Saturday, September 27, 2008

I got this forwarded email from a well-intentioned source who meant no harm. This created the following exchange:
RE: Photography shoot for the LDS Curriculum Department

Dear Talent File Participant,
I apologize for the extreme tardiness of this request. I have been given the assignment to find "non-Caucasian" families and singles to attend a photo shoot this Sunday, September 28th. It was my desire to glean help from the surrounding wards, thereby not taxing our talent pool yet again, with requests for ethnicities. However, the members in that area have not responded to the call, and I am now desperate for help!
Would you, or ANYONE you know, be willing to attend this small photo shoot for Church Curriculum? (By "ethnic," at this point, we'd be grateful to have anyone with a dark tan!)
Here is the information I have available:
Project: Photographs for the new "Gospel Principles" manual to be released in 2010.
Setting: A Ward Sacrament Meeting
Needed: Ethnic Minorities (non-Caucasian) who can follow directions in English. Singles are welcome! Families are welcome! All children need to be accompanied by at least one parent.
Location: LDS Chapel located at 1925 Gunderson Lane, Holladay, UT
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2008
Time: Please arrive between 3:30 – 3:45pm. (No later than 3:45pm.)
Duration: Until about 5:00pm.


This is the reply I sent:
Hello. I just received a forwarded email requesting "ethnic" members for a photo shoot. As a person of color, I find the manner of this request quite insensitive. For your future reference, next time you put out an all-call for "ethnic minorities," please don't say "by 'ethnic,' at this point, we'd be grateful to have anyone with a dark tan!"
Also, my skin may be dark, but I am able to "follow directions in English." I followed them just fine during my undergrad studies at BYU and during my graduate work. Your assumption that members of the church with dark skin are unable to follow rudimentary directions in English is quite offensive. I would have hoped that the general population of our church would be more enlightened, if not especially the leadership and those working for church media.
Please be more sensitive- or at least less openly ignorant- when making future requests.

They responded quickly, but CC'd to everyone in the whole world. Basically, they told me that they are "sorry I feel this way."
Here is their response:

I am sorry that you took offense where none was intended. Many "ethnic minorities" come from other countries. If I were in China, I would not be able to follow directions in Mandarin, and that would rule me out. [If you were in China, the directions would be given in Mandarin AND English because that's how ignorant Americans demand everything.]
Again, no offense was intended, nor have I received any feedback from anyone but you that this language was offensive.
[clearly, because people with dark skin apparently can't read English]

You know, offense that isn't intended is just as ugly and often more insidious. So basically, they don't MEAN to be ignorant, but they're going to be anyway.

If they are really having such a hard time finding "ethnic" people, perhaps they could just use Caucasian people and put them in blackface, since they already did that in "Testaments." That's right. Instead of finding an actual "ethnic" person to play the lead role, they put the lovely (and Caucasian) Joy Gardner into blackface for the role... or would the more correct term be "brownface"?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


Thank you Shan & Amanda, for your feedback. =)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You should all be pleased to know that I successfully got my Fulbright application turned in before the deadline this past Friday, thanks to the following people:

  •  Dr. Keeler- amazing recommendation letter writer and the fastest email responder ever
  •  Dr. G, Mrs. B, and Mr. S- letter writers extraordinaire 
  •  Briana- morale booster, proof reader, and finder of missing verbs
  •  Steve- essay shaper, proof reader, and catcher of words like "Cocoa-Cola" (Seriously, if it wasn't for Steve, I would have turned in a curriculum vitae that proudly stated that I was a Cocoa-Cola Scholar.)
Thank you, guys!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not that I'm counting, but this...

is starting to feel an awfully lot like this:

I have a relatively large class, especially for third grade. I'm currently at 29 students (and counting!), and I have nearly 40 students in my reading intervention group. Did I mention yet that I only have 32 desks? We are seriously running out of my room, and thanks to the district hiring freeze, we have no hope of getting any more teachers (we have four teachers doing the work of six teachers). Somehow I lucked out and actually have a REAL classroom in the actual school building; the other third grade teachers are teaching in tiny portable trailers where there used to be basketball courts.

I am really dumbfounded. What happened to CLASS SIZE REDUCTION? According to one of my favorite pieces of Nevada Legislation, third grade is supposed to be capped at 21 students. The only loophole exists in a team teaching situation, where two teachers share a maximum of 38 students. This is not the situation in my school. 

I am honestly trying to remember how many kids were in my class back when I was a third grader, and I cannot remember. So, just for perspective, how many kids were in your classes when you were in elementary school?  

Monday, September 01, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

(about Steve)

 ... loves his family.
... has always been 100% honest with me.
... works so hard and has accomplished so much academically and professionally.
... stands up for what he believes in with undying resolution (even though sometimes this drives me crazy).
... gives his all working for the causes he supports.
... enjoys a flick at the Tower just as much as I do.
... is looking forward to Sundance.
... takes me on dates to the State Capitol building.
... has sent me flowers "just because."
... fixed the door handle on my car.
... spends time with my wonderful friends and family.
... loves art museums.
... reads stories to my elementary school kids and did an AWESOME "Flat Stanley" for my class.
... supports all of my academic and professional endeavors.