Strange Musings *hyuk*
Saturday, October 16, 2004
  9:12 AM — Balancing Act and Seatbelts
I started writing a comment on the blog of my friend "Unofischal," when I realied I wanted to write a whole post about it here.

For myself, I'm finding these days that I GLADLY put nearly all my time into prep for teaching. If I didn't do the best job I could, I wouldn't be happy enough to enjoy my personal life. If I didn't take time to relax now and then, I wouldn't be effective enough to do a good job. I know I'm in the right place now because these balance properly on their own, and I don't need to worry about which should get more time.

I may not become internationally recognized, but I know I'm making a big difference in some student's life.

When I was in college, school was my life. Everything revolved around what classes I was taking, what my homework was, and so on. For my students, college is just a small piece of the puzzle, and not always a high priority. The same student whom complains that she can't afford the textbook wears the latest fashions and is on the cellphone as soon as I dismiss class. One of my good students asked a week ahead for a make-up exam date. The reason: she had to take her former boyfriend to court because he wasn't pay child support claiming the kid wasn't his. Another good student missed her test without telling me in advance, and just yesterday told me the reason was she's been having violent morning sickness. Not to be cold hearted but to uphold my standards, I asked for a doctor's note and she showed me the result of her pregnancy test.

Which brings me to a whole 'nother rant. CONDOMS! The first girl (woman?) had lost health insurance for a semester, so she stopped taking the Pill. (But didn't stop fucking.) I've chanted this one to many of my friends, so if you've already heard it, you can stop reading this post: without health insurance, the Pill is $27-30/month. WITH health insurance it's still $10-20/month. Condoms sold individually are less than a dollar. If you fucked daily, that'd also be about $30/month. A cellphone bill is $30-60. This woman chose her cellphone over a healthy, sane, and happy baby.

I compare educating people about condoms, and using condoms, to using a seatbelt in a car. You don't plan to get in a car accident, but you should wear a seatbelt anyway. Abstinence-only people don't plan to have sex, but they should know about condoms anyway. For a long while I was on the Pill while abstinent. I didn't plan to have sex on any given day, but I wanted to not have to worry about that when I did decide that I would. When I'm driving my car, I don't plan on getting in an accident, but I still buy a safe car. Maybe abstinence would be equivalent to using the breaks in the car: avoiding sex entirely, avoiding accidents entirely. Is being rear-ended like date-rape?

Q says that so-called "emergency contraception" would be like an air bag, but my personal favorites are withdrawl and the calendar method. Withdrawl is where you're having sex, and the guy pulls out before he comes. Not that effective as there's still sperm in "pre-come" (pre-ejaculatory fluid). That's like bailing out of the car as it's hitting the brick wall. Tuck and roll! The calendar method is a remarkably ineffective version of the "rhythm method" (natural family planning). Done properly, a woman using natural family planning will take her vaginal temperature and record her vaginal mucus consistency daily. The calendar method means just keeping track of when you last had your period and abstaining when you think you're most fertile (approximately 2 weeks before). That would be if you only drove on the wrong side of the street when it's not rush hour.

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