I wish I could give you the feeling...

that I had today when I got out of my meeting at 2:15... I was out in the oxygen and I could just hang out and run some errands during the daylight.. My students are being taught by a substitute and that is fine by mee... :-) I wish you could feeeeeel how wonderful it was just to have time during the day outside of my building. Ahhh I gotta get a job that has an office and a lunch hour!!! I wanna talk to my friends on the phone and blog and all of that stuff that normal people do... Ahhhhhhh SOooooooI wish I could give you this feeling of this one day without kids.. and an early day off :-)

If you could only see...

how black people are doomed... I feel like such a pessimist, psuedo Uncle Tom when I say it, but I look in my classroom everyday and I see no hope. I ask someone to read 3 paragraphs.. it doesnt happen...because that is TOO MUCH!! "I do read... on the video games they have words.. and you have to read that.. and that counts!"

"This book doesnt have pictures?"
"Is heaven a state?"

According to my 12 year olds..

Heaven is a state.
The national anthem is Amazing Grace.
There are 52 states in the US.
There are 20 stripes on the flag, and they stand for the continents.
Africa is a continent.
Most of the people in the United States are black.
Jesus Christ is the holy book of Islam.
Quran is the leader of Christianity.
Ethiopia sounds like an amusement park.

I had two boys get taken away in handcuffs today and searched at the front door of the school because they decided to fight. One called the other a bitch and from there it was on.

Their classmates say, "I ain't scared to go to jail. It aint nothing. I'ma fight anybody. I dont matter if I gotta go to jail, but I aint no punk."
It was one of the saddest moments I've had in a while seeing these two little boys, both 12 years old, taken away to jail. Getting searched by a police officer, with metal handcuffs tightened around their wrists. From student to criminal in 10 mins. This is the new right of passage for our young men. Getting locked up. Both of them stood there, with no tears in their eyes, following the same path that so much of their family has in the past. This is not an unfortunate circumstance or an anomoly, for them... this is life. These young boys are started on a path that will continue to explain that absence of black fathers from parent teacher conference night and the fact that only one line on any contact form is filled out. These men are absent because there is no one to teach them what to do when they show up.

Who are the men who will step up and take the charge of fathering these black children so that the successful men they see aren't just images on BET?

They build jail cells based on 3rd grade test scores. I'm sure some of my students have had them reserved since then. I talk to them, try to get them to understand that education is all you have, but pride is more important. Reputation is all that they have.. and in black schools having the reputation of being an excellent student has no value.

Write a sentence. Read a book. Learn something.. That's all I want from my students. Learn something besides song lyrics and how to crank that Soulja Boy, Spongebob, Lion King.

If you have a sibling, cousin, nephew, niece, this Christmas buy them a book and read it with them.

25 is a new bracket

So I've been 25 for month now, today... And I am realizing that I am clearly in a new bracket.I dont know what is going on in the world of the teens.. I dont watch MTV (except The Hills.. Heidi is such a bitch!) or BET..I hate the fact that 106 and Park is sooo damn loud..why is Roxci always hollering!

My students say things and mention people who I have never heard of. As I watched the VMAs, I wondered who are these people? What are these songs? I often find myself saying things that remind me of my mother, "Hey show me how to do the Soldier Boy?" or "I thought it was the Fall Out Boys? Well why is it Boy if there are more than one of them?" My students mention things about the Beef going on with Kanye and 50 Cent and I cant even think of the beat of their new singles.. I wonder where my cool went..I used to be hip..but now I feel ultra lame..Like I should be listening to Anita Baker songs on my CD player or something..

I am 25..I am more concerned with whether interest rates will drop, than when any of these celebrity babies will. Is J. Lo pregnant? I heard that on the radio..then I turned to NPR to hear about the war in Iraq and the Iowa Caucus.

I used to be concerned with other things.. but now anything that doesnt have to do with my bills or my job or my homies.. I cant manage to care longer than it takes me to laugh at the ridiculousness of it being on the news... Oh well.. I'm in a new bracket now, I guess its good that I'm getting my grown woman on.

A Teacher's Tirade

I am a teacher, trained to teach. Not with the intention of it being a transition into law school or some other ballin' ass career... so I do i get treated like a moron everyday by people with online PhDs who think they are hot shit? Hmmm. I dont know. I got parents complaining cause we ask that they bring in tissues. I got meetings 4 days out of 5 day week of pre-planning, which leaves me with after hours left to plan.. I am left without a teacher's edition to the new book that I am supposed to teach out of in 4 days but i just got it yesterday.

So many days this summer, people told me how lucky I was to have the whole summer off... well to you I say.. just be glad that when you are at lunch you can eat it without 400 adolescents eating with you...heck you can probably leave your office to get it and not have to get permission from your boss.. And you probably don't look forward to the quiet moment you get on the toilet... still in the back of your mind wondering if some child has lost his mind in your office..

I do it because I love it. I had so many kids come up to me at Open House happy to see me after a summer that to them felt like forever.. and I had some parents excited to meet me cause they heard all about me but never got to meet me and they just wanted to shake my hand. I want to teach every student but I can't be responsible that every child in my classroom will succeed any more than a UPS driver can be responsible for every one of who they are trying to deliver to will be home. All i can do is keep trying again and again to deliver my message. I love kids.. I just want to know that I am respected for what I do... and not by the praise that I get from people who say, "God Bless you for tending to those kids, I know I couldn't do it."

I want to be respected by those who I serve and those who hired me by them simply trusting that I know what I am doing and that I am doing my best everyday not as a teacher but for my students. That I want them to become the people who I can look back on and say... I am really proud of the person you can become and I am happy that I had a small something to do with it. That's all.

Poor Vick

I am sick of Michael Vick. I am sick of hearing about him and his charges. To be perfectly honest, I was sick of Michael Vick before I knew who he was. When I moved down to Atlanta that 7 was there on so many backs. I thought he was a white man for a year, and now I know who he is and kinda wish I didnt. I wish I didn't have to hear about his charges, whether it be about marijuana possession or dog fighting. I believe that he should be given a fair trial but I think he should also be sitting at home without pay like so many other people who have gotten caught up in the law in one way or another.

And I think that he should be ashamed and I am not going to support him. I think that if the allegations are true, he has pissed away a wonderful opportunity by getting involved in something not only illegal but highly immoral... But he is the R. Kelly or Mike Tyson of football and so black folks will continue to worship him despite what he did and how things turn out because once you achieve that kind of celebrity status, nothing can bring those black men down... and that i think is the shame of it all.. So we shall wait and see but I predict that if he is a convicted, people will have free Vick signs up.. and women will cry at his sentencing and await for his return.. cause these celebrities can do no wrong.

Public Service Announcement!!

Alright, So I was talking to one of my friends today and he was going to the gym. I told him I work out too (shut up, i do) So I said I was trying to hit the weights soon you know get strong... And he was not excited. I was intrigued.. thinking about how the guys I know are not into big chics.. and he put me on the game... He said three valuable nuggets of wisdom... and I said I would pass it along.

1. Men love that feminine jiggle!
2. Men do not find six-packs to be a turn on.
3. The pouch is NOT a bad thing!!!! :-)

So ladies.. I am hanging up my gym shoes.. I am going to eat some chips and let my feminine jiggle grow :-)

Men.. feel free to let me know your thoughts on this one man's opinion!

Dru Hill!

Dru Hill is the best. I was listening to their best of CD and I was back in love. Beauty, These are the Times, those are songs that make you falll in love!! Ooooo I wonder where they went.. and were is good old R&B like that nowadays. What happened to man beginning for you.. not your body, just you! Now Lloyd is trying to "Get it Shawty" and Chris Brown wants to get it on and "Poppin" but I want someone who wants me so bad that he will "swallow me like Reese's pieces" Whatever that means lol.

Real talk, reminiscing about the fun of high school and singing at the top of my lungs is my fave thing. I miss Dru Hill and all the groups like it. Boys II Men and all of them who could sing and who could make you fall in love with them even though they were partially busted... Ahh where are those days..Now I just get to look at these little PYTs dance across the dance floor with their abs out.. so much more about lust that love.. I'm trying to get my grown woman on and I need some grown woman R&B to keep it cracking!!

Power to End Stroke

If you have spoken to me in the past 6 months, then I'm sure I have spoken to you about the danger of stroke in African American women. I am becoming more and more passionate about this issue because of the effect that it has had on my life, and the lives of other women and families that I know. Women in my family have had mini-strokes in their 30s and having lost my father to stroke when he was just 44, I know how damaging a stroke can be. As young black women, we are in a position to change the trends. We can create active, healthy lifestyles that lower our risk for heart disease and stroke, and set a pattern to pass on to our children. Here is some statistics that illustrate how deadly stroke is:

Heart Disease and Stroke Facts about African-American Women

• African-Americans are at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than Caucasians. The prevalence of these diseases in black females is 39.6 percent, compared to 23.8 percent in white females.

• High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. The rate of high blood pressure for black or African-American females age 20 and older is 44.7percent.

• As many as 20 percent of all deaths in hypertensive African-American women may be due to their high blood pressure.

• The risk of heart disease and stroke increases with physical inactivity. Physical inactivity is more prevalent in women, African-Americans and Hispanics. For African-American females age 18 and older, 55.2 percent are inactive, compared to 36.2 percent of white females.

Among black or African-American females ages 20 and older, 77.3 percent are overweight or obese.

Source: American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2004 Update

What can we do:

Lower Blood Pressure – Knowing your blood pressure level is key and should be checked annually. If your test results show high blood pressure, work with your doctor through diet, exercise and perhaps medication to reduce it.

Stop Smoking – Smoking has been linked to many health concerns, and stroke is no different. Smoking actually has been known to double your risk of stroke.

Limit Alcohol Intake – If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than two drinks per day. More than two drinks per day is known to increase your risk of stroke by as much as three times. (I know... I know...)

Control Cholesterol – Have your cholesterol tested if you haven’t recently done so. If it is high, follow your physician’s instructions for controlling it, which may be through diet, exercise or medication. A high fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can lower your cholesterol by 6 to 9 percent.

Diabetes – Be tested for diabetes. Having diabetes increases your chances for having a stroke.

Exercise More – It might feel difficult to get started, but for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your chances of having a stroke. A brisk walk, swimming, bicycling, dancing or aerobics all can improve your health.

Consume Less Salt and Fat – Decreasing the amount of salt and fat in your diet lowers your blood pressure, thereby, reducing your chances of a stroke.

Recently, one of my mom's friend's had her second stroke at age 59. I dont know about you but at 59, I am planning to be traveling the world with my husband, estatic that the kids are out of the nest and we can finally get our groove back. And I know taht you all feel the same way.. so don't hold off on making small changes.. Work out for a half and hour... that just means a little less Maury or Charm School.. you will lower your risk and your dress size LOL We have to live healthy because we want to live a long time!!!

I'm just saying this.. cause I love you!

Happy Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day weekend. In honor of this weekend celebrating those fallen soldiers who have given their lives defending our country.. or at least fighting for it, VH1 is having a Flavor of Love Marathon and I am ALL about it. Who doesnt want to revisit Boots, Buckwild, Deelishus, and all of them acting a fool. I love ignorance, and maybe it's wrong to laugh at people who are acting crazy and being complete fools, but I thoroughly enjoy it. Just like other generations had their moments, where were you when JFK was shot? we have our moments.. Where were you when Pumkin spit on New York??? And I am all about it. Reality TV gets real.

Im off for the summer so you can tune back in to my killer blog.

I Shouldna left you, without a dope blog to laugh to...

So, its been a minute, but I am bizzack. So many things have happened. School is going well. My students are kinda crazy but they are darlings too, so I work with them on not being so crazy and a little more darling. I went to New Orleans and there will be more on that later... but on to my real blog...

One day i was listening to the radio on the way to work and Jennifer Hudson's "And I am Telling You" from the Dreamgirls soundtrack came on and I wondered..."Is Jennifer Hudson going to bring singing back?" In a world where Cassie, Ciara and Rihanna grind their attractive, poppy and yet not vocally inclined selves to success, where are the real singers? I mean we know that MJ Blige has made a serious comeback, with a couple Grammy wins earlier this week, but she is old school... Nowadays, a girl has to be able to grind and all of that more than sing. She has to be able to pose on FHM and King, straddling a chair and eating cherries, so that she can make a hit. But listening to Jennifer Hudson, okay I will admit it, I was singing along with Jennifer Hudson... I was thinking.. this girl can really sing. She can sing in a way that makes you feeeel what she is feeling... I think she might be singing back. Where a girl with brown skin, and with a little more to love can step out on the stage take the nominations, go platinum and be divine enough to go to the top of the charts, without talking about grinding and doing extra credit. I would like to take it back to the point where a woman can sing and she can be super dope... and be just that without having body or color problems.

Go jennifer.. Represent chi-town. Hold it down girl.