Here it is...
I perceive most things on a different (not deeper!) level than most other people.
Those learned in astrology upon looking at my chart would point at the Mercury/Pluto conjunction.
You can think we are talking about baskets and eggs, but I am probably talking about the entire manner in which something is done based on pattern established by my observation.
So please, *please* just hear me out and try to see where I am coming from. Just because it is different does not mean it is ridiculous or invalid. Being dismissive, "whatever"-ing it only serves to make me hot because I have had a life where my individual personal expression and way of doing things was smashed down. (I love you, Martha, but you did that to me... and again, those learned in astrology would point to my Sun squaring Saturn.) And me, I want to not have that happen anymore.
I can kill with kindness. I can rule with kindness. My power comes through peace. And when I am ready, I am adios, muchacho.
I don't have to stand for people trying to diminish my power because they aren't quick-minded enough to understand that a hook is not simply a hook, that a courtesy is not simply a courtesy, that not allowing someone to express their point of view is not simply not allowing someone to express their point of view.
I don't have to stand for it. I don't have to be around it. I don't have to even engage it because I AM IN CONTROL.
Thus spake the Ergane.
Now playing: Kathleen Battle, Hubert Laws, James Levine/Chorus - Lord, How Come Me Here
Worst Day Ever
The fact I remain within this day challenged and learning as a stunned child grasping a bruised lily has me reeling.
It started: 1) I woke up to a clock that hadn't gone off that was saying it was 9:17.
Panic. Ok? Panic. I am going to miss my first class. *shame* Teresa isn't here and I wanted to do even BETTER in her absence than when she is here. *guilt* I should call people and let them know. *exposure*
Then I checked our messages... to find a call from Ryan. He took BOTH of our keys to work with him this morning. That means, if I decide to go anywhere... I cannot take my bike with me.
*tries to stop mind from gibbering away in panic and fear*
Call Simone, appraise her of the situation. Starts to cry.
Then lose it.
I see Melodee and ask her for a cig. She doesn't smoke, but my other neighbor, Deborah (I think it was), did. She gave me two. I think they really liked that they could finally be there for me. They have seen me for almost a year and yet, our relationships haven't progressed very much than some light speech here and there. People are intimidated by me at home -- which I don't always mind, but I am glad everyone knows I'm a cream puff sometimes. She hugged me and talked to me a lot about perfection and being human. She also offered me her bike and gave me the key to it. I decided not to use her bike -- to just walk -- but I need to hold onto her key for a little longer....
I somehow grabbed your keys when I was picking up my iPod headphones… it looks like they were tangled up a little bit, and didn’t realize I had until just now. I Have my keys too, which (I think) leaves you without a way to unlock your bike. I checked to see if I could leave and come back home to drop them off, but it looks like that’s a no-go. If you want to come by, I should be at or around my desk until 8:45. Give me a call, OK?
I’m so sorry!
Today was sit down and sob for yourself day. The Great Lady had herself a cry.
I am so like my grandmother in that fashion... in being a Great, no, a GRAND lady. Spine erect. Looking just so. Poised. Controlled. Focused.
Some days, you lose.
But you gain so much more. Like honesty. Miss Schmidt booted me from her class today. I didn't feel hurt by it. I fet sad for her. My behavior hasn't been all that good and she has been the receiver of it.
Today, I realized, with some fright and ease, how connected I am to this tapastry of Cooper life -- how I am important, how what I am doing is important.
I cannot miss days. I cannot have crisises that mean I miss my classes. I have to step it up even more than I have without stressing myself completely out.
The bright spot of my day was having Alaina, Harley, and Kaitin all at once. H is more advanced than the other two, but I knew it could work. It was only a case of channelling H's energy, making sure K felt safe and secure and not shy and keeping A's ego aligned to her abilities and helping her understand that I had control of the class and Harley would not be a distubance. It went really well.
My first idea was to play Scrabble with them -- modified, of course, -- but I couldn't find the game anywhere. Heck, looking around, I STILL don't see it anywhere.
WASL is all I see
So, things are trucking along. This week and next week, the students are taking the WASL. 3-5. Since my new office is around them, I can sorta feel their... nerves. I don't blame them, I am nervous, too.
You heard me right, new office. Autumn had a feeling she needed to get back into her work and that room _was_ really smell. It wasn't done as well as I would have liked which caused some friction. In the end, everything is fine. Under the bridge. We're back to being the dynamic duo.
Yesterday, I taught the guided reading by myself using a lesson my site supervisor, Teresa, and I came up with together. It was AMAZING! Amazing because I was scared, scared they would smell how I didn't know as much of the pedagogy as I feel I have to know (to that end, I have started reading _The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades_), but it really went well. Natalia was a bit of a pill, but then I believe it is because she doesn't read so well. ..
Went downstairs to Mrs. Woo's class to pick up Kaitleen -- although I am actually pretty tuckered out. I ate a gob of chocolate covered esperesso beans and nodded towards my goddess. So, no Kaitleen, BUT both of them later. That is agreeable with me. Autumn isn't here, Teresa isn't here, and I could read my book, and we both know I'll fall asleep. But that's nowhere. Nowhere.
We're supposed to go over reporting today. *moment* And we shall @ 2:30 pm.
Right now, I am watching Ebbisa. Isn't that a great name? Cute kid. Did something bad, but really, Mr. Finney is on edge. "Bad" is talking out of turn, shouting out answers instead of raising your hand. And while anyone will agree that this is bad, it still goes overboard to remove him (and now another) from class or take away a recess.
Labels: AmeriCorps, Cooper Elementary, disagreements, reconcilliations., Washington Reading Corps, WASL
Another Day Down
When I came into Mrs. Schmidt's class and noticed Alonzo doing his hiding thing while the other kids were clamouring to get my attention, I realized my tutorial with Alonzo was doomed.
Alonzo is one of those kids on the cusp, one of those sweet, precious kids so easy to lose. Everyday, I work with him on his reading comprehension. How good of a session we have totally depends on his mood. And lemme tell you, he is one moody kid. A Leo/Virgo cusp kinda moody if I remember correctly. His mother loves him pieces and he lives near me and has seen me before at Target. (The day someone asks me who was that guy whose hand I was holding is the day I realize I will need different... but it may never happen... and because I am thinking about it now, perhaps I will be prepared... both for the real world and school world of it.) I love the kid because he's beautiful in all senses and so smart and I know I can help him... but I have to wait on his moods.
Today, he was right on the cusp of going either way. With that in mind, I plunged forward. Today's reading comp featured the spittlebug. Immediately, he tried to con me by saying he had already read down to p. 5, but Jonathan gave it up -- not that I didn't see thru it... it's been, what, five weeks now? There are two things he likes/craves: Attention and Finishing. (Can't you just SEE the Leo/Virg working out through this one? To make a short story short, he saw other kids on the classroom computer, became discouraged and just stopped. At the same moment, Sheyanne asked for help, which didn't help him because he's *such* an Attention Hog. Mrs. Schmidt took him and I worked with Sheyanne. Both finished their papers at the relative same time.
No longer do I share an office with Autumn. She has had enough. She needs her own space. She didn't really come right out an say it... and I can't be mad about that -- I wouldn't have either. But it does make everything feel weird.
So, onward with and to my "new life"!
Now, I am in a very spacious room that is full of stuff. Books and posters and all sorts of knick-knacks, things to capture, well, anyone's imagination. I like that I get to see sunlight if I want it. But also, it feels "better" in some undefineable way.
For example, I get to see Teresa more. While she is usually moving through the space, preparing for something else, it is nice to see her and allow our getting to know each other to commence in full.
More than anything, tho, I get to see my kids up here. Some like, Alaina, was never tutored in the small office. However, Kaitleen has been all over. Ladan was here, too, complaining because she wants stickers --- like the ones Autumn gives her kids. I am loathe to do so. I think I give my kids self-esteem, self-confidence and a real willingness. Not saying she doesn't! But I give of myself. Why do you need a sticker? I told her Monday I would have stickers. And I will, but maybe only for her since she is my only student in Mrs. Longo's class.
Ladan is new. I talked about her before Spring Break. She's nothing short of a diva at the age of 6. Knows what she wants and knows how to get it. Yeah, she's a touch scary!!!
Waking up is getting easier and easier. I am learning to quickly analyze the reason why I am awake and tend to it so I can go back to sleep. Use the bathroom. Shake off my thoughts so my dreams move on. Last night, I was drying out. I decided to use Mucinex because I have been so stuffy lately! Well, I was looking for something like Benedryl, but we don't have any... so, the bo-bo Mucinex DM will do. And did. I didn't wake up for the remainder of the night.
But what I really want to write about is how cool it is to bike to school when the kids are in the yard.
Opening the gate when it is fully shut with my bike in tow is always a bit of a hassle and today, I was all bouncy as "Cherish" by Madonna rang in my ears.
"Perish the thought of ever leaving/ I never would!"
Then I heard Zaineb calling my name, "QUEN-TIN! QUEN-TIN!" I turned my iPod down real low, then acknowledged her. She started to run towards me, but I had no idea whether she could come that far, so I hurried up and finished my gate business and rode my bike over to her. She's in love with my horn. It is pink and terribly cute AND gay. She sqeaked it three times in quick procession. Then I told her I was going to chain up my bike -- and I was -- but also, I get a big kick out of beating the bus. The kids are always like, "You beat us! We saw you on your bike!"
See, what this is... is a feeling of belonging and constant acknowledgement. I feel like a pop star as kids that are "mine" come and greet me and kids that are not "mine" do, too. Especially since I have been listening to Mariah Carey's first album on my iPod, I feel like I am in highschool again and I am popular, but this time, I know it and knowing helps me do my job better because I *want* to be here.
Yesterday... didn't go as well. I left early thinking I would eat and then go home and take a nap. Only it took forEVER for a bus to come and I was outside, in the rain, with my back going out, thinking about how I ignored all these signs that told me to stay at school. I should have paid attention to that. I should have, but I did not.
Anyway, I need to talk to Teresa. I don't want to continue doing nothing until 9:40 am -- although it does suit me, or will once I start to do guided reading with my own crew of second graders -- and wouldn't you know they gave me the two most behaviorally difficult boys in the class. *flares nostrils* But I want to talk to her because I want to tutor that little girl whose mom asked that she be tutored. She wants to read and I have a slot for her! Maybe, just maybe I could take my oats home and breakfast at home. That worked out well this morning where I had an old whore's diet of veggie fried rice and a spring roll and fried chicken wings (... I know... it makes me scratch my head, too...)...
If I don't talk to her, it is because I am trying to stay in a beginner's mind and a beginner doesn't start suggesting ways in which their time can be best spent. (... do they?)
... yeah, I am working on my inner diva. Mediating her, not diminishing her... helping her to grow.
But it sure is humbling when kids know your name and are happy to see you and greet your smiles with little shiny smiles of their own.
P.S. Err... I like comments... even if it is to say hi. Blogger never caught on with me like LJ because it always seemed so.... lonely.
I'm a Libra cusp Scorp. The Scorp part doesn't mind being alone and finds it restorative even... but not the Libra part!
Oh, and Adbi likes to get off the bus and be funny in his own Adbi way. He told me I am girl yesterday because of my long hair and earrings in my ears and nose. Oh, Abdi... if only it were THAT simple!
Also, Quinn (from Mr. Luke's class) has an older brother named Max who was trying to run up the wall. It was in a safe way, so I didn't say much of anything.
Labels: Abdi, Beginner's mind, coming to school, Cooper Elementary, Max, Quinn, work, Zaineb
... and some just think it goes too fast...
It is lunch time for me here at Cooper Elementary. Boy, am I starving. In my mind's eye, I see myself flying down the hill into the arms of Subway at the bottom. The only thing conflicting with this vision and the activating of it is my tiredness.
While the 4/5th graders were sorta fun (they are a bunch of really cool kids that I am not sure why we tutor since they are so smart and engaged anyway -- you know, aside from some very *minor* focus issues), Kaitleen... was a mess. Well, she's always a mess in a manner, but a totally adorable one. When her bangs grow down into her face, over her eyes, it looks natural. Without them now for two/three weeks, she hides behind her hands. Sadness. She smiles a lot. Her voice a shade above a whisper. I adore her -- she doesn't even know my name. She has troubles with the ending phoneme. But that's not the part I have to have patience with... it's with the:
"Ok, I want you to point and sound each word for me and then blend the word together."
"/t/ /a/ /p/.... Tam?"
So, I am not really in the mood for anything but a little reflection... besides, I would have to time it perfectly for when the next 125 is passing... you know what? I might do that anyway. I'd miss Mr. Luke's class -- and I adore those kids, but I would get Mrs. Schmidt's class -- whom I adore as well... and they are 3rd graders!
Ugh, point-blank, I am not going to be able to survive this day without something. And then I am calling to make appointments with a dentist and sleep study people who are NOT there because we have the same lunch and there are all these literary night events to sign up for and I have to do it because I could really use the hours -- especially as we move towards the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR in a couple of months. Goodness... what then?!?!?!?!?!
Tonight, I have plans to go to Jes' literacy night, but Pat and Erica are at the other one and that makes me wanna go to it. (And Yvelle and Edmund....)
Five minutes... I have been checking bus schedules and thinking too much and now, all I really wanna do is go home. Grrr. I wish this computer wasn't a p.o.s. and I could at least see a terrain map if not a satellite... so I can think about where I am carting me and my... and whether I *should* take my bike.
I am super late for Mr. Luke's class now. I am being inudated with Autumn's kids who are looking for her -- they adore her. My kids adore me, too, and they know I am here. *le sigh* Lemme get back to them.
If I make it through this day, it won't be a miracle. It will be a feat.
I want to take a nap SO badly. Instead, I get to do guided reading (and comprehension) with 4th graders and THEN I get Kaitlen who is like SO adorb.
Ok, bell rang. Off I stumble.
Labels: Cooper, school, tired
Can we do it....
So, I have George Michael on my mind. Blame Queerty.com. Anyway, I am back at the end of my day.
Today, we had a fire drill. This after Mrs. Schmidt's class where Alonzo was just... he nearly missed out on computer time, but he finished his work and was allowed to leave. Today, I worked with Alonzo, Ian, Najib, and Dylan -- if only because I always include Dylan. I *know* I've seen him before...
I spend time, sometimes, thinking about who these children will be when they grow up. Will they remember me? Will I have made enough difference on them that they will be accepting of all kinds of people? I can't know these answer unless I stay, somehow, connect to them and the community. But it isn't lost on me how darn fragile it all is.
The fire drill thwarted my intentions to have Hanouk read to me...even if I fell down in the process -- but I don't think he was here anyway. I have partially decided to replace Mrs. Rockwell's ELL (English language learer) with another one -- perhaps this one willl be right.
I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes opened and there's the most adorable 5th grader watching me weave in and out of sleep. Whatever's I've worked 8 hours.
The bell just rang. It is all I can do to not put on my bike gear and get the hell outta dodge.
Who am I kidding?
I did enjoy Mr. Luke's and Mrs. Schmidt's class.
Who am I kidding , tired HIPPO.
Th other sad thing?
I drank the rest of my shot this or yesterda's morning....
Moving back in... for real
I have no choice. Most every outlet is blocked -- which isn't such a horrible thing. However, more than ever before, I have a need to write -- especially as I feel I am falling out of contact with my friends. I am not certain how much trash-talking I am going to engage in, but I know it really rides on my mood so I won't stress it.
Today is one of those magical given days. Not only is the moon newly in Scorpio, creating a personal new moon for me, but it is also in the same lunar phase as when I was born. The reason why moon in Scorpio is my personal new moon as opposed to moon in Libra is because my Sun is so close to Scorpio, moon in Libra doesn't effect my sun at all. The affect of a personal new moon is that you feel, generally, more energized and happy.
Last night, I fell asleep while twisting my locs. I woke up at 11:18, finished the few, and then got on-line for longer than I need. It's amazing -- no matter how sleepy I am, the internet never fails to awaken me... unless I am really tired at which point I fall off in my chair. This morning was a good morning. I started reading The Salt Ecstasies by James L. White. I get the feeling I am meant to meditate on them more. Check this one out:
Taken to a Room
Taken to a room with you asleep,
I want to touch you there
beneath the galaxy of star quilt.
You unfolf letting me into the warmth
and everything rises from my dick to my breath
saying we are here.
In my mind I kiss you away, your beard
and earring, the tattooed heart of Christ
on your chest, and remember
a prison boy named Rubio,
then I kiss down on all of you.
Now I'm taken to a room fully awake
and warned my imagination is out of hand.
They show me a solo screaming bed
and quilt of falling stars.
I pant hard over this poem
wanting to write your body again.
In this totally conscious poem
you're gone and they unplug my systems,
my heart, my lungs, my brains.
In front of the crowd they flash blinding lights
on my crotch and neuter me down to a smile.
I try to think about your eyes
and remember nothing.
Now they drag me off to the next room
where the real work begins.
Isn't that... hauntingly marvelous?
My first graders are on a field trip today. Which leaves only my second graders and third graders -- really. My 4/5th graders go to the computer room on Mondays. Autumn, my AmeriCorps mate, isn't here. So I am left to my own devices. I could be reading Sound Partners Implementation manual -- but I might need to read it over my school's Spring Break in order to get hours.
I feel like I am going too fast and telling the world, but not showing anything. I have been so wound tight without any place to really talk about what's been going on in my life since I decided to get back in the world of others. It's been.... quite a ride.
But maybe beginnings, as I have always suspected, are just really horrible ways to structure one's writing. "I was born." -- that's it. The rest is invention.
Labels: AmeriCorps, Cooper, expression, James L. White, James White, Taken to a Room
Usually, I use my LiveJournal for everything -- if I am going to make a post, but I hate not using this space when I actually really like it.... so, expect a rebirth of sorts.
Do You Know What Today Is?
It's our anniversary: 8 years ago, I moved to Seattle and clapped eyes on this fella I had been talking to on mIRC #gayseattle and knew, all over again, what my gut had already told me about this man: I love him. I will meet him in that constantly re-occuring moment later tonight around 9. Unfortunately, he will be asleep and I will be on a bus with our drum travelling home from drum class (@ Fremont Drum for anyone interested). But it will happen and we will kiss again outside that house in starlight and wonder that our mouths could fit so perfectly, that spit could taste so good.
It's our anniversary: 2 years ago, I sat nervously in Mom and Pop Franson's bedroom with Kris and Xandi holding in my feelings about Merging with this man I love so much. Holding in the grief of my mothers not being there, holding in the love choking my throat, holding in and ready to boil out and over that is until I saw his face and man, I was a believer all over again. His smile took all my worry and concerns away. He extended his hand and I reached for it and we met in a kiss I can still feel. All the hunger and love and care.
Do you know what today is? It's our anniversary.
Labels: meeting anniversary, Merge anniversary
First picture I have taken in a while that I really actually liked of myself.
Was very grounding... walking, I stared at the ground. Amazing that.
Big cedars, hemlocks, and a special Watermelon.
I need to get out more.
Yeah, I am in love with this picture.
... you have no idea how much I utterly adore my nightgown. Best. Purchase. EVER.
Sometimes, I like what I do.
24/365 WORD CAME TODAY
I put it every where but here, but, Thursday, I tested negative. Taking Steven Wakefield's advice, I celebrated it: the knowledge, the being negative...
I am so tired of our Tribe dying. I am tired of everyone being so focused on youth when the main people dying from the dis-ease are my age group: 30-39.
In my celebration, I was accused of being insensitive to people who are positive... as if I am saying I don't have to "deal" anymore. I wish everyone understood the truth: Whether negative or positive, we ALL LIVE with HIV/AIDS.
So tired of our Tribe dying.
Friday, after the conference, I made plans to meet Ryan at the comic store in Pike Place (Golden Age), for a date thingie... which we love to do since we don't get out of the house much (for various reasons). Anyway, since I got about two hours of sleep, I was dead on my feet. Anyway, standing outside of Left Bank Books, I looked through the books they had for sale for which the proceeds go towards books for prisoners. I spied a booked entitled, Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. It's a textbook from 2003 (which only means it's fairly relevant... and no, I don't know when I started thinking in terms of things being culturally relevant, but when I was at the conference, my comments were all over relevancy).
The clincher was a poem by the late, great Pat Parker. I brought it in joy of sharing this poem with you... I even made the left-leaning white altie chick behind the counter read it... not considering her reaction first (which is not how I work generally... I had a moment of *gulp*, then I was like, "fuck it" -- not my issue).
For the White Person Who Wants to Know How to Be My Friend
The first thing you do is to forget that i'm black.
Second, you must never forget that i'm black.
You should be able to dig Aretha,
but don't play her every time i come over.
And if you decide to play Beethoven -- don't tell me
his life story. They make us take music appreciation too.
Eat soul food if you like it, but don't expect me
to locate your restaurants
or cook it for you.
And if some Black person insults you,
mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you,
rips your house or is just being an ass --
please, do not apologize to me
for wanting to do them bodily harm.
It makes me wonder if you're foolish.
And even if you really believe Blacks are better lovers than
Whites -- don't tell me. I start thinking of charging stud fees.
In other words -- if you really want to be my friend -- don't
make a labor of it. I'm lazy. Remember.
-- Pat Parker