Operation Save the Nation

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We are the f%&king world, dammit!!

I think my first “act of service” was when I was just a wee little Gemmie-tot, my godmother/aunt took me with her to participate in Hands Across America with my other aunt and cousins. The benefit event  included about 6.5 million people holding hands in a human chain in a path across the continental USA and raised $34 million. Around this same time, my favoritest song was Quincy Jones’s “We Are the World” featuring all the many stars I knew and loved even back. In fact, I have video footage (taken by my dad) of me bursting into song at the most random moments, as if unexpectedly crooning my little heart out was the key to saving our own lives.

Fast forward 2 decades. The idea of saving lives, changing the world, making a better tomorrow has stuck with me. I can’t seem to shake the notion that I am the world, I am the children, I am the one to make a brighter day. I can’t help but think this may be my destiny.

Honestly, I can’t remember a time I didn’t care about the welfare of this country or the larger  global community. Just yesterday one of my labmates asked me, “What is your main goal in life?” After jokingly responding “marry rich,” I gave him the answer I’d given just about every one else who’d asked me before: “I want to save the world.” Now I recognize this broad and Utopian  answer is akin to Miss America wanting world peace, but that it is a sincere answer and is about as specific as I can be. *shrug*

You see, I don’t really care what or how I make the world a better place. I just recognize that right now, in the US,  it’s a pretty sh*tty place to live if you’re a have not, constantly being taken advantage of by the haves. I don’t want to be one of those educated, successful haves who gets her slice of the pie, moves to a great neighborhood that has great public schools (while also being able to afford to private school just in case), and turns a deaf ear and blind eye to the needs of those who weren’t able to achieve what I achieved. I mean, that’s the American way, right? #FckYouPayMe

I won’t get on my high horse any more at this moment about the obligations and responsibilities we–haves, especially colored haves–possess when it comes to giving back and helping others (namely children and their child-like parents). But I will say this: I am committed to making the world a better place. I am determined not to simply e-rant about budget cuts to education in my current resident state (PA), I actually exercised my voting power by ranting to policy makers1.  I am determined to not simply say I want to open a charter school, I plan to actually open one. I am determined not to simply be outraged by the lack of urgency for education reform, I am studying the issues2 and supporting the efforts of organizations and policy makers who advocate for education reform.

I am sowing the seeds of change. Will I really save the entire world? Not likely. Will I change the currently abysmal face of education in the US as we know it? Slim chance. Will I leave my community a better place than I found it? Possibly. But despite the seemingly impossible task of saving the world ahead of me, I’m desperately determined to die trying. I’m not a superhero and I’m only one regular ass person. Many before me have tried and failed. But I’m still going to join in the fight. Because… If not me/us, who? If not now, when?

Have you ever felt really passionate about something that you can’t stop thinking about? Do you have big dreams that to others seem far fetched? Would you support my pending campaign to become the “super superintendent of education” (the job title is a work in progress) so I could make changes to the  education system both federally AND locally to create some order out of this chaos?

My dreams won’t be deferred,
~Gem the Advocate

—————
1Since PA’s governor announced his proposed budget cuts earlier this spring, on multiple occasions I have visited with city (Pgh) and state legislators to discuss the cuts to education, in particular. I’ve lobbied on Capitol Hill about other issues. I also work with various organizations to tackle policy issues and social injustices. My social action game is not a game.

2If you want to learn more about the issues that constantly have me in an uproar on twitter, check out the documentary “Waiting for Superman.” If that gets you on board, I have plenty more in depth reading for you… #letmeknow

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4 thoughts on “Operation Save the Nation

    Wu Young, Agent of M.E. said:
    July 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I agree Gemmie that the kids need to learn and sh*t. I think the haves lack of give a damn about the state of education is a reflection of a few things.
    1. Can’t have them poor folks congigating too many verbs and knowing too much math. Most industries want wages to be low and stay that way.
    2. There is a frightening wave of anti-intellectualism in the good ole U S of A. I don’t what it stems from but it’s there
    3. For many those fo us that are brown and read well I think many of us think all attempts at helping our folks will only be met with side eyes and skepticism. My friends and I attempted to help out back home but we were viewed as shit-st*rrers.
    4. State and local governments have failed to realize that the short term cost of revamping schools will out weigh the long term costs of constantly having a large class of uneducation people.

    Have you ever felt really passionate about something that you can’t stop thinking about?

    Every since my mom, pops, and oldest sister have fought cancer in a three year span I want cancer dead. If I could fund large scale research that would find a cure and bolster prevention and not have a culture of only return customers I would. I would have to fund the programs because I’m not sciency at all.

    Would you support my pending campaign to become the “super superintendent of education” (the job title is a work in progress) so I could make changes to the education system both federally AND locally to create some order out of this chaos?

    Hells yeah I would help out. If you need a history teacher call me. Nationalized schools would be awesome but that pesky 10th amendment would only get in the way.

      gemmieboo responded:
      July 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      all of your 4 points are valid and true. but how do we work around all the nonsense and big companies?? that is the question. because while the success of major industrial corporations thrives on low wage earning workers, we cant compete globally in the greater scheme because we, as a nation, are under-/un-educated idiots. ultimately the top succeeds when the bottom are succeeding [educationally] also–look at Sweden!

      i support you totally on your quest to cure/prevent cancer!!!!! we’ve had this convo before–cancer is a c*nt *ss b*tch and needs to die. i have major research connections, so you just let me know where you want your money to go and its a done deal!

      thanks for support my political aspirations! nationalized schools arent necessary if the govt made sensible regulations and oversight that states have to adhere too. the feds give up too much control and dont properly manage the policies that are in place. thats what i want to change!! make the hierarchy of government funded public education more consistent and useful! why the fck are we paying all this money into a system that is FAILING??? answer: the management is fcked.

        Wu Young, Agent of M.E. said:
        July 13, 2011 at 5:04 pm

        The Big Companies are going to be a problem. Some of them who don’t do anything here at all only seek profit. I saw on Bill Maher’s show last week that Apple could build all of their products here and still make a 50% profit but they would rather get 75% and win some more. I worked on an assembly line for MayTag and being a cog in a wheel is an odd space to find yourself in when the company is poorly run and doesn’t give a crap about you.

        I swear if I had Richard Branson money I would spend every dime I had eradicating cancer.

        School nationalization is rash but we know how the 50 states feel about their “rights”. A lot of the blame is on Washington b/c the either A) Take a laissez-faire approach to education or B) Come up with something new every four to eight years. Equal distribution of funds per student abd along with sh*tty parents are issues for another time but we must walk before we crawl.

    *Yoles* said:
    July 14, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Gem i truly feel everything you wrote… sometimes i’m told i am crazy for thinking, believing and trying to do the things that i want to do…

    Have you ever felt really passionate about something that you can’t stop thinking about?
    yes for a few years i have been writing new program proposals to re-vant the social service/public welfare system that would be so much more successful than what is occurring now… unfortunately after having two contracts with the city in mother child shelters to test out my “programs” the contracts were not renewed but i still have hope left alive in me

    Do you have big dreams that to others seem far fetched?
    all the time… i’ve been told i was a hippie, living a pipe dream, trying to save the world, or trying to save the un-savable

    Would you support my pending campaign to become the “super superintendent of education” (the job title is a work in progress) so I could make changes to the education system both federally AND locally to create some order out of this chaos?
    absolutely, and if you needed a guidance counselor/school social worker/school nurse/health teacher/social sciences teacher give me a shout

    i sending even more positive vibes your way…

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