Thursday, January 13, 2011

Student Teaching

I have officially started my final semester in my pursuit of a college degree. I have been close to this point in the past, but never made it quite this far. If all goes as planned, I will graduate on May 6.

I am tickled that I was able to surpass my own expectations of my capabilities during the past two years. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking an insanely heavy course load. I have also managed to work part time and keep up (but not as well as I would have liked) with the laundry and the house. Without the help of Odin and the kids, this all would have been impossible.

On top of it all, I created my own website ( for my student teaching semester that I hope to continue once I start teaching. For years, Odin has managed the technology in our home because it was just his thing. I was very proud to be able to say that not only did I do this site on my own, but taught Odin a thing or two about it. To be fair, I was only able to show him because he was not familiar with the google sites editor.

This semester will certainly be one of growth and learning. While I am looking forward to it, I honestly am counting the days for my seventeen year quest for my degree to come to an end!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Now what?

The election is over, so now what? Since last December, I have spent time campaigning for my friend Courtney Cole. I did this because I was not happy with the way my Representative was conducting himself and voting on certain issues. This was my right, as well as my responsibility as a citizen of Missouri.

During this time I tried to set a good example for my children and for those who saw me in action. I tried very hard to keep my very heated (and sometimes bordering on inappropriate) comments in private, and I was careful to look up information so I was talking about the issues and facts. I did this for several reasons, but the most important one was that I wanted to walk away from the election cycle with my head held high. Looking back, I have no regrets about my behavior and I am proud of that.

At this point in time, we need to move forward. The newly elected officials work for and represent ALL their constituents. I plan to continue to do what I have done for years by sending them letters and emails about my opinion on the issues, by visiting their offices in Jefferson City, and by encouraging children, youth, and young adults to get involved by doing the same.

As I am not a party player, who knows who I will support in the next election. To be fair, I will have to watch and see what the current elected officials do and how they behave. For now, I get to take a step back and take my role as a constituent very seriously.

All in all, this election cycle was amazing for my family. My children are even more aware of the process of political campaigns, the issues at hand, and (most importantly) their voice. They have learned that their opinion matters and that it is their responsibility to stand up for what they believe. They have seen their parents make financial decisions to back certain candidates at the expense of them not getting a fun treat. The conversations we have had with them about this election cycle will be memories I cherish for years to come. They have also learned how to compose themselves when their candidate does not win. This is just as important of a lesson as all the others.

The lessons don't stop today because the election is over. They will continue to see us try to affect change by working within the system. They will see us tighten our families budget in preparation for the bigger budget cuts coming to education. They will see that we do not call names and throw a fit when we don't get what we want. Most of all, they will see that I do my best to model every single one of these lessons I am trying to teach.

Monday, November 01, 2010

It's a proud day...

Today was one of those "firsts" that make you cry proud tears as a mother. Today, my 14 year old daughter decided that she is fed up with those who do not take time to learn about the issues before they spout off about candidates (granted, those people are high-schoolers, but the sentiment is the same). Today, my 14 year old daughter said "Yes" to helping get out the vote by making phone calls to people in the 4th congressional district. There was no enticing and no begging. I merely let her know that she could help if she wanted, and before she knew exactly what was involved, she said yes.

One of my goals is to raise my children to be involved and willing to work to make our world a better place. I want them to be aware and to know that their opinion matters. I want them to work for change within the system and to persevere even when the road to victory is hard and tedious. I want them to state the problem along with a potential solution.

Teaching all of my children this lesson over and over again is time consuming and not always fun. However, I am now seeing the fruit of all this hard work. My children are aware and involved. They are an active part of the solution.

She said yes, and I tried to hide my proud mamma tears.

Don't make her efforts go to waste. Take time November 2 to VOTE. Remember that it is not only your right but your RESPONSIBILITY.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What follows is a letter I sent to Representative Hoskins in response to the robocalls that were received by the constituents of the 121st Missouri House of Representatives District . If you haven't heard about them, you can go to the Show Me Progress blog to read and listen. As this is so low and underhanded for a local race, the story was also picked up by the Huffington Post for the nation to see. I have no problem with truth in advertising, but the truth is not evident in this message, not even a grain of it. At least sources for claims are listed on the print attack pieces so we see how the truth is being bent.

I wonder how many children now have the word "pornography" in their vocabulary thanks to Denny Hoskins attempt at reelection in the 121st district. I really hope that voters see this latest attack on Courtney Cole as desperate, underhanded, and an incredible reason to vote new leadership into the Missouri House of Representatives with Courtney Cole.

Dear Representative Hoskins,
Yesterday, phone calls, paid for by HRCC, went out all over town. I am writing to thank you and your supporters for the opportunity to explain pornography, gay pornography, and the attack on Mrs. Cole to my 10 year old daughter.

This is not what politics is about. I supported your campaign during the last race and worked hard on Senator Pearce's campaign. I support candidates and not parties. The fact that you allow the HRCC to send out and keep sending out the negative pieces on your behalf is enough to make me change my mind about voting Republican when I don't know the individuals in the race.

My kids have said that this is being talked about at school. Please let me know why you think it is appropriate to align yourself with people who call with distasteful and disgusting content for children to hear. Your family values are definitely not the same as mine, and it would seem that anyone the HRCC supports is not who I want representing me, my family, or my friends in Jefferson City or anywhere else.

-Deanna Jurkowski

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This was sent to me as a forwarded email. I have no idea who wrote it or where it came from originally or I would gladly give credit. No matter how you vote, please exercise this privilege on Nov. 2.

This is is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the
'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But theactual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history,
saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk
about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history,
social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.')
History is being made.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Looking back.

I just spent that last few minutes reading most of my blog posts from 2007. I was hunting for a particular post (never found exactly what I was looking for) and was caught up in all of my arguments for the passage of pro-midwifery legislation. I can't help but grin. I'm really proud to be able to say that typos aside, I stand by what I wrote and think it may be time to pull some of those past posts to the forefront.

So, if you have a few minutes and want to walk a while in the past, or if you are new to my blog, check out 2007.

What follows is a great post from Nov of 2007. What I realize is that I am practicing what I preach. I am back in school, working to complete a goal that I set for myself years ago. I am not neglecting my children because I am taking care of myself. In reality, I become a better, stronger, and more well rounded mother because I am also an individual.

Follow Your Passion (Nov 2, 2007)
The weekend is here and we are busy as ever. Odin and Byron are camping with Cub Scouts tomorrow through Sunday, and I leave tomorrow for the LLL of Mo Conference. I am presenting a session on Following your Passion while Raising Your Family. Here's what I am am hoping the attendees will understand when they leave:

I want to be my children's Mom, but I don't want to JUST be their Mom. I want to be ME! That includes being the best Mom I can be, while modeling that I am important too! My passions are a worthwhile endeavor that make me a better person. In turn, following my passions makes me a better Mom!

I will do my best to prioritize my life to include taking time for my passions. I won't need to neglect my children as I will find a way to make sure their needs are met. I will utilize the support of others to meet this goal and I will do my best to support them in turn.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Money is changing hands

Cordelia got in trouble today. Big trouble. It seems as if she thinks it's OK to throw things and break things when she's mad. She got set in the corner, and proceeded to call me all the names she hears the older kids say. I then put her in her room and told her I would talk to her once she had picked up her room and put away her laundry. When I walked away, she was screaming like someone was killing her.

A little while later, I notice the quiet. A little while after that, I see her come up with Kalina. Cordelia tells me she did her jobs and apologized. During lunch, Acacia tells me the reason Cordelia quieted down and did her work was because KALINA PAID HER OFF! Kalina was sick of the screaming and gave Cordelia $1 to stop crying and pick up.

One dollar isn't much money, but it's the principle of the matter. I made Cordelia give back the money and told Kalina she could pay Cordelia to do extra work, but not the basic jobs that I make them do.

I do think Kalina needs to find a good paying job if this is the way she's going to get her kids to quiet down during a temper tantrum!