Monthly Archives: June 2010

Landon School Scandal….

It’s been a while since I was taken back by a news story.

In fact, I haven’t been watching the news. I check headlines, but lately that has become more of a rarity. Maybe because it’s summer and I just don’t want to deal with the world’s tough issues.

But thanks to a tweet, I ran across this story. Maureen Dowd’s Op Ed in the New York Times called Their Dangerous Swagger. You should read it –

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/opinion/09dowd.html

This was followed up by the Washington Examiner doing a story –
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Landon-School-scrambles-to-contain-_slampigs_-scandal-96098939.html
And the Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/09/AR2010060905925.html

Freshman boys from an elite private boys school called Landon were caught playing a game, sort of like fantasy football, complete with a draft. But this game involved girls in their area and the game was all about sexual encounters. Points for the basics – first, second and third base, even extra points for kissing up to the parents. Money was on the line, sex parties where points could be gained were planned and at the end of the year, the young boy with the most points, won.

So girls were going to be under the impression these boys actually cared about them, actually liked them…but the honest truth was simply about the game.

From the Op-Ed:
“Landon is where the sons of many prominent members of the community are sent to learn “the code of character,” where “a Landon man” is part of a “true Brotherhood” and is known for his good word, respect and honesty. The school’s Web site boasts about the Landon Civility Code; boys are expected to “work together to eliminate all forms of disrespect” and “respect one another and our surroundings in our decorum, appearance, and interactions.’”

This story really took me back. How can kids in a prep school with a “Civility Code” believe it’s ok to turn the emotional and physical life of girls in their community into a game?

What’s going on in these kid’s homes?

I have to admit that I’m seeing the stereotype: raised by a nanny, mom and dad work all the time, instead of dealing with kids issues parents just give the kids some money and send them to a movie. I know this is a stereotype, and I know I’m projecting perhaps my own stereotypes, but I can’t help it.

How do these boys treat their mothers and sisters? And what kind of picture of respect for women is being shown by their fathers?

What I’m really concerned about might be quite a bit deeper. After working with human trafficking groups for the past few years, there seems to be a sad trend where males (I won’t call them men) think of the women outside their home strictly as objects. They forget that girls on the porn sites have fathers and brothers and probably didn’t choose to have the lives they are leading. This opens the door to thinking that sex trafficking and sex tourism is ok.

But as long as the girls aren’t in their family, it doesn’t matter. They are property. A commodity. Something to be used for their instant pleasure, eventually only a credit card number is required.

I’m sorry, but people and property should never be the same thing.

Is it just me, or is this story really disturbing?

If some of the best educated, most promising young teens in the country think that it’s ok to convince a girl to let them kiss her so they can get points is just flat out disgusting. As if teens girls don’t have enough emotional and body issues to deal with, now lets throw in not knowing if a boy likes you because your YOU or because he wants to score extra points for a sick game.

Plus, how will this effect these young boys in the long term? I can only hope and pray that they realized that women are a gift to be prized, not a pawn in a game.

I guess this is the point where I plead to my male friends to be good examples to the young men in their lives.

Please let them know that every one is precious. Every one is unique. And every one is worthy of protecting, supporting and building up. Only then can we truly have a strong, trusting beautiful relationships that were created on the basic of mutual respect as God intended.

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Decktop Garden Adventure, day 1

Reasons to Love Nashville, #774

Saturday shouldn’t have been interesting. Had a tentative date that, of course, the guy backed out on. Hit a couple of garage sales and bought a perfect messenger bag for my scooter for only $30. At the farmers market i bought a giant bag of groceries, 8 pepper plants, 4 tomato plants and an oregano plant for less than $20.

And then I happened upon a garage sale.

The house was a classic Nashville brick ranch. The front part of the driveway was littered with deer heads, birdhouses and camping gear. But at the back of the driveway sat an older woman. She saw me pick up a flower pot (I was thinking I could plant one of my new pepper plants in it), and she said “Do you like plants” and I responded, “I am trying to.”

She lumbered up from her seat. Leaving her cane behind, the woman moved slowly, inching her way over to another pot and said, “Let me help you.”

Her 11 year-old grand daughter rolled her eyes. “Granny Sue has someone to talk about plants with,” she exclaimed. I asked if she liked plants and the young girl with pink streaks in her hair said a definitive “No.”

At this, 75 years of knowledge of gardening poured from the woman.

Brown bananas attract butterflies.

If you plant marigolds by tomatoes you won’t get any bugs

Take the last tomato of the year and just leave it on the dirt. It will seed itself for next season.

Planting 1 hot pepper underground by sweet potatoes will keep moles away

Tale after tale of how to keep your plants happy and healthy. I’d ask a question and Granny Sue would respond “just plant it.”

Does this need to be in the shade? “Just plant it.”

Don’t strawberries need to be in a yard? “Just plant it.”

Is this pot big enough? “Just plant it.”

She made clippings of geraniums, lambs ears, strawberries, sweet potatoes and assorted plants. She spoke stream of consciousness, “Keep these in water, and then, just plant them. If they look like they are dead, just keep watering them”

She then donated to my cause several planters that still had the remnants of dying looking plants in them. “Just add your tomato plants to these. They are plenty deep,” I think she could read my mind “and no, these other plants aren’t dead. Just water them. And plant the tomatoes. With some marigolds.”

I drove my car up behind the house, took the top off and loaded up my back seat with plants. She wished me luck and waved and said she wanted to come up and see my garden deck when it was in full bloom.

As I drove away, something hit me. Granny Sue said most of the time plants aren’t dead, they just need to be taken care of in a new way. Water them more. Water them less. Move them from direct sun to the shade. Replant them. Give them space.

That’s probably just like a lot of us. A few years ago, people might have written me off, where really I just needed to be replanted in a new space so I could thrive. Others who have fallen onto hard times or have made wrong decisions just need a little more water. Probably a lot of us could use days with more sun.

So I’ve started my deck-top gardening adventure with about 37 plants. I hope that maybe I can live my life with a few of Granny Sue’s lessons. Some of these plants may be meant for big gardens, but they will grow, and hopefully thrive where they are planted. There might be a few people in my life that I could offer some water.

I’ll keep you updated on the garden, but here’s what it looks like today.

Sunday Song

It’s Sunday. And I give back my voice.

Magnificent
Songwriters: Clayton, Adam; Eno, Brian; Evans, David; Hewson, Paul; Lanois, Daniel Roland; Mullen, Laurence;

Magnificent
Oh, oh, magnificent

I was born, I was born
To be with you in this space and time
After that and ever after
I haven’t had a clue only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue, oh, oh

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born, I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice from the womb
My first cry, it was a joyful noise, oh, oh

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar
Justified, till we die you and I will magnify, oh, oh
Magnificent, magnificent, oh, oh

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love unites our hearts
Justified, till we die you and I will magnify, oh, oh
Magnificent, magnificent, magnificent