Archive for ‘School’

April 15, 2013

Some bullies don’t grow up; they just get older.

When I was younger, kids just hit me. They pushed me down, shoved my face in the snow, pushed me into walls, punched and kicked me. But, that was something I could handle. I would cry and cry about it, but then I’d move on. It was easy to see who was in the wrong. I knew they were being bad kids, because hitting was bad. Simple. But then we all “grew up.” But growing up is different than I thought it would be. Because the bullying didn’t go away. It just came in a different form.

Faggot.

Pussy.

Stupid.

Dyke.

Ugly.

Spaz.

Fat.

Retard.

Bitch.

Useless.

Kill yourself.

I heard these words whispered at me in classrooms and shouted at me in hallways. They were written on notes left in my locker and the backs of seats on the bus. Then all the kids got cell phones. And then the words started coming through texts and voicemails. Everybody had MySpace, so they came through that. After a while, there was nowhere to hide.

Even now, as an adult, I still feel like a victim of bullying. I’m still tormented by people who are still cruel, despite years of people telling everyone that “bullying will not be tolerated.” Despite the anti-bullying initiatives. Despite the presentations on the statistics of bullying. Despite the documentaries, the candlelight vigils, the pleas from mothers and fathers of dead children to administrators and congresspeople and presidents. The bullies didn’t grow up; they just got older.

I don’t think my parents know yet the extent to which I suffered as a victim of bullying. I don’t think they understand the depression, the suicidal thoughts, the fear. I don’t think that they’ll ever really know that making friends is so much harder now. That I can’t trust people. That killing myself is sometimes more of a fantasy than a nightmare, because I just want to make the bullying end.

I wish I could make the bullying stop. But it seems like I’m buried. Like there’s no way out of it. I’m still trying to find a way out. Maybe I never will. Maybe the world will magically get better. Who even fucking knows anymore.

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April 9, 2013

My “Anonymous” Comments to the ad hoc PACI Committee

Although I am a Committee member myself, I cannot ignore the fact that I have personal opinions on inclusion at the University of Portland. So, I “anonymously” submitted the following comments to them. It’s not so anonymous now that I’m sharing it with all of you, but I didn’t feel that sharing my opinions during the student listening sessions was appropriate.

Anyway, here is what I said:

I have several comments and recommendations for the University’s ad hoc Presidential Advisory Committee on Inclusion:

As a queer student, I have experienced both explicit and implicit discrimination. I’ve been called “disgusting” and “unnatural” by fellow students in class and the instructors ignored those comments. I was never protected from such insults, especially when they were made in Theology courses. I can think of several reasons for why instructors faced with this situation wouldn’t come to my aid: 1) instructors are not educated on how to deal with confrontational situations involving diversity or discrimination, 2) instructors do not feel comfortable voicing their own personal opinions on matters of diversity for fear of retaliation from the University administration, 3) instructors belong to the mindset that opinions, even those which are hurtful and discriminatory, should not be stifled or corrected in the classroom. There is a clear problem with any and all of these reasons. The problem shouldn’t have to be spelled out in black and white for an institution that holds to a moral and ethical code as high as the University of Portland. Faculty and staff need to be trained to handle such conflicts in and out of the classroom. In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, we should provide our faculty and staff with an education that prepares them with the right knowledge about diversity of background and identity. Poet Denice Frohman said this: “Did you notice that hate is alive and well in too many lunchrooms, taught in the silence of too many teachers, passed down like secondhand clothing from too many parents?” (from the spoken word poem “Dear Straight People”; find it on Youtube.) Faculty and staff should act as mediators in these situations, not let them get out of hand like they all too frequently do here at UP.

As a person of color, I do not feel like a fully integrated member of the University community. I have never met a faculty member who shares a similar Latino or Asian heritage as myself. I have no mentor to approach with questions like “After I graduate, how do I deal with racial discrimination in the workplace?” I cannot share my experiences with racial discrimination with a faculty member who truly understands what I’ve been through. When I bring up racial stereotypes in class, I seem to be the only one who can relate. I get stares from fellow classmates and hear whispers like, “Why doesn’t she just keep that to herself? It’s not relevant to us.” These subtle racist comments (microaggressions) are not only hurtful to me and other racial minorities, but also perpetuate the destructive mindset that race issues are irrelevant or don’t matter to racial majorities. It’s not just my problem; it’s everyone’s problem. Our world is growing closer and closer together. It’s time for us to understand that we are becoming global citizens. Diversity training needs to be a part of a student’s introduction to the University. Higher education should broaden our worldviews, not narrow them.

As a woman in a male-dominated major (business), I feel like there aren’t nearly enough female leaders to look up to at the University. I cannot personally identify with any of our University’s administrators, who are straight, white, middle-aged males. I absolutely believe in hiring only those who are qualified for the positions they are appointed to, but I also feel that the University should make a stronger effort to seek out women (including/especially women of color) to fill their positions of authority. We have such a strong balance of male/female students, but that balance does not extend to our faculty and staff. How can we say that we are making decisions in the interest of all of our students if we cannot truly identify with all of our students?

Although the following issues do not directly pertain to me, I feel that it is important to acknowledge them as well: 1) I do not feel that we as a University provide adequate resources for our non-traditional students (married students, veterans, students with children/dependents, single parents, students who work full-time, delayed enrollment students, etc.). We lack an office for non-traditional students. We also do not have specific resources like a childcare center for parents (which could also be utilized by our faculty and staff).  2) I do not feel that we have enough resources for our international students. While we do have an International House in Residence Life that helps to accommodate students from other countries who may have different home lifestyles, we do not assist them with many of the academic challenges that they may face coming to a North American university. Education is approached in many different ways, and we need to understand that some people learn differently than others. I have also witnessed subtle discrimination among students towards international students. Comprehensive diversity training for students would help to remedy some of this. I feel that it is also important to include “citizenship status” into the Non-Discrimination Policy, to show that our University does not condone acts of discrimination based on one’s place of origin or the country one calls home.

To end, I will leave you, the Committee, with this to keep in mind as you move forward in your process:

As a Catholic institution, we value service and social justice. According to Fr. Basil Moreau’s Philosophy of Education, “If at times you show preference to any young person, it should be the poor, those who have no one else to show them preference, those who have the least knowledge, those who lack skills and talent, and those who are not Catholic or Christian.” If we seek to follow in the footsteps of Fr. Moreau, we should celebrate those who are different from us, not drive them away. We must embrace those who have been overlooked by others. It is our duty as a community to protect and serve those who are less fortunate. We have a moral obligation to those people. We must extinguish fear and replace it with love, as Christ would.

December 12, 2012

Another semester has come and gone…

Instead of ranting on and on about how the past three weeks of HELL have been for me, I thought it might be more interesting to tell you about it in .gif form.

November 26th, when I learned that I only had three weeks left in the semester:

Disagreeing kitten

Followed by:

Colbert

Later that week, I started to get excited about the end of the semester. It was so close! I felt like:

Easy A Sex Oh Yeah

And:

Fat cheering guy

November 30th, when I realized that I got basically nothing done this week and next week is Dead Week and all of my classes have huge projects due on Monday and Tuesday… which is two days from now:

Manny Pacman ANGRY

And:

DCriss Angry

All that weekend:

Computer guy snaps

Crying Abby Community

Monday of Dead Week came around, and my first huge grade make-or-break project was due. Once I finished the presentation, I felt like:

Bridesmaids Swag

But then I realized I had even more shit to do.

So the rest of the week went:

Spongebob Patrick Running Pantless

FFFFFFUUUUUUU

JGL ANGRY GIF

Then came the weekend before Finals Week:

Emma Stone SNL Crying Ice cream

FRESH PRINCE CRY GIF

Monday, December 10th, when I OWNED my first final:

badass in yo face

But then this morning, my other final HIT ME IN THE FACE:

DR WHO CRY GIF

But, now I’m home, so school can suck a dick.

Auf wiedersehen Asshole

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September 23, 2011

Pardon me while I rant.

Hey readers,

It’s been a little while since I’ve last written and I feel today is a pretty appropriate day to write.

Today’s had its ups and downs. As of right now, I’m pretty sure the downs outweigh the ups significantly.
We’ll start at the beginning. I went to class, then more class, then to the business office at school, then more class, then one more class. Pretty dull. After that, my weekend officially began and I went off with a couple friends to wander downtown Portland and get food cart food. I got some really great Filipino food that reminds me a lot of my mother’s cooking. I was ashamed that I couldn’t find room in my stomach to finish it. Then I got mini-donuts and a mango bubble tea and went off to Powell’s City of Books (if you have a passion for books, this is your Utopia). I bought myself a hard cover copy of The Indispensable Dante, which includes The Divine Comedy, La Vita Nuova, and excerpts from the Latin Prose works. The book is a little worn, but sixty-two years of wear and tear will do that to just about anything/anyone. It’s an adorable little treasure; I’m quite lucky to have found it at such a great price.

Here’s where things started to go downhill.
After returning to campus, I decided to have a little text-chat with my mom. I let her know that I got my first paycheck from my new job in the mail and about the Filipino food cart I found. She told me to take a picture of the check. Then, I reminded her that my fall break is coming up in three weeks. She was quick to reply, “I thought you were staying there for your break.” This is not at all the case. I’ve actually been planning to come back in October since… well, since I got here.
So, I texted my father and let him know that my break was coming up. He replied with a very cold, “Well, better save your money for your ticket.” I’m pretty sure he knows that I can’t buy my own plane ticket (which costs a little over $200 both ways). After relaying to Mom what he’d said, she attempted to assure me that my dad would probably change his mind and buy me a ticket. I then proceeded to remind her that every day he waits to buy the ticket, the price climbs.

So, basically, there’s a pretty big chance that I will be spending nine days in October by myself, in a stuffy room, wallowing in a pool of my own tears.  I won’t be able to see my family, my boyfriend, or my boyfriend’s family until practically Christmas. It’s reached the point where I can’t even think about this scenario without tearing up. I just want to be home for a couple days. I want to sleep in my own bed. I want to sit on the couch and play abnormally violent video games with my boyfriend. I just want to not be at school, constantly stressing out.

I just want to go home.