Thursday, December 1, 2016

Humans of Downey - Carol


"I fight for fairness. When I see that things are not fair, that triggers the anger in me and I do what I can to right the wrong. Last semester, the class I was teaching, Beginning Light Design, got canceled after the third class meeting. This was particularly unfair because we had 12 students, which is a reasonable amount. But Administration arbitrarily decided to make 16 the magic number to sustain a class. I had several students that needed this class to graduate this semester. It was a required class for their major. I made a big enough stink about this injustice that I'm not back teaching this semester. I got several people angry at me in the administration. The people that I think should be out, the ones that made the arbitrary decision regarding the minimum size of the class, are still there. I think that's unfair also.

"I remember when I was a little girl, my mom telling me, 'It will all get better before you get married. Just relax, it will get better.' But, the week before I got married was so stressful that I broke out in fever blisters. When I saw my mom that week I said, 'Mom, this is not going to get better before I get married.' Another thing my mom did just to save any argument was, if we had a question, like when we were driving and I would ask, 'Mom, what kind of tree is that?' she would make up an answer. So, there were tons of things I thought were gospel truth, but my mom didn't have a clue and was basically lying to us just to keep us quiet.

"I'm looking forward to several short trips I'll be taking this year. One is, my sisters and I will be visiting a cousin that we haven't seen in 40 years. We got back in touch with her after my mom died and we were cleaning things out. She is the daughter of my mom's brother and he died rather young at 48. This opened a can of worms. His wife had been an alcoholic as a result of being severely depressed. She had even had electro-shock therapy. While my cousin was young they had lived with our grandmother, but the stress was too much for my grandmother, she couldn't hack it any more, so they moved to Texas. Although my mom was in contact with them through Christmas cards and the like, there was always tentative feelings left regarding the struggle with my grandmother when they lived out here. It just wasn't a close relationship. But we had some things of my uncle's that we wanted to get back to them.

"I got in touch with her through Facebook and there have been several interchanges via email and stuff. Since then we have learned a lot about what was going on. Her mom finally has gotten some help and now we are going back there to meet her. She hasn't had a real stable life herself. She's been in a couple of marriages. Her daughter and her three grandchildren live with her so we won't be staying at the house. But we are anxious to see her. She asked us a while ago if any of us had any extra things that my grandmother had crocheted. My grandmother was quite the crocheter. I had the most so I sent her a box of stuff. And I may send one more thing. It's a bed-size white crocheted bedspread that I'm thinking of bringing to her when we go. I think she would appreciate it."
~ Carol

P.S. Carol was here in Downey for the first time visiting a friend. While here, she went to Downey Landing to Christmas shop. She went to Marshall's and Pier One. She was impressed with how friendly and gracious the staff were. Always greeting her with sincerity. It made her shopping more pleasant.

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