and didn’t even write down my report. This was at Yale University in the 1980s (I was there attending a professional conference).

—3 molestations/assaults by employers/supervisors, starting in college and continuing through my young adult years. While working in Food Service in the dorms’ cafeteria as part of my Work-Study financial aid program at the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1972, a supervisor trapped me in the storage area, assaulted and tried to rape me. I managed to kick him in the groin and get away. I never went back to that job and had to find another one;

—3 sexual coercions involving drugs in private homes at parties, by high school peers;

—5 sexual assaults by “dates” (whom I did not date again) who grabbed/fingered me without asking before I even knew they were going to do that, starting in my early twenties and spanning into my late 50s, in cars, private homes, an outdoor party, a beach.

There were also uncountable male psychopaths, strangers who felt entitled to engage in assaults on my body via random ass-grabbing, “accidental brush-bys” and other groping and sexual attacks, including making kissing or sucking sounds, while I rode on public transportation vehicles or stood in waiting areas and hallways in various USA cities, throughout my teen and young adult years.

Some jerks repeatedly yell out horrible, horrendous street harassment comments, known unaffectionately as “cat-calls,” most accompanied by graphic gestures, pseudo-sexual sound-effects along with vulgar and completely offensive language whenever any female happens to be in sight of them by being on a sidewalk or an urban construction site’s walkway. These are also too numerous to track, occurring throughout my life until quite recently (I am now 62).

wednesday-asking-about-cat-calls
from https://dev.theodysseyonline.com/when-the-cat-calls-dont-answer

Send respect, healing, caring and compassion to all survivors and shut the disrespectful morons up completely.

Add your stories or number or both on your social media of choice: #justyournumber and #wherewhatwhowhen

Yizkor is the Memorial Service Recited 4x/year during #Jewish Holiday Services

Yizkor is the Memorial Service recited four times each year during #Jewish Holiday Services and it happens this week for Yom Kippur.

Want to learn more? “My Jewish Learning” is a great website for the curious or Jewish-estranged/ignorant: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/yizkor-the-memorial-service/

Many people light a special, 24-hours-burning yahrzeit candle each year to commemorate the anniversary of a loved one’s death and most Jewish people light one tonight, the Eruv (evening before) Yom Kippur.

yahrzeit-candle

I have not been a practicing Jew for over 45 years, but almost every tradition and religion has ceremonies to honor the dead at least once every year.

In the Nyingma Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhist I am a a part of, we do a daily practice (puja) that includes prayers for the recently deceased (“recently” means anyone who departed within the last 49 days, which has special meaning for Buddhists) and an annual practice for all who have ever died whose karma we pray to improve, during an extended set of prayers and commemorations (a Drubchen). Want to know more? Red Tara (Jetsunma) is the daily puja sadhana (text) and Red Vajrasattva is the Drubchen‘s practice referred to, here. Here is my spiritual community’s (sangha‘s) website, which has a lot of information, including a link to its bookstore, Tibetan Treasures: http://chagdudgonpa.org/

For whatever reasons, maybe because my step-uncle, Jerry Leavitt, died somewhat suddenly (but he was 90 years old…) last week, this week I am especially moved to remember all those I/we have lost, who have passed “too soon” or even those who have had a “good, long life.”


Meg Christian’s beautiful memorial song, “The Ones Who Aren’t Here,” is at 19:45 on this wonderful concert recording from 1983, “Meg & Cris at Carnegie Hall.” Tears and memories abound.

I “recite” some of their names, here. May their memories be a blessing. A”h, z”l, and zt”l

A”h is short for alav/aleha hashalom, which means ‘peace be upon him/her.’ Alternately, z”l stands for zikhrono/zikhronah livrakha, meaning ‘May his/her memory be a blessing,’ and zt”l stands for zekher tzadik livrakhah ‘May the memory of this righteous one be a blessing.'” (From the above “My Jewish Learning” website.)

Passed during high school or college years, from Horton Watkins High School, Ladue, Missouri, USA, in the 1970s:
Jim Haller (motorcycle accident, 1971)
Barbie Dietchmann (cancer, 1988)
Alan Bierman (car accident, 1970)
Lisa Brie (car accident, 1970)(and 2 more I didn’t know, killed in the same car accident as Lisa and Alan)
Barbie Korman (cancer, 1970)
Ellis Markman (a distant cousin of ours and from my class; accident/drug overdose)
Gary Fonarow (heart attack)

Passed later, but “too soon,” from my graduating class or the one before mine (my older brother, Jon’s, class), from Horton Watkins High School, Ladue, Missouri, USA:
Debbie Kean (the sister of two dear Camp Hawthorn counselors; Mike passed before she did)
Elice (Liccey) Bierman (Alan’s sister, friend from Camp Hawthorn and school)
David Ross (my first high school boyfriend)
Jeff Gall (a cousin of my sister, Lauri’s, husband, and in my class)
Joel Roufa (the only kid who punched me in the stomach in grade school)

Passed friends and teachers, taken “too soon,” from the 1970s – 2000’s:
Joan Levinson (the person who most supported and inspired me to get my advanced degrees) (cancer)
Mary Buren (one of my first New Hampshire friends) (cancer)
Marcia Watermolen (my son, Merlyn’s, first Waldorf teacher) (cancer)
David Taylor (fellow actor and star of plays I helped direct; taken by AIDs, in the 1980s)
Cynthia Toth (former housemate, sangha member, friend, my age) (cancer)
Russell Wilfand (one of my best friends at the time of his untimely and sudden death, December, 2007) (stroke)
Jaye Alper (long-time friend and “sister”, of kidney disease, then cancer, April, 2012)
Martha Alsup and Susan Galvin (murdered while on vacation, in their late 30’s)
Iris Markman (Ellis’ mother, theatre/dance teacher at Ladue, also distant cousin of ours; cancer)
“Papa” Joe Richardson (chorus teacher at Ladue; cancer)

Family:
Great-grandparents, great aunts/uncles, aunts/uncles and grandparents, cousins (the ones I knew) , and my father, Ira Fleischmann
“Les” (Sylvester) Harris (stepfather)
“Mama” Sarah Epstein Klein and “Papa” Samuel Klein
Mildred “Mimi” Klein Cytron Bright
Stanley Cytron
William Grosblatt and Agnes Pickle Grosblatt
Bea Grosblatt
Samuel Fleischmann and “Yetta” (Gertrude) Grosblatt Fleischmann
Ben Fleischmann and Ruth Fleischmann
Janice Cytron Rosen and Milton Rosen
Melissa “Missy” Rosen and Lisa Rosen
Nancy Fleischmann Levin
Ethel Klein Trost, Florence Klein Switow, Harry, Jimmy and Eddie Klein
Naomi Leonson Wagner

Family Friends, “Aunts” and “Uncles,” and Friends’ Children:
Margie Klearman
Betty Hoffman
Karky Gitlin and Maury Gitlin
Ed Sorg
Aram Gurian
Max Bassinson
Isabell Schwerin-Whyte
Emily Weiss
Harvey Mizes

My First Buddhist Teacher and the Teacher of my Teachers, His Excellence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

If I have inadvertently forgotten anyone, please add/include them and forgive my poor memory.

HUGS to all who have lost someone recently or who miss them, still.

lit-candles

10/2-10/11/16: 10Q: Reflect. React. Renew.: “Life’s Biggest Questions. Answered By You.”

You don’t have to be Jewish or celebrate #Jewish High Holy Days (Rosh Hashona, Jewish New Year’s, and Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement”) to want to spend some time considering your life and your goals/accomplishments each year. I was raised Jewish, but I am a practicing #Buddhist.

It’s free!

10Q: Reflect. React. Renew.: “Life’s Biggest Questions. Answered By You.”

The title and all the info, below, come from the 10Q site. Visit! Sign up! Do it!
http://doyou10q.com/

10 Days. 10 Questions.
10-q-logo

Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping.

One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection.

Want to keep them secret? Perfect. Want to share them, either anonymously or with attribution, with the wider 10Q community? You can do that, too.

Next year the whole process begins again. And the year after that, and the year after that.

Do you 10Q? You should.

doyou10q

Click hereto get your 10Q on.

10Q begins October 2nd, 2016

http://doyou10q.com/


Here are some of mine from 2015 and 2014:
2015

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

Your Answer:

I was able to reconnect with my meditation practice in March & May and again in early Sept. through instruction and connection with my spiritual teacher, Lama Drimed, after many false starts, attempts, painful absences and confusions as well as hurt feelings on my part.

So happy about all that!

Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Your Answer:

The upholding of Marriage Equality laws and the enforcing of them across the USA and in other countries feels like a giant victory.

Looser laws, releasing noncriminals from prison when their only “crime” is possession of marijuana, and eventual legalization of marijuana/cannabis use across the USA and other countries also seem imminent, due to the vast success (economic and social) of those places in which it is already legal and those changes have already occurred; another set of great victories.

I appreciate the egalitarians’ winning. I appreciate common sense’s prevailing. I appreciate nondiscrimination’s being enforced. Feels right and good.

Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Your Answer:

Due to a TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury] in April, 2014, I went from not being able to meditate for almost one year (after meditating consistently for over 42 years) to restoring my practice, slowly, bit by bit. Very grateful to my spiritual teacher, sangha and good fortune that this has been possible.

Returning to my practice is like coming home.

How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

Your Answer:

My meditation teacher reminded me that meditation practice in our tradition comes from our heart center, not our brain area. The Tibetans use a term that means “heart-mind” when talking about the mind.

My wish to improve myself and my practice is to keep it centered in my heart. “Meditation: it’s not what you think.”

2014
Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Your Answer:

Many science discoveries: proof of the multiverse, ability to teleport particles, invention of pre-tractor beam technology, getting paralyzed rats and others to walk, moving limbs and other things with just the mind: so much!

Very exciting, and all goes into research I use for The Spanners Series books!

What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

Your Answer:

Fear getting more unhealthy instead of more healthy over the next several years. Fear not getting my full meditation practice/brain function restored. Fear being unconnected to community/friends, no lover, no one close to me where I live.
Plan to keep exercising, eating better, reaching out to Buddhist and other groups (writers, Jews, work) to make friends.
Plan to stay in touch with my teacher.

What are your predictions for 2015?

Your Answer:

Movement toward reducing and ending full-impact football, hockey, etc. (headers in soccer, e.g.), in youth and college sports.

More states’ legalizing marijuana.

More states’ ratifying gay marriage.

Proof of alien life on other planets.

New job report, 2 days in…

New job report, 2 days in…

HiSET FEATHER

FYI: rolling registration for “Doors to Success” High School Equivalency (HSE) “HiSET” (no longer called the G.E.D. in Missouri) exams preparation, academic skills improvement and life/jobs skills program for youth ages 17 – 23, in both Maplewood (mornings) and Hazelwood/Spanish Lake (mornings and afternoons), in St. Louis County, Missouri, USA, throughout the year! 314-415-4940 for more information and to sign up for an Orientation (occurring about twice/month). Also, Parkway area AEL has regular Adult Education and English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes year-round, too, in dozens of locations around the County.

1) role-played and coached a student on her first job interview (will find out today how she think the actual interview went);

2) explained to a student studying history what economic and social classes are, what defines them and how they impact politics as well as which groups were denied the vote in the USA and for how long;

3) collaborated with a student to choose her assignment topics for critical reading and vocabulary building and she chose to include a story about Uri Geller (friends, family members and readers of The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D., Volume I, This Changes Everything, know why that is funny);

4) figured out how to and did “open” the space for the afternoon session (not uncomplicated);

5) went over pre-testing and class assignment results with two students and explained/discussed which questions were actually “wrong” because they didn’t know the answer and which were “I read it too fast or not carefully” issues;

6) explained to three students how test-makers try to trick test-takers and how not to be fooled;

7) when asked “What were things like for you when you were 17?” related the story of my taking several hours off from school to sit in our dad’s car and listen to the radio in the school parking lot, waiting to hear what lottery draft number was going to be assigned randomly to my one-year-older-than-I brother and my then-boyfriend. Told her how I sat there, alone, crying and praying they would get a high number, meaning, they would not be drafted for the war in Vietnam.

the-vietnam-war-13-728

I explained how that was horrifying because others I knew would and did get drafted. Got teary telling her what a scary, terrible time that was for all the boys and people who loved them.

She was very quiet and got teary, too, and then said; “I meant, what music did you listen to?” We laughed.

All in all, a good two days! Thanks, Parkway Area Adult Education and Literacy, for including me in your teaching staff for “Doors to Success”!

AEL logo real

P.S.: #7 reminded me (a little too late…) of an incident that happened to my dear friend and fellow parent, Bill Whyte (Badger Bill), with his daughter, Emily Schwerin-Whyte, when she was about four years old in the early 1980s.
Emily asked her father, a renowned expert on visualization, stress management, relaxation and such: “Daddy? What is ‘stress’?”
Bill, in his best fatherly voice, was about to launch into an explanation of stress fit for a 4-year-old when he has the perspicacity to ask: “What do you mean, Emily?”
She answered: “Oh, you know: like ‘seamstress.'”
He said that he blew out a long breath and was relieved that he hadn’t burdened his pre-schooler with his prepared, long, drawn-out explanation that she hadn’t really requested….

I should have remembered that!

Patriotism Kills: 50 Reasons Why and When I Stopped Being “Patriotic”

Patriotism Kills: 50 Reasons Why and When I Stopped Being “Patriotic”

I was born and raised here in the midwest USA. My grandparents were all born in this country (in Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri), My great-grandparents immigrated here to escape discrimination, pogroms and other ongoing (endlessly ongoing) European persecution of Jews to come to the USA in the late 1800s.

I feel grateful that my ancestors, four of whom I knew as a child, were allowed to enter this country. Being here as a “native” gave me many of the privileges of a white, educated Jewish girl born in 1954.

Why and when did I stop being “patriotic” (ever notice how that rhymes with “idiotic”)? I get teary when Barbra Streisand sings “America, the Beautiful” because I want to feel good about being an American. But, I cannot and have not since 1967.

My conclusion then and only strengthened since then: Patriotism kills.

Here are the first 50 reasons I cannot be patriotic as a USA citizen.

oscar-wilde-patriotism-quotes-patriotism-is-the-virtue-of-the

1) Because Richard Nixon. Nixon and his gang of criminals began to do their dirty work when I was 13 and he resigned in the middle of my undergrad college years. How could I grow up “patriotic” after that?

2) Because Vietnam and all wars. Since World War II—which the USA entered far too late and then did more damage than good in Japan—the USA has had NO BUSINESS being in ANY wars, anywhere, yet we have not had even 2 years without being involved in “military actions.” Disgusting.

Bertrand Russell patriotism

3) Because JFK. He was an over-privileged, drug-addicted, adulterous war-monger who has been glorified beyond belief after his death.

4) Because MLK, Jr. A great leader, murdered.

MLK mug shot

5) Because Malcolm X. Another great leader, murdered.

malcolm X

6) Because Karen Silkwood. Another great leader, murdered.

7) Because the ERA. The defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (remember that, anyone?)

8) Because government dysfunction and greed. The bought-out FDA and the bribed EPA and the absurdly stupid Dept of Education and the bribed, lying and bought-out Dept of Energy and all the other “cabinet” and “government” departments that do the OPPOSITES of their stated jobs.

9) Because slavery. Should never have and still exists: check out today’s private prisons.

10) Because racism. Is worse than ever in many places and we export it.

11) Because health care. Still no national health care with universal payer for everyone.

12) Because maternal and infant mortality Rates are too high.

13) Because most school lunches. Are horrible.

14) Because deception by government. The “wars” on poverty, drugs, terrorism and whatever else made everything 100 times worse.

15) Because broken promises. Too many to list.

16) Because dishonorable leaders. Many leaders (elected, appointed and volunteer) lie. Then, they personally and financially benefit, and so do their cronies, families and friends.

John Irving on patriotism

17) Because Monica Lewinsky. Sex is sex. Lying is lying.

18) Because Vince Foster. Murdered by greed, political gain and selfishness.

19) Because veterans. I see too many body bags, amputees and PTSD sufferers from wars that enrich only a few and do nothing good for anyone else, ever. Enlistees and draftees are constantly lied to so that impoverished/uneducated people (mostly Black and Latino) are shamed and machismo-ed into serving.

20) Because secularism. “God” should never have been added to our money, Pledge of Allegiance and other statements, and public meetings should NOT open with “prayers.”

21) Because Christians. Many still insist that this is a “Christian” nation. Christmas and New Year’s Day are national holidays but no other religion’s holy days have those designations in the USA.

22) Because the military-industrial takeover of the world. Led by USA-owned companies and military.

RoyOnNationalism

23) Because Guantanamo. Never helped, never should have existed, and still does.

24) Because Leonard Pelletier Should never have been and is still in prison.

25) Because UC Berkeley. All the protesters are/were RIGHT.

26) Because Lawrence Livermore Labs. Bombs. More bombs.

27) Because Monsanto, Dow, Dupont. Liars, polluters, killers.

28) Because union-busting. Should never have been made legal.

29) Because coal mine owners. Kill miners daily.

30) Because nuclear power plants. Never were and still aren’t safe.

nuclear power
image from http://kractivist.wordpress.com

31) Because transit. We waited over 50 years to have electric and solar cars and they’re still not prevalent. Mass transit in most areas is non-existent or insufficient.

32) Because bees and food. We never needed or should have allowed our land and food to be poisoned. (see Monsanto, etc.)

33) Because Planned Parenthood. Constantly being targeted for doing GOOD.

34) Because health. Autism and cancers are on the rise (see Monsanto, etc.). Vaccinations do kill and maim children and many are ineffective at prevention as well.

35) Because big pharma and others lied. Especially about marijuana and tobacco. Cures exist for cancer but we aren’t provided them. We are overcharged for ALL medications.

36) Because inequality. I grew up in Missouri under “Jim Crow” racist segregation and inequality/discrimination laws. That we have to have civil rights’, gay rights’, disability rights’, sexual harassment cases, domestic violence shelters, rape shield and other “movements” to get common decency in this country to be legalized and people STILL don’t adhere to the laws is terrible.

37) Because sexism. Still everywhere. Must have feminism.

3 waves of feminism

38) Because the children and youth. Child abuse and rape, incest and child molestation horrors in addition to murders perpetrated by teachers, parents, step- and foster parents, group home and youth detention center staff, religious leaders and politicians that are STILL being uncovered/discovered even though MANY knew about each and every incident. Runaways are almost always first abused, then become criminalized/imprisoned youth.

39) Because the environment. This country has many beautiful places that are being ruined by greed, selfishness and short-sightedness.

40) Because Native Americans.If you need me to explain, you’re on the wrong blog.

41) Because Election Fraud in the last five presidential and who knows how many other elections and especially during this current primary season.

42) Because Dick Cheney. If you need me to explain, you’re on the wrong blog, still.

43) Because Clarence Thomas. How was he ever and still on the Supreme Court?

44) Because Anita Hill. We all should have believed her. I did.

Anita_Hill

45) Because Dr. Jocelyn Elders. She was right. About everything, especially how healthy it is to masturbate and that abstinence-only “sex ed” is not “education” and does not work.

46) Because Bill Cosby. People are still protecting this monster.

47) Because freedom. The USA had such great promise and potential and has squandered almost all of it.

48) Because Nestle’s. Still killing children worldwide by promoting feeding infants formula over breastfeeding.

49) Because Palestine. USA is on the wrong side of this one, too. MUST be a two-state solution, but can’t negotiate with terrorists. Trouble is, they’re ALL terrorists, now.

50) Because 9/11. Was not what we’ve been told. First responders are dying/have died and money “for them” has not reached them or their families. Bush’s planes flew Bin Laden’s family out of the USA. Trade Towers did not fall due only to being hit by one airplane each. The lies go on and on.

9-11 is a fraud
from http://www.bollyn.com

Remember: DISSENT is patriotism at its best.

Dissent is patriotic

Should Clara send this letter to Epifanio as is, edited (how?), or at all?

Should Clara send this letter to Epifanio as is, edited (how?), or at all?

Seeking #readers’ opinions, please.

logoAuthorsDen

NOTES: Since the ebook of Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, is perma-FREE, and the paperback is 25% off for July, please read Vol. I before offering your ideas!

Also, Vol. II and III ebooks are only $1 and are also 25% off the paperbacks right now! Best is to read them ALL before commenting!

3 paperbacks

Coupon codes for 25% off discount on CreateSpace paperbacks is in previous blog post: http://www.sallyember.com/blog 7/1/16.

For more info about The Spanners Series: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners

REVIEWERS always are provided coupons to get my ebooks for free. Contact me: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com if you want review copies.

Thanks!


Below, the letter in question. When it’s finalized, this letter goes into Volume V, Spanning the Transformative Years: The Interstitial Changes, of The Spanners Series, featuring the on-again, off-again love relationship between Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator/liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective, and Epifanio Dang, artist, writer, musician, dancer, both in their late 60s by this time.

Currently (July, 2016) I am two-thirds finished with Volume IV, Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude, and beginning Volume V.


Dear Epifanio,

I don’t write you a letter for a while, in this timeline. When I wait so long, what I have to say to you accumulates uncomfortably.

Like plaque or tartar on my teeth, the questions, emotions and thoughts I feel moved to share with you begin to feel more like an interference with my normal digestion of daily life. This all must be removed by cleaning out my psychological mouth and putting what’s inside onto some document.

Unlike the metaphorical build-up, however, these words don’t “go down the drain” when I “rinse and spit,” especially when I don’t send the letters. I plan to send this one.

Or, do they?

Do you actually read my letters, in their entirety? I don’t get much of a response, or any at all, usually.

I’m going to assume you are reading and responding to this one. It comforts me to view our communication as if it were completely mutual.

I love you. I miss you. I miss us.

I believe you love me even though, in this and many timelines at this and “later” points, you don’t seem to know or believe that. Or, you say you love me as a friend, as family.

You also say I irritate you. Mostly, you avoid me.

Or, we’re in love, we are living together, we are partnered/married, and very happy.

Not today.

Once again, I’m trying to find out why we are not together “today,” to see if I can move the needle of our relationship’s direction closer to my understanding of “true north.”

Here are my concerns and questions. I start, usually, at this point in our estrangement, with creating a progression, of sorts, that attempts to discover how hopeless my wishes for our closeness and/or reconciliation are.

First, the deal-breakers:
Am I physically repulsive to you? Is that the major issue?
Does the thought of our being intimate (e.g., kissing and more) make you want to vomit? Does the idea of confiding in me and my knowing your secrets make your skin crawl?
I recognize that if your answer to even one of the above questions is “yes,” there is no hope. I know what it’s like to feel that way about someone and it doesn’t change much.
If you would please tell me that now, it helps me a lot. When I know you can’t even stomach being near me, I am then able to figure out a way to surrender my wishes, to believe firmly that our closeness is impossible.

Next, the inconsistencies:
Do you want us “together,” as friends, at least?
I know you enjoy being with me some of the time. You prolong our talking together on several occasions, by more than an hour or two, sometimes.
How do you seemingly want me around you so much and then not be in touch at all most of the time?

Third, the reasons:
Why do you want to keep yourself separate?
In what way does our being separate achieve whatever you want to avoid, protect, defend or prevent? What are the outcomes you’re attempting to circumvent?
Why are you so certain these are potential threats? How do you know these are possible, much less likely, results of being closer to me?

Fourth, the mysteries:
What scares you? Why do you fling yourself away from me every time we do get closer? How do your fears involve me, exactly?
How are you sure you’re afraid of me?

Finally, the clincher:
How do you know our seeming future?
Since you tell me you can’t timult—don’t know your own or anyone else’s current or alternate timelines, potential karma, destiny/fate—why do you claim that you and I don’t ever have that kind of relationship?
Why do you believe that?
Why should I believe you?

What if…
— your fears are unfounded;
— you’re not repulsed by me (in fact, you’re often attracted to me; I can feel it);
— your predictions are flawed; and
— your negative beliefs about our being closer are all unwarranted?

We laugh together, we have the same core values and a lot of other important aspects in common. We’re almost the same age. We don’t intimidate each other. We don’t need each other to be different than who we are, yet we are wanting and seeking the challenge and support to improve continually from an intimate partner.

Unlike many of our previous partners, neither of us is depressed, too young, wanting to have children or going back to school and moving away. We usually enjoy each other enormously (when you are “with” me).

Please: open your heart/mind and spend some time with me to find out how we are together before deciding we are a “bad idea”?

If you do that and we aren’t compatible, we’ll both know it. It is obvious. I then can surrender my hopes and beliefs. I promise.

If you do that and we are great together, I promise not to say “I told you so” more than once a year.

Offering you my love in every timeline,

Clara


Readers, write to me with your comments on this potential communication. Please send your reactions, suggestions, edits, ridicule, sympathy, empathy and more to http://www.sallyember.com/blog .