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Ariana Osborne

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So this is happening: I have been the Busiest Bee the past month, setting up the newest branch of Oregon's SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) literacy program at my local elementary school. And because we live some portion of our lives on the internet, of course I'm going to blog about it. 

Well, in a bit. Right now, there's not much on the page -- I'm still spending more time on-site than off, so there's really just a frame up, so far. But over the course of the program year, I'm going to be talking about books and kids and reading and volunteering and running a non-profit site. If any of that is relevant to your interests, go ahead and add the new James John School SMART G+ page to your circles, and share the link around if you like!

(I don't know that the SMART program has any other presence on google -- the main office have FB and Twitter accounts -- so I may be blogging out here all by my lonesome. At any rate, this is not going to look very much like a corporate blog, so no need to worry that I'll be spamming up your feed or anything.)

Right, so -- I've got to get back to work, but click the link, add the page, and I'll see you over there, yeah?

It occurs to me that nobody on the internet is going to understand my new job. See, I'm the new on-site coordinator for a reading program at my local elementary school, and so far you're probably with me -- but wait.

Because my program doesn't target the students that are highly advanced. There are already programs in place to grab the gifted kids and give them something extra to keep them from getting bored. And we aren't really there for the kids that are falling way behind, either. There are tutoring, ESL, other support classes and programs that (hopefully) net those kids and give them the extra tools they need to catch up.

Since half of the people on the internet were gifted children, and/or have gifted children, there's half of you that won't really get what I'm doing. And the other half of the vocal online majority overcame special and unique roadblocks to learning in their youth, and/or are figuring out those challenges with kids of their own, now.

So what the heck am I doing you may (are probably going to) ask? You may possibly have heard of children that are, you know, pretty normal. They're right in the decent grade averages, they're fine, they're going to BE fine -- but they don't really care too much about reading. There are kids in the world -- and I've been around the internet so I know it's no one HERE -- but there are kids out there that don't really see what's so cool about books. They don't hate 'em, they just don't CARE. No one in the house loves to read, or all they see is book = homework, the stuff in class is pretty boring, books aren't as neat as TV... you may not know this, but there are kids in the world that are (or could be) perfectly capable of reading, and have no idea why they would want to.

But this year, those kids are gonna meet me, and a bunch of local volunteers -- and we're gonna show 'em that books aren't just for special kids. It's my hope that, in twenty years, the internet will be completely ruined by all of the perfectly average folks finding their way here because they've learned to love the same things that the eSnowflakes do.

Because I like to ruin everything.

I'm basically the worst.

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I think it's about time for this to go back around, isn't it? It's going to be that sort of week, I think.

So, I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop. It will be a decade old at the beginning of next year. A DECADE. And I still use this Monster pretty much every day. It's not like it sits on a shelf for emergencies, no no.

Anyway, I've cleaned the fan, um, once (that was horrific), but when it gets loud, I can smack it and it quiets down (like a good old car). I replaced the battery twice before I decided, eh, whatever I'll just leave it plugged in. I've also replaced the keyboard twice, but the last time I got a keyboard that was just sliightly off for this model, and I had to snip off a few bits to get it in. And it weighs just about a ton. Okay, fine, it weighs 6.6(6) pounds. Same thing, in portable computing. And its operating system is no longer supported by Windows. It's basically the best.

And then... at the beginning of the month... it wouldn't turn ON.

If you don't understand why I cradled its lifeless body saying "no no no no come on honey you can do it" for a good long while, then you don't know me at all.

But then I remembered that I am a goddamned mechanic, and QUICK! TO THE EBAYS!

There, I found a $20 for-parts Dell Inspiron 6000 with a broken monitor, no memory, hard drive, or battery -- but that WOULD blink the bios when plugged into life support.


Because, if I was very lucky, my poor lifeless beast DID have a working monitor, memory, hard drive, and... well,  like I said -- eh, whatever, about the battery.

I have just performed major transplant surgery, and I am happy to report that I am typing this post on my almost 10yo laptop. IT LIVES. I HAD THE TECHNOLOGY. The spinal cord transplant was, in fact, a success.


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Every damned night, no matter how early I have to get up the next morning.

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X-posting a comment I just made elsewhere on a thread about TRIGGER WARNINGS.

I am allergic to onions. 

This is not a metaphor.

I really actually do have a relatively mild physical allergy to onions. My throat gets scratchy, and my stomach often gets a bit upset. The latter is, in part, because of my own body's saliva and acid reactions to the allergic reaction. And, because I have had this allergy my whole life, there is also a mental aspect to it: before I even put an onion in my body, on the occasions that I decide it's worth it to just have a little bit -- I am, after all, a pretty tough chick that can handle a bit of a sore throat -- if I think about eating onions, I will get the ghost of the feeling I'm setting myself up for.

Here's where it gets weird. NO ONE has EVER said to me: "Well, you know, there are drugs that will head off your physical allergic reaction, and you can practice some CBT to learn to ignore the mental conditioning you've built up over the years. You shouldn't avoid onions. You should just deal with the physical and mental symptoms like a healthy person."

NO ONE has ever said that. Because that is fucking stupid. What they do, instead, when I say "hey, can you warn me if you cook with onions, because I know my allergy isn't as wide-spread as, say, a peanut allergy, so you may not know to warn me about it" is they tell me if there's onions in the food and then leave the choice to eat it up to me. If I did have an allergy that us so widespread that you probably know someone that has it -- again, say peanuts -- they'd go ahead and warn ON the menu/package. 

Because we get, we apparently DO have the basic ability to understand that sometimes the human body reacts in ways that aren't "normal/healthy" to ingredients. We don't have a problem with that concept. Some people find ways to fix that, some people find other ways to deal. We get that. It's totally fine. Our FDA have worked out a warning system for food that was even prepared near those ingredients. We're good.

But, dude, if there's an emotional/mental concept that causes an equally large portion of the population discomfort? Well that's just weird and they need to get help and get over it. Because we can't go warning folks about word ingredients. That's just some PC bullshit.

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It's prrrrrobably time to split this hive, before it gets taller than I am. Or maybe not, bees can have high-rise hives, too.

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