Day 67 – 8 Weeks in hell

Usually my classes are done in 8 week intensives, which means I cram the “normal” 16 weeks worth of material into 8. Biology however is 16 weeks… 
16 weeks of hell!!!
I’ve just completed a test and my first 8-  I get a week off before starting my last 8. 

For the most part I have only had to take classes pertaining to my degree in criminal justice, which I’m thamkful for….so can someone please explain to me why on earth I need a biology class?  Are there criminals out there who care about the reproductive organs of the ginkgo biloba tree? Honestly it was interesting for the first few sentences but after two textbook chapters on tree vaginas and penis’s – I’m done.  I don’t want to discuss either of them again, like everrrr….  

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Day 61- UK Campus

So today I braved UK campus- only because I had to!  I needed to pick my daughter-in-law up because her car was in the shop.  Man o’ man what a mess.  Closed roads, one-way streets, snow piles..!!!!    Certain times of the day those kids swarm like mad hornets and unfortunately Aisha was somewhere in the middle of the dang hive!! 😈 I GPS’ed her building and that stupid thing had me in the middle of the intersection telling me, “You have arrived at your destination.”  (Ummmm pretty sure that’s a big negative GPS lady)  So I did what any normal person would do- – I went down a one-way the wrong way. It was the perfect plan…  well, until a car came right at me, then I started sweating like a man and drove in reverse.  Hahaha I’m thankful my pop was a racecar builder and driver.

I managed to make it out alive and without running over any jaywalkers.  Stupid kids. They just dart right out in front of drivers with their huge coats, backpacks and scarfs on like they have the right to do so at any and every point on the street.     Here’s a tip kids: use the crosswalk because I don’t care how many layers you’re wearing… it’s gonna hurt when you shoot out in front of mommas Mazda.  ZOOM.ZOOM.ZOOM.

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Just kidding.  I wouldn’t hit a pedestrian on purpose but I will pretty much guarantee that I’ll lay on the horn and use my middle finger.  A lot.

Day 57 – Reflection Paper CJUS

Hey All, for todays post I am going to give you a copy of my reflection paper that is due this week. For those who do not know, I am a Criminal Justice major at Liberty University.  I don’t know how I keep getting A’s in this class– hahaha  I write my papers like I BLOG!!



Here we are in week 7 of our criminal justice class and I am asked to discuss what I have learned and to be honest I do not know where to begin; as I have soaked up a lot of knowledge. I guess the first place I’d like to start is with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. So many times I have heard people quote their ‘rights’ and I never knew if those were really my rights or not. Now I have a pretty good understanding of what my individual rights actually are. As far as law enforcement, the courts and the correctional system go, I have learned that the most important things, in my opinion, are the use of discretion, the reading of the Miranda, and keeping in the guidelines of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. My original perception of these three systems were that they did not work. I was under the impression that law enforcement was brutal, the courts were where people fell through cracks and corrections was loaded with crooked CO’s. These pictures were painted in my mind with little knowledge based on personal experience but rather due to the media blowing stories out of proportion and tv shows/movies that portrayed bad cops, lawyers and CO’s. To have asked me if my perceptions before this class were based on truth, I’d have to answer that they were at the time; after all perception is a false reality that your mind allows you to understand as your personal truth. That being said I have to say that my perceptions have changed tremendously where law enforcement, the courts and the corrections systems lie, as well as my viewpoints of the victim and the “criminal.”
Before this class I was pretty hardcore with everything either being black or white. For example, if you take a life then you should lose yours; that’s how I use to think. I won’t lie, before this class I was like, “Why are my tax dollars keeping pedophiles and rapist alive in prison? – kill them!” Over the past 7 weeks I have not only gained a deeper understanding for how the criminal justice system works for the victims but also for the accused. With that came compassion and the gray area that I’ve never been able to see before. Yesterday my cousin posted a photo on Facebook. The photo was of a man in an orange jumpsuit behind iron bars that was captioned with a slur about how we (Americans) should perform animal testing on Pedophiles. Wow. I was so offended. At first I wanted to tell her how ignorant her post made her look then I remembered that, that’s how I once saw it too; you know, before understanding that mistakes can and do happen and people are wrongly accused and convicted. The Bible has some pretty intense acts of bad decisions based on perception alone. Look at how Pilate had to let Barabbas, a known murder go simply because he was pressured by the people to do so- KNOWING it was the wrong decision to make. Jesus himself was wrongly accused of crimes He did not commit, “And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king,” (Luke 23:2, ESV) and sentenced to be beaten within an inch of His life then nailed to a cross with a mocking sign above his head. Absolutely ZERO discretion back in those days, God’s plan or not!!
So to end this paper I will say that it’s more than important to base our personal beliefs on truth rather than letting our minds fog up our brains. When crimes are committed every aspect of the criminal justice system has to be on point. When accusations are made, when mistakes are made, when the Constitution isn’t upheld; people lose more than their identity, people lose their lives. Not cool.

Day 40 – What a day!

Good God… I am so sick of biology.  Just took a test and got an 81.2 and you know what?  I’m happy with that.  I don’t know about you but I am NOT a test taker. I can study and read, read and study. You should SEE my notes; work of art.  They aren’t just a bunch of stuff scribbled on paper, they’re more like color-coded schematics of knowledge.  If I’ve highlighted something I think is important in a certain color, every new note pertaining to that particular highlighted area is written in that color of ink– they have to match so I don’t have to look for what goes where. I have a short amount of time to answer the questions so my notes are OCD: level boss.  No joke.  My test are open book too. You would THINK I’d ace that bitch…nope. I don’t know what happens to my brain – it’s like all of a sudden everything is written in hindi… a bunch of random scribbles none of which looks anything like an A, B or C.
Oh well, I have a week before the next test so tonight I’ll accept my low B as if it were an educational Grammy. That’s right.. I’ve got it polished and sitting in a glass case.  So. Don’t judge me.

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Besides the biology test I had an essay to write and I had Miss Rae today. Poor baby, she’s sick. Last week her momma took  her to the pediatrician for a bad cold and possible UTI.  Flu swabs, RSV swabs, catheter… all came back negative.  Last night she was taken to the ER for another bout of the same test PLUS a chest xray.  She is positive for RSV.  Would have been swell if her pediatrician would have given the swab two hours to fester before reading the test.. you know, since that’s the required time limit instead of doing a rapid test. Would have had her treated two days earlier.  Smh.
RSV is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that can be quite dangerous for a baby.  If adults catch it (and I will because that baby will not leave my water cup alone) it’s just a bad cold.  Rae-bug is now the not-so-proud owner of an inhaler, some icky antibiotics and a round of steroids.  She’s been in good spirits but she’s clingy.  Today after her nap she went into a coughing fit- – couldn’t catch her breath. Scared her to death which made her cry..and that made more snot for her to choke on.   I hate it when people are sick but especially babies because they can’t tell you what hurts or what they want. 

Popcicles.   They want popcicles so we bought a box of 100 and another box of Italian Ice swirl pops.  Best grandparents ever!

Oh and the frosting on the cake was when I was in the basement putting laundry into dry, thought I heard Rae cry, took off running towards the steps, crashed into the downstairs door with my bad arm (the one in had surgery on and just had injected with cortisone) …only to get upstairs to find her still sleeping sound.  After the adrenaline wore off, I felt the throbbing, then the knot. It hurts so bad right now.

I’m going to bed now so I can stare at the darkness and worry about next week’s biology test.

-Willow

Discussion Board: CJUS My Personal Beliefs

I had an assignment due by tomorrow for my criminal justice class. Keep in mind,  I go to a Christian based university.  This assignment was due via discussion board, a place to interact with classmates from all over the world. Must be at least 250 words and make 2 Bible refs.  Lemme know what you think.

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The personal beliefs that I hold toward law enforcement, the courts and the correctional system is that there is just too much red tape, too many good people being punished for trying to uphold the law and too many others who take on the responsibility of such, guided by the wrong motivation.   When Paul wrote to Timothy warning against false teachings he said, “We know that the law is good when used correctly.” (1 Timothy 1:8, NLT) Of course Paul wasn’t talking about our criminal laws, but the foundation still applies. Good criminal justice personnel is going to be hard to find (and keep) when they put their life on the line everyday for little pay, inadequate training, and constant disrespect. When you have underpaid, under-trained officers, crowded court rooms and overcrowded prisons, you have major problems.  I base my beliefs on little personal experience but rather from witnessing it second party. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the media plays a huge role in my way of thinking.  Look at just about any ‘crime’ committed and watch it grow from an anthill to Mt. Everest within hours. The media thrives on drama and that drama creates the worst kind of criminal activities.  This kind of stuff is what puts good law enforcement personnel on edge- they are then driven by fear to, or not to take action against law breakers.  It’s sad.  When an officer can no longer protect himself or others because he is afraid of the backlash, there’s something wrong. Proverbs 17:26 (NIV) says, “If Imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right.”

My perceptions are just that, mine.  They are my truths, right or wrong, they are how I see the crazy world in which I live.

word count: 302

Day 12- Last Semester

Today was the first day of my last semester of college.  I have no reason to be in college. I don’t need the degree, I don’t have to work. However, I want the degree just so my kids can’t point fingers at me, “Well yoouuu didn’t graduate college…”
Uh  uh. Momma don’t play that game.  Those little brats aren’t about to blame me for how they messed up their life, the drag me on Dr. Phil. Nope. I refuse to be their bad example.

I have good kids (so far) Two of them are out of high school, married with babies (well, one baby is still cooking) and one is about finished with her college degree(s).   The other has his own business and is doing well.  We have one about to graduate HS and head to Florida for welding school, so that’s good!! Then there’s the three girl still in 7th and 10th grade.   I don’t if I’ll survive the rest of their MS/HS years so who knows if they will.  😂

The oldest is about to turn 16 and she plans to goto culinary school. The next is 13 and has no clue what she wants to do.. and the 12 year old plans to be a pediatric neurologist with three D’s on her report card (as of last Friday).
Hahahahahaha.  I told her at this rate she will be lucky if she can up-sell apple pie over the drive-thru speaker. 😂

Of course I was kidding and she knows that, so calm the hell down.  she was born with the sarcasm gene… she knows me.

I really don’t care what any of the kids do. If they want to up-sell apple pies at McD’s, they can… if they want to change oil at Valvoline, more power to them. Whatever makes them happy but they WILL do it with some kind of degree or certificate even if I have to walk them to class and sit beside them all day. There’s no options in today’s world.  I want them to move out and take care of themselves.  Maybe it’s selfish but once they are out I don’t want them to move back in. They need to sprout wings and fly…and they can’t do that if they have failed to get an education that will provide them a good career.
Knowutimean?  So ok.  I have to go now because I have things due by midnight TONIGHT!!  I’m pretty sure my professor is Satan.

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-Willow

Life is Significant—-ALL life is Significant.

Today new classes started. These are class numbers 13 and 14 with aprox. 4 more to go before reaching my degree. My degree has changed three times since I began, mostly due to falling in love with one topic or another.  I began this journey with the intentions on becoming a youth minister- then I realized, I don’t want to deal with kids already in church. I don’t want to deal with only Jesus seeking kids- you know?  The world is full of kids that believe in something else entirely- and that’s ok, I’m not here to question or judge them for their beliefs or non-beliefs for that matter.   As I went through two different psych classes, I turned away from youth ministry and toward, well, psychology.  Something about those neurotransmitters really grabbed my attention.  I realized that people… kids more specifically, are screwed up, not only because of how they are raised (or not raised) but also because their brains won’t allow them to make the right decisions even if they know better.  Somewhere during these two classes I also realized that I didn’t want to go into psychology either.  I didn’t want to sit and analyze the shit out of anyone else…but yet, I  wanted to help- but how?

My heart, my love, has always been in the crime world.  If there was a tv show, a movie or a book about crime, I have devoured it.  Before taking the psych classes I presumed that drug addicts, thieves, murderers, rapist and so on– they were trash that basically got what they deserved.  In all honesty, sometimes I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the crazy shit other people do. The reasons ‘why,’ well, they aren’t always meant for me to understand but still, I try.   Someone once told me that I saw my world with, “rose colored glasses,” but that simply isn’t true.  I don’t sugarcoat my world or paint it with pretty hues. I know it’s a nasty place with nasty people but does that mean I am to tiptoe about, always looking over my shoulder, living in fear that something could happen to me?  Screw that–  I want to see the good in people and I know in my heart of hearts that all people have some good in them.  No one was born evil with the intentions to do evil things.  No one.  That, my friend, is the core reason of my choice to study criminal justice.  Now do I want to go out there and defend a criminal– hell no I don’t because I’d be a crappy attorney. People who commit crime do deserve to serve their time, and even be put to death if that’s what was determined for them.   I could not defend a person who without a doubt, committed a heinous crime intentionally. Ill leave that to the men and women without a conscious…  I do however want to work with juveniles already in the system who carry horrific label on their heads. I know I can’t save them all, I don’t want to either. That would be unrealistic and heartbreaking day after day. Some people just do not want to be helped out.     I’m not certain of a job title at this point, and truthfully, I don’t need one – I’m kinda of walking in the dark here, in faith that God will place me where He wants me to be.  God knows that I have a hard time with understanding the reasons ‘why’- so I am confident He will place me in a job that will allow me to accept the crime and love the person without having to understand why they did what they did.  In my current opinion, the only person who needs to understand “why” is the juvenile who committed the crime just so they don’t act a fool and do the same crap again.  I want to provide tools and education to them. Things they can use to better themselves.  I guess basically, I just want to be the person that they trust to help them to know that no matter where they’ve been, they can leave it all behind because there’s new places to go—lots of new places.  I want those kids to know that their labels don’t matter to me, it’s their life that is important to me.  Make sense?

Useless Mathematics

Today I am absolutely discouraged. I knew I hated math but now I really know that I hate math. Not all math, I’ve learned to like and appreciate some math. I hate math that is useless to me and my field of study.

Right now I’m in math 115; pretty short-bus in my opinion.  I’ve been sailing right along and collecting A’s and B’s without much effort- until this week.  This week I am struggling!!! It’s not that I don’t know how to do it, because I do know how. I know every step but still, the answers are coming out incorrect. Was I rushing and being careless? Probably. So I slowed down; didn’t work.   I feel like a compete idiot.  The math for this week has been on the “Banzhaf” & “Shapley-Shubik powers.”  Why?   I for one do not care who a pivotal player is in any coalition or any sequential coalition.  I’m not counting votes for a living. I’m not doing NBA drafts… so why must my professor torture my sweet little soul??
I’ve tried very hard to understand why to the point I don’t care why anymore.  Now I only want to pass this week with at least a D but its not gonna happen.  I have watched every video offered and even Youtubed a few.  I’ve watched every “Pencast,” every, “show me how,” and every, “give me an example.”  I see the steps and understand the steps but fml, I get at least half of the answers wrong Every. Single. Time.

I’m so completely frustrated right now and that frustration has me ready to quit for the week.  I just wanna go through the test and mark every answer with random numbers, fail and get it over with because I’m tired of all of my time being consumed on a type of math that will never be needed (unless you live in the state of Florida where they always count the votes incorrectly) hahaha

Ok. I’m done venting.  Thanks for listening.