country class

The “Bubble”

I hear a lot of bullshit about living in “bubbles” here in the United States. Specifically, I hear about how we live in liberal or conservative bubbles, where we only hear viewpoints similar to ours, and this is detrimental.

I really hate this bullshit.

I grew up in a predominantly white, predominantly Christian, very affluent suburb. The majority of minority students in my school system were East and South Asian. My extracurriculars kept me surrounded by a similar demographic.

Then I moved to the city. Through my academic and professional life, I began to interact with a shitload of people who were not originally from the United States, but came here to study, to teach, to practice medicine, to do research. I began to interact with people who were born here, but who were first generation Americans.

And just walking around and living in the city, I began to interact with people of all classes, ethnicities, countries of origin, religions, and so on and so forth. It is normal to me to be on the train and hear conversations in Spanish, in Chinese, in Arabic. It is normal for me to see signage in different languages. It is normal for me to pass by stores that sell Indian bridalwear, or a Russian pharmacy, or a Chinese specialty food shop.

Normal. Normal. Normal.

One day this past fall, I was sitting and waiting for the bus. An older woman sat beside me and began to talk to me (at me, to be honest; I don’t make conversation with strangers most of the time). She complained about how climate change meant that she had to drive out to another part of the state to see the leaves change, to experience a proper autumn. She said, despairingly, that you just couldn’t see the change in the city.

I commented that I’d grown up in a rural suburb, where I’d gotten to experience the spectacular leaf change she was talking about, but I preferred to live in the city.

“Why?” she’d asked.

“Well, public transit,” I explained. “I don’t have to have a car anymore. And there are stores everywhere and lots of great places to eat. And it’s much more diverse. I grew up in a mostly white suburb–not very diverse.”

As the bus pulled up, she asked me, “Why would diversity be important?”

I was a little stunned that anyone would even think to ask that question, so I didn’t have a ready response. Luckily, once we got on the bus, the conversation was over, so I could just curl up in a seat and relax till I got to my stop. But her question bothered me, and it wasn’t until the election that I could articulate an answer.

Diversity fosters empathy.

That’s not to say that you can’t be empathetic if you don’t grow up in a diverse area. I didn’t grow up in a diverse area, and I’d like to think I’m still empathetic. But diversity absolutely fosters empathy.

So when people talk about bubbles, I call bullshit. I’m a progressive liberal for a lot of reasons, and one major reason is that I live in a diverse city, and I work in a diverse field. That is not a bubble. That is not the same as being surrounded by like on a regular basis, and being afraid of the Other.

Sharing political ideals is not living in a bubble. Subscribing to factual news is not living in a bubble. Refusing to tolerate fascist bullshit and cutting people out of your life when they espouse it?

Not living in a bubble.


Class 4 - Open. by Dave

not sure why but i really like the look of this horse – such a fun face.
Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws
A lawsuit against one of the largest private prison operators in the country reached class-action status this week.

“Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.

It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.

Notably, the stocks of the two biggest private prison operators, Geo Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America), have surged since Trump’s election. The companies donated a total of $500,000 to Trump’s inaugural festivities, USA Today reported. Since Trump took office, his administration has reversed the Obama administration’s policy to end the country’s reliance on private prisons.”


The pumpkin G 63 prepares for Halloween. 

Captured @EuropaPark​ by Gijs Spierings for #MBsocialcar. 

[Mercedes-AMG G 63 | Combined fuel consumption: 13.8 l/100 km | Combined CO₂ emissions: 322 g/km |]


Class 4 - Open. by Dave


i know that i am jokey about work like  ~the schedules are made up and the hours don’t matter, but there is so much genuinely cool stuff happening this week and i am bummed that i can’t be there for all of it. 

  • Me: *sees people standing in the middle of the hallway*
  • People: *taking up entire hallway*
  • People actually trying to get to class: wth
  • Me: you goddamn people are a fukin blood clot in the hallway of life

so yea… this sagittarius boy is really after my ass and like i said before hes super sweet and we have a lot in common but like… im not looking for a romantic relationship at the moment i jus wanna bang people lmao… im direct when it comes to stuff like this but hez a S-A-G hes gon start shit

So I’m really stoked rn. There’s a class during winter break that’s a 2 week trip to Venice where we get to see art, architecture, and actual restorations happen (like up on the scaffolding) but of course it’s expensive.

I told my grandma (the one who’s been loaning me money for school) about it and the first thing she said was “you need to go” and then told me how to get my passport super easy and basically she’s 100% down to fund it for me


What a masterpiece of engineering – and next to it, you can see an aircraft! 

The Mercedes-Benz G 500 4x4² captured by Stephen Reuss for #MBsocialcar.

[Mercedes-Benz G 500 4x4² | Combined fuel consumption 13.8 l/100km | Combined CO2 emission 323 g/km |]


Ex SR. Rebuilt Bullied West Country Class 34027 TAW VALLEY por james kevin wood
Por Flickr: