Twenty-fine

I am turning 29 tomorrow, and I have no clue how to feel. I am no doubt blessed beyond measure, loved without reservation,  trusted without borders, and truly happy. There were times when I’ve expressed thoughts about feeling under accomplished, but quickly hushed because there was no way someone with my accomplishments can feel like they haven’t done enough. My thoughts, however,  were deeper than my educational/career background.  There were these lofty goals that I initially set for myself that I have yet to achieve,  and often times this leads to the aforementioned sentiment.

I’ve also been thinking heavily about my father. In a previous post I’ve mentioned how hard it was for me to even fathom the idea of being a fatherless child. I have since then hung those thoughts.

The void is still there though. It’s even harder as an adult to be without your father because you have certain expectations. My kids won’t have a maternal grandfather. He won’t be there at my law school graduation. He won’t give my man the speech or silent threat when he acts up. And he for sure won’t be able to walk me down the aisle.  At 29 this last part hurts the most. Sure I’ve got uncles, and they love me, but nothing compares to the love  Dave had for me. It was hands down a pure  unadulterated and unshakeable love. I don’t know how some folks can decide to be out of their child’s life by their own volition. The love of a parent is second to God’s love for humanity. I obviously have to muddle through this because this situation will never change.

In order to fill the void of feeling under accomplished and the feeling of being less of a woman because my dad is dead I want to do great things at 29. Some things will be hard because 9 months of it will be spent slaving over law school books, but we’ll see.

1.  Sit on a rooftop in the rain (with someone who won’t get so fed up and push me off lol….because I act up sometimes)    
2. Summer skip day to the beach (in the works….shhhh don’t tell my boss)
3. Participate/Support a strike
4. Freedom trail (did it 12 yrs ago)
5. Learn to ride a bike
6. Become completely vegetarian instead of the part timer I currently am
7. Run a race
8. Still haven’t had my cupcake and champagne (side eye to my sisters)
9.  Adopt a patient lifestyle (did you read my last blog)
10. Watch the entire 2 seasons of Hannibal over and the 3 movies (because I am so confused) 
11. Do a 30 for 30 blog series (That’s when you do a blog post for everyday of the month. I know what you are thinking lol….but I’ll try)

I’ll add more things to this, and probably do things that I don’t want to share.

Everything aside I am excited for 29. I am thankful and eternally grateful for many things. I look forward for this year to be nothing short of amazing.  I am anticipating some hard times, but the good will outweigh the bad.

L’chaim,

Me

Each one Teach one!

I was having a semi-heated debate with one of my Kings on twitter (@ me so I know it’s real). He made a comment about a specific teacher he was observing in a Rochester, NY classroom.  For security reasons we will call him Bob.

Bob:  After observing 5th graders this morning teachers need to stop looking at teaching as a job, but as a duty.

I immediately disagreed with Bob’s statement. He knows that I am not a teacher, but because I was so passionately disagreeing with his comment he knew that this was close to home.

Bob: “I must have hit a sore spot. Your boo a teacher?”

Bob now knows that I did not disagree with his comments because of my boo.

Urban education reform and development is near and dear to my heart. My future career will consist of me making huge dents in the foundation and policies that currently exist, but I need help.  I need everyone to realize how wrong the current system is and help make a difference–parents especially.

(No shade–I promise) Our current system plays a huge role in stifling the development of our children– especially those with so much potential. They are grouped into classrooms based on their age, and not so much their abilities. A curriculum is then forced on them.  When these groups of children do not perform as well as their peers in the classrooms this is called an achievement gap. ( Achievement Gap)The very same system that creates these groups also create this term that plays a role in further dividing our precious children.  Those that are devoted to bridging this gap place blame on impoverished conditions that force the students to be separate from their peers.  Teachers are blamed for passing illiterate children; teachers are blamed when students do not receive passing scores on the standardized tests; and the list continues. The blame, however, is not placed on parents who believe that education ceases when children step out of their classrooms.

When I mentioned to Bob that parents are number 1 to blame when it comes to failures that children experience in the classroom he informed me that some parents just so happen to be parents, but teachers choose the job.  As soon as you make the decision to have a child you are mandated by the universe to be a teacher to your child. Some students do not see inside of a classroom until they are about 5 years of age. By that age unless your child has some cognitive disabilities they are sponges that soak up everything in their environment. They are even able to produce better than some of us adults. And while I do fully understand that some parents lack education, and it might be hard for them to be intellectually involved there are other things that can be done:

Encourage educational freedom: don’t let your child feel that because they are in a certain grade their knowledge should stop at that grade level. They should be able to learn whatever it is that will play a role in their intellectual and cultural development.

Feed your child: some parents leave this important task to the schools. It’s not the schools responsibility to feed your child. Food is one of the most important fuels that help in development. If your child does not receive a nutritional meal to start their day they will not function. And if you don’t have the funds to feed your child make sure you find some assistance quick!

Be available: Children ask questions. This is all part of their growth. Please don’t stifle their development because you feel you don’t have time to answer their questions. If you don’t have an answers you can always be honest and let them know. Use resources (Google) to find the response.  And if for some reason you feel it’s not an appropriate question there are different ways to respond instead of shutting them down.

Learn with them

Read with/for them

Give them homework: homework doesn’t necessarily have to be in the books. Teach them how to hang up a portrait or how to paint an object. They will thank you later.  Be as gender neutral as possible.

This list can go on for days, but for time constraints I will stop here. Be creative and have fun when educating your child at home. Don’t be so quick to place blame on a system that sets up students for failure from the beginning. It’s a hard task, but it’s also a necessary task. By no means is this telling parents what they should or should not do.  Barriers do exist- I acknowledge that, but that doesn’t mean anything if you are determined to help make a difference in the life of your child who will in turn make a difference for someone else’s child life.

Be great…encourage them to be great!

What do you think??

En tout cas,

Me