Is School Still Safe?

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A few days ago my school was told by the police to go on lockdown due to a developing incident in the area. I was taking a chemistry exam, calculating the binding energy per nucleon of Carbon – 12, when we were told over the loudspeaker that we needed to follow lockdown procedures, and that this was NOT a drill. I crawled under by desk, hugging my knees and wondering what was going on. Thoughts of my school being bombed, or someone running through the halls with a loaded gun filled my mind. I remember my mom, a first grade teacher, telling me about how she was expected to pile her students in a corner, barricade them with a table, and stand before them, guarding them with her life. At what point, I thought, did being a teacher require you to risk your life in front of violent criminals? I don’t remember that being in the job description.

Later that night, I was retelling the story to my parents, adding how we eventually were told that everything was fine, and we resumed our chemistry test, when they told me that things like that never happened when they were in school. That before Columbine, schools didn’t even have lockdown drills. Now this shocked me, because earlier I had imagined my heroes, Laura and Mary Ingalls, going through a “lockdown drill” of their own at the schoolhouse because some wild cowboys were dueling through town and shooting bullets throughout the classroom windows. I guess not. I guess school used to be a safe place, and it saddens me that we’ve lost that.

Today I found out that a student brought a loaded gun to a middle school just down the road from my own school, a school where a few of my friends go. What he was planning to do with it, the police do not know, but we can all guess. Things like this happening in my direct community really drives this issue home.

I’m currently reading I Am Malala, by Malala Yousufzai (congrats on the Nobel Prize), which illustrates the whole other level of violence that comes with education in the Middle East. I am grateful for the uninhibited education I am able to receive, but there are always things to be done, improved, changed.

What are your ideas to improve education on the U.S.? The world?

Blog: Beauty By Britanie

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I have a new favorite blog! Head on over to http://beautybybritanie.com to see what I mean. Her natural makeup reviews are very helpful, and I can really relate to her struggle with digestive issues and diet tweaking as a factor in skin health. On top of it all she is absolutely stunning and her photos are such high quality that her posts are very pleasing to look at. She has inspired me to start including more photos in my posts (maybe even some of me) and to make sure all of my photos are good ones!

Browse through a couple other blogs I follow:

Lladybird – Lauren posts about all of her amazing sewing creations

Free People – I love the beauty section of this blog! There are many lovely DIYs.

Arachne

Spiders have been popping into my life lately. Whether its a few itchy bites on my ankle after a night’s sleep, or my yelping as I almost stepped on an enormous one on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night.

This gorgeous garden spider was perfectly posed for a photo shoot outside my bathroom window. IMG_0737

I have always had a deep respect for spiders, and have never killed one I found in my home (only tentatively captured it with a glass a piece of paper). They have distinct personalities, and are very powerful/magical in my eyes. Also, unlike mosquitoes which I willingly squish, spiders do the great service of keeping pests under control.

Reading up a little on my mythology this morning, I refreshed myself on the story of Arachne and Athena. Read more here: http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/athena/stories/athena-arachne/. Besides the lesson I take out of this story about humility, I believe I have a strong connection with spiders because I am very into the “feminine arts.” (I use quotation marks around that phrase because it is the best way I can think to describe all the crafts including and related to sewing and weaving. In no way do I feel that these tasks should be forced upon or restricted to women.)

I was taught by my great-grandmother, and many other amazing women in my life, to sew at a young age. I’ve enjoyed it from the very start, and soon added crochet, embroidery, and a little knitting to my repertoire. Sadly, I haven’t been able to indulge in any of these luxuries lately because I am so busy! Hopefully the tangle of tasks I am involved in will calm down at the end of this month as I expect they will. This leaves me with one last thought that I so desperately need to put on a t-shirt or a tote bag for myself…

Courtesy of Pinterest! Not my work.
Courtesy of Pinterest! Not my work.