Bluebird Down

The pursuit of domestic bliss, one glorious debacle at a time.

I’m *huge* in Germany. June 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized,Writing — Teri @ 3:23 pm

As a teenager and a Gen X 20-something, I was obsessed with music — buying music, live music, MTV (yes, we all know that was before The Real World ruined… well, the world), reading about music, I loved it all. I hung out with a crowd that obsessed over music. And in that crowd, there was always one kid in the crowd who would pull the most obscure, crap band out of the pile and proclaim it as the next ____________________ (Fill in the blank with The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones, the Hoff.) Every time. The piece de resistance for the inevitable argument was, “Dude, they are *huge* in Germany!” (Or Japan. In the mind of the American teenager, the two are indistinguishable.)

I had a flashback to those arguments during a conversation recently. One of my former professors asked me how my writing was going. Seriously, my cheeks flashed hot. I fumbled with words to write back to her that, well, yeah, I had kinda didn’t do much with it. I told her I had a blog for a while, but I didn’t really have anything to say anymore. I told her I had freelanced for a local paper for a while, but reporting wasn’t really my thing. I told her I can write a mean grant proposal… and I’m *huge* in Germany!

I thought back to my classes with her. She would give back papers by slamming them on your desk and then with her finger jabbing at the paper, say, “Yes. Yes. Yes.” If she didn’t like a passage, it would come with a note to see her during office hours. Then you would sit beside her as she had you dissect your own writing and do it better. She would tell me I had natural ability. When I would demure, she would burst out, “You have a voice, Miss. USE IT.” Grammar and sentence structure can be taught, she said. Writing with a true voice is a gift, she said. But still you must write, she said. Or the voice will become a whisper. (Yeah, she had a flare for the dramatic.)

Her response to my feeble email was short. “I could wax poetic about wasted opportunity, but I will just send this instead:”

Apparently a picture is worth a thousand words.

Apparently a picture is worth a thousand words.

Above her signature it said, “I expect a writing sample from you tomorrow.”

Sixty-eight days of summer with a blog post for every day. One down, 67 to go…


The Heart of the Case July 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Teri @ 3:43 pm

My mind has been whirling since the announcement of the Casey Anthony verdict an hour ago. Z and I were driving back from yet another appointment with the fertility doctor when it was announced the verdict was in. On a visceral level, I do believe that somehow, in some way, she killed her child. On a logical level, I can sorta/kinda/maybe understand the verdict. As a school social worker, I make child abuse reports all the time. I don’t make false reports, but very rarely are my cases substantiated. It’s hard to prove abuse. I know, I know what you are saying — “The child has a bruise/black eye/broken arm/has been murdered. How much more proof do you need?” Well, in the eyes of the law, a lot more. And that, my friends, is why I’m not a Child Protection Social Worker. I don’t have the disposition to contain my outrage. I do my best every day to comfort my kids who have been abused and I feel like an absolute failure when the law doesn’t protect them. It’s an unfortunate paradox — I ask them to put their trust in me while I’m not entirely sure we should trust the process. The system works in mysterious ways that I can not always wrap my brain around. It makes me heart sick, but the alternative is to just give up on protecting children and that’s just unacceptable.

Maybe the day Caylee died was the first day she was abused. Probably not. It’s the community’s job to speak up and defend children. Learn the signs of child abuse and the local numbers to call to report suspected abuse. If your Child Protection agency doesn’t respond, then call the police. Both reports can be made anonymously.

Maybe if someone had spoken up in Caylee’s defense, Casey wouldn’t have needed a defense.