Archive | April 2011

Dear Education System/Parents/Students . . .

Dear Education System,

I am writing you to apologize for the flack I have given you over the years.  I have blamed you for everything from Global Warming to Homosexuality in ATL.  I have unjustly caused people to lose faith in you, often citing the many instances when I perceived a child’s lack of intelligence, as a direct reflection of your inability to provide them with adequate life skills.  I have lamented on a regular basis that you haven’t done enough to provide at-risk children with these important tools which will allow them to excel past their circumstances.  I have evangelized on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs about your systematic breaking down of everything that makes a culture what it is.  I wasn’t wrong, but it’s also not all your fault.

Education, I came to you young and naive.  Fresh off a semester that showed me regardless of what my IQ level was, programming computer’s wasn’t for me.  I came to you with lofty goals and high expectations, because I wanted to make a difference and be able to provide children with the same education my mother struggled so hard to give me.  Education, I looked at you as a savior.  Something that could transform even the weakest of minds into something that is capable of moving mountains.

Somewhere along the way, Education, you stopped being about opening minds to new things, and become a political scapegoat.  Somehow, you went from being the Great Equalizer to being the Great Divider. Was it something we did? Did we not show you enough respect? Did we forget to pass on the things you had taught us to the next generation?  Did we spend so much time fighting that we forgot what the struggle was for? I’m not sure what caused you to give up on us, but I wish you would come back.

Education, we need you.  We have always needed you. Sadly, as a whole WE, The People, have failed to hold you in the high regard that we should have.  We failed to spend time enough with you, to take our time and really embrace you.  We failed to acknowledge that you can’t do/be/everything and/or everywhere.  I apologize, Education, for having – at times – completely ignored your influence in my life.  By using vulgar and broken language, I have seemingly showed the world that I haven’t had contact with you.  So Education, I am sorry for blaming you for all the world’s ills.  It’s not all your fault. Just 1/3 of it.

Sincerely, Me.

P.S. Now that I have gotten the big words out-of-the-way . . .

Dear Parents,

Stop Fcuking up your Kids. I know your life was hard.  I know that no one loved you in your youth.  You spent your whole life just looking for love and acceptance from anyone that you encountered.  Mom, I know you slept with any man who bought you dinner, in the hopes of being able to get out of your current situation. I know it was hard, with a Daddy that didn’t love you, and a momma who spent more time at Bingo than she did hugging you.  I get it. But seriously, you tried so hard to get out of that situation so that you can repeat the cycle?

I mean, yes, sometimes it’s hard to break the habits that you have incurred during your lifetime. I also understand that maybe your parents didn’t understand how important education was to helping you become a better person.  But I KNOW you remember how your parent’s FCUKED up priorities screwed you up. So why, in GOD’S Name WHY, would you knowingly do the same thing to your children?

Having an 11 year old girl, cheat on a Vocab test made up of 12 WORDS, because her Aunt called her stupid is just . . . She lives with her aunt and uncle because, “My mother choose a man over us,” I couldn’t do anything but Thank God that I hadn’t publically ridiculed her in the classroom, when she CLEARLY just has a learning disability.  No Child Left Behind shouldn’t just apply to GWBush’s shullbit education program.

Conversely, when I tell you that your child was disrespectful to the point of racism, your response, “Well, It’s probably because his bytch of a last teacher never expected anything from him,” doesn’t help me have faith in you as a parent. Also, your disciplinary solution, “I’ll have him write sentences at least 100 times that say I will not be disrespectful to my new teacher, ” ain’t ’bout shyt.

Parents, Do Better. I can’t make it pretty for you.  You are a Grown Azz Man/Woman, doing your best to ruin your child.  Stop being so damn selfish and help your child be better.  Expect more, and they will give you more.  Being okay with a C means that you are okay with Subpar life choices as well.  You don’t attend parent/teacher conferences, you don’t return the signed paperwork when asked.  You don’t attend the awards ceremony where you child is being acknowledged for what they HAVE accomplished.

Why did you have these children if you didn’t plan on doing anything with them?  Your lack of EVERYTHING, makes my job 10x harder than it has to be.  I’m judging you Parents, I am judging you so damn hard right now.

Sincerely, Me.

Dear Students,

I come to you disheartened and downtrodden.  Lost in the sea of disappointment that is being a Middle School Teacher.  After 6+ years of working in the Early Education field, and seeing children just when their educational careers were beginning,  seeing the hope and promise in their eyes . . . I have to ask you, What The Hell Happened?

When did you give up on yourself? When did you decide that being the dumbest person in class was much more important that being the smartest?  When did you forget that you can be anything you want to be if you just work hard? When did you lose your life goal to be an Astronaut, and decide that being a Hobo was just fine too? Sadly, as a teacher, it’s hard for me to see you suffering without wanting to help you.

Students, why won’t you let us help you? Why must you fight me at every turn? If your parents don’t care about your grades, why can’t you? I know your life has been hard. Parents in and out of jail, parents that don’t listen to you, parents that really don’t care. But isn’t there a part of you, one small part of you that understands that I didn’t choose to be a teacher just to sit here and do nothing?

A part of you that sees that I am trying my hardest to help you be great.  A part deep down that listens to me when I say to you, “You are so much smarter than you let your friends know.  I see you doing such great things with your life.” Is it too late for you? In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade is there just no way that you can believe in yourself enough to do better?

Help Me, Help You.  That’s why I choose to be a teacher, because I want to help you.  I want to see that light in your eyes when you finally understand WHY we have vocabulary words every week.  I want to hear the excitement in your voice when you realize that by reading a book, you can learn something about a subject you never knew before.  I am here for you.  I will go above and beyond to help you, if you let me.

But I can’t do it on my own.  To be extremely lame but sincere at the same time:

I Believe the Children are the Future, Teach them well and Let them Lead The Way

That’s not just a song to me.  It the reason I became a teacher.  So please, Students, understand who you have the potential to be.

Most Sincerely, A Teacher

Black Girl Pain – Life Support . . .

As part of my unofficial Dealing with Depression Series, I want to talk to you about Support Systems, and why they are so important to making you who and what you are.  This is going to be broken into sections, because my view of support systems, and what they consist of is based on my life and my life only.  I’m not a psychologist.  I’m just telling you what I know, what I think, and what I wish other people would understand.  Feel free to disagree with me, dialogue is important!

What is a Support System?

The people who have your back no matter what.  I’m not talking about the boys you go out to the club with, or your girls at work.  I’m talking about the people that keep you sane, and make you think.  The people that question you, and your decisions. Not because they think you are stupid, but because at the end of the day, they want to make sure you are going to be okay.

When I was younger, I thought everyone had a support system.  I thought every family was like the Henry Family.  A family that consisted of strong men, who wore suits everyday, and went to work everyday.  Men who graduated from college, and supported their family.  Women who were college educated, and made career choices based on their skill level, not just what was available.  Women who made sure their children got the best of everything, and understood their worth as individuals.  In the bubble that is the Henry Family, that was the STANDARD. Not the Exception.

Because my family was raised around like minded people, that is all I saw.  There were 5 or 6 huge families at my childhood church.  They all were raised in the same way, thought the same way, and lived their lives the way we did.  When I was younger, my whole life was Littlefield St and True Love Missionary Baptist Church.  I was extremely sheltered from the Real World, and as I get older, I am so pleased that I was.

The Real World . . .

is SCARY.  There are all kinds of people who are out there to hurt you.  So yes, I stayed inside my bubble that was cultivated just for me.  It wasn’t until I got to public high school that I found out that people who said they were your friend would actually stab you in the back.  I’m a very naive person, because I intrinsically believe that people are good.  Even though I know that bad exists, I was raised to be a GOOD PERSON.  I was raised to do the right thing, even if you don’t end up winning.

I Was Raised . . .

and not everyone was.  Your first Support System should be your parents.  They are the people that instill the first set of values in you.  Those core values, that you take with you for the rest of your life.  These are the lessons that should explain the ways of the world to you.  But what if your parents aren’t there for you? What if their priority was each other, or drugs, or alcohol? What if through no fault of your own, your parents just weren’t there?

Then you have had no form of guidance.  You have no way to figure out what is right or wrong.  OR, your perception of Right Vs. Wrong is easily viewed based on your survival. OR, your perception of Good and Evil is based on what you observed in your youth. You might do things that are not necessarily legal because you need to eat, or you have to take care of your younger siblings, or you need a roof over your head for the night. You might completely violate the boundaries of another person, and not understand why they are so upset.  How you see the world is most often based on the World You Have Seen . . .

Survival of the Fittest

Those who make it prosper, those who don’t will have a hard life.  This isn’t to say that everyone can’t make it.  But those that rise above to overcome usually have found a reliable support system.  Sometimes, your friends can be the family you never had.  Sometimes, your extended family treats you better than the people that should biologically care the most about you.

The point is, if you want to survive you will.  I recently asked a friend who his support system was, he could only think of one person.  He has been supporting himself for so long, he stopped relying on others.  Honestly, he’s one of the most well adjusted people that I know, except for one area of his life. But the area causes him the most problems, is based almost solely on the lack of a support system.

After You’ve Done all You Can

I have lots of friends, who feel that Jesus is the only form of Support you need in your life.  Feeling there is a higher power who has some input in the happenings of your life didn’t just start with Christians.  It’s been around for quite sometime.  Celestial Support Systems are great, if you are actually dedicated to them.

I’ve seen lots of folk who only ask for support during the bad times, and give themselves all the credit when things are going great. Whether you believe in The Secret, The Bible, Wicca, or the Qur’an: use that belief to lift people up and support them. Don’t use it to tear people down.

The Point of it All . . . .

is knowing that you NEED a support system.  System implies that there is more than one person involved.  I have some friends that I can tell everything and have no fear of being judged.  Some friends that I have to only tell certain parts of my life. I have the FaceBook 40 aka #FGSSUM07, a group of people that I would have never dealt with had it not been for the Internet.  I have Sorority Sisters and Frat Brothers, Twitter Friends and GChat Buddies.  I have friends that became family, and family that became friends.

I am truly grateful that I have a system of people that support me.  That worry about me, and want the best from me.  Yes, at times it can be a pain in the ass, but more often than the not, it’s a blessing.  Because even within my Support System I have friends who have never been as lucky as I am.

. . . Each One Reach One . . .

We often find it easy to walk away from people when things aren’t working out.  To end 10 year relationships because we aren’t getting our way.  Just remember, if that person was once a major part of your life, you might have been part of theirs. You don’t want to leave them rolling around looking for that Piece of Themselves that was lost in the fight. . .

Just Thoughts or the Next Big Thing….

You ever met someone, and think to urself that you were always meant to love them from afar? Like not on a white girl emo tip, but on some real shit.

Like that male best friend who needs a support system and needs you to be that. But you being what they need pretty much means that’s all you will ever be.

Why is that? Why does Adele make so much damn sense on this whole 21 album. You can just listen to every song and think of a relationship that didn’t end the way u wanted it to.

Why am I plagued with having awesome ass male friends who make horrible relationship choices? Like I have to sit back and watch them make these choices, and choose these women that are so bad for them. But I’m still there, helping them pick up the pieces and get themselves back together.

Being the person in their corner, giving them back the self confidence that they lost when that stupid cunt broke their heart into a million pieces.  They never go for the one that puts their heart back together. Nope, they say thank u and move on with their lives.

Sometimes, I wonder if there is a sign on my forehead that says, I’m going to fix you. Please come with me. This is something I need to like actually pray about.

Is my role in life JUST to impact peoples life to get them ready/capable for the Next Big Thing? Will I never be the Next Big Thing for anyone? Will my title forever be Transitional Female Friend? Or Female I’m Comfortable With? Does this have something to do with my physical appearance or my personality?

And if I reject playing that role, where will that leave me? Completely alone? Or have I subconsciously embraced that role becuz it means that at least I matter even if its for a brief period of time. I love how conversations get me to this place. Especially with people I didn’t know mattered until I was too late. So much for guarding my heart.

Well at least Adele understands me…

Next time, I’ll be braver… I’ll be my own Savior…. when the thunder calls for me…..

Next time I’ll be braver, I’ll be my own Savior….standing, on my own two feet

Mr. Bill Collector

Okay, I have already discussed my financial struggle. So there is no need to rehash it…but you can click here to read that blog.  This one is instead about Bill Collectors, and why I don’t like them. They are so damn annoying for no reason. Let me give you some examples.

Example #1: Chase Auto Finance

I called to let them know I was going to be making a payment tomorrow when I get paid. I said to the lady, “I wont know what my check is going to look like until tomorrow, but I will be paying at least $125.”

Chase Auto Finance Heaux: Ma’am, your payment is more than that. You need to pay the whole amount.

ME: I understand that ma’am, but if I was able to pay the whole amount I would do that

CAFH: Well then you need to know that your account is not secure.

Me: Ma’am I understand that, I was just calling to inform you of an upcoming payment

CAFH: We wont accept it.

Me: You are going to charge me a late fee for my past due amount but not take a partial payment?

CAFH: Why don’t you just ask a family member to borrow the money.

I Hung Up.

Bitch, don’t you think if I had a family member who was willing to help me during my time of financial distress I wouldn’t be 30+ days late on my got damn mother fucking payment?!?!? Why do they always say that. Like I haven’t exhausted all possibilities before having to make partial payments. Like I sit my fat ass at home all day turning away offers for help. I mean really.

In talking to Dom, who works in customer service, they are required to ask those questions.  What in the ass fuck for? Becuz we aren’t ashamed enough of our plight?!?! Like, we wanna share our shame with the whole family?!?!? Why don’t I just send out a mass email?

 

Example #2: Sallie Mae

Student Loans are going to follow me my entire life.  But not even the money I owe the gov’t but this got damn Perkins Loan. I owe less than $2000 on this bitch ass loan, but I can’t pay it becuz I don’t make enough money. And I don’t make enough money because I’m not a certified teacher. And I can’t get my certification becuz I need my OFFICIAL Transcript. And I can’t get an official transcript becuz of that got damn mother fucking Perkins Loan.

That Bitch Seresa Tanchez: Ms . . . you need to make the payment in full before I will release the transcript

Me: I can’t make a payment. I don’t make enough money.

TBST: Do you know that this is going to effect your credit? The not paying bills on time?

I Hung Up.

Bitch.  Really?!?! You are giving me credit advance? Like I’ve never thought about my credit rating? Like this is the first time the whole credit thing has ever popped up in conversation.

You stupid fucking CUNT, you know what you can do? You can press a got damn button and send me my got damn transcripts so that I can actually make the money to pay you back. And you wonder why Black People hate you, cuz you are a stupid bitch…..but I’m not mad tho.

Example #3: Random Ass Advice

Lady From GMAC: Ma’am, have you gotten your tax refund yet? You can always use that money.

BITCH! Get out my business.  Even IF I got tax money, you aren’t high on my list of people to give that money to.  I swear they are getting a tad bit too personal.

Man from Verizon: Well you know, maybe if you didn’t have so many smartphones on your family plan your data package wouldn’t be so high.

SIR! You think so? Like really, you think that’s the first time I have thought about that? You think maybe if you didn’t charge $30 got damn dollars JUST because I have a Blackberry that I never use on my account I might not have a bill that high. You Fucking THINK?!?!?

I’m really not that angry of a person. But the way people in customer service speak to people who owe money is just ridiculous. You don’t have to be rude and condescending to work in Customer Service, that wasn’t on the job description. You aren’t getting the money, so why do you feel the need to belittle me due to my situation. You would think that the state of the economy would cause people to be a tad bit more compassionate but it seems to be the opposite.

I just had to get that out. I think I’m done now.  My next solution is going to be to sell my body to the Older Arab Gentleman…times are Hard as Hell right now!