Blackbeard

Blackbeard wrote

I read Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book in high school, then all his other books. The ideas resonated with me, and I got hooked on the general anti-authoritarianism expressed throughout. I don't think it was until freshman year of college, however, that I actually began identifying as an anarchist. Nothing much changed, I just had a word to sum up most of my ideas and feelings.

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Blackbeard wrote

I think it depends on the mental health professional. I have wonderful, caring friends who work in the profession. See a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist- the former cannot prescribe medication, while the latter can, and typically does. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help from a professional therapist. Many of them are very well intentioned, and are there primarily to listen, and help you work through your problems, rather than to lecture you/give you advice/tell you how to live. Like anything else, of course, you will want to do some research and reach out to potential professionals to see if they will be a good fit for you, and what you want to accomplish. Just be honest about where you're coming from and what you're experiencing, and what you expect from them. Also, if you do go the medication route, I have known people who have used antidepressants for just a little while to kind of get themselves out of a funk. It can be very hard to see clearly when you're depressed, and sometimes medication can help with that. This can be tricky, however, as some antidepressants have side effects such as suicidal thoughts, so again, do your research. I will second Mango's thoughts on weed and shrooms- more studies are finding significant benefits from microdosing psychedelics. Though, once again, be careful because if you do a strong dose and you're in a bad place mentally, you could have a bad experience.
It might sound silly, but you might also be able to gain a little clarity regarding your thoughts and feelings by taking the 16 Personalities test, which you can do online for free. I took it, and it was eerily accurate, and I felt a little reassured about who I am and how I work. Like you, I fucking hated school (though I was very intelligent and quite good at school), and I just wanted to be done. The thought of 4 years of college to get some bullshit scrap of paper saying I'm good enough by their standards really bummed me out.
I know that's quite a bit of information, but ultimately I'd say don't be afraid to seek out the help of a mental health professional, it's better than just struggling through it by yourself, but also don't feel like that's the only option out there. And, whatever you decide, research it and get all the info you can! And, if you ever need somebody to talk to who's sorta been there before, message me anytime :)

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Blackbeard wrote

I like this book already! Teaching kids "grit" is really in right now, and while I think that's a valuable trait, purposely creating difficult situations for kids is definitely the wrong way to go about it. Kids are going to experience enough trouble and challenges in their lives, and if you're supporting them and encouraging them to work through it, that's what's going to be important. I feel like that quote about setting them on fire sums up the whole argument pretty damn well.

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Reply to comment by Blackbeard in Friday Free Talk by emma

Blackbeard wrote

I definitely feel this. I just went back and got my B.A. after a 15 year long break from college. I'm still not sure if it was worth it. I'm sure you have plenty of skills, but I know that, personally, sometimes I feel like I'm a jack of all trades and master of none. I have had well over a dozen jobs, and I can't see myself doing one thing for the rest of my life. Or even the next 5 years, frankly.

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Blackbeard wrote

Living in California, hearing people make racist comments towards Mexico and Mexicans just drives me nuts. You live in California, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Los Banos, Dos Palos, and you're going to get pissed off by somebody speaking Spanish, or being Mexican? It would just seem that even on a surface level somebody might realize the irony of their racist comments. That's without even getting into the historic issues of how white settlers were welcomed into Mexico with open arms, offered citizenship and land, and then turned around and completely screwed Mexico over, killed it's people and stole their land.

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Blackbeard wrote

Leaf blowers just piss me off on so many levels. They are so loud, they consume fossil fuels needlessly, pollute the air like crazy, they blow dust everywhere, and it's all to accomplish this utterly unnecessary task! We live in a valley which already has horrible air, and whenever I see those knuckleheads out there with their leaf blowers, kicking up these huge clouds of dust and crap, it just makes me crazy! We also have really hard, dry, most clay soil, and all those leaves, sticks, and grass clippings would be so very helpful for putting organic matter back into the soil. Not to mention every time they blow over bare ground, they are blowing away all the nutrient rich topsoil. But, at least with don't have to deal with those horrible, unsightly leaves on our lawns reminding us that we live in a (semi)natural environment.

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Blackbeard wrote

Haha that's about the look I get from my kid after a minute or two of trying to explain life. You're right though, kids rarely ever get to hear "You're right" from parents. My kid told me the other day, "It was your fault Daddy" and my first instinct is: You don't get to say that, you're a kid. Thankfully I stopped before I actually said that, and admitted that indeed I had been in the wrong.
Also, I have the hardest time keeping a straight face whenever my kid says "Fucking." It's just so innocent and adorable, and I want to laugh so hard! We try so hard to watch our language, but that just sneaks out sometime, and he knows it's not a good word so he always pauses for a moment before saying it, and then usually uses it as an opportunity to list off the other impolite words :)

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Reply to by hasbrochem

Blackbeard wrote

I like that this article discussed how children are denied access to public spaces. I often lament this, particularly because I like to go out as a family! My father in law often talks about growing up in Spain, and how children were always brought along to the bars/pub/restaurants, they were fairly free to run around and be kids. Now, I feel so rebellious just bringing my kid to a decent restaurant! I get the impression that my kid is expected to be almost unnoticeable otherwise it ruins everybody else's meal. I had a friend who tried to take their infant in a carrier to a quiet bar during the afternoon with an outdoor patio where they intended to sit. They were denied service because they couldn't have a kid at the bar. We have been fortunate to find a local pool hall that serves beer and is family friendly. My kid loves to run around playing the various games, playing with the balls at the pool table, and playing shuffleboard. It's one of the only times I feel my kid is really actually welcome in the space, and free to behave like the little kid they are.

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Blackbeard wrote

I think apologizing to your kid is one of the best things we can do as parents. It shows we aren't perfect, that we make mistakes, and it models to your kid that it's important to be a big enough person to admit that. Adults don't often apologize to children, at least not genuinely. Kids may hear "sorry, I know you want that toy but we aren't going to buy that." They don't often hear adults say, "Sorry, I lost my cool and that wasn't fair to you, and it's something I am trying to work on." That's realistic! We weren't raised in an Inuit culture, and anger is very much a part of the culture we were raised in. I feel like the best we can do is try to model healthy ways of expressing our anger, and acknowledge when we fail to do that ourselves.

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Blackbeard wrote

I found this article incredibly informative and helpful. My natural inclination is to let my kid do what they feel they need to do, so long as it's not putting them into some immediate danger, of course. I try to be cool and let them say what they want without fear of punishment, scolding, or shame. This is a hard world to navigate for an adult, I can only imagine what it's like for somebody with almost no clue on how to behave in the broader world. The part I have the hardest time with is letting them be free to be themselves, while I also helping them understand the society we live in. What is acceptable with me, in our house, does not always get the same reception by society at large. While I am willing to accept their refusal to do something at home, and understand that defiance is perfectly normal, their preschool teacher doesn't necessarily feel the same way (though it is a Montessori preschool, so there is greater freedom than in most traditional schools). I love the way the Inuit culture treats children, but our culture just isn't the same, and that's rather challenging.

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Blackbeard wrote

Fixing holes is a pretty good start! It saves you money, and keeps all those clothes outta the dump. Youtube has been a huge help for me, as there are videos on everything from threading your particular machine, to detailed instructions on how to sew all different clothing items. Lounge pants/pajama pants are a great place to start, as it doesn't matter too much how they look, so long as they fit, and it gives you all the basics for sewing pants. Skirts are very straightforward too if you wear skirts, or you know somebody who does and wants them. Napkins are also super basic, and always useful.

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Blackbeard wrote

I'm going to have to try this one! I never even thought of soaking orange peels in vinegar. I try using vinegar to clean when I can, what with a little kid running around and all, but sometimes the smell is just a little too strong when the house is closed up in the winter. I imagine the orange helps mellow that out a little bit.

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Blackbeard wrote

I've crocheted numerous blankets, scarves, and hats. I am currently sewing my first thing ever: PJ pants for my kid. I'm using a sewing machine for the second time ever, so it's a little slower going than I anticipated. Yet, I remain excited about it!

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Blackbeard wrote

As a substitute teacher who has to call roll 6 times a day in new classrooms, this is one I struggle with. I live in a fairly diverse city, and I'm a white male who grew up in a very, very white area for the first 20 years of my life. We have a very large population of students from Mexico and Central American nations, as well as Hmong and Indian populations, so I've had a great deal of practice with pronouncing names that originally gave me great difficulty- names like Yarixca, or Xochitl, Thippaphone, Ajexzys. Class rosters don't give you a pronunciation guide, so unfortunately I've had to butcher some names the first time I see them, but I've always made it a point to try very hard to learn them, and pronounce them correctly the next time.

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Blackbeard wrote

This is actually a really great idea! I am currently working on accumulating some of the necessary items to do something like this, such as mics and possibly a mixer. I play guitar (acoustic and electric) and sing, so I'd be happy to contribute what I can when I can!

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Blackbeard wrote

For sure! Really, any cool(ish) dry area should do. They suggest dropping an onion in, tying a knot just above it, then dropping in another and repeating this, basically to keep them from pressing on each other. I definitely hear ya about counter space! We keep ours loose in a cupboard because we go through them fairly quickly. I suspect that just keeping them in their own paper bag even slightly removed from other produce should be just fine. Back in Illinois we had a basement, which would be perfect for storing root vegetables, but the west coast seems devoid of basements and cellars.

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