Let’s Talk About Schools and Funding

Tomorrow, the 5th of May, will be celebrated as a giant drinking holiday.  All I am seeing online is margarita recipes and specials on Jose Cuervo.  But tomorrow also marks another day that I have been thinking about much more: the voting on a levy to fund my former school system.

Image from ToledoBlade.com, accompanied by a great article regarding the levy by Steve Junga

I attended Springfield Local Schools in Holland, Ohio from elementary school through receiving my high school diploma.  Though we like to make jokes about the reputation of our school, like our football team record, I am never not proud to say I graduated from Springfield in 2010.

Thanks to Springfield, I walked across the stage at graduation full of confidence, and excitement for my future.  There was no doubt in my mind that my school system had prepared me for college, and life after, thanks to all the opportunities afforded to me as a student.

Academically, I never felt unprepared.  No matter if I was ahead or behind in the material, the teachers always made sure extra help was available, either through already scheduled programming, or taking their own extra time to help us by coming in early, or staying late.

When not having an extra language class jeopardized my opportunity to graduate with honors (by my own poor planning, I might add) my french teacher, Madame Post, who was recently named Teacher of the Month by BCSN, organized an individual study credit for me, including taking time out of her vacation to meet with me during the summer.  I received my class credit, and my yellow cords at graduation thanks to her commitment to her students.

I could continue to name the teachers that have shaped my life.  Teachers that had such an impact on my life that caused me to panic on the last day of high school and run back into the building in tears to say goodbye (I’m lookin’ at you, Mr. Perlaky), but there aren’t enough words.  You can teach without books, you can teach without desks, but you can’t teach without the individuals that dedicate themselves to us.

Aside from the jeopardy of the classroom, the most beloved part of what makes a school a community is also threatened: the extra-curricular opportunties.

My school experience was jam packed with anything I could fit: concert band, marching band, band ensembles, theater, drama club, National Honor Society, track, cheerleading, Student Council, prom committee, and even sitting in our choir when time allowed.  To describe how each of these activities shaped me as a person would (again) take far too many words, but can be summed up by how I carry myself as a young adult today.  Theater and band taught me confidence and camaraderie, Student Council gave me a voice that is hard to find as a young person, and the belief that it is possible to inflict change, and cheerleading and track showed me the beauty of hard work and reaching goals. All the while making memories with friends, and finding role models in the teachers that lead us each day.

School is compulsory for students.  Through childhood, we feel like we spend more time in a classroom than we do at home.  School is not only there to teach us material, but to help us grow and develop during a pivotal time in our lives.  So why do we act as if the place designed to grow us, and support us is such a burden?

We can complain all we want about schools being denied proper funding from the government— that’s an entirely different conversation about politics that we simply don’t have time for here— but the important thing to consider is how is this affecting our students NOW.

Five short years since I’ve graduated, the school I remember is struggling, thanks to funding.  Teachers, administrators and the community are trying their best to provide for Springfield, despite the economic circumstances.  Teachers are doing more for far less, and it’s the students, our next generation, who are feeling the strain.

We can complain about how much our taxes will increase– which, I may add, is lower than most other Ohio districts, according to the recent audit— but in the end, it comes down to how you want our kids, and the next generation to be shaped.  Cutting even more teachers when we already have less than most schools, and taking away what draws the students to the schools (sports, clubs, memories) and the parents to the district (opportunities, community, reputation) is not the answer.

Public education benefits not only those in the school, but everyone interacting with them.  The creation of a productive citizen starts in childhood, which starts in the schools.  Even if you don’t have a child in the district, think of who you interact with everyday, and how that could be different depending on where/how they are educated.

Vote Yes for Springfield and vote yes for the students, the parents, the community, your neighbor, the child down the street from you, or the person standing in line behind you at the grocery store.

Vote Yes for all of us.

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A Confession

This is especially hard for me to write today.  But, admitting it is the first step to recovery, so that’s what I must do.  Time to get it all out in the open, and I hope nobody thinks ill of me after.

I am addicted to Sex in the City.
It started slowly.  I caught the Sex in the City movie on TV last summer.  Then I saw some rerun episodes on a Saturday morning… then suddenly I was DVR-ing every episode on E!, and purchased both movies on iTunes to watch on vacation.
The real turning point came this weekend.  Mom surprised me with the Sex in the City complete box set and  I haven’t been able to turn it off yet.   I was honestly a little upset there are only 6 seasons.
As I am chained to my bedroom TV (the only TV in the house with a DVD player), I find myself cruising Pinterest for Carrie Bradshaw inspired fashions, home decor, and quotes.  I hear her breezy excuses for maxing out a credit card on a hella expensive designer dress as I online shop.  If Carrie can do it, I can too…

I draw inspiration for my own blog through her show.  Her ability to turn life events into topical conversations in her world make me want to be a better writer.  I spend far more time staring at an empty word document searching for inspiration than I would like to admit.  I just want to be Carrie.

The life of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are bleeding into my natural thought processes so much, that I actually find myself becoming more assertive when it comes to men in real life.  I’m determined to find my Big, my Steve, or my Harry Goldenblatt.  Except, you know, without the affairs, accidental pregnancies, and converting religions.
It’s begun to affect the way I approach men.  Attractive, funny guy at the Verizon store who spent two days helping me fix my phone?   Turns out he also comes into the gym all the time. Why wouldn’t he be into me as well?  I should probably ask him out, right?  Do as Carrie would do.  Or maybe this one was more Samantha.  Flirt back.  Work up the courage.  Gently toss out a “we should hang out sometime” comment as I leave the store.  Carrie would be proud. We totally have a future, because two episodes later, I would go on a date with him, right?
But this is reality, we live in 2015, not the flip-phone era, and we have Facebook.  And of course I look him up, find out he’s gay and in a happy relationship, and then suddenly realize that I live with my mother in Toledo, Ohio, in 2015, not a fabulous apartment in New York City in the late 90’s.  Oh, and also this is real life and not a TV show based around the writer of a sex column.
My name is Kelsey, and I am addicted to Sex in the City.  I will be hosting SITC Addicts Anonymous meetings every Wednesday at 6pm, if anyone cares to join me. We’re starting season three this week, please feel free to bring an appetizer or a Cosmopolitan to share.

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23 Thoughts On Turning 23

happy birthday, humor, aging, birthday humor, twenty-something, existential crisis

1.  Holy shit, I’m old.

2.  Well, not really.  But still.  I graduated high school five years ago.  Holy shit.

3.  I should probably get a wrinkle cream, right?  Start now, before it’s too late?  Good idea, me.

4.  Maybe I should take out my nose ring now.  Is 23 too old to have a nose ring?  …Or a giraffe onesie?  Or a t-shirt with a giant cat on it?

5.  Maybe I should get a boyfriend now.  Is 23 too old to be single still?  How many more years until I have to worry about fertility?

6.  I don’t want a boyfriend.

7.  Jennifer Lawrence is 24.  She has an Oscar (probably).  I’m 23… and I don’t have an Oscar.

8.  Shit.

9.  Is 23 too early to have a quarter life crisis?

10.  Is 23 too late to start acting classes so I can catch up to Jennifer Lawrence?  I wanna be BFFs with Bradley Cooper too.

11.  Bradley Cooper was on an episode of Sex in the City, right?

12.  They’re all in their thirties and still single on Sex in the City.  I’m fine.

13.  But really, what age does your fertility start to decrease?

14.  Maybe I should get another cat.

15.  Or make a real estate investment.  Or stocks?  Or get my own apartment.

16.  Whatever, the internet says it’s fine to be a wild and carefree twenty-something.  I’m definitely okay.

17.  Too bad the internet doesn’t say anything about being a twenty-something with a badly paid job and two other part time jobs on the side.  Who lives with her Mommy.  With a well-loved Netflix subscription.  That’s “wild and carefree,” right?

18.  Maybe I should Google “fertility declines”.

19.  Thank God 23 is old enough to buy wine.

20.  And adopt cats.

21. Maybe I should register with eHarmony.

22.  Or not.  Are there still birthday cupcakes left?

23.  I’ll be fine.

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Vacation Beauty Favorite: Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream

Maybe it’s just living in the Midwest, but when I began looking for a drugstore moisturizer with a good SPF before Florida, there were very few choices. Shocker.  So I turned to a BB cream for my SPF needs.

BB Cream, CC Cream, Aveeno, make-up, moisturizer, SPF, natural make-up
This was part impulse buy, and part calculated decision.  After a shockingly long wait for a prescription to be filled, I somehow ended up with a new Milani baked blush, a new nail polish, a new primer, and this BB cream (I blame the American medical system).  I battled between a few drug store options, but settled on the Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream with SPF 30.  I found it in the skincare aisle near the rest of the Aveeno products, as opposed to the make-up aisle where the others I was considering were.  It was more product for the price, and Aveeno is a trusted name to me, so I was down to try it.

As I was outside in the Florida sun almost everyday, including just running around my Dad’s suburb in addition to sitting poolside, this was my skincare staple.  I applied it every morning just after moisturizer and went on my way.

For skin protecting, it worked like a charm.  I just needed one application in the morning and was good to go for the rest of the day.  With the exception of the second day where I forgot to put it on and promptly fried my forehead and nose, it was great.  I rocked that new, super trendy raccoon look for the rest of the week.

For a BB cream, it was pretty average.  It has a very sheer coverage, but it is buildable. When I was doing something other than just sitting poolside, I touched up my face with a little concealer and some of my bareMinerals to help cover up the raccoon, and was good to go.  It did have pretty good lasting power, and though I obviously got a few shades darker while there, the “light to fair” shade doesn’t wash me out now that I’ve got a little tan.

My only criticism would be that I broke out while I was down there.  I’m not sure to blame it on the climate, or just that my face hates traveling and anything out of the ordinary, but I got a few new blemishes where I don’t normally get them.  Now that I am back in my normal environment, I think I’ll continue to use it for awhile to see how my face fares.

I will be keeping this in my collection until the summer comes.  It was a great face sunscreen, even if it isn’t a great BB cream.

What’s your favorite BB cream? Or face sunscreen, for that matter? Leave it in the comments!

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A Little Story

I began an explanation/update post several times over the past week, but due to the lack of WIFI where I was staying, actually posting it wasn’t feasible.

So let’s try again, shall we?

Following my last post, I felt like crazy woman, running around trying to get things together for my upcoming vacation and a few personal things done.  (Speaking of: Health Insurance.  Anyone actually purchased it for themselves before?  In all of my college classes, we learned all about the different types, but never actually covered how to shop for it.  If you have info, send me a message!)

Last week ended with a night of fun with some co-workers to celebrate a successful few months.  Somehow, the night of fun ended with my purse falling out of my lap as I got into a car to go home. So unlike me, right?

St. Patrick's Day, make-up, green eyeshadow, eyeshadow, gold eyeshadow, lost phone, airport, mess, loser

(But I least I looked damn good when it happened.  I mean LOOK AT THAT EYE SHADOW GAME. All done with my Naked palette in golds and greens like my shirt.  Tutorial, anyone?)

Fast forward to a hectic Saturday morning: trying to get a new license, cancel my debit card, and get a new cell phone– all before my evening flight to Florida.  That time I had originally planned on using to take tons of blog pictures for my vacation-related posts was now used to frantically get my life together.

Thankfully, I managed to get it all done, and get to the airport in time for my flight.  I steered clear of the airport bars, but did manage to drown my sorrows in a giant plate of chicken tenders like the adult who was flying for the first time by herself that I was.  I may have left my dignity next to my cell phone on the sidewalk in downtown Toledo, but at least I had my chicken tenders.

After the hooplah of Friday and Saturday, I arrived safe and sound in Miami(ish) for a few days of sunshine, no work (did anyone else hear the hallelujah chorus when they read that, or was it just me?), some quality time with my Daddy and family, and zero WIFI.  They live like cavemen down there, I swear.

Now I’m back home in the overcast, 40 degree weather with this week’s episodes of Grey’s and Scandal waiting for me on the DVR.

Vacation is great.  Seeing my dad and family was awesome.  Not working for 5 days was great.  But your dog peeing with excitement when you walk through the door is even better.  Especially when the wifi automatically connects.

Stay tuned for aforementioned vacation-themed blog posts. Having no internet connection left me far too much time to think.

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