Posts Tagged With: learning

learning to do what’s right

I know what it’s like to be poor in America.
And I mean poor. The kind of poor in which a family is chronically on the verge of homelessness.
I know what it’s like to be a woman in America.
A place in which my rights to my own bodily autonomy hang by a thread. A place where I remain constantly vigilant whenever and wherever I am out in the world.
I understand being fearful.
I understand being hungry.
I understand feeling my effort to improve my life falling consistently short.
But even though I know these situations, I cannot fathom the depth of feelings they would bring if I was a person of color instead of a white woman.

I understand grief. I understand trauma. I know how hard it is to experience these huge feelings.
I understand the need for peaceful protest. My God, I understand the need for non-peaceful protest.
I find myself working so hard to understand how deep and wide is the pool of fear and grief that causes people to destroy their homes and businesses. That the only way to express that desperate depth of feeling is to lash out at your own neighborhoods.
I have no way of understanding the endless generational racial trauma constantly pounding down on people of color. That level of pain. That constant barrage of fear and grief and killing.
No human should be made to live like that!

What is going on in America is frightening!
The status quo is sick and wrong! It needs to change!
I have so many feels and no where to go with them.
I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to do.
But I have to try!

I don’t know what’s the right thing to do.
I am fearful of doing the wrong thing.
I am fearful that by doing the wrong thing, I’ll contribute to making the situation worse.
I am fearful that by doing nothing to avoid doing the wrong thing I am actively making the situation worse.

Because I’m a white woman, I feel like my voice can be easily misconstrued as disingenuous and I feel unsure about speaking out. However, I realize my silence is me being complicit.
I feel like my duty is to listen and learn as much as I can.
I feel like my duty is to support those who need it.
I feel like my duty is to help educate people. Especially people like me who won’t ever have to worry because of the color of their skin.

We are one human family.
I am resolved learn how to be a true ally.
I may stumble and make things temporarily worse. But I am committed to doing what is right. I am working toward being a true member of this human family.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

things are just things

Y’all know Thing 1 and her family will be living in our house for a few months starting some time in July.
Y’all know YBW and I are eager to purchase and move into that townhouse.
The first of these will cause a change in the way we live in this house.
The second how we live in our new house.

This got me thinking about how I currently live in this house, how I want to live my remaining time in this house, and how I want to live in the new house.
Not how YBW and I live together. Those things must be decided by us as a unit.
I’m thinking how I want to live and what that means for me as a member of our household.

This thought process has been somewhat active as we begin to make preparations, but hatched into actual thoughts when I sent a photo to Thing 1 and Thing 2 asking if either of them had any interest in this item.

The story is my great aunt made this lamp for me. I don’t know when, but I do know I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my bedroom.
This Raggedy Ann lamp is a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I don’t have any strong feels about it.
Thing 1 remarked that it’s one of those things that just stuck around.
The more I considered this, the more I realized that’s not a mindful way to live. At least I feel that way now about how I want to live.
Of late, I’ve worried that it may seem as though, and sometimes even feels like I’m just purging to purge, but I’m actually being super mindful about the way I want to live.
And what I surround myself with.
And what I leave behind needs to be the truest representation of the me I am (was?), and be simple for my daughters to handle.

I have this feeling it’s like shedding skin…
Or some sort of evolutionary process…
Leaving behind who you were in a mindful and respectful way and making room to become the next version of you…?

This is the last year of my forties, a natural phase of evolution as we get ready for a decade change. As I look at my life, I see how much my surroundings impact the way I live. By going through my things in a respectfully mindful way, I can prepare and environment that will meet my needs. Living my intention. Thriving in an environment that gives me everything I need with the bonus of things that foster learning and creativity. An environment in which I have enough room and the proper tools to grow into the next version of me.

Even though this lamp has been in my life as long as I can remember I don’t have any real feels about it.
Lack of feels is a strong indication that I don’t need it in my life which obviously means there’s no place for it in my house.
Purging to purge isn’t always healthy.
But being mindful about how I curate my environment is incredibly healthy.

My mom was not a full blown horder, but she was sure as hell a packrat. What I’ve learned about her since she’s been gone is that she saved things to fill emotional emptiness. By simply having these things she could feel the feels she didn’t have inside her.
She saved things that meant something because of the feels they evoked in her. Feels she couldn’t experience any other way.
My ex husband is exactly the same.
There is something about possessing particular items that provides some sort of emotion they otherwise lack (lacked). I truly believe it reinforces their stunted emotional growth. Then the weight of the things traps (trapped) them, so there’s no room to learn, or create, or grow.

I understand having great big feels about certain items. For me, a specific example of this is my Grandaddy’s wallet. It is of absolutely no use to me, but the feelings that bubble up in me when I hold it make it worth keeping.
But that is one particular item that is in a special place in my bookshelf that I can go to when I want to feel the intensity of those feels.
It doesn’t impact the way I live. It doesn’t block creativity or inhibit learning. It doesn’t waste space. It doesn’t keep me from growing as a human.
And I know as I write this that there will come a point in time I’ll be willing to let it go. Today is not that time.

I can’t be trapped by possessions. I need freedom to move. If I can’t move, I can’t grow.
I need to grow!
I want to evolve in my relationships with my friends.
I want to evolve in my relationships with my daughters.
I want to evolve with my granddaughter as she builds relationships.
I want to evolve in my relationship with my precious husband.

Things are just things.
At this stage of my life, my main focus is to curate my surroundings in a way that helps me thrive. Living my intention, learning and creating, and growing into the next version of me gives me all the feels.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

terrifying and strange and beautiful muchness

Thing 2 sent this via snapchat one day last week. It triggered in me a deeply buried memory of a poem I read or heard…before Warsan Shire’s words became the backbone of Beyonce’s Lemonade.
screenshot_2016-08-10-10-16-35.png
Thing 2 is a curious beast. She struggles with her place in our family. She struggles with her place in the world. She is the kind of girl that defies labeling. Like Alice, her muchness is undefinable.
She is cursed with the kind of awareness that not many of us possess. The kind of awareness that sends one straight into one’s head with a great deal of difficulty to get back out again.
Thing 2 doesn’t really have enough life experience under her belt yet that these words ring true in the deepest levels of her soul. But they ring true on the surface.
She knows that even if she doesn’t completely understand it.
What she does know is that she’s a bit different from most people.
The Hatter said to Alice, “‎You’re not the same as you were before,” he said. You were much more… muchier… you’ve lost your muchness.” Thing 2 was muchier when she was a small girl…life has gotten in the way. Her muchness isn’t gone, she’s just kind of forgotten where it is inside of her.
She knows she’s meant to be more than she is now. She just doesn’t know quite what to do about it.

Here is “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love.” by Warsan Shire, for my Thing 2 and for all the women out there who are much more muchier than they realize.

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

storytelling part three (classroom fun)

Thursday was about educating parents a little bit.
Sometimes I worry that they don’t understand why I don’t seem concerned that some of these kids can’t write their own names. Some of these kids can barely recognize their own names.
Guess what. That is OK!
Know why? It’s developmentally appropriate.
I don’t rush reading and writing.
I have a child in my class who can write her name but doesn’t know any of the letters in her name. Please tell me how that is remotely acceptable?
So I stick to my philosophy. Kids learn best through play, through authentic experience. They learn when their brains are developmentally ready to learn. And three and four year old brains (for the most part) are not designed to read and write.
Some of my kids can do both. Some of them can do neither. This is me explaining to parents why either one is going to be just fine.

(email title)
Do you know what we know?

We wrote a story today and guess what!?! There was no bloodshed! Nobody got eaten! No death! No destruction! No mayhem!
And guess what else? It kind of made Miss Robynbird a little bit sad. She realized she kind of likes it when we create a great story and then destroy it. And here’s why…

She doesn’t think we know this, she’s not sure you know this, but we are learning SO much when we write our own stories. (bloodshed and all)

We’re learning parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.
(We mostly use the first four, but we’re big fans of conjunctions too.)
We’re learning basic parts of a sentence: subject, action, and sometimes an object. (Isn’t it great when the action is bloodshed?)
We’re touching on things like adverbs and adjectives, we’re exploring the ideas of conjunctions and prepositions.
We’re doing these things because we know every story has to have “subject” and often times we choose something familiar like a princess or a witch. A pronoun is when we say ‘she’ or ‘her’ or ‘they’ instead of ‘the witch’ or ‘the princess’.
Then we will talk about what that subject is doing which is the action.
Oftentimes there is an object, like a dragon, or shark. These can be subjects too, but we don’t really use them that way.
We use the words ‘then’ and ‘and’ a LOT and those are totally conjunctions. That means they hook the parts of sentences or stories together.
Sometimes then is a preposition too.
We’re not yet super awesome at verb tense, or pronoun perfection. We sometimes don’t quite get it exactly right, but we’re working on it, and we’re having SO much fun!

We’re not being told this is what we’re learning, but when we start a story with a queen and then half way through start saying princess, Miss Robynbird and Miss J remind us that there isn’t a princess in our story. This keeps us on track with our subject.
We sometimes forget where the story is taking place, too. We start out in the woods and then try to say that a shark comes. But we remind each other there isn’t any water in the woods for a shark to be.
This is real literacy!
It doesn’t look like elementary school grammar.
It isn’t us deconstructing sentences.
But it really is us learning.
We weren’t sure if you honestly knew that. We weren’t sure if Miss J and Miss Robynbird understood that we realized that.
We just wanted you to know that we know what’s up.
Now that we explained that cool stuff to you, wanna hear our story?

VS:
Once upon a time, a princess comed and a prince comed and a witch comed and and dragon too! And they loved bread so they ateV bread together.
EY:
The prince, and princess, and witch ride on the dragon to Wegmans to get more bread, chocolate chip bread. And they got grapes, and sushi, and broccoli, and tomatoes, then they went back home and ate all that.
DA:
They went to the baseball game and played with all the kids. Then the witch was flying her broom around. And they went to Target on their way home.
RC:
The witch put the princess in jail and they played basketball and after that, some tennis.
ZB:
Then the princess didn’t go to jail, but…what happened was, a big big monster came and the princess trapped the monster. And then the witch, prince, dragon and princess played some more.
SL:
They locked the monster, but he had a key. So, he got out of the trap and he made they breakfast and left. Then he went to Target and said goodbye to Target and go home.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

preschool might be fun after all

I finally got my classroom set up in a way I feel will be successful for the friends and for me.

art center in the foreground

art center in the foreground

manipulatives, books and the cozy corner

housekeeping, cozy corner, books, and manipulatives

raspberry scented playdough on the table, block center, and housekeeping

raspberry scented playdough on the table, block center, and housekeeping

I’m slowly adjusting to the new way of being…no more tears, but I meet with the director a LOT! You know how Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”?
Yeah, that’s me. I wasn’t ready to be the lightning rod of change, but the mantle has been draped upon me so I’ll do my best to rock it.

YBW says, “You are a F*&#ING ROCKSTAR!”
My internal jury is still out on that, but it sure is good to hear!

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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