GingerSass

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I love AMC, and I’m going to love it again.

For those of you who didn’t know me in middle school, here’s a fun fact: I stood out like a sore thumb. I’m not just talking about the gawky stage I went through in early puberty. I’m talking about the undeniable love I had for the soap opera All My Children starting when I was 11 or 12.

 

I was home sick for a few days, and I found myself watching the soap I had made fun of my mom watching so many times before. I discovered the VCR setting (yes, VCR, something today’s 11 or 12 year olds don’t know about!) and recorded the soap every day, watching it by night as I did whatever homework I had. Once I discovered we had SoapNet, we became high-tech and no longer recorded AMC on the ol’ VHS tape. (I actually wore a few out!) I’ve always been an old soul, and I related to (well, understood) the soap more than the silly shows kids my own age were watching. I grew up watching the show. I even incorporated some small aspects of the story lines into my creative writing assignments in school. My secret ambition was to be a writer for All My Children.

 

I even dragged my family to the local mall for a special charity night so I could meet Aiden Turner, my first crush on the soap. I think I really was crushing on his British accent. (He was eventually replaced by Leven Rambin, Eden Riegel, Alicia Minshew, and Cady McClain.)

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I think that mall security guard might be the first photographic evidence of a photobomb in my life. I was probably 13 or 14 here. 

 

He also signed a headshot for me. I scanned it and taped it to my binder. I was convinced the usage of “With Love” was a marriage proposal. HA.

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This, along with me receiving  All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook as a Christmas or birthday gift in middle school, gave me A Reputation. I wouldn’t say people bullied me, but I certainly got a lot of people busting my chops and saying, “How’s Aiden?!” every chance they got. I never “got” people my own age.

AMC The Complete Family Scrapbook

My mom has my copy of this book now. This one is from Amazon. I read this book cover to cover because, as a story lover, writer, and book geek, I wanted to know EVERY LITTLE BIT of the history behind the All My Children I knew. This book gave me the history through 1995, about 6 or 7 years before I started watching. My mom– and this cool thing called dial-up internet– was able to fill in the pieces I didn’t know.

 

The point of this post (so far) is that the history of All My Children was (and is) very important to me. When it was announced that All My Children was being cancelled, even though I only watched about 2x a week at that point due to my class schedule, I was really devastated. I knew my mom was too so I got us tickets to “A Farewell to Pine Valley” as soon as I saw they would be visiting the State Theatre.

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The men of Pine Valley– Walt, Vincent, Jacob, Darnell, Ryan, and Michael!

memomwaltwileyAt one point Walt Willey was answering audience questions RIGHT NEXT TO US. Mom was a bit starstruck. I seized the moment, politely said, “Excuse me, would it be okay if I took an awkward photo of you with my mom?” Mom looked at me like I was crazy as he simultaneously said, “Sure!” I later photoshopped (aka used a fake version of Paint) myself into the photo. I smiley faced mom’s face out because I don’t like to exploit my family members on the internet, but she was smiling that huge. Seriously. He was such a sweetheart.

 

ANYWAY. Back to the point of my All My children lovefest.

 

After it was initially cancelled, there were talks of AMC being revived online. Then the talks died and the project was cancelled. The show was left with a major cliffhanger, and a lot of upset fans. (Don’t mess with soap fans, people. They’re crazy.)

 

NOW, as released a few months ago as the best news ever, All My Children has been revived and will be on Hulu starting April 29th. Understandably, some of the core actors and actresses are unable to return to the show. A lot of the AMC vets are, but a lot aren’t. The reboot of AMC is starting 5 years from the point of where the soap left off, which means, in soap years, the kid characters have aged 8-15 years and the “adult” characters haven’t aged one bit. The reboot also appears to be focusing on the storylines of the “kids,” who are now high school and college aged.

 

Lots of “fans” are pissed and badmouthing the lovely actors and actresses who play these “kids,” which, frankly, is pissing me off. I’ve avoiding getting involved in the online Twitter wars and badmouthing of actors and actresses because A) it’s stupid and B) I’m just super happy AMC is getting a reboot!

 

One of my favorite actresses, CadyMcClain, who “liked” my blog on Facebook and helped me come out to my Mom as a blogger, also happens to be a fabulously opinionated woman and blogger. (She’s hysterical. Seriously. Look her up.) She wrote about the ridiculousness of the “fans” going  nuts over the “kids,” and I seriously love her for it. It was really awesome to get an “insider’s point of view.”

 

My favorite part about her blog? She calls out the fans on agism, which made me love her even more.

Okay, really for real, the last thing: I could write a whole ‘nother blog on this point, but let’s just touch on AGISM, shall we? When I was young, I was told I better make it while I was young because there would be nothing for me over 40. Now, thanks to the hard work of a LOT of FABULOUS women, that has totally changed and THANK GOD. But is it me, or does it seem like we are all looking at the kids and giving them a really hard time? The Millennials in particular. Maybe they remind us we ain’t getting any younger, but personally I find them an awesome generation. That’s why I write for policymic.com! I think this generation has so much to share and teach us. I love their VOICE, their liberation, their street savvy, their art.  I say BRING IT!

 

I definitely encourage all of you to check out Cady’s post “Let’s Talk About the Kids (of All My Children).” It’s a great read. If you’re looking forward to the reboot as much as I am, suck it up and embrace the change. We could have been left wondering “Who did JR shoot?” for the rest of our lives.

 

Oh, and check out this song by the new “Miranda Montgomery,” Denyse Tontz. Cady mentioned it on her blog and now I can’t get it out of my head.

 

NaBloPoMo 2012– November 26th: Je parle un peu de français.

Today’s prompt reads

Monday, November 26, 2012
Do you speak more than one language?  How did you learn the additional languages?

Once upon a time, about 12 (!!!) years ago, I wanted to be exotic, sophisticated, and cool. I signed up to take French for all 3 years of middle school, and I ended up parle-ing français my way through middle school, high school, and even my freshman year of college, for a grande totale of 8 years. By some sick joke, I ended up as an officer in my high school’s chapter of the Société Honoraire de Français. (L’homme qui sait deux langues en vaut deux!!!!!)

My French speaking skills are a joke.

I can read and understand a lot of French, but, as they (whoever “they” may be) say, if you don’t use it you lose it. Eight years of French have basically gone to waste, although I have been known to incorporate French phrases, words, and titles into my poetry when I don’t want anyone to know what I’m actually saying. (Or, on the contrary, if I want to make something really simple and lame seem exotic.) I really miss la langue de français, and I really hope to be able to speak it more in the future. I think I’m going to resurrect my French textbooks and even my French book of poetry…. I need some more French in my life.

Oh, and because ya’ll deserve this:

God help me, this is how I celebrated Mercredi Gras in high school. We could only stay after school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays so we arranged to have the annual French Club/ French Society celebration of Mardi Gras on Mercredi (Wednesday.)

Do you speak a second language?

Dress codes schmess codes

Earlier today, Jezebel posted a short article in response to an article in USA Today about schools implementing dress codes for teachers. The original USA Today article seems to suggest that teachers are being asked to follow the dress codes students are asked to follow (gasp). The biggest points emphasized by this article seem to be that tattoos must be covered up, teachers cannot have “outlandish hairstyles or facial piercings”, jeans aren’t allowed, and female teachers aren’t allowed to wear skinny-strapped tank tops.

Jezebel’s opening paragraph read,

A wave of new teacher dress codes is inundating schools across America and threatening to sap the last little bit of dignity that the much-maligned school teacher has left. The Wichita School District has made it a point to regulate teachers’ appearance, from the number of visible tattoos a teacher is allowed to have (that number would be zero), to the width of straps on female teachers’ sleeveless shirts. If you can think of anything more humiliating than a teacher standing in the principal’s office while a hall monitor measures the straps on her shirt, congratulations — you are the most pessimistic person in the world.

I have so much to say in response to these two articles.

First…why is this news? It’s hypocritical to expect students to follow a dresscode and allow teachers to wear whatever they want. I don’t necessarily think teachers should have to hide tattoos or be “outlandish hair and facial piercing” free, but they should carry themselves with pride and dignity as they educate the children of the world. I’m pretty certain that my teachers growing up never wore jeans or had their chests hanging out of spaghetti straps. If you have a job that requires you to be a role model to students, act like it. You can still be a role model with tattoos, piercings, and purple hair… but you don’t need to lose your dignity and the respect of your students along the way.

Next, while the restrictions on dress codes for teachers may be a little extreme in some scenarios, have you looked at high school dress codes lately?

In a randomly selected school district in my state, the high school “Code of Attire” reads:

Code of Attire

A student’s choice of dress can contribute positively to the school’s climate and demonstrates a respectful attitude toward the school staff, and other students.  All students are expected to dress in a manner conducive to a learning environment.  Consequently, dress must meet the following guidelines:

          ·  It should be safe.
          ·  It should be clean.
          ·  It should be situationally appropriate.

Students in violation of the Code of Attire will be expected to change/remove the offending article and parents may be notified.  Continued violation of the Code of Attire will result in administrative disciplinary action.

B.O.E. Code of Attire Policy can be found in the Policy Manual located in the Central Office.

Certain settings may necessitate alternative attire, e.g., in the gym, in industrial arts or science classrooms, in the theater.  Teachers have the discretion to determine the appropriateness of dress in these situations.

To support this code, the following articles are EXCLUDED:

·        Items promoting sale/consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
·        Items with indecent and/or offensive writing, pictures, or slogans
·        Clothing which is extremely tight, transparent, and/or overly revealing
·        Spaghetti straps, tank tops, halter tops (tie-strings or the like), open backed tops, off the shoulder tops, tops that are lower than a horizontal line drawn from armpit to armpit or any other type of clothing which does not cover the shoulders and abdomen – straps should be one inch wide on the shoulder
·        Undergarments worn as outerwear
·        Skirts and shorts that fall above the student’s fingertips on extended arms
·        Overly baggy and sagging pants that reveal undergarments
·        Bare feet

Accessories:
·        Items which could damage property or injure others, such as heavy chains or large rings
·        Headwear, such as headbands, hats, sport bands, and full-head scarves, unless worn for religious or health reasons
·        Sunglasses, unless required by a medical condition
·        Walkman, head phones, iPods, MP3 players, electronic music/communication devices
·        Valuable articles which cannot be safely stored in lockers and, thus, provide a target for potential theft

While I don’t necessarily agree with the restrictions against headbands and scarves (that would really destroy my love of accessories!), for the most part, these restrictions make sense. In overcrowded hallways, safety is key. You shouldn’t be at risk for injury because of the outfit you’re wearing! I remember ripping many peasant skirts in high school because the hallways were overpacked and it was nearly impossible to move. The stairs were just as bad. It was really easy to get hurt due to your wardrobe, and dresscodes like the ones discussed can help prevent that lack of safety.

As a future teacher, does it piss me off that my sense of style will probably be stifled due to dress codes? Absolutely. Do I think some restrictions for both teachers and students are a little silly? Of course. But you know what? I’m going into the teaching profession to make a difference in the lives of my students. I want to inspire them to try their hardest to do their best at all times. I want to help a student find confidence in him or herself. I want to be a role model, make a difference, and look back at my teaching career knowing I changed lives for the better. Give me some credit! I don’t need to look good to make a difference. I do need to be a role model, which isn’t possible without respect and dignity. Dressing like one of my students won’t earn me that.