Showing posts from 2020


Ever ask a passionate teacher why they teach? As a survivor of narcissistic abuse and neglect, I go so hard for our kids because I know what its like to have a really f-ed up childhood experience. As an adult, I still go through a lot behind closed doors that no one would ever know about because I dont want to perpetuate pain. We have more than enough of that online as it is because pain sells, especially black pain. (One of the reasons I stopped posting was because I realized, I was one of the people showing pain by posting glimpses of my students’ hurt but I did not even recognize it as a pertuating black pain until I began curating the kids’ documentary and critically analyzing the themes within the footage but that’s not the point of this post so let me close this by telling you to read this book.) I found this book on Amazon, finished it in one day. Extremely helpful and research-based. This is exactly why I am becoming a doctor. I want to write books like this to heal my people.…




I am feeling depressed Read something I wrote about my mom from 3 years ago and it really made me sad 
I miss her  I’ve never really known the feeling of missing her  Only knew the feeling of wanting her but not sure what it feels like to miss someone I never ...never mind.




Grateful. Loved.


I’ve began journaling questions and I am statements. It’s helpful.


Sometimes, I feel like I’m too old for this type of thing but other times I feel like silence is the solution. I need to be able to hear my thoughts. I’m still learning why my personal boundaries call for extreme walls such as blocking — but other times I’m like, what else was this feature created for, if not to use it to get some air from the sea of feeling emotionally drained? 
I know this is a deeply rooted issue.  I am still learning where it comes from ...




1. What are you going to miss most about not going back to school?
I used to think teaching children was my sanity. This has changed. Teaching middle school English, right now, is my full time job but I no longer consider it my life long career because I realized, being a researcher/writer/film maker is all I really want to do. I do not want to write daily lessons, grade papers, and manage behaviors. I want to give myself time to explore and learn other forms of teaching that will fill my soul as I pour into others. I want to develop and teach different kinds of lessons for a different set of skills, skills that I am still learning. Honestly, I will not miss anything about not going back to school, right now. I am happy to have good health and an opportunity to explore who I am without the foundation of a classroom as my identity. 
I thought I would miss the kids but I really don’t miss them because I still feel connected to them, daily. I feel connected to staff, actually closer to som…




Above me while I was working She protects  I never saw her like this but I honor






I told my therapist I think I have ADHD, after the first 3 months of making time-lapses and still not being able to concentrate. I couldn’t understand how my own mind would keep me from accomplishing my goals. How can I say, “reading is my activism” if I am not even getting through the literature? She taught me that anxiety and ADHD can share symptoms. The inability to stop maladaptive daydreaming and complete tasks was not due to ADHD but due anxiety and grieving loss... I also learned, filming myself is not enough. Started a prayer technique that allows me to visualize my outcomes, yoga-daily, and eating healthy, as well. No coffee, no Lays, no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no meat. Lots of water, too. And social media only 30 minutes a day. Healthy brain vibes.
Why I took it down? The post was too loud. I need to be more thoughtful when posting about mental health. A comment that bothered me is below:

My response:






I dream of conducting international research like this with my friends and peers and students ... and I want to add art and film to the academic writing.


One of my students has been locked up for weeks and I am angry about it. 
Working in this city means you experience the secondary and trauma of kids being victims of violence or the prison system. 
I can see the jail from my balcony  I remember walking him to the prison when he was 13 It’s 12 minutes walking distance from our school   Having him read about the fact that 32M was invested in that youth prison  And we didn’t have any books  I had to beg my Instagram supporters for books that year 
Then, I took him to New York  Front row at Pyer Moss 
Now he’s behind bars  Being tried as an adult at the age of 15 
Ain’t nothing poetic about this 


I used to be brainwashed about my mother and I am still figuring out which thoughts about her are mine and which I was taught without thinking for myself . . .


One of my favs...
Writing a final paper... enjoying it, for the first time since starting this program. Grateful. 


It's not always easy, sometimes you'll say the wrong things and you'll want to go back into your shell. Just remember, your safe place is a base but it's not the end goal. (Trying to give a sports reference lol) 
Don’t worry about being too much  You are  But don’t worry about it 
It’s all good.


my students posted, called, and texts today were so timely and special to’s one that I will always cherish: 
Hi Ms. Clay. I hope your day was good. I know you may have had some mixed swirling around since this the first Mother’s Day since your mom passed. I hope you were able to reflect today and find some peace inside yourself, while also letting out any emotions that you had pent up. Ik it can be challenging for a strong woman like yourself to allow yourself to truly feel, but from my experience losing a parent I’ve learned that it’s better to not run from the pain but acknowledge and learn how to continue to move forward with it. I also would like to say thank you for all that you’ve done as a maternal figure in my life. You met me at a really vulnerable and traumatizing point in my life and I can firmly say that your love and compassion really helped me through that time. Like I don’t think I’ve ever really told you what you did for me but it was a lot. I never would’ve be…






I think I am starting to come back to myself as a director of my art. Grateful that the semester is finally giving me the clarity I need. I am starting to understand what I am a learning. This is a feeling that builds my confidence. 
Yoga helps.


Finally submitted my annotated bib! 
Submitted my RM1 last night, got the grade today, a solid 80 but it’s more about the feedback for me than the grade. Feedback says I’m getting closer but still need to work on narrowing my focus. This is such a process.
....Few days after this post, I got my annotated bibliography grade. I earned a really high grade and strong feedback that shows me, I really can be a researcher. Yes, I needed the validation of my teacher because this was all very new for me. I am not far from the place where I can fully self-assess but I am getting there and I am not rushing. That was the hardest assignment ever. So glad I was able to show myself what I can do. There’s no more doubt about my brains. Any feelings of fear that arise as I continue my journey, I will grant them time to come and go. They will not be allowed to stay in my vision. 
I am learning more about the way my thoughts function. I know I can get beyond fear, even if depression and anx…


My students at 8AM 
Me at 1:24PM
My responses to questions we were asked during the virtual meeting, today. 
I didn’t care how much better I could’ve made them, I knew I had better evidence for those domains but I did not give myself enough time to develop the artifacts. I didn’t care at that point. In my heart, I knew, I’ve done the work. If I have to resubmit next year, I will be better about setting time aside to develop the artifacts. I was never was able to stick to the time I set aside time to work on those two domains because every time I was scheduled to, I was still working on a doctoral assignment. Those papers got the best and the worst of me this year! But through it all, I still submitted SOMETHING! And for that, I am proud to say, I didn’t care how those artifacts looked, as long as I got it in! I know I did the work. I will keep working toward developing efficient ways of capturing my work for the portfolio. 
Last year I was depressed because I felt like I didn’t have the w…

Screenshots and Texts

A note from a teacher, reminding me that this “work” impacts people beyond me. Sometimes these kinds of posts make me feel anxious and pressured ...but today it made me smile and feel encouraged. 

A note from one of my mentors:
Hello beautiful one. I’m glad to hear your update no matter the time. You’re in my heart and prayers always. I think of you often. 
I think your choices are well made. Your strength is impressive. I was completing my Board certification as I was beginning my doctoral journey as well. I recall being overwhelmed - and prayed often  in honor of God’s blessings. I thought about how blessed I was to have the opportunities to pursue my purposes and passions. 
It is hard. I cried often - but no one knew because I didn’t have a mentor or support. I didn’t know cohorts or support existed. And the truth be told I’m a go-it-alone kinda girl. I didn’t want/need witnesses to my madness. 
My exact thought(s) were, “I’m going to be one badd bitch when this is over!” Thought as tea…


Round midnight.  Overcame the fear of failure. 
Morning rising in the highest joy. 
All I wanted was to finish. 
Let it be done. 


Me via text to a sister-friend:
You are a leader and you see all of us from a leadership perspective. Leaders are visionaries who see beyond where we are. Leaders see potential. You see each of our potential, even we do see or know what you see. Sometimes, when folks do not live up to their potential, it can feel frustrating but as a leader, adopt creative-compassion. Creative compassion allows you to create news ways to support a person through their struggle. Each attempt may take a different creative approach for it to work as a tool to help the person through their journey. Remember, it is your responsibility to continue developing ways for your team to grow toward that potential that you see in them because you were given the gift of sight to see them. Trust your gift. They will get there, never let your frustration stop you from creating innovative channels of support. I am proud of you for giving yourself the chance to continue strengthening your ability to grow the strengths of…


I wrap my head to pay respect to Maya Angelou when I write, sometimes. 
I used to write a story every day back in 2016 and then I started reading Baldwin and I felt like less of a writer.  Then 2018 I lost all of my writing from my notes  That silenced my creativity 
Now I’m learning how to write like a researcher and it’s no fun but I know when I am able to start writing the way I did in 2016 it will be way more fire and Baldwin will be proud ...
Baldwin is one of my inner voices
I’ve been making lists of the voices in my head 
It’s helpful.