Choosing A Name

A lot goes into choosing a name; be it a name of your child or the name of your blog, in some way it has to represent who you are, or who you believe they will be, in some profound sense. That said, I’m keeping the title “Mommy College” rather than changing it. It represents who I am in a way that isn’t visible to those who see me walking down the street. My pregnancy, as well as my miscarriage, made me put a lot of things into perspective. Without wholly realizing it, my mindset changed, as did my priorities. It’s a really important part of who I am now, even without my child.

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Catch Up

So, it’s been a very long time since I posted anything on here. After my miscarriage and the ending of my relationship with the would be father, I focused on classes and started a new job. Shortly after that, I began another job. I’m now just working at one job and classes start next semester.

In August, I found a job. I hadn’t been working since my pregnancy because Thomas was covering all the bills. After we split, it was just me so I had to figure something out. The job was going well, my manager was laid back and my coworkers did what they needed to do and all was well. When I started there, I met someone. He was probably the nicest person there and the first person who really took the time to make me feel welcome there. There was flirting and then the wondering of whether it was actually flirting or just humorous conversation between coworkers. All was made clear when he asked me to dinner in October, and we’ve been dating since.

Around November, my hours were starting to be cut and with Christmas and all coming up, I needed a second job. I started there shortly after Thanksgiving, on the weekends working an overnight shift. All was well until my manager at my first job found out that I was working somewhere else. Keep in mind that I told my store manager that I was getting a second job because they were unable to give me more hours. Also, my schedules didn’t interfere with one another, at first. My manager began scheduling me every day of the weekend, so I was pulling 4 16-hour days a week. It was fine at first because I wasn’t taking classes or anything. It wasn’t. My manager was just being rude at this point about everything so I put in my two weeks because there was no way I was going to be able to function when the new semester came around, plus my second job offered to give me a raise and make me full time with the opportunity for overtime.

So now I’m working at an amazing job, where my sister also works, making a lot more money than I was making before and much happier. Those around me are also happier as I’m not tired and cranky all the time.

Brett and I are also doing well. We did Thanksgiving with his parents. I worked Christmas, but we did a get together on New Year’s Eve and did a gift exchange and such then. We also went to Brett’s graduation together. He graduated with his Master’s in Logistics Engineering on December 16th. We went to dinner with my grandfather when he visited from North Carolina. They hit it off instantly as my Aunt Jessica is also in Logistics. I feel well about this, we haven’t been rushing anything and the conversations are great. We shall see.

In the spirit of New Year’s, my resolution is to contribute more to my blog. I’m excited to see what this year has in store.

Loss.

I don’t think losing a loved one every gets better. If anything it gets harder. Every year as I get older, I want my grandma more. There are obstacles that I don’t know how to handle, advice that I can only get from her. Every year I miss her more, and every year it’s harder to believe she’s actually gone. I think people who say time heals everything are ridiculous.

Learning From Change

For the past year, I have been asking my step-grandfather, or “Papa” as I call him, about what it was like when he was my age. I find it interesting seeing how the prices of items have changed, how clothes are different, etc. If my step-great-grandfather was still alive, I would have had many questions for him also, as he was born in the early 1900s. I find that firsthand accounts are usually easier to believe than an article about how life was decades ago. I chose my grandpa to be the subject because he has seen six decades of history, change, and growth. This essay covers the postwar period of the 1950s, through the Reagan Era, and into the millennium.

My grandfather, William Boarts, is 62 years old. Papa was born into a predominately German family, with just a touch of British and French. A great-grandmother belonged to the Champion family of France. She also happened to be a first or second cousin of Andrew Carnegie. I am envious that he has knowledge of his family going back for many generations. I do not know my parents, so my family history was not passed down through generations as Papa’s was. The Bortz[1] family immigrated from Germany prior to the American Revolution and settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. After the Revolution, the family moved to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and homesteaded on land that was originally given to Benjamin Franklin by William Penn. The majority of Bortz family members were farmers, and Papa’s great-grandfather David was the local blacksmith. When reading about homesteading in a book, it is sometimes just words on a paper. Hearing how my grandpa’s family fought against the British and how life was in that time really gives history more meaning to me.

I suppose I have always been the most curious about the way politics have affected the country throughout history. When I think about the past sixty years in history, I think about the John F. Kennedy assassination, the Challenger explosion, the Beatles, the Bush and Clinton presidencies, and the Watergate scandal. I remember those as being things I have either heard or read about that happened in that period, but I can’t know as I wasn’t there. My grandfather was, and what he told me surprised me.

When I asked Papa about the notable historical events that had impact on him he listed the following: the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, the Vietnam war in 1973, the fall of Communism and the reunification of Germany, and the terrorist attacks we now refer to as 9/11. Being that my entire childhood was full of sporting events, Papa noted the 1960 World Series in which the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the New York Yankees and the 2017 Stanley Cup Championship that was won by the Pittsburgh Penguins for the fifth time. I also asked him about notable movements that took places during his life. Here are his answers: the massive protests and sit-ins by college students during the Vietnam War, the Black Panthers who fought for civil rights using violence, the National Organization for Women who fought for women’s rights, and the Green Peace Group that brought attention to the climate and environmental issues on a global level.

When I heard about the movements during his life, it took me back to the things I read about in high school history classes, but never really made a personal connection to. I did not even realize that there were concerns about the climate. I thought the climate change issue was new. As it turns out, the subject was extremely relevant as liberalism grew in the 1960s. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act was put in place, as well as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act (History.com). Now, when I think about those things, I picture them from the eyes of Papa, someone was there and experienced it all firsthand.

I have never been involved in politics, always staying on the sidelines, but I have realized that politics is not an area for the weak. Politics can be very cutthroat. My grandpa told me that it wasn’t always as bad as it is now. He grew up in a very Republican family. His earliest memory of politics occurred when he was in the third grade and John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Thinking back, he says that party became an irrelevant issue after JFK’s death. Americans came together to do what was best for the country and personal agendas were seen as selfish, self-serving, and unpatriotic. He talks about the 1970s in particular, as the decade in which he went to college and started his own business at the age of 21. He mentioned his love for the music. I came to the assumption that he has fond memories of the decade, which he referred to as “a simpler time.”

Another area of life that caught my interest was technology. My generation grew up with colored televisions, home phones, cell phones, computers, and fancy cars. With the rate at which technology has grown throughout the last ten years of my life alone, I had a pretty strong feeling things were much different for Papa. He grew up with black and white television until he was in high school, when his dad bought the family a color television. Out of all the inventions and technological growth throughout his life, I was very interested to see what had the greatest impact on his life. His answer was the personal computer, created in the mid-1970s. As microprocessors were developed and refined, e-mail and internet became used in many households. Personal computers eventually became an item found in nearly all households (History.com). Papa was around twenty-years-old and in college when this invention was introduced.

There were several other items on his list of notable inventions. In the 1950s and ‘60s, cars got very bad mileage, did not come with air conditioning, were very unreliable due to frequent mechanical issues, and had very few safety features. Therefore, the cars driven now are something that he appreciates. Papa is a fan of music, particularly classic rock and jazz, so the birth of electric guitars and music synthesizers made his list alongside the many inventions traced back to the space program. Lastly, the cell phone. My grandfather grew up with a “dial” phone that was part of a party line, where you never knew who was listening in. The cell phone revolutionized communications, making it possible to communicate with those hundreds of miles away at any time of the day without delay.

Interviewing my grandpa taught me the importance of knowing your history, of being involved and paying attention to what is happening. There is so much to be learned from those who came before me and I believe it is my generation’s responsibility to pass our history down to those who come after us. Seeing the changes that have occurred in politics, technology, and even entertainment can help us make better choices as to how we vote, or how we live. It can lead to the next generation becoming more involved in those places where others have been negligent.

 

 

Bibliography

History.com. Invention of the PC. 2011. Web page. 18 June 2017. <http://www.history.com/topics/inventions/invention-of-the-pc&gt;.

This webpage is a secondary source that focuses and the invention and development of the Personal Computer (PC.) This website is from a reliable organization and provides accurate and detailed information regarding the history of the personal computer. I used this source to add credibility to the information included in my essay about the PC.

—. THE 1970s. 2010. Web page. 18 June 2017. <http://www.history.com/topics/1970s&gt;.

This webpage is a secondary source that focuses on the history of the 1970s in America. I used this source for information on the climate and environmental issues that my grandfather mentioned to add credibility and extra information. I did not know that environmental issues were recognized 40+ years ago, so I also used this source to satisfy my own curiousity.

Boarts, William. Personal Interview. 14 June 2017.

This is a primary source, an interview I conducted via e-mail with my step-grandfather who became the subject of my essay. I asked him questions about his heritage, occupations, the way politics changed throughout the years, how he felt about women making their way into the professional world, and about notable historical events that occurred in his life. I did some research regarding the things he told me and used a large amount of the information in my essay, as the base of my reflective essay. A majority of the things he spoke about are relevant, not only historically, but also to the things I have been studying in class.

 

 

[1] Original spelling. It is not clear to me when Bortz became Boarts, or why.

Chaos

So, the past two weeks have been insane.

I had a miscarriage, a huge fight with my boyfriend who says I’ve been really rude and uncaring since it happened, my phone and computer screens both got cracked. So I had to buy a new phone, pay $400 for my computer screen to get fixed (it’s getting sent out Monday), and because of the computer, I’m cramming three weeks of coursework into 3 days before I send it to HP. Which is lovely. No pressure.

I received great news today, about a couple different things, including a job.

I’m posting to just to keep myself sane and update anyone who may be following along. I’ve been feeling really depressed lately and I think it’s because I haven’t been posting. I’m keeping everything bottled up rather than posting or talking to someone, which is really unlike me. Hopefully, things continue to get better over the next couple weeks as I don’t want to be feeling like shit on my birthday, the 21st.

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoy your weekend! If you’re a hockey fan like me, enjoy the Stanley Cup Finals and Let’s Go Pens!!!

Angel

I wrote about the ultrasound I had last Thursday. I was so aggravated because no one would tell me anything. They said I would have to wait for my doctor to tell me, which is standard protocol. A protocol that I think is really fucked up. And here is why.

At my ultrasound, they noticed that the baby was only measuring at 9 weeks, and I was 10 weeks that day. No biggie. Then the noticed there was no heart beat. But of course, they couldn’t tell me. So they just kept going on like everything was fine. These people went along with their day while me and my fiance were talking about baby stuff, knowing that the baby inside me was no longer alive. They knew that I was miscarrying and didn’t tell me because they weren’t allowed.

Today, I had my doctor’s appointment and that’s when they told me. Throughout the entire process, they took my weight and were talking about how I’ll probably gain most of my weight at the end. Knowing that I was reaching the end way too early, they told me that. They asked me normal check up questions, listening to me talk about the plans I had for myself and my family. They listened to me talk about my baby knowing that my baby was going to leave me soon. Then, before I could even process what they were saying, the told me I’d have to come in and either take medication, have surgery, or wait for it to naturally happen.

I know that this happens. I know that it’s not rare for something like this to happen to a woman early in pregnancy. But no one ever thinks that it’s going to happen to them. And those who assume that it won’t emotional effect the woman when it’s so early in the pregnancy, they’re so wrong. I love my baby. I don’t know why it happened, I don’t know if it’s something that I did or something that occurs naturally. I just wish the people who were involved were a bit more fucking sensitive about it.

The Great Bison Herds

One of my US History courses started today. Our first assignment is about the difference between the romantic heroic depiction of the US conquer of the West and the reality of the savage carnage that took place out there in the 19th century.

What made me really angry was thinking about the Sand Creek massacre in the Colorado territory in 1864. The leader of the tribe presented both a white flag and American flag, yet US forces killed more than 270 Indians, including children.

Then, because they were considered a “nuisance” and a way of handling the Indian “problem” the bison were killed off, which was happening anyway because of the transcontinental railroad that divided the plains, and herds, in two. It just seems all so ugly and evil and unnecessary. All because the United States government wanted to expand. Even if it didn’t happen then I’m sure it would have happened by now. The quest for land and wealth and power has been a part of this country since the beginning. It definitely wasn’t about freedom at this point, or at least not the freedom of anyone else. Hypocrites.

 

Please, feel free to comment. I’m not a history major nor do I consider myself to be highly knowledgeable in this area. I’d love to hear some other takes or facts from those more qualified than myself. I’m simply expressing my dislike for the way things took place.