We experience a full moon once every 29.5 days. When I say ‘experience’ I use the term loosely and figuratively, but do we actually ‘experience’ the full moon literally?

Many names have been assigned to this apparatus in the night sky, mostly based on the month the full moon is making it’s appearance: Wolf Moon (January), Snow Moon (February), Crow Moon (March), Grass Moon (April), Planting Moon (May), and so on. Truly a moon of many names.

Throughout my life, and I’m sure yours as well, I’ve been witness to (and perhaps partook in) faulting the moon for negative events and moods. When having a bad day or in a foul mood, I am often asked “Is it a full moon?” or hear the statement “It must be a full moon because everyone is having a rough time right now.”. I’m also asked if it’s “that time of the month”, but I digress.

Of course everyone is well aware of the classic man-turns-werewolf only under a full moon scenario as well. I’m sure other various ghouls have been assigned presence under the full moon light as well. Indeed, even our term “lunatic” derives from the Latin word “Luna”, which was the Roman name given to the goddess of the moon.

I have also heard from the mouths of several nurses and one doctor that they staff the hospital particularly well on evenings when a full moon is present. They stated that more injuries are seen, and more mothers go into labor than any other time of the month.

This habit of blaming the full moon for our troubles gives me pause.

Are our moods and daily lives really so effected by the change of the moon? I find it hard to wrap my brain around the idea that in any given time zone we all synonymously experience emotional, mental, or physical nuisances. One explanation given by Greek philosopher, Aristotle, proposed that the brain was the moistest organ contained within the human body, therefore susceptible to the same gravitational influences of the moon as the tides. If this really is the case, I’m thinking regional support groups are in order? We’ll call them “Lunar Oppressed Anonymous”.

What are your thoughts or experiences?


Tunnel Vision

I am not a big fan of labeling ourselves as one thing or another. When we attach labels to our personas, i.e. Republican, Democrat, Feminist, we essentially draw a line between ourselves and others.

I understand the draw towards classifying ourselves – It gives us a feeling of identity and common interest with those who share our viewpoints. However, when we allocate ourselves we tend to focus on only certain ideals and beliefs, and disregard anything that doesn’t “ring true”. In essence we inflict upon ourselves a sort of tunnel vision. No one drives well when they only look straight ahead, right?

Don’t typecast yourself. Be bold with your opinions, but also allow yourself to celebrate the opinions of others! When we attach labels, we often cause ourselves to be unapproachable by anyone outside our group, thus limiting the potential of our personal growth.

Categories: April 2011 Posts

Getting Schooled

My son is only seven months old, so my worry is not imminently present yet, but I have to say that the thought of him attending school in a few years is not a subject I am particularly fond of. My concerns are not unfounded, I promise.

I had fleeting concerns before, but I didn’t really start thinking about the matter until my husband and I engaged in a random conversation about our years in grade school. I recalled my years attending school in Atlanta, and how I was grateful that I had a wide variety of teachers from different backgrounds and cultures. This allowed my young mind to learn and grow in many different directions.

When I was twelve, however, my parents made the decision to move our family of four to the suburbs. This was a decision made after several “non family friendly” events occurred – one being a prophylactic found mixed in with our laundry after using our apartment’s shared laundry facilities. That was the last straw for my parents when making the decision to leave our beloved city.

We moved a rough thirty minutes outside of Atlanta, but it might as well have been a different country. Everyone lived in a subdivision with regurgitated cookie cutter houses, was god fearing, and worshipped Sunday football. Of course, not everyone fit into this mold, but I’m pretty certain the preceding comprised the majority. The schools were not exempt from this trend.

Now, I had some pretty great teachers while residing in suburbia. Of this, there is no doubt. However, there lacked variation. I cannot recall a single teacher throughout my 6 years of education in two greater Atlanta area schools that did not appear to hail from similar backgrounds – white European ancestry, Christian, middle class. My husband had a comparable experience.

I ask, where is the fun in this? I am a firm believer that our children’s world education should not only be taught via text books, but from the mouths and guidance of the people of the world.

Categories: April 2011 Posts

What’s In a Name?

I had the fortune of being raised in a household that retained not a hint of racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, or cultural prejudice. This, along with being raised in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia’s pride and joy, allowed me to maintain friendships with a variety of kids from a multitude of different backgrounds.

For the most part, I enjoyed being privy to different traditions and family relationships, as well as participating in different religious holidays with my friends. However, even in a city as rich with variety as Atlanta, I was not excluded from witnessing my share of prejudice and bias.

I honestly believe my first experience that inevitably shattered my protective wall of innocence (or naivety) occurred when I was in 1st grade. At least that I can remember.

I was standing in the classroom socializing with my peers, when one girl came up to me with obvious negative intentions. I don’t remember her name at this time, but I will always remember what she said to me:

“Symphony…My mom says your name sounds like a black name!”

Her intended insult was hurled at me with such force that I could do nothing but be hit square in the noggin with confusion and hurt. I felt insulted simply because she had meant it as an insult, but could not grasp why I should feel insulted. I snapped back, “Well, it isn’t!” and quickly tried to change the subject to something else besides her apparent need to feel superior to me.

I recovered from this incident in the way that most children bounce back, unlike adults. Adults tend to retain the tainted water of our misfortune and carry it around under our skin. But, it has left me to wonder about the multitude of families that raise their children to harbor discriminatory feelings towards their fellow man – whether intentional or unintentional.  These seeds of intolerance are planted throughout generations, and are tilled, and watered, and nurtured.

Someone needs to re-plant these gardens, lest their weeds choke the farm.

Categories: April 2011 Posts