Category Archives: I follow NPR

Eveything that kills me, makes me feel alive

Let’s acknowledge the white elephant in the room, I haven’t posted in a really, really, really long time. But every now and then, I come across something (or someone) that is truly breathtaking and impossible to ignore.

That something is this video.

If I ever have girls, I will teach my girls to love the fact that they are alive. And, with that very realization, beautiful.

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“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

A recent study was conducted in which 250 men and women were asked to draw what love, fear, joy, sadness and anger  felt like in their bodies. These are the combined results.

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I care about this kinda of research and these seemingly-random-hipster-approved type of studies because at their very core, they are humanity. Race, religion, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, etc. –none of those things mattered.

Inside, we all feel the same.

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Same Love

A secret very, very, very little people know about me, is that until I was at least double digits I thought that I was gay. This wasn’t caused by a persistent thought about the same gender in a uniquely sexual way but, rather an appreciation for the opposite gender. I related to males more than females and thought that perhaps G-d made a mistake in my gender cocktail.

Around this time Ghostwriter was my favorite show, I detested anything any shade of pink, and always considered it a compliment when I was referred to as ‘one of the guys.’ I was 9 and rocking a side pony tail like it was my day job before I could fully understand that I had been filled with falsely preconceived ideas of what love was, wasn’t, and that this emotion must only ever be shared between a man and a woman.

“That’s it.,” I thought.

There was no way I was straight.

My parents didn’t give me ‘the talk.’ In fact, they avoided many talks including the one that started and ended with ‘just because you are not attracted to anyone in your 16 person 1st grade class doesn’t make you a lesbian.’ But, the lesson my parents did give–perhaps unintentionally–was that there is a necessary beauty in allowing a person to come into their own, on their own. This is a lesson I carry with me every day and am continually grateful that I was raised–in whatever accidental way it was– to take and love people for who they are, NOT  who I want them to be.

I bring this up now because,  Colorado recently passed the civil union bill.  I couldn’t be a prouder resident of this state and only hope that this bill, and those like it, continue to be passed nation wide. While I may not rock side ponytails anymore and I definitely know that I’m not gay; that’s not important. What matters is that gay or not, people are people and deserve those rights and liberties entrusted thousands of years ago. So I say, no freedom till we’re equal; damn right I support it.

#Samelove

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Once upon a time we were burning bright, Now all we ever seem to do is fight

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I think it’s safe to say that as exciting and invigorating as the elections can be we’re all glad they’re over. I can finally watch Youtube without feeling guilty about everything I’ve ever done or apparently will ever do. Politics are personal and emotions are messy. I love the diplomatic nature of this country but, the last thing I want to talk about on my 5:30am bus ride is how my life is doomed if I vote one way or the other. I began thinking about how personal the elections really are and remembered that an overwhelming majority of my students are living through an election which directly impacts them yet they have no say so in. So today we held an open forum about the pros, cons, and forgotten emotions of a presidential election. These are thir stories.

  1. Obama’s voice makes me feel safe about who and where I am.
  2. That 64 passed and I bet Wiz is gone build a mansion right next to me!
  3. I’m just not ready to go [back to Mexico] yet. I like it here.
  4. Mittens should hit (listen to) that Drake. He always help me through my feelings.
  5. Don’t we all die in 2012?
  6. If losing feels anything like being dumped I’m Romney for life.
  7. Romney ain’t got no job now. Sucka.
  8. What happened to all the other people that ran for president? Who’s going to help them?
  9. I still don’t think the elections matter.
  10. I bet Romney supports Crocs.
  11. Birth control needs to be taken away so guys know the meaning of sex and actually care about maybe getting someone pregnant
  12. Do we ever all win?
  13. Mitt rhymes with shit. — on the back this student wrote ‘please don’t take away points for cursing.’
  14. I don’t think Romney was the best [candidate] but, I do think black people need to stop relying on welfare.
  15. I wonder if the Black Eyed Peas are gonna write a song about this.
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You held your head like a hero on a history book page; It was the end of a decade but the start of an age

After last nights lively Presidential Debate— which oh so mercifully took place less than 5 miles from my condo– I sat down to construct what I imagined to be one of the best lesson plans of the semester. It was a lesson in comparing  Presidential Debates and freestyle rap battles.  I thought it was a winner. I  stepped into my US history class* with Donkey/Elephant animal crackers for prizes in one hand and entry tickets in the other. Entry tickets are simple prompts that are used to “set the stage” for the days activities. Today’s read, “List one lesson you gained from last night’s Presidential Debate.”

Example:

Because I work in urban education I anticipated that some students wouldn’t have access to the debate and thus planned to show a clip in class. What I did not plan on was the entire class with the exception of 2 students to have both watched and took notes on the debate. In fact, the students ended up having so much to say I decided to scratch my original idea and instead have an open forum to discuss the happenings of the 2012 Presidential Debate.

After mock opening arguments from both parties a sole student from the back said he’d like to represent a third party on behalf of Michelle Bachman. Intrigued by the request and entertained by the notion I set up a third group. So I moved to the head of the class, taking the place of Lehr and prepared to take my own notes. At the end of class I collected the entry tickets and haven’t stopped laughing since.

Below are the top 8 comments (in no particular order):

  1. Obama is sexy as hell. Vote 4 Obama.
  2. The debate kind of scared me once I realized it was like high school but with suits.
  3. I wonder who lines up Obama’s edges. He get paid a lot?
  4. Muthafuqa ain’t gone take my Elmo’s World!
  5. Romney sounds like Buzzlightyear
  6. If we do vote Obama, if we don’t vote Obama don’t matter ’cause our generations screwed anyways. (on the back this student wrote: “It’s not his fault though.”)
  7. I wonder how people would vote if they were both black.
  8. The illumanti runs this.

 

*=Clarification: Although I am not an teacher I have the good fortune of serving in 3 history classes in 2 different schools. I often borrow and combine ideas between the two schools hence the blended lesson plans.

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Now I’m paralyzed, still stuck in that time, when we called it love

My heart hangs as heavily as the smoke that fateful day.

May today serve as a reminder that there is more to life than just what we can see.

& may we all live in peace.  #9/11

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