Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm not dead yet! (But the parrot is!)

Before I even start, let me say this.
Virginia Tech Faculty, Staff, Parents, & Students: I am so sorry. I cannot even imagine..
To the parents of Cho Seung-hui: I am so sorry. You’re in your own hell, I’m sure.

Blog? What blog? OH! THIS blog! Contrary to my ex’s wet dreams, I did not slide under a gas truck and taste my own blood. I am alive and well… just have been horrifically busy.
My middle sister done got herself hitched up over the weekend. I’ll regale you with the details later. For now, we will just say that it was like all the other family weddings: loud, happy, hug-laden fun. But since that post will require far more time and brain cells than I have available right now, I give you…
Ranting about random shit! With your brilliant and (might I add) TOTALLY hot host, ME!

From the “we told you so, you crazy right-wingers” file…
So, let’s see… you gave the government $175 million to tell kids “Don’t have sex of any kind until you’re married… because it’s morally correct… and we said so… trust us!” And then it required a government-funded study to establish that this methodology didn’t work? I tell you what… you could have spent $3.75 on a venti latte and obtained the same information from any semi-realistic parent of a teenager. Know what figures I’d like to see? The total amount that will be shelled out to deal with the unwanted pregnancies and STIs of these undereducated kids. My favorite part is the leader of the Abstinence Education Group discounting the study because it was done when the programs were “in their infancy”. (Does anyone else find that expression funny here?) Anyone ever won a game with a kid only to hear “but… but…. I wasn’t ready!”

People, when will we let go of our Puritanical discomfort and start TALKING ABOUT SEX with kids? And I mean really talking about it, not just lecturing on an antiquated model like abstinence and then only wanting to think or hear about the “right” answers (the ones we’re comfortable with) from our kids. When I am Empress of the Universe, we will hand out birth control pills and condoms with locker combinations. We will start in 5th and 6th grade teaching that masturbation is a healthy and age-appropriate form of sexual expression. We will gift every 14 year-old girl with a vibrator. (Seriously! How much fun will the fumblings of a 14 y.o. boy seem like if she’s spent time with the Rabbit Pearl?) Better yet, I’ll just hire the folks at Good Vibes to run the whole shebang. (HA! Shebang… LOL) They know more than I do. Then we’ll raise kids who have some degree of knowledge about their bodies and the human reproductive system, which means they will be far less likely to get pregnant or diseased. OH, and then guess what else? They also won’t come up thinking sex is dirty and bad and related to hellfire, so maybe they’ll TALK TO THEIR OWN KIDS ABOUT SEX. We are not just laying the groundwork for these kids lives, but for their children as well. Clearly cramming the moral agenda down their throats isn’t working.

I think the epitome of all this prudish bullshit is the hysteria over Guardasil. Let me see, asshole-right-wing parents, you are willing to risk your daughter’s LIFE because you don’t want to have a short, highly clinical conversation about HPV? How incredibly f***ed up do you have to be to refuse something that may prevent your child from DYING just to avoid entertaining the notion that your child may one day have sex? And people, we’re not even talking about having to acknowledge premarital sex! Your baby girl may preserve herself in sweet holy chastity until her wedding day and STILL wind up with HPV thanks to an undereducated or philandering husband or (God forbid) a sexual assault. I’m sorry, but parents who argue against making this vaccine part of the immunization cycle because it might “encourage” sexual activity are squeamish, selfish, prudish, ignorant assholes. (And they’re TOTALLY asking for their kid to join a live sex show in Amsterdam, might I add…) This is not about what it might “enourage”, but about conversations and concessions these people can’t handle. Their comfort level does not trump their child’s right to health. Your child will one day be a sexual being. And that includes risks. You have an opportunity to eliminate one of those risks for them. What the hell kind of parent objects to that?

All right… new rant. This one containing absolutely no brand-specific vibrator references whatsoever. (Oh thank God, sayeth my father!)

I work in corporate training. I like teaching/training people. I enjoy it, I truly do.

I hate teaching people to teach.

It’s called “train-the-trainer” in our professional circles and frankly, it sucks. There are several reasons I do not like doing this:
1. The trainers you are trying to teach usually believe that training is stupidly easy and anyone of their lofty intelligence can do it instinctively sans preparation. (Hello? And you pay me for what? My great lasagna recipe?) Seriously, most of them think that effective teaching requires no more than subject matter expertise and org-chart-sanctioned authority.
2. They never read the materials you give them. NEVER. I could insert several paragraphs describing my nefarious plan to destroy all the birds of Earth and to build a giant intergalactic gazebo over the planet blocking out the sun and then laugh maniacally as the smug gardening people cannot keep their precious plants alive… muah ha ha ha ha! You won’t be giving me fun little green thumb tips anymore, WILL YOU??? Stupid happy plant peop-… oh my… sorry. But really, I could put it all in there. They’d never notice.
3. Most people who want to provide training don’t have the personality to do it. You think this kind of sparkling effervescence and wit is handed out to everyone? Puh-lease. It’s a professional commodity- like J. Lo’s booty.

My latest endeavor involves training a few members of senior management to provide diversity training at the field offices. Oy. Motherf***ing. Vay. Several of them are excellent- they’ll facilitate beautifully and the program will be wonderful. Several of them will suck at it and will come back to complain that the program we selected wasn’t effective AT ALL. Unfortunately, most of the folks receiving the training won’t make the distinction beween crappy trainer/training correctly either. Whut-evah!

As my amazing Grandma likes to say, there’s no use arguing with the once-born.

Oh, and here's two fun facts courtesy of our new friend Bleu.
1. The time it takes for an 80-pound lab to reach and eat the 1/2 a pie you left on your kitchen counter is about 3 seconds less than the time it takes for you to make it down the stairs.
2. An 80-pound lab can consume up to 10 oz. of baking chocolate without serious health consequences, but 2 ounces in a pie is enough to make for a few nasty surprises in the backyard.

Ciao, dollies!


michelle.leberfeld said...

Thanks for ranting on my behalf about various political issues that make my head want to explode.

Regarding your comments about being someone who loves training (but not training the trainers). My company runs a large annual conference on the topic of “corporate universities”, which are supposedly the more evolved, centralized version of an internal training organization. This event has taken place for 8 consecutive years and while is not an association event, it has become a community of sorts. We try to offer some continuing education and inspiration for the Chief Learning Officers, Heads of T&D, etc., by offering great speakers and meaningful interaction among the participants. I was wondering if you have participated in events like this and if you would be willing to speak with me as I research the Nov. 2007 event.



Lady Liberal said...

Hello Michelle!
No, I've not been to an event like that, but I'd love to! Is your conference open to the public? I could use all the help I can get! :)
I'd be happy to speak with you. I'm better versed in the world of small-ish companies trying train on small (read: NO) budget.
Email me at

Hope to hear from you soon!