Showing posts from December, 2014

What Do We Really Use Social Networks For?

December 30th, 2014 7:56 PM
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.. Really, the entire internet is a place where perception is everything. I hate it sometimes. But what sucks is, I can’t just quit using them. I just asked my friends Show, Tim, and CJ why we need social networks ? 
"Communication." CJ answered first. 
"Come on! That's a cop out answer." Show retorted. 
"You right Show! It's for reassurance and validation!", Tim yelled across the table. 
"It's like you’re curating your life", Show waved one hand in the air as she spoke, while using the other to take a big sip of her Japanese imported sake. 
I felt like she was spot on. But I still wondered why? Why do we need a living gallery of our selves? Is it just to be accepted by other people? Is it to let others know how well we're doing? Is it to promote our homegrown brands? Or is it just because it's a "thing to do"? Probably a little bit of all of those things, depending o…

That Moment When Someone Calls You Out and You Cant Say a Thing Because They're Absolutely Right

December 30th, 2014  7:08 PM  Now Playing: Drake, 0-100 

Show's sketching, I'm reading bell hooks, Tim is talking his sh't, and we got CJ in here writing poetry about his life. 
“Leave your story. Live everyday like your last."
“Okay CJ! Lemme’ find out you a rapper now!” Tim yelled, as if the music was louder than a bomb. 
“Nah.. I’m a poet.” CJ was calm and collective with his response. 
Tim nodded to the music, ignoring CJ's response, and then turns to me as he begins to say,
“Come on Clay! I need you to take the LEAD! How we supposed to GET RICH if YOU DONT TAKE LEAAADDD!!! You afraid… You afraid of your own potential. Stop being afraid of YOUR POWER!” 
Woah! I thought.. 
“You’re right.” I shook my head up and down, agreeing with his every word. Tim is always on point with his wise analyses of me. 
I am afraid of my potential sometimes... For someone else to see it, well... that is scarier than my actual fear.

The Homeless Lady

I rode from the 20 Twenty Bike Shop on the Avenue in Hampden like it was my first time ever riding my bike. The cool wind piercing my face and gliding through my wool, Navaho-patterned coat put me in a trance. I was instantly reunited with my love for the natural world. I remembered how being outdoors brings me back to life. I'd been in my bed for days, attempting to read and write lesson plans, barely eating, and wallowing like a whale in my own ocean of tears. I fell into depression and found solace in the confines of the pale periwinkle walls of my room. 

I rode and rode, embracing the speed of my brand new tires, as I glided down the steep hills of Druid and the jagged  pavement of Scisson. 
I never grew tired and probably wouldn't have slowed down if it weren't for the young woman who sat in the middle of the sidewalk with her tattered cardboard boxes and dingy blankets.
I hopped off of my bike to make sure that I didn't accidentally hit her. She looked up, with eyes…

What My Night Consists of...

...I am human. I am messy. I'm not trying to be an example. I am not perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I'm right. I am just trying -- to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make noise with my writing while  also being myself...
Roxane Gay

Gratitude List

I am grateful for this scripture: You don't know the path the wind takes. You don't know how a baby is made inside its mother. So you can't understand how God works either. He made everything. (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
I am grateful for learning that I won't always understand why ...and that's okay. 
I am grateful for how much I have grown over the last year. 
I am grateful for this Monday, where I can lay in my bed and read things that have nothing to do with work. 
I am grateful that Show got me a big bowl of soup from Whole Foods. 
I am grateful that my car is running well. 
I am grateful that my bike is finally fixed too. 
I am grateful for the 5 days I spent in Baltimore with Bae. 
I am grateful for the phone call I had with Nikki today. 
I am grateful for my body finally starting to feel normal again after 3 days of indigestion. 
I am grateful for the Coltraine that I am playing softly from my phone. 
I am grateful for my pursuit of individuality. 
I am grateful for my ability…

Starbucks Sessions

December 8, 2014 8:04 PM NP: Free Now, The Beatles
Sitting in Starbucks in Washington Mill. A man wearing a black, suede yamaka and olive green Nautica sweater sat next to me on the raw, cocoa powder colored leather bench. He pulled out a stack of blank, white 6 by 8 1/2 inch cards and a cardboard box of markers. He opened his 15 inch Dell laptop computer and began making cards that correlated with each slide of his powerpoint presentation. I'd been working on my culminating portfolio for my administration and supervision certificate for about 3 hours. I was growing tired and needed a water break. 

Before heading to the counter, I asked my neighbor, “Would you like a water?” 
“Thanks but no thanks.” He answered with a smile. “No one has ever offered me a water, at least not a stranger. What do you do?”
“Im a teacher. Are you a professor?” 
“No.. “ He chuckled and placed the cap back on his red marker. “I am a consultant. This is a sales technique I learned a couple of years back. Wha…

The Ballerina in the Mirror

If I tell you I will wait for you, then I will wait for you.  If i tell you that you may lay your head on my shoulder, then you may do so.  If I tell you that i love you, then i will love you forever.  Twirl little ballerina girl, twirl.  You're heart is as flexible as a twizzler, your frame, elegant as life itself and your feet, as disciplined as a marine.  Little ballerina girl, you look so afraid..  So afraid to trust.  With a heart that has been stretched, a frame that is well past its element and feet that have been forced to go to their told direction, I would be afraid too. 
Amazing it truly is,  how one can hide behind a mask for so long.  Amazing it truly is, that masks can cover more than just a face.  Twirl little ballerina girl, twirl!  Distract me from my monarchy filled world.  When you look at me with mist filled eyes, you tell me you aren't just a ballerina girl.  That you're stockings and point shoes are but a mask..  That when things are getting out of hand, you can'…

Trying to Get Some Work Done... Too Much on My Mind Though

The dog next door barks too loud but I still wanted to sit in the living room and work this morning. Bae is upstairs writing and working as well. I like having a two story home, it's nice to be able to give each other space. All I've ever known were two bedroom apartments, ones where I could hear my grandparents' entire conversation no matter what room they were in. No privacy at all. 
Anyways, our first Christmas was cool. I made a big breakfast: blueberry pancakes, grits, cheese eggs, biscuits, and turkey sausages. It was good. We watched movies like Sleepless in Seattle and chased each other around the house with the nerf guns that I got us for Christmas. We're such big kids. 
For dinner, I baked some steaks and potatoes. Threw some greens in a pot and made some corn bread too. Bae said my corn bread was better than his grandma's. I can't take all the credit though, after all, it was my granny that taught me how to cook.
She's been on my mind heavily. Today…

Titles Don't Come to Mind When You Have Heart Block

During our walk home we talked about the latest Ferguson shooting. I wonder how all of the protestors feel? How does it feel to go so hard to make a statement, just for the same exact crime to take place again? 
I had a dream last night that someone asked me why I taught my students about Garner and Ferguson, and why I thought that it was appropriate to make connections to the Holocaust. I got defensive in my dream. I've been really defensive in real life lately too. 
But why would I dream about that? Why is my subconscious thinking about my lesson plans? Maybe because that's what I should be working on now, instead of writing a journal entry. But I can't focus on Edgar Allen Poe right now. I don't want to teach about him. I mean, maybe my mind will change but right now I just wish I could teach a critical race theory course to my middle schoolers.... But then again, maybe I can. Maybe I can combine the theorists to Poe. I'll see. 
I've been thinking about getting…

Waiting for Bae

Sitting at an MTA bus stop in the middle of Maryland Avenue and Falls Road. Got Denitia and Sene softly singing, "She Not the Only One", as the cars zoom by. It's not even cold out here. It feels good to just sit and let the breeze tickle my cheeks. 
I'm waiting for Bae's bus to arrive. I walked to the stop instead of driving because I had to put the Beamer in the shop yesterday. Something is draining her battery. My mechanic called me earlier today, telling me that it's not the alternator or the transmission or the battery itself - it's something electrical. I was releaved to hear that. I just started to learn how to drive the darn thing and now it stops working on me! How annoying.. 
But I really like walking, especially since it's not cold out here. I prefer Maryland's winter weather over New York's any day. 
Brb.. Bae's bus just got here. We're about to spend our first Christma-Kwanza together, right here in Baltimore.

#NP: Denitia and Sene. trip.fall.

Riding down 95 with Bae, on our way to  ...

Photo Cred: Kenneth L. Dixon

The Last Page of My Fall Journal

This Fall was really hard for me. 
Correction: This Fall, I made things really hard for myself. 
The Universe works in peculiar ways. I randomly bumped into my mentor at Starbucks yesterday as she worked on her dissertation proposal for her PhD. We talked for about an hour and right before we parted ways, she left me with a jewel of wisdom, "Experience is the type of teacher that gives us the test first and then delivers the lesson after." She was absolutely right.

As I re-read all of my post and journal entries from the past three months, I realized how much of my depression came from my lack of accountability for my actions. I wrote so much about other people's negative vibes and how they were rubbing off on me when in actuality, I was the cause of many of the ill-feelings that were being directed toward me. 

I wrote things like, "Nothing that anyone else does is about us. We must not let someone else's anger bring us down. Energy is contagious. Protect yourself f…

I Promise, I'm Smiling Inside

i don't know HOW i did it with all of the stress and depression that i have been letting seep into my heart over the past couple of months but i just earned an A in my final internship for my administration and supervision certification! thank you for another degree Hopkins, thank you @br00klynbetty for all the super last minute proof reads, thank you bae for P.O.P. holding it down and always reminding me of the finish line, and thank you LORD ! I am done!! Who needs a young fly principal? Im ouchea HA! (just kidding - i have no desire to leave the classroom right now ... but the fact that i can if i really wanted to is a blessing!!) even though I'm still working on coursework for UMBC, my workload is going to be wayyy lighter and i can get back to finishing my own personal writing projects! You can tell by the look in my eyes, I'm super tired! I'm about to take a serious bath and get a good night's rest!



So I Can Be Me

I want to be the girl who never cries I want to go down in history in a chapter marked miscellaneous because the writers could find no other way to categorize me In this world where classification is key I want to erase the straight lines So I can be me -Stacey Ann Chin

Gratitude List

I am grateful for my professor who gave me extra time on my million page paper 
I am grateful for my boyfriend who cleaned my whole house and washed Tay this weekend 
I am grateful for my graduate classes that drive me crazy because sometimes I would rather write a short story than a 10 page paper 
I am grateful for my new car 
I am grateful for my good old friend Strick 
I am grateful for the conversation I had with my aunt last night - sad but least we talked like old times 
I am grateful that no pain lasts for ever 
I am grateful that I am about to have a paid 2 week vacation to restart myself 
I am grateful for the cry that I had yesterday at work and the friends that hugged me and totally had my back 
I am grateful.

The Voice of Darren Wilson's Trigger

If I was never shot, this chaos and these riots would never have happened. Now havoc is spreading around Ferguson like the air itself. Just like that. At the speed of a racing wind, I went through him and even though I saw the whole thing, I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t yell, couldn’t move. If only, but I couldn’t. There was a bang! I pulled off like a rollercoaster. As I accelerate through the wind, I heard a noise. As I get closer and closer, I closed my eyes, not knowing what was going to happen next. After injecting him with lightning speed pain right into the spine, I heard a loud drum-like beat. At first is was fast and then it got slower and slower. I felt his body turn from warm to cold. I felt his body’s cracks, shivers, and his intense scream. Why! His spine yelled, What did I do to deserve this? Then click…click…click…click four more bullets followed my trail, trying to cause more damage as I exploded out and punctured him. His orgains were no match for my speed and velocity. …

The Similarities Between American Police Brutality & the Holocaust

This trimester in Literacy, we have been working to answer the guiding question of: What is the responsible use of power?
We began by investigating the abuse of power that has been perpetuated throughout our nation between authorities and civilians over the past few months. We then used a plethora of informational text to read, reflect, and make text connections between the Holocaust and the events that have occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. Each class participated in guided and independent reading groups using one or more historical fiction books such asThe Diary of Anne FrankandThe Book Thiefto further explore the role of authorities and civilians during World War II. We’ve had many debates and profound discussions. We closed the trimester by publishing our own book of monologues, written in the imaginative perspectives of different literary characters, victims of injustice, and the inner voices of various authorities.
Back in September, before any of the verdicts for Ferguson or Garner…

Can't Imagine that which Will Never Be

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 12:24 AM 
We crossed the street at the corner of Charles, heading to XS. It broke our hearts to see a man laying on a small staircase, covering his self with a few newspapers. 
"Can you ever imagine being homeless and sleeping outside in the winter like that?" 
"Well, my mom did it for years.", I said. "She slept on trains and in people's building hallways. I remember my grandmother getting a call that she had been arrested for sleeping in a lobby uptown. My grandmother told them to keep her in jail, slammed the phone down, and said she wasn't going to get her out. In all honesty, I think grams felt my mom was safer there. But I hate to think about those bitter New York winter nights, when she had no place to go. But the thing is: she went through that, so I wouldn't have to. So no, I can't imagine ever being homeless. I've overcome too much. And I'm going to keep it that way." 
"Word V, respect."

Best Advice I Can Give You is to Take a Nap

I made a list of 20 things that had me falling into depression over the last few weeks.. For the first time in a long time, I let myself feel my anger. I let myself cry without holding back. I had to feel it all and face it all ..Then, I fell asleep. I was supposed to be meditating but my eyes closed, my head fell back, and I entered la-la land. When I woke up, I was kind of surprised by how rejuvenated and refreshed I felt. 
This is going to sound crazy to those who don't know the power of giving yourself a break from everything, in order to reflect and refine, as Carissa would say... But I seriously heard the loudest whisper of a message from the Spirit in my dreams. It reminded me of my purpose and how CLOSE I am to achieving everything that I was put on this planet to do. I smiled and let out a huge sigh of relief as I realized that I went through all of this mess simply because I was supposed to. Nothing was an accident or in vain. This was my season of sewing seeds of wisdom …

Smile for Me

Some days are really good and somedays, I cry and yell and lose sleep. No one knows what I'm going through deep down inside and I don't know what other people are going through either. You never really will. To be safe, just treat each other with kindness. Everything isnt always what it seems. My red lipstick paints a smile filled with pain and anger and frustration and regret. Don't be nosey and wonder what's wrong. Just be nice. Everyone is going through out here, even the people that you think have the perfect little lives. Those are the ones who hurt the most. Just be nice. A kind word really can change a person's entire day.

things i tell myself on a daily basis

trust your intuition. move on your own accord. progress has nothing to do with speed. compare yourself to no one. be humble. be patient. be grateful.

Baltimore Teens Reflect on Eric Garner Verdict

honestly i think all this stuff about police abusing their power is immoral. but not a lot of people know about it. if it were a snake, it would have bit them dead in the nose. people are only worried about what kind of clothes they bought or who looks better but life is an uphill battle and we are all climbing. we need peace in our live not tragedies. 
just yesterday, i told my dad there is a revolution going on in fergerson and he took it as a joke. he started making fun of the situation and I got so mad about it that i left the house. i felt completely disrespected. this is why some black people think that all of us white people don't care. I care. i feel that we should all stick together and fight against this. no one should live in fear of the police. we are not supposed to go through life with our heads down. we should stand up for whats right
Tony Age 15                               ***
Mom: Did you hear about the man who was choked to death? Me: Yea, I actually wrote a monolo…