Tuesday, November 15, 2016

And another day

* My tutoring student hasn't shown, which is slightly concerning. Once before he missed and claimed he had been in "early" and I wasn't there (in fact, the day after I learned about my cousin's death, and I was running slightly late as a result, but not more than five minutes late). I dunno, though - it does seem a bit rich to have an appointment for 7, show up at 6:50, and then leave. And I say that as a person who is always early for stuff.

I am feeling ever so slightly taken-for-granted at the moment. It always happens this time of the semester.

ETA: Student apparently either forgot I'm in class at 8 am, or figured I was lying when I said I wasn't free between 8 and 9:15; they showed up at 8:15 looking for me. Headdesk.

Some days, I'm serious, I feel like a servant. And not in the good, Christian way, either. 

* I did get a power strip with an on-off button for the Insinkerator and I feel better about that, also, I might even be able to situate it so I could open the door of the cabinet and tap the button with my foot instead of having to bend down and reach in and reach all the way to the back and plug it in. (Yes, it's a kludge, but short of having some rewiring done in the house, the kludge will continue. I'm at the point with some of these things of saying "The next homeowner can sort that out" even though the next homeowner might be 20 or more years away - though by then, perhaps, the house will be seen as a tear-down, and that solves the issue.)

There have been a lot of the smaller, older houses torn down in my city of late. One of them was one that burned but as far as I know, the others were not. Nothing has gone up on those lots so I don't know.

* I didn't get a lit-up wreath though I looked at them. I concluded they were probably too big for the space between my front door and the storm door, and I like being able to close and lock the storm door (a) at night when I am home and (b) when I am gone for extended periods. Oh, I don't think it conveys MUCH security, but it would slow a burglar down by a few minutes, and I'm given to understand that sometimes that's enough to make a would-be burglar decide to move on from your house.

We've had more crime of late locally. I want to blame the economy but the ghosts of my working-class-living-on-very-little relatives remind me that they were poor but honest and would never have turned to petty theft to meet their needs. (The working hypothesis of many is it's people trying to get money for drugs, and I suppose that's likely). As I've said before: there's very little I own that I would be deeply upset over losing, and those things tend to be things that couldn't be fenced easily.

But still: I'd rather not come home to a burgled house and ESPECIALLY rather not wake up to the sound of someone trying to break in. I've been told that home invasions tend to happen when people don't lock doors. Some people around here don't, which kind of amazes me, as someone who grew up in a "bigger" area and lived in a city (downtown Ann Arbor) for a while.

(Then again: the whole, "if you make it a little harder for a would-be burglar, they will move on" thing).

We've been warned about not leaving stuff in cars, locked or unlocked - apparently people are going around breaking windows to take stuff if they see purses or electronics or stuff in cars.

I dunno. Part of me shrugs and goes "it's just stuff" but part of me also recognizes the sense of violation and anger over losing it, and the hassle - if it's your purse - of having to replace stuff. And I remember how creeped out I felt (enough to file a police report, even though it was a $10 item) when a sprinkler was stolen out of my yard, but that was mostly the "it was 10' from my front door and someone came up and took it while I was home" thing

* I kind of suspect we're going to see a rise in the whole idea of "othering" from all sides: "Oh, he's just a druggie, so he should be locked up forever" or "Oh, she's rich, so it's okay for us to take this from her, she can just replace it" or "He's a [member of whatever group I detest] so doing this is okay" I think in times of insecurity - and these are insecure times, for a lot of reasons - people look for scapegoats or they get better at writing other people off because of "group membership" instead of seeing the person who coached their kid's Little League or the mail carrier or....whoever.

(ETA: and I think this has been happening for a while now, not just since last Tuesday)

Another ETA: I remember now, it was probably 10 years ago? A colleague and I had to make a search-and-destroy run when flier that were probably advertising a white supremacist group showed up in our building. We were justified in removing them as they were not approved by the official campus office that does that (we have the right to remove any "unapproved" fliers. Some - like for the wildlife club fish fry - stay, but anything offensive goes). At least, I think that's what the group was based on the name. We faxed one over to campus police and I admit I was nervous about that (this was not too long after the Patriot Act) and was in favor of hand-carrying one over there, but he overruled me. So yeah, it's been going on for a while. (I was the one who discovered the fliers and then consulted with him about what to do - my inclination was "rip them down" but he suggested "campus police needs to know")

I hope it doesn't get worse. I have heard isolated reports of "fliers" for groups that would be considered hate groups showing up on some campuses. So far, have not heard of any here, but it could be that our students either (a) are more considerate of one another because we are a small campus or (b) are too busy trying to earn their degrees, tend to their families, work at their jobs to get involved with that kind of idiocy. At least, I hope I'm right on either a or b.

I go back and forth on having a belief in a literal Satan ("the opponent") though I do think evil is real and can infect people. And I think being able to "other" someone - make them a "non person" because of what religion they practice or what color their skin is or where they came from or whatever - is the result of people getting infected. Especially if they're using that other person to blame for their problems. I mean, I whine a lot about our crappy economy but as far as I can see that's the result of bad luck (oil prices crashing because of a variety of factors) and maybe bad behavior/decisions by some individuals (the Legislature), but I don't think you can blame the existence of any person or group of people for it.

And anyway, my nature is much more to go "Well, this stinks. Now what can I do to try to make things better or at least ride out the stinky times" than to try to find someone to blame.  

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