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  • Writer's pictureKristin Lyman

D30 Club Happy Hour: Should Have Brought My Ear Horn

"Education" was the first word across their lips when I asked about their election priorities."

The room acoustics were challenging; about 20 ppl in a small-to-medium sized room with big, loud and booming Harry Dunn. Nothing but tremendous respect for this J6 hero, but as I listened to community members, not one provided "stop MAGA extremists" as their top 3 priorities in this year's election, as is his candidacy's stated mission in Mr. Dunn's 05JAN24 campaign announcement on Twitter. In nursing, you call that a ventilation/perfusion (v/q) mismatch.

I was graciously and inclusively invited to the attend a Happy Hour event of the local D30 Club in downtown Annapolis at The Graduate Hotel. The members were warm and friendly and I found myself in separate, substantive conversations with, as chance would have it, two school-based mental health professionals (one being a retired, 89-year-old Ph.D; the other, younger and working full-time in the thick of it).

"Education" was the first word across their lips when I asked about two mental health experts election priorities.

Even in an affluent area like Annapolis, public schools are woefully underfunded and understaffed. The younger voter I engaged with, who works all grades K-12, right off the bat started talking about the level of trauma that she's seeing in students and the common occurrence of "crises" that she's called in on.

Our older retiree said her focus had always been re-thinking the one-learning-style-fits-all teaching method and saw this as a major contributor to students not reaching an otherwise available higher academic potential and thus, better life outcomes.

And then, our said retiree turned the conversation to Trump. I asked her if she could remember the first time she realized she was completely disgusted by him (her words). She started out with, "Well, at first I was amused by him...He was amusing." Not the opening line I had necessarily expected.

I crossed the room to engage with a neutral-appearing individual, who was holding a Trader Joe's brown paper shopping bag, but they told me, "I don't want to be rude, but I really have to get going." No hard feelings; I respect a schedule. I'll catch up with you next time.

Toward the end, I worked my way up to some stumping. I shared with the dynamic and well-read D30 members that undeniably, a correlation to the constant assault on the federal funding of education and other essential services like health care is that Congress is 77% male. Congress has a hormone imbalance. Education and health care are professions traditionally and still predominantly staffed by women. If Congress were even 50% women, I wonder if education and health care would be more effectively funded and prioritized. I wonder if the FDA would have conducted its stated goal of 19,000 inspections (compared to the 1,200 they actually did) of food factories world wide and the lead chromate wouldn't have ended up in American children's apple sauce (and make no mistake, lead exposure will MESS YOU UP).

No preservatives.

Gluten free.

Laced with lead chromate to make that cinnamon color "POP"

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