Archive for May 6th, 2011

Mama, Pocahontas, and the Park

May 6th, 2011 1 comment

Seeing pictures of the flooded areas in my hometown brought my attention to a picture I have framed of Mama and Me sitting in the park along Black River.

When the River overflows its banks the land surrenders to it.  In recent floods the park disappeared, but it will recover and be beautiful again.

Poetess: Hope Anita Smith

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

Hope Anita Smith is a poetess (I prefer the word poet),  and an author of books for children. She is also a gifted reader of poetry.

She visits schools and works with children to help them express their inner thoughts in poetry. What a wonderful gift  to those youngsters.  I wish I had had someone like her in my life when I was a child.  I am happy that I have found her now.

For poetry month (April)  she read a poem a day on Youtube.  I was introduced to her on Facebook by Carol Raby, Librarian at Paseo del Rey Magnet School.

When I read poetry I read it aloud to get the most from it.  Hope Anita Smith reads her work and the works of others with assurance and clarity. Her sincerity comes shining through every time. It is a different skill to listen to others read, but Hope Anita Smith helps us take it all in with her delivery and honest presentation.

Even if you are not a big fan of poetry, give this poet a try.  You just might become a fan.

An Injustice Remembered: Denim Day

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

April 22:

Denim Day in L.A. is an annual event during which employees are encouraged to wear jeans (denim) to work as a way to raise awareness of sex crimes.

The event is organized around wearing denim because of a 1998 Italian court decision in which a 45-year-old man’s rape conviction was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court.

In Rome in 1997 , the accused was a driving instructor. It is alleged that when he picked up an 18-year-old girl for her first driving lesson, he raped her for an hour, then told her that if she was to tell anyone he would kill her.

Later that night she told her parents and her parents agreed to help her press charges. The alleged rapist was convicted and sentenced, but the Supreme Court ruled on the appeal that because the victim was wearing tight jeans (jeans which the Court ruled could only be removed with her help) the woman must have consented to the act. This indicated consent made the incident consenual sex, not rape.

As a sign of protest, many women in the Italian Parliament protested the decision by wearing  jeans. As a sign of support, the California Senate and Assembly followed suit.

In Los Angeles, Denim day is observed by many  people, including teachers and students, as a reminder of an injustice and an area of crime that still exists.

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