Monday, October 28, 2013

Thoughts on teaching

the truth is, everyone thinks the business of education is similar to other businesses. it is not. put students on an assembly line as has been done and you will not end up with the same product. in what business world do new procedures gets added without proper training and guidelines? in what business world do arts get added to the whole without being properly assembled (immigrated students at various grade levels)? in what business world do all the parts get jumbled up in one basket and asked to perform the same (gifted, ese, "regular")? in what business world do you build a new model every year from the floor up almost and get paid the same as a head custodian (teaching)? in what business world do you create leaders and have a hand in the development of every person in the nation but are constantly degraded (teachers)? the system is flawed but it started w/ a lot of the parents demanding their children be treated equal to every one else regardless of performance ability. gifted classes fell apart b/c everyone wants their kid to be gifted. regular classes had to accommodate kids who would have normally had their own classes (learning disabled, esol, etc). as a teacher, it's a hard and stressful job. you have to be a special kind of person to stay in it when all the perks have shriveled to almost nothing. i can't afford to be a teacher anymore. and with the state it's in, the testing testing testing and judging, i don't want to be.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just a lil something different

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Oreo Debate

Read an article today about offensive products. Well, the problem with Oreo being attributed to a black person is that is a derogatory term used against Standard English-speaking black people (could also refer to their taste in music, clothing, friends). The offender uses the term to say, you may look like a black person on the outside but you're definitely white on the inside. It's just another way to point out that you don't belong. White people think you're ignorant by skin color; black people think you're bougie/pretentious by voice/action/preference.

In Remembrance of Andrew

Hurricane Andrew was one of the reasons I kept a land line until two years ago. Most of the people who live in S. Florida now came after Andrew and take hurricanes for a joke and not the powerhouse of destruction they truly are. If we get one that only does minimal damage, people post stupid memes not realizing how lucky they were that that's all that occurred. I've had students stupidly wishing to see a tornado or be inside of a hurricane. Before Andrew, that had never been my wish. After Andrew, that would be my nightmare.

As Brian Norcross stated, the mattress did save lives. We were hunkered down in the bathroom (the only room w/o a window), seven of us, when the tiled walls started rattling. That mattress went over our heads so quickly, it would have been comical had the situation not been so scary. The winds came in through slung-open doors and broken windows, whipping through the house and, had that storm lasted an hour more, that house wouldn't have been left standing.

Brian Norcross became someone we trusted. Many of us were sad to see him leave channel four. But
August 24, 1992 did a lot more than give us a weatherman to look up to; it gave us survivors a healthy dose of respect and fear for hurricanes.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Same Love

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be in the car by myself for quite a distance of driving when Macklemore's Same Love came on the radio. I started thinking about my son and the things that should have counted as signs that I missed. The PTSD therapist said he had to have been a victim before he entered school and I agree with her so I traveled back in my mind as far as I could to behaviors I would pay attention to now with more knowledge (hindsight 20/20 and I want to avoid making the same mistakes with these children).

There was the screaming when only a certain person would pick him up from daycare. The daycare would call me, asking if it was ok b/c my younger son would throw a fit. Being that this person was a relative I asked to pick him up, I said yes. But he would only scream and refuse to go with that person. I don't think she was causing him harm but maybe someone else in her house. Then the bad behavior in daycare started. He also started crying in his sleep. I moved his daycare because I got sick of hearing about all the bad things plus he wasn't learning there. And I got a job at South Miami Senior High and it was located across the street from the daycare.

At the new daycare, he flourished. Never had a problem going, never had a problem reported. But just months after leaving the other day care, he developed a cold sore. The doctor called it Herpes Simplex 1. After the panicked whirlwind of feelings over that, I chalked it up to him kissing the girls in the other day care, maybe putting the same toys as another kid in his mouth.

That summer I caught him naked by himself and I flew into a rage at him b/c I felt dirty. He said he was getting married and he saw it on tv when he was babysat by someone. I didn't react well at all. Now this is the kid who always found his third leg as a baby so I thought I was raising a pervert. Felt sure he was gonna be a porn star or something else embarrassing.

All along there was bed wetting that never went away (a sign the therapist said). And still bad behavior with people other than me.

Then came kindergarten. It wasn't long before he started saying he hated it; he would cry to not go. This is a boy who never had a problem with school; was extremely smart and caught on fast to things. He had to be tested before he entered that new daycare I sent him to (I didn't know) and he passed with flying colors. The teacher had said he was very mature.

But kindergarten brought self-esteem issues. He had a problem with being black. He said he was fat. He even said he wanted to kill himself. He developed problems socializing with kids his age. He even through a (excuse me) white-kid tantrum in school-- on the floor, kicking, screaming, everything. I'm chalking all of this up to him. I found out two years ago, there was a kid in his class molesting and sexually harassing him. Yes, in kindergarten.

Things got progressively worse and by 4th grade he was flat out failing and rude and the bedwetting increased. I again chalked it up to him. One day he told me of a dream he had where an alligator was trying to eat him and he called out to me but I didn't hear him. The alligator chomped off his head. I had no idea that he was telling me something big with that dream. Alligators mean betrayal by friends. Found out two years ago, the neighbor's kid was sexually harassing and molesting him and quite a bit further.

Like the therapist said, "Always a victim. Predators know how to find the ones who have already been hurt."

I had no idea. I just thought he was being disobedient when he would go to that house after I said not to. Disturbing dreams were coming to me by then but they always featured my other son so I got him a cell phone, talked to him about calling me whenever he felt something wasn't right, and to tell me if something happened. My youngest was still bedwetting, still having nightmares, and began asking for a step-father. In hindsight, this reminded me of when I wanted a big brother. I knew it was impossible to get, considering I was the oldest, but I wanted someone to protect me b/c I was being molested too and older disgusting men would try to talk to me whenever I played outside or walked to friends' houses by myself. Always a victim. But I didn't think of that. I thought he just wanted a dad b/c his brother had one.

I had taken him to a therapist at this point but the only issue that kept coming up were his daddy issues and that wasn't something I could fix so I stopped.

Fast forward two more years (to two years ago). My world imploded. All this stuff came out and I realized I never got to have my real son because of the perversions of other people and due to my being blind. In one really hard moment, he likened his feelings over his father's broken promises and inattentiveness to the feelings of a kid he met in the hospital who had been raped by his own father; he felt he gave his love and trust to someone only to have it violated. That admission rocked me to the core and made me so angry at my 19-year old self for being stupid enough in choosing the man who ultimately hurt my child the most.

Sometimes there are glimpses of who he would have been without the negative interference and it makes me long for that child. He is really far gone-- mentally, emotionally, academically, and physically. Sexually orientation all changed now; he's not who he was supposed to be. And as much as he insists he can change because he knows how unhappy (understatement of the year) I am with all the revelations, I know that he can't. I've accepted that though he hasn't. All of this thought sparked to life on a lonely drive by a song.

Becoming a teacher and having to care about other people's children was the worst thing I could have done for my family. I was too burnt out by the end of the day to give him what he needed. Thankfully, my oldest son had football but my younger son never found his niche to fill his void.

What he has been through is what made me the most upset about being pregnant again. That's why I thought about abortion and adoption. That's why I couldn't go through with adoption. Not being able to protect my child again is not something I can fathom. So that's why I decided to keep them. I prayed hard for daughters, though, because I know how to deal with what comes with a girl. But knowing I have another son on the way...I am truly scared of fucking up again.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I find it so funny that this country was pressing so hard for marijuana legalization, cheered in victory when Colorado passed it, yet condemned a 17 y/o as a thug for having smoked some. This country that says weed does nothing to your body used it as justification in painting Trayvon as aggressive. Are there double standards in this country? Yes. Are there two sets of rule books in this country? Yes, perhaps more. Has justice been served for this boy? No, not since that wet night in February. He could have easily been my son, whose Facebook posing with apple cider bottles (labels turned away from the camera) could have painted him a different way than what he is; my son, whose mere activity as a football player would label him aggressive; my son, who has taken unsmiling pictures and posted them; my son, who has occasionally dropped the "s" word in a text message (yeah, I got on him about that); my son, who would have ran just like Trayvon did on that cold February night from a man who was following him in a car in the dark b/c he knows boogie men exist; my son, who favors a hoodie and headphones. But those with the money in America wouldn't have seen the goofy loveable friendly kid many of us know down here-- they would have just seen selected pictures and pigmentation and labeled him a thug as many of our children get labeled. And if it takes a village to raise a child, then it was my son that died in February of 2012. Rest in peace, Trayvon.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Another talk with God

I had a really deep spiritual talk earlier this month (June 15th) about a number of things that have been weighing heavily upon my mind, especially the babies.
A lot of my problems with being pregnant right now were mostly selfish but truthfully even those were out of fear. I mean I'm still scared-- parenting is hard and doing it with two at the same time...
No decision I made since getting that positive sat well with me. I wanted control of my life back but just their existence made it hard. If I aborted, it would have been out of selfishness. If I gave them up for adoption, it just would have been out of selfishness...and anger...and fear. If I kept them, it would have been just because I wanted control.
Until the talk (with God) on June 15th.
On June 15th, I became okay with not having control; I became okay with the fear of the unknown; I became okay with putting my life on a type of hold for another 18 years. On June 15th, I became excited at the thought of being with my babies and watching them grow. You can already tell I've turned a corner; I stopped calling them parasites.
So, yes, I made the decision of keeping and raising my babies. My older kids are really excited and are already protective. I let the oldest listen to the babies' heartbeats this morning; he was really enthralled with listening to Baby B. But when Baby A kept kicking at the doppler, Sean told me, "Stop agitating her." Oh boy. These babies have an ally against me. I can just see it now. Thankfully, he goes off to college in a year. Accck! Did I just type that?
I've already created an event on Facebook for my Gender Reveal Baby Shower (having it in August because anything can really happen with twins but, at least, by 23 weeks they'll be viable). I even know the theme I want: MadHatter. I've already found the centerpiece for the tables and the color scheme.
I smile at their kicks (now that I know that's what they are) and listen to their heartbeats before I start my day. And I'm really looking forward to seeing who's who on the ultrasound screen this month. Keeping the gender a secret, though, will be the highlight of my summer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Truth of It

Let's talk.

Where to begin?

I'm sitting here in the dark, barely resisting being crushed by the boulder of responsibility that toppled onto my shoulders, blocking out the sun and closing in my way out.

Real talk. I'm tired of hearing that twins are blessings. I don't feel blessed. I feel burdened and guilted by the weight of a decision gone bad. I can't walk away from this one. I've spent weeks wrestling with my choices : abortion, adoption, acceptance. But nothing feels right. However, there are no other choices. This problem can not just evanesce. Life doesn't come with do-overs. Time Turners don't really exist.

I'm stuck.

So in the wrestling with my mental, time ticked away and one choice disappeared. So I lean heavily towards adoption. And while that decision sits well with me mentally, spiritually it doesn't. At this moment, though, I really don't see another way for me to live my life, to follow my dreams. And, yet, I feel selfish for wanting my me time so badly. It's not like the last 17 years of raising my kids have been hell, just the last two have been. But I'm severely scarred from those two years. There are barriers that I can't mentally surmount, unscalable walls of fear.

What if I mess up again?

What if I can't protect them either?

What if they grow to hate me for giving them away or for having to raise them alone?

How can I make a choice?

I just want to do what's right but how do I know what that is?

I'm so, so, so scared.

There's the truth of it.

I'm scared shitless and arrested by that fear. And that cloud of fear has fogged the shit out of my brain. I can't see, can't think, and don't want to.

But I've got to.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Riding Shotgun

I've come to realize I'm round peg who can't fit in a square hole. Many societies want women to be submissive but that is not in the cards of life I've been dealt. I've seriously had to do and fight for myself since I was a little girl. I was indirectly raised to be independent; my life events have consistently been ones where I've had to struggle and learn for myself-- and one thing I've learned through observation and experience is that there are too many people who find it easy to walk away from things worth fighting for. So at this point in my life, the only kind of relationship I welcome is one where we learn, grow, and build together. Don't try to put me in the backseat; I'm riding shotgun. I'm tired of driving anyway.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Gemini's Twins

 Yes, it's true. 

That word on that stick is the whole truth. Well, not the whole truth because not only am I pregnant (oh goodness!), I'm pregnant with twins (pass me the shotgun). 

I feel too old to be pregnant. Now, I know 33 is nowhere near old but you have to understand that I've been doing this mommy thing for the last 17 years; I got started about 10 years ahead of schedule. So while I am technically a 33-year-old mom; I feel more like a 43-year-old mom. I'm exhausted. And for the last four weeks I've been wrestling with what I'm going to do. 

Yes, for the last four weeks, I've considered an abortion, strongly considered an abortion. Was 98% sure that was the route I was going to take. I made that doctor's appointment with the hope that the choice would be taken out of my hands-- that there would have been a case for termination that would have sat at ease with my conscience. But, while sitting in that doctor's chair, greatly unenthused with the thought of becoming a mother the third time, I made the decision that I was going to abort no matter what was on that ultrasound monitor. 

And then I saw two bubbles. I hoped I didn't see two. The doctor moved the ultrasound wand around in grave silence and a flutter of hope entered my chest. Maybe something was wrong. I mentally prepared what I was going to say to the doctor, that this was ok, this was how it was meant to be-- a wakeup call to take better care of myself. 

Finally the doctor spoke after clearing his throat. He said the machine was too grainy for him to be clear about what's going on. I told him that I thought I might have an ectopic because I had no real pregnancy symptoms other than fatigue and a missing period. He said, no, definitely not ectopic. He said, I'm just going to go ahead and tell you what I see; I see two. I said that I saw the same thing and asked if the bubbles were empty. I mean, they looked empty, really empty. Just two bubbles. 

But he said, no there's definitely something in each. And he zoomed in to each bubble and I could see the beginnings of a baby in them both. Then he zoomed further in each one and the heartbeats patterned in peaks and plateaus across the bottom of the screen. I just stared, hope replaced by resignation. I mean, I had my mind made up to terminate the one but it just wouldn't be fair to abort two. I don't know why that changed things but it did.

And now I'm in freakout mode and it keeps hitting me that I'm starting over. I was four years away from having struggled to raise two kids to adulthood and here I am starting all the way over times two.

God help me.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Big Huge

Sooo...this weekend...big news. Can't divulge yet but whoa.

On another note: went to Jazz in the Gardens last night. Pretty cool, literally.

Well, that's all I have for you today-- have homework and such. So yeah...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Change Gon' Come

I only have one resolution for 2013 and that is to live.

Last year, I laid down; I buried myself in my grief, blanketed by the hardship of being a mom to a child with so many behavioral problems. The Sandy Hook shooting scared me because I wondered if the shooter would one day be my kid. And then I read this and realized, ok, I don't have it that bad. It doesn't change the negative outlook I have for my kid's (I have a hard time calling him son) future (he seriously needs to outgrow the lying and stealing and a whole host of things that could earn him a prison term as an adult) but it does lessen the sense of doom and gloom such a thought caused.

However, for 2013, I'm going to be selfish; I'm really going to think more about myself.

A few days ago, I read an article that really got me thinking; it was called 8 Signs You're a Control Freak. Going down that list I thought, my God, I really am a control freak. Some things that stood out in particular:

  • You believe that if someone (READ: my kid) would change one or two things about themselves, you'd be happier.
  • You passively-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations. Do I really do that? If I'm being honest...yes.
  • You offer "constructive criticism" as a veiled attempt to advance your own agenda. (Did it with the ex-bf with regards to the way he dressed and the car he chose to drive.) 
  • You present worst-case scenarios in an attempt to influence someone (READ: my kid) away from certain behaviors and towards others.
  • (here's the biggie) You have a hard time with ambiguity and being ok with not knowing something. 
Some of the other points may have been true at one time or another as well. And as crushing as it was to read my behavior reflected back at me, there was a glimmer of reformation to be found in the rest of the article, which not only helped identify a problem but offered solutions for how to temper the control freak in myself. Again, a few of the items really stood out:
  • Accept that a large portion of life is laced with unknowns.
  • Embrace confrontation-- it really is sometimes the only thing you can do.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions. 
So no more laying down. No more tucking my tail between my legs and hiding out from the glare of life. No more not living. My house used to be filled with laughter; my family used to go places and do things together; there used to be peace. I can tell that my kids miss the way things used to be-- I do too. I wish all of last year did not happen and that the blissful veil of ignorance was not removed. But it did and it has been. And the ensuing misery crushed us. 

I lost my joy. I need to locate it. 

There are a lot of sacrifices to be made this year but my peace of mind doesn't have to be one of them. I've got to repurpose my life. There are things that I want that I need to go after and I can't get them holed up in the house on Facebook. 

I've got a bit more writing to do, some plans to outline, some dreams to examine before I can get started. Looking forward to the change.