Jun 23, 2010

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 5

Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm ready for the break, but will miss my time with the boys and girls during lunch. They are fascinating, interesting, funny, and full of life. Yeah, from time to time the kids do press my last nerve, but I find I quickly forgive.

As you may recall from an earlier post, the school I'm in serves a community challenged by poverty, drugs, and violence. So, I spent the day talking to all the kids about how to be safe during the summer. I reminded them to:

- Go in the opposite direction of any type of fight, argument, or situation where the police are present. Over the summer we lose a lot of people to gun violence. Many victims are just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

- Speaking of guns. I told all my kids if they hear gunshots, to go straight home and wait till things calm down.

- I'm telling the really young kids that when the sun goes down, that means it's really late, and they should be home.

- I also told the kids that I want all of them to get a library card over the summer, and spend as much time as possible reading.

The children at my school face a lot of challenges and potential for danger. Today, was the graduation for 8th graders. One of my students assigned to me was part of the ceremony. This student is living with emotional and behavioral disorders. She rarely access her internal governor and often chooses aggressive behaviors to deal with life.

She showed up to graduation today, with movie star sunglasses. She wore them in order to hide a swollen blackeye. She got into a fight with an adult man the night before! I told her to hang in there. She went on stage and got her diploma.

She and I really bonded and she will always have a place in my head and heart. She is very honest and rarely censors herself. She is also a very talented artist. I spent a lot of time talking to her about becoming a graphic designer. She is very fascinated with fonts and type. I also dig her because she is a fierce bulldyke in training wheels.

I shivered for a moment today, because a horrible thought crept into my head that told me she will not live to see her 21st birthday. I pray I was wrong and that she will positively surprise the world.

Jun 15, 2010

Gen. Petraeus' War Fatigue

Dear. Gen. Petraeus,

Today you fainted while given testimony to the U.S. Senate regarding drawing down forces in Afghanistan. It is being reported your moment of feeling the vapors, was due to dehydration and lack of food. I'm assuming you have been consumed with burning the midnight oil to find a solution to the military quagmire U.S. forces are in on the other side of the planet.

I hope you are okay, and that within that moment of complete surrender to a power mightier than yourself, you experienced enlightenment. May divine forces have crept into your heart and mind, while you was briefly relieved from your programming.

In my most optimistic flight of imagination and hope. I see you will soon say that the act of war is criminal. May your mouth utter words that speak of war being the resulting acts of greed for resources and lust for power, that ultimately benefit in the long term, the already wealthy among the populace. Imagine your voice spreading the word the peace and love is truly the answer. Your voice and mind being part of solutions that show how we can share, learn, and live together, without guns to our heads.

May you also realize the fatigue that plagues the men and women that have served several tours in this war. I hope this is the realization rather then believing those in service need to suck it up, and come back for the cameras as if nothing is wrong.

If we had a war and not one single body showed up, you would be out of a job. It is perhaps of this reality you have not let the sunshine in. Instead you see the world as us and them, and now your body failed you to reveal your own vulnerability and dare I say it, humanity.

Peace my brother and I offer you this:

Jun 12, 2010

Do These Shoes Make Me Look Fat?

In an effort to lighten things up, I am on the hunt for my summer sandal, I don't do flip flops in public. I was raised as to call them chancletas, and they were meant only to be worn around the house. Oh, and I'm also looking for an all-white sneaker!

I want my feet to look cute in the heat. However, I am not finding what I want!

Why lord must acquiring footwear be such a challenge! Damn it!

Jun 11, 2010

The Calling

If you believe in awareness then you might believe there is always a calling. A divine force from outside connects with your inner-self and when the two merge a vision of purpose is created. Please excuse my Oprah/New Age/Make me feel good/There is a meaning to all this-ness, for a moment.

I just know that I wasted a lot of time disregarding the messages sent to me that moved the essential parts of my inner-me. Then when I paid attention, quietly, I got the most powerful messages. The most damaging directions came loud and blazing. The most lovingly powerful messages came with a whisper wrapped around the most honest experiences.

My challenge is figuring out what messages are authentic and what messages are self-created lies.

My solution has been to know that messages that leave me empty must considered and if necessary be discarded, and the ones that fill me up with optimism must be evaluated, and if true at that point and time, be pursued with courage and determination.

Jun 8, 2010

Lady Gaga - Canta en Español

So here is Lady Gaga's new offering Alejandro. I was reminded of ABBA's Fernando, with a touch of Ace of Base, meets Madonna's La Isla Bonita.

Gaga is truly a popstar reaching into the tried and true book of pop recipes. However, there is still an edge to it, and her references come from a smart place. I digged a lot of the imagery, and the Central American bob cuts on the dancers. Also, check out the wink to Liza in Cabaret towards the middle of the video.

My overall take on the song is that it has a nice beat and you can dance to it. Or, at the very least enjoy a car ride while it played on the radio. Which it will, over and over, and over again.

Jun 4, 2010

Be Water

When my spirit experienced life as a child in the 70s, I believed I was new to the the human experience. I struggled. I felt out of place, time and reality.

To my rescue was a being named Bruce Lee. He embodied for me someone that figured out the Earth journey by connecting to a part of himself that was truly authentic.

In my mind he was an ancient spirit that took the Earth trip before and understood the allusions. Bruce used his gifts to fight for justice by balancing the act of someone ethereal revisiting familiar ground.

He would smirk and wink and, when needed, gave the eyes of a tiger. His wisdom ran deep. Good people, here is proof.

Let his Be Water speech put you in the right frame of mind. Please consider how water gives life and changes worlds while appearing mostly docile and then changing into a spine tingling force that can quickly overwhelm then vanish.

Please click on the following links to experience a thoughtful conversation that gives further insight into our brother Bruce Lee.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Should I Add "Gleek" To My Descriptor?

In the grand lobby of Radio City Music Hall getting ready to see Glee Live!

Good people, Princess Rei Rei gave me an awesome graduation present. I was in attendance at Radio City Music Hall for the final performance of the Glee Live tour!

It was an awesome experience. The yungins did one hell of a show that was so much fun to watch. They sang live and were on point. The numbers consisted of all the highlights from the show. My favorites were The Boy Is Mine, Don't Stop Believing, Defying Gravity, and True Colors.

All of the Glee kids received tons of love from the audience. The breakout stars were Chris Colfer (Kurt) and, believe it or not, Heather Morris (Brittany). Chris was campy and gave so much to the audience. Heather was just amazing with her dancing and energy.

Heather and Chris also had a little skit they did together that was hysterical. They were in character and Chris/Kurt had on a cape that would have put Liberace to shame. It was made completely out of peacock feathers. Heather/Brittany made her moves on him and was quite risque.

The audience ages range from tweens to your 40 somethings. I thought this was awesome and proves how music and comedy can bring people together.

I'm glad there is something like Glee out there. I love that it is gay positive, and promotes the message that we all have to be authentic and let our little light shine.

BTW, did I ever mention I was a member of a Glee club from grades 2 through 6? My highlight was singing I'll Do Anything from Oliver to my homegirl Elaine.

Jun 2, 2010