May 30, 2010

A Tree Grows In Connecticut


Good people, three and a half years later, I finally walked across the stage and received my degree! I done graduated y'all. I am also receiving my Special Education (K-12) certification. This means a pay raise and employment options.

I earned an Associates back in my twenties, and took almost ten years to go back and get my B.S. The time, place and people to make it possible came when it was right. I went into this experience wanting to thrive.

I would have not made it without the love and support of Marcos, Mami, Jenny, Anthony, Izzy, Yoselin, Devon, Princess Rei Rei, Joslyn, and many more. Each of these people motivated me to keep on keeping on, despite the challenges, doubts, and fears.

What was different this time around, being a student of a certain age, is the following:

- I didn't feel the need to be the smartest one in the room. Therefore, I learned from others while enjoying the experience.
- I was guided by a clear purpose and direction.
- My maturity allowed me to center myself when I needed to do so.
- My life-experiences gave me essential skills that enabled me to get the work done.

I move forward in my purpose and with a continued commitment to being a life-long learner. I wish you all the same.

May 27, 2010

This Is Where Chris Is At

Chris Crocker helped me to kiki when I needed it. I sometimes check in on the young thang.

When I viewed her recent post, I felt that she reminded me of the transition from child to adult.

She also reminded me how we often have to look at ourselves, accept what needs to be understood, and understand who we are now, can be, and will be.

I pity anyone that does not know they are a creation in progress that is needed in the world.

Keep on, keeping on Chris. Do life with love while soaking it all in.

Put your contemplation into action. I believe you will choose actions that will help the world go round with love and truth.

May 26, 2010

Spring Gaylings Hatching

A Gayling was just hatched when he heard this:



I know this to be true, because this former Gayling was hatched when he heard this:



The beat and voice of a Diva triggers the DNA to activate the inner-lavender-ness, which enables the Gayling to see the rainbow.

Thank you Renee for the constant excavating and filtering.

May 23, 2010

On The Hunt for New Tunes


I've been on the search for some new music this weekend. I'm feeling the need for a new soundtrack this summer.

I'm getting ready to graduate and emerge further into a life centered on thriving, rather than just surviving. Therefore, I need some hot tracks to accompany me.

Renee and Junior have provided me with some selections. Good people, help a hermano out by letting me know what is sonically seducing your mind, body and soul.

You Can't Make This Shit Up 2


Johnny Weir cracks me up. I get that she is having a kiki, but darling let's take another approach. One can be very scandalozo without looking like you are from Sesame Street.

Why did the image of her being perched on a fist later that evening while wearing the jacket just popped into my head? I can hear her telling the rentboy that she was feeling in a very Miss Piggy mood.

Ya know someone was fired at the Children's Television Workshop, for selling her those muppet skin remnants.


Octomom is kinda sorta using her fading celebrity for good. She is speaking out against breeding. I want to say something shady, but I just feel sad for her. It is the sabbath and one should keep it holy.

I didn't even blink when the opportunity to throw shade at Woody presented itself.

"While promoting his movie at Cannes, Woody says that Roman has already been "embarrassed by the whole thing" and "has suffered" enough. Woody went on to say that Roman is "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it." Roman quickly issued this response, "Woody, you're not helping." - Source: dlisted.com

May 22, 2010

She Keeps On, Keeping On


Back in February I mentioned an adored friend started her battle against breast cancer. Last week she finished her final session of chemotherapy.

In between chemo sessions there were moments that she was herself, and a couple of days after she took to bed, which was soooo not herself.

She shared how the chemo triggered her senses. She tasted metal in her mouth and her pee smelled chemically. She also talked about the pain, and that she hated pain killers, because it robbed her of a day from being out and about. If you know her, you would know she likes to be out and about. Many a brunches with her were cancelled

I gagged. I then got over myself. I gave love, humor, tempered the sharing of my own drama, and always left her with encouraging words.

She gave me back her love, humor and tempered it with an honesty about what she was going through. Most women know how to do that because, as Renee said once, they have vaginas and are not scared of the details. A lot of men shut down and become boys when facing drama.

My dear friend rocked some fab wigs while experiencing chemo. My favorite was this asymetrical bob with purple highlights on the tips. She gave you Latina Jem and I hope I was her hologram. She is truly outrageous.

I kinda battled with past, present and future tense in writing this post. Perhaps my confusion is connected to my thoughts about whether her fight is finally won. She will win. She is winning. She has won.

She is here!

So, fuck the tenses, because I know you knew that I meant we are in the knowing while in the now.

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 4


Okay, so everyone is in an uproar about the state of Texas voting to alter the content of what is taught in the social studies and history courses in primary schools. The changes lean towards a conservative view and "emphasizes the roles of capitalist enterprise, the military, Christianity and modern Republican political figures." It will also diminish content regarding slavery, the historical role of unions in labor, etc. etc.

Let me share this, about that:

- Curriculum content and how it is taught is always changing. The dynamic that influences these changes is political, and a reflection of the attitudes of the times people are living in and the holders of power in their community.

- It is often just a handful of folks that are holding the final say in their hands when it comes to making curriculum content decisions. Therefore, if you care, find out what your local and state boards of education are doing and get involved.

- Every state provides the curriculum for public schools online. Google your state's curriculum standards and take a look at what is being taught. Hey, as a tax payer you are paying for it, see if it meets your standards.

- I'm glad people are making a stink about all of this, because, we all need to be mindful about what is being taught to children in school, regardless if we are parenting school-age children. Are we creating cogs for the machine, or compassionate human beings?

- I have found most social studies and history books to always be somewhat biased and flawed. I have looked at many of the textbooks we use in these courses. The content of many textbooks render the history and contributions of the Latino and the GLBT communities invisible, marginalized, or summarized into paragraphs.

- Most teachers are very aware of the shortcomings of curriculum and textbook content and will often supplement their lessons with additional materials. Also, many teachers will incorporate lessons and activities that engage students in critical thinking, and further inquiry. I know I do.

- This attitude about either - or, Us vs. Them, has no place in education. What is suppose to occur is that all sides and views are presented, and you engage a young mind with the task of sorting it all out, so that they can find their own evolving truths.

Meditate on this:

“the subject-matter of education consists of bodies of information and of skills that have been worked out in the past; therefore, the chief business of the school is to transmit them to the new generation...in essence, one of imposition.” — John Dewey

"Any situation in which some men prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence;… to alienate humans from their own decision making is to change them into objects."
— Paulo Freire

May 15, 2010

Big People vs. Little People (Revised)


The little 8-9 year-old girls in that viral video of them dancing to Beyonce's "Put A Ring On It" are the victims of their parents' neglect. It was child pornography, with a beat that can distract you from the fact that some adults made a bad call. Little girls should not gyrate on stage. Period!

This was my teacher/colonialized voice talking. As a child I recall the adults around us loving to see us dance Salsa and Disco. They loved to see the yungins replicate the adult world in terms of physical and verbal expression.

I remember a female cousin and I were very Dance Fever. I would swoop her up and she would do the pique ballet position as I spun her around. Ya know the move, one leg fully extended out while the other bent to the knee of the extended leg. I have pictures to prove it. I was eight-years old and she was five-years old.

The difference between our performance and that of the girls in the video is that it occurred in the safe-space consisting of our relatives. Also, we were both fully dressed. However, I'm sure the songs we danced to where lyrically meant for the adults.

I recall Donna Summer moaning a lot. I'm pretty certain that my cousin and I had no idea what the song was about, but we knew it had a good beat and we could work it.

The parents of the girls in the video make the case that people are reading too much into it. I don't doubt that. However, I do believe that for some of the girls it was just dancing, and for others it was a message about how grown women are suppose to "move" in the world.

It's all very complex, often confusing how and what we teach the yungins, therefore, thoughtfullness is the key. Let's give the children what they can handle emotionally. Don't ask Tootie to make love to the camera, when she has never been kissed by a boy.

It is important to protect children while still letting them figure out their way in the world.

At the end of the day, you plan for what doesn't hit you, and get hit with what you don't plan for.

May I get an amen!?

May 9, 2010

May 8, 2010

Guerrero Rojo To The Rescue


So, as I am walking to the store today, I see a stray dog roaming the streets. It is a hefty pit bull mix. I stop in my tracks to access the situation. The dog comes up to me wagging his tail. I put my hand out and he is friendly.

He then walks up to a house and starts to whimper. I put him in the backyard and knock on the door. A woman comes out startled and I say "I just let a dog into your yard. Does he belong to you?" She tells me no and looks afraid, and asks me to let him out. I then call the cops and keep the dog by my side to keep him from running into the a two lane street.

The cop pulls up a few minutes later and I tell him what is going on. At this point a few folks in the neighborhood gather around. The cops gets on the radio and speaks to his Sergent and is told, I'm not making this up, "Let the dog roam around." I say to the cop, "That is not a solution. What if this dog gets hit by a car, or causes a car accident, or attacks someone walking their dog, etc. etc." The cop says "I understand, but our K-9 unit doesn't work on weekends and we don't have a kennel at the station." He then drives off!

So, I put the dog into a fenced off yard and call the animal shelter, and the police again to say where the dog is at. I leave disgusted with humanity.

I head to the store to buy the dog some food and water, and as I walk back, two guys that were at the scene are talking to a third guy. We begin talking about the absurd non-solution offered by the cops, and the new guy in the picture says, I'm not making this up, "Hey, I know the guy who runs the K-9 unit, let me call him and get him to pick up the dog." I head back to the dog happy.

As I approach the house, I see two guys out front with a car parked. They and the car were not there before. I ask them "Do you live here?" They say, "Yes." I then head over and explain the situation. They were very cool about it, and I offer them the bag of food and water for the dog, and one of the guys says, "My mother lives up the road, and she has a dog. She'll come over later and give the dog some food and water." My faith in humanity is restored.

I then come home and stand tall with my feet apart, chest high and clenched hands at my waist, while my cape billows in the wind. Guerro Rojo saves the day yet again!

AFTERTHOUGHTS:

A. What possessed me to get cozy with a pit bull mix! It could've been ugly.
B. I wonder if some of the folks thought it was my dog and I was abandoning it.
C. Yup, this is how my mind works.

May 2, 2010

A Worker Bee-Weekend



I've been a busy bee this weekend. I was able to summon the energy to get a couple of important things done. Among the task accomplished included:

- Submitting the image above to the NYT's photojournalism project called A Moment in Time. The concept is for thousands of people to send in an image they captured on camera on the same day, at the same time. The Times will then create an "international mosaic" of all of the images.

I felt it was my duty to make sure Gino was going to be included. So, there he is on the back porch getting ready to head out and explore the world one sniff at a time.

- Gino kept watch over me as I hanged the laundry. I did all of the intimate apparel and my work drag. I love it when I go into the work week with fresh clean clothes and downy soft delicates.

- I finally tamed the beast. My kitchen was a hot mess for far too long. I summoned my inner-Alice, and you can now eat off the floor. However, that won't be necessary, I also scrubbed down the mountain of dishes in the sink. It took longer then it needed to, because I kept admiring my reflection on the squeaky clean dinner plates.

- I bought journal books for my boys at school. When I'm through with them they are going to be writers! The books are cool. They have Spiderman on the cover, with a lock and key. You gotta have a gimmick to reel them in.