I’m doing that “thing” that I do when I have an assignment due for my online class. I start working on the assignment with total faith in myself to stick to the task-at-hand. When I start writing my paper I have one Explorer tab open to my online class and four tabs open to various research topics. Then I hastily open up a Word document and prepare it to be filled with scholarly sentences formatted in APA style. Then it happens. My left hand (who is the more creative one) decides to click on an extra internet tab and WHAM…I’m off browsing blogs for the next four hours while my lonely little Word document sits there very empty and sad.
Tonight that browsing somehow led me to a new blog and a very interesting post. It’s from a blog named The Redneck Mommy and the post is about “The R-word.” It has really made me reflect back on my life as the sister of mentally retarded big brother. By nature I’m a very non-confrontational person. We were always taught to “kill people with kindness” rather then clash with other kids. But I have very strong memories of how angry I would get inside if I heard anyone use the R-word. I also remember how boiling mad I would get if I noticed people looking at or talking about my brother. More then a few times in my childhood I remember speaking up and roaring at other kids after witnessing them mocking other disabled children. The R-word proved to be my one trigger.
But as I grew older and matured I slowly became less and less concerned by the word. I had friends who casually threw it around. And I didn’t correct them. I once had a friend ask me “Why do all retards have stupid nicknames?” And he was genuinely interested in the answer. I guess I just came to the understanding that most people are ignorant of the true life struggles of a family trying to raise a child with physical or mental deformities.
After reading her blog tonight I’m a little mad at myself for becoming okay with the casual use of the word. When I was working with Autistic children in the school system in California I always advocated for them. That same fire would start burning in my chest if anyone messed with “my kids.” But in my personal life I’ve remained silent on more then one occasion. Maybe I’ve just become more comfortable with correcting children then my peers. But I agree with Redneck Mommy, it isn’t okay. I can do better.
….and that leaves me with
blog post: 436 words
management theory paper: 62 words