Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Learning About Life in Catholic School

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , at 4:52 pm by Elaine Petrowski

So…. today I get an email from my high school alumni group and decide to take a few minutes to poke around the St. Blabla site

to see how things have progressed in the umpteen years since I attended.

To my dismay, but not to my surprise, NOTHING seems to have changed.  But the stand-out is the dress code, emblematic of all that was 1965, with the possible exception of the mention of “multiple piercings.”

My favorite line: “Judgement (sic) concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration.”

Such is, and was, the life of the teenage girl who attends(ed) this school.

Now I ask: If  “judgement concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration” how and when do students develop their own judgment concerning appropriate attire?

This, in a nutshell,  was my experience attending a Catholic girl’s high school. “No need to think for yourselves. We’ll do it for you!”

Below,  if you are curious, is part of the CURRENT dress code,  which, if memory serves me,  is identical to the 1960’s.

“Students are required to adhere to the following dress code:

* Uniform skirt or uniform pants (when Permitted)
* Skirts are to be a presentable length for school. They may not be rolled up at the waist.
* The School shoes must be worn at all times-either the loafer or lace shoe, whichever you choose.
* Dark stockings are required; black, charcoal gray, navy tights or dark knee socks must be worn. Fish net and patterned stockings are not permitted. Students are to arrive, remain, and leave in the school uniform/dress code.

On days that uniforms are not required, it is expected that each student will select attire which will not call attention to her in a negative way. Judgement concerning the appropriateness of any student’s attire rests with the administration.

Students may not have visible body piercing (e.g. eyebrow, lips, nose, tongue, etc.) except for earrings, and no more than 2 pair of earrings may be worn at school (these earrings should be small in size.) No headwear is permitted in class. Only one neck-chain may be worn-and one ring on each hand.”

Is this still the way to go?

Do you think this teaches anything?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recycle Your Old Shoes-Unless They Add Chocolate, This Can’t Get Any Better

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, sustainability, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:30 am by Elaine Petrowski

Here’s a great way to clear out some closet space with a clear conscience, do a good deed and get a receipt for your income taxes in the process.

You all have them. Those several pairs of  shoes you never wear… but can’t bring yourself to throw out?

The fashion faux pas shoes. The  gee-when-did-my-feet-grow shoes? And those cool cross-trainers that gave you dime-sized blisters both times you wore them.

New shoes. (Courtesy of soles4souls.org)

New shoes. (Courtesy of soles4souls.org)

Some of the shoes Soles4Souls.org has collected went to tsunami survivors and to those who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. Others go to the homeless, or to shelters for battered women, or to hospitals. Way better then going to waste in the landfill.

And Soles4Souls will happily accept not just your shoes, but the gently-used shoes and boots your toddlers have outgrown, your teenager will no longer leave the house in, or that just plain hurt your  husband’s feet.

Click here for your closest Soles4Souls drop-box location.

Quick, easy, painless sustainability and recycling. By my reckoning, unless you add chocolate to this deal, it just doesn’t get any better.

See an earlier, related post on sustainability.

And then do a good deed for your shoe-aholic friends by passing this post onto them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Healthcare Reform Bill Agony– the Democratic Process at Work?

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:00 am by Elaine Petrowski

I’m getting really cranky with all of the talk — or should I say conjecture, misinformation and fear-mongering, lobbying, pandering etc. — that’s going on around the issue of health care reform.

Got an email  today from (I’m assuming)  a well-intentioned friend. The You Tube video it led me to pointed out, among other things, that “someone sitting behind a desk  in Washington will soon decide if  your mother or grandmother can get medical treatment for Alzhiemer’s.”

Call me crazy, but to me this infers that potentially important decisions about my future medical care options will be decided by a panel of non-medically trained Washingtonians who are probably in a hurry to leave town for vacation.

(Supreme irony??? )

NOTE to  REP. SCOTT GARRETT (R,NJ); FRANK LAUTENBERG (D,NJ), ROBERT MENEDEZ (D, NJ), et al: How about all you hard-working representatives and senators do the job you were elected (in some cases, not by me) to do —  represent me!

And here’s how I’d like you to do that:

WORK TOGETHER (Do any of you recall attending kindergarten …where you were supposed to have learned  this? ) to author a bill that actually helps the American people improve their quality of life and the quality of their health care.

Quit pandering to special interests.  And don’t use fear.  Or  bait me with half truths, outright lies or with statements that twist the intent of the reform into pretzels.

JUST GET TO WORK AND FINISH a bill.

And then VOTE on it.

And don’t take your damn vacation until you do your damn job!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Raise Your Hand if You Need a Federal Law to Tell You Not to Text While Driving

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:16 pm by Elaine Petrowski

While I applaud the intent of the good Senators Menendez, Schumer, Landrieu and Hagan, and I do firmly believe the findings of the many researchers on distracted driving, do we REALLY  need a law to keep us all  from texting while driving?

Well now, we do seem to need laws to keep from us shooting each other, from sticking each other with knives, abandoning our spouses and children at the mall, and driving through red lights, not to mention about six zillion other potentially stupid human tricks.

Hmmm… come to think of it,  maybe we really do need the proposed ALERT (Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers) Act (or possibly we could just call it American Lawyers Easy Revenue Trail Act? )

Or, is it that we need an effective tool to punish those who text while driving?

My suggestion: forget the fine. A driving-texting offender will be prohibited from owning a cell phone, crackberry or  any other form of PED, existing or to be invented, for up to ten years, until his/her brain finishes maturing sufficiently to realize TEXTING AND DRIVING DON’T EVER MIX. (This applies if the driver is 16 or 96.)

Please …tell me that you DON’T EVER TEXT WHILE DRIVING? (Reported stats say 20% of drivers DO!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So…What’s on Your Bucket List?

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Elaine Petrowski

You know … that list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”?

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

Okay… I’ll start, but then let’s hear from you lurkers out there on this one… share some of the top items on YOUR bucket list. ( You know who you are!)

Here goes:

(I note a common thread of travel through these, which does not surprise me in the least.)

1. Visit the towns my father walked through as an infantryman during World War II- they would be France, Germany, Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia. ( Happy Birthday, Dad. He would have been 85 today!)

2. Meet all my great grandchildren.

3. Go  to each of the 18 states I’ve not been to…yet.  (I could cheat and make the list shorter, but  just an airport doesn’t count.)  Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma ,Utah, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

4. Own, and know how to competently use, a kayak. ( NOTE: This does NOT imply there will be any white water rafting. This means quiet water kayaking.)

5. Research the rest of my family tree.

6. Knit just one sweater that really looks great on me…. and that I LOVE to wear.

7. See the Northern Lights.

8. Master watercolors. Ok, maybe master is a bit strong, but at least use them occasionally? And taking them out of the closet is a good first step, don’t you think?

Okay lurkers … your  turn.  It’s simple… Just click on the word “comment” below.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Redefining “Community Gardening”, the New Jersey way

Posted in Funny, gardening, Humor, Laughs, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, sustainability tagged , , , , , at 8:43 pm by Elaine Petrowski

We started planting our first-ever plot in our town’s community garden today.

What could be better? The community gardening season begins. www.freedigitalphoto.netGreat exercise, fresh air and fun visiting with all the other eager, new gardeners on this, the first day planting was “permitted.”

Much to my surprise, it turned out that of the six other gardeners we encountered, four were  also newbies.

As I “played in the mud” and mentally planned how to fit in all the sun-loving herbs, tomatoes, tomatillos and sunflowers  we can’t grow in our shady yard, I couldn’t help but wonder just why so many of these much-coveted, 10′ x 12′, already roto-tilled, mini-farms were suddenly  available this year.

As we finished our third hour of working  (3 x 2=6 hours*),  one of the more experienced gardeners showed up and regaled the newbies with this story:  Late last growing season a woman who was NOT a  participant, arrived at the garden with a basket on her arm and began happily picking tomatoes. “My son told me it was OK because this is a community garden, ” she said.

And so, the adventure begins.

As the old Irish saying goes , “May the rain fall softly on your fields and the wind be always at your back”…

*Just for the fun of it, I’m counting the person-hours we invest. (I’m afraid to add up the cost!) We’re now at 10,  including the garden committee meeting, shopping for plants, seed, fertilizer and the chicken wire to keep the rabbits out, setting up the fence (an engineering feat for two non-engineers) and then finally, actually planting some seedlings.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“Playing for Change” Releases CD/DVD

Posted in fun, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:39 pm by Elaine Petrowski

I was first moved to write about Playing for Change, Mark Johnson’s peace-through-music organization, last year.

Today, Playing for Change, “a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music” released a CD/DVD, “Songs Around the World”.

“The album demonstrates that regardless of our religion, race, gender, or political views we can unite through music.”

And despite the fact that I am on self-imposed knitting supplies- shoe- handbag etc.- purchasing  probation,  I am planning to purchase a CD for myself and  a few more for gifts so I can support this international peace work of building schools to teach music.

(Click here to listen to preview.)

Let me know what you think, and if you decide to buy one,  via the comments below.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NYPD Aids the “The Hang Up and Drive” Movement

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:13 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Friday, the 13th of March 2009 was not a good day for New York City residents who chose to talk  on their hand-held cell phones while driving.  Seems the New York City Police Department implemented a crackdown and handed out 9,016 tickets for the offense in one 24- hour period.

I say HOORAY for the boys (and girls) in blue!

What do you suppose that says about the statistical likelihood you are encountering a great many inattentive drivers who are bumper-to- bumper, or worse yet, head-on, with you and your kids, parents, friends and family who are driving, playing and walking, each day?  Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This will make you smile

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 5:49 pm by Elaine Petrowski

What an idea. Peace through music. We are all one.

Watch this clip. It just might restore some of your faith in humanity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A_ma2h0idk

If it was up to me, I’d nominate Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls for the Nobel Peace Prize based just on the little bit I’ve seen of  what looks to be an AMAZING 75-minute movie “Playing for Change: Peace Through Music” and for the music education foundation Playing for Change, that grew out of the ten-year production saga.

It isn’t really a documentary as much as a global concert film, recorded on the streets of New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, Tibet and elsewhere, as the filmmakers (Johnson being an award-winning engineer and producer) traveled across the globe, finding musicians to record tracks on versions of “Stand By Me” and Bob Marley’s “One World” without any of the individual musicians ever having met each other.  The purpose of the project, which led to the formation of a foundation to help impoverished people in the areas visited, is to show how music brings people together regardless of their cultural differences.”

Read more about their fine, uplifting work here.