Computer Blue

Prince

Usually I struggle when naming a post, but I am simply blue…computer blue.  I am still in denial that Prince is no longer here with us.  How can this be?  I honestly feel like I have lost a close family member.  I don’t want to cheapen this post by going on and on about how I’m his biggest fan.  After being challenged by those who claim to be (in fact) his number 1 fans, I realized that there is no way to judge this and that I really don’t care. I’m probably unable to put into words just how this man has influenced my life.  I don’t really want to share every detail anyway because some just wouldn’t understand.  And that is fine with me.

I will say that Prince was my second love…my dad of course was my number 1 guy.  I fell in love at the tender age of 8.  It was his eyes and hair that caught my attention. The picture above is one of my favorites of him.  His eyes have always captivated me.  Deepness.  I have never been able to explain how I connected with Prince’s music.  There was something about HIS music, even that early in my life, that I just connected with.  As I got older and began to analyze and understand the meanings behind many of the songs, it became clearer that I would be a fan eternal.

I had originally planned to share my favorite songs, but after careful consideration, I probably won’t be able to do that for this post.  The more I thought about it, it was like trying to pick my favorite students from my teaching career.  There are those few that stole my heart, but I have genuine love for each and every student that I have taught.  That’s how I’m feeling about Prince’s music, each song has something special and unique about it.  I mean there are the party songs that just uplift and make everything better.  There are the love songs that make you still believe in love, the sad songs that let you know that you are not alone and that sometimes its okay to be sad, the socially relevant songs that spread truth and hopefully awaken you,  the spiritual songs that make you search deeper into yourself, and of course the naughty songs that make you…naughty.  Many songs for our many moods and attitudes.  That’s the true mark of a musical genius! Prince, although gone from this life, will be Forever in my Life💜

The Journey Continues…

As it has been a year since my last post, I’m taking some time to reflect on my last couple of posts and seeing how far I have come since then.  This journey chose me.  I’m glad it did because I’m not sure when I would have begun it if it hadn’t.  Have you ever asked yourself “is this all there is?” or “this can’t be life, can it???”  Well I found that I was asking myself these and other questions often over the past couple of years.  I was beginning to get very uncomfortable and didn’t really understand what was happening.  It was as if life was shifting right before my eyes and I had no say so in the results.  As I delved into my spiritual side, even that was shifting.  I decided that since it appeared that I was not in control of the outcomes, that I should just let things flow and pay attention to any patterns or paths that I was encountering.  I began meditating, reading, and appreciating nature more.  This is something that has helped in this process.  Over the past year, I have had to re-examine many truths and beliefs that I had. I have shifted my thinking and my actions, and I have much better results.  I have begun the journey into Self.  Recently I explored my ancestry and am shocked at what has been revealed so far.  This journey continues as I further explore where I come from and who I am.

Attention Seek Much???

What is appropriate today when seeking a date and even a mate?  How should one carry themselves?  Since I am a woman, I will attack this from a woman’s perspective, my perspective.  I have lived a little, dated a little, been married, and divorced.  Some of the behaviors that I see today in the dating/mating realm are foreign to me.  I’ve never been one to fall to peer pressure so I can honestly say that even if social media had been around in those days that I wouldn’t have participated in the attention seeking behavior that is so rampant today.

Let’s start with technology.  I know for a fact that there is no way that I would be one of these teenagers with a cellphone.  My parents would not have allowed it. This post today is not about teenaged years but I wanted to mention it because I see our youth doing outrageous things and posting it to social media.  I suppose some of it should be expected because they are teenagers (apparently unmonitored) doing this.  But when I see adults doing things that the young people are doing, I am in shock and awe.

I was on Facebook today and I was utterly amazed at some of the videos, pictures, and comments I was seeing.  When I am working I tend to stay away from Facebook.  It is too distracting.  But since it is summer, I want to catch up with family and friends and  I happen to get sucked into to the attention seeking abyss.  I am ashamed at what can appear to be low self-esteem of women AND men on social media.

So I will stop here and give a personal history.  I was raised by a mother and father who were married.  I was blessed.  I know that is not the case with many.  Not saying that it makes me any better either.  There was no domestic violence, child abuse, or other unsavory activities taking place in the home.  My parents knew my friends and their parents, they were actively involved in my life to ensure that I would grow up with a healthy self-esteem and compassion for others.  My parents showed and told me they loved me. They were there to correct and guide me if something went astray.  I say all of this to say that it seems like many children are missing this today.  Actually, I believe some people in general missed this.

Okay, back to the attention seeking.  I believe that some of the dysfunctional things seen on social media are a result of  things missing from their childhood.   Why would a woman put up half-naked or completely naked photos and then wonder why men don’t respect her?  Allowing a man to see and test “the goods” before any type of true understanding of what is expected.  Something had to be missing from her childhood.  The mere thought of posting a suggestive picture of myself for the world to see is not in my thought process.  Some of my friends call me prudish, and I just laugh.  They tell me I need to get with the times.  I tell them they need to get some self-respect and a life!

Women are not the only ones guilty of these “sexy” pictures.  Some of the things I have seen men post also reek of attention seeking.  I have to admit, the visual side of me enjoys some of the posts.  But the emotional side of me thinks that if this man will post his goods for the world, he may not be someone I can trust in the long run (relationship wise). I also think unrequested penis pictures are disgusting.  If we don’t ask for them, don’t send them…

Another aspect of this attention seeking comes in the form of words.  Women openly brag about what they will do, how and with whom.  That is not cute.  Keep some mystery ladies.  Then there are those who blatantly post that they are lonely and miserable.  Now you are opening yourself up to all kinds of shenanigans from people.  The predatory men love to see this.  The inboxes fill up, which temporarily fills up the self-esteem of the women. These lonely and miserable posts are not just from the women  though.  I have seen them from men too.  Mostly men that are already in relationships or married.  What is going on here? I have seen several of my men friends do this (sorry if you guys are reading this…lol…at least I’m not saying your names).  I see them do this and then they sit back and wait for the fireworks.  I am amazed! I get so mad at them because they will have a beautiful, loving woman in their lives, but will bait women online.  I often tell them to tend to their woman and stop this. Stop creating the temptation for yourself.  Get offline or get out of the relationship if you are not happy.  People creating all kinds of mess.  Destroying relationships before they can fully bloom.  Thanks social media!!!

Today I saw something on a friends timeline that said something about in this day and age men shouldn’t be paying for everything all the time (while dating).  Sure, in a serious relationship or marriage both should contribute.  But I am from the old school of thought – when dating, a man should pay.  May be outdated, but it has not failed me one time.  People, especially men, spend their hard earned money on what they WANT and NEED.  My father and my grandfather taught me this.  They also taught me that if a man wants to date you, he should pick up tab.  I have noticed that the men that want me to pay fully for partially on a date, are really not interested in a relationship.  I have no problem paying for myself or even paying if we go out, but I will consider you a friend and not someone who is interested in anything serious.  It is my belief that if women engage in paying for dates and gifting men with material/sexual things in hopes of one day being in a serious relationship (another form of attention seeking), that man will probably get tired of them and not be interested in anything serious.  Let a man be a man.  He probably wont appreciate what he doesn’t have to work for…stop being so easy and make them work for your time and attention.  Even if money is an issue for him, he WILL find a way.

Attention seeking behavior usually brings on the wrong type of attention.  Then people get mad when things do not flourish as they had hoped.  Don’t be upset with the result if you insist on this type of behavior.  There will always be someone better looking than you, with more money, and material things.  If you start under these conditions, you are sure to lose.  That short-lived attention you got from them will soon find its way into the inbox, likes, and shares of the next one.  Keep your clothes on when smiling for the camera, use your words wisely, and seek attention and love from family and friends.  Learn to respect yourself and seek something better for yourself.

 

 

Still Thankful…

After not sharing for over a year, I’m back.  My last post “What Will I Learn This Year?” was written from a time and place that I can never return to.  I had absolutely NO idea what was in store for me last school year.  Not even in my wildest or worst nightmares could I have imagined what I would endure as a professional. I learned so much about myself.  It was a very dark time.  Disturbingly dark.  I am only able to write about it now.  Even this past summer wasn’t long enough for me to shake off the traumatizing experience.  I am still haunted by it, but not so much that I can’t speak or write about it anymore.  Now, it is a cautionary tale.  There are still some things that I will not discuss because I grapple with how districts and schools allow such goings on without some form of disciplinary action. Unless you are an educator and are privy to the information passed on in meetings and trainings, you have no idea.  Things are hidden, overlooked, unexplained and we have to pretend that we are okay with it.  I was not, and am not okay with it.

To share a snippet of my experiences, I will first say that last school year a teacher I WAS NOT!!! I was merely adult supervision over a gaggle of children.  I was the person being held totally responsible for the safety and learning of children, but who lacked any and all authority to correct unsavory behaviors that stopped me from doing my job. I was an over-licensed, underpaid, full-time babysitter.  I was a warden.  I was the tallest person in the room.  I was a soul dying to get the hell out of there…

Things that were going on in my classroom began to make me sick, literally.  For the first time in my life I was seriously questioning my career choice.  “This can not be real” and “this is not happening” were phrases that I would say to myself and my colleagues several times a day.  My eyes and ears were not deceiving me.  My colleagues confirmed this for me.  I had lost all hope in the teaching profession.  I started to believe that all children behaved in the manner in which those that I had been exposed to behaved.  These children were wise beyond their years.  I’m not talking about book wise, I mean street wise.  The conversations and behaviors exhibited were like those of adults.  There were limited child-like activities.  Often times as I was walking the classroom, instead of working on the assigned work I would find students off task.  I would hear side conversations laced with profanity.  I would find students rolling on the floor, banging on the desks, out of their seats, etc.  And if I tried to get them back on task or find out what was going on, I was more than likely to be greeted with a look of disgust and/or cursed out.  It was a ride I will NEVER forget and one that I will NEVER ride again.

Thankfully, I was hired at a new school right before this school year began.  I was still a little leery about the profession.  I was hoping that this change of scenery would be a good thing.  I was a GREAT thing!!! It was just what the doctor ordered.  It was soothing to my aching soul.  It didn’t take long for me to see just how skewed my view was when I met my class this year.  They were so sweet and gentle.  I was aloof and gruff.  I had been conditioned to work with students that required that of me in years past.  It hit me like a bolt of lightning.  I HAD to change.  Fortunately for me, all the walls I had built and misconceptions that I had were melted away…by of all people, my students.  They didn’t need me to be a warden.  They needed me to be the nurturing, caring, and loving teacher that I had been years ago.  They do not curse me out or hit me (yes, I was hit by former students).  They tell me that it’s okay if I make a mistake and use kind words and give me hugs.  They greet me with smiles and come to school everyday ready for a learning adventure.  I have learned to thank them for their patience with me.  I have learned in this short time since I’ve met them, to love teaching again.

I chose to write today because even though it is the day after Thanksgiving, I am still thankful to be an educator.  I am thankful that I am at a new school.  I am so very thankful for the class that I have been blessed with this year.  It’s like a breath of fresh air.  It was just in time.  I was going to leave the teaching profession if I had to go back to that school where I dedicated well over 10 years of service. I am thankful for that text that I received late this summer informing me that several positions were available at a school I had been hoping to work.  I am thankful for that interview that changed it all for me.  I absolutely love what I do.  I had lost my passion (and part of my sanity) at the other school.  I am so excited that I have regained a passion for what I do again.  I think I am most grateful for that.  I look forward to each work day with a renewed sense of pride and joy as I enter my classroom.  As hard as it is for me to type these following words, I am thankful for the experiences that I had at my old school. Without them I would not believe those that still have to work under those conditions when and if they shared some of their horror stories.  I now know them to be true.  I’m also thankful for those experiences because without them I may not have pushed myself to leave and get this new experience.  And today I can truly say that I am…thankful.

What Will I Learn This Year?

As my vacation is winding down, it’s the time of year where I evaluate what I have learned from my students in years past and what I might learn this school year.  It always amazes me that there are a couple of students each year that I have to admit have added value to my life.  Children, at their essence, are full of new life and see things with new eyes.  The curiosity in children is what I truly love about what I do.

In years past, I have learned that I have way more patience than I ever thought possible.  I’ve learned to pray that if I ever have children, that they will not be bratty or whiny.  I have learned that I have to be brave and calm when it comes to critters, if not, the class will freak out.  I have also learned that when unable to be brave and calm, a little boy comes to my rescue and minimizes the freak out.  I have learned that in some instances, children really do understand subtle messages from adults.  I have also learned that whatever happens in my students homes, somehow makes it into my classroom (parents beware! They tell ALL of your business).

This past school year I learned once again that children can be compassionate, loving, and kind.  With the passing of my mother in April, I was overwhelmed by their sincere sentiments.  Cards, letters, homemade pictures, etc. were given to me as  I returned to work.  I can’t tell you how that helped in my grieving process.  I learned that children have just as many questions about death as adults do.  I also learned that many of them have some sound advice on how to deal with the death of a mother.  Very interesting and heartwarming.

And since I am still going through the grieving process, I know that the 2012-13 school year will offer more interesting things, healing, and ultimately some hard decision-making.  I can’t wait to see those little toothless smiles for the first time, all excited for the new school year.  I can’t wait to see how the year unfolds.  But most of all I really can’t wait to see what I will learn from this class.

Follow Through

When it comes to dating, I have listened to many of my male friends recently on the woes of dating and finding a suitable mate.  I must admit, men seek many of the things we women seek, but their dating style is more simple.  It’s all about fun and how she makes him feel.  Reminds me of sports.  Most men think sports are fun, they make them feel manly, and they love to win.  In some ways, seeking a mate is like playing a game/sport I suppose – you have opponents and the ultimate goal is to win.  I can see that and appreciate it as I like to consider myself a sports junkie.

However for my guy friends who are actively seeking that special someone, I believe they are forgetting one important element – the art of follow through.  I use this as most men fully understand follow through when it comes to sports.  In baseball, one cannot simply just throw the ball, you must continue that throwing motion until it is complete.  Batters can’t just hit the ball, they have to follow through with the bat if they intend to knock it out of the park. In basketball, releasing the ball when you shoot it will not get it in the hoop unless you continue the movement to the end of its arc.  Football, boxing, golf…whatever the sport, there is some element of follow through that must be carried out to be successful.

How is it that men excel in the art of follow through in sports but do a lousy job of it in the dating game?  How on God’s green earth are you going to “win” her over if you don’t? Have some women made it that easy for you to “score” that you’ve forgotten how to get in there and really play to win?  You can’t play sloppily and expect a good woman to settle for that.  We love winners, we love guys who know how to follow through with what they say they are going to do.  Would a coach settle for a player they know can win the game, but doesn’t follow through, thus making the game harder to win or even result in a loss?  Not likely, especially when there are other players who show up at game time and prove their skill set.  This is where I see many of my mate-seeking friends falling short.

Make it a priority to follow through.  In relationships, it shouldn’t be that hard.  Do what you say and say what you mean.  Unfortunately for men, these days many women don’t wait around anymore.  I saw something today online that sparked this entry.  It said, “By the time you wanna make me a priority, it will be too late for you. Sorry.”  Fellas don’t get upset when she wasn’t a priority and you didn’t follow through like you KNOW you should have if you really wanted her.  You can’t win the game if every time you take a shot or swing, you don’t give it your all.   Just as you wholly pursue that full swing in golf or kick that ball and follow through in football or soccer, you’d be wise to do the same in the game of love.  Pursue us with excellence, a great start would be by following through.  I promise, it will be worth it in the end ;-).

Words Unspoken

Shhh…don’t say a word.  Let your actions speak for you, I like it like that.  Unless it’s an ‘I love you’, just hush.  That way I’m not confused when your words and actions don’t match.  I can digest the silence better. Show me what you want and I promise to reciprocate.  Words unspoken means that we don’t have to tell each other truths, half-truths, or lies.

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