Good Evening Fellow Slicers!

I am sitting here writing my blog under the watchful eye of my tired, happy teenager. We have just come home from getting her vacation hair-do did. She refuses to give me a moment of peace because “I haven’t seen you all day”. She’s asking me random questions and sincerely expecting me to respond. The mommy in me is responding and typing simultaneously. I’m not too good at multi tasking so I’m either doing one or both of these activities with only half of my attention. To add to my multi tasking, the news caster is forecasting snow storms for tomorrow morning. What a wonderful way to start spring break 😦  My sad face is just a pretend pouty face. I am so happy to start spring break. Looking forward to regrouping and recharging. A lot has happened in this wacky month of March and I’m ready to wrap it up!

My teeny bopper just declared “I only like March because of your birthday”. I’ll take that.

Until tomorrow my friends.

Life is Good

Guess what day it is fellow slicers? It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday! Yay me 🙂 I love my birthday because I get to be celebrated and treated special and I allow and accept it. 364 days of the year we are the ones in charge of taking care of everyone else’s needs. It’s not a problem, we don’t really mind, it’s just the way it is. If you’re like me, which most of you are, you’re most comfortable when your serving the needs of others. I operate on this need to be needed every day of they year…except my birthday.

Today is the day I indulge in acknowledgements, accolades, and sometimes even presents. Well wishes and special treatment bring it on it’s my birthday you know! My day was not perfect, my class definitely wasn’t perfect, but it’s okay, it’s my birthday. I am happy. I am alive. I am healthy. This blog is complete, short and sweet and it’s okay, it’s my birthday!

Crunch Time

Good Evening Fellow Slicers!

I am trying to get my blog done after my Wednesday night class. I did not have time to complete it before class because I only had time to go to the store and then cook dinner. My child keeps talking to me because we have yet to have our after school chat time. We typically talk about our day over dinner, but today I had to eat during my online face to face class (classy huh). Anyways, I am multi tasking. Typing as I listen to this girl talk about “heaven knows what”. Actually, a very major event happened at her school today. Someone pulled the lock down alarm at her school and that caused much chaos in her school. She was in econ class when it happened. Apparently, the entire staff were at a loss, because they knew that there was no scheduled lock down drill for today. She described how stressed out and anxious her teacher was. He had them stack desks by the class door and other students were given random objects to use as weapons, while they waited to figure out if they were really in danger. The police entered her building armed and ready for anything. The students sat in complete darkness while the teacher went back and forth between manning the class door with a flag in hand ( as a weapon I guess), and anxiously checking his email for information. They all waited like this in their classroom for about 30 minutes until the administration realized that someone pulled the alarm and most importantly there was no danger to the campus. I received a connect ed phone call from the building principal explaining about the mishap and reassuring parents their children are safe and that the student who pulled the alarm will be disciplined.

So I have completed my blog and heard for the 3rd time maybe 4th time how crazy her day was with this lock down situation…My dear sweet innocent daughter. She has not an idea of how the events of today could’ve yielded a completely different outcome. She has not an idea of how every staff in that building has probably aged a good decade, because they were fully aware of how out of the ordinary today’s alarm was. They were wondering exactly how much of a hero they’d be called to be today. How much of that lock down training they’d be putting to use today.

My dear sweet daughter…she has no clue. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

The White Flag

Good evening fellow slicers!

I got beat, conquered, defeated…by the children. The only reason I am still standing after today is the mere fact that in a few days I will get to partake in a much needed respite. By around 2:00 today, I was waving the white flag of surrender. I could no longer correct, redirect, investigate, debate, negotiate any longer. I was done. I was stick a fork in me D-O-N-E done! I had nothing left to give. For the last 45 minutes of my day we watched a movie and silently read-done. All I wanted was for everyone to be quiet and not touch anyone-done.

However, we are never really done. 2:55 dismissal. 3:00 confer with the t.a. in my class and the reading teacher about a student. Write out an extensive parent email going over the details of their little darlings award winning day. Get my materials out and ready for the next day. Meet with a parent who was not able to make it for the two scheduled conference days . Then I get to head home.

However, we never really head straight home. Knowing I need to make it to the poll in time to vote before it closes. Do I go all the way home ( in the cornfields of Joliet, IL) or do I stop by the store to get food for dinner? Luckily, the polls didn’t close until 7pm, which gave me time to get dinner before heading to the voting location by my house. Stopped at Chipotle to get dinner (Yay ). Then finally headed to the polling place, fingers crossed for a good friend running for a major office (total underdog btw), but I would’ve been heartbroken to have missed the chance to vote for them.

In the midst of all that after school hustle and bustle,on my drive home, I got hit. I got hit with the voice in my head. The one that tells you to get over yourself. The voice that says, “It is not about YOU”. I have a student in trouble. He acts out, he’s always sleepy, he’s increasingly angry, he’s falling behind academically. Ugh! I missed it!

I will try to be less done tomorrow.

Easy Breezy Free Time

The countdown continues! I am counting down the days to my birthday and spring break. My birthday is Thursday and spring break starts on Friday at approximately 2:56 pm (dismissal is 2:55) I’m giving my students 1 minute to vacate the premises before I do my spring break is here happy dance. So one would think with these two special days coming up I would be excited about the fun times coming ahead for me, rights. Nope. You are sooo funny if you were actually thinking that. Let me remind you of a few things, I’m a 5th grade teacher and a single mom of a teenage girl. Ahhhhh….now some of you are thinking, oh right, we don’t get fun time like that. Duty free, easy breezy fun time. Doesn’t exist for teachers and/or moms.

The teacher in me is stressing about these last few math lessons I need to teach before I give this assessment that I need to give before spring break. Not enough days of the week or hours in the days. As for the mommy side of things. Baby let me tell you…first of all my daughter’s dad is taking her to Wisconsin Dells next week. Oh how nice, you may be thinking. I would think the same thing, but think of it now in a custodial parent point of view. Clearer scope thoughts: Oh joy, what list of things do I need to have ready in order to prepare her for this trip. Well first off I need to get her hair done for the water park. If you’re confused, I understand your confusion. You’re thinking who gets their hair done to go to a water park? The answer is quite obvious if you think about it. The next time you go to a water park, look around for the black women and their daughters. There are a few of us who would dare go to a water park without some type of braids or protective hair do. But for the vast majority of us we get our hair done. Braids, twists, curly weaves, are a black girl water park trip must. PSA: Water is not our friends. At least in terms of what it does for our hair. I could do a whole other blog on black women, our hair, and water…but no time for that tonight. Maybe another day.

Anywho, my birthday weekend I will be taking my daughter to get her hair done, get new swimsuit, go to SAT tutoring. I think I get Sunday off from mommying, but make up for it on Monday. Monday I need to take her to her new Primary Care Physician which is 15 minutes from my house then drive her all the way to Chicago which is about an hour from my house to see her neurologist. This part is all her dad’s fault, changing insurance blah blah blah. Then finally I think I’m done. Then she will go with her dad and I get 5 days of mommy freedom!

I began writing this to half-heartedly complain about my life. But as I read through each complaint all I see are blessings. Getting through the math lesson: at least I have a job and a goal to work towards. Taking my daughter to get hair done: I have a daughter who is beautiful and a beautician who is magical. LOL. Preparing her for her trip: I have a daughter who has a great relationship with her dad. Trip to 2 doctors: I have a healthy daughter whose health and future was questionable for a point in time some years ago. Quiet time alone: I get the best of both worlds, I get to be a mom, but also get breaks most moms never get.

Perspective my friends…pure perspective 😉

 

Monday Eve

It’s Sunday night and all is well with the world. We are coming up on the final week before spring break. 5 more days and then a much needed, guilt free break from work. Earlier today I was reading the Facebook post of a young man whose welcome back to school video went viral last year. He’s a first year teacher, teaching 5th grade on the West Side of Chicago. He made the cutest rap video introducing himself to his class and welcoming them to school. He may have been a student teacher when he created that video. Anyway, I follow him on FB and enjoy his energy and passion for working with children. Well today’s post from him was about how he found himself in the middle of a mental health crisis and was getting burnt out from his job. Pouring so much into his job and his students, he didn’t realize he wasn’t pouring into himself. He took a temporary break from his job last month but is scheduled to return tomorrow. Anyone reading this post know exactly how difficult it is to be a teacher. The amount of energy we put into others and their well being and needs is grossly underrated with quips of how we get summers off. You also know that it is tough to match the energy and zeal of being a first year teacher. Just think about that…if first year teachers in all their glory are getting burnt out, how in the world do us veteran teachers muster up the energy to do this year in and year out. We have to keep a balanced life for one thing. Teaching is a wonderful job, but you have to have a life too. It is okay to step away from the grade book, the plan book, the whatever academic reading…step away. So to Mr. Reed and my fellow Slicers who have endured great stress in the quest to being that top notch teacher, Happy Monday Eve, t minus 5 days till spring break!

Saturday Shenanigans

Just sitting here watching my friends. Having an impromptu St. Patrick’s Day get together. We have snacks and wine, lots of wine. Anyways, this is a special St. Patrick’s Day. My close friend recently found out that she has Irish lineage. We always knew she was biracial even though she was raised by her dad and mostly her paternal grandmother, aunt and uncle. She never knew her birth mom but reconnected with her about a year or so ago. Her dad is black and her mom is white. She’d been looking for her mom on and off for years. She finally found her mom and was able to talk to her on the phone and get answers to all the questions that have haunted her over the years. Bottom line, mom got pregnant at a young age. As if being a pregnant teenager wasn’t enough, she was pregnant by a black man. That was a no no for this family at that time. Any who, my friend caught up with her mom and had those conversations and even found out medical history and family lineage. Her mom has since married and had a boy and a girl with her husband. They are probably in their 20’s/30’s at this point and time. The sad thing is that this woman never told her husband that 42 years ago she had a baby and gave her up to the father and his family. The mom was actually scared that her daughter (my friend) would disrupt her life and wanted to be sure that this first born child of hers did not resurface to cause confusion in the life she has created. I’m sure my friend was sad at being rejected, yet again by her birth mother. At the same time there was a since of…maybe closure, at knowing her story and how she came to be in the world. So fast forward to March 2018. We are celebrating my friends first year as an Irish woman. So we are here together, with drinks, snacks, and girlfriend conversation. My girlfriend is here, with her Irish princess crown, and St. Paddy’s day t-shirt, and matching socks. We are celebrating my friend today and the side that don’t know how to celebrate her. As I’ve said before, every parent want’s their child to be successful. This poor mom is missing out. My friend is pretty wonderful!