1. I am committed to lifelong learning. I regularly read books outside of my area of education and training to learn and grow.
2. Related to number one, I am reading an array of books, magazines, and articles. I never leave the house or my office without something to read.
3. I have an irrational fear of zombies. My family and friends tease me about this. This fear does not stop me from reading zombie lit and watch terrible zombie movies. <This also didn’t stop me from buying a shirt about zombies liking us for our brains.>
4. My family centers me. Sitting around the dinner table or talking with them takes me to my happy place. As my kids get bigger I find that our conversations about life offer insight into the people they are becoming.
5. I will never get tired of working with students. The other day I shared an enthusiastic high five with a student, when I verified that he was ready to declare his major. This was his moment and we shared it.
I read Charlie Higson’s latest book The Fear and was reminded of the book during my review of early morning news on Friday. This last Friday was no ordinary Friday, as it was Black Friday. The one day of the year in which many people wake up early or don’t sleep at all in hope of saving lots of money on holiday gifts or other purchases. During the last decade Black Friday has turned into a frenzy. People have been hurt, maimed and even killed thanks to Black Friday mobs and the frenetic nature of attempting to get the hot new item.
In Higson’s young adult zombie lit series, people over the age of 14 have succumbed to some virus and they become zombies. They roam around singly or in packs looking for kids to eat. Their zombified brains have one thing in common—the want for the succulent flesh of children. This book series is not for the faint of heart. In The Fear one particularly vicious, huge zombie is collecting stuff. He wants stuff. He has burrowed places in his home and the neighboring buildings for stuff. This includes newspapers, computer peripherals and junk. Perhaps he is the hoardes zombiens. But, he also wants toys and other stuff. He slowly stomps about and looking for kids, too. He moans stuff. Stuff. Need stuff. He pushes his wide girth against the boards or doors in order to break into a building to get stuff. To get toys. It doesn’t end up good for so many of the children he finds.
When I read the news that people had been pepper sprayed and the news coverage showed people waiting to get into the store to make their purchases, I was reminded of the hoardes zombiens and his moans for stuff. His moans for toys. Here, I already know that George Romero and others have used zombie movie genre to make comments about mass consumerism and racism; however, we find that Black Friday gave us another example of this.
I will end nothing that I understand that lots of people have to shop on Black Friday in order to make their purchases. They need their dollars to stretch as far as they can. But, I ask do they really need more stuff? It’s ironic that Black Friday and this day of mass consumption falls just hours after a day of Thanks.