Tag Archive | Education

Fall 2019 Playlist: Free Write

So I decided this summer, to create a playlist for the season.  Put some songs together that reminded me of specific people, places or things.  It all started at The Read Live in DC.  They were playing so MANY good songs before the show started, I had to find them and at them to my Spotify Rotation.

That Playlist is the perfect way for me to get all up IN my feelings, cuz this past summer was life changingly awesome and horrible, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  It’s always good to repeat an excellent Idea, so I made a Fall 2019 one as well.  I present, some thoughts about life thanx to Spotify.

Issa Photoshoot

Aye, I’m CUTE.

I don’t know if you knew.  You should know . . . I’m getting cuter by the day.  Shouts to My Personal Trainer.  I’ve lost about 30 more pounds this summer . . . I’m wearing clothes I never thought I would.  I set goals that would have been outrageous 6 months ago, and now, completing them by the end of the year seems very possible.

Unfortunately, with the Glow Up comes the stragglers.  Folks that wouldn’t give me the time of day 50 or 100 pounds ago.  Now it’s, “Heeeeeeeeeey MJ, you are doing so good.  I’m proud of you. You should call me.”

Why? I’m the same MJ . . . just smaller. If you wasn’t tryna drink out the 2 Liter, you can’t get the 20oz, ya dig?!?!  Also, I can’t call you. . . . My Personal Trainer doesn’t allow me to train with other people 😉

Can’t Be Broken

So many times in the last year, I’ve felt like . . .It can’t get any worse.  Nothing else could come into my life what is harder to understand than this thing I’m trying to heal from right now.

Then . . . Here comes Harder.  Some kind of way, I keep fighting my way out.  I keep clawing my way out of the low places I’ve found myself in.  That’s the lesson – You can Always Get Out.

Even though it feels like there is no hope.  You will get out of it. I know it seems impossible.  I know the weight feels like it’s trying to break your chest ON PURPOSE.  But you getting out of it, will let you know just how Strong you are.

You Don’t Know

Jill Scott made this album before I grew up.  When it first came out, I wasn’t really feeling it.  I listened, then went back to the albums I already loved. The vibe of the album didn’t appeal to where I was in my life.

A year ago, I listened to it again, and realized why Jill Scott had changed in the last few year.  She grew the fuck up.  She realized the type of love she was looking for required Preparation . . . Sacrifice . . . . SelfLessNess. Things I’m STILL trying to learn about.

I can’t believe how hard it is to try to build a LIFE with someone. To have to get out of your own head . . .let go of your own shit . . . make them let go of theirs . . . and try not to fuck it up by assuming the worst about EVERYTHING.

It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away

Look, Nashville had some GOOD ass Music.

I’ve had some days y’all. I’ve had some days where it seemed like being around wasn’t helpful to anyone else.  One of those days, I put my phone on shuffle, and this song came on 1st.

What if you’re just a vessel,
And God gave you something special,
It ain’t yours to throw away
It ain’t yours to throw away
Every time you open up your mouth,
Diamonds come rolling out
It ain’t yours to throw away
How can you hear those words . . . and not feel like God was sending you a gentle reminder?  It ain’t over yet.  Its the life I gave you . . . so only I can take it from you.  Check on your Strong Friends.

Wonder

Being a teacher is HARD.  It’s not hard cuz you have to teach kids how to read.  It’s hard because you have to Heal Children, AND teach them how to read.  Every day, some child is looking at me, hoping I can help them with whatever ails them.
Then, we all have a moment.  A Silly Moment in Class. The 1st time one of my students had Pop Rocks . . . Extreme Wonder on his face.  The Wonder in small kids, learning new things.  Finally making sense of a word, or a math problem.  The Pride on their face.
That’s why I’m still a teacher.  Giving something like that to a child.  Being blessed enough to be able to do that.  When things get bad . . . I can always remember, that I can bring wonder into a child’s eye.
That Blessing . . . Is not Mine to Throw Away. 

The Black Twitter Guide to Dating

In no way can I claim to be part of the #BlackTwitterElite. My blog is not quoted daily, nor do I have 1000+ followers.  No one buys my cookies online, and I haven’t discovered (then exploited) all the secrets Shea Butter holds.  But What I am, is an observer.  I follow the people to which the aforementioned criteria applies to.  In my observations, I have learned that I have been doing this dating thing all wrong.  I offer to you, The Black Twitter (Male) Guide to Dating.  Enjoy!

Rule #1: You Must Be Physically Perfect

NO EDGES, NO MAN!

This means you can never take a bad picture.  EVER. The only way you are considered an eligible prospect is physical perfection, or making a constant effort to get there. The good thing is, you don’t have to be NATURALLY perfect.  Cosmetic ‘restructuring’ is perfectly acceptable, as long as you don’t expect your man to pay for it.  Ass shots, fake boobs, spray tan, proper photo angles . . . all of these are fine, as long as no one is ever exposed to your flaws.

Where do You Fall?

Rule #1a: Long Hair, they really do care.  If it’s a weave – as long as it doesn’t come out during the two-hour quickies in the middle of the day – the Black Twitter Male has no issue with it.  HOWEVER, ‘Yo Edges Betta Be On POINT!’ Those edges must flourish.  If they don’t, you should have a plan of action in order to improve them.  But make sure you purchase your all-natural products from the right person/company/online store, because this faux-paux is grounds for a breakup and an immediate twitter slandering.

Rule #1b: If you choose to go natural, your hair texture must be between a 2B and a 3F.  Anything other than that is nappy, and that shit ain’t cute.  Cuz we all know, Natural ain’t for everybody.

Rule #2: All Girls must understand/like sports to be considered dating material.  

This means you will sit on the couch during the game (after you have made him the greatest sandwich to ever have been made) and watch the game with him.  Because if you won’t watch the game with him, there will always be another female who will.

Black Twitter Perfection

Rule #2a: You must understand enough about sports to never talk during a game, but not enough to argue a call/play.  No good woman is so into sports she disagrees with her man.  The minute you get the urge to argue a call, just go make a sandwich, or clean something.  It could save your relationship.

Rule 2b: You Must Like Football.  American Football, not Soccer.  This is not an option.

Rule 2c: Either you hate Lebron James, or you know all the stats that make him better than Jordan. This rule also applies to Kobe Bryant.  If your man is having an argument about the Greatness of Jordan/LeBron/Kobe, you should be able to back him up.  Your facts must be up to date, so study while you are making dinner.  This shows your level of dedication to your man.

Rule #3: Chivalry Exists, just not all the time.

. . . This.

It’s unfair to expect a man to have a clearly defined role in your relationship, so stop expecting it.  Yes, he is a MAN. But if he doesn’t want to be the provider, that is his choice.  If you fight him about it, it’s really you being difficult, not him being a bum.  Doesn’t he take out the trash? Doesn’t he always cut the grass three days after you ask? Doesn’t he always drive your car when you are going somewhere? Why are you asking so much of him? Do you want to be single?

Rule #3a: You are not allowed to have an opinion . . . ever. You minute you understand this, you will have a happy relationship.

She knows her place . . . do you?

Rule #3b: All women belong in the kitchen, or at work.  You must choose one or the other, you can’t to both.  The minute you find a man, you have to either become his property or his provider.  The 2013 man isn’t looking for a partner, he’s looking for a caregiver. If you can’t cook, then you better have a good ass job.  Cuz Real Men don’t cook, they only use the grill.  And they drink imported beer.  And who do you think it going to pay for that? Surely not him.  So you better be making at least $75,000 a year.  You can’t support two people on anything less.

Every Man on Black Twitter Looks Like This

Rule #4: Men will be men . . . deal with it.

If you question why he thinks it’s okay to flirt on social media, it’s because he’s a man.  He’s not fcuking her, they just play flirt.  Stop being so sensitive.  You are lucky to even have a man, if you think about it.  You, with your 4b textured hair, and your oddly off-kilter smile.  You are really pushing it by asking him to respect your relationship. Having expectations for your man is why you were single in the first place.

Rule #4a: The Modern Black Woman doesn’t expect the man to do anything but love her.  If you want to go on a $200 date (what you need to know it’s real) then you BEST pay for it yourself.  Or at least pay half.  And if you don’t pay for half of it, you should have a way to say thank you . . . Also, don’t ask for anything. BUT, you better let him know what you are NOT asking for.  Don’t just show up at the crib with your Hair Did, Nails Done, everything did.  You better tell him where you are going first!

. . . and that’s fine. You should be Light Skinned tho . . .

Rule #5: All single women are lonely bitter women . . . and also probably dark skinned.

Because Light Skinned women are perfect.  They fit all the requirements by just existing.  Its not the Black Twitter Male’s fault that you have 2 babies’ fathers.  He didn’t leave you alone and pregnant. He takes care of his 4 kids, $50 a month for each of them. And he sees them on the Holidays.  Why are you so angry? Is it helping, Bitter DarkSkinned Lonely Black Woman.  I doubt it.

Rule #5a: The best kind of woman is a Lady in the Streets, and a Freak in the bed.  And also a Freak on Twitter.  Also a Freak on Instagram.  Also, she is a Twitter Honey. (She’s allowed to have followers, but she can only follow you) And also, she can twerk to any song.  And also, she’s down for a threesome.  Or a foursome.  Also, she will send you nudes on every major life occasion, and then just because.  And, if you as a Black Twitter Male leaks those nudes, well it’s her fault for being a Hoe.

Rule #5b: The Black Twitter Male is looking for a submissive woman.  This means he is in charge all the time.  He sets all the rules that she is to live by, in their relationship.  He is also not bound by these rules, because he is a man. (See Rule #4) She must have read 50 Shades of Grey, and been able to relate to it.  Because all women really just want a man to be in charge, and the perfect woman wants to hand over control the minute she meets a man.

I share . . . because I Care.

Doesn’t all this information make you look at Dating in 2013 in a different light?!?!?!  You, like me, were probably trying to put your best foot forward, and not settle for anything less than perfect.  Now that you know the standards you should be living up to, I hope to see all of my friends wifed up by the end of 2013.  I’m looking for all kinds of wedding invites in 2014.

Thanks for Reading! Comments/Thoughts/Additional Rules Welcomed!

Oh?!?! You’re a Parent! Where’d you get your degree?

I think choosing to become a Parent is a wonderful thing. It’s a choice SOME people make because they want to bring a productive person into the world.  They want to see a beautiful representation of their love running around filling the world with pleasantries and moments of mirth.  Your child is an amazing expression of God’s presence on this earth, and we are all pleased they are here.

But, you don’t have to get a degree to be a parent.  You push that baby out, and they send you on your merry way.  You don’t have to take a class, watch a training video, not a NOTHING.  You just get wheeled to a car, and venture out into the world.  “Whatever MJ, I saw What to Expect when You’re Expecting! That told me everything I need to know.” 0_o Oh. Okay.  You have to take a test, to drive a car.  But to raise a human being, just pay and go.

I am not negating your fertility struggles if they existed.  No, I praise how hard you worked to bring a child into the world.  But, you didn’t have to get a degree to be a parent.  No one believes your FB posts about your little love bug, who was speaking in whole sentences before he could sit up straight.  I know more about your child’s development than you do.  I’m not saying I’m better than you, per se. I’m just saying you don’t know everything you could about your child.

For too long, I have been silent while watching ignorant parent’s ruin their children because they have no clue what they are doing.  Frequently when I do comment, it’s blown off.  Which is of course every parent’s right to do.  But Dammit it’s time we Educators of the World speak up.

Let’s go down a very truncated list of Excuses I hear when talking to New Parents about why they don’t have to take child rearing advice from anyone.

1) You aren’t a Parent, You won’t understand until you have one.

Okay, first of all.  Thank The Birth Control Jesus I don’t have a kid.  I don’t want one.  I might never want one.  That doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about children.  Let’s just leave out the fact that I have been caring for children since I was about 7,  at My Nana’s house.  We won’t even talk about how I learned how to change a diaper before I could ride a Two-Wheeled Bike.  Nope. We won’t.

Let’s discuss my DEGREE IN EDUCATION. The United States Government paid the University of Dayton $55,000+ dollars to educate me.  In Child Development.  In Language Development.  In Disability Awareness.  I have the transcripts to prove it.  I have the GOT DAMN DEGREE to prove it.  How DARE you tell me I can’t give you any pointers on your child’s growth/education?  I skipped an ENTIRE semester of classes, but ACED my Finals (Geaux Depression).  The UD School of Education changed their attendance policy because of me.  So PLEASE don’t tell me I don’t know your child.  I know everyone’s child.  I’ve raised/educated plenty of children who aren’t mine.

Text me, I’ll send you references.

2) Well, I’m their Parent. I know them best.

Unless you home school your child, you don’t.  Stop lying to yourself.  Do you know their overall personality, yes?  Do you know their little quirks and irritants? No, not always.  For at least 8 hours a day, they are with someone else.   For at least 40 hours a week (more if they are in daycare) they are in the care of someone else.  This person deals with their good days and bad days.  They know how to calm them down with a word or a look.  Most kids like Captain America.  Having a themed party doesn’t make you the #1 Parent of the Year.

If you are a GOOD Parent, you have developed a relationship with your child’s teacher/caregiver and they communicate with you on a daily basis.  They give you pointers and tips about how to handle your child in various situations.  That’s called Parenting Advice.  WEIRD, right? Hopefully your child is in the care of someone who respects your position as a parent and takes pictures of the first step, and records the first word in case you miss it.  But other people contribute to your child’s life.  You aren’t the only person who knows your child, and knows them well. It takes a Village . . .

3) My Parents are so Old Fashioned

Did you survive your childhood? Are you now a functioning member of society? They did something right. I grew up in the Get your tail in the house before the street lights come on,” era of Child Rearing.  *I’m still usually in the house before dark if I can help it.  Judge me not* My mother grew up in the “Children should be seen, not heard,” era of Child Rearing.  This new era, “The No We Don’t Spank Tommy, We Want him to feel free to Express Himself,” is some complete and utter bullshit malarky.  People who have no boundaries violate the boundaries of others.

For some reason, these New Parents think they know everything.  You don’t.  This new trend of, “Screw how I was raised.  I’m making it up as I go along!’ is messing up the order of the world.  Rules aren’t made to be broken.  They are made to keep order.  So yep, I’m going to tell your kid to sit their lil’ butt down, especially if they are about to break something.  Being the consummate professional I am, I won’t say it like that.  But that’s what the Hell I Meant! I DEMAND respect from children and they give it to me.  Because I do it with love.

Most Educators chose their field because they have a genuine love for children.  It sure as hell isn’t for the money.  Many teachers have a gift when it comes to kids.  If we say something to you about your child, it’s usually in the best interest of your child.  It’s not meant to insult your parenting skills, or usurp your role as Parent.  It’s because we care.  However, always remember . . . You Didn’t Have to Get a Degree to be a Parent.

I had to get one to care for and educate your child.  

Chasing Pavements . . .

So, some of you may know that I have been unemployed for almost a month.  Lost both of my jobs, within 6 days of each other.  I could say that It wasn’t my fault, as it wasn’t in the first instance.  I could blame my misfortune on the fact that my mother should have named me Lemony Snickett – as my life is a Series of Unfortunate Events.  But I shan’t do all that.  Instead, I will say that the cycle has started once again. 

Every 2 or 3 years, I go through a life cycle.  During this cycle, I find yet another part of the world that I don’t quite understand.  I learn everything that I can about it, master that area, get complacent, then become bitter because I want to excel past it, and I am in a position that offers no room for advancement.

Usually, it has something to do with a job.  But on occasion, it has had to do with friendships, relationships, etc.  Sadly, I am so used to this cycle, that I hardly pay it any attention anymore.  The first time this “happened to me,” I was so outraged! I set up meetings, and wrote letters, and had “Come to Jesus” meetings with the personnel at Univ of Dayton.  Oh hell no, was heard one or two times in those meetings. 

At the end of that first cycle, I had a degree and an extreme distaste for all things in the education field.  So I came home, got a BS job as a Latchkey teacher, and figured I would never really use my degree again.  3 months later I had my dream job, paying $10 an hour w/ benefits (unheard of in the Early Childhood field, trust me) and I had complete autonomy. I learned how to organize curriculum, create curriculum, and organize an entire summer camp program. I became a better teacher because of that job.

3 years later, the cycle began again.  My attitude had a lot to do with it.  I lost friends, and burned a lot of bridges along the way. Thank God for unemployment, let me tell you.  I got on my Detroit Hustle, had 3 part-time jobs, and in the process was introduced to a new way to teach children how to read.  I got so good, people were actually paying me to work for them.  I had reached the pinnacle . . . I was asked to work for $30 an hour, but told that I had to accept $26. This was the job that taught me my worth.  That let me know that I could do things that other people couldn’t, and I could do it well.

{Side Note: Looking back at that whole fiasco, I bet that Little White Lady thought to herself, How dare this Black Girl think she should make that much money. I don’t know anyone, NOW, that makes $26 an hour full time, and I was PISSED I didn’t get $30. Wow.}

So of course, that couldn’t last very long. By that time, I was blogging.  Feel free to read the story here and here.  I fought, hard. But at the end of the day, I didn’t have anymore fight in me.  So it was on to the next thing.  I struggled to find the REASON that all these things continued to happen to me.  At that point, it was 2007, it was time to start ALL the way over.

In November of 2007, I moved into my house.  Yet another phase of my life that showed me something new and exciting.  Being a home owner, and understanding exactly what that meant.  The house was going to be the end of all my problems, and it ended up being a burden of epic proportions.  Because my mother and I choose to take a family member at their word, I started my own business.  I thought, FINALLY, something that I can control.  I learned that I was capable of starting something from scratch, and making it work for me.  I learned that I could help children, and get paid well to do it.

A year later (the cycle was getting shorter) it all feel apart.  I lost faith in a lot of people (including most of my family), lost a myriad of friends, and left the only place that I had ever thought was MINE to venture to the new frontier (for me) that was Arizona. 

Talk about a Series of Unfortunate Events.  In the almost 3 years that I have lived here, here is just a small list of the things that have happened to me:

  • Broken My Foot while walking on Pavement
  • Broken my Hand while lifting a shelf
  • Gotten in 2 car accidents
  • Got accused of threatening a child
  • Spent 2 nights in the hospital
  • Had my wages garnished because of that Hospital stay
  • GOT ARRESTED
  • GOT TAKEN TO JAIL

Those last two were clearly the worst.  At this point in my life, I’m not even shocked when stuff like this happens anymore.  The day I got fired from my first job, I didn’t even argue, I just went to get my stuff and left.  I updated my resume, and called the folks I knew that could help me out. The day AFTER I went to jail, I just assumed I was going to lose the other job I had, and I was right.

I’m used to this kinda of stuff happening, which scares me.  Because at this point, I don’t have any FAITH anymore.  I have stopped believing in myself. (Not my skill level, but my level of . . . sustainability for lack of a better word) I know that eventually I am going to either piss the wrong person off, or do something that is perceived as something else, and have to start all over again.

And it’s not that I don’t still think I’m amazing, because I honestly do.  Instead, I just think that no one cares anymore.  At home, people cared that I was great.  They encouraged me to be great, and I felt that.  Living here, and not having an Adequate Support System, has really broken me down.

So, frequently, I feel like I’ve been Chasing Pavements, and going nowhere.  At times, I just want to go HOME.  Other times, I just want to curl up in a ball, and forget that anything else exists.  It’s weird not getting excited about things, not looking ahead.  I don’t do that anymore.  I used to make plans years ahead.  I don’t even plan for 2 weeks ahead at this point.  Because anything can change, at any time.

My mother keeps talking to me about learning my Lessons.  Which seems to be almost the same thing as earning Happiness, or Karma.  My mother says that this cycle continues because the Lessons I was supposed to learn, I haven’t. 

Can a Bish get a Study Guide?

(And don’t you DARE say the Bible)

I just need someone to email me a piece of paper with some essay prompts or long answer questions.  Something like, You should really think about how this action is going to effect your future? Or, What do you think about your reaction to this? A friend recently asked me, “Do you think our lives would be better if we had a “relationship” with God? I couldn’t answer her question. 

I still can’t.  Anyone who has read my recent blogs knows, I’m fighting myself about faith, God, and religion.  A lot of that has to do with me looking back over my life, and thinking it over.  Can I truly say, that I’ve been Blessed, or is my life just a TEST, and not a testimony?

This grey area that I seem to be existing in, I hope it clears up soon.  Cuz I really don’t like fog.  And I don’t know what I was supposed to learn about the last 2+ years of my life, other than Arizona might not be the best place for me.

Thanks for reading . . . Feel free to Comment (not Judge)

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

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!

CSBF Vol. 15 – Pregnancy: Single Woman’s Hustle or Single Woman’s Downfall?

This blog is going to be written in two parts, because while they both have to do with bringing a child into the world, it’s two different topics.  So like yeah . . . Enjoy.

Part 1: Sometimes I Wish I was a Simple Bitch

Based on  several conversations that I have had this week, I am going to explore this statement for a little bit. We all know that most of my blogs are based, in some way, on my personal experiences, and this one will be no different. This whole thing started with my trip to the Welfare Office, and ended with a text that said:

“Have My Child”

When I was at the Welfare office, they kept asking me if I was pregnant. First, I thought it was ‘cuz I’m fat, but then the lady explained.  “Ma’am, if you were Pregnant, they would have been able to help you out.”  I could have gotten full medical assistance, at least $400 in Food Stamps, AND Cash Assistance. You mean to tell me, the government will pay me to be a Single Mother?!?!?

 

The Arizona Welfare Folks

I started really thinking about getting pregnant. Not because my biological clock is ticking, but because my wallet is empty as hell. That was the hoodrat in me – Me’Keisha thinking, but she had some valid ass points:

If I was to have a kid right now, it would solve several of my problems. I would get help for my rent, full medical coverage, AND the govenrment would pay for daycare. I already have a 2 bedroom apt, so the kid would have its own room.  We all know I love children, and I think I would be a great mom.  I would also be able to keep teaching, because I don’t make enough money to NOT qualify for aid.

I could work full time, get money to pay for my child, put them in the best daycare available in Tucson, AND not work in the summer and get unemployment.  The fact that I worked that out in my head, is slightly shameful, right?!? But keep it real, if you look at it, it makes sense. {And if I get Pregnant every three years, I could live a GREAT ass life, all with the help of the Gov’ment!}

 

"I just wanted to do Hoodrat things with My Friends"

At this point Maegan, the Perky blonde inside me, slapped me and said, “OMG. Have you lost your mind!” But I really did seriously think about it. Leave it to Maegan to stop me from having all that Pregnancy Fun.  Gosh!

*Bill Cosby Voice*NOW, clearly, the dude who asked me to have his child isn’t the right candidate to be my sperm donor, because he asked me via text message.  Who DOES THAT?!?!?  He didn’t say raise a child with him, he didn’t say let’s start a family together. No, he just wants a child. When I gave him my answer, a very resounding No, he was pissed off. “Why the fcuk not?!?!”

{Mind you, this is coming from a man who spent probably half his life in and out of jail and/or prision. He’s a product of the State of Arizona Foster Care system, 1/4 children who were given up by their mother because she couldn’t or didn’t want to handle them. But ok….}

My explanation, “I can’t afford to have a child right now, and neither can you. Why would I do that to myself, and to a child?” After he stopped cursing, he said, “No one plans to have children! You just have them!”

Part II: It’s Just Not Done

*Disclaimer* This is no way meant to call out the single mothers of the world. I have quite a few friends who fall in this catergory. However, most of these women were part of committed relationships/marriages at the time they had their children.

I realized after talking to one of my colleagues who is actual 3 years younger than me, that some people don’t understand that you ARE supposed to plan to have children. Like everyone of your kids shouldn’t be a surprise. Most of my close friends, are single and childless. They want it that way.

Because they haven’t done everything they want to do in their own lives. So bringing a child into the world at this point wouldn’t be a smart decision. Besides the monetary strain that it would put on them, the act of pretty much saying, “My own goals are now second to those that I have for my child,” is difficult for us to do.

I’m convinced that we are the first generation in a while that is going to be having children at 35+, because its going to take us that long to get to the point where we have found a career and not just a job to tide us over. We have been taught by our own single parents and professional parents that life is harder with children, and we listened. Not only will we wait for marriage {another blog all together} but we will also wait to bring new life into this very complicated world….

Call it selfishness if you must. It’s actually based on a need to succeed.  For the majority of my friends, we know what it is to be given encouragement to get to a certain place in life.  Some of my friends have actually gotten there.  Interestingly, these are also my friends who are married.  I have quite a few friends from high school and college who are doing the same thing I am, living their life to the fullest – child free – so they have the ability to say they didn’t sacrifice anything once they had a child.

My current mindset: Until I can take one whole paycheck a month, and put it in a savings account, I shouldn’t ACTIVELY pursue having a child.  It would be a bad decision, because I woulnd’t be able to give a child the kind of life I feel they would need to succeed.  Why purposely create a struggle if it doesn’t need to be there?  This mindset may mean that I will never have children, but right now, I’m really not worried about it that much.

I teach Middle School, that’s the World’s Greatest Birth Control, trust me.

I’m sure someone is going to read this, and feel that I am trying to make the Single Mothers of the World look like dumb hoodrat bitches.  That’s not the point of this blog. Honestly, my hat goes off to all the single mother’s I know. The Single Mothers who work hard to provide for their children, and often have to deal with Shullbit in order to make their child’s life the best it can be.

In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out life.  The ups and downs that have happened in this MONTH so far are enough to show that life is always going to surprise the hell outta you. You never know, 3 years from now, that Biological Clock might start ticking and I might start a new blog about the wonders of Motherhood (single or otherwise).

What do you think?