101 Things I Will Teach My Daughters

Thought Catalog

1. Chocolate is only a temporary fix.

2. A properly-fitting bra is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

3. Your happiness is your happiness and yours alone.

4. How to apply red lipstick.

5. How to wear the crap out of red lipstick.

6. A boyfriend does not validate your existence.

7. Eat the extra slice of pizza.

8. Wear what makes you feel gracefully at ease.

9. Love the world unconditionally.

10. Seek beauty in all things.

11. Buy your friends dinner when you can.

12. Wear sunscreen like it’s your second job.

13. Try with all your might to keep in contact with far-away friends.

14. Make the world feel at ease around you.

15. Walk with your head up.

16. Order a cheeseburger on the first date if you want to.

17. Never, ever bite your nails.

18. Swipe on some lipstick, put on your leather…

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12 Years a Slave

I recently saw the movie “12 Years A Slave”.  I had been putting off going to see it because I can’t stand watching torture or anyone/anything in pain (yes I take after my mother who couldn’t even stand to read the hunger games) and I knew it would lead to depression and open up difficult and painful questions/reflection. Andddd I was right!

The film was brilliant and the acting incredible, seriously phenomenal.  I don’t know how those actors put themselves in that state of mind and then recovered from it.  I definitely recommend that everyone and anyone should see it because it is such a well done movie.  I just wish there was more conversations being had after the movie.  Maybe there are, I am sure there are.  But it just feels like this powerful film had to of made a statement in the minds of Americans, and I am interested in what that statement was.  I would guess that most people left “12 Years A Slave” with one of the following reactions:

1. Man that was so awful I feel so bad for those people

2. I can’t believe that happened, thank God its not like that today (aka racism is over)

3. I feel like shit

and maybe shed a tear and did what I did with my friend who needed cheering up- watched 13 going on 30 (yes we really watched this after) .. and then life went on as such.  And when asked about the movie, the conversation went something along that lines of “Yes that was such a good movie, you have to see it!  It is really really sad though, you may need some tissues.”

When are we going to say to talk about slavery and teach our kids about slavery in a more meaningful way?  I really didn’t understand (well probably still don’t) the history of slavery story until college when I took an African history class.  This seems so odd to me since it was such a large part of our history, of the world’s history.  Not to mention the number of Africans that live on earth.  But when I left 12 years a slave I left with the third reaction “I feel like shit” +” what the fuck do I do now?”.  All I could think about was how things really have not drastically changed for Africans and 1. how much this sucks 2. how embarrassing it is.  Africans still have it the worst in the world, and are the lowest on the ladder.  They are the most oppressed population, they are the poorest, they are the hungriest, the list goes on.  This is even more true for African women.  And these things are all applicable for African- Americans too.  African Americans are still treated like shit in America.  Just because people are no longer in chains and or that were all allowed to use the same bathroom doesn’t mean we have reached racial equality or equity(which I like better than equality)!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a grateful American.  I feel very fortunate to live in a country where I have rights and were I feel safe (most of the time).  But it’s like we always have the “look how far America has come” conversation and I do want to have that conversation but I also want to have the “why the fuck has it taken us so long to come this far?” conversation along with the “we have so much further to go” conversation.  Now I know like-minded people are having these conversations (which is awesome and I need to find them), but it is my ambition to get those who aren’t reflecting on this, reflecting on this.  I guess the reaction I fear the most from this movie is #1 Man that was so awful I feel so bad for those people or #2. I can’t believe that happened, thank God its not like that today (aka racism is over).  Because this is obviously far from reality.  I just hope Americans spend more than 5 minutes reflecting on this movie.  And I hope that reflection is not pity.  I hope they are wrestling with the uncomfort they felt while they watched a free man get beaten, and the joy they felt when he was rescued with the simultaneous heartbreak as he left behind Patsey with the rapist slaveowner ( I could write another whole entry on Patsey and that scene alone–but I will save that for a later date).  I am optimistic about this because of today.  Today I read my students a story that was about racism and honestly this was accident.  I was not prepared for read aloud and just grabbed one of my co-teacher’s book.  The story was about a black boy who loved books and going to the library.  He wanted to check out books from the library  but was not allowed to because he was black.  He stood up for himself saying that it was not fair and that he deserved a library card– and then the police were called.  The book has a happy ending and the boy gets a library card from a nice white lady who gives in.  Anyway the conversation my kinders were able to have after this story was awesome.  They were stunned this little boy couldn’t get his library card and didn’t understand what the deal was. When I told them this was based on a true story (because there was a picture of the man in back of the book the story had been based on when he was a boy) they were even more shocked.  They made it clear they thought this was wrong with their words and faces.  They were also able to draw parallels between the boy and Rosa Parks.  My students rock.  So if five and six year olds can have this reaction to a book I hope that adults can have a reaction other than sympathy to this movie.  I challenge ya to 1. see the movie and 2. have a reaction to it.

On a light- hearted note– My friends and I found it pretty entertaining that Brad Pitt– who was a producer in the movie, casted himself as the “good guy”

AND

this woman is stunning

Lupita Nyong'o

A typical bodily fluid Thursday

When you are a kindergarten teacher there is “never a dull moment” … I really understand the meaning of this saying after teaching five and six year olds for the past 7ish months.  There are lots of laughter, tears, and body fluids.  Last Thursday there was lots of body fluids and then laughter…

Last Thursday I was feeling real good.  So good in fact that I decided to actually get ready for school that morning!  We had an open house that night for new incoming students so I decided I would make it a “look good feel good” Thursday!  I actually did my hair which for me only meant that I washed it and put hairspray in it to hold the curls (but hey for me this is a big deal).  I put my makeup on “the fancy way”– for me this means I put eyeliner on the top of my eyelid instead of the bottom– this really is an art people that I have never been able to master, which is why it is reserved for special occasions/when I am feeling good.  AND I wore my cutie black booties that have a little over an inch of a heel (again big deal because I wear my black converse from middle school 70% of my life).  I even threw on a v neck black sweater over my school polo shirt that we were required to wear.  I left for work feeeelin good and ready to start my day.

The day started as normal kids came in found their seat started working on the work while I checked their homework (yes these kinders have homework every night– more on this at a later time).  Leonardo came up to me and said his stomach hurt.  Quick background on Leonardo– this child is happy, highly entertaining, smart, funny, loves to be the center of attention, talks like he’s an adult, and wants my full attention 100% of the time– he also puked on a kid in front of the whole school at an assemble several months back.  Now since I hear the tummy ache story daily I told learned he should try to go to bathroom and get some water and see how he felt.  Leonardo did so, but I could tell he really was not feeling good and he was not being himself.  The haunting thought of him throwing up on Ricardo came creeping into my mind and I decided to send him to the office.

About 10 minutes later Leonardo comes back in the room with a note from the office that something like “no fever, should be fine”.  It school policy to send the child back to class if he or she does not have a fever.  So Leonardo comes back and joins the class on the carpet where we were doing our daily math meeting– talking about the days of the week, counting to 100 etc.  There was about 5 minutes left of math meeting and then my class would go to chess and I would have my first planning period of the day– when I look over at Leonardo and he has his head down.  Again, I know he is not well and make a mental note that I will talk to him and/or take him to the office after I drop my kids off at chess.  We are talking about dimes and pennies when I look back to check on Leonardo again and I see his hand in front of his mouth and see him gag.  I say “Leonardo!”  and BLAAHHHHAAATT (insert your personal puke noise association here)  Leonardo projectiles PINK vomit on to him, the carpet in front of him, and me (who was at least 3-5 away).  The class  screams and moves away, I do not have time to be upset about the puke on my cute outfit or in my hair so I try to block the children from the puke, get Leonardo from the trashcan, console him, and try to hush the “EWW!” and “Gross!” puke comments from the other students.

SIDE NOTE- Those who know me very well should be extremely proud that I did not gag or even get nauseous!  This is super impressive for me because I have always had real bad gag reflexes and tend to vomit on a dime.  For real though.. freshman year of college I pulled a rotten banana out of my backpack and just instantly vomited.  Needless to say, I’ve come a long way.

After I get my class to chess, call the office for cleanup help, and cleanup Leonardo, it is now time to clean myself off.  Well at this point I have 2 options  1.) wear puke clothes  2.) wear a student uniform  I choose the latter to prevent another puke incident from my stench.  So now I am wearing RFMA youth sweatpants, which are like those unattractive track pant style with red RFMA vertical writing up the legs, with a red long-sleeve RFMA polo, anddddd my adorable black booties.  Don’t worry I tucked the track pants into my booties which made me made me an even more trendy student.  So I go throughout my day being heckled by other teachers who mistake me for a student… but hey I thought my day could only go up from here!

At the end of the day we do math, usually we do math together on the carpet in a circle.  As soon as I sat down in the circle I smelt a very strong odor.  It was not puke, no this time it was the other p word PEE.  I started trying to smell the kids to my left and right and really couldn’t tell a difference.  Then I got up to go get some pattern blocks  and then I saw it.  The pee spot that I had been sitting directly in!  Yes the smell was coming from right underneath me, I was sitting in a pile of damp pee!  At this point I was just kinda pissed (pun intended).  The pee grossed me out way more than puke.

Next problem- Who da hell peed their pants and didn’t tell me?!  And there going to be going home with pee pants!  Only attempt improv solution I can think of .. I say to the class “Okay guys listen if you have an accident you have to tell me.  It’s okay accidents happen to everyone.  But I just NEED you to tell me!  I promise I won’t laugh or tell anyone.  Just PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME!”  Students respond with a little laughter and “yeah yeah okay Ms. GH we will.”  Needless to say no one came forward.  My one last attempt line them up to go home and go down the line and check out their pants and smell them.  So here I am going down the line trying not to look obvious police dogging it, kneeling down smelling each child.  Eventually one student looks at me like I am crazy and asks what I am doing, I reply with “nothing!” and keep smelling.  But I find NOTHING.  So not only did I sit in pee but I also sent some poor kid home with pee pants (poor parents).

Just another Thursday!

Oh and the next day I had another kid vomit during center time, luckily it only got on the floor!

The Bachelor — JP

So I have been indulging in the Bachelor/Bachelorette since high school.  Yes I know it’s a terrible show, sexist, racist, fake, annoying, ridiculous, etc etc.  But hey everyone has there vices and for awhile this show was mine.  I moved in with my partner this year so this was my first watching of the season with him around.  Well he loathes this show and cannot even stand to watch 2 minutes of it.  So after watching the first 2 episodes of Juan Pablo I decided to quit The Bachelor cold turkey..  1.) for my partner’s sanity 2.) for my sanity 3.) I moved away from my bachelor peeps who I watched the show with.

Throughout the season I received updates from Deb and friends… but when the season finale came along I decided I was going to treat myself and watch it (despite my partner’s begging)!  So I watched it and found out with the rest of the how much of douche Juan Pablo was.  But what I didn’t understand was why everyone was so friggin surprised by it.

Juan Pablo was just the first person to take advantage of the system(show) and  announce it publicly.  Juan Pablo was on there for shits and gigs, or fucks in gigs in his case.  He got to take off work, hang out with a bunch of beautiful women, in a bunch of beautiful places.. it was a great setup for him. ESPECIALLY since everybody LOVED him and wanted his bod on their bod.  He was in a great place with nothing to lose really.  Now everyone watching this show expects LOVE.  But REALLY??? C’mon folks this thing takes place in what an 8 week span?  With 30 women?  Forced love is not love.  Now sure you have your Sean and Katherine’s who are just 2  perfect people who maybe actually did fall in love on the show (unreal couple that I am actually obsessed with, especially Katherine).  But usually they either fall in love after the show when the cams aren’t around or more likely- fall out of love.  So why are we pissed at Juan Pablo for saying he likes this woman (who does not know him at all).  Personally, I don’t blame him at all.  I think if I were on the show I would have probably said the same thing.. “Oh I know you’re expecting marriage but I just really wanna say that I just really like you and enjoy your presence”   You can’t just make love happen, it doesn’t work like that.  We all know that but for some reason want to be livid with Juan Pablo for not saying I LOVE YOU!  There have been other jackasses in the past seasons that have not been given the heat that Juan Pablo has received.. like that one guy with the little boy who choose a woman and then like the next day said actually “oh I am actually  in love with the other girl I just rejected” and went back to the other girl in the final 2.  Bottom line here don’t hate (well in my opinion you should never hate anything or anyone) but don’t hate Juan Pabs for being a normal person who didn’t fall in love with a girl he knew for 8 only weeks and had like 5 dates with.  Don’t like the guy because he is dumb as a rock and treats women like shit.

Quick shout out to Clare who failed us when she confronted JP about what he said to her and completely ignored her intuition but then went and TOTALLY REDEEMED HERSELF when she got rejected and the confidence she had along with the brilliant deserved words she spoke to JP as she left the show.  As well as the class she showed on the after the rose show.  You go girl!  Also shout out to Charlene and Andi for being the 2 most awesomest women the bachelor thus far.