I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child, coming home and telling their parents, uncle, aunt or grandparent about a boy who had pulled her hair, hit her, teased her, pushed her or committed some other playground crime. I will bet money that most of those, if not all, will tell you that they were told “Oh, that just means he likes you”. I never really thought much about it before having a daughter of my own. I find it appalling that this line of bullshit is still being fed to young children. Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy. If you try and feed MY daughter that crap, you better bring protective gear because I am going to shower you with the brand of “affection” you are endorsing.
When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment? And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships? How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.
My daughter is 10 years old and has come home on more than one occasion recounting an incident at school in which she was teased or harassed by a male classmate. There has been several times when someone that she was retelling the story to responded with the old, “that just means he likes you” line. Wrong. I want my daughter to know that being disrespected is NEVER acceptable. I want my daughter to know that if someone likes her and respects her, much less LOVES her, they don’t hurt her and they don’t put her down. I want my daughter to know that the boy called her ugly or pushed her or pulled her hair didn’t do it because he admires her, it is because he is a little asshole and assholes are an occurrence of society that will have to be dealt with for the rest of her life. I want my daughter to know how to deal with assholes she will encounter throughout her life. For now, I want my daughter to know that if someone is verbally harassing her, she should tell the teacher and if the teacher does nothing, she should tell me. If someone physically touches her, tell the teacher then, if it continues, to yell, “STOP TOUCHING/PUNCHING/PUSHING ME” in the middle of class or the hallway, then tell me. Last year, one little boy stole her silly bandz from her. He just grabbed her and yanked a handful of them off of her wrist. When I went to the school to address the incident, the teacher smiled and explained it away to her, in front of me, “he probably has a crush on you”. Okay, the boy walked up to my daughter, grabbed and held her by the arm and forcibly removed her bracelets from her as she struggled and you want to convince her that she should be flattered? Fuck off. I am going to punch you in the face but I hope you realize it is just my way of thanking you for the great advice you gave my daughter. If these same advice givers’ sons came home crying because another male classmate was pushing them, pulling their hair, hitting them or calling them names, I would bet dollars to donuts they would tell him to defend themselves and kick the kid’s ass, if necessary. They sure as shit wouldn’t say, “he probably just wants a play date”.
I will teach my daughter to accept nothing less than respect. Anyone who hurts her physically or emotionally doesn’t deserve her respect, friendship or love. I will teach my boys the same thing as well as the fact that hitting on girls doesn’t involve hitting girls. I can’t teach my daughter to respect herself if I am teaching her that no one else has to respect her. I can’t raise sons that respect women, if I teach them that bullying is a valid expression of affection.
The next time that someone offers up that little “secret” to my daughter, I am going to slap the person across the face and yell, “I LOVE YOU”.—
So much this.
This is very good.
Hero Quest: The Bits and Bobs
By the time I finished the board, C’s birthday was only four days away. It was easy enough to get all the paper/cardboard things done (I sent them to be printed - total cost: $78.00 - YIKES!), but I was planning on making all the doors and doorways, furniture, and tiles by hand. Here’s what the whole game, to date, looks like (note the classy binder-clip-bound instruction manual).
The tiles were cut from more 1/4” particle board, and painted with some combination of skulls, rock wall, falling rocks, trap doors, or pit traps. These came out distinctive but kind of embarrassingly ugly (oh, lord - the skulls! The rocks!). If I find myself so inclined, I may go back some day and fix them. They were all done with a combination of acrylic paint, Sharpie, and some colored pencil, and then sprayed with several coats of clear lacquer.
I made all the doors, doorways, and furniture using gray Sculpy - a bakeable polymer clay. The doorways will have to be fixed - for some reason I baked them standing upright, which of course caused them to droop. About half of them won’t stay upright on the board.
The weapon’s rack was the final piece I made - and it’s not quite the right size (d’oh!), but I’d finally figured out how to make and bake the tiniest pieces and glue them together, rather than trying to bake them together.
The pieces are all painted with acrylic paint.
They all, by reason of the medium and the artist, look a little cartoony, but what can you do? The tomb was beyond me - I tried sculpting a little person on top of the tomb, and it looked horrifying - so I changed the design to something I could actually make. Pieces - like the vials and scales on the alchemist’s desk - immediately broke off upon play, so I’ll need to figure something else out for that.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the figurines we have so far. I’ll also post some pics of the TINIEST FURNITURE IN THE WORLD! Due to a temporary brain injury and anxiety over getting the game done in time for C’s B-day party, I accidentally made everything to fit on a 1”x1” square. Derp.
Hero Quest: The Boardening pt. 2
Ages ago, I posted about my latest nerdy DIY project: a making a Hero Quest game from (almost) scratch. Well, my fiance’s birthday came and went, and I more or less finished in time. Ifinished the board, the furniture, and cards, and gave him a playable version. We don’t have the figurines yet, but between us and our friends we have more than enough miniatures to use in the meantime. I also discovered that one of my friends has mad mini-sculpting skills, so if I bring a block of Sculpy to our weekly game sessions, I can usually end up with some pretty cute monsters.
I was very happy with how the board turned out. It went from this:
Adding mould, bones, and blood spatter/smears were fun:
I finished it off by spraying the whole thing with seven or eight layers of clear lacquer, and could easily have done more if not for a time crunch.
Some lessons learned:
1. You will want to use hinges, and maybe add some feet on your board. Trim and sand the board, install hinges, and sand more if needed. It’s too late once you’ve begun painting. I really wish I had used hinges.
2. Laying lots and lots of paint gets you neat effects.
3. White lines are a pain in the butt. On the Hero Quest board, each room is outlined in white to delineate walls. I painted my lines free-hand using white acrylic paint. They looked terrible. I used four or five layers of paint, and it still looked terrible. So, I traced around them with fine point black Sharpie, and they don’t look great (still lumpy and irregular), but at least they look deliberate.
4. This is not a short project.
5. Total cost of board: About $13.00
Next post: The furniture, done to two scales. Whoops!
I am writing a book. Most people are. Unlike 90% of the internet, though, I have no aspirations to high literature. I’m not writing The Story - you know, the one that’s lived in my heart, the one that must be told (I’m saving that one for when I’m a better writer). I’m writing a mystery. And, I’ve taken a year off to do this, so if it doesn’t work out I’ll feel like a right plum.
(Photo Credit: Desert Magazine, Aug. 1978)
Anyway, yesterday I had a good day. As I told my fiance, I came up with five new organizations and a grudge. He said this sounded like his Burning Wheel prep.
Very like, actually. As I’ve invented a fictional town - an amalgamation of many of the western towns and cities I’ve either lived in or visited - I’ve been putting together a detailed invented history. My protagonist is a historian, so she would know these things. Right? I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep track of the chronology, as well as the rumors, scandals, ghost stories, etc. that naturally pop up in a community like this one.
Research for this has been a ton of fun. Not only has it been a great excuse for going out and hunting down quirky tales in my own city, it’s been great to stumble across resources like the magazine above. The articles about ghost towns are helpful, but so are the other articles for getting a sense of the tone and cadence of a person who wants to be “western”. I read this Desert Magazine from 1939 cover to cover, including adverts, and it was glorious. It included an early account of the mysterious disappearance of Everett Ruess. Now, I’d never heard of Everett Ruess, but after a quick wiki search, discovered that he’s kind of the Amelia Earhart of the southwest. No, not in Bermuda Triangle kind of way. In a “Is he still alive? If not, where’s his body?” kind of way. It’s fascinating.
I also learned one cannot use a horsehair lasso to guard against rattlesnakes. Well, I’ll be!
Learning Through Play
There’s an interesting conversation occurring on the wall of the Badass Teacher’s Association today. I’m a fan of any conversation that doesn’t deteriorate into impotent fist-shaking at “The Man”, but this one was particularly up my alley. Brant Osborn wrote about a teacher-created PLC that’s looking into using play to increase student engagement and learning.
I got super excited about being able to mention a pet idea of mine - incorporating RPGs into the classroom. They’re great - they encourage both creative and analytical thinking, cooperation and communication skills, math, and often times some understanding of history or historical objects.
Then my fiance showed me this, which is pretty damn cool.
I must make this work in my classroom!