Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The List Begins

Over the past week, many students have walked out of local high schools to protest immigration reform. There are critics who propose that these students are simply looking for a day off, but considering the number of immigrants living in our south Texas city and the fact that they have offspring, I highly doubt it. These lucky students are being rewarded for their expression of free speech with three days suspension. I thought we were supposed to be teaching children how to develop and express independent thoughts and ideas, not just become drones in a society where others tell them what to think. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I highly doubt that too.

Also during the past week, parents residing in a local school district appeared at a school board meeting wanting to ban Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, an assignment for their high school age children. I have never read this book by Atwood, though I have read other works of hers, but it apparently offers a fairly dismal (and fictional) look at the future, especially in the treatment of women. This is certainly not Atwood's first adventure into this theme (check out Oryx and Crake). Apparently, some parents did not find it appropriate reading for their teenagers.

I think everybody falls into a trap of things we say we will always or never do as parents. I am not a fan of absolutes, but these two situations seem to merit some "nevers."

Things I will never do as a parent:

1. Suppress the creation of independent thought.
2. Suppress the expression of said thought (yes - I'm aware of the meaning of the term "consequences of your actions").
3. Protest a book that my daughter is assigned to read. Someone thinks it is a good idea, and that person is probably right. I don't remember any of my high school English teachers pushing the limits on required reading, though they were all good teachers. Well, that lady who taught my British lit class when I was a senior was a bit stiff. I did not read any meaty stuff until I got to college.

I just wanted to put that out there. For now though, I have a mean case of carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my wrists - one of the many joys of pregnancy that will hopefully go away soon.

Did you check out that ticker up there? More on that coming later.

When David Caruso Speaks...People...

It is my observation that people who watch crime dramas on TV tend to fall into two groups: The "Law and Order" group and the "CSI" group. I have always been a "Law and Order" fan with the general rule that if I do not see the crime I do not watch the rest of the show. I also tend to fall asleep before the final verdict is read. Lately, the sperm donor and I have been watching "CSI Miami" because we're both too lazy to see if anything good is on television on Mondays at 9 pm. This has really created amusement for us both because of David Caruso, who plays Horatio. I think Horatio is one of the main detectives for the CSI group; I don't know for sure because I generally quit paying attention after Horatio delivers his tone-setting line, which sets the theme for the entire show. Here is how you apparently set a tone for a certain situation:

1. Horatio always goes directly to a crime scene, where he is more often than not met by a hot female detective. So make sure you are always met by a hot member of the opposite sex when you arrive at your dramatic destination.
2. Make some astute observations about the situation. Always ask the hot member of the opposite sex for his or her opinion.
3. Before you state your tone-setting line, put on your sunglasses. This is essential. It doesn't matter if it is day or night. This draws attention to yourself, makes people listen.
4. Always pause mid-sentence for dramatic effect. If you are David Caruso as Horatio, you would say things like "This is what happens...when worlds collide" or "A dead body...can have that effect on you" or "In Miami...there is a new breed of criminal." If you're just you, try "The highway...is covered with cantaloupes" (sorry - local news story) or "I would like...pasta for dinner." You attract attention by putting on the sunglasses, you keep it with the dramatic pause.

The sperm donor and I await this line with great anticipation. Then break down in horrendous laughter and rewind it over and over on our DVR. Try it. I wish someone would develop a web site of David Caruso voice clips; maybe that's my next calling.