Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Standing Up For What You Believe In

I haven't written on this blog in so long that I guess it would take an issue like this that would compel me to write again.  Those of you that know me well know that I do not take often publicly take sides on any issue.  I think it comes from the fact that I do not like public conflict and that being a history/government teacher I have gotten very use to play devil's advocate, issue informer, etc.  and not taking sides to avoid forming a bias in my students. I state this for those that do not know this about me because I want to make a point that I am only speaking out because I think it's important.

I had heard some about the Bears Ears Monument in the news, but I hadn't thought too much of it.  What else is new in Utah?...Someone considering a national monument....not a new thing. It wasn't resolved, it seemed there were compromises on the table etc.  Then yesterday I saw this post from an old floormate at BYU who lives in Montcello---near the proposed monument. Here are Christa Boswell's own words:

Friends, I need your help. Some of you have come to visit us here in Monticello, and you know that we live in a little paradise on the edge of a pristine National Forest, surrounded by BLM land. We live on the border of the reservation and this public land is full of sacred sites to these tribes. This is our land. This is where we cut the wood to heat our home, this is where we hunt, this is where we bring our children to understand and care for the earth. And this is all in jeopardy. Obama, along with fiercely dishonest and deep-pocketed environmental groups, are trying to use the Antiquities Act to turn 1.9 million acres of San Juan County into a proposed Bears Ears National Monument. There are so many reasons why this is wrong. 1.9 million acres is so far outside the bounds of what the Antiquities Act allows, as borders that "shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." (Sec 2, Antiquities Act). Utah already has the third greatest amount of acreage under National Monument Status. If this monument is passed, it will destroy our community. Look at what happened to Escalante after the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument was designated. It will completely restrict access for gathering food and fuel, and hundreds if not thousands of miles of roads will be closed. It will become a fee area, and increased tourism will bring more traffic to these sacred sites, which will then fall prey to increased vandalism such as we are seeing at other National Parks and Monuments. The locals DO NOT want this monument. The local tribes DO NOT want this monument. We are protesting our hearts out, but there aren't enough of us. There are only 15,000 of us in San Juan County, and our voices are being silenced. Take a look at this graphic and the sheer size of this proposed monument. And then look at this image that my dear friend Brooke Pehrson has created of our beloved Abajo Mountains. Please sign this petition. Please share with your friends and ask them to sign this petition. Please educate yourself on this issue, and contact your representatives to let them know that you do NOT support this monument. The federal government does not need to designate this land. It is beautiful, it is well-loved and cared for, and it is essential to our community. NO Bears Ears National Monument!
So I did what she suggested.....I did some research.

I found a video from AYL--At Your Leisure, a local wilderness/outdoor program.  They did a lot of interviews that showed everyone's opinion on the issue.  I really wanted to find out the other side--it seems like their biggest issues are the environment and protecting burial grounds more than the current BLM status does.

Then I found this video on Facebook from Senator Mike Lee's page.  This was a call-in town hall meeting that he did.  Someone from the Grand Staircase-Esclante called in  and explained what had happened to them when it was made a national monument.  The other thing that surprised me from that video was that according to the Senator, no local elected officials supported the Bears Ears Monument.

I went looking for Representative Bishop's compromise information so that I understood that as well--I really wonder where that will go. It might solve it somewhat--not sure with the information that I can find on the local news station websites.

I got to thinking about where I live--in the Uintah Basin---there is a portion of the Ute tribe here and people that would consider themselves locals that don't live here, just like in San Juan.  This would cause a lot of tension here if people really didn't want a national monument here.  Now, I don't see a monument designation happening at the present--but it would divide this community, just as it has San Juan.

This is why I decided to go ahead and make a decision.  I stand with San Juan locals.  People who do not live there should not decide what happens.  The protections in place already are plenty, and this is a large amount of land for the federal government to take more control of.  It also does feel like a losing cause--so as a result I signed the petition with the hope that it will show the White House that people do not support this.  President Obama holds the ultimate decision--so it seems to make the most sense. I encourage you to do the same!

Sign the petition here 

the picture Christa referred to

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Peace I Leave With You

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”--John 14:27

This is the scripture repeatedly given in President Hunter's message for my lesson tomorrow.  The Lord is truly there for us if we just ask Him.  He will not leave us alone to do this life by ourselves.  It is very easy for me to get overwhelmed and discouraged--especially with my job.  I know my job is what I am suppose to be doing (most of the time I feel that way at least), and I couldn't do it without the support that I can feel from the Spirit.  

After being at work for 8 hours today and coming home with a TON of grading to do, I really started to feel overwhelmed.  I had downloaded the lesson to think through and listen to while I drove home and I felt better by the time I was done.  I was still exhausted, and if I thought too much about it the overwhelming feeling and stress were still there, but the peace that it will all be alright eventually just had to keep coming to forefront as I worked on tonight's lesson.

Thank you Google for helping me find this picture.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday

The word today is present.

Remember I have to type for 5 minutes about this word.

So I thought of two things when I saw the word---being in the present and gifts.   Being in the present can actually be very difficult for me, because I am such a planner.  I am usually thinking three or four steps ahead.  This can a good thing, because I am usually planning for lessons or activities etc.  It helps to make life run smoothly.  However, it can get me in trouble because I am overwhelmed by everything that has to be done and I want it to just be over and done with. Being a school teacher is the worst with this, because I want to get the material done, but the grading is just a killer and I want to fast forward it to being done!

Gifts are tricky things with me.  I usually have very high expectations with gifts.  I like to be surprised and have things that are very special and meaningful.  However, if you asked me what that would be I have absolutely no idea.  As a result, the person giving the gift has really no shot at succeed and I have no shot at being satisfied.  I actually have started to not like Christmas as much as a result, because I think ooh all the presents that are coming when in all actuality at the end of the day I am rather let down to the big huge build up in my head.  This year I did try to keep the build up at a minimum, and I think it seemed to help the after Christmas slump that often happens.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quote of the day

I felt like this quote today was appropriate because I could use the reminder to stay in the moment

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Outside the Window

Today I decided to track down one of the writing prompts that are on the main lists floating around Pinterest.  This list has 365 Creative Writing Prompts.  The prompt is:
What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?
It is winter in the Uintah Basin (Utah) which either means one or two things.  There is a ton of snow on the ground or it is bitterly cold outside.  With this year being an El Nino year, we have had a lot of snow--like days on end of snow at some point.  We got pretty pounded today, but a lot of melted so I'm not sure how much we actually got but I would say at least 2 inches on top of the foot already on the ground outside my house. My phone says it's 21 degrees outside, which is actually not that cold.  If we don't gain any cloud cover tonight it will probably bitterly cold in the morning.  Not excited about that at all.

I would love to be some place where I could go to the beach anytime I wanted.  All the white/grey is starting to get old.  This is the beach that would be great to go and sit and just read all day.  No work, no responsibilities, and warm weather with no stuffy noses and coughs.

I know it is generic....but this picture looks like a great idea

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What classic has most surprised you so far and why?

The classic that has probably surprised me the most is a tie between Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  I love Persuasion, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice....but I barely finished Sense and Sensibility and I haven't been able to finish Mansfield Park.....I don't know why but it surely is surprising to me that I haven't enjoyed these two Jane Austen classics. Maybe one of these days I will try to get through Mansfield Park and I will try Sense and Sensibility.
January 2016's Question Meme from Classics Club (Repeat of February 2013).  Add your answer.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

Today as we have been celebrating Martin Luther King Day, I have seen a few quotes that are really cool.

I hope these are accurate.  Even if they aren't...they are a great sentiment.