Thursday, December 1, 2016

Not cool, Rory: How one scene in the new Gilmore Girls revival made this teacher sad

When the first photos from the Netflix Gilmore Girls revival surfaced last spring, an image of Rory standing in front of a class at Chilton was among them, and many assumed that meant she went on to be a teacher at her alma mater. I even read an article called “I’m Glad Rory Gilmore Became a Teacher.”

But, now it’s the Fall (an upsetting time in Gilmore land, apparently)…and we know that not only did Rory NOT become a teacher, she also very clearly expressed her disdain for the profession.

Not cool, Amy Sherman Palladino. Not cool.

Here’s how it went down (minor spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the new series yet--though I won’t get into the BIG SPOILER/ #lastfourwords.)

Rudderless Rory goes to on some sort of alumni visit to Chilton. Headmaster Charleston pays her a compliment, suggesting to her that she go back and get her Masters degree—and that if she did so he’d be pleased to find her a place on the Chilton faculty.
This nice offer Rory dismisses out of hand. This is the same woman, we have already learned, who is unemployed, has nowhere to live, and has in fact lost all her underwear.

But the teacher-bashing does not stop there. Later, as unraveling Rory has a liquid lunch with Jess, THIS happens:

Rory: “This is about my life. People come up and smell me…”
Jess: “What do they smell?”
Rory: “Failure. Headmaster Charleston told me to go get my masters so I could come back and teach at Chilton. He could smell it.”

There you have it. Teaching = Failure. Not just failure…smelly failure. The kind that smells.

As a teacher, and a fan of Gilmore Girls, I’m sad now. This kind of message does not:

A. help our teachers in any way to get the respect they damn well deserve
B. help convince bright, talented kids who would be great teachers to ever become teachers
C. do anything but suck

All of this is so much more heartbreaking because Rory was always such a smart yet cool girl. An icon for girls who read. The kind of gal who could definitely have grown up to be that one teacher who changes her students' lives. I’ve read a lot about the revival, including this Washington Post article that claims new Rory is a monster (which I ended up not entirely disagreeing with, and not only because of the teacher-bashing). I think it’s possible some of the Palladinos' ideas for Rory were originally envisioned for season 7 or 8—meaning a 22 or 23 year old Rory. Rory at 32 should DEFINITELY know better.

And the writers? You should too.

A teacher and disappointed Gilmore Girls fan.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Fireworks are Symbolic

I used to love going to my hometown’s huge community fireworks display, held at the York Fairgrounds. Almost everyone in town turned up for the event—they even had a live orchestra playing music timed to accompany the show. It was a memorable and fun way to spend the evening of the Fourth of July.

As an adult living in a home-fireworks friendly state, I’ve come to actively dread the Fourth of July, and not just because I don’t look quite the same in a star-spangled bikini as I did back them. No, it’s because home fireworks are hugely popular in Florida, at least where I live. I also have a small dog who will under no circumstances go (or make her business) outside while these things are going off. I can’t say as I blame her, actually. If that ruckus were in my bathroom I’d have issues too. I’ve had her for eight years, and it used to be okay. I just had to plan ahead, take her out a half hour or so before dark, and pick up the water bowl for the night. The sounds may have lasted a bit past my ideal bedtime on the Fourth, but no big deal. I’m all for celebrating America.

But each year the madness spreads. Much like Black Friday used to last one day and now begins somewhere around Halloween, the Fourth of July apparently now also includes June 30, July 1, July 2, July 3 (in a major way), and July 5. What was once an after-dark occurrence is now an anytime of the day or night free for all. I actually had to listen and wait for a chance to take my dog back out on the morning of July 1. At 8:15 AM.

I posted an angry FB rant about the pyromaniacal idiots who apparently needed so much practice operating matches that they needed to start three full days early. The shared virtual outrage was nice, but it didn’t actually solve my practical problem.

Here’s the thing, though. It’s not really about my dog. The fireworks are symbolic. They were once symbolic of freedom and the best of what it means to be America. But in recent years, at least for home use, they’ve been perverted into a symbol of something else—the worst of what it means to be America. Individualism is something I really believe in, but the older I get the more I don’t believe in individuals’ rights above everything else.

The folks I’m complaining about want to set off fireworks, at any hour of the day or night for almost a week. So they do. But what about the infants and young children who can’t sleep—and their stressed-out parents? What about the people with PTSD? It’s well documented that fireworks often trigger PTSD. There are many places online that offer signs that state Combat Veteran Lives Here—Please be Courteous With Fireworks. But the noise travels so far, how in the world would such a sign be any help at all? Much like cigarette smoke in a “smoking section”—the sounds of fireworks simply cannot be contained by a sign or the border of a property. There’s a sad irony to the fact that so many veterans may be upset given the reason folks are supposedly celebrating this holiday to begin with.

I also can’t forget, much further down on the list, fireworks also cause issues for so many pets that are afraid of them. More dogs and cats go missing on July 4 than any other day of the year.

So why are home fireworks legal? Because enough citizens of this great state like them. The ones setting them off for a solid week, during the day or very late at night do not seem to care about any of the groups I mentioned. But, I would argue, they should. In our current American cultural ethos, what I want to do trumps what other people may need. Every time.  But especially on a holiday that’s about celebrating the community of the United States, how we all came from different places but all live together, how about thinking about what’s right for your neighbors?

Let’s all meet together at our town’s community display. It’s bigger, nicer, and free. It’s better for your neighbors, your community—and your wallet. It’s also much safer. I’d really like to see America be about more than just who has the loudest toy. Freedom is wonderful—but unchecked by courtesy or kindness it’s just one big, loud, mess.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Micro-House Nation!

The tiny house movement is sweeping the nation. If you think you have what it takes to get in on the trend, why not up the ante and go micro? An average tiny house is around 250 square feet. But living micro—at 95 square feet or less—is where true freedom lies. Ditch your stuff, go micro, hit the road—micros can even be towed by a Fiat!—and let the fun and carefree lifestyle wash over you.

Our custom designers and builders will help you realize the micro-home of your dreams.

First things first, planning is important. If you have children, you should immediately stop feeding them vegetables, or really any food with nutritional value at all. In these builds, kids need to be stuffed into what we call a micro-loft, so they really need to stop growing, like yesterday. Next, get rid of almost everything that you own.

Are you starting to get excited? Well, strap in—our innovative designers have come up with some truly brilliant ways to cram everything you need into a microscopic space.

First, you’ve seen beds placed in lofts above the kitchen or living space. These lofted bedrooms boast great amenities like ladder access and ceilings of up to three feet in height. But what a waste of space!

With our new shelf-bed, you can sleep in comfort knowing you are taking up as little space as possible on this great big planet. The metal hooks underneath make for a  great space-saving closet. You can probably keep up to six outfits! It’s a great idea to begin training as an acrobat now if you want to be able to vault onto the bed-shelf from the ground. Going micro means no room for ladders my friend!

Next, check out this micro-sink which actually doubles as a shower, if you just open your mind and shift your perspective on what a shower actually is. If, for example, you imagine that you are a Medieval peasant, having the opportunity to splash clean, fresh water onto your face and body is actually a luxury. And think of the space you’ve saved!

Finally, check out this desk which can double as a bedroom for guests. Simply place a foam pad on the fold-down surface, and viola—space for up to two guests. Obviously if you are going micro, you and all your friends subsist on a strict organic/clean/gluten-free/vegan diet, and you’re all very small. If you have, ahem, larger friends and relatives…it’s called a hotel, am I right? Let those space hogs wallow around in a wasteful hotel room that’s up to four hundred square feet, with its own flushing toilet and tub-shower combo. Animals.

So what do you think? Is going micro the lifestyle for you? Do you feel like a big giant space-waster when you load the dishwasher or take a bath or use the clothes-dryer? Because you should.

Give us a call today at 1-888-GOMICRO.