My Week Away from Facebook


facebook

For the past two months, I had used up 1 gigabyte of my data plan before the new cycle began.  I’m not completely sure how I did it.  But because of the undisciplined way I was constantly checking into Facebook, I had a feeling if I could minimize using Facebook, maybe I could make it through this month’s cycle without running out of data on my smartphone.

I just decided I needed to check out of Facebook totally for a week to break my addiction. My first day away was the most difficult because at this point, my fingers were like those of a smoker.  Instead of reaching for a cigarette, every free moment I had, my fingers checked in on Facebook.  Because I had installed the app on my smartphone, it made it that much easier to check it.   In reality, I’m really not a nosy parker.  I don’t feel the need to know what my friends and acquaintances are doing every moment of their day-to-day life via a status update.  In fact, I prefer the old-fashioned means of communication: face-to-face conversations and phone calls.

After making the promise to myself to not to be on Facebook for a week, I felt proud of myself, then was irritated whenever I felt the urge to check and realized the vow.  But then I started to notice an inner calm.  My attention span began to improve and I was becoming more productive.  The time I had not spent on checking on friends’ status updates and reading all the articles in my news feed was used to organize my bedroom, clean up and organize my kitchen cabinets, try new recipes, have longer conversations with family members, read Phyllis Chesler’s Death of Feminism, and even meet a friend for lunch.  During this time I discovered that I really liked Stanley Tucci as an actor, and have been on a quest to watch some of his older films: one gem is Montana filmed in 1998.  I also did a better job tackling my constantly growing to-do list.  Overall, I had better control over my day-to-day activities knowing I couldn’t use my free moments to check on Facebook.

The times I sat down on the computer to check my email and look up stuff on the internet was so hard.  It would have been so easy to go on Facebook again.  But then I would have been disappointed in myself.  I eventually deleted the app on the smartphone so I wouldn’t be tempted to check on the phone.

There’s plenty of Facebook users that can check it once or twice a day and be satisfied with that limit.  Why can’t I be that way?  But I realized, to me Facebook was like shopping, the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it.  Best way was to go cold turkey for a while.

It’s amazing how Facebook had so deeply affected my thinking process.  And I didn’t notice it until I was off it for a week.  I was constantly thinking of posting things on Facebook instead of just enjoying the moment.  Does a wonderful day need to be shared on social media to make it that more enjoyable?  Not necessarily.

After being away from Facebook for a week, I came to the conclusion that I could totally live without Facebook.  The people that I truly want to stay connected to can be contacted by other means outside of Facebook.  There are some friends that aren’t even on Facebook and we’ve still managed to stay in contact and maintain our friendship.

So what do I take away with me from this past week’s self-imposed ban from Facebook?

1) I had indeed spent too much time on Facebook.

2) That I can live without Facebook.

3) True friends stay connected with you outside of Facebook.

4) I can concentrate better, the less I am on Facebook.

5) I am more productive when I’m not on Facebook.

Is my life better without Facebook?  I’m not ready to draw that conclusion yet. :)

I’ll write more about my experiences with Facebook if I think it’s interesting.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.  Has anyone left Facebook for good?  How do you stay in touch with your friends and acquaintances?  Is anyone else thinking of leaving Facebook?

Writing Cards and Letters — a Quietly Dying Art

Tags

, , , , ,


20140502_075558I started noticing a few years ago that I was getting less and less cards — for my birthday, for the holidays, for any occasion for that matter. Being a sensitive sort, this bothered me a great deal. I started to wonder if I should stop sending out cards and letters since I wasn’t receiving them. People don’t want to be bothered with buying cards, writing them out, stamping them (yup, the price of a postage is nearly 50 cents now *sigh*), and eventually having to go to the post office or a mail box to have them mailed. Yes, why bother when an email or a posting to a Facebook wall — usually a one step process can accomplish the same thing? Or does it?

In one sense, I see the beauty in the efficiency of email and social media. This is coming from someone who tried to live without a smartphone until the end of last year. So I’m making a pretty big admission here. And it doesn’t cost much unless you already don’t have internet service in the home. I put a lot of stock in adding a personal touch to almost anything. I’d rather bring a homemade dish to someone’s potluck dinner than bring a store-bought dish. I’d rather buy a handpicked gift than to give a gift card. Writing cards and letters is just an extension of my personality.

There’s beauty in the process of selecting and buying that special stationary or card. And there’s beauty in cursive that is transferred to that special paper. I used to remember making extra efforts in the 6th grade to improve my cursive, by copying the cursive that was in my penmanship book. Mrs L, my 6th grade teacher had gorgeous handwriting that was most probably acquired with hours of practice. I loved the smooth sometimes squeaking sound that was made when she took the white chalk and pressed it against the blackboard to form the luscious curves and loops that resulted from her cursive. I aspired to duplicate her work of art. I remember tossing out a lot of loose leaf paper because I didn’t like my cursive work. It was repetitive, but there was something quite zen about writing by hand.

Getting cards and letters in the mail is the equivalent to seeing tulips and roses. They’re usually unexpected, and very delightful (Yes, I like using words like delightful.) And I love the fact that they’re not immediate. It takes a few days by mail usually, and you have to open the envelope to see what’s inside. Not as quick as clicking open a email.

I just thought I had to jot this down after writing a thank you note today. I could go into a whole other blog about the cognitive benefits of learning and using cursive, but I’ll save that for another day. Who knows? Maybe somebody will make it cool to write by hand again and this dying art will be revived. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing cards and letters as the numbers I receive will continue to diminish. Happy letter writing to those who still love this way of communicating….

Landlord Nightmare in New York City

Tags

, , , ,


I hate injustice. I had it when the good guy gets hurt and the bad guy gets away with murder. Recent events of the last eight months had me on the verge of tears, tested the limits of my patience, brought out more hate for the welfare system, and even sky-rocketed my blood pressure so high that I may probably have to go on medication to control it.

I got involved in my parents’ landlord nightmare on the evening of Thanksgiving. After stuffing our stomachs to our hearts’ content with oven-roasted brined turkey, candied pecan yams, and bacon-wrapped asparagus, my parents told the family that they had tenants that have refused to pay rent.

Being novices at dealing with bad tenants, the family suggested that they look for new tenants and to put an ad on Craigslist. My parents got responses right away and made arrangements to show the apartment to new prospective tenants. When people came to look at the apartment, the illegal tenants had the chutzpah to call the police! They were occupying my parents’ apartment illegally (since their names were not on the lease) without paying rent and with absolutely no intentions of paying, and they had the gall to call the police. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the situation was downright infuriating, I would have held my stomach and laughed so hard, my cheeks would have been burning for weeks.

The police came and said that my parents were in the wrong since the illegal tenants were still living there and did not give them permission to show the apartment. Could you believe that?!?! As illegal tenants, they had the same rights as legal tenants.

The problem began when the legal tenant, “Rachel” allowed her younger sister, “Kelly” and Kelly’s young son to move in with her. A short time thereafter, Kelly’s boyfriend, sperm donor to her son, moved in as well. At no time did Rachel discuss this arrangement with my parents. Rachel had continued to pay her rent promptly so my parents didn’t think these extra people moving in was an issue. Until the day the two sisters had a fight, and then Rachel left the apartment in a huff. Rachel’s name was on the lease. Kelly and her boyfriend were not. They wouldn’t leave and they wouldn’t pay rent. At one time, both of them had been working for UPS, but now the both of them were living off of welfare payments.

Meanwhile, my parents’ bills and fees related to the apartment were mounting. These were callous people who didn’t mind living off of someone else’s dime. In fact, Kelly made great use of the free daycare service that are provided to welfare recipients. She promptly dropped off her toddler every day so that she could come home and watch the TV in peace. How ingenious.

I hated my parents being ripped off this way. I did some research and discovered that regulations governing landlord/tenant issues were very tricky in New York. We hired a lawyer because any mistakes we made with filing papers or not meeting deadlines would mean starting the whole legal process from the beginning.

The lawyer filed papers to have the illegal tenants evicted. Since the tenants refused to leave, we had a court date of March 15. We waited for them to appear. I had never met them, but as soon as I saw them, I knew they were the ones causing my parents pain and suffering. The lawyer said that the best and fastest way to make them leave was to come to some kind of agreement with the illegal tenants.

The lawyer who approached the illegal tenants and asked them when they could leave. They said they had offered money to my parents, but they had refused. The lawyer told them that my parents didn’t want their money and that they didn’t want to rent out to them. They said they could move out by June. The lawyer said that that was unreasonable and asked them to give a date that would be more reasonable. Finally they said they could move out by the end of April. That would give them more than 3 months to move out. They only agreed to the April date because the lawyer said that they could ask for an extension.

We left the court thinking that soon the illegal tenants would be out of the apartment and out of our lives.

When it got close to the date when the illegal tenants were to leave, I got a call from the lawyer telling me they had filed for an extension. I had anticipated this, but for my parents it was another blow.

When we were at court, the lawyer didn’t think that they would get another extension. And to our complete and utter disbelief, they were given another extension because they said they haven’t found a place. We were numb, and felt cheated by a system that only seemed concerned about the interests of people who knew how to use the system. This must have been the time when I started having problems with my blood pressure. Not being able to do anything, made my blood boil and I jokingly wondered what Tony Soprano would do in this situation.

June 18, I found out that the illegal tenants filed a “Show of Cause.” This is a fancy term for asking for an extension. Eviction date was approaching, so the low lives did it again. July 26th, we all appeared in court. They said they needed until July 12th because the apartment they were to move into was not ready yet. They promised to pay my parents $200 to my parents for the privilege of staying till July 12th.

My parents never saw the $200. This didn’t surprise me since the illegal tenants only said things to get things their way. Their word never meant anything.

By mid-July, the illegal tenants finally moved out. They moved out the night before the marshal was to come. My parents had previously asked them for the keys so to avoid the cost of the marshal having to come. But they couldn’t even do that. That would have made us think that they at least had a heart…. And we later found out that they had changed one of the locks without even telling my parents. I cringe thinking what kind of trouble they would bring to their new landlord.

I know not all people on welfare exhibit the kind of attitude that they have everything coming to them and owe nothing to anybody, but I truly believe that there is a unhealthy mentality that is born when something is given without any requirements. These people were not grateful for welfare and their indifference to the pain they invoked upon my parents makes me believe that a system that gives out welfare so readily needs to be rethought and restructured.

Oh and another thing that horrified me was how as law-abiding tax paying citizens, my parents had to pay for their lawyer, but any advice that the illegal tenants received was completely gratis. I understand how the system works, but it seems horribly wrong that it allowed evil to win.

Forever changed mentally and possibly physically by this whole experience. My doctor tells me my blood pressure is still high.

Counting 5 Blessings of Homeschooling on the 4th of July

Tags

, , , , , , ,


I actually enjoy thinking back to that day… getting my first shipment of K12 homeschool curricula boxes for our daughter, 9 years ago. It almost felt like Christmas because we didn’t know what we would find inside. The children went through the boxes with delight in their eyes. Emotions of excitement and anxiety simultaneously ran through my body like a sudden chill from a draft. OK… there were plenty of mixed feelings that day because, like any new adventure, I knew it was going to be a challenge, and as the parent I was going to be at the helm of our homeschool voyage — a responsibility that seemed as mysterious as it was filled with anticipation!

Those moments seem so distant; and now, my beautiful intellectually curious daughter has finished 8th grade. I’m really not one for reflection. I rarely rest on my laurels because I’m too busy thinking about my next step. But I thought that the occasion deserved a meditation, and a celebration because we all worked so hard to come to this point. And I just wanted to step back and count out all our blessings due to homeschooling:

At a homeschool seining trip in Brooklyn

At a homeschool seining trip in Brooklyn

1) Family Closeness
I never anticipated the family getting as close as it has and I owe it, largely, to homeschooling. Yes, spending a lot of hours together helped, but I think having a shared mission for so many years naturally brings people together. I have two children, a rising 9th grader and a rising 6th grader, and I can tell you with no hesitation that I never saw two siblings that were closer. Many times when I check on them at night, I see that they’re still awake, up in each other’s rooms, talking. Oftentimes I wonder how they could not have run out of things to talk about since they’re practically with each the other whole day? Oh they have their moments of sibling rivalry, personality conflicts, and scuffles over who should get to watch what on the the TV, but their fondness for each other is never extinguished even during the worst of times. Sort of.

2) Instilling Our Values
In the age of the internet, social media, celebrity and fame worship, children are inundated with all kinds of images and ideas that run counter to our own family’s beliefs. Entertainment and celebrities have their place in society, but do you question, as I do, the maturity of a society in which Kim Kardhashian has over a million followers, while 2 in 3 Americans can’t name one Supreme Court justice? There aren’t a lot of TV shows espousing the importance of integrity, and it’s tough to live up to certain character standards when the rest of the world is saying that there are no eternal truths, or values. But I think we’re doing a pretty good job thus far because they know already that it’s better to stand alone for something you believe in than to be accepted by a peer group with no standards at all.

3) Socialization for the Real World
I’m going to bring up the “S” word. Yes, that word. Socialization. One of the reasons why we chose homeschooling for the family was because we saw the handwriting on the wall. Children in school were being socialized to mimic in not only dress, but also the attitude of their peers or risk being alienated, ostracized, or even bullied. Strangely in a country where individual rights are supposedly protected, a child’s uniqueness is viewed by other children as a detriment and a weakness often swooped down upon by a pack of preying children. If that was the kind of socialization that our children would be subjected to, then we had to pass. Being able to socialize in a school doesn’t necessarily mean that they would be able to socialize in the real world as adults. We decided that their parents would be the best model for the children. And our belief systems wouldn’t change over the years as those of their peers would.

4) Love of Learning
Still hard to determine yet if the love of learning has been instilled in my younger one, but I can see already that my daughter has a thirst for knowledge. Children are naturally curious, but having a desire and the ability to pursue a subject that is of interest is something we’ve learned had to be continually cultivated. We’ve been able to afford them opportunities to “try out” different experiences. Whether that be in the form of travel, visiting museums, taking workshops, etc. We’ve all heard by now how limited children are by the schedule of school, and also by the unprecedented amounts of homework. How lucky my children have been to learn how to integrate both work and opportunity.

5) Taking Control of One’s Life
That’s what we did. Complaining was not an option when I was growing up. Blaming and complaining hence never became my style. We assessed the situation, and saw that that homeschooling would be the best option for our family.

Even if you’ve never taught, or don’t have a college degree, you can teach your own children. You can teach them it’s important to learn despite what other children may say. You don’t need to let other people teach your children. After all, who would know the children best than their own parents?

I wanted to work outside the home and it was a huge adjustment once I decided to stay home, raise my children, and homeschool. But because I found homeschooling so meaningful, seeing my little rosebuds starting to blossom into beautiful little citizens, I realize no paid position outside the house could have been as rewarding.

And another blessing I must not leave out is that the children already know that they are so lucky to be homeschooled. Given the choice, my daughter chose to be homeschooled for her high school years too!

I don’t know who really has been blessed more by the experience, we, the parents, or the children.

Never Be Late!

Tags

, , , , , , ,


“Never be late!”

Mom didn’t just say those words, she said them often and with the urgency of a drill sergeant — leaving me almost no choice, but to comply. It was one of the earliest life lessons that my mother taught me, and one of the most important. She didn’t feel it necessary to explain why I shouldn’t be late, just, “Never be late,” (and I’m translating from Korean because to this date she refuses to speak to me in English even though she can fully comprehend it and speak it). That word, “never,” which is transliterated as “jul ddah” weighed on my head like a roomful of dining room furniture.

Mom’s rules were carved in stone like the Ten Commandments. She ran a tight ship. In elementary grades, the night before school, she had both my sister and I pack our school bags and lay them right by the front door so to ensure that there would be no last minute scramble in the morning. We had no time for that on a school day morning. Looking back, I’m surprised that she didn’t have strobe light flashing above them.

Mom made it clear to me at an early age that it was discourteous to make someone wait for me especially an adult or someone of authority. On one occasion the bus that was to take me to my piano lessons was running late. When it got to my stop, I jumped out, and sprinted to my piano teacher’s house in mortal fear. I huffed and puffed as I forced myself to take the staircase up to the apartment where he lived with his mother. There would not be any actual consequence for being late. He was the most mild-tempered teacher I ever had — a kinder, gentler version of the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. He never even raised his voice in annoyance when I came without having practiced. When he asked me why I was out of breath, I just smiled.

With the “sword of punctuality” hanging over me, I would automatically calculate how much time I needed to prepare, find the right pair of shoes, drive to a particular location, etc. Little did mom know that she was doing a great service to my future husband. I don’t think I ever made my husband late because I took too long getting ready. Mom has yet to be personally thanked for instilling this trait in me, by my husband, but Mother’s Day is coming….

I’ve come across a shockingly-large number of individuals who either never learned that being prompt was serious business, or who had the congenital inability to be on time, or just plain oblivious to the whole issue of time. I had one friend in high school who without fail always ran late. Whenever I used to go over to pick her up, it was at that exact moment she was getting started to get ready — whether it was styling her hair or jumping into the shower. And she never apologized for keeping me waiting or making me late. Of course, now I realize that I was the fool for waiting for her.

And that brings me to today’s lesson: society as a whole has become more self-absorbed, less polite and the following incident highlights just that! I saw this email from a NYU Stern School of Business student, complaining to a professor, after he had been asked to leave for being an hour late to class. Check it out… and the response from the professor.

scottgalloway

Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:15:11 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Brand Strategy Feedback

Prof. Galloway,

I would like to discuss a matter with you that bothered me. Yesterday evening I entered your 6pm Brand Strategy class approximately 1 hour late. As I entered the room, you quickly dismissed me, saying that I would need to leave and come back to the next class. After speaking with several students who are taking your class, they explained that you have a policy stating that students who arrive more than 15 minutes late will not be admitted to class.

As of yesterday evening, I was interested in three different Monday night classes that all occurred simultaneously. In order to decide which class to select, my plan for the evening was to sample all three and see which one I like most. Since I had never taken your class, I was unaware of your class policy. I was disappointed that you dismissed me from class considering (1) there is no way I could have been aware of your policy and (2) considering that it was the first day of evening classes and I arrived 1 hour late (not a few minutes), it was more probable that my tardiness was due to my desire to sample different classes rather than sheer complacency.

I have already registered for another class but I just wanted to be open and provide my opinion on the matter.

Regards,
xxxx


xxxx
MBA 2010 Candidate
NYU Stern School of Business
xxxx.nyu.edu
xxx-xxx-xxxx

The Reply:

—— Forwarded Message ——-
From: scott@stern.nyu.edu
To: “xxxx”
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 9:34:02 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Brand Strategy Feedback

xxxx:

Thanks for the feedback. I, too, would like to offer some feedback.

Just so I’ve got this straight…you started in one class, left 15-20 minutes into it (stood up, walked out mid-lecture), went to another class (walked in 20 minutes late), left that class (again, presumably, in the middle of the lecture), and then came to my class. At that point (walking in an hour late) I asked you to come to the next class which “bothered” you.

Correct?

You state that, having not taken my class, it would be impossible to know our policy of not allowing people to walk in an hour late. Most risk analysis offers that in the face of substantial uncertainty, you opt for the more conservative path or hedge your bet (e.g., do not show up an hour late until you know the professor has an explicit policy for tolerating disrespectful behavior, check with the TA before class, etc.). I hope the lottery winner that is your recently crowned Monday evening Professor is teaching Judgement and Decision Making or Critical Thinking.

In addition, your logic effectively means you cannot be held accountable for any code of conduct before taking a class. For the record, we also have no stated policy against bursting into show tunes in the middle of class, urinating on desks or taking that revolutionary hair removal system for a spin. However, xxxx, there is a baseline level of decorum (i.e., manners) that we expect of grown men and women who the admissions department have deemed tomorrow’s business leaders.

xxxx, let me be more serious for a moment. I do not know you, will not know you and have no real affinity or animosity for you. You are an anonymous student who is now regretting the send button on his laptop. It’s with this context I hope you register pause…REAL pause xxxx and take to heart what I am about to tell you:

xxxx, get your shit together.

Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential which, by virtue of you being admitted to Stern, you must have in spades. It’s not too late xxxx…

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Professor Galloway

No doubt Professor Galloway would have bought a drink for my political economy professor at Columbia. That class started at 9 am and it was tough getting up to Morningside Heights at that time of the morning from Brooklyn. The 1 train that used to bring us to the 116th Street stop was notorious for being unreliable. Lots of students used to be late. But, you know me: I wasn’t one of them; luckily. The professor finally got so fed up with the students walking in late, he later decided to lock the classroom door promptly at 9:10 am!

Anyway, I personally would like to shake Professor Galloway’s hand because in the real world lateness is rarely acceptable, and it’s just plain rude.

Thanks to the Deadspin for reporting this. Go there to get more information on the background of Professor Scott Galloway.

And… “Never be late!” Don’t make me get mom to speak to you about this.

Is Homeschooling a Fundamental Right?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,


RomeikeFamily-405px-405x270

My own children have never stepped foot in a brick and mortar classroom. My husband and I decided that we were going to home school when our first child was born. That was 13 years ago and we’ve never looked back. I have always taken it for granted that our right to home school was something that could be never taken away, but today my belief that this is a right has definitely been shaken.

Today, I found out that the Obama Administration is trying to deport the German Christian home schooling family that is seeking political asylum in the United States. U.S. Homeland Security and the Attorney General Eric Holder are challenging the political asylum granted by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman to Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children in January 2010.

Give me your tired, your poor … but not your homeschooled.

The government of the United States – land of the free, home of the brave, the world’s melting pot – is attempting to deport a German family that fled to America to homeschool their children. statute of liberty crying

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike’s children were persecuted at their German public school because of their fervent Christian beliefs. That, coupled with the fact that the Romeikes found material they deemed inappropriate in the school’s textbooks, drove them to homeschool their children.

Homeschooling – a freedom that many in the United States take for granted – is illegal in Germany. In a 1938 ruling that conjures up chilling reminders of the Nazi regime, the Supreme Court of Germany stated that the homeschooling ban was put in place to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.” Though Hitler’s reign is long over, this law remains in effect.

Despite the risks, which included fines, jail time and losing custody of their six children, the Romeikes took it upon themselves to educate their youngsters. When the government discovered this in 2008, it forcibly removed the Romeike children from their home and fined their parents thousands of euros. Uwe and Hannelore decided their only remaining option was to seek political asylum in the United States.

Initially, things went well for the Romeikes. They were granted political asylum by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman in January 2010 and relocated to Tennessee. In his ruling, Judge Burman states, “This is not traditional German doctrine, this is Nazi doctrine, and it is in this Court’s mind, utterly repellant to everything that we believe in as Americans.”

But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General Eric Holder view the situation differently. The government challenged Judge Burman’s ruling and asked the court to rescind the family’s political asylum and deport the Romeikes to Germany. If that occurred, the parents could face astronomical fines, jail time and even the loss of their children.

The U.S. Immigration Board of Appeals sided with the government and reversed Judge Burman’s decision in May 2012.

“[The government] didn’t have to appeal it in the first place,’ says Michael Donnelly, director for international affairs at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is representing the Romeikes. ‘They could have just left it alone when we won at the trial court level, but they decided to appeal it.”

Read the full article here at EAGNews.org.

I am further at a loss based on the following Supreme Court Decision:

Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), was an early 20th century United States Supreme Court decision which significantly expanded coverage of the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Compulsory Education Act, prior to amendment, had required all Oregon children between eight and sixteen years of age to attend public school. There were several exceptions incorporated in this Act:
1. Children who were mentally or physically unable to attend school
2. Children who had graduated from eighth grade
3. Children living more than a specified distance by road from the nearest school
4. Children being home-schooled or tutored (subject to monitoring by the local school district)
5. Children attending a state-recognized private school

The Act was amended by the 1922 initiative,[2] which would have taken effect on September 1, 1926, eliminated the exception for attendees of private schools. Private schools viewed this as an attack on their right to enroll students and do business in the state of Oregon.
Associate Justice James Clark McReynolds wrote the opinion of the Court. He stated that children were not “the mere creature[s] of the state” (268 U.S. 510, 535), and that, by its very nature, the traditional American understanding of the term liberty prevented the state from forcing students to accept instruction only from public schools. He stated that this responsibility belonged to the child’s parents or guardians, and that the ability to make such a choice was a “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Ibid.

“The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union rest excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.” P. 268 U. S. 535.

More reasons why home schooling should not only be allowed, but promoted:

There is no convincing evidence that certified teachers are more effective in the classroom or that ed-school-based training helps.
See Dartmouth study for evidence that certification has very little effect on student achievement.

“…private schools appear to do fine- perhaps better-without being compelled to hire state certified teachers.”
Chester Finn, Troublemaker, p. 283.

And in today’s educational news — “Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.”

Homeschooling or even education is not once mentioned in the Constitution. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. See if you can find education in there?

Golden Rice is Not a Hoax and Greenpeace May Have Committed a Crime Against Humanity

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,


golden-rice-hero

At the heart of the modern environmentalist movement is a contempt, a repugnance toward humanity. Attempts to ban DDT are responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans, but merely collateral damage to the greenists who consider imaginary damage to the environment of a higher value than human lives.

Genetically modified foods will be the next battlefront…and it is already littered with maimed and dead children and women.

After a delay of 12 years caused by opponents of genetically modified foods, so-called “Golden Rice” with vitamin A will be grown in the Philippines. During the 12-year delay, 8 million children have died due to vitamin A deficiency. “Are anti-GM advocates not partly responsible?” asks Bjørn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It.

Patrick Moore characterizes Greenpeace’s vehement campaign against Golden Rice as a “crime against humanity.” Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace who broke with the NGO (non-governmental agencies) over its GM policy and now serves as Chair and Chief Scientist with Greenspirit Strategies in Vancouver, Canada.

Three billion people depend upon rice as their main source of food of which 10 percent are at risk for vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of infections such as measles and malaria. Severe deficiencies lead to corneal ulcers or blindness. According to the World Health Organization, VAD is the cause of 250,000 to 500,000 children going blind each year. Half of these children die within a year. Additionally in Asia and Africa, almost 600,000 vitamin A-deficient women die from childbirth-related causes.

Golden Rice was created in the 1990’s by Peter Beyer, professor for cell biology at Freiburg University in Germany, and Ingo Potrykus of the Institute of Plant Sciences in Switzerland. This new variety was produced by splicing two genes into white rice so that it produces beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. One gene comes from the daffodil, lending it’s golden color to the rice. The other gene comes from a bacterium that helps the rice produce beta carotene. The body produces vitamin A from beta carotene.

This scientific discovery was hailed by some as the cure to vitamin A deficiency but derided by anti-GM campaigners such as Greenpeace and Naomi Klein. Such vehement protests and activism have thwarted efforts for 12 years to bring this genetically engineered rice into the parts of the world that so desperately need it.

Indian environmental activist and advisor to the government, Vandana Shiva, has called golden rice “a hoax.” He states, “The problem is that vitamin A rice will not remove vitamin A deficiency (VAD). It will seriously aggravate it. It is a technology that fails in its promise.”

Vandana Shiva would rather have her people in India starve than eat bioengineered food,” says C.S. Prakash, a professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Even after two studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that just 50 grams (approximately two ounces) of Golden Rice can provide 60% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, opponents continue to maintain that there are better ways to deal with VAD. Greenpeace recently released a statement saying that Golden Rice is “neither needed nor necessary,” and believes supplementation and fortification is the “cost-effective” solution to VAD.

According to Bjørn Lomborg, supplementation programs costs $4,300 for every life saved in India and fortification programs cost about $2,600 for every life saved. Golden Rice would cost just $100 for every life saved from VAD.

Such information was dismissed. Even a successful four year old study conducted in China that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August didn’t dampen Greenpeace’s campaign against Golden Rice. In fact, it put “Greepeace’s disinformation campaign into overdrive.” The Asian office of Greenpeace issued a disturbing press release headlined, “24 children used as guinea pigs in genetically engineered ‘Golden Rice’ trial.”

Greenpeace is also vigorously campaigning to block Golden Rice trials in Southeast Asia. Greenpeace’s solution to VAD are vitamin pills, organic gardening, and political empowerment over using readily available food.

Mark Lynas an environmental campaigner and one of the founders of the anti-GM crop movement has publicly apologized for his opposition to planting of GM crops in Britain. He now says that Greenpeace’s actions are “immoral and inhumane” because it deprives “the needy of something that would help them and their children because of the aesthetic preferences of rich people far away.

Greenpeace and many others claim that the proliferation of GM foods will merely give big companies like Monsanto monopoly-like power. Lomborg responds that that this is putting the cart before the horse. What Greenpeace and anti-GM activists have inadvertently done is essentially allow only big companies to compete in the GM market. The approval process has become so long and costly only rich companies can afford to see it through.

monsanto

These types of photos have been floating around Facebook, building anti-GM sentiment. People were becoming anti-Monsanto and anti-GM just due to these photos. To date there has been no documented human health effects from GM foods. A story that has been repeated by others including Shiva is that GM corn with Bt toxin kills Monarch butterflies. Receiving little press are the several peer-reviewed studies that have established that “the impact of Bt corn pollen from current commercial hybrids on monarch butterfly populations is negligible.”

In 2010, the European Commission, after considering 25 years of GMO research, concluded that “there is as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.

While Golden Rice was developed over ten years at the miniscule total cost of $2.6 million, in an extraordinary public-private partnership using funds donated by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Swiss Federation, the National Science Foundation, and the European Union, Greenpeace International alone annually spends $270 million annually, and upwards of $7 million each year specifically dedicated to burying Golden Rice and and many other food or crop developed using biotechnology.

~ Jon Entine, senior fellow at the Center for health and Risk Communication and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project

And not coming as any surprise, Greenpeace is already protesting that “the next ‘Golden Rice’ guinea pigs might be Filipino children.” Lomborg thinks that the 4.4 million Filipino children with vitamin A deficiency might not mind so much.

This is the question that was posed by Ismail Serageldin, the director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science last February:

I ask opponents of biotechnology, do you want 2 to 3 million children a year to go blind and 1 million to die of vitamin A deficiency, just because you object to the way golden rice was created?

And I find myself asking the same question.

What Price Beauty?

Tags

, ,


Gorgeous!

She was simply gorgeous. Yup…movie star quality.

I knew right away her eyelashes were false, but they gave her a dreamy glamorous look. And her flawless face was enveloped in luscious black curls that could have only been obtained with a dozen hot curlers. She was sitting on a couch feeding her baby a bottle. This was ten years ago at a holiday party at a friend’s house and that was the first time I met Emily [name changed to protect identity]. A Korean woman married to a white guy who was also a mother to two children.

No surprise, we bonded instantly, what with having a shared heritage, going through motherhood at the same time and all — the connections were palpable. Emily had attended The Fashion Institute of Technology, and opened a bridal design business. She was au fait with respect to beauty and design. She knew the secrets of make up, and as I am a beauty culture addict, she became my guru

One day when my daughter and I went over to her house for a play date with her older son, I brought over a WSJ article which revealed that calf-shaping was fast becoming a popular plastic surgery option in South Korea. I thought the procedure sounded grotesque and a bit extreme. I’ve heard of fat being sucked out, but muscles being removed to form more shapely calves seemed over the top. She didn’t seem surprised at all. Over Korean seafood pancakes, she confided in me that she herself went through excruciating pain to obtain her own double eyelids. She said her older sister held her hand during recovery.

Double eyelid surgery is quite common in South Korea. Double eyelid surgery is a plastic surgery procedure which involves cutting the outer end of the eye to make them wider and rounder while creating an extra fold on the eyes to mimic those of Westerners.

Before and After Double Eyelid Surgery [and Rhinoplasty as Well?]

Before and After Double Eyelid Surgery [and Rhinoplasty as Well?]

I remember my relatives pushing me to get one when I was there on my last visit. They were very open in telling me that they thought my eyes were too small and that I would look prettier with bigger eyes. They would have had no problems telling me to lose weight too if I had been overweight. I was shocked that they had such a narrow standard of beauty. Basically these were the facial features Koreans sought in women: white, pale skin untouched by sun, large round eyes, a high bridged nose, and a narrow jaw line. At that time I was only twenty, but I was quite used to my face. Conformity was not high on my list. This probably has a great deal to do with my American upbringing.

But I never judged Emily for her double eyelid surgery. Or even for her nose job which she never fessed up to, but which I guessed a while ago. And I suspect she had gotten a nip and tuck after her second child because she came over for a Fourth of July pool party wearing a skimpy brown bikini, nearly putting the models of Sports Illustrated to shame. Women put on make up to look prettier so why can’t they have plastic surgery for the same reason? As long as it doesn’t become a lifelong obsession as in the case of poor Michael Jackson.

While it’s possible to take advantage of the scientific, technological, and medical advances, it’s still a bit sad that so many young women in South Korea feel the pressure to look perfect. A lot of South Korean girls are given double eyelid surgeries as graduation presents. Other popular procedures include rhinoplasty and jawlines being narrowed.

Jawline Before and After Surgery

Jawline Before and After Surgery

To them, no biggie. It’s as ordinary as buying a new outfit. But they sure do seem to put a high price on physical attractiveness in that little peninsula. So proud, in fact, it is even common practice for people to attach a photo of themselves on applications if they’re seeking a job or applying to a university. That would be almost unheard of here in the United States unless you were looking for a job as a model or an actor.

One in 77 Koreans have had a tuck, peel, jab or lift. In the capital city of Seoul, 20 per cent of women aged 19 to 49 admitted to enhancing their looks with surgery. Even Miss Korea 2012, Kim Yu-Mi, openly admitted that her good looks aren’t all natural.

~ The Sun

Miss Korea 2012

Miss Korea 2012

These figures makes South Korea the plastic surgery capital of world if you take into account population, beating out countries like Greece, Italy and even the United States. If you discount the population, the U.S. still has the highest number of plastic surgery procedures at 3.11 million.

While in one Asian country, South Korea, women seek balanced perfection. In another, they look to create imperfection to “enhance” their charm. In Japan, forever on the cutting edge, teenage girls are flocking to their dentists for a procedure called ‘yaeba’ — get this — to temporarily or permanently elongate their canine teeth. Make ‘em less perfect. Less! Japanese men seen to think it makes a woman appear cuter, younger and adds sex appeal. Why couldn’t this trend pop up in the States so parents could save thousands of dollars in orthodontic bills???

Before yaeba

Before Yaeba

After Yaeba

After Yaeba

So interesting what people will do for beauty around the world. I wonder what the Elephant Man would say.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” said Alice.

Streetwise Tips for Women

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,


woman-being-stalked

This photo depicts every woman’s worst nightmare. You are walking alone and you think a man is following you. The hairs on your neck stand out and your heart begins to race. What should you do?

If you’re starting to feel nervous because you’re not sure what you should do, that is very natural.

If you think that this will never happen to you, you are using denial to cope with a difficult subject.

“Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.” ~ Charles Temper

I was guilty of denial too. I used to lull myself into a false sense of security saying that this was probably not going to happen to me — that I don’t live in a bad neighborhood and all have to do is avoid going out at night. But later on, I did have to travel, sometimes through bad neighborhoods even at night. My rationale was no longer working. I had to find a better way to deal with that possible nightmare above — the worst case scenario.

I wish I could carry a gun, but I can’t in NYC. So I went to others who had more information about personal safety. I even took a half-day seminar entitled, “Refuse To Be A Victim.”

My strategy was to become mentally prepared for that moment when I would have to make a life and death decision. Familiarizing myself on what my options are when faced with a threatening situation has lessened my anxiety, and has made me more self-assured that I will be ready if and when that moment comes.

If a woman is attacked, she will have a rush of adrenaline, her heart certainly will be racing, and her brain may not work at it’s optimum level. She will need to quickly rely upon her wit, reflexes, instincts and the crucial mental preparations she made prior to her attack.

I did the personal safety research for myself, but I’m now going to share it with you. Please read on to find out:

1) How Not To Be Selected As A Target

2) What To Do If You Are Selected As A Target

Criminals may not have the highest IQ, but they are certainly capable of planning. Their victims are not selected randomly and will choose the person that is the easiest prey.

Awareness, Intuition, Mindset and Boundaries
Be aware of your surroundings and be suspicious of people loitering in the streets and near the entrance to your home or office. Always be suspicious. Look around you before you leave or enter any space (your car, home, office elevator or any building).

Don’t dismiss your intuition! This is your sixth sense. It may tell you not to go into a certain building or that someone may be following you. Remember the times you have ignored your intuition. Were you sorry you disregarded it?

One of the ways to not become selected as a target is to maintain a confident, alert mindset. Having your head up will give the appearance that you are not a victim, and will increase the chances that you will not be selected as a target. Pre-planning will give you the strong mindset to be able to confidently take action to stop an attack, escape from an attack and protect yourself or others.

Clearly define your personal space. Be prepared to act when someone gets too close and violates your comfort zone. The simplest action you can take is to move away, but if the person persists, you may need to run or defend yourself by making a physical response.

Using ATMs
Everyone knows you leave an ATM with cash. If you could help it, try not to go to the ATM alone. If you are driving up to an ATM, try to park as close to the ATM as possible. Don’t use outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Never use an ATM where people are loitering. If someone gets close to you while you are using an ATM, cancel the transaction, leave quickly, and find another machine.

Walking
When walking in the street, always walk in the opposite direction of traffic. A person who walks in the same direction that cars are traveling can be more easily followed and forced into a car than someone who walks against the traffic.

If you are suspicious of someone in a car, walk or run in the opposite direction from which car is traveling. In order for that car to pursue you, he would have turn his car around. Going in the opposite direction gives you valuable time. The car pursuing you may give up to find an easier target. Go to the nearest lighted store or home for help.

If you think someone is following you by foot, cross to the other side of the street, and go to the nearest open business or home.

Elevators
What do you do when the elevator opens and you have a uncomfortable feeling about the person that’s in there? DO NOT ENTER. Don’t worry about hurting that person’s feeling. Your life is more important.

What if you’re already on the elevator and a strange person enters? If you are fast, you can step off before the elevator closes. If you can’t react that fast, press several buttons for upcoming floors and leave as soon as the elevator stops.

Don’t press the STOP button! This will stop the elevator and you will be trapped inside with the threatening person. If you are being attacked on the elevator and your attacker presses the STOP button, you must pull the button back out. If he hits you for doing this, you must continue to pull the button back out. This is your chance for escape. You can’t be helped as long as you are trapped in that elevator with your attacker.

Some of you may say, “Well maybe the staircase is better.” Keep in mind that stairwells are made to code and so therefore fireproof and even soundproof. Any cries of help will most likely not be heard. In addition, caught in the stairwell, you are automatically giving someone privacy, allowing a perpetrator valuable time and space to harm you without interruption.

Car Safety
Be alert of your surroundings and have your keys ready in your hands when you approach your car. If you are leaving a mall and there are people loitering by your car, go back to the mall and have a security guard escort you. This is one of the reasons why security guards are there. Do not hesitate to make this request. Once you get in the car, place your handbag on the floor. Putting it on the seat next to you makes you a target. As soon as you get in, don’t fix your makeup or call your friend, just lock the door and drive away.

One of the scams I heard about are how people are purposely bumping you on the highway. Once you get out to talk to the person, examine damage, or to exchange information, you are then robbed or attacked. Do not leave the car. Call police and stay inside the car. Open the window only a crack to speak to the other driver. Information can be traded by pressing cards against window. If you are afraid of the other person or if he is threatening you, get license plate number and drive away. If he gets on the hood of your car and bangs on it, drive away slowly.

You have car trouble in a strange neighborhood, and your car is inoperable and your cell phone is dead. Do not leave you car to seek help. Make a sign on any paper or cardboard. “Help. Call Police.”

Being Cautious With Purses and Wallets
Photocopy everything in your wallet and store in a safe place in the event you need to access them and have stolen documents and cards replaced.

A fanny pack or a money belt is recommended so that it can be concealed under clothing, but I don’t find either of them too useful because I carry so many things in my purse.

Law enforcement authorities recommend you keep a small amount of cash in an easily accessible pocket or purse in order to satisfy criminals who are primarily interested in cash.

You can prepare an attractive money roll with singles inside with a ten or twenty-dollar bill on the outside. This way, when a thief approaches you can throw this roll of money in one direction and you run in the opposite direction. Do not hand over the roll! Throwing the money makes the thief have to scramble after the money, allowing you time to escape.

Preparing and carrying an extra cheap wallet is another good idea. This decoy wallet should have some cash, but not contain your driver’s license, car registration, health insurance cards, employee identification, business cards or any valuable documents. No valid credit cards should be placed in this wallet. You might put some cards that come with new wallets to make this decoy wallet look realistic. Again when asked for money, this decoy wallet should be thrown several feet away.

If you are carrying a purse and the robber demands you hand it over, you can either throw the purse or empty the contents on the ground. Making the robber scramble to recover contests will give you an opportunity to escape.

Pepper Sprays
I’ve heard women given advice that they should hold keys in their hands when they are alone at night walking to their car at night. They say having the keys pointing out of their fists can be a weapon. This advice is not that great because most women lack the upper body strength and they have a tendency to paw rather than punch. Also it is very hard to hit a man if he is much taller than you.

A better option would be a self defense spray such as pepper spray. Pepper spray instantly irritates nerve endings in an attacker’s body and causes intense burning upon contact. It severely constricts the nasal passages and throat, and shuts down all but the very basic level of breathing. It also causes the attacker’s eyes to close immediately. The effects of the chemical last up to 20 minutes depending upon the concentration.

Be aware that pepper spray is not effective on a small percentage of the population so make sure you have a back up plan if the spray does not deter your attacker. The spray has a range of 3-12 feet, depending upon the brand, model and size of the container.

If your spray produces a mist, be careful that the wind is not blowing in your direction when you are spraying. Chemical sprays have a limited shelf life and they need to be replaced before the expiration date.

Remember that pepper spray is no use to you in your purse or briefcase. The best place for it is in your hand. The second best place is an outside pocket that you can reach quickly with a free hand. Once you take out the pepper spray, use it right away. Hesitating may give the attacker opportunity to take it away from you.

Pepper spray is legal in all U.S. states, but many have restrictions. Please read what those restrictions may be in your state. They are also prohibited on commercial airlines.

What To Do When You Are Being Pulled, Attacked
What do you if someone tries to pull you into his car? If he successfully drags you into his car, you are going to be raped at the very least. If you could help it, DO NOT EVER allow someone to take you to a secondary crime scene where the perpetrator has more control, privacy, and time to assault you.

If he gets a hold of your arm, you reach and grab his thumb off your arm; it’s the weakest of all the fingers. Grab his thumb and run away. If he grabs your coat, get out of the coat. If you hold onto your coat, he will pull you and your coat into his car. You can not get into his car for any reason whatsoever.

Don’t forget to cry, “Fire! Fire! Fire” to draw attention to the incident. Most people respond to “fire” than “help” because if they don’t respond and there really is a fire, it costs them money and they could also get hurt.

Playing Your Odds
This time, the person puts a gun to your head and orders you to get into the car. Do you comply with a gun to your head? You make a quick decision and run right away. Let’s say that the criminal shoots only 50% of the time because he might want to find another victim that is more compliant. Let’s say that 25% of the time he shoots and hits the victim. And let’s add that 12.5% of the time he either seriously hurts or mortally wounds the victim. Do you like those odds? The actual statistics show that only 2% of the time does he seriously hurts or mortally wounds the victim. I would say those are better odds than for the person who can’t get away and ends up in the car.

Getting Physical
Another scenario might be that as you try to get away, he gets physical with you and you end up on the floor. What do you do? Spin yourself around and keep your feet facing him. Kick from the ground to keep him off you and yell, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” as loud you can. Punching and hitting would be less effective as we women have less upper body strength. We have more power in our legs. At this point, fleeing is the best option.

Remember that the person you are dealing with is a criminal and he will lie, threaten, cajole and make promises to get what he wants. Do NOT believe him even if you want to. So if he says, just do this and I won’t hurt you, know that he is lying to you. Women have complied in the past, thinking their lives may be spared, and sadly they thought wrong.

There are no guarantees in life, especially in crime prevention and on the subject of safety. I hope that the tips I provided will be of help.

Please feel free to comment, leave questions or share your own safety tips below.

Sources:
Street Smarts: How To Avoid Being A Victim w./ Detetive J.J. Bittenbinder, was a PBS special aired back in October of 1993. Detective J.J. Bittenbinder has been a police office in since 1971 and have interviewed thousands of witnesses and offenders. He is also the author of Tough Target: A Street-Smart Guide to Staying Safe, and is considered an authority on the subject of safety.

NRA: Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar, attended in February 2012.

Even a Beauty Addict Like Me has Her Limits

Tags

, , , ,


I remember my first beauty makeover. I was about 7 or 8. My mom had a friend who had two older teenage girls. They happened to be over our apartment, and they decided to make me over for fun. They doted over me, curled my hair with a curling iron, and put make up on me. Make up was completely forbidden to me at that age, but my mom allowed it since I wasn’t going out like that. I absolutely loved it. I felt like a movie star. It would be quite a number of years before I was allowed to wear make up and even wear my hair down. (My very strict Korean mom refused to even let my hair down for many years because she thought it may me look like a wild child.) But when I did, I kind of became a beauty addict. I wanted to try everything! And I did.

Even after I got married, my obsessions with cosmetics, lotions, and fragrances continued. The only thing I stopped doing was walk around with the mud mask. One time my husband saw me walking around the house at night with the greenish mask on and he jumped. I stopped doing that beauty regimen because I wanted my husband to think I was beautiful, and freaking him out was not part of the plan.

Here’s a snapshot of like a sixth of my make up table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

And that’s after I tidied it up! It’s insane, I know. My obsession with makeup is inexplicable as is my obsession with shoes and handbags….

For Asians, having a pale face is a status symbol, so I don’t worship the sun as Americans do. It’s completely the opposite of the way Americans think. You may have noticed older Chinese ladies walking around with parasols. I have a photo of myself around 3 or 4 years old walking with my grandmother in Korea carrying an umbrella. It wasn’t raining. I was just shielding my face from the brutal sun. Over the years, as a kid when I used to come back from camp with my face perfectly bronzed, my mom used to complain I got too dark. To this day, I don’t like to tan.

All of the above is leading up to what you’re about to witness. The above notwithstanding, even I have my limits. Take a look at one of the recent trends that has emerged in China:

Chinese beach-goers donning their 'face-kini' at a public beach in Qingdao, northeaset China's Shandong province.

Chinese beach-goers donning their ‘face-kini’ at a public beach in Qingdao, northeast China’s Shandong province.

Facekini and bodysuits come in a variety of patterns and is made for both men and women.

They come in a variety of patterns and are made for both men and women.

Oh how sweet!  They come in children sizes too.

Oh how sweet! They come in children sizes too.

The ‘Face-kini’ comes complete with a bodysuit.

The factory made cost is 15 – 25 yuan which is equivalent to $2.50 to $4.00. I suppose it could be called the natural alternative to the sunscreen lotion that most people lather on their face to protect from the sun’s rays…. It even seems to work as a repellent to bugs and jellyfish… possibly people too.

I thought Jaws was the scariest thing at the beach till I saw this.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,749 other followers