If You Don’t Care, You’re Not a Punk, You’re JUST LAZY

3 Jun

Please email Rick Snyder at this email to assert your support or concern for the issue of hydraulic fracturing: rick.snyder@michigan.gov

My email read as follows:

Dear Governor Rick Synder,

I am a concerned citizen regarding fracking. I have signed petitions calling for the new deep fracking to be banned, as it is new technology, with unknown long-term effects. I recently received your response via moveon.org.

First you state that fracking has been occurring safely since the 1960s. This particular type of fracking is new technology, with new implications and issues. You stating that the past fracking has been safely practiced is arbitrary. Again, “our experience” with hydralic fracturing being safe is utterly useless in regard to this new technology.

I suppose what most upsets me about your email is that I feel you did not actually address the issues which are on the table. You state that the DEQ is committed to environmental quality; as DEQ is an acronym for “Department of Environmental Quality,” this is redundant and a bit insulting. As history has shown time and again, institutions need we the people to monitor their government and institutions to ensure actual quality, and this is what we are doing.

You say that the DEQ enforces strict regulations to ensure that no fluids contaminate freshwater sources; are these similar to the regulations that ensure that sulfide will not come into contact with freshwater sources during nickel/copper/sulfide mining? After you talk about how safe these regulations are, you then state that we have more regulations in place so that we can adequately deal with spills. There’s some of the truth – you, I, and the people of the great state of Michigan all know that this new hydraulic fracturing causes contamination to freshwater sources. Pennsylvania is one example of the impacts of this new technology:  http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/152268501/pennsylvania-doctors-worry-over-fracking-gag-rule

You state that MSDS will be provided so that we can know what we are doing when it comes to cleaning up spills. These are wonderful protection measures after the fact. I don’t want to see after the fact, and neither do the people of Michigan. I want prevention.

Another issue I have with the MSDS is the fact that the information is not public; you say that the DEQ will “post this information on their site,” but if the chemical compounds are protected under federal law, what is the DEQ going to post?

If this new hydraulic fracturing is so safe, why is the government protecting the chemical identities of chemicals used by the drilling companies? This is absolutely outrageous. Please, Governor Snyder, ask yourself that question out loud. Why would the government hide information from the people? To keep us safe? If this is the answer, the logic is backwards.

Your job as governor is to hear the voice of the people; I know we are many voices, but I beg of you, hear mine, my brother, my sister, my neighbor. Please call for a hold on fracking until we understand how to harness this powerful technology.


Jaime VanEnkevort
Marquette, Michigan


Learn more about fracking at: http://www.watershedcouncil.org/learn/hydraulic-fracturing/


Tyga’s “Rack City,” Getting Old, and Making it to Germany

1 Jun

I made it to Germany. In one piece. With a baby.

For some reason, all I can think of are the German kids singing, “Ima Ima Huss-a-ler, Ima Ima Hussaler” on the train that got stopped for an hour en route to our destination (i.e. sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep).

One of my very first experiences during student teaching was having to figure out how to handle a girl singing Tyga’s “Rack City” during class.

Tyga. In the pseudo-flesh.

I was baffled. I had her put on headphones and keep it down. When I went home that afternoon, I googled what I thought was “Rock City” (HA.). I decided that I had to know what I was dealing with.

I was soon even more baffled. The first thought I had: he’s an angry young man. The second: that girl can really move. Then I heard the line, “Got your grandma on my dick” and was utterly confused – then I realized:

You’re getting old!

Kids are kids, wherever you go. Whether rural wanna be gangstas in the UP, rural wannabe gangstas in Southern Germany, or a smalltown white girl from Bark River rapping N.E.R.D’s “Lapdance” in her Pontiac on the way to basketball practice, every kid likes a catchy jam, no matter how dirty (or confusing to the old folk). Or maybe we all have a not-so-secret desire to try and offend, just for shock’s sake.

Alas. Rack City, live on!

Watch the explicit, adult content only video here: http://youtu.be/SCFnewbghps

All the Single Ladies

15 May

“MOST important, neither entrepreneurs nor the rich have a monopoly on brains, sweat or risk. There are scientists — and artists and scholars — who are just as smart as any entrepreneur, only they are interested in different rewards. A single mother holding down a job and putting herself through community college works just as hard as any hedge fund manager. A person who takes out a mortgage — or a student loan, or who conceives a child — on the strength of a job she knows she could lose at any moment (thanks, perhaps, to one of those job creators) assumes as much risk as someone who starts a business.”

Hell yeah! Check out this pretty angry and wonderful article HERE.

Be proud, Beyonce

The Big Decisions (also: Indian Art is Everywhere)

14 May

The big decisions are coming at an alarming rate.

Luckily, even alarming rates have their speeds, and nothing can move faster than a mind that has trained itself to slow down.

So slow down.

My life seems to be turning (slowly) toward slowing down. I may sound 80 years old when writing this, but my pace and desires are gradually unquickening.

Like rolling out a large Fruit by the Foot.

Though I am facing big decisions in my life, my mind is absorbing them at a slow rate. I am learning to wait. To wait and see the answer my life is slowly unfolding around me.

I am fortunate to have opportunity.  I now need to let my form be molded, a carpenter with his lathe.

First image under Google for search “Carpenter with his Lathe”

In the classroom, a huge aspect of learning is pace. Why should we ever move on without fully learning the lesson at hand?

I am moving slowly to make the good decision.

3rd image.


Finding Heimat in Alt Ed: I’m a Mama to 120+

30 Apr

I’ve been mountain biking lately. I’m finishing up my student teaching. I’ve removed my mind from politics.

While teaching, you start to pick up on just how important your job is, even if you knew it in theory prior to teaching. You start to notice necessary leaders in the school; leaders who show their kids what it means to be a good, fair person. You start to notice how desperately so many kids need this example. Then you notice the money.

I feel as if invisible dollar bills, not air, is the force pressing so evenly against our bodies. Money, driving all actions, squeezing all pocket books. The reality that money (or lack thereof) will be THE factor in shutting down or crippling successful schools is ridiculous, for certainly, there is enough money in the world, especially the United States, to keep schools open and functioning.

Jay Z's MIAMI Mansion

I am thinking of the school at which I am student teaching.

I was lucky enough to have been born into a family where none of my needs went wanting, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Each individual has their own personal set of issues, but my family was a rock for me. When I remember childhood, it is a warm, comforting memory. I think of home and my mother’s meals, brothers and sisters, the banks of a pond, the peepers outside my window at night – all come back to me. Family. Shelter. Warmth.

This is more special than I can truly realize.

Before arriving at Marquette Alternative High School, I had never stepped foot in a school that replicated the warm feelings of home and family. I had spent almost 200 hours volunteering and observing in area schools, and that is what they always were – schools.

This is fine; not all schools must recreate the special dynamic of home. For so many kids, however, this is exactly what they need. A safe place. Family. Home.

In German, there is a word that does not directly translate in English; the word is Heimat. We translate it to mean “home,” but it carries a special connatation – the idea of warmth, family, safety. It is all wrapped up in one small word.

Marquette Alternative High School meets a need that money cannot create. Money can support the people who need to be there in order to create this safe place, but a family does not sustain Heimat with money. Unfortunately, money always plays.

Remove a father from a family and watch what happens in the life of a child. Take away an older brother or sister, an aunt or uncle, and the family is utterly changed.

Freud said once that as soon as a given state of things is upset, there arises an instinct to re-create what is lost. People who have had their families torn apart by abuse, substance, death, and adversity search to re-create the family which is lost. A person can take multiple approaches to such re-creation, and strangely enough, we often search in the same ways which destroyed our first family.

Finding real family, real Heimat, real love, can change this.

This is my plea to allow the song to remain the same at Marquette Alternative; this is my plea to put forth money to a place that provides a safe place for so many kids. Please, find it within your budget to maintain the level this building is at.

A Heimat is something that simply cannot be replaced.

My Second Family: The Wily Brood at MAHS

The Soft Animal of My Body

9 Apr

Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

I’ve Been Gone (Forgive Me), but THIS Merits Attention

17 Mar

Check this out: http://rt.com/usa/news/trespass-bill-obama-secret-227/

Obama recently strengthened a law that makes prosecuting protesters (you know, that free speech thing protected under our Constitution?) easy and totally viable for our US government.

Personally, I find it easier to sleep when Big Brother’s watching.