Hang Karl Rove by the cojones Just thought I would begin with an inflammatory statement.
At the end of this post is an article copied from today’s New York Times on the first class to graduate from Stuyvesant High School that began their high school career by watching buildings explode. Heroes, patriots, and inspirational all of them.
It’s a steaming hot Saturday in the city. Yesterday, when I was at the beach a boy drowned. Normally, at this point I would give a water safety lesson. But, all of you, the most over protective of all parents since my father, don’t assume that you’re always going to be in the ocean or large lake with your kids. Teach them how to survive a sudden under tow!
Fortunately, my father was the only man in known history to always ask questions. When I was a kid that drove me crazy, because no other dad asked for directions. He was totally unashamedly curious , and asked questions until he was an expert in the subject de jour, or sometimes thought that he was.
He knew less than zilch about the ocean, and made sure that fave-sis and I knew all about water safety. That turned out to be a very good thing as one of my favorite things in life then was getting hit by a wave and whirling through it as if I were in the spin cycle of a washing machine. Then one day I spun a bit too much and had to put all my knowledge to the test. Still think being in or near the ocean is one of life’s greatest wonders but I stopped taking chances many a Cancer moon ago.
I have been reading and admiring Frstly Mil for awhile now and have been meaning to mention her site. It’s always interesting and about life in that other coast. If I’m Manhattan; Frsty Mil is___yes, LA, is the right answer. Since I hope to live in Santa Monica or Venice at least part time within the next two years, I read it as a guide to life in LA.
Only, in her second to last post, she mentions the intellectually respectable Cranky Liberal Pages. Intellectually Respectable? Damn, Crank was my first friend in the blogosphere, and all this time I thought his was a porn site.
Sheet, no wonder why the radical right calls me the idiot of all liberals.
Cranky and I are both very angry and cranky about Karl Rove. Want to call me single minded? Idiot? It’s fine with me as long as you fight me at Bring it on! Today’s The Bastard’s birthday; stop by and wish him a happy birthday.
While you’re there you can read my post explaining my Karl Rove stance, and everything else.
I was going to put in Danny Bloom’s letters for his Bubbe and Zaide projects as I like Danny, who featured me in his Jewish Blogography blog, but ran into some technical problems, so uh, that will have to wait. But read his blog, it’s good for you.
Once again, I’m going to pitch the essay my dad wrote upon adopting me–now two posts down. I’m very proud to be a part of my family, and that essay will be the prelude or the epilogue to my memoir: Electric Haired Chick Tells Almost All: A Memoir about Sex, drugs, rock & roll, and being adopted.
My take on being adopted is more usual than suspected, or the media would have you think. I think it’s one of the most boring things about me. I have always loved being adopted because it gave me an incredible, eccentric, funny family, and I think that even as a kid, I knew that they would make great material.
My dad was a great story teller as evidenced by his essay. He was successful yet humble when he had every reason to be arrogant about his totally self-made success. When I grew up I got him back for all the stories he told about me, by out-storying him. He was a bit jealous, according to my mother, but prouder still about my verbal acuity’s.
Hate to use a cliche, but people do remain alive as long as they remain in your memories. Fave-niece loves hearing stories about her maternal grandparents, and fortunately I remember their wit, warts, and wisdom.
Impeach the entire Bush administration Just want to make my mom proud that I’m not afraid to express myself, and think that my neo-con, socially progressive (in heart and actions always; in speech sometimes) dad would be just as proud. My family rocks; we’re free thinkers all of us!
Am now adding another post about Stuyvesant High school Class of 2005, for some good down home New York pride.
Want to talk about heroes and patriots? Here are some kids who began high school next to a few buildings, watched them fall a week later, and spent the rest of their high school career in the shadow of no towers, to use Art Spiegelman’s amazing words.
Karl Rove, get a grip. These kids are some of New York’s best and brightest. They’ll causally tell their stories at universities all over. By being rational and sticking to the facts, they’ll influence more people than you could ever hope to.
About New York
For This Class, ‘Remember When’ Mingles With ‘Never Forget’
By DAN BARRY
Published: June 25, 2005
THE distribution of yearbooks the other day made it official: adulthood had come to the seniors of Stuyvesant High School. They cracked the binding and pored over four years of snapshot moments that began when they were 13, 14; children, really.
Vicky Portnoy watched debris fall from the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Here was Vicky, wielding her tennis racket. Here too was Lisa, smiling with friends on the track team. Here were Jason, and Chun Che, and Soleil. Remember Halloween, when that boy came dressed as Marilyn Monroe? Remember Pajama Day? Remember?
In a way, though, these seniors became adults just days into their freshman year. Nearly 800 students will graduate on Monday as the Class of 2005, but once you do your math, and remember that Stuyvesant is just north of what was the World Trade Center, you realize that theirs was also a Class of 2001; Sept. 11, 2001.
Their jumbled high school memories are both sweet and shocking, funny and not. Remember the junior prom, and physics class, and that first loud boom, and those car alarms going off? Remember the ballroom dancing, and the song-and-dance competitions, and seeing the debris falling from the towers? Was it debris? Remember?
But as some of these seniors recall their high school careers, strands of resilience weave through their stories. They refuse to allow a catastrophe outside their schoolhouse doors to define these four precious years of theirs. They remember the downwind whiffs of death, but they also remember biology tests, free periods, and the zing of first kisses.
It was the first Tuesday of their first year at Stuyvesant, an intensely competitive high school that attracts students citywide. Jason Hsu was putting a cover on his Spanish textbook when he heard a boom – the sound of the first plane hitting the north tower.
Lisa Cao heard a chorus of car alarms while sitting in art appreciation class. Soleil Ho was in English, trying to get lost in a poem she was writing.
Then the lights flickered. Vicky Portnoy was in math class on the fourth floor when she saw debris spewing from the south tower after the second plane hit. “I really wasn’t sure what was going on,” she recalled. “I remember one girl in my class starting to cry.”
Some watched televisions; others watched from the windows. Jason saw “stuff” falling from the towers, but he says he doesn’t think it was people; “at least I hope it wasn’t.” Chun Che Peng remembers a teacher telling students to focus on their work, but no one could.
A voice on the public-address system directed students to their homerooms and then out the north side of the building to West Street. Behind them, a billowing curtain of smoke; in front of them, crowds fleeing north. Lisa remembers giving a bottle of water she had to a firefighter heading south.
While some students gathered at Chelsea Piers, others set out to find pay phones, food, home. Soleil walked to Union Square with a friend, and remembers being annoyed that Urban Outfitters was closed. Chun Che had a burger at a McDonald’s in Midtown. Jason walked all the way home to East 63rd Street.
WITH their high school taken over by rescue and recovery workers, Stuyvesant students attended truncated classes at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene, then returned in early October to a school that had been scrubbed clean, but was still just four blocks from the smoldering trade center pile. The air smelled of it.
“It felt like we were coming back to a strange land,” Chun Che said.
“I think I was confused the whole time,” Vicky said. “I’d come home and on the radio they were talking about how the air around here was not great.”
Vicky and Lisa carried surgical masks in their backpacks, and people in orange vests interrupted classes to test the air quality. They became so much a part of Stuyvesant life, Lisa says, that two students dressed up as air-quality testers for Halloween.
Meanwhile, counselors gently discussed post-traumatic stress, though few students accepted their offers to talk privately. Instead, art appreciation helped, as did new friends, English homework, track practice.
From some windows the students could see the debris-laden trucks rumbling to barges on the Hudson. But they also had teachers before them, demanding answers to questions about other things. “Not really block out, but accept,” Soleil said. “It happens. People died. They’re still down there. Gotta go to school.”
Sophomore year arrived, then junior year, and then they were seniors, Stuyvesant seniors. Some outsiders have connected 9/11 to a supposed drop in the number of those receiving early college admission. “That’s a stretch,” said Vicky, who is going to Columbia in the fall. Lisa agreed; she’s going to Cornell.
The two young women sat in a coffee shop near Stuyvesant yesterday, flipping through a yearbook that dedicates two pages to 9/11, and the rest to smiles and inside jokes and senior portraits. They are both 17.
Under Vicky Portnoy’s photo, it reads: “Life may not be the party that we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance.” And under Lisa Cao’s, this: “Life is short – eat dessert first.”
Next week I’m going to ask Little Luce to write a guest post about beginning middle school in 2001; might even ask Lucia to add some things.
Impeach the entire Bush administration