Showing posts from May, 2014

The Hollins St. Emancipation Proclamation

I told my friends that I didn't want to facilitate a Valencia's Garden Instagram Challenge for May because I felt like I had outgrown them. Everyone that I spoke to about my sentiments basically told me that I had not been doing Challenges long enough for them to be discontinued and that I needed to proceed with cultivating them for consistency. So I finally came up with the Create Enthusiasm Challenge and I loved it ...but my heart wasn't into it. Some of my followers participated in it and I thought to myself, "Hey, it must have been placed on my heart to do it just for them.." But it wasn't for me. 
June is fastly approaching and I am beginning to feel the same exact same way that I felt in late April, I don't want to do an instagram-challenge next month. 
Contrary to what my friends believe, I truly have outgrown them. I meditated on it for a while, as I sat here under the sun on Hollins, and was able to come to a firm conclusion because I reflected on …


"Ms. Clay!!! You came!!!" One of my 6th grade creative writing students was surprised to see me as I walked into the hall. 
"Of course I came. Where else would I be? You didn't know I was coming?"
"No but I am so happy to see you because now you can take my mom's place. She couldn't be here tonight." 
"Awww Amber. I love being a fairy god mother. Your mom would've been here if she could have been. You know you are loved and super supported!" 
We both smiled, although I could tell Amber was still disappointed in her mom. I was glad that I was able to be at the event for her and so many of my other students.  
After getting a few refreshments, I headed over to the table to pick up my copy of "Charm" the very first issue of the Voices of Baltimore's Youth literary magazine. 
I sat down in the middle of the crowded hall in the Frederick Douglass museum, located in the East Harbor, and began to flip through the book.  Thanks to…

Personal Branding is Not about Being Popular

It's really all about: 
1. Following your heart; trusting your instincts and prior experiences. 
2. Not being afraid to be different or rejected because of your individuality. You must be original. 
3. Stepping outside of your comfort zone while staying true to yourelf. 
4. Having integrity, even when no one is looking. 
5. Self-reflecting on the successes and failures throughout your journey. 
6. Asking for support when you need it. 
7. Listening to all of the things that are around you. Whether positive or negative, all things can foster growth, new insight, and life-long lessons. 
8. Remaining humble after you succeed. 
9. Helping others who are inspired by you along the way. 
10. Being consistent and purposefully aligning every step you take and decision you make to your initial mission. Never forget why you started. 

How Many Selfies are You Going to Take Before You Actually Believe that You're Beautiful?

Haven't seen my big boy all week! I'm trying to take a pic and here he comes running!  I'm like, "No Tay! I can't pick you up.. I have on white ..." He didn't  care .. And he knew his mama couldn't resist... Notice how the sun is shining on him like Simba after I pick him up. Does that make me the King? eeek! Once I could tell that he was happy and grateful for the attention and love... ... I gave him kissy faces, so I could get back to my pictures! My homegirl took a few more pics for me, per my request.. This one wasn't right ...I wasn't ready! I have no idea what I was laughing about here! Looking mighty silly, might I add.  But I lovvvvveeeddd this one below!! Too bad it's blurry! This is cool but ehh ..
Then, I was over it .. I decided I liked the one below most. Ironically, this was the FIRST picture that my homegirl took and it was candid! So today's discoveries are (or reminders rather): 
Number 1, Taylor is spoiled. 
Number 2, we get the be…

Art is ...Everywhere You Are.

Can reading be considered creating enthusiasm? Clearly that's all I have been doing this past week, in addition to being super inspired by all of this week's posts, from this month's challenge! I had to share them with my readers!
Without further ado,
 here is the lastest from the 
Create Enthusiasm Instagram-Challenge! *** I love everything about this! It's classy yet edgy at the same time. 
The perfect  combination! All hail the sneaker queen! One of my followers actually sent this to me via direct message on Instagram! Love it! I have to take a trip to the Bronx museum ASAP! Thanks Lucy! And I really hope she continues to create enthusiasm, even after the challenge is complete! All of her posts this week have been radical and filled with such implicit symbolism! I have become such a fan! We have to meet one day!
I found a few new people to follow this week as well! Check out their pieces!
I need this!  Here are my additions to the challenge:
I actually had time to go to Starbucks…

Student Spotlight

Payton, one of my baby girls, took all of these pictures in Baltimore today and yesterday! She's a natural photographer! 
Above, we found a bird's nest! I had to get a shot! 
The pictures below were taken outside of the Baltimore Aquarium. 

I just love the color contrast of this last one! We were in Carroll Park. 
Kudos to Ms. Sanders, her art teacher, for teaching the photography class! I know she picked up these skills from working with you!
love love...

A Tuesday

Beyond exhausted! I was up all night working on a 15 page paper for one of my grad classes. I barely woke up on time for work. And when I was on my way, I was pulled over.  Anyone can infer from the picture above that I was super annoyed, ready to go back home and jump back into my bed. But of course, I couldn't .. We were going on an adventure race with our students today. The adventure race is a city-wide scavenger hunt. We travel around the entire city from Camden Yards to Federal Hill .. Fells Point to Mount Vernon and the inner Harbor by foot, bus, and water taxi just to find different sites and answer historical questions. I wasn't in the mood for it today at all. 
When I walked into my classroom, my 8 girls knew something was wrong. "Guys I need a moment. I got pulled over and I'm tired." 
"Ms. Clay, you should just read that book you always give us when we have a bad day." Aliyah suggested.  "Yes Aliyah! She needs to read "Don't Sweat …