Barbaric

15 Jun 2017

6/9/17

Barbaric

I find it barbaric that twenty-seven states in this country set no minimum age for girls to marry. In nine states the limit is below sixteen. In New Hampshire the minimum age is thirteen. Thirteen! (Time Magazine, June 12, 2017) A girl of thirteen may be physically ready to get pregnant and bare a child, but she is certainly not emotionally prepared to be a wife and mother. She is still a child: a seventh grader in middle school.
These marriages are only possible with parental consent. Parents may feel that a marriage is better than their daughter having an illegitimate child. Much to my dismay, in some statutory rapes cases, instead of the court prosecuting the case, they allow a marriage to take place instead. Therefore, some marriages are then signed off on for men who are adults and girls who are not. That might be acceptable for an eighteen year old male and a seventeen year old female. But what about a twenty-seven year old man and a fourteen year old girl? Is that acceptable?
A classmate of mine in junior high school was married, with parental permission, at sixteen to a man who was twenty-two. I was stunned at her ‘wedding’ to remember that just a month before we were listening to the latest Beatles songs and swooning over Paul, and debating on which lipstick was prettier; pink or coral? I thought that night that Marsha would never go on to high school, never go to the Prom, never choose what she would do after high school. Because now she was married. And her husband would decide everything for her. I never saw her again. I wondered then if that marriage was legal and right. Now I know.

BAMorris

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Morning Comfort

13 Jun 2017

12/5/15

Morning Comfort

When I walked this morning, day was just a gauzy, gray hint of light. Suddenly I heard the crack of a gunshot. Then another. Some early morning hunter had sighted his deer. Then two more shots quickly.
From her investigations somewhere in the field or woods, Foxxi appeared at my side. For the rest of the walk she synchronized her steps exactly to mine. I guess she somehow felt that I, as her Human, could protect her from the threatening sounds that had echoed into our walk. I was glad for her company as well.

BAMorris

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Good Morning Sun!

13 Jun 2017

12/6/15

Good Morning Sun!

I slept in this morning. When I went for my walk, the field was a frosty white. The sun was a golden orb sitting in the tree line, seemingly content to peek over the horizon.
As I turned to head back home, the sun suddenly burst full into the sky as a blazing, blinding ball of light. “Good morning,“ it beamed to me.

BAMorris

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Going Backward

12 Jun 2017

11/9/15

Going Backward

I am amazed that there are still institutions and people in this country that object for birth control for women. It’s been over forty years since the Pill came on the market for common use. At that time the Catholic Church was vehemently opposed to its members using something to prevent a pregnancy. They saw it as against God’s will. But here we are in 2015. It is the norm for women to have the choice of conception or not. Now there are many more ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, thankfully.
But there is an upsurge of organizations fighting the Affordable Health Care Act by refusing to allow their insurance to pay for birth control for its insurees. They say making birth control available to women violates their religious beliefs. Not abortions or the Morning After pill. Birth control. I wonder where this increase in religion trying to go back to controlling a woman’s body is coming from.

BAMorris

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Change of Status

06 Jun 2017

1/9/17
Change of Status

A teacher at the high school appeared in the news last night. I didn’t know him personally, but my daughter had him for a class and I knew he was very active in the school. Therefore, I was surprised to hear he had been arrested for giving alcohol to a minor.
Now I don’t know his story. It could all be very innocent, with an unexpected twist. I only know the charge, the arrest, and the fact that he is no longer employed as a teacher for the county. (And I suspect, will lose his teaching license.) I thought how sad it is that he had spent so many years doing good things for young people, and all that disappeared in the blink of an eye. It made me sad, and I’m sure it hurts his heart every time he sees his face plastered on the TV screen as a criminal.

BAMorris

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Missing Sister

06 Jun 2017

1/9/17
Missing Sister

I read the obituaries faithfully each day. I am not so much looking to see if mine is in there (as some people jokingly say), but to look for people I might have know as a child or for families of students I taught in the area.
While reading the obituary of a man with the same last name as mine, I was surprised to see my name as a survivor. I thought to myself, “I had a brother I didn’t even know about!” I read the piece again with renewed interest, chuckling to see my name still soundly there as his surviving sister.
I wondered if I had attended the funeral if the family would have been as surprised as I was to find he had an extra sister out there that no one knew about. And when I met the other Brenda Morris, would it be like looking at a doppelganger?

BAMorris

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A Magic Carpeting

27 May 2017

3/28/16

A Magic Carpeting

A carpet of tiny purple wildflowers, not as big as the end of a pencil eraser, covers the front lawn. I don’t know where they came from. They’ve never been there before. There must be hundreds of thousands of them because you can see them from the main road as you turn into the driveway we share with five neighbor houses. Every time I see that lavender strip, I wonder at Nature’s gift to me.

BAMorris

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Reading

27 May 2017

3/14/16

Reading

I can’t remember when words weren’t magic to me. My mother read to me before I could read on my own. And then unconsciously I flowed into knowing that a grouping of letters stood for a certain word. I was fully reading before I started school.
I can’t imagine not reading. It’s as essential to me as breathing. I could go a few days without the printed word, but I would find something to read in between: a cereal box, a magazine cover, a medicine bottle, the phone book! I am a reader, plain and simple.

BAMorris

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Mis-Information

27 May 2017

3/13/17

Mis-Information

As a teacher I am appalled at two inaccurate statements made recently by cabinet members of the current president.
Ben Carson compared slaves being brought by force to this country to immigrants coming here by choice. Slaves did not leave Africa seeking a better way of life. This statement makes light of the horrors of the Middle Passage, of the institution of slavery itself, and of the current prejudices still expressed in this country towards the descendants of those who came here as slaves.
Betsy DeVos said that Traditionally Black Colleges were an example of choice in education. With her statement she negates the fact that TBC were created in a time when people of color were not allowed to attend the established white colleges. Because of this, schools like Howard and Spellman were created as colleges for those of color. Attending them was not a matter of choice: rather it was filling the void for African Americans who wanted a college education.
These mis-statements belittle the slave experience and gloss over the disenfranchisement of the newly freed slaves after the Civil War. They both exhibit ignorance and insensitivity.

BAMorris

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10/2/16

Public Figures in Politics

I have often heard people say that public figures, such as performers (actors, musicians, singers) and athletes, have no place voicing their opinions about politics. I ask, why not? They are citizens of this country, just like me. They are affected by the decisions our government’s leaders make, just like me. They are mostly rational, questioning, thinking human being, like me. They have the same Constitutional rights to speak their mind as I do.
The only difference between us is they have a public persona, which I do not. That persona allows their voice to be heard by more people. It is up ordinary people to use their intelligence to decide if they agree or disagree with what the celebrity says.

BAMorris

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