This one will bring tears to your eyes! i see music as the saving grace for our nations of the world.
just … imagine…music…teaching…cooperation

Bobby McFerrin walks into a UN meeting and leads them in this demonstration of togetherness and cooperation. no need for interpreters, armed guards, lobbyists, nuclear weapons…..

just hearts and sound. music from within.

why is this so hard to imagine?

now listen to it again from the beginning with your eyes closed and see this happen. if we all do this…

it will

Goddess

Watch This…. Then Read…. Then Act!!!!

If you watch nothing else in your life with a mission for change, watch this 20 minute clip with a direction of where our wisdom may work for us.

in my personal experience, this is how i feel. this “game” that i am forced to play in order to do what is right some days knocks the wind out of my sails.
i operate on the idea that we need a huge change in not how we live, love, and work, but in WHY we do it.
last night during our family meeting, we touched on grandma Melernea’s gold kaiser card. Barry Schwartz talks about the janitors who have the wisdom to do their jobs well with the intent of offering caring service to others. when i think of my grandmother and the fact that she did housekeeping for as many years as she had when others ask if she is a doctor, the answer should be “no” with a reply of “better”.
like the janitor who cleaned the floor in the room of the comatose man TWICE because the father who had been sitting vigil for 3 months didn’t see it done and was upset; like the housekeeper who did not vacuum because another family who had spent a great deal of time in a waiting room were asleep; and for the janitor who stopped mopping the floor so that a patient who was trying to regain strength could walk the halls.

we have to remember that so much of what makes this world a fantastic place comes from those who society looks at as the bottom of the pickings pile. we should never give up hope that doctors, lawyers, politicians, and yes even businessmen on Wall Street can reach for greatness by being more like janitors and housekeepers and persons who work with the public and do their jobs well and with wisdom simply… because… it … is … right

Goddess

To be young, gifted, and Black

I just dropped my son off for his 5 day Japanese intensive at the CSUS Academic Talent Search. I first want to say that I am not paranoid and I am not a bigot. I had to have what I like to call the “uncle Joe” discussion with him before I signed him in. I wanted him to recognize the lack of diversity in the student body for the program.
“Milo, do you notice anything about the students you see here?”

His first answer was that they were all alone. Then I clarified my question.

“Milo, do you notice anything about the kids and the color of their skin?”

He said they were all white. I don’t think I am creating a paranoid kid when I explained to him that many of the kids here were white and Asian for a REASON. I explained that in special circumstances such as this enrichment program, it is EXPECTED that whites and Asians be here. The general thought is that they have parents who either recognize the importance, have the money, have the time, care enough about their child’s education or a combination of all of these to want to send their kids here.

I can’t wait to see how Milo’s first day went. Either way it will be a teaching moment to remind him that it should not be a special case to be “Young, Gifted, AND Black”. It should be a blessing and an opportunity to grasp the brass ring as well.

Why is it not “important enough” or “out of reach” or unaffordable” or “just for those rich white and Asian kids”?

Why does society allow us a window of opportunity to doubt ourselves that continues through generations and leaves whole sectors of certain nationalities in the academic dust?

Read more later… I WILL share my opinion on these thoughts later.

Goddess

It takes a Village of Whup Ass to raise a child:back from the dark side

Perhaps I am being naive. Maybe I am being negative or maybe simply ignorant, but I am NOT angry. The last time I checked, no matter how much you study a particular culture you will never be able to rename your identity.

There is a possibility that I am just bitter with or tired of dealing with young teachers who believe they are being treated unjustly because they aren’t whatever ethnic group they have studied, researched, hung out with, or grew up around. So much that they may deem themselves “experts” on that topic.

Don’t get me wrong, if you were raised in a black family, then you for sure are as black as the next one. I know how it is, you trip when people grip their purses tightly as you walk by or guard their children in the playground because THEY are intimidated by little children.

My belief is that it takes far too much energy to think past the color of a person’s skin and see them for who they really are… HUMAN!

Learn all you want about a culture in your studies. Offer an academic perspective based on studies but don’t write the “cultural education bible” based on what you assume as opposed to what you have LIVED!

Just a thought from your friendly neighborhood

Goddess

A new chapter in my life…

I am taking an adaptive Physical Education class and I am having a blast in it. The class is an introduction to the instruction of PE to children s with disabilities. As a part of the class, we are required to do service hours with a few projects around town. I chose project Play. We have many children who are brought together from the area with mild to moderate disabilities. Children in this program can be working with Autism, Down’s syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities and some physical disabilities.

Tonight was my first night and I was assigned Jacob*. He came with his grandmother Verne*. He is staying with Verne while his mom is on active duty in the military. Jacob has high functioning Autism. He is bright as everything and so willing to direct and make sure everything is done to his liking.

I filled out an info card with Verne and then went to play (he would not come to meet me so I had to go out and initiate contact). Jacob has some issues with socialization and behavior. He is an only child so it is complicated by the fact that he is not the most social child and already is the center of his universe by his circumstance.

We played. I mean we PLAYED. He wasn’t sure how to start so he ran from corner to corner trying to find things to do. We played with some bouncy balls and then I could see his mind switch on. He got a jump rope and proceeded to turn a basketball hoop into a trap for bouncy balls. It was interesting to see that many people around him seemed to think that he was having trouble doing what he liked. He would take a large ball and put it in a tube so that it would block the exit. He would then stuff as many balls as he wanted into it to make an avalanche. I watched and watched and watched him. I wanted to see how he was doing. He was having a ball until an adult came by to “help” him. She took the ball out and I could see his fists clench and his face turn down and his elbows go out. He was ready for a fight.

Let’s just say that distraction is a wonderful thing and works even better when you are in a gym filled with toys. We found something else to do and he ran me for the entire 90 minutes I was there. He wanted to collect balls and it took me a minute to recognize that he only wanted one kind of ball. BLUE! I could not figure out why he was ignoring so many other balls. THAT was exhausting and I had a fear that we were going to be going around all night looking for every blue ball so I helped him along by making it a hunt. We found all of the balls.

Jacob is working on sharing and his socialization skills. So I worked on him asking for things from some of the other kids. He would have me start then he would finish. It took a while to go to the other kid who loved to collect balls. He crept up to the side of the play structure the other child was in and tried to start the conversation, when up popped the other child offering him a ball. You should have seen his eyes light up!

At the same time, another group of kids had gotten a hold of the balls that he had so diligently collected and began to spread them through the gym. I hopped into distraction mode and let him know that we needed to go look for something else blue. That came in the form of the roller turtle. You know those little things we used to have races with at the roller rinks when we were kids? I chased and chased and chased and yeah. I’m still tired.

My ass was exhausted. I had to sit down so I asked him to count the balls with me. He was more than willing to watch me count but didn’t want to help. Oh well, this is called Project Play. So I counted (and RESTED) and he watched.

Jacob has high functioning Autism. Most people would look at him now and think he was a kid with only behavior problems if they did not know his history. His mother knew something was not going right with her son’s development and she took it upon herself to make sure that services were in place. She did a fabulous job because he is functioning at a level that will make things more manageable as time goes on. For him and for his teachers and peers.

I have to admit it, I am the kind of person who will fall in love with a child at first sight or make up my mind that I don’t want to work with them as well. He is a challenge, but I am enjoying my time. When it was time to go, he switched to “NO” mode. That was a little difficult to deal with but he recognized that I was not going to tolerate that for long. He was running and playing and scooting around on the turtle and was not ready to go. I reminded him of all the things I did for him and let him know that I have a little boy that I have to get home to and take care of.

We got him to put up the toys and headed out the door and we waked to the car. I chatted with Verne on the way out and started to walk to my car.

Jacob grabbed my arm and took me back to Verne’s car, opened the car door and motioned for me to come with them. I let him know that I was sorry I could not go but that I would see him next time and into the car he went.

I am going to love this physically exhausting opportunity. I was not sure if I could offer any more love to a child and there I was handing out more.

The school from hell

there is such a thing as a poor education. i have seen it in a few instances in my life.
a parent sometimes thinks that they are doing the right thing by their children by putting them in schools that push academics.
there is so much more than academics. there is the heart of a child. i see no reason whatsoever for my child to be in a school where they rank academics and numbers over your child.

I’m sorry but to have your child in a school where a majority of the teachers don’t even have children of their own is a problem.
My son goes to a school where academics are paramount but the teachers have it stuck in their minds that the children can recognize, and modify behavior on their own.
my son was in the office when i got there today.
he pulled a yellow for staring off into space
he pulled a blue for talking in line
he pulled an orange for talking in the library
he pulled a red for talking in line again
and he pulled a black for playing with his pants during reading time.
the black got him sent to detention in the office. not to the principal where they could have a discussion about the actions that got them there in the first place.
the teacher does nothing but tell the child they are going to pull a card. granted, the child does know why they are pulling the card after the fact.
the child is not building upon any lessons given to them from the teacher.

my son is listening and does not need to see the teacher to learning.
teachers want children rapt with excited anticipation at the next word that will come out of their minds.
how do you teach a blind student who can’t see you?
how do you teach a Deaf student who can’t hear you?

you don’t send them to the office if they are getting the lesson and not causing a distraction.

…The School That Shall Not Be Named is a non-profit organization that opens and operates small, high-performing public charter schools that are preparing the most under served students for college. We provide our educators with the tools and support they need to provide a high quality, personalized education for every The School That Shall Not Be Named student. Our small schools and small classes give you the chance to know every student and his/her family at a personal level. Our network of schools across the state provide you with incredible opportunities to grow personally and professionally in various roles across the organization. We hope you join us in this important work for the children of California!

i am so glad i knew when to run. for my child’s sake and for mine.

bleh

goddess

Let’s Bring Polite Back

I don’t understand why children go off to college and forget all of their manners. Is that because they are spreading their wings away from the parental nest and want to test the boundaries? Maybe it is because they were raised with no manners. I swear to Goddess, if one more time, I am walking as far to the right as I can and another 19 or 20 year old walks into me acting like I am blocking the road way, the shit is going to hit the proverbial fan.
I don’t know when lack of manners stopped being a rule and being rude became the social norm.
Probably about the time handwriting became an elective in elementary school.
I say that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ come back into fashion again. Let’s make it a mandatory class in high school like home economics. Teach kids how to cook and sew. How to balance a checkbook and how to open door for people and how to jusy be nice.
I hate to say that we are part of a culture who is hell bent on sending our manners up the road with the dinosaurs.
It’s time we bring old fashion, common sense, respectable ‘boy-don’t-you-make-me -have-to-snatch-you-up-in-public’ manners back.

Goddess

going back to school

Oh the horror of considering going back to school and being disappointed by what you think are your failures.
I have not failed. I have triumphed. I have managed to leave a destructive relationship, found a love of myself that I still battle with, but am growing more comfortable with day by day. I am proud of myself for taking a risk and coming here today. I sit in a room filled with many people who are noticeably younger than me but I cannot let that bother me. I will press through and continue to make strides toward the future that I want for my son and I.
I feel like I have wasted my time in junior college because I have what feels like nothing to show for my hard work. I had to take a break and call my Auntie Terrie for a kick in the ass. Necessary? Hell yeah. I am sick of my job at ATT. It is time to go. It is time to not be at a place in my life where I want to run but have nowhere to go. I want a place to run, so I will be able to take refuge in a place of solace.
So I have had my good cry… I have taken my time to fall apart. I have been through a fire drill and I am set.

This is MY choice. This is MY life. This is MY change. This is MY future.

Stay tuned…

Goddess

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