True or Toxic?

“Never be afraid to do whats right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

My loud mouth is very well-known for exactly that; being loud, standing up and speaking my mind. I annoy people, I get hushed, or people are “appalled” by my “behavior” and I just want to say that undoubtedly…I don’t give a flying fuck. People pleasing will never be a hobby of mine. I will not walk on eggshells to keep you happy because fake happy is not happy; its false expectations and lies.

So many of us get caught up in putting our “fake smile” on to get through ninety percent of the day. The only people I will ever fake smile for are children, and giving them the absolute best part of myself I can at the time. Anyways, back to people pleasing; its stupid. People will never be pleased, and in the process you are ruining yourself. How exactly? Because with each person, or friend, it’s like you have to go home and change into a different you for someone else. There is no “one person.” Soon, there are five different versions of you that clash with three different groups that you can never actually be yourself with. Why? Because you decided to be untrue; you went from true to toxic.

Now what does this have to do with standing up for whats right? Because it shows you the extent that people go through to change themselves, only in order to keep other people happy resulting in a loss of happiness for themselves. People pleasing is focusing on everyone but you, and I’m sorry, until those people are your children  then they can screw off. Who cares what they expect, what they hear, what they talk about, what they think, and what they do not like. If they don’t like who is truly you…if they wouldn’t like who was truly you, then why are they in your life? To fake smile at?

hawkeye

After becoming addicted to MASH these past couple of weeks, Hawkeye is not just the new love of my life, but an inspiration. Simply because he does not give a damn; not of your rank, your thoughts, your opinion, or your hatred. What he see’s as right is what he will stand up for despite the number of people who want to throw him in jail. You’d think he’d be shaken up? Nah, he has the ability to laugh because he has no image to uphold. He loves and respects others without ever having to like them. He is himself with every person; there is no three “Hawkeyes.” Everyone loves him because he is true; not toxic.

hawkeye2

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu

maskI really don’t know what else to say other than I’m tired of people hiding their words, thoughts, feelings and actions because it’s really just a form of self imprisonment. I can’t imagine living a life of wearing a costume to appease someone. Stand up for what you think is right, despite how many people attack you on social media. Talk back when you are being talked down, speak your mind, do what you want to do, and don’t be afraid to feel what you are actually feeling. Its society who wants you to put a mask upon your face.

Advertisements

Haley’s Homeless Haul.

Soo lovelies, as you may or may not know, I’m considering making some big life changes pretty soon. Also, I was tired of feeling trapped, and slaving away at a job I hated. So, because I have no  major responsibilities, I quit. “Oh, how irresponsible.” Well thanks for the positive thoughts, but no. This is one of the few times in my life where I can make irrational decisions because I do not have a marriage, or child to weigh it down. So yea, I’m being irresponsible and loving it. On the other hand, its given me opportunities to actually use some things I’ve bought in the past, and finally try some things that I’ve been wanting to forever, and others that I just wanted in my life. Lets goooo.

Betsey Haul

haul1What I love about this Betsey Haul is how inexpensive it was. Betsey is my favorite designer ever because of her lovely creations, but amazing personality. When she went out of business, and had to close all of her pretty pink stores I thought life was over. But, Steve Madden saved the day! He bought Betsey’s brand, and she became creative director, obviously. Because of that, Betsey is now everywhere! She has really expanded, and made her products affordable!! I got sick a couple of weeks ago, and the same day Betsey Johnson tissues were released at Walmart. (coincidence? I think not.) Once again, she released another set of limited edition stationery supplies at Michael’s craft store. I scooped them up last year, and unfortunately didn’t make it in time to get to the cards and journals this year. I LOVE pink roses, and that was obviously the theme once again this year. As you can see the Betsey Kleenex’s above, I bought two three packs and each box (and side of the box) has its own design. This was my favorite (and is empty because I felt like my nose was falling off.) I never use these drink tumblers, but had to purchase this one. My second Betsey tumbler! I bought two large vinyl storage pouches, one in yellow and pink. I of course bought a Betsey rose pen, and finally bought a phone case…which did not fit. Its available in my Etsy store for anyone who wants it! Last but not least, Betsey close-line clips (I have no idea what I’ll use them for) and a Betsey Luggage tag because my suit-cases are already pink! Merp!

Forever 21 – Accessories

haul2Finally, my hometown decided to bring in a Forever 21. I thought my best friend and I were going to bust down the door because we don’t have any access to quality retail around here. Moving on, when it opened, the store just didn’t seem right. It didn’t have the classic “Forever 21” feel to it, or choice. Literally, there is nothing to choose from. I happened to look up, and notice the front said “Forever 21 RED.” After asking an employee what that means, it all clicked. We didn’t even get a full store. We got the basic bitch store, and on top of that we got the “not full store” while they are trying to bring back a hideous selection and what looks like a mix of my Mom’s closet when she was pregnant with my sister, and my three-year old closet in 1995. Seriously, Jelly platform sandals and denim jumpers?! So I’ve ignored the clothes and found refuge in the accessory selection. I found a fabulous storage bag that unfolds (and can re-fold) finished with a hook so that it may be thrown on a door somewhere. I decided to spend a whole two dollars on a blue floral stand up mirror, and finally, I bought eye lash curlers. A girl actually asked me if my eye lashes were real today. Made my week. I fell in love with this very gypsy-like necklace, and a ridiculous array of gold stackable rings. Then last but not least a new contour brush, and black sponge. I’ve always wanted a black beauty blender (come on, its fricken black!!) but couldn’t bring myself to spend $22 dollars on a small sponge. I found this one for $3. WIN.

New Hurrr Haul

haul3As some of y’all might know, unfortunately, my hair is not naturally super dark brown. While its adapted well to it, I have to take good care of it to not only keep the color, but to keep my hair happy and healthy so it will grow. Yes, it requires a bit of cash but that’s better than damaged and ridiculous hair. What I have been using for a while has been Matrix Biolage Color Last. First off, the smell is AMAZING. Also, it does a really good job at keeping the color on your head (if you have a washing routine, and are not washing everyday.) Matrix So Silver is also what I recommend to Platinum Blonds to keep your hair blonde not yellow, and only using it once a week so you don’t develop purple-tinted hair. 😉 Matrix is just one of those brands where people think it’s freshly dyed after every wash. Since I live in dry Texas, my hair has no moisture. So, usually once a week I break out the Kenra moisturizing conditioner. It smells like Sweetgrass (if you’ve never smelt that, then how awful) and it does a pretty good job of repairing dry hair. I really don’t see it as useful for weekly use. Since I bought a Kenra product, I got the Blow Dry mini sprays as a free gift! This stuff came from God himself! It smells so good that my hair dresser will sometimes use it for body spray. This stuff is ridiculously expensive, works like a charm and is a for sure splurge. Then for those of you that have frizzy, dry and damaged hair, invest in the Marc Anthony Morocco oil to calm it down throughout the day. Yes, the smell is amazing, but when lightly sprayed into dry hair on the go, it calms it giving a nice sleek look. Plus, Rocco’s name is in it.

LUSH!!

haul4Finally!! I had been wanting to try Lush forever. The thought of these truly organic products, that are not tested on animals, and hand-made right there was beyond appealing. Anything that directly comes from the earth, and not processed through a machine first IS good for your body. My friend has the Ocean Salt scrub which I got to try first, but since I love mint I’ve always wanted to try to Mask of Magnaminty. HOLY COW! Why yes it is organic because of the texture and fresh smell, and when applied its even better. Yes, you just look like you crawled out of the jungle, but when you rinse it off you feel and see a difference. This is not just a mask but a true cleanser. My skin has been cleared up ever since I quit a ridiculous job (my hormones and stress levels probably evened out) and then this kicked my face’s butt! My skin has been a dream since I’ve been using the mask. Truly impressed with the refreshing feel. When I saw a couple of videos of Lush’s bathbombs, I was so excited to try these. I ordered blackberry, avocado, and rose (not pictured.) I used the rose while sick, and could still smell it. The flowers that came packed in it spread all over the tub. It was truly a majestic feeling bath. I believe these can be relaxing, they smell good, the salts and oils are amazing for your skin, and watching them fizz and change the water colors is fun. I can’t wait to use my other two bombs, but I can’t soak right now due to a healing tattoo. I think these could be great here and there surprises for kids! Also, I got a soap sample I’m excited to try I think by the name of porridge. We will see.

Sephora Haul!

haul5Sephora can be too much fun if they would get a bigger store (well, in my town) and would actually keep things stocked. But seriously, their selection is so much better in my opinion than Ulta, also the staff that knows what they are talking about, and their little samples are actually helpful! Kat Von D has been a favorite lately. Not only is her Tattoo Wet Liner the best stuff to ever grace my eyelids (it’s the only wet liner I will ever wear), but her new contour palette and fabulous lipsticks have rocked my world. While on a hunt for a new amazing color, I discovered Coven. The name was perfect (cue American Horror Story) but the lilac color on my lips made me feel like a whole new person! On top of that the smooth formula of the lipstick is amazing. It evenly spreads over the lips, and has lasting power. A couple of weeks later, I invested in a fabulous nude color, Agatha. Sounds like a Bewitched name, doesn’t it? Maybe its just me. Skipping to the other lips, I bought a little six-dollar tin that has made it to my favorites. I couldn’t go with the original rose, but invested in the Minty Rose. This stuff instantly softens my lips, and a little goes a long way. For my dry lips, this is a miracle, and is better than using the same stick especially if you develop cold sores from cracked lips and keep spreading that virus. Bottom line, a must have for dry lips. Finally, back to Sephora samples, I received a sample of the Soap and Glory “Peaches and Clean” cleanser. I was impressed, and bought the full size one. It smells like actual peaches being smothered across your face, and it leaves a nice moisturized feel unlike most cleansers. Love. it.

Vinyl Haul

haul6My vinyl collection no longer fits in the little crate that was intended to hold it…and I keep buying more because music is yessss. Anyways, I decided invest in a couple of classics, and a few new artists. Cat Power originally caught my ear in Juno’s album when she sang “Sea of Love.” It’s still hard not to cry with that song playing. I decided to try one of her albums, and I’m going to have to be in the right mood. Its one of those super relaxed vinyl’s that I’m hoping I’ll be glad I bought. Also, the name is just right. Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy is a must have for anyone. The Rain Song is unbeatable. When I found Marvin Gaye’s Whats Going On vinyl at Barnes and Noble, I actually shrieked. What a fantastic piece of art to own!! This was his heart put onto vinyl, and something he was so proud of. It killed him when people ended up “hating it” despite its climb onto the charts. This is a classic. Finally, I can’t believe I found Empire of the Sun on vinyl. I discovered them on Myspace (I know) fell in love, and so did my dad. Their music wasn’t even available in America yet (they are from Australia), then BOOM two years later and they were everywhere. This is their second album (I think) Ice On the Dune which is a fantastic mix of techno pop. Its like updated 80’s music. They are wonderful performers, and to own a vinyl is mind-blowing.

Etsy Haul

haul7

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFake nose hoop in action

Etsy is an addiction, obviously. I call it a classier Ebay because of how things are listed. It’s a great place to find just about anything art, handmade, and vintage you can imagine. I indulged in a classic vintage Eagle Katchina shirt, and another set of my nose hoops. A lot of people ask the size of my nose “piercing” and where I got my hoop. Actually, my nose isn’t pierced. My body just does not respond well to the metals. When I was a kid, I remember the pain of having my ear piercings cleaned, and how infected they constantly were. The second hole in my ear was impossible, and finally I just let it close at fifteen years old. My belly button piercing was beyond infected and painful for weeks, despite cleaning it how I was supposed to, not swimming, and all other precautions. I let that close too. My body is fine with tattoo’s, but anything going through the skin with metal behind it will just start a war. So, putting one on my face is not worth it. I discovered JewelleryK by accident which creates real, and fake sterling silver, gold, rose gold and just about anything else hoops and piercings. I ordered one fake sterling silver hoop last year, and everyone complimented my piercing. I wore it constantly, but beware! They are super easy to lose! However, they are cheap, so this is my third order. I love having my nose hoop when I feel like wearing it, without the infection behind it!

Speaking of Etsy, YES my Etsy shop is finally open! I expect to put vintage finds, things I create as well as a few PH nick nacks listed. Keep an eye out for new things being added each week! I can’t wait for people to have some new Haley Ann creations available to y’all, so be sure to check it out. Have a fantastic week!!

Song of the Week is Sea of Love by Cat Power.

-haley.

 

Why My Career Ended Before It Even Started.

As lost as I seem to be these days, when someone asks me, “Well, what do you eventually want to end up doing?” My answer will always be teaching. Working with kids, and actually seeing them learn, knowing I was a part of that is the best feeling. I love changing their mind-set, molding them, and hopefully being a small fragment in their life that they might look back on one day when they need to. Everyone always asks me, “Have you ever thought about education?” Um, yea. Been there; wrecked that.

My first year in education was magical. Mainly because I worked four hours a day, and was teaching Pre-K. It wasn’t just colors and shapes, but I took my work very seriously. My kids were learning that full four hours of the day from manners, to movies. Everything connected, and I loved it. My students were beautiful, and they were my true loves for that year. To see a Spanish speaking student (who refused to talk for the first three months) finally, and proudly announce that he was coloring with orange, then spelled it, made me want to lie on the floor and cry. I was exactly where I wanted to be. My second year (and third) in education came a change in administration, and hours. My first full-time year, and this time I was making rounds as an actual assistant. I saw a change in my desires to teach, as I now was leaning towards a more middle school atmosphere, and I also felt a pit in my stomach. I heard the meetings, the push for tests scores to get higher, the invasion of teachers thoughts and classrooms, and the overall destruction.  It became clear to me that it didn’t matter what they were wearing, feeling, eating, or experiencing…all that mattered were what they were scribbling out on their test packets with their plain yellow number two pencils.

test3

With teachers being pushed to their limits, working twelve hours a day, conferences, meetings, and still taking papers home, they are not equipped to teach. Which brings up another issue; Are our teachers really teaching? I want these students to leave my class educated, and what our teachers are doing is not that. They are test scorers, givers, reading from pamphlets, egg-shell walkers who answer to the report of their numbers from the boss like salesmen would. Its annoying that these little humans are no longer people who have feelings, problems, and bleed red…they are walking numbers who have the potential to possibly be in the whatever amazing “percentile” that will pass!!! We don’t care if they learn a damn thing, as long as they pass!! We don’t even care if they end up serial killers, but hey, they passed their standardized tests in fourth grade! Not only how we are treating our students is a massive problem, but how we are treating our educators; their feelings reflect in their work. We cover our asses in inventing little programs that make students feel special, and family nights (which teachers will be mandated to attend with a fake and tired smile on their face), and we buy all the teachers their favorite drink one day a year. These fake attempts to reach out do not cover being told they are not enough, to work harder, you are not making a difference (WRONG) because their “scores” don’t show a difference…its bound to leak through your pores onto your chalkboard. Enough is enough after a while; a reason why so many educators have retired, or walked away…simply because they are no longer educating.

test2

After walking the halls, and being pushed to tears in what could be in these classrooms, excuse me, testing rooms, I had to walk away. Children are not professional test takers, and little robot machines. They are human, and they will be better little humans when they are actually learning about the actual world they live in; When they study their culture, their environment, and things that will make a difference…not fictional math problems, and why Suzi used that word in that paragraph. Really? Standardized testing has literally taken over the world, and destroyed education. We spend our entire year teaching children how to study for a test, rather than teaching them important things in life that will stick, and teaching them how to love school. We don’t even have time for that anymore! We only have time for tests, practice tests, workshops and tutorials!!! Thats all that ever matters!! Screw fun, guest speakers, time outside, and field trips!! How is any of that educational?!?! Don’t forget to plan that two weeks of when we lock down the school like a state prison with teachers roaming the halls, one at every corner, and even listening to you pee in the bathroom. Don’t you even think about talking about this test you little nine-year old! Stick to your script teachers on how to answer that question (you’ll be arrested if you don’t) sign this contract (yea, you might actually go to jail) and here is a step-by-step instruction guide on how to protect the test packets if a tornado hits, or a child vomits on the valuable packets.

test

So, after all these standardized tests, and billions of dollars pumped into it, what do we have to show for it? Well, here are the highlights of my research.

1. Standardized testing has not improved student achievement.

After the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the PISA to 31st with a similar drop in math, and reading.

2. Standardized tests are an unreliable measure of student performance.

A study published by the Brookings Institution found that 50-80% of year-over-year test score improvements were temporary and “caused by fluctuations that had nothing to do with long-term changes in learning.”

3. Standardized tests are unfair and discriminatory against non English speakers, and students with special needs.

I don’t even need to find some fancy evidence to support this; I saw it first hand. They are pulled into classrooms with a one on one teacher which yes, you think would help them, but all the students know why they aren’t testing with everyone, why they get more time, and not to mention they are being watched like a hawk. It’s just not fun to be “different” because you are with one teacher all day (even during lunch) and who wants to listen to a teacher talk directly to them, then watch them eat their sandwich? Didn’t think so. They want to talk about Power Rangers, and eat lunch with their friends because they are eight freaking years old. Also, what teacher wants to be with this one student all day reading a script? Exactly.

4. Standardized tests measure only a small portion of what makes education meaningful.

AMEN. “Standardized tests cannot measure creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, self-awareness, empathy, leadership, compassion and so on.” Once again, AMEN. They cannot measure HUMANITY and TRUE LEARNING.

5. “Teaching the test” is replacing good teaching practices with “drill n’ kill” learning.

As stated above, if you even present a fun idea to a teacher, they have the stressed response of, “I don’t think we have time for that! We’re getting ready for the test!” I’m not surprised. I’m glad that test will change their lives, it’s so awesome! Thumbs up for learning! NOT.

6. Instruction time is being consumed by the monotonous test preparation.

On September 11, 2002 students at Monterey High School in Lubbock, TX (Hey, this was my dad’s high school!) were prevented from discussing the first anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks because they were too busy with standardized test preparation…yep.

In a society so mentally, and emotionally at risk because of things exposed to them at such young ages, they need to come to a place where they can correctly learn things that truly matter that they might not be learning in their home life…if they even have a home. They need teachers who are happy, not stressed, and have time. They need administration who can look past the rule book at the little human being on the other side of the desk. These students need to learn about the world around them so that they understand love, compassion, leadership, and determination to become better little human beings…while also being disciplined correctly. Why, WHY would they want to put themselves through college when they have been working, and studying like a college student since second grade? By the time these children graduate, they will have literally learned nothing, but will be so tired of looking at books and attempting to comprehending their own scores (that they think rates them at how worthy they are at life) that they will be done with education, and learning. How sad; they were never even shown how to truly learn to begin with.

I’m tired for these kids, and I’m upset. I’ve been cheated out of a career that I thought was a lot different. “It wasn’t like it was when I first started” is something that falls out of so many educator’s mouths. I’m deeply saddened that these kids have no time for mistakes or to even act like a human child. I’m angry that they do not learn, that they merely study. I’m shocked and overwhelmed how much worse it gets; their attitudes, their issues, and these internal educational problems in the system.

Show me a school that wants children to learn, and mentally and emotionally grow, and I will gladly work for my masters in education. Because EVERY child despite how many times they yell in your face, and breakdown is worth educating and loving.

-haley.

The list goes on forever, literally. If you would like to read more (even the pro’s) you can visit standardizedtests.procon.org