The United States of Litigations

I live in the U.S. Which, as of late, has become the U.S. of litigations. There are even commercials that encourage us to sue for one thing or another.  I often laugh and about the ones that tell you to call if you’ve been killed by one drug or another.  If I’m dead, how can I call? In my opinion, enough is enough.  How in the world did we all become so entitled? We have got to stop blaming others for things that happen to us.

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of people who recommended that we (meaning my family) sue the Dr who took care of my mother before she got sick.  Is there truth to the fact that she should have had a hysterecotmy years before she did?  Yeah, probably. Is it because she was denied one that she developed cancer?  Maybe.  I’ll never know for certain and no amount of money is going to bring her back; so, why am I going to put my father and the rest of our family through that?  We’d only end up in court rehashing the story over and over until someone decides whose fault it is that she got sick and passed. Then, we might get some money.  Keyword being might.  There’s no guarantee when you sue someone that you’re going to get paid.  Truth is that you’d have to be awarded A LOT of money for it to be worth it.  Millions.

I know some of you are yelling at your computer telling me that it is worth it; that, in bringing attention to the situation might prevent it from happening again, and you’re right.  Except that my mother wasn’t famous and neither am I. The case would likely settle out of court and we’d be awarded some money to keep our mouths shut.  It’s probable that we’d be required to sign a non-disclosure.

Instead, I’d much rather never sign anything and effect the world in the way that I know how to.  With my words.  Right here, right now.  Don’t EVER forget that you know your body better than any Dr or insurance company out there.  If you feel that something is wrong, then something is wrong.  Don’t let them tell you no.  Like I said, there’s no proof that a hysterectomy would have saved her life; but, it sure does suck wondering.

Anyway, I digress. But the point is, I am an adult, and I will handle the things that happen to me without laying the blame on someone else.

Sorry, rant over!

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I heart food :)

“How do your basic eating habits today differ from when you were a child? What-if anything-would like to change about these habits?”

I really haven’t changed much since I was a kid (regarding eating habits). I love food (all kinds) and I still do!  There is honestly very little I won’t eat (mainly olives!) yuck!

Growing up, I loved hot dogs. Mom has told me that I would ask for them every day; I still love them today. I wouldn’t eat them every day, but I do love me a good Deutschmacher (with the natural casings).

I’ve never been a fan of eating too late at night, and I’m still not. My friend, Craig, used to call me Mogwai because I wouldn’t eat after a certain time. I think he was convinced that I would turn into a Gremlin if I did. I don’t think that’s true, but I do get sick to my stomach.

One thing about me that has changed is my metabolism (although I’m certain that everyone has this problem). When I was younger, I could eat anything I wanted, and I wouldn’t gain a pound. Now, I so much as look at a cheeseburger, and I gain weight.

I’ve developed allergies in my old age, as well. I’m lactose intolerant, allergic to coconut, and I have a sensitivity to shellfish. All, of which, came on in my 20’s. It’s a bit of a pain, because I love ice cream, and you wouldn’t believe how many things have coconut in them. Then, with the shellfish, I have to keep track of how many times I eat it and when, and how much. I can’t mix them, or eat it more than once on any given day. I can’t even eat it one day and then again on the next.

All of this talk about food has made me hungry.

An act of intent

“Though your 10-year-old has never been told to play ball in the house, one day he does so and breaks a treasured glass vase. Would you punish him? What if, in three months, it happens again?”

It is so strange that this question would come up today! Yesterday, I had an extensive conversation with a co-worker about intent and what it actually means.

Let me give you a little background info: I’m in charge of plagiarism cases at the University at which I work; and, lately, the policy regarding plagiarism has been up in the air. Some feel (including myself) that there should be different consequences for those who plagiarize accidentally versus those who are blatantly cheating. When I say accidentally, I mean that they have a little bit of information from an outside source that is either not cited at all or not cited properly. When I say blatant cheating, I mean those who go on the internet and copy/paste an entire article, website, or paper and hand it in as though they wrote it.

My point, about accidental plagiarism, is that we, as educators, (unfortunately) can’t assume that these students have ever been told that they can’t take pieces of another’s work and simply stick it into their own without properly giving credit. Especially if they are older adults, who did not grow up in the digital age. They really may not know. I do think, though, that it is safe to assume that they know that copying someone else’s entire article isn’t OK. Given that, I’ve proposed that we use the first scenario as a teaching moment and explain plagiarism, the serious offenses that it is, and how to avoid it; then, I’d offer a redo.

Much like my non-existent 10-year-old son in the scenario above, I’d give him a second chance. But, then after having that conversation, he does it again, he’s toast!

In terms of sadness

“If something very sad occurred, would it embarrass you to cry in front of your family? What about in front of your friends or co-workers?”

I am a Sagittarius; and, from what I gather, that means that I feel deeply but will never show it (for fear of appearing weak).  I’m not convinced that it’s for fear of being weak. At least for me, I can tell you with 100% certainty.  I’m also not convinced that it has anything to do with being a Sag. For me, it’s just my thing. I’ve never been overly emotional. I don’t cry at sad movies, or at weddings. Honestly, the last time I REALLY cried was when my mother passed away.

Having said all of that, I do not think that it is so much of a “problem” crying because it’s embarrassing or girly, or for anything else; it’s more that I just don’t cry very often. Those of you who are Big Bang Theory fans will get this. No, I’m not a sociopath, my mother had me tested!

To ticket or not to ticket

“If you were stopped for speeding while passing through a small town and the police officer offered not to write you a $200 ticket if you would pay him $50 in cash, what would you do? What if you hadn’t been speeding?”

This is such a fascinating question to me; so much so that I just discussed it with my assistant and another employee. Just in case you’re wondering, my employee (Sean) said, “I’d give him the $50” and, my assistant (Ryan) said, “I’d say no thank you and then fight the ticket in court and win because I would have taped the whole conversation.” Personally, I’m with Sean on this one; I’d just give him the $50 and be on my way.

Interestingly enough, Sean (like me) is a Gen Xer; Ryan is a millennial. It never occurred to either Sean or me that taping the conversation would be an option (or even allowed; but, apparently it is perfectly legal). Sean also mentioned that he took the question to mean that not giving the cop the money wasn’t really an option; and, Ryan saw it as I did, as merely an option to pay less money.

Would the fact that I was or was not speeding make a difference to my answer? No, I’d still give the officer the money (assuming that if I didn’t, he was going to write me a $200 ticket). My word against his in that case and I’d prefer not to have a ticket on my record.

Talkin Bout my Generation

I was born in 1978; therefore, I am of generation X (1961-1981).  Because we grew up in the grunge era, generation Xers are often considered dirty slackers.  Personally, I beg to differ.  I shower, and I have three college degrees- so there.

Here are some of the most interesting things that I found about my age group

  1. We mostly grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.  Therefore loved (or still love) New Kids on the Block.
  2. Speaking of music, we remember MTV and VH1 when they showed videos.  I still remember the first video played on MTV.  Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.
  3. Before there were cell phones, there we pagers.  Yep!  I had one, a sparkly blue one to be exact.  I’m not exactly sure what the point ever was, because when you think about it if someone pages you it means that they want to talk to you, right?  How was I supposed to call them back if I was out? I mean, how is it any different than an answering machine?
  4. Email addresses didn’t come around college, so we had to do things by hand (gasp)! I remember filling out my college applications with a good old-fashioned pen (probably black because I hate blue pens).
  5. It wasn’t uncommon for kids of generation X to come home to an empty house. Due to the rise in the cost of living, parents of kids in my generation both worked, dubbing us the latchkey generation.  I was lucky, my mom worked nights, and my dad worked days, so someone was always home with us.
  6. Apparently, we’re survivors:  we came home from the hospital (after being born) in our mother’s lap, slept in a crib that was very likely painted with lead-based paint, grew up in the back seat of a station wagon (often laying across the back in the window) without a seatbelt, and learned to ride our bikes without a helmet.  Maybe this is why that Gen X is the smallest generation 🙂

 

Disney Dreamin’

“If you won a 2-week, all-expense-paid vacation anywhere in the world for you and a companion, who would you take and where would you go?”

This is an EASY one to answer. 100%, I’d take my sister, Laura, and we’d go to DisneyWorld. Yes, we’ve been there many times; but, we’ve always stayed at the cheapest level hotels. So, I would love to take her to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge where you have a balcony that looks out into the Safari. You might have giraffes walking passed your room.

Again, yes, we’ve gone a bunch of times; but, we’ve never been during Christmas. I would love to be there for Christmas; it has got to be truly magical- and that’s one of the top reasons why I go. For the magic.

One of the other reasons why I go is for the food; but, again, I don’t often indulge in the expensive places that they have to offer. That’s not to say that I don’t indulge because I do, I just don’t get to indulge in some of the places that I would like to.

OK, so maybe I am a nerd. Anywhere in the world and I pick Florida. Whatever, I am who I am, and I love it!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

“If you had to choose between choosing another profession or moving to a new city, which one would you choose?”

This is a hard question for me when you consider that I JUST bought a new house.

I could, essentially, do either one of my jobs anywhere. With the current state of online learning, I could easily teach anywhere at any time. Then, with the writing and editing aspect of what I do, it’s mostly remote anyway. So, the only thing keeping me in CT is my mortgage. Oh, well, that and my family. My nephews and niece are here; so are my siblings and my father. Could I leave them? I don’t know. I mean, they’d visit me and, I, them, right? It couldn’t be THAT bad; would it? Too bad that Costco wouldn’t let them all transfer to Puerto Rico; we could have all gone together.

I guess given all of that I would have to go with the new city. As I mentioned, I could pretty much work anywhere (even on the beach!); so, I’d probably go with a whole new state. I mean, CT’s taxes are quite crazy (10,000+ (per year) on my house, really?).

The Importance of Being Selfish (Kinda)

“Who is the most important person in your life? Do you expect this ever to change?”

At the risk of sounding narcissistic, me; and, will that change? I don’t know. Before I start getting hate mail, please let me explain.

I am single, with no children of my own. So, I don’t have any ONE person I could single out as the most important. I do have a large family, but I love them all equally. It wouldn’t be fair to choose one as the most important.

Now, given that, should I get married at some point in my life, I’m sure that my significant other will be the most important person to me. But, that’s IF I get married. It’s unlikely that I will have children; I’m getting too old for that. But mom taught me never to say never, so I suppose it isn’t ruled out entirely.

So, for now, I worry about me and me alone. To be completely honest, I’m OK with that. Would I love to fall in love and share my life with someone? Absolutely! But, then I’d have someone else to worry about, and that concerns me.

In sickness or lying?

“When was the last time you avoided doing something by pretending you were ill?”

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I did this. It’s likely that I was a kid. We’re all adults now; you can handle the truth.

In my humble opinion, pretending to be sick to get out of doing something that they don’t want to is something a child does so that their friends don’t get mad at them. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I do not B.S. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. I’ll never be mean about things, so there is no reason to be angry.

Just last week I mentioned that I tend to be a bit on the anti-social side; but, my friends (and family) already know that. I don’t think that a friend has asked me to do something that they know I won’t do in a long time. Friends do ask me to go to dinner with them from time to time; and, for the most part, I’ll go if I’m not busy. There are times where I don’t want to, and I’ll tell them that. The way I see it, what’s the point in lying? If your friends can’t respect your wishes, they’re not really your friend.