Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

Scott Peterson Guilty, Surveillance Cameras in Schools, the Fleeting Nature of Photography, and the

Scott Peterson is Found Guilty * What Do You Think of Surveillance Cameras in Schools * The Fleeting Nature of Photography* and the Cats Make a Phone Call

Woo hoo hoo hoo hoo...I just signed on and saw this blip about Scott Peterson as it was going by. I could swear it said, "Scott Peterson Found Guilty." I thought, That was fast, no way couldn't be, so I hit the back button on my browser and was happily surprised to see that this whole thing is finally over and we have a verdict. Now I just want them to put him away someplace super safe so he'll never get out again unless we can find a cure for his kind of psychopathology.

I wouldn't mind if they studied him the way people study lab animals to see what kind of genes make up a person like this -- genetics versus environment. I really think we need to know more about the behaviors of these kinds of people, and as long as we aren't harming them or being cruel to them in any way, why the hell not take advantage of the opportunity to study them? I don't want to see him sentenced to death -- despite the heinous nature of his crimes -- because I don't believe in the death penalty.

I actually just came by to get your opinions on something. I am helping my friend Atra with her final essay next week. She is take English classes at SMC, but the material they give her is pretty darned dense for someone who is just trying to polish up her English skills. They gave her this long essay on the use of surveillance cameras in schools and she needs to read it, and understand it of course, and then formulate a response to it.

I think it's a fascinating article -- a fascinating subject -- and am very interested in it. I wish I had the energy or time to copy it for you here because I would love to hear your opinions on this subject because then we can incorporate them in her response. She is a serious overachiever, as am I, (well, in my mind at least), and I really want to know what you think to help her get that A she wants so badly.

Basically it's an article about the incursion of digital cameras into our kid's schools. It gives some of the pros and cons, explaining that where before we mostly used video cameras and only at the entrances, exits and in the hallways, with the advent of easier and more affordable digital technology, more schools are now opting to include cameras in classrooms and on the playgrounds as well. One school even allowed cameras to remain in the boys and girls locker rooms, where the kids were recorded changing in and our of their gym clothes. The principal immediately turned the tapes over to the authorities and it was determined that this had been a mistake as these rooms had formerly been storage closets and the cameras has accidentally been left in place when they were remodeled -- sounds hinky to me.

On the pro side, kids with physical or psychological limitations would be able to, in a sense, attend school, by watching video and audio feeds, kind of like the radio system in Australia that unites kids from from flung locations. Worried parents could check in and see that their kids are happy and well and focused. They could even get their homework assignments and help kids stay on task. Then there is the more important issue of crime prevention -- someone wanting to threaten a teacher or another student might be less likely to do so if they know they are being recorded. I'm sure there are other good reasons for cameras but I tend to lean towards the other side.

Like a lot of Americans, but curiously not the British, I was deeply affected by George Orwell's 1984, and anything remotely resembling anything like Big Brother moving any closer to our lives frightens me. While I adore webcams -- I mean seriously, one of my most favorite people on the planet is a big time webcam gal -- there is a big difference between voluntarily wiring up your home to let people in, and being force monitored. With your own webcam, you can always turn off the feed, or turn down the sound, or point the camera at a bowl of soup when you need to take a break from being watched.

With classroom cameras the kids would be under constant scrutiny. I think teenagers, particularly teenagers, and teachers, need freedom. I think they need to be allowed to try new things, to be able to make mistakes, and not be hindered by the prying eyes of overzealous, overprotective parents who feel left out of their kid's daily school lives. Anyway that's my mini take on it for today, I have a lot more to say but I really need to get going, I've got carpool today and I've promised myself I would go to Curves.

I'm so sorry I didn't take my camera with me yesterday when I went to my Mother's house. I had wanted to but then at the last minute I changed my mind and left it behind. I often weigh whether the risk of taking it with me and leaving it in my car where it might get stolen is worth missing a good shot here and there. I should just always go for the risk and take it with me. Sometimes the most amazing flashes of beauty will cross my path and without a camera I just have to take a mental picture and be satisfied with that.

There were some beautiful shots of leaves that had fallen across her mossy wooden pathway that would have been so nice to capture and share with you. There were even fresh glistening drops of water scattered across the surface of these gold and burnt umber leaves. One of the leaves was huge so big it looked fake. I almost want to go back over there to see if they're still there but Rosa is so out to get even with me that if I were to go over to my Mother's house when she isn't there I might get into trouble of some kind.

If someone happens to see my car -- say one of the gardeners or Mom's tenant -- they might report this to Rosa, who would in turn use it against me to imply that I was going over there when Mom wasn't home in order to take something. Who knows, but those images were so lovely they almost seem worth the risk. I have to remind myself that I should always carry my camera with me -- there are so many things that happen right in front of me that I won't ever be able to find again.

Oh shit, one of the cats, (Lili`uokalani -- I can't help it, I love Hawaii,) just stepped on my speaker phone button, then hit redial, and the phone is dialing someone. The worst is when they do this super late at night, or early in the morning, and someone actually answers. Then I'm left with wondering whether I should respond and apologize or just hang up quickly. I mean it's pretty embarrassing when you know you've just awakened someone in the middle of the night to have to say, "Whoops sorry, one of my cats just called you by mistake." What would be really funny is if I could train the cats to speak to the people who answer these random feline calls. "Uh...hello?" "Meow!"

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