Posted in Christmas 2012, Coffee

Christmas Eve Morning Coffee Musings…

Coffee cup with steamI need to vent.

First, over night there was another drunk driving fatality.  Really, is it so difficult to call a cab? A friend? NOT GET DRUNK AND DRIVE???  It doesn’t just impact the family of the victim.  And by the way “victim” I use loosely as if you drove drunk and wrecked that is rather self imposed.  I prefer reckless fool to victim.  Word is out that he was in fact drunk, was verbally reported on the news.  There is a family that now for Christmas Eve morning is being told that someone isn’t going to be there to open his gifts this year.  But the impact doesn’t stop there.  Police officers and fire/rescue personnel will carry those images home with them today.  If you think it doesn’t bother them you are nuts.  And please don’t tell me that they should get a different job, it would eat at the heart and mind of the Grinch himself.  Then the lucky officer who had to go ring someone’s doorbell in the wee hours this morning to share the “good news” with the loved ones of the 24 year old deceased, he or she will carry that with them through the holiday as well, the shock, grief etc. of that family.  The only good is that he only took out himself.

Yesterday in the wee hours, a family headed to visit relatives for Christmas was forever changed when a drunk driver going the wrong way on the highway hit them head on. He is dead, his 7 year old is dead, and in the other vehicle the parents are dead and some of their children are in the hospital with life threatening injuries.  All dead, so many grieving, and all because someone was not responsible enough to get a designated driver.

Yes, I’ve been one of those drivers in my life, and thankfully never hurt myself or anyone else.  Things like this remind me that it just is NOT worth it.

On to better things.  Sorry just had to vent for a minute.

I am not ready for Christmas, I have a few things to finish up here today.  But despite being dead broke and no money, I’m happier than I have been in years.  I have my family, my health, and finished classes and got certified to work as a nurse aide.  I have the love of a bunch of awesome, quirky, slightly off balance and dysfunctional family and friends.

On Wednesday my 2nd grandchild will make his entrance into this world and the huge family (on his mommy and daddy’s sides) that already love that little man more than we can all begin to say.

In this year I’ve gained a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, and before it ends a grandson.  So much love to go around, something money cannot buy to put under my tree.  Lives that make mine so full of joy and laughter.

Maybe that is why those stories make me so mad…I know how precious life is, and what a gift filled holiday this is simply because of who touches my life, and how I’d feel if one of those priceless treasures was torn from my world because of stupidity.

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Posted in Miscellaneous Stuff

Role Models And Freedom Of Speech

One of the  Diva Den has encountered what happens when you exercise your right to free speech, and learned that sometimes that freedom of expression comes  with a price, or consequences.

My niece attends a local vocational high school and as a senior this year she was asked to participate in Junior Day.  She’d be helping out with basically orienting the junior class coming in as to how things operate and what is acceptable and not acceptable.  One thing had to do with attire.  She was asked to dress in an inappropriate manner to show  as the example  of what is not going to be tolerated in fashion when at school.  She has a Twitter account and posted a tweet referencing the  teacher that  asked and saying she  had been asked to dress like a slut.  Could she have chosen better words and left out the teacher’s name? Certainly.  But she invoked her freedom of expression and it cost her, the price: she isn’t allowed to participate in Junior Day and she was called to the principle’s office to remove the tweet.

Seems the school, in a district that has to  keep cutting the budget, can afford to hire people to monitor student’s  Facebooks, Twitter accounts etc looking for derogatory remarks about  teachers, other students and the schools.  Yes,  when they cannot afford TEACHERS to instruct students, they PAY people  to hunt down and watch students PERSONAL accounts for negative commentary.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize that  Human Resource  departments in 75%  of companies or more, are doing the same thing with employees.  They also hire and fire  based on the type of person you are deemed to be based on what is seen on your Facebook etc.  Good time to reconsider those drunken debauchery photos you posted last week from that blow out party.

No  one is denying freedom to express oneself, but keep in mind there can be a price for that.  Much can be  learned about people by what they post  in their social media outlets.  In an economy where jobs are scarce it might be wise to really look at the image you give of yourself.

Now, I do not like what happened to my niece, but I can see the other side of this issue as well.

How many times have we been up in arms over a sports figure that goes bad and gets arrested,  Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with who know  how many women, Lindsay Lohan and Paris  Hilton get DUI’s, and we’re all upset because by golly they are role models! What kind of image does this portray to our children of what is acceptable?  Never mind that they maybe didn’t sign up to be a role model, they are in the public eye, and therefore examples and should behave, right?  They should have thought about privacy before they moved into the lime light, with it goes a certain expected amount of responsibility.

SO, is being a representative of your high school to incoming students really any different?  Chosen  to participate, and accepting that role, one accepts a leadership position and with it becomes a role model of sorts.  Are you then not  held to a higher standard of expectation?  Is it  okay to speak negatively or behave in a way that is unbecoming if  you are representing your school? Or your program at school?  As the representative you are observed not only by current students and faculty, but future students as well.  Your words and actions on a public forum represent a product, the school.  Even if it is personal, if you make something public, it reflects you, and as a representative of your school, it reflects on them.

Major corporations remove celebrities or  others (some become celebrities by being the spokesperson, remember the Dell  guy that we all loved, Dude, you’re getting a Dell, that later was busted for pot and dropped?  The companies and products being endorsed want a clean cut, positive image.  We as consumers are not at all upset and in fact most of the time  totally back the dropping of a celebrity endorsement if they fail to live up to expectations of the role model.

I completely understand my niece being upset with those  in charge for removing her from the role.  I also completely understand the school  doing what they felt best to keep a particular image.  And as far as those hired to do just this, monitor the students on public forums, are we really upset about the money spent or the fact that someone was caught and singled out because they ARE in a role model position?  And if it were another student, would we in the Diva Den be this worked up or would we be saying “good, that person shouldn’t be representing the school if they cannot do it in a positive manner”.

I am torn, to say the least and trying to see all sides.  What is YOUR opinion/thought?