WTF Wednesdays #10

This week’s WTF Wednesdays is going to be a rant of sorts. It’s not going to be humorous, and some readers may not enjoy this one as it’s not my usual satire, but it needs to be said.
This rant will be focused on two of my biggest current pet peeves on the topic of education-my chosen career.

Ignorant, Biased, Uneducated Opinions 

I’ve always been the type to speak my mind and to stand up for what is right. I’ve not always been perfect at doing this. Sometimes my voice isn’t loud enough, or I speak too late, or too soon. Sometimes what I really need to do is bite my tongue, but that tastes of blood and defeat, and those don’t agree with my stomach.

Ask any close friend or colleague (hell, anyone who’s my friend on Facebook), and they will tell you I have strong opinions, and I generally speak them.

As a teacher, this kind of outspokenness can literally mark a bullseye on your back. The general consensus in the teaching world is that you keep your strong opinions out of social media discussions and elsewhere. What this translates to me is that teachers should just do what they’re told and to not rock the already capsizing boat.

For someone with a mega mouth, this can be almost impossible to do. When I read the comments section on a story related to education, and I see some ignorant spouting garbage, it takes the power of the gods to ignore it and not respond with the wrath of Zeus.

I know that the state of education in the U.S. needs a lot of work, but until you’re a teacher/have done your homework and done it well/know exactly what life is like as a teacher, kindly sit down.

The very fact that teachers have to defend themselves and their careers against unfounded and ludicrous presumptions is sickening. Until teachers are paid what they’re worth, are treated with respect and regard (we are only molding the minds of our future, no big), and we are allowed to be the ones to make the big, policy-making decisions about what we know best, education in the United States won’t improve.

I was reading the comments section on a We Are Teachers article, and one teacher said that teachers need to stop referring to teaching as a calling, as it creates the illusion that it’s more akin to pledging our undying devotion to being a nun instead of it being a paid career. I couldn’t agree more.

You Can’t Win 

It’s a tumultuous time to be an educator, because we don’t really value education as a society. It’s a nice idea, but when it takes from our pocketbooks, it’s a burden. As such, there is never enough funding.

Teaching, support, and admin positions are being cut all across the district where I teach. Amidst these cuts is a new reading law that requires reading specialists and highly effective teachers. Yet, the specialist positions are the first to go at schools losing teachers. Truly highly effective teachers can’t make the grade anymore due to new, near-impossible evaluation criteria.

If a student in my district isn’t reading by third grade, they can be held back and must be placed in a classroom being taught by a teacher rated as highly effective. Due to the new evaluation criteria, there won’t be any highly effective teachers (well, there are, and there will be, but not on paper).

Hmm.

As a teacher at a struggling school, I have to make the decision about how I will teach my students, with the knowledge that high stakes tests and other classroom assessments will ultimately be how I am evaluated and paid. I do not agree with teaching to the test, as it merely prepares students to take tests and not life. However, if I do not prepare my students enough for these assessments, I am left being the one losing out.

It is a painful Catch-22.

So, in preparing my students for the high-stakes tests they will be taking, the very tests that will be considered in how my school is rated and, in turn, how I’ll be evaluated, I wonder how well the student making fart noises during our practice test will do.

In essence, my livelihood is dependent on how well little people who still eat their boogers do on tests. That is terrifying.

And, we wonder why education is failing and teachers are leaving in droves.

Despite all of this, I care deeply for my students, my fellow teachers in arms, and education. I will be an advocate for change. It is time for teachers to start speaking out, standing up for themselves, and working to make the changes that we all know need to be made.

Even though the very act of speaking my mind about my own career is a precarious thing to do, I won’t be silenced. I won’t.

Check out this video on YouTube:

WTF Wednesdays #7: You Whore 

Ahh, blogging. Where do I even begin? I guess from the beginning. 

Way back, like seven years back, I started my first blog. It took a lot to get to the point where I finally hit “publish”. I sent writing samples off to my mom, who, obviously, said I was funny. I worried that she was biased, so she sent off my writing samples to colleagues and friends, never hinting at who I was. The response was incredibly positive and was the impetus to finally put myself out there for the world to read. 

Only, I had NO clue how to blog. Not one fucking iota. The only people who ever read my posts were close friends and family via Facebook and relentless “hints”. 

Not everyone and their halfwit brother had a blog then, so there weren’t articles all over social media about how to blog. I don’t think it was a “thing” then. I also think this was before the WordPress reader. Hashtags, Pinterest, and Twitter weren’t even in existence. It was the Blogging Stone Age. 

Pretty much no one outside of my small circle read my blog. 

What’s crazy is that I was OK with that. I was doing what I loved to do, and it didn’t really matter that I had to beg my ex to post supportive comments to make it look like I had a “following”. 

My second attempt at blogging has been a completely different experience. Completely. 

I’ll never forget the day I got my first “like” from a stranger via WordPress. 

What is this? Someone found my post? And, they read it? 

Wha??? 

From that point on, my following has steadily increased to numbers I never thought possible. 

I love being a “blogger”. Don’t get me wrong. My most favorite part of the blogging experience is connecting with people all over the world, from the United Kingdom to Kenya. That part is amazing and often the only reason I open my WordPress app. 

However, what I am finding to be a challenge is the ever-growing influence to whore myself out for followers, likes, shares, you name it. 

When I started Fatty McCupcakes, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get caught up in the inevitable obsession if all I focused on was how many likes I was getting. 

Don’t get me wrong, following your stats, managing your comments, and knowing what it takes to get your material in front of more readers is an important part of blogging.

But. 

After having an interesting conversation with my blogger bud, Charlotte, I discovered why all of the bullshit involved with blogging has been getting me down:

I’m first and foremost a writer

Blogging comes second to writing. Every.single.time. 

I’m not the kind of blogger who is solely in it for the potential money-making and free product opportunities. I’m definitely not one of those beauty/travel bloggers who seem to  always be jetting off to exotic locale after exotic locale, donning their free swag they got writing positive reviews. It’s just not my jam (I’m also not a ridiculously good-looking, independently wealthy, lucky bitch).

I have nothing against those kinds of bloggers. You do you, boo. If that’s your thing and you’re making money doing it, hell, maybe you’re smarter than I. 

However, some (as in, not all) of these bloggers don’t seem like “real” people. Even more, they don’t seem like writers. They seem to be computers that communicate (if at all) with their followers in a very sterile, impersonal way.  

How far can you fully engage in blogging until you’re a computer prostitute, begging for the opportunity to gain a follower, all just for the price of a risky blow job and a huge hit to your dignity? 

I don’t know about any of you, but there are some aspects of blogging that feel dirty to me. 


This leads me to the conundrum I’m in. Despite the fact that I don’t blog to actually blog, I do blog to gain more exposure. I want people to read what I write and to enjoy it and maybe, just maybe this will lead me to a paying gig at some point. 

I was recently introduced to Go Read, which is an online book club, but also a platform for authors to share their posts and articles. As an author, you have the opportunity to make money depending on clicks, shares and the like. I hear that many authors can make $250 plus a month. In order to get started, you pay a minimal fee of $25 and you have to buy a book and then you get to post. There are groups popping up that one can belong to where you share each other’s articles to up your payable shares. 

Maybe I’m being the dumbest, densest idiot on the block, but this just sounds like the not-good-kind of hustling and exactly the opposite of what I’m about as a writer. 

I’m not sure whether or not I’m ready to whore out my writing to boost my income. 

Tell me: Am I being stupid not taking advantage of an easy, albeit sleezy-feeling money-making opportunity? Do you ever feel like a blogging whore? Let me know in the comments. 

WTF Wednesday #3

For this installment of WTFW, I’m coming at you with a rant. Brace yourselves, people. It’s gonna be a doozy.
I don’t even care how lame this rant makes me seem. So, I’ll just come out and say it: WTF is so hard about hitting “like”? 

Now, if you literally don’t like a post/page/status update, if you’re offended by it, if it displeases you, then, by all means, keep scrolling. 

But, what could possibly be offensive or displeasing about a Michael Scott meme? Or, a humorous and relatable tale of woe? Or, my EFFING FB BLOG PAGE? 

I have almost 400 Facebook friends. I have 180 some likes on my Fatty McCupcakes page and the majority of those likes are from the good people of WordPress. 

I just can’t even anymore. 

This is why I think it’s just plain salty to not have “liked” my blog page when you’re a personal friend of mine:

1. What happened to supporting your friends in their personal interests and ventures?

2. I’m not overly offensive. 99% of the time I’m making fun of myself, people.

3. Hitting “like” takes you, literally, a fucking nanosecond.

4. I rarely even post on my page, so you wouldn’t be inundated with crap daily. Only recently have I been actively publishing post updates.

5. Whether you like it or not, social media is how the majority of the world communicates. Thus, not liking my blog page after I’ve politely invited you is like ignoring me when I wave at you on the street. I think it’s rude. 

6. Don’t even try to lie and say you’re busy and it slipped your mind. I know you’re laying on your couch, binge watching Japanese panda videos on Facebook. Don’t even give me the “I’m busy and too important” speech. 

Now, I would understand if the majority of the topics I posted was on the furry fandom, or my blog was called The Freed Nipple and The Unleashed Vagina, but NOPE. And, nope. 

So, why the lack of support? 

Maybe if those 350 friends knew how much it would mean to me for them to take 20 seconds out of their life to show support in the form of pressing down on (while not even needing to look) a square millimeter space on their phone, while they watch Gilmore Girls reruns, it’d be different. 

But, I’m not about to act like I need the likes. 

It’s just the damn principle of the matter. 

Like Karl Pilkington, I have a lot of important things to say. You’re missing out when you don’t hit “like”.

On the same topic, has anyone else noticed that you are now able to see how many people saw your post on Facebook? 

I’m part of a mom group (don’t even ask how that came to be) and the moms post hilarious memes and real life experiences that always make my ovaries shrivel up on the spot (I have magical, regenerating ovaries). Many times, these harried moms, just looking for recognition, get a dismal five likes when 85 people viewed their post.

You already saw it. You viewed it. YOU LOOKED. 

You seriously can’t hit “like” and THEN be on your merry way?!

Why is this even bothering me? 

OMG. 

My eye is twitching and I can feel the blood pulsing in my temples. 

I think I’ll go now, before I have an aneurism. 

What annoys you about the world of social media and blogging? Rant away in the comments. I promise I won’t just glance at your comment, without responding, before I continue my über important creeping of random people’s Facebook pages. 

Social Media Obsessed

Amiright? We are all on it and not a day goes by that we don’t check in, Tweet, or creep on someone’s Instagram. It’s normal. It’s all good. I am officially inviting you to creep on my Fatty life. If you’re connected on Facebook or Twitter, come on down and follow me. It’s what the cool people do. 

Facebook Creepin’

Twitter Peepin’: 

@fattymccupcakes

Genius Theory

I don’t usually write about serious topics, but this has to be said written or I’ll burst. I think I’ve come across a genius theory. Let me first state my opinions about a few, somewhat, controversial subjects. I’ll just come out and be blunt about it. In fact, I’ll share my opinion on these myriad topics in a very easy to read, list format. 

  • I don’t want to see your boobies, even when you’re breast feeding
  • I don’t care what your political affiliation is
  • I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, or you make love to balloons 
  • I don’t enjoy seeing your vagina hanging out of your jean shorts, and frankly, I feel sorry for you, because you either need a mama, Jesus, or both
  • If 90% of your Instagram are selfies, you need to reevaluate your life
  • No one wants to read your blog/Facebook posts/Tweets because you don’t know the difference between to, too, and two 
  • It infuriates me that people like Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus, and Riff Raff are people our future looks up to
  • Your divorce, family drama, and fights with your friends don’t belong on social media 
  • It used to be rude to talk about your salary, it still should be
  • Public shaming used to be a way to deter people from being stupid, now whenever someone doesn’t like someone’s response to their behavior, they can just cry ‘shaming’ and it makes their stupidity OK

We have become a society of over-sharing, defensive pussies. Here comes my genius theory. Are you ready for it? Drum roll please…maybe, just maybe people wouldn’t be so apt to be offended by every little thing out there, if more people in our society had values, decorum, and half a brain to know when, where, and how certain topics should be shared. 

People complain all the time about others being too offended by things, but maybe saying that is just an excuse to be an asshole. 

Just the other day I witnessed an older lady being attacked on a news story’s comment section because she didn’t understand how to click the link to read the story. Some cretin actually cussed her out and told her to get off social media. I was offended by that because it used to be rude to treat your elders, anyone, like that. We have become complacent when it comes to being decent human beings to others, because it takes zero thought to send a “meaningless” message from your phone, while you sit in your parents’ basement, sitting on your non-existent high horse. 

Decent people are offended by offensive things. That doesn’t make us losers or wimps. It makes us human. 

As for the pussification of America-we are being offended by the wrong things. Someone called you fat? Boo hoo. Just the other day some elderly, foreign woman rubbed her belly, pointed to mine and asked, “Bebe?” Yeah, that sucked, but I got over it. Mean, obtuse, and/or clueless people are never going to go away, so instead of overemphasizing bullying, we need to teach our youth how to let things go, how to care more about how they feel about themselves, and how to just move on after someone’s been mean to them.

Instead of giving everyone an award just for participating, or accepting the outcries of “shaming”, when maybe we need to consider if the action deems being shamed, we should be offended by what really matters. 

These are things we should be offended by: 

  • Racism 
  • The trend that appearance is more valuable than character
  • Blatant ignorance 
  • Adults not being able to string a legible sentence together 
  • Sexism 
  • The lack of family values running rampant and how that correlates to almost everything wrong in our world 
  • Gory, disturbing, indecent images not suitable for young eyes and minds 
  • Wearing slippers in Walmart 

This is an abridged version, as I think these few points serves my theory well. Stop being an asshole, think before you hit ‘send’, and consider having more respect for yourself by not posting your bottom butt on social media. 

Good day. 

Rant #4,352

What is blogging? I mean, seriously? What is it? I want someone to tell me. Someone of blogging authority (is there someone out there who could claim that title?) please stand up and enlighten me. 

When I first began blogging years ago, it was not the thing to do. Not everyone and their brother did it, and thus, no one outside of my Facebook friends list knew I even existed. This was OK. I actually just wanted to write. It worked.

Now, in this land of “LOOK AT ME”, blogging seems to be just another outlet for people who want to make a poorly constructed status update about what they ate for breakfast. Your bagel sandwich was beautifully photographed, but what kind of art are you trying to make? What are you trying to say? If it’s that you eat the most important meal of the day, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not the only who does that. Also, everyone photographs their food, so…

One of my main promises to myself, before I began blogging again, was that I wouldn’t get too hung up on the “likes”. I only wanted this blog to be about my passion: writing. I didn’t want to be a “like whore”. I have completely done the opposite. 

I’ve taken a brief hiatus due to this and my subsequent lack of inspiration. 

I read and follow so many beautiful, funny, and thought-provoking blogs that get maybe 5 likes, because one has to take the time out to actually read it. I know, in this instant-gratification-world, that’s A LOT to ask. Most people want a meme and a quick, poorly syntactically put-together blurb and it’s time to wipe. 

We all like funny memes, and quick, witty blurbs, I am the most guilty of this, but I look for those quick laughs on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

We also all like to feel “liked”, looked up to, and admired, but does the high you feel when you get likes on your blog post outshine real-life accomplishments or recognition?  Does it mean more? If it does, what does that mean? I feel good when people like my posts because it makes me wonder if what I’m putting out there means something to someone else. It’s like putting feelers out there for fellow life. But. But, sometimes I feel that attention-whore part of me start creeping. She starts creeping. 

Is it all for the “likes”? Do you blog because you have natural talent? Do you do it for the attention? Why?

Further…

When I log onto WordPress, I want something to read. I want some meat. Some grit. I also want to write something meaningful to me. Something I spent time on. Something I mulled over. Something I spell-checked, because it was that important. 

Among all of the MEH out there is actual talent. I am glad that I have found some of these people and their blog posts that I devour like fluffy white cupcakes. They are so good. 

This world is getting more stupid by the second and part of my proof is the current world of online writing-blogging. It has become flooded with Facebook status updates and Instagram posts. Very, very few people on WordPress actually write and take the time to edit and revise. 

As a teacher, writer, and some-what intelligent person, I’m ashamed and scared of the world we are creating. 

End rant. 

Instagram? 

 In an attempt to better connect with my readers and any future readers in the blog world, I’ve decided to create an Instagram account just for my blog. I didn’t think you guys wanted to see pictures of my dinner, or clouds and shit. 

So, I’ve created @fattymccupcakes_blog just for my blog and followers. 

If you have an Instagram and you are so inclined, follow me. Huzzah! 

  Pinterest, thank you for the endless memes that make me really question life. In answer to this question, I have no idea! Yikes…

Me’s

Today, the fine Alice Reno posted this picture with the above question (I’m shocked they spelled “you’re” correctly). Of course, because I like to speak my mind, I posted my opinion on the topic. And, of course, some uber-sensitive person declared that I was shaming my fellow woman with what I had to say.

I’m sure I’ve spoken via Facebook on this topic before, and since it’s a heated one, and I’m feeling a little hot under the collar today, I felt a blog post was necessary.

Let me get a few things out of the way first. Does this woman have a beautiful body? Yes. Am I slightly jealous of her taut, seemingly stretch mark-free tummy? Does a bear shit in the woods? Do I want her body? Yes (if possible, since this is fantasy and almost like ordering off a menu, I would like slightly larger bewbs too).

Now, can I be honest here, and say I’m growing tired of our incessant need to photograph ourselves and post it all over social media?

Disclaimer: I am in no way indicating I am an innocent party to the selfie. I have my fair share of embarrassing duck-lipped selfies and an even larger collection of pictures that didn’t make the cut. Before “duck lips”, it was “the Katie” and I’m not even barely joking. I’m not perfect, and I, too, suffer from the Me’s.

Thanks to our ever-growing technological age, our generation has the luxury of having information, any and all kinds of information, at the tip of our fingers. Where should we eat? Let me check Yelp. How do I get there? Let me open the Map app. What is the best way to remove grass stains from Toms? Google. It’s exciting and easy.

Remember when you loaded film into a camera, took pictures on your trip, and then had to wait until you got home to see how hideous you looked in your bathing suit on the beach? Now, you can delete, try another angle, or stand behind a sand dune, or something.

Taking pictures of ourselves and the term “selfie” are concepts bred from narcissism and easy access. No one took pictures of themselves with a camera needing film, too many could have been fails, and you would have had to wait until you could get to the store to drop off the film…etc. I’m not even going to finish the list, it’s already too much work.

Thanks to Instagram, Facebook, and the like, everyone is a model, and they all honestly believe we want to take a look. Let’s be honest, did you all really care I got a new #supercute shirt? I think not. Don’t even get me started on the Free the Nipple movement and how too many people think it just means that it should be alright to go topless at Raley’s. (Oh! Were you just in the freezer section?)

It’s just a theory, but I think this woman might be screaming behind her hair, “Look at how hot I am! #jealous”. Yeah, we are, but you also seem quite transparent and shallow. Notice I said, “seem”.

As women, we should be supporting each other, but I’m having a hard time getting behind the “Let’s take pictures of ourselves half naked and post it on social media” movement. It’s shallow. It’s offensive. It’s putting Kim Kardasian stank all over the work done by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and every other woman activist who fought so hard for us to be respected. I think these women would want better and because it’s saying, “this is my value, this is all I have to offer”, and that’s not true (or maybe it is, if you just a ho).

In ending, we all suffer from the Me’s. We all want to be accepted, loved, desired. Perhaps finding that validation won’t come in the form of how many likes you get for your boobs. Perhaps.