Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blog-based activism

I began thinking about myself as an activist blogger a few days ago while talking to my friend Courtney. She said that she enjoyed my blog as it used to be - with its clearly defined family focus. She said that it seemed to change from family-focused to activist-focused when I got stopped in the airport this summer by TSA telling me I couldn't take juice boxes through security for the girls to drink on the plane. Ever since then my blog has, apparently, been going downhill.

Thinking about this, I mentioned to one of my classes this week that I seemed to be a budding activist from an early age. I'm not sure why I shared this with my students, and truthfully they didn't seem the least bit interested. Maybe you'll enjoy this story more than they did. I very clearly remember a day in eighth grade when my math class took a field trip on a school day out to the Hacienda Business Park somewhere south of San Ramon, California. I declined to go but did not give my math teacher a specific reason why I did not want to be included in the trip. Inside myself, though, it was very clear why I did not want to go. Even at twelve years old, I believed that business parks located in the suburbs contributed to urban sprawl and, what we were just beginning to learn about in junior high science classes, that the parks contributed to global warming. BART had not yet reached as far as this particular business park so most employees would have had to make the commute there in their cars. In addition, I believed that the business park encouraged the building of new subdivisions of cookie-cutter houses covering the velvety golden northern California hills. I didn't agree with the concept of a business park and so I let the class go without me. Keep in mind that I had the mentality of a proud "fifth generation" Californian. I was a kid who had been raised with the belief that my family was there first and, therefore, what California had to offer should be mine. I thought it was time to close the Golden Gate. I was not interested in seeing the economy or the population of the state grow beyond what it was on the day I was born. Twelve year olds are notoriously self-centered, aren't they?

Looking back, I wish that I had voiced my opinion to my math teacher, Mrs. Buck. At that point in my life I was a very quiet kid, at least at school. I didn't share my opinions unnecessarily and wasn't interested in engaging in any kind of conflict with people I didn't know well. That all changed over the following summer when I became more of the person I am today. I think it would have been an interesting conversation, though, with Mrs. Buck. I still wonder how it would have gone...

So, the point is, hang in there. If my blog has turned more activist than you would like, just know I will continue posting about the girls and our family adventures. But, these ramblings going on in my head need an outlet, and this seems to be the most logical one. At least for the moment.

2 comments:

Court said...

I didn't mean for it to sound as if it had gone hill since the juice box incident. I just was commenting on how that it had changed. I feel like I still learn a lot, just less on your fam. and more on different topics. It really has made me question some of the things that I take for granted in my life. Keep using it as your outlet, everybody needs one! Lots of Love.

Kristin said...

Way to go, Hill! Further reading @ http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm
and keep the voice alive.