A Researcher’s Guide to the #Resistance

#resist #furiousvexation

Dr. Micah Allen

Note; the bottom of this post will be continuously updated with resources and action links. Please add any useful resources in the comments, to be added to the list.

This topic needs no introduction; if you are not already aware of the crisis and political turmoil I’m not sure this document could reach you anyway. This is for the woke scientist, scholar, and other academics ready to fight fear with resistance. I’m not exactly sure how to best arrange this document but it must be written. My goal is less to review the state of affairs, of which I’m sure you are aware, but rather to provide concrete tips and guidelines so that you can break free from ‘oh-dearism’ and leap into action.

With that in mind, lets break this down into a few sections:

  1. No action is too small.

On the progressive left, particularly among intellectuals, we have a…

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On Fear

My childhood was spent outside. I ran through brambles and tall grass, rode my pony with no saddle or bridle–just an “Indian” bridle made of a few twists of baling twine. If I fell off (or more likely, got scraped off on a low-hanging branch), I walked until I caught her, and I got back on.

“Unless something’s broken,” my mother said more than once, “You get back on.”

One bright summer afternoon when I was about 12, I was riding with my friend April Flagg, whose family ran Herefords on the farm behind ours. She had a little Arab cross, and I had my pony–Cocoa–and we were pelting hellbent for leather across the open pasture. My pony decided that she’d had enough, and started an arc towards the barn. I wasn’t done with our running, and I pulled on the left rein to pull her back behind April’s mare. She was stronger than I was, and had a hard mouth from years of being yanked on by yahoos, including me.

She kept her arc to the barn.

Since I didn’t understand force, or physics, and I was getting pissed, I yanked hard on the left rein.

Hard enough to flip us over.

(For those of you who’ve never ridden a horse: We have reins to control the head–if you control the head, the rest of the horse has to follow. This is why, if you are ever on a runaway horse, gently guide the horse into a circle, then make the circle tighter and tighter.

Please note that this tactic will not work if you are in a forest.)

When I regained consciousness, the sky was bright blue. The first thing I did was check to make sure I hadn’t landed in a cowpie. I still had my helmet on. Then I checked to see if I remembered who I was and where I lived: 512 West Highland Road. Yep. Me.

I got up and walked–towards the barn–where I saw my pony tied to the fence. I was in the process of untying her and putting my foot back in the stirrup when my mom barreled up the driveway in our big blue Chevy van. April must have run into the house to have her mom call mine. No idea how long I was unconscious.

“What are you doing?” she yelled out the window as she threw the van into park.

“You told me to get back on if I fell off and nothing was broken. I have to get back on.” And before she could get out of the van to stop me, I swung my right leg up and over, and turned the pony away from the barn.

She did manage to get through the gate in time to stop me from going further than a few feet away. The sun was really bright, and I could tell she was scared.

She took me to the ER and was told I had a concussion, and that I should not be allowed to sleep until it was my normal bedtime. I spent the rest of the day on the dark green Springsteel couch, drinking 7-Up and watching television, none the worse for wear.


There is more to this that will come, maybe later, when I have more time. I have been trying to figure out how to get back to being that fearless kid–the kid who got back on when she fell off.

(I fell off less often than you might expect, but my last horse had a hearty, twisty buck and I liked to ride without a saddle in the middle of winter in northern Ohio. Dumb? Probably.)

While sorting through a box of old photos just now–ran across one of my mom posing in a bright purple bathing suit next to a pool–Myrtle Beach vacation, when I was 9.

I nearly drowned in that pool (saved by a stranger when I got into deep water while my dad was asleep on the deck). The gasping kind of drowning where my head popped above the surface as I launched myself straight up. I could see my dad, fast asleep in the sun.

This did not put me off swimming. I learned how to swim the following summer and we had an above-ground pool that I practically lived in during high school.

What happened to that kid? Where did she go?

Alayne and Ziggy 1988

With Ziggy (Nitzinger 1978-2010) 1988 Summit County Fair Fourth place overall Versatility thanks to our second place finish in barrel racing. He took care of me.

 

IF I DIE IN MY CLASSROOM—a teacher’s ballad

I’m not here yet (writing like this) but I am getting there. In the meantime, read my friend and colleague’s ballad, and see if you don’t choke up.

marniere

I hope that right before it happens
I do something heroic,
but knowing me and how I panic,
I more than probably won’t.

I hope I’m wearing something cute.
I wonder about my hair.
I hope I look good on the floor.
I hope I say more than “don’t shoot.”

I keep on saying hope.
I hope, I hope, I hope.
But hope? I actually don’t have much.
I think it’s mostly luck—

If I have to die in class, I hope
I’ve just said something noble
that really made them think.
I hope I’m really quotable.

What else? I didn’t stay up late
to finish grading papers.
I made love to my husband instead—
I barely let him out of bed.

When I dropped my son off at school,
“I love you,” “I love you too”
is what we said. It’s what we say
so many times every day.

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Yes. I Suffer From Mental Health Issues. I’m Not Ashamed. You Shouldn’t be Either.

Sharing the words, shining the light.

Dissent and Cookies

mental health issues

Yesterday, I woke up feeling overwhelmed, sad for absolutely no reason, and just wanted to stay in bed and cry all day.  I haven’t had an episode like this in quite a long time so it scared the absolute shit out of me.  I texted a few very good friends who know me well and who would know exactly what I needed to hear, I took my medication, and slowly, throughout the day, things got better.  I still felt exhausted.  I still felt sad.  I still felt anxious about being sad but today I’m better.  Rationally, my brain knew this would be temporary, but physiologically, I was already in that head space, and there was nothing I could do to “snap” out of it.

My old therapist used to call this “getting on the bus.”  She said to me, “Kelly, if you saw a bus being hijacked, would you choose…

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Every Time You Thank a Teacher

Another person I am proud to call a colleague. Read her poem, then go thank every teacher you can find. Because the darkness is closing in us.

marniere

A small white flower blooms somewhere,
in some ugly, neglected spot .

A paparazzo sets his camera down,
and a famous baby gets a private smile.

Every time you thank a teacher,
she finds the energy to do just one more thing
before she goes to sleep.

Every time you thank a teacher,
the darkness slides a little back.

A fussy child eats five carrot sticks
and barely even notices.

Every time you thank a teacher,
he makes another phone call,
for the student who has no one,
literally no one, else who cares.

Every time you thank a teacher,
an astronaut tightens a bolt,
a fledgeling just totally sticks it
landing on a flimsy limb,
a desperate person’s car starts one more time.

But every time you could have
thanked a teacher and didn’t,
and every time you thank a teacher
without even trying to do your part,
your…

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Unmothered on this Mother’s Day

This is a great essay on being “unmothered,” especially at this time of year.

I suppose now I need to add this to the things I am going to have to address (along with being unfathered) in my own writing. Just acknowledging how alone I’ve felt for the last 20 years is painful and sad.

Vanessa Martir's Blog

My mother is very much alive. In fact I talked to her the other day. For the first time in over a year. She said things like, “You know I don’t like girls. Girls come here to suffer.” She criticized. She reminded me, “tu dejas la inteligencia en la escuela.” Then laughed when I was silent. “You always hated when I said that.” I still do.

I didn’t know there was a term for me until after my brother died in June of 2013; when I was dealing with my grief and all the griefs that grief brought up, including the grief over my antagonistic relationship with my mother.

They call us unmothered. There are those who are unmothered because their mothers died. Then there are those like me, whose mothers are alive and still don’t mother us.

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary the Definition of UNMOTHERED: deprived of a…

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