Weird Blood

Our friend with the famous grandma is in the hospital because she has, basically, no platelets.  Like 5,000 in her whole body.  The doctor is not sure if her immune system is detroying them or if she’s just stopped making them all together.  She even had to have a platelet transplant.

Not transplant, but you know what I mean.

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Scattered Shot

I have some stuff on my mind, but haven’t yet managed to pull it together into anything coherent or meaningful.  So, let’s do a quick run-down of interesting Tennessee stuff:

–Say Uncle:

If you guys get in there and start passing every socially conservative wish list item that causes turgid little nubbins among the god squad (who shouldn’t be getting turgid little nubbins anyway because that’s a sin, I hear), it’s going to be a short two years. Seriously. You won because of a few things. The Democrat party abandoned democrat principles and, frankly, the Kurita situation was bad for them. And the excess epitomized by the underground bunker. So, stick with the fiscally conservative part and leave the abortion and gay cooties stuff on the back burner.

Good luck with that.

–I don’t know if you need a subscription to read Inside Higher Ed, but if so, here’s the relevant part:

Consider Chandra G. Elkins, who teaches composition and developmental reading at Tennessee Tech University and Nashville State Technical Community College. She typically teaches a 5-5 course load and tries to pick up a summer course or two as well. Last year, teaching ten courses over the course of a year, she earned $15,210. This year, she is hoping to earn more, so she has added a sixth course for next semester, which she will teach at Motlow State Community College.

“It’s really depressing. I have to really, really love my job,” she said. “Literally, I could quit my job and get a job at the local Wal-Mart full time and make more money and have benefits.”

Sheila Sullivan teaches at the same colleges as an adjunct. By teaching a 6-6 load, plus summer work, she is able to get her total income up in the $24,000-$26,000 range (no benefits), but already she has received word that one of her adjunct jobs will be paying less next year. She moved to Tennessee to take a temporary position at Middle Tennessee State University that was potentially going to be converted to the tenure track and ended up staying in the area and becoming a regular instructor, but never on the tenure track.

“I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it,” she said. The colleges know “that they can get people” to teach despite the low pay, and “that works for them.”

How is that possible? The Tennessee Board of Regents has a very simple policy that allows its constituent institutions to decide in which of four categories to place adjuncts. Colleges can devise systems based on educational experience, market differentials and so forth. But the policy is strict on one thing: It sets maximum levels of pay per credit hour. Because the colleges typically avoid classifying people as being in the most “lucrative” pay category ($700 per credit hour), most earn much less, and a college would be correct in saying that $1,800 is the maximum allowable pay for a three credit course of someone in the second level of adjunct classifications. Paying more would violate state rules.

Maybe we should designate some of that lottery money for paying the people we need to give the kids those educations… Just a thought.

–See, again, men are just monsters who cannot help but kill people and so women need to stay inside and hide from them.  One day we’ll advocate just locking men in the closet so that we can all move about freely.  And then one day we’ll stop acting like all we can expect from men is monstrosity.

Yes, they talk about lost freedom and the first thing they want to do is monitor my vagina.  No one is free until everyone is free to only have a Conservative nose in her cooter because that conservative is eating her out.  It doesn’t exactly fit on a bumper sticker, but it’s the truth.

–PeskyFly says

If it wants to be important, and do things to make Tennessee a purpler state the leftern blogosphere needs to drive more than ideas. It needs to drive dollars. National communities like Kos, Atrios etc. have selected candidates all over the country and driven funds in their direction.

And I ask, “How soon can we get the leftern blogosphere together and put together some kind of strategy?”  I promise to even behave.

Okay, Republicans, Let’s Talk Pro-Life

So, the state Republicans have been pretty clear about what their agenda for the coming legislative session is–defund Planned Parenthood, send the money to other non-abortion providing centers, amend the Constitution to take away a women’s right to an abortion, and pass more measures establishing personhood for fetuses, if not explicitly, then at least implicitly.

Then they’ll wave their Pro-Life credentials around at the next election and talk about how they love the babies and worked to save them.

In 2005 the infant mortality rate in and around the Napier Homes, not five blocks from where Zora Neale Hurston lived while her brother attended medical school here, was 20%.

One in five babies in that neighborhood did not live to see their first birthdays.  You have a better chance of celebrating your child’s first birthday in Afghanistan than you do on the south side of Nashville.  In Memphis, an infant dies every 43 hours (yes, those are tiny coffins).  Every other day a family loses their baby.

I will have more numbers later today or tomorrow, but my point is, now is the time for the Republicans to put their butts on the line for “Life.”  Banning abortion doesn’t cost you anything.  It’s a feel-good measure that makes it look like you’ve accomplished something, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice or make any tough decisions.

I challenge you, Republicans: If you’re really pro-life and about protecting the babies, bring down the infant mortality rates in this state.

Save those babies, too.

Well, This May Shoot That Family Myth

Christian inadvertently roped me in to trying the two-week free trial at Ancestry.com.  I was up all night playing with it.  The fun part for me, so far, has been trying to guess which ones of my relatives are already uploading family trees based on how thorough the information already there is.  I thought for sure my Aunt Suzie would be all over this, but there’s almost nothing on my Great-Grandma Teck’s side of the family or her husband Herb’s, and we have all that family tree in books and Herb’s family is where all our Civil War contingency comes from, so you know there’s plenty of stuff to be found, and a lot more about my Grandpa Bob’s family, who seemed, in my mind, to spring up fully formed from the Colorado wilderness, like that his dad had brothers and sisters.

So, I think that’s got to be my mom’s Uncle Don’s kids filling that stuff out.  Too bad the older generation is dead, or they would know at least a little something about my grandpa’s mom–Mary Corcoran–who, from family lore, abandoned her family but was constantly sending them money. So, make of that what you will.

And then, on my dad’s side, there’s next to nothing about my grandpa’s family (except confirmation that his twin sisters were indeed Eva and Evah), which is not surprising, because they were so poor.  But there’s almost nothing on my grandma!  So, the stuff coming about her family must be coming from one of the Robinson cousins, because it doesn’t even have her death date.  Dad and I are going to have to sit down at Thanksgiving and fix that stuff.  Especially because I seem to have invented an aunt for him–it didn’t occur to me that Auntie Vi was probably “L. Viola.”

But the most interesting thing to me is the confirmation of one family story–that until my Grandma Avis married my Grandpa Hick, no one on her side of the family had ever married a non-Englishman (my grandma shockingly married a German)–and a heightened sense of implausibility of the other–that we come from a family of English Jews that converted.

So, here’s the deal.  My grandma’s maiden name was Robinson.  Her dad’s name was Harry Henry Robinson.  He was born in Michigan, though his siblings were born in Canada.  His dad, John, was born in England.  Harry’s mom–Elizabeth–was also born in England.  That’s about as far back as they go.

My grandma’s mom, though, was Sadie Matilda Sanborn and the Sanborn family tree explodes back across history like lightning.  The Sanborns and the Dearborns intermarried.  We’ve got some Hutchinsons back there (Theodate Hutchinson!), Batchelders and Smiths, Marstons, Tiltons, Sherburnes–generation after generation back all sitting in Hampton, New Hampshire, birthing and marrying and dying.

John Sanborn married Anne Bachiler, the daughter of Stephen Bachiler, the town’s founder.  This makes me distantly related to James Dean.  Try not to be jealous.  Anyway, the important thing is that the Sanborns appear to be good old New England Protestant, not secret Jews.  Though, it’s weird to me that we would rather claim secret Judaism than “We’ve been in this country since the middle of the 17th century.”  That must have been one hell of a family fight.  I’m looking at Daniel Sanborn (b. 1763) as the culprit.  He had two wives–Mercy Collins and my ancestor, Molly Smith.  Molly Smith comes along and all of a sudden, the family tree is full of Abrahams, Reubens, Hannahs, all kinds of Old Testament names (weep my friends, for Peneul).

I think that switch in naming conventions from a bunch of Johns and Marys and Anns might have been where the rumor started, as a way of explaining those names.

Anyway, I’m having a blast and I can’t wait to tell the Butcher that, if our family could found New Hampshire, he can take the dog out.