Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Joey Bishop Show

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Joey Bishop Show: Abby Dalton is to Bishop's left. A baby doll, I think early vinyl, was being used in parenting classes for couples expecting.

There Is No House Without A Doll - Ruby Lane Blog

There Is No House Without A Doll - Ruby Lane Blog: Dolls touch everyone’s life one way or another. Even those who claim they have no dolls or don’t like them have had a doll or doll-related object in their lives.  Here are some dolls and doll related objects that fit the doll theme, or what Lea Baten calls “The Doll Motif.”  Basically, anything that is... Read more »

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Update on Huguette Clark Bellosguardo Foundation Awaiting IRS Decision, Transfer of Santa Barbara Property

Bellosguardo Foundation Awaiting IRS Decision, Transfer of Santa Barbara Property: Heiress Huguette Clark’s beachfront estate on Cabrillo Boulevard is slated to become a museum open to the public

The Value of an Education

The Value of an Education


With the state of the American Higher Education system in somewhat of flux, I started to think about my own education and its value.  A woman’s education has been a controversial topic for centuries. Plato had something to say on it, hundreds of years later, so did Erasmus.  Anne Boleyn, Margaret Roper, Mary I, Elizabeth I were examples of women classically educated in more than the skills that would allow them to be good courtesans and royal wives.  Anne Boleyn studied with French noblewomen who also taught Charles V.  Mary I, Margaret Roper [daughter of Sir Thomas More], and Elizabeth I read and wrote Latin, and all women spoke several languages.  Anne Boleyn had an interest in theology, and her daughter would have been a noted writer and theologian in her own right had she not been queen.


I always had good grades, good test scores.  The rare times I got a B in grades K- College; I got sick and did everything to bring it up. I nearly hurt myself for good bringing up gym scores, even though gym didn’t count for me on my GPA. I think that’s changed now.


For years, I was National Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, State Merit Scholar, Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Delta Pi, Essay winner, you name it. I did as expected of me and earned m $5 and other rewards for good grades.  In 4th grade, it was a plush white mouse wearing a diaper and a paper doll book with rub on transfers for furniture, compliments of my Dad.


After undergrad, where I double majored in English and Spanish, it was straight off to law school, which was difficult, demeaning, and disillusioning. I went on to sign up for a joint degree in the English Masters program and proceeded to suffer, yet I got good grads, and after a rough first year in law school involving stress induced illness and a brief hospitalization, I became a RA, wrote papers for a distinguished lawyer who polished on death penalty statistics, came near to Order of the Coif, and graduated both programs.  I passed English prelims with a high pass.


Then, I worked, teaching hours and hours of comp I, working in law offices in three states, couldn’t find a full time job other than the law office, and then went back to graduate school to earn a PhD. 


Meanwhile, I kept meeting people, writers and artists, who had no formal education, or who switched gears more than I did, to find what they wanted to do. 


Luckily, I excelled in earning my doctorate, but it was constant work, constantly dodging dept politicks and backstabbing friends.  I was sure I would land a great job at a major big ten school or university.  Then,  Kathleen Norris’s and  Kingsley Amis’s fiction about academia rang true.  They hated my law degree or the law professors hated my English PhD.  What to do?  I was lucky my parents were alive.  They helped me financially and my Dad schlepped me around to the three schools where I taught, as an adjunct.


Finally, I landed a job that lasted 20 years at a for profit school.   My worst academic fears came true. There was both verbal abuse and sexual harassment; I was cheated out of pay and stock options, and watched while secretaries were promoted to deans and chief academic officers.  Until the end, I was given raises now and then, and at one point, the discrepancy in my salary was rectified, but I was compelled to hire people, men usually, at salaries of more than $20,000 more than I made.


After a while, I taught all comp online under a younger, less qualified, misogynistic male.  The corporate culture of the school nurtured this type of abuse; even a civil rights claim didn’t quell them.  They just retaliated.  I left, threatened with all kinds of recrimination if I “talked.”


What I am doing now earns me a pittance of what I once made; I used to create programs and courses in law and criminal justice, foreign language, diversity and culture, Shakespeare, and English.  Some were Masters and MBA level.  I wrote self-studies for accreditation and won awards like Teacher of the Year, but then all I did was teach the same thing online . An incompetent dean, a young girl, with fewer qualifications, screwed up my credentials and resume.   I lost my place in legal studies and CJ, though I’d been the chair for 14 years and helped to create the programs. All the proof in the world could’ stop the corporate train wreck.


I left.  Like other writers, I am writing. I have several books and many publications to my credited, and I blog professional and do social media for big companies involving antiques.  Antiques and writing are my passions; I am self-taught in these fields, beginning my education at age 3.  I was reading adult antique books by age 7.  Had they had majors in the study of material culture when I was in college, I would have majored in that.


Since then, I have read of and talked to many people who have gained success following their passions.  They are self taught, and learned by experience. I’d rather have learned teaching from Anne Sullivan Macy, my idol, than taken the education courses I had to take. Princess Diana, Barbra Streisand, and others didn’t finish high school, and Bill Gates and Rush Limbaugh didn’t graduate from college, yet look at them.   This may be the best lesson.  Education today is prohibitive and expensive, and the truth is that in many of the big ten and ivy league schools, if you don’t spout the prof’s mantra, you may just flunk.


As Helen Keller once stated of Radcliffe, it seems one comes to college not to think, but to learn [what others want to ram down your throat].  Independent thought is not welcome, and for many lifelong debt follows.  I didn’t have that to suffer; my parents helped, we paid it off, and I had assistance ships and a fellow ship to help things along.


Still, I regret the time away from my parents, my extended family, and my dogs.  I regret the expense; what I could do with that money now!  I put my life on hold to work and to study what others expected me to do.  I learned to write, and I learned languages, but I am bilingual by birth, and I read all the time anyway.  I would have become a writer eventually; I had been creating stories since age3 or 4, and writing since age 10.


Perhaps it’s time to look at the Education Industry and to realize all schools are really for profit.  Education is not a right, but a privilege for which we pay.  Placement is not grate for a lot of majors; English and literature are being drastically cut; there simply are no jobs.  We don’t get any training for anything else, either. Yet, the vocational nature of the for profit system or trade school, whose culture tends to sneer at the seven liberal arts and learning for learning’s sake is not the answer either 


Myself, I’m tired.  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of my life.  I’m still relatively young, e.g., if you pinch the skin on my arm it still bounces back like a rubber band.


I will try to follow my writing and my antiques passion, and well, I’m a quick study, we’ll see.  While I’m at it, I’m going to reread Emerson’s “self reliance.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Lady Lazarus

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Lady Lazarus: Sylvia Plath   The notes below reflect my thoughts and opinions, based on a lot of reading on Plath that I did in the 70s and 80s.  ...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

10 Clues You Might Be a Doll Addict - Ruby Lane Blog

10 Clues You Might Be a Doll Addict - Ruby Lane Blog: On the Dolls Lane, we live and breathe dolls all day, every day. It’s safe to say that we are doll addicts. If you’ve heard the saying, ‘it takes one to know one,’ let us know if any of these telltale clues apply to you! 1.    You tell your fiancĂ© that you would rather have... Read more »

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Healthy Eating

Image result for healthy eating public domain

Healthy Living and Eating


Personally, I think stress is the deadliest malady of all.  We used to joke at my former job that we didn’t worry too much about future illnesses; our job was going to kill us.  Indeed that’s what happened to some of my work friends, and some of my other friends, too.  Work stress, family stress, care giving stress, financial stress, all deadly.  Take your pick, or should I say, choose your poison.


What can we do?


My good news is that I’ve been eating and drinking a lot of the things that help, and that are proven cancer fighters.  Heaven knows I’m no doctor, and my friends will tell you I’m not at all enamored of the medical profession, friends and family that are members excluded, of course. Law school probably ingrained that unfortunate attitude in me.  Yet, there is something to using diet to control maladies that plague us.


Here are some of the foods and drinks that are good for us, and that by default, maybe, I’ve incorporated into our family’s diet:  avocado, nuts [if you are not allergic], kombucha, wild caught salmon and other seafood, whole grains, oatmeal, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy vegetables and salads including kale, cabbage, lean mean if we eat it, bran sprinkled on everything, probiotics, certain vitamins, strawberries, bananas, berries of all kinds.  Fruits instead of dessert and sugar.


We try to stay away from processed foods, and watch the kind of cheese we buy.  We try to stay away from fast food, and I try to count calories and stay away from cookies.  A little dark chocolate is ok.


So, it’s a start. We’re all trying.  I admit I feel better cutting down on caffeine, avoiding carbonated drinks, high fructose syrups, red meat, junk food.  Now, if I could only pause the windmills of my mind.