May was an interesting whirlwind of activity. I kept much busier than I expected, probably due to the unexpected. We had a school board member in the town where I live – but, thankfully, not for the school my daughter attends – decide to unilaterally remove “controversial” books from the shelves of the middle and high school libraries. It’s easy enough to learn more about her and her Christo-fascist agenda. She doesn’t hide it at all and she’s probably proud of it.
I attended the school board meeting at the beginning of the month to protest the decision, as did many other people, especially students, in the community. Even her own adult son stood up to tell everyone what a terrible human being she is and how hateful she is to anyone who is gay, like him. A few people spoke in favor of removing the books, all with the belief that they are “protecting children.” At this time, the person has gotten her way, which is really unfortunate. I don’t believe in imposing an agenda on anyone, but that is what this person is determined to do.
I trust and support librarians. School librarians have the education and training to select material that is appropriate for students to read. If a person does not want their child to read certain books, then it should be up to the parent to monitor their child’s reading habits and perhaps speak to the librarian. But it is not acceptable for someone to decide what everyone’s children may or may not access at public school libraries.
Public schools should be preparing our children for the world by teaching them critical thinking and providing a wide range of materials that introduce them to various perspectives. Exposure to a variety of ideas and points of view allows children to develop and articulate their own ideas and perspectives, and explain their reasoning. But some people fear children thinking for themselves. That’s what private schools are for, though. 😛
I read Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. Normally, I don’t read mysteries, but I heard about this from a Youtuber I enjoy watching. It was funny and twisted, and I quite enjoyed it.
In May, I started a trio of landscapes, but also ordered Summer Quaker by Lila’s Studio. At first, I was going to wait until completing one of the landscapes to start it. But then I was going to wait until July, then June, and now… Well, I couldn’t help but start it! I don’t know if I can complete it by the end of the summer. That seems like a lofty goal, so we’ll see how far I get.
I had fun with the latest session of my D&D 5e campaign, putting the characters through a little puzzle dungeon with a ghost, family relics, and treasure. We’ll see how the next session goes as they reluctantly attend a ball.
The Genesys campaign is fun so far. It started off with some good old fashioned cultists, long lost artifacts, and a wacky wizard – all the makings of a classic adventure.
I watched The School for Good and Evil on Netflix, because I enjoyed the book when I read it a few years ago. The movie was surprisingly good. I definitely recommend it!
Doing my best to keep up with Critical Role, as well. Not much else on my list of shows or movies to watch at this time. Obviously, the writers’ strike impacts upcoming seasons of shows, but everyone has a right to a fair and livable wage. So I’m content to live without new TV shows and movies. Some things are more important.
May started with 4th Grade field trip to the capitol building, Memorial Stadium, and Morrill Hall. I enjoyed all of the sites.
We had the privilege of sitting the gallery at the capitol just as Machaela Cavanaugh spoke against LB574. Unfortunately, the legislature did pass LB574, which is a bill that denies gender-affirming care to minors in Nebraska. In addition, a “12-week” abortion ban was added at the 11th hour. But if the Christo-fascists in Nebraska think women or transgender youth are just going to roll over and take it, they better think again.
This isn’t white cis-het middle-aged man land anymore, and everyone is going to need to learn not just to accept that, but also how to live with their non-Christian, non-straight, non-cis neighbors.
The month ended with a trip to Sioux Falls which is beautiful, as always. I like seeing the falls themselves, as well as visiting the Game Chest. If you ever go to Sioux Falls, that is the best gaming store to visit. There are other gaming stores there, of course, and everyone is very welcoming. However, Amanda, the owner of the Game Chest, is so personable and has so much passion for what she does that you don’t want to miss stopping by there.
We also hit up Pave, which was a little too crowded. It has a neat ambiance, but the Guinness was disappointing. Then we went to Wiley’s, which was fantastic. It felt like a place straight out of the mid-90s. I loved their hot pretzels. Perfect for a 10 p.m. snack! I hope to visit again soon. We also went to the Full Circle Book Co-Op for the first time, and left with literary goodness.
All in all, May was a good month, and it gave me a lot of food for thought. I think the major takeaway for me with the book banning and passing of LB574 is that those things don’t magically make us – the LGBTQ+ community, women, and non-Christian people – magically stop existing. People can try to invalidate us, but they can’t make us cease to be. And maybe that’s what upset them so much. Maybe that’s what they’re afraid of.
So, I feel inspired to continue to fight for the right of all humans to exist regardless of gender identity, sexual identity, or religious identity. Furthermore, I’d rather be loud and proud about my sexual and religious identities, and ignore the scared, ignorant, small-minded few who can’t handle the basic facts of life – that not everyone is the same.