Friday, April 17, 2009

For the record...

...I think comprehensive exams are a huge and pointless waste of time. Seriously, if the department chair wants to know that I know what I'm doing, he should ask me. Rather than make me answer stupid questions like "What does the United States Constitution have to say about the importance of public education in a representative form of government based on democratic principles?" (huh? and, nothing), or "Briefly explain validity in the context of the Stanford-Binet: Fifth Edition" (who even effing cares). I can look these things up if I ever really need to know them. Ask me a real question, like what to do with a kid who gets written up once a week for rudeness, talking back to teachers, and "grabbing the principal's bottom" (that's a direct quote). At least those answers would be much more entertaining for the grader.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Totally Worth It.

So, I was trying to think of something witty to post, seeing as I haven't written anything in a while (not that anyone actually cares, but whatever)...and then I came across something that made me completely change what I wanted to write. This article is in today's newspaper. Why is that important, you ask? Well, I'm about to tell you.

Since January of 2007, I have been a volunteer with the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children as a Crisis Intervention Advocate. Advocates carry a cell phone and answer the 24-hour crisis hotline, and also go to one of the two area hospitals whenever they register a survivor of sexual assault. We stay with the survivor during the police interview, physical forensic exam, and while they get medication in the ER. Much of my work with the ACCVC has involved having hour-long conversations at 3am with a regular caller who likes me because I remind her of her daughter, referring another regular to the sex offender hotline at least three times each weekend, and spending lots of late nights/early mornings in the ER. It's hard work, very emotionally draining....but it can also be very, very rewarding. Which is why I linked to that article.

I was in the ER with the little girl in the article for 6 hours on a Sunday morning, from 1am until 7am. I remember that her mom was so upset that she brought all 3 of her kids without shoes on, and the little one wasn't wearing a shirt (two amazing ER nurses found them shoes and a shirt, bought the boys breakfast, and gave them toys to play with while they waited). The police officer working the case was wonderful. While we were waiting for the exam to begin, we heard on the police radio that the perpetrator had been arrested. That very rarely happens, and the little girl and I got to check the "arrest made" box on my ACCVC paperwork. We even drew a smiley face next to it.

What also stands out about that case is that, unlike most of the child abusers we deal with, this one didn't try to hide what he did. He did something to her physically that was outwardly visible...something she no doubt would have to explain to curious classmates for a while. The fact that he marked her like that made me SO EFFING MAD. Many of the advocates do what we do because we've "been there", and this case hit very close to home for me. That, combined with how he marked her pretty little face, made me want to hunt down the @#!%^&^ myself.

In my opinion, 20 years is NOT enough for what happened to that little girl, or any little girl (or boy/woman/man), for that matter. But I find comfort in the fact that, for the next 20 years, that sweet girl can finally sleep at night. We're not technically allowed to check up on our clients, but the last I heard, she's thriving. I hope that one day, she'll be able to look him in the eyes and show him how what he did DIDN'T ruin her life, but made her a stronger, more resilient woman.