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Showing posts from October, 2014

Halloween Hurts

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As day turned to night, as the sun fell across the lonely streets of the deserted town, and teenager’s whoops grew louder, there was a man. Or a basic shape of a man. He seemed to be wearing a cloak. When I first saw him I thought of the great detail put into the costume he was wearing. Or was it a costume? “Sir, thatis such great outfit… You been scaring some kids?” I laughed awkwardly, but he didn’t respond. “Alright, I’ll bite, what are you?” I said curiously. Then he began to change, his broad shoulders began to hunch over, his hips got wider and his chest ripped through his cloak. “Dude what the..." He cut me off with a huge hiss. But it didn’t come from his mouth then I realized he had a tail-no a snake on his behind! That is when I ran. I dipped through back yards, scurried through houses long since abandoned, and my every move scared me to death. Every creek in the stairs took the life out of my soul. Then I stopped. What was I doing?! I couldn’t move my legs, my arms wer…

10.30

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"I have been downcast myself ... but never in despair.  I can shake off everything if I write."  Anne Frank

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October 29, 2014  9:54 PM
I told my students that they had to write at least 3 diary entries between Monday and Thursday. I usually give them guiding questions that are anchored to our text but this week, I am encouraging them to do some free-writes, as long as they don't write them in their own homes. I want them to choose places that Anne Frank might have gone, if she would've been able to leave the confines of her father's attic, during the start of WWII. Being that Anne couldn't leave, couldn't get a breath of fresh air, couldn't go to school, or see her friends, I wanted them to write about doing those things.. I'm hoping that by doing these diary entries, they learn to appreciate their freedom and the little things that they have; things that so many others aren't fortunate enough to have at all. 
So like a good teacher, I too have to do the same... Only I'm cheating.. Because I'm in my room.. In my bed.. But to be honest, this doesn't fe…

Usies

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HUNGRY

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My current schedule is nonstop ... I literally maximize every minute in my day to work on lessons, blossoms, pynkz, post graduate work, research fellowship work, etc.. etc.. Even during lunch I'm knocking something off of my to-do list. I rarely get home before 10 PM and when I do, I'm doing more work... My dog doesn't know me anymore .. I still need to unpack and put things away in my new place ... And my hair has been in two messy braids for a few days now.. But the crazy thing is that I am not even tired. I'm not burnt out. I'm not complaining. What I am - is called: HUNGRY.. I'm on the grind. And my only fuel is seeing the bigger picture. Knowing that everything I do now, will pay off later. Knowing that my children's children's children will still eat off of the seeds that I am planting now. That's my motivation. I'm ready for tomorrow. Another day, another opportunity to get things  DONE. 

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7:29 PM 
"Ugghhh!!" I screamed in utter disappointment. "I lost everything I was just writing! The entire memoir about our first road trip."
"You didn't save it?!" 
"No! I was about to but when I went to change that terrible song, I must've accidentally erased it."
"Well baby, it's not gone. You're a writer. It came from you so it's still in you."

Found.

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but I love your feet only because they walked upon this earth and upon the wind and upon the waters until they found me 
Pueblo Neruda

Optimistic Prisms

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releasing your negative energy is the most positive thing you can do for yourself. 
finding the perfect outlet can often be the hardest part.
so many of us turn to drugs and alcohol or even sex for a quick fix.. but those frivolous things do nothing to heal the soul. ..
try: taking some deep breaths lighting incense and candles  taking a hot bubble bath  playing some smooth jazz reading a favorite book  coloring or painting or crafting  drinking some hot chocolate writing a letter to yourself about your day  making a list of the successes of the day   meditating on a single word e.g. Love; peace; freedom; future and focusing on the positives.
we are so quick to stray to what's going wrong that we don't even acknowledge our blessings. we are alive, we have survived another day, in good health, with warmth and shelter. there are so many people among us who can not say the same. 
focus on the positives
be an optimistic prism..  attract a brighter light.
look in the mirror and smile. find your inne…

Signs

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...ribbon in the sky for our love .....

Lesson Ideas: Writing Captivating Hooks

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No spells or magic could be casted to change things. There was no app. Heck, iPhones weren't even invented. I had to do things on my own. There was only one way, practicing. 
So I would practice all day every day. I would do it in church, in class, in the car, and even in my sleep. My favorite place to do it was in secret. No one and - I mean NO ONE - knew about my....

I was teaching my students how to use a captivating hook to get started on a short story. Using voice expression, I read the hook above. The plots of each of the stories that the students wrote to follow that hook varied in size, tone, and subject. I didn't give the students any writing guidelines or topics. The only rule was that their story had to be relevant to the hook. 
Warner's is a great example. ***
No spells or magic could be casted to change things. There was no app. Heck, iPhones weren't even invented. I had to do things on my own. There was only one way: practicing.  So I would practice all day …

Bye Bye Blondie

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This is probably not even blog worthy but today is the last day for this blonde hair and super long nails. Very pretty and really fun but I'm over it now ... 
That's the best part of being a human being: you can change your style as often as you want. 
Be comfortable in your skin. Be you. Be free. 
V

Never Be Afraid to Rise Alone

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The sacrifices you made when you planted your seeds will not be in vain. And just remember: you cannot take everyone with you when you rise. Trees don't necessarily stand alone but their growth is definitely not dependent on the trees that were planted beside them.

His Side of Sunday

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If I know what love is, its because of you...  Herman Hesse
Less than 24 hours was the amount of time I spent with the woman I see myself sharing the rest of my life with. This weekend was different from any other we have spent together. Typically, she'd come to the city to stay the weekend with me or I would visit her for the weekend in Baltimore. After a long week without her, Friday would come and like clockwork once 5pm hit, I'd dashed from my midtown office and briskly walk 3 blocks to where the China bus would transport all passengers to Baltimore. 3 to 4 hours later, I'd arrive in that small, horribly lit parking lot across the street from McDonalds where Lil Bit would be waiting for me or where I'd have to sit and wait for her to pick me up. I hated when she wasn't there on time, awaiting my arrival. But whenever she was late she'd always kiss me and say how sorry she was. I couldn't stay mad for too long even if I wanted to. It was pointless. We only…

Her Side of Sunday

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Starting from Friday night, cleaning cooking and buttering the pan to make the chicken .. Planned on taking the day to get extra beautiful for our 2nd month anniversary.
Cooked my ass off and packed all the food to surprise him when I got to New York so he wouldn't have to pay for dinner tonight. Saving is hard when you have a girlfriend. Even if she doesn't ask for much, guys always want to please and it could feel like a lot of pressure on their pockets. 

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After dinner. Just had the worse argument everrrr... But what's new? We fight and love all day, even with him being so far away. Sounds crazy but every argument helps us to remain close. In some sick way, us showing little bouts of insecurity and vulnerability to each other is attractive... I guess it allows us to feel safe enough to trust each other. It's beautiful.. Not even to sound cliche. 
The Dream is playing .. Reminds me of college days with Carissa. I remember riding uptown in the winters at 4 am, coming fr…

10 + 1 Things I Needed to Hear Today

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Beware of people who find comfort in taking their frustrations out on you. 
Remember, nothing is personal unless you allow it to be that way. 
Nothing that bothers you is permanent. 
When things aren't going the way you want them to, change yourself. 
Don't worry about other people's underlying feelings. If they don't address you, it's not your problem. 
Everything takes time, especially great things. Don't give up on yourself just because you aren't seeing quick results. 
Stay true to your purpose. 
Don't stress yourself over things you can't change. Don't stress yourself over the things that you can change either. 
You will have days when you absolutely feel like life sucks. Nobody is perfect. 
Don't let them get the best of you. Who ever them is - isn't worth it.

A Conceit - Maya Angelou

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Give me your hand Make room for me to lead  and  follow you beyond this rage of poetry.
Let others have the privacy of touching words and love of loss of love. For me Give me your hand.

Leah & D: From Girls to Queens

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Kwon was polite enough to hold the door open for the girls as they walked out of my classroom and headed to their lockers. Before the whole class was able to exit the room, I heard one of my 8th grade boys yelling but I couldn't understand what he was saying. The girls rushed back into my room in a chaotic haste to tell me that one of the members of my Crew was unabashedly arguing in the hall. She entered my room shortly after I heard the news and dismally sat with her friends. 
“What’s the matter babygirl?” I walked over and asked her, hoping I could do something to help. She had already been having a rough week with her family issues, I didn't want her to have to deal with drama in school too. 
“Nothing…”, Leah answered. I knew she wasn't being very honest and even though I really wanted to help, I left her alone. She's the type of student who perfers to reflect independently before talking about things that are bothering her. 
"Okay, well I'm here when you'…

12:08 AM

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Just know All of my love  Is only for you.  Not some.  Not a little.  All. I promise. ❤️

Know Your Circle

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No one that truly cares about you will ever expect you to be perfect. They just want to see you grow. These are the people that can see the best in you, even when you don't show it. Those are the people that you should stick with. Those are the ones who don't want anything from you, except for you to experience success.

I Got the Juice Now

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Race in My Classroom

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I posted this - and then I took it down... I was afraid of offending folks. But this morning I read a blog post on the New Yorker that my boss sent me on Facebook. My big takeaway was, "Part of being a student is learning how to advocate for your beliefs by writing and speaking about them calmly and impersonally. This includes intensely personal matters like race, religion, sex, love, death and evil. At the very least, thinking adults must be able to say why they don’t believe in discussing their personal opinions on those topics. Preventing students from reading about issues that make them uncomfortable only deepens their discomfort when they are forced to face those issues."  After reading the article, I felt like reposting my reflection on how my students are reacting to the ever-sensitive topic of race. If you read this and have any resources that may help with discussing this topic with middle schoolers, please share. 
*** "But Ms. Clay, it's not our fault that we…

10.01

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I'm simply happy today.
love love,  V