Posts Tagged ‘saving the world’

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Displaced Rantypants.

November 18, 2009

I’ve started a second blog to talk about the issues with the funding and fee hikes at the University of California. You can find it here: Whose University?. I’d love to get some discussion, dissent, and dialog going over there, so drop on by and comment, and spread the link to those you think might want to do likewise!

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This would be why I hate August

August 13, 2009

I don’t mind admitting that I’m having a hard time this month. I have a long history of seasonal emotional troubles, and late summer is always the worst. I may have taken on more than was wise for summer classes, and I’m now regretting it– but it’s much too late to drop one class, because these sessions are only five weeks long and all the administrative dates are accelerated.

One of the strong contributing factors to my stress right now is the fire. That’s very close to where I live. About five miles. And I’ve lived in California all my life; I’ve always been peripherally aware of seasonal wildfires, always moreso when the smoke gathered and choked us all in Silicon Valley for weeks at a time. It’s not really the smoke I’m worried about just now, though. The wind is gusty and keeps changing– it’s blowing the fire away from us now, yes, but it can easily change in less than twenty minutes, and these fires spread, like… well, like wildfire. It went from nothing to a thousand acres over the course of last night.

I can’t really do anything about this right now, though, except put all my precious papers and instruments in my car with me before I go to school. I’ve got about seven continuous hours of class today, plus a midterm. Originally this post was going to be a P.S.A. about fire-safety and wild-fire preparedness, but I think I’m a little too stressed out to write that up right now. Oh well.

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So I’ve been adopted.

July 25, 2009

So there’s this cat, which I’m calling Godiva due to the fact that she looks exactly like a truffle when she sits in the sun. (Not confirmed that she’s female, but I hate calling her ‘it’ and she hasn’t sprayed anything so she’s definitely not an unfixed male.) I’ve been feeding her, because she’s fur and bones and because I love having things to take care of in return for affection. And affection has been returned! She won’t really tolerate anyone but me, but with me she’s super sweet, lots of purring and rolling around. She’s still quite shy, and our theory is that she was someone’s housecat but got left behind in a move or something.

The thing is… well, there’s two sides. Side one: we live in the woods. Last month, we found the remains of a cat that had been eaten– completely devoured, except for the front legs and a lung– on our front yard. This is not an easy place for cats to live, frankly. Our neighbor has adopted one cat, and feeds her up at his house. This one has been sort of hanging around, and I’m feeding her on the far side so as not to cause a territorial dispute. I’d love to take her in, give her a safe, warm, dry place to sleep and eat, somewhere where I’m not afraid she’ll get messed up by raccoons and other, larger wildlife we’ve got out here.

However, this is a rental. We’re going to be here for one year, <i>maybe</i> two. The owner has let us know that she’s okay if we adopt one of the feral cats, but that doesn’t exactly solve the problem of what to <i>do</i> with the cat when we all graduate or move out. Not only that, but I live with dog people. Raquel is allergic to cats, so my housemates¬† don’t want the cat inside, or if it does come inside, they don’t want it on the furniture or in the common areas. I can’t really bring a cat inside and try to explain to it why it can’t sit on all the soft surfaces in the house, though, and she does have fleas and a couple other probable health issues just from living in the wild for too long. I can’t afford vet bills, though, I can’t afford flea treatment. I can afford the food, but that’s kind of it.

I don’t want to give this cat to the shelter. She’s sweet, but she’s a little beat-up and I’m not completely confident that they’d find a good home for her. I don’t want to give her up to some stranger, either. So, I really need someone that:
1.) I know, or am at least acquainted with,
2.) Lives in Northern California (shipping cats long-distance is kind of awful)
3.) Has a stable home amenable to cats
4.) Can afford to and is willing to take care of this cat’s particular needs, health-wise and trust-issues-wise
5.) (obviously) Wants a cat

If you or someone you know fits all these qualifications, please <i>please</i> contact me, either through this post or through email. I want this cat to have a good home, and since I can’t entirely provide that, I want to find someone that can.

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Seven Years of My Life and Service

June 3, 2009

I found out from a colleague of mine last week that the Heroes programs, Young Heroes and City Heroes, have been cut because City Year and Americorps simply can’t afford them anymore.

I was a Young Hero for two years and a City Hero for four, both at City Year San Jose. For every single leadership opportunity– advisory boards and committees within the Heroes program, mainly– I volunteered or was chosen. I received three Presidential Service Awards simply from participating in the program. I’ve done over a thousand hours of community service through the Heroes programs. In freshman year, I was chosen to represent the new City Heroes program at the end-of-year City Year gathering in Boston, Cyzygy. One of my best friends from the Heroes programs is now legally my sister.

In short, the program was a huge part of my life.

I’m incredibly sad to see it go, and incredibly disappointed in the current state of things that made it impossible for the programs to continue. President Obama issued a call to service, and this is not how we should be answering that call. Yes, the economy’s in the crapper, but these programs could have helped to pull it out, in the long run. I know at least a dozen former Heroes personally who would not have gone to college if not for the programs. Because of their participation and their service, they’ll be ready to get real, competitive jobs that bring tax flow and money flow to wherever they settle down. Former Heroes will stimulate the economy, not burden it. And when, in another seven years, the generation of kids who never had these programs available graduates high school and enters the work force or higher education, I think it will show.

When I was twelve, I referred to what I did every Saturday as “saving the world.” I don’t think I was hyperbolizing at the time. The programs were, and are, incredibly important in the lives of thousands of young people. They will be sorely missed.