Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Duck, dodge and weave

These last two weeks have been really something.  Yes, I've been battling the Ex.  I'm convinced he's just NOT a nice man.  Anyone who can lie and keep lying even though he's been busted and humiliated just isn't right in the head in my book.  Anyhow, I battled a week of depression and so forth just to get through it.  I'm feeling better now, thank goodness.  The reason I got through it so well was school.  It's really my saving grace right now.

Pulled down a few more A's.  Grateful for those.  But I do have to say, my Comp II teacher is a rock star.  I'm serious...the guy is an outright rock star when it comes to teaching.  I've been taking mental notes on how to guide discussions from the guy.  He takes hip and young and applies it with a suave touch to make things so fun to participate in.  He's stylish and he speaks TO you not AT you, he's making every step of the way through that class immensely enjoyable.  It's challenging yet fun.  When I get my own classroom, that's what I always want my classes to be like.  He's not a Robin Williams kind of instructor like I am, but he takes the outlandish and makes it cool.  I find that he's really different one-on-one than he is in the classroom.  He always seems so mad in class, but then when you talk to him in his office, he's sweet.  I can understand that completely though, you NEVER want to seem like a buddy or a pal to college students, you have to have that rigorous, "I'm the professor and the authority, you are the student" kind of structure so that your authority is never undermined.

Lots of laughter going on in the class though.  My favorite is the young sorority gal who wants to be a brain surgeon when she finishes school.  *Note to self*  Be afraid, be very afraid if I ever need brain surgery and this girl is at the helm with the scalpel in her hand.

My real favorite though is a young freshman, not but 18 years old.  She loves the Beatles like a 5 year old loves Cotton Candy...brilliant young woman, I am getting a real kick out of watching her progress.  She's such a bright star in a dark world, let's hope she can keep that brightness as she goes through life.  Gods, I hope nothing ever taints her. 

But really, the Comp II class is turning out like I wanted it's something I'm really enjoying.  I'm getting to write...although this week I was asked for one page and gave two...but the subject matter was SO very juicy, I couldn't help myself.  I mean this was some sexy stuff!  Ok, let's set it up:

I got a read/summarize argument/respond assignment for Dave Hickey's "A Home in the Neon".  Oh gods, how I would love to give you a link to it so you can read it, but I couldn't find one.  So let's just summarize...Dave Hickey says in the article that basically when people from outside Las Vegas look at us, all they see is the glitz and glamour, they don't get what it's like to live here.  Take for example, the most common one, that people say, "Las Vegas?  People actually LIVE there?", and you just want to smack them and go, "well, where the hell do you think all the people who work in the casinos live?  Los Angeles?  You think we bus them in every day? DUH!  There are only over a million people living here!  Smack!  Smack!  Smack!"  I hate it when people think Vegas is just a town filled with the casinos, there is a hell of a lot more here than that!  But, I Hickey says in the article that people misconstrue what it's like to live here, that they live in such boresville all the time that when they come to Vegas it's all excitement and so forth because let's face it, it's a 24 hour town.  Hungry?  You can find a beer and a steak 24 hours a day, anything you feel like eating, you can find somewhere in the city at some ungodly hour of the evening.  To someone who doesn't live here, that's exotic and WOW!  To us, it's normal. 

Hickey goes on to talk about what culture is.  He talks about how "Easterners" look at Vegas with a dismissive eye and have the audacity to think we live in a culture-less society.  Ugh, give me a break.  Vegas has a culture all of it's own.  We might not get all dressed up to go to the opera, but we have a small symphony, we've got museums, they're not the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Smithsonian but we have them, hell we've even got the freaking ballet (cringe).  We DO have culture in Vegas.  It's just hard to find and it's not typical of what you'd find in a big city like New York, Boston, Washington DC or Los Angeles.  It's not huge, but it's there.  Let's just say this, snotty, babbity, uppity, head-up-their-ass outsiders look at us and say with a snotty accent, "Vegas has no class" when they don't know what the hell they're talking about and to which I throw up a hand and waggle my middle finger in their face...   But, here I go again on another tangent...let's stick to the goods...  Sufficed to say, Vegas is unorthodox compared to the other big cities back east.  Our culture is different, but they're too snotty to see it that way.  (Closed minded jag-offs. grrrrrr.)

The asshole wrote me recently and told me "when the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail"'s one for ya that I KNOW you'll love as much as I do...

WITNESS...the asshole getting torn a new one thanks to John L. Smith at the Las Vegas Review Journal.  Thanks John!  You made my day!  Now you know what it feels like to be married to him!

Go ahead, enjoy it with me.  I found this a few weeks back, I even posted it on my facebook so that all of my friends could revel in my freedom with me.

Here is EXACTLY the point Hickey made in his article published back in 1995, that's 14 years ago folks, that some snobby-ass Easterner (as Hickey puts it) is judging something he knows nothing about and fails to see that Vegas is a unique brand of cat, that it was never intended to be like any other city in the country.  My ex has lived in Vegas for roughly 7 years, roughly half the time I have, and there he is being the hammer and the whole world looks like a nail.  Newsflash asshole!  You're not in Montreal anymore!  How's the view of the world as a hammer!  Looks like a nail to you, doesn't it?  I've said it time and time again, "SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T GET IT".

The people who live here really don't have a huge interest in museums and such, they're busy living their lives, but what's worse is that a good majority of what those snobby-ass Easterners bill as "culture" is housed in over-priced exhibits!  They want $16 to go to the aquarium, $16 to go to the museum, $75 for a yearly pass to an overblown sustainability exhibit that has really little to do with the history of Southern Nevada!  John Smith was right in his article!  People want culture in Las Vegas, but it is NOT readily available to John and Jane Q. Taxpayer!  It's all over-priced tourist attractions!

In every classroom I've ever graced, I've known one thing, you've got to make the content you're teaching applicable to EVERYONE.  Not just the high-IQ or wealthy ones, but to the ones on the ground working their way up.  Humans want to be educated, curiosity is a base human instinct.  People don't want to be talked down to, they want an environment of equality, so that anyone can step up to the plate and get the nutritional value out of what they're seeing.

For some jackass to come along and say, "You have no culture and no class, and to look at anything and ask questions as to it's validity is mindless", dude, why don't you pack up your snobbery and hop a plane back to wherever it is you came from and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

I hate it when people talk down to me.  Just because I was raised in Texas and live in Vegas does by no stretch of the imagination mean I'm stupid.  I could care less about museums, symphonies and what-all.  I've lived in Vegas long enough that it's my hometown, and I doubt I'll ever leave.  I go to Spago, I have lots of friends, I'm an icon in 2 online worlds, I teach, I have a pretty damn good life.  So for some babbity, snot-nosed, pretentious asshole to even try to make me feel dumb or like I have no class, oh lordy, they better re-assess the situation and think about who they're talking to, because none of that crap is going to go over well.

It's like I always say, "No amount of money or education in the world will ever buy class.  People are born with class, you either have it, or you don't."

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