Showing posts from May, 2015

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marylin Mosby's Inspirational Speech

“I was taught that life lessons come in many forms - some will be very unexpected.“ Aliyah Johnson

Today, I was privileged to hear two of Baltimore’s most influential women speak in the same day. 14-year old, Aliyah Johnson, gave a remarkable closing speech at the Flourishing Blossoms Society for Girls, Inc.’s 3rd Annual Father-Daughter Ball. Just a few hours earlier, I attended a former students senior graduation at Coppin University, where the keynote speaker was none other than that brilliant, bold, and beautiful, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
A few months before she became a household name for her leadership in indicting the officers affiliated with the death of Freddie Gray, she was one of the very first honorees at the Blossom’s Royal-Tea – a celebration of powerful women in the community. She was sent a personal invitation from one of our 14-year-old Blossom Girls who admired her from afar. She had no idea who any of us were before arriving but by the end of the event, Mosby to…


When I took this picture of these yellow tulips in Paris back in April, I knew they were talking to me, I just couldn't figure out what they were saying. I finally hear them, loud and clear: it's been 7 years of completion in Baltimore - hence the 7 tulips that are in full bloom. But the 8th one, that closed tulip, she symbolizes new beginnings. 
Saturday, May 30th, 2015 6:46 AM
Today is my farewell celebration. Closing the chapter of pages that tell the story of work that I've completed in Baltimore. Zayn's graduation is in a couple of hours and then at the Blossom's Father Daughter Ball, I will see many of the students that I taught from my first year until my last. It is a blessed day for me. I've been letting tears of insurmountable joy roll down my face since I woke up. 
When I graduated from Morgan, I planned to only teach in Baltimore for 2 years and then return home. Little did I know, 89 East Baltimore, 6th grade students would capture my heart so much tha…


6:17 PM NP: Forever Mine - The O'Jays
Wrote a few pages in my journal after I sat down at this high top table. The Water Source is a new spot on Eutaw, close to Howard. I stumbled upon it on my way home from therapy. James Brown was blaring from the windows and I knew I had to at least take a peak at the menu. I tore right into my mac and cheese, salmon, and arugula salad! It spoke directly to my soul. 
It just has that 60s feel in here. It's my kinda place. Not to mention they have the front door wide open, letting the smell of the fresh rain permeate the place. The clouds are gone and the sun in dancing it's way through the door with no shame at all. 
Still reading Assata. I'm almost done with this life changing read. Culture - a poem that she ends chapter 10 with is so simple yet powerful. Thinking about having the kids analyze it tomorrow and add their own stanza to it ... 
The folks at the bar sound like this is their living room talking about everything from Baltimore…

Yellow Hibiscus

May 25th, 2015 NP: Roy Hargrove - Ruby My Deer
She had a raspy twang in her voice. Mellow soul. Lips peach and chinky eyes. She sat two tables away and rested her head on the metal table. Course blonde ends hung out of her McDonald's cap. I could tell that she had a long day at work. 
He walked outside holding a tray with a burrito bowl on it. Wearing a backwards cap, similar to hers, only his was from Chipotle. He worked here. 
She sat up and he sat down in front of her. 
How was your day babe? He asked her as he softly kissed her lips. 
She smiled. It's beautiful out here. I don't want to taint this energy with my day.... but this lady really got under my skin... She's lucky I need this job or else I would have straight up slapped her ass! Her accent made the way she said that sound particularly funny. It was more cute than scary the way her little freckled nose crinkled as she tried her best to stay mad. She couldn't have been from Baltimore talking like that. Maybe f…

Saturday yay yay yay

Hi guys. I'm enjoying my solitude. Really I am. Haven't had a break down since that night in chipotle when I was wiping my tears with those hard napkins. Yesterday, I went to three of my fav books and record stores. Snagged some goodies. I also made a bantu shirt out of some old fabric. This will be my go-to outfit for the rest of Spring. 

Spent my night doing some crafty crafts with my roomie...

In My Own World Until Further Notice

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. Henry David Thoreau
I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity. Albert Einstein
Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Eve Ensler
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion. Albert Camus
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can a…

My Advice to My 8th Grade Girls on Perfecting Their SELFies

I've been up since about 5 this morning, writing individualized report card cover letters to my 8th grade girls. This is the last time I will ever write one of these cover letters to them because they are graduating from middle school this Friday. The following letter is one of my favorites thus far. It is my hope that other educators steal it and tweak it so that they may use it with a few of their girls as well. Sometimes we have to speak their language in order to truly be understood. 

Dear _________,
My favorite photographer. I was looking at all of the pictures that you took during the adventure race from last year and I am still amazed at the priceless moments that you were able to capture.
When I think about you as a scholar, I often find myself comparing your work habits to the way that you used the camera that day. In your classes, you often spend a lot more time focusing your lens on whats occurring around you, instead of what is being presented directly to you. There hav…


he sent me these when i least expected. they never opened. days and weeks went by, i watched them, waiting and anticipating their growth. but they never opened. like us, they wilted, while still hopelessly holding on to every petal, knowing that they were never going to live again. they'll always be beautiful but they will never breathe again.

If Your Mother Was Always There for You and Always Loved You No Matter What, This Is Not the Post for You

Sunday, May 10th, 2015 7:02 PM Now Playing: Greek Tragedy - The Wombats 
Riding to New York for an interview that I have in Harlem tomorrow. Designing a lesson plan but needed a break from over-over thinking. It's only when I feel the pressure of being observed that my plans don't flow as naturally as they regularly do. The worse part is, they're only giving me 30 minutes to execute the lesson. I'm going crazy over here.  
So, I log onto Instagram and view what seems like millions of Mother's Day posts. Blahhhhh - is the only word that sums up my reaction. I just feel blah. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way today. 
In my lifetime, I've both met and/or read about many types of moms: Those that are amazing - flaws and all, those that can't be there for their children because of various uncontrollable circumstances, those that passed away, and those that neglect their children, leaving them motherless. 
The latter is the type mother that I was b…

5:36 on Penn & North

Emily dropped me off on the corner of Carey and Franklin. Everyone always looks at me like I'm crazy for walking home instead of taking the bus. Em even offered me $5 but I wouldn't take it. 
I passed countless boarded vacants and ally ways filled with dandelions and trash. I got up to the corner of Carey and Riggs when a caramel faced boy on a shiny burgundy-red bike passed me, before doing a serious double take. I stopped in my tracks and smiled at him. 
"Ms. Clay!" His face still in shock as he made a u-turn to get closer to me. 
"Hi Ahmaud..." I laughed as he pulled up, still in disbelief that it was me. "What are you doing over here?!" 
"I'm walking Maud." 
"What?! Walking!? Do you know where you are, Ms. Clay?" 
"I'm on Carey St., right?" 
"This is Sandtown, Ms. Clay!" He opened his arms as if to welcome me with all of the pride that his 13 year old self possessed. "This is my hood!"