Is it an age thing?
These past few months have been tough. I feel like the world around me is just going crazy- forcing me to do a lot of reflecting about my beliefs and how they have been formed. Two events recently smacked me up side the head that really had me feeling old. I attended the TIES conference in the cities in December. I rode with our new IT guy one of the days. We had some good conversation about our technology and how it is being used in our district. It was interesting listening to his views as he was coming from a business setting just a few months before. We started talking about coding in the classroom and he made a comment along the lines of “I had coding classes when I was in school- and that was in 2006.” And I’m thinking, hmm, that’s not all that long ago. And then another thought crossed my mind. He is the same age as my son! Yikes- I’m old.
The next day I was riding home form the conference with one of our energetic, new science teachers. We had fun reflecting on our learning, talking about the students and how things were going in our classes. Somehow the conversation steered to the election, and Donald Trump winning. She had made a comment about not feeling super strongly about either of the choices. I couldn’t help it. I had to get on my soap box. I understand there are people who hate the name Clinton and all it stands for. But I am the product of a girl growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember being told “You are a girl, you should go play with your dolls.” when I wanted to be outside shooting off model rockets with my brothers. Or, “Girls belong in the kitchen.” In high school I remember my physics class very clearly. Our teacher was an older guy and he would hand out worksheets, give us texts books and have us try and figure out the problems. I sat toward the back of the room with a few of my (guy) friends. When we got stuck, we would take turns going up to the teacher and ask for help. We quickly figured out that the teacher would make the guys work out every step of the problem with just a little guidance. When I asked, he would say “Well, my little buttercup…” and then proceed to write the problem out along with the answer. I can go on and on about numerous times I was treated differently growing up because I was a girl. I watched women entering the workforce and wanting to be treated equal to men. They would wear suits that were cut similar to men’s suits and replace the necktie with a scarf or something else just as uncomfortable. As I got older and entered the work force I continued to experience sexism. Which brings me back to my age hang up. This young teacher grew up in a time where she was treated the same as boys. There were female role models for her in all types of sports and leadership positions. She hadn’t experienced the sexism first hand. When I shared with her how I struggle to understand how females can accept such a sexist, degrading man as our president-elect. It gave her food for thought and she did agree she didn’t have first had experience, but she remembered a time when her mom had experienced it in her workplace. She could see my point of view.
There it is again, another of my co-workers is the same age as my own boys.
I’m getting too old for this.
Fast forward 5 weeks. A new year, a new president, and way too many executive orders that will impact way to many people. I feel for the people who are being targeted. Women, LGBT community, immigrants. I feel for the folks in the military, especially the ones already over seas, who I think are going to become targets after the public statements our president has made. I’m hoping, really truly hoping our congress will stand up to the bullying, take the lead and send our country in a better direction than the president is leading us. And I really hope, all the folks who had the energy to march in whatever location they could continue to build the momentum. Continue to reach out to the congress and hold them accountable. And, use the voting booth during the next election to make the change we need to see.