What It’s Like to Vote. #2020

Wearing my pearls in honor of RBG!
We voted, and we honor RBG! Educators teaching young minds to think for themselves.

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Request your absentee ballot. Receive said ballot; study the amendments within it to make an informed decision. Decide, then fill out your ballot. Send it in early. Track it online until its receipt is confirmed. Encourage and tell all of your friends and family to vote. Yet, avoid politics at the dinner table or family gatherings; your mother does not share your political views and does not want to hear them. Plus, you’ll get an earful of hers until she says, “We shouldn’t even be talking about this. We won’t change each other’s minds.” True. Avoid political talk for the rest of dinner and love your family anyway.

Or……

What it’s like to vote in 2020:

Get dressed, put on your mask (and maybe gloves) then go to the polls! Tell your friends to go to the polls and post on social media to remind them. Rejoice! For there was once a day that women could not vote. You have female ancestors who had to stay home with kids, clean house, and cook while their men voted, but they couldn’t vote. Nope. Or, they finally were able to vote but their husbands told them who to vote for. Enjoy your time at the polls. You may have political opponents eyeing you, or you may be standing in line singing, Kumbaya! Everyone smiling at each other and not talking politics. Making their best decision, casting their vote in gratitude for this freedom, this right. Not thinking about what happens if their candidate loses.

This is why I wore pink. I am proud to be a woman today when looking at how far we have come. Pink to me used to mean precious and delicate. Now, it means power. This is also why I wore pearls, because RBG fought for so many women’s rights and civil rights, and I honor any woman who fought, and fights, for the rights of others with her words, her pen, and her actions.

My friend at work also wore pearls, and one of her students as well! We were so proud. What happens now? We put change into effect in our world regardless of who sits in the White House. We keep voting when we can, but we show up everyday to make a difference in this world in the way we speak and relate to each other and the way we communicate to our bright minds of the future. We are unstoppable.

Where were you on 9/11/01? #amwriting #timeline #fiction #setting

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I know this is not timely, but I have come to a point in my current work in progress where the character is living in D.C. around the early 2000s, and it is impossible for me to skirt around this subject. However, it is not an easy subject. Still, let’s face the fact that 9-11 changed or totally upset all of our lives. I have an idea how I will incorporate it based on what I know. Even though I have lived in Jacksonville, Florida for forty some years, I was affected by the events of 9-11.

Where was I? I was at school, getting ready to teach my seventh grade class. Students were filtering in, as class started at 9:15. There were always a few students who would be late. One girl, a highly emotional girl on any given day, said “Ms. Canepa, an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. It’s terrorism. We’re all gonna die!”

I told her, “No. We are not all gonna die. Please calm down. If it was terrorism, they will stop it. If we were in danger, we would have been warned by now.” It’s sounds sort of heartless, but I felt vulnerable and worried about my son who was in kindergarten, as well as sortvof surorised that I heard it first from a student. Would something else be targeted next? Evidently this news was all over the radio, because I heard it from a few other people in the next few hours. At lunch, the TV news was on in our teacher’s lounge. Everyone’s faces were grave. Students were getting checked out early all day. I texted by ex-husband who worked on a military base, wondering if they had beefed up their security. He asked about our son. Inevitably, I checked out my son a little early from his school as well. Although Smart phones were not as popular back then, people undoubtedly were getting footage, it was shared on the internet, and every TV station had constant updates or had suspended all regular programming, because we really needed to see those images on repeat on the hour. Sarcasm intended. It was nightmarish, but even worsened when I picked up my son.

I got my son into the car and asked him how his day was. He said “I saw on TV. Two airplanes crashed into a building,” in a hushed tone, knowing it was real–life and not some high-tech movie, because either he was smart or they, of course, would not show such a movie in school. It also seemed like he realized it could have happened to any of us.

“Where did you see this on TV?” I asked, knowing the answer.

“The TV in the classroom.”

While I was livid, I held that all in and hugged my son, telling him everything would be okay. It was over. Yes, his teacher had evidently been sucked into the media frenzy and had to get every detail. Or maybe watching the news was a regular part of their morning routine? Unlikely for kindergarten, though. All I could do was focus on trying to make him feel safe with me, in our own home.

Sadly, I knew this became the day I discovered I could not shield my child from the evil in this world. It had already been played out before his eyes before I could even comfort him or explain what had happened. He still remembers it to this day, though he seems detached from whatever he had felt that day as a small five-year-old.

Straight out of my 2001 journal: “Evil just reached a hand in and put a strangle-grip on our world. And we still don’t know who did it. It leaves me with quite an insecure feeling. Reminds me of what really matters, and what doesn’t….” He became a little more emotional in the next few months, and some of his behaviors surprised me, but we dealt with it. I can not imagine what it was like for those living in New York or who had family that lived there; many lost their loved ones.

What were you doing the day 9-11 occurred?

Anxiety, The Phantom #poetry

One of my early WordPress posts…

pamelascanepa

By Pamela Schloesser Canepa
Anxiety, The Phantom copyright, 1.05.16
A windy night brings it. Bam!
The back porch door slams
And I’m left to wonder what is there
What glowing eyes in the night will glare?
I am like a child, four years old again,
My fear and imagination bends.
What hoodlum or phantom lurks here?
I sense something evil crouching near.
Gone is all hope of sleep.
I must be ready in case he leaps.

“He” is my fear of things unseen,
Politicians and terrorists threatening me,
Bills, undone tasks, that won’t let me free,
Narrow minded people judging me
Worry for my son, in his melancholy
TV news feeding branches of my anxiety.
Things that make me think I have no weapon,
Realities that happen, with or without mention.
My canine detects no offending thief,
And only morning daybreak brings relief.

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