Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa Claus

Let me start by saying that I'm sorry I haven't been perfect. As usual, I see some room for improvement. Also, let me apologize for not sending my Christmas list earlier. I guess that I thought it was perfectly clear what I wanted and I thought buying the plane ticket would be enough, but as it turns out, it wasn't.

So here it is. Skip the material goods and just bring me my Sweetheart. He's in England and I'm in the U.S. We were in the same position last year and I hated it. So, we got married. We had been "together" for more than 5 years on different continents, and I was tired of being alone most of the year and on important holidays and birthdays. Although I spent my 2010 New Year's, Valentine's Day, birthday, and Thanksgiving alone, I thought that my Christmas was going to be different. That's why I married him on October 24th. That's why I planned the wedding, paid his airfare, and decided to move to England: because I didn't want to be alone, anymore. Still, although I am "Rebecca Anne Bachmann Ross", I am not yet allowed to move to England. We cannot be together there until a considerable amount of paperwork is signed and every "i" dotted and "t" crossed. So in the meantime, we are relegated to visits. Since we've been married, I spent our one month anniversary alone. Yet, I was pretty good, and I called on every bit of reserve patience to wait-it-out as calmly and nicely as possible. "It's only another 3 weeks, and then we'll be together." Just wait, be patient.

That leads us to now, with every ounce of patience spent, Heathrow shuts down. Flights are canceled, with no way to rebook until after Christmas, until after my second month's anniversary spent alone.

So, Santa, you know that plane ticket I bought? Could you please make it work and deliver my husband safely to me? His flight is tomorrow at 9am.

Thanks so much.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fix it Dear Elisiah, Dear Elisiah, Dear Elisiah....

Gordon Brown made a grand gesture a week ago, apologizing for having banished British orphaned children after WWII to a country on the other side of the world, where many were maltreated for years, spoiling their childhoods at least, leading to life-long hardships often. Yet, still ingrained in British culture is a lack of appreciation for childhood, as evidenced by the prevalence of the very manageable “children’s disease”: lice. Currently, head bugs are treated as a socioeconomic issue, such that teachers are banned from even mentioning the presence of these pests, as if such talk infringes on a person’s rights, as if it is a problem of the poor. On the contrary, the bugs do not discriminate and do not ask salaries before feasting on one’s blood, although they do prefer a clean head.
In contrast to the situation with lice, rules exist for other medical conditions, and a child displaying signs of flu, for example (e.g. vomiting), is sent home. Why? Because diseases such as the flu are contagious, much like head lice, and precautions should be taken to minimize the spread. Unlike the flu, however, head lice can be easily cured. So, given all of these medical facts, why is this vector of disease for blood-born pathogens allowed to continually infect the children of England and the adults who work in the setting? My only guess why an easily curable disease is not managed properly is because it has been classified as a “disease of children”, who sadly, are still not made enough of a priority in British society.
The British government needs to step up and establish rules regarding the medical condition, in order to stop the continual infestation of their own children. Children infected with lice may have a hard time focusing on school, similar to working in the presence of a very sore ankle or an itchy spot of dry skin. Imagine trying to learn whilst your head is constantly itching. Put simply, managing this problem is part and parcel of providing a good school environment. Rules and measures must be implemented for the good of our own children, but also for our friends’ kids, and importantly, for the teachers, as well. Members of Parliament, please imagine working in a setting where there is a constant threat of catching itch-inducing bugs. And, best of all, this issue is NOT akin to solving world hunger; it is easily cured.

Friday, January 08, 2010

At the busstop...

...I came to a new understanding of my position on gun ownership. The gentleman across the way seemingly has a direct line to the heart of crime in the area, and consistently reports about the newest incidents. Today's news was regarding 3 nonfatal gunshot injuries at a local school, and it immediately got my dander up.

It's not too hard to figure out why: I have a 7-year-old attending a local school. The thing that is hard to determine is why the hobby of a portion of Americans is given precedence over the safety of the rest of Americans. According to a national survey by the National Institute of Justice, ~25% of adult Americans own guns; presumably only a portion of those owners actually engage in the sport of hunting.

Notably, hunting is NOT a necessity. We have plenty of shops to handle our food needs. In comparison, the other major source of deaths in America outside of medical conditions, is from trauma due to car accidents. I think that we need to consider the risk of getting into a car accident acceptable, considering the benefits we obtain, most notably in transporting us to work and school. However, the benefits of allowing a portion of Americans to own guns are unclear at best, while the risks are obvious and significant. A report from the CDC's National Center on Health Statistics described 721 accidental deaths by firearms, 17,348 suicides, and 12,129 homicides in 2006 alone.

Let me put it another way. There will inevitably be crazed people in the world. An insane person with a knife can damage and possibly kill 2-3 people, while that same person with a gun easily gets into the double digits with their homicides. The intensity of crime when guns are involved is so much more amped than those without. Which brings me to the other classical reason for gun ownership: for self-defense. Well, in a world without gun availability, there would not be the same level of concern for self defense. And frankly, there are plenty of other methods to put someone down without killing them, thereby allowing you to find safety and call law enforcement.

Guns accessiblity needs to be controlled. How about the creation of areas where guns could be borrowed for the day for on-site hunting? The goal is not to suppress those who enjoy that sport, only promote the safety of the rest of us.