The first of the Geeblets is getting her braces on right now. It's a whole stage of life that I've mostly forgotten about, but now am remembering.
Medical paperwork is the most insanely repetitive, inefficient process on the planet. How can I be filling out forms online, and be required to answer the same question a dozen times, and then come back two weeks later and none of it is stored? It feels a little bit like that Seinfeld bit, which I think of as a metaphor sometimes, where he has reserved a rental car but they haven't saved a car for him. I think about the line, "You know how to make the reservation, but you don't know how to keep the reservation. Which is really the whole point of the reservation." I guess that was aspirational for some industries.
Horrifying and hilarious.
Speaking in Dallas this afternoon, former President George. W Bush made a significant verbal slip-up while discussing the war in Ukraine.— Michael Williams (@michaeldamianw) May 19, 2022
He tried referencing what he described as the "wholly unjustified and brutal invasion" -- but said Iraq, instead of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/tw0VNJzKmE
And it's not so much that he slipped--the phrase "invasion of Iraq" is obviously burned into his mind--but "Iraq too." Dick's not gonna like that one bit (how is that guy still alive?).
This is my grim prediction on how the abortion scene will look in five years, based on how it is currently in Heebieville. (First off, I am pessimistic that we will get a filibuster-proof group in the Senate that passes a national law, and that the Supreme Court would not gut such a law, or at least allow red states to choke it to pieces again. So I see this being the status quo for the forseeable future.)
First of all, I have extremely little information. I polled some friends loosely but haven't heard back. I suspect that at the high school level, everyone assumes everyone else is pro-life, and it is considered outspoken/rebellious/political to be otherwise. Catholicism is the dominant religion, which obviously plays into it. I remember hearing that our local high school had been touting a reduction in second babies to high school students, and when I went looking for confirmation, found this recent Texas Monthly article:
Teenage birth rates have declined precipitously in the United States in recent decades to an all-time low in 2019 of 16.7 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19. But in Texas, there were 24 births per 1,000 girls in the same cohort, according to the CDC.
...And a startling proportion of teenagers who gave birth in Texas in 2020 -- more than 1 in 6 -- already had at least one other child.
(Of course, Texas also makes it hellishly hard for teens to get contraception, which isn't necessarily going to spread to other states.) So my uninformed guess is that at the high school level, abortion already seems like a mythical non-option, and having a baby at that age seems like a very concrete thing that happens to a lot of people you know.
Moving on to post-high school young adulthood, my suspicion is that getting pregnant starts to seem more perilous and life-derailing once you're not living at home anymore. I imagine that young women turn into quietly pro-choice young adults, or at least ambivalently so, but to get there they've had to derive their position for themselves, from seeing friends get pregnant or from thinking through how they'd handle it if they get pregnant. That it is not handed down in inherited political beliefs from parents, the way it was for me and many people my friend group in high school and college. In my group, enough of us inherited beliefs that it didn't seem like we were revealing anything personal about our lives by being pro-choice, and I'm guessing that in turn affected our friends who hadn't grown up in pro-choice households. It was a mainstream position that did not imply anything about your personal sex life. (Of course, I wasn't in Texas.) But I suspect that's not true now, here, or it takes a degree of IDGAF lefty political identity to stake out that position and own it.
I don't know what Heebieville has had in the way of abortion clinics in the past, but none of them survived the Ambulatory Surgical Center bullshit, if they still existed when that passed, which means that it's ~1 hour to get to a clinic in a major city. So in a few months, that will change to... ~8-10 hours? New Mexico, I'm guessing? Or Mexico? I don't know what kind of communication lines have sprung up around RU-486, and if women ever get it through the mail.
And older women: I'm guessing that childless women can carve out a day or weekend to travel and get an abortion, if they're really decisive about it. Women with children already...I'm guessing it's much less likely.
Bottom line: basically "decisiveness" is getting whittled away culturally, and abortions are only available to decisive women who are above the poverty line.
What's the range of my prediction? Just red states? Is it already like this in red states? What about red counties in blue states? I don't know. I'm just feeling overwhelmingly grim and pessimistic.
I'm sure this is not as funny as it seems to me:
@goodboy.noah Nothing is impastable #pasta #rnb ♬ original sound - goodboy noah
but it sure seems funny to me. (He has a lot of cooking tiktoks featuring Cheetah.)
I feel deeply conflicted about how higher ed should accommodate remote attendance, going forward. Obviously, historically, students who couldn't attend in person have been marginalized and just excluded, which isn't okay. But I don't think the answer is full flexibility, on demand to any student. It just leads to large-scale self-sabotage for too many students to get to choose whether to attend in person or remotely. It's a very paternalistic thing for me to say, and it's not universal, but it's a lot.
So if you don't allow full flexibility on demand, and you don't want to exclude anybody, then you either have to get into the business of coordinating with individuals and judging which reasons are sufficiently valid, or you have to separate classes by modality, and have some classes which are strictly remote and some which are strictly face-to-face (and sure, some hybrid).
My path this past semester was to be super strict about the reasons that I let students zoom in - for the first time in my life, I required a doctor's note or communication from the Covid person at the university, and I actively denied students access to the zoom link when asked to zoom in because their car broke down or some other reason. Instead I just said, "Let's meet outside of class and I'll catch you up," which only works because most of them don't take me up on that offer. There's some real problems with my choice - requiring a doctor's note is problematic (although the school nurse would always be an option, but if you live 45 minutes away with your parents, it's not a very good option). However, my colleagues that were permissive all saw it get out of hand over the semester.
(Obviously there's a version of this playing out at workplaces and meetings - you don't get the same rapport and experience when people are remote, but if it's a meeting I don't care much about, I'd much rather be remote.)
I guess my point is that as a peon, I'd rather be remote, and when I'm doing the pe-ing, I'd rather force everyone to be in person. And it's okay to treat college students slightly paternalistically sometimes.