“You’ll know it when you see it,” was obscenity defined.
If you have to ask the lawyers then integrity’s declined.
Unequal almost everything shows justice isn’t blind.
Clearly there’s some clarity distinctly undefined.
Today is Election Day in the United States. Please vote.
I also think about welcoming the stranger, the migrant, and the children. Which candidate will create conditions at home and abroad where all feel welcome and safe? No one wants to be forced to leave home, but sometimes it is necessary for reasons of health and safety. Who will be welcoming while helping to create a world where migrating is a choice, not a matter of life or death?
I think about education. When quality education is available for all, possibilities emerge, futures are possible. Education never stops; we never stop learning. Which candidate will create conditions so that life-long learners have the opportunity to think critically? I want people to think deeply and from various perspectives. I want people to see the world in shades of grey while avoiding dualistic thinking. We weave the tapestry of the world with many colored threads. That beauty is diminished with either/or thinking.I think about the future. When we care for the world, the air, the water, we will preserve the world for future generations. No one wants to breathe dirty air nor drink contaminated water. Which candidate will promote healthy development so that the future is better for all? We know that some resources are non renewable. How are we preparing now for a future without those resources? Which candidates will help us create a better world for the future?
The world I long for, I try to help create everyday, sometimes with more success than others. In addition to the above, I think about rights and responsibilities, the dignity of work, health care, peace, and solidarity with the most vulnerable. My vote can help create that world. I will do my part.
Please do your part and vote your values, hopefully for an inclusive world built on solidarity, love, and hope for all.
A few of my students struggle with self-control. Their impulsive behavior leads them into difficulties that they blame on other students (and teachers). “The other kids don’t understand,” or “The teachers take it too seriously,” are common comments that admit no personal responsibility. Indeed, there may be responsibility beyond the personal- other students may be baiting, trying to get a good reaction; perhaps there are structural issues that would better support the students who are struggling. Right now, though, I am going to try a quick ABC with them.
Notice yourself. What are you doing? feeling? thinking? Don’t judge those actions, feelings and thoughts just notice them. Can you name them?
Notice others. What are they doing? feeling? thinking? Can you name what is happening around you. This is a great place to use those inferring skills.
When you came to awareness, were you aware of your breathing? Do that now. Breathe in. How long did you inhale? Hold your breath for that same amount of time. Exhale for that same amount of time. If the first time you inhaled for a count of three, try for a count of four. As you do this, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Be purposeful in your breathing. Try this 5 times: inhale- hold- exhale.
Choose your actions. Will you stay quiet or will you speak up? Will you stay still or will you move. We do not choose our feelings but we can usually choose how we express those feelings. If you are happy at a stadium, you may stand up and cheer for your team. If you are happy at a quiet church service you probably won’t stand up and cheer. At this moment, is one way of acting better than another way? Make your best choice for this moment.
Maybe this will help some of my students. Maybe teaching them will make me better at doing the same. I’ll keep you posted.
A few days ago I was asked why I am worried about a Trump presidency. The asker was not an ardent supporter of Mr. Trump but believed that Mr. Trump was a better choice than Clinton. I am not an ardent Clinton supporter but believe that she would have been a better choice than Mr. Trump.
When I think of the United States, the country where I was born and raised, I think of possibilities. I believe that it is possible for people of different racial/ ethnic backgrounds, different religions (or no religion), differences of many kinds to come together for the good of the whole. I believe that it is possible to rise above tribalism to create something better than any of us could create alone, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I believe that the United States of America is possible- that all are created equal.
When I hear Mr. Trump make racist comments I worry about his presidency. I worry that people who are already on the fringes of society will be further marginalized. There are many ways to be in this world. We can celebrate those ways, accept those ways, without saying “my way or the highway.” Someone’s difference is not a threat to me (although violence is a threat that needs to end) if I am secure in my identity. Maybe Trump’s comments were made in order to get elected; if so, those who support him because of those comments worry me. Do they seek to limit the identity of the United States to those who are like them? Do they seek to rid the country of difference?
When I hear Mr. Trump make sexist comments I worry about his presidency. Anyone who knows a woman worries (or should be worried) about this type of violence. Denigrating anyone is offensive. Would I want someone saying such things about my mother? My wife? My daughter? Would I want my son or my students at school to learn this behavior? If not, then it is not OK for Mr. Trump to say those things. Maybe Trump’s more recent comments were made in order to get elected; if so, I worry about those who support him because of those comments. Referring to people as objects is dehumanizing. If we are all created equal then let us raise one another up instead of pushing some down.
When I hear Mr. Trump speak against immigration I worry about his presidency. Friends of mine have been told that, “Trump will kick you out, send you back.” These friends are U.S. citizens. Students have been cornered by groups of other students who shouted, “Build the wall, build the wall.” The adopted daughter of a friend of mine asked her mom if Trump was really going to send her back to her birth country, a place she has not been since she was a few months old. Maybe Trump’s anti-immigration comments were made in order to get elected. Right now they are having an immediate effect on the lives of people who do not look white. I worry about the people who supported Trump because of these comments. This country is a country of immigrants (some of whom who added terrible violence to the lives of many of the original inhabitants of this land). My ancestors came from Ireland. The whole southwest used to be Mexico until the border crossed the people and included them in the United States after the war. To suggest that the United States is a white nation is to ignore history. We can welcome the stranger.
I believe in the possibility of the United States where we define ourselves as all of us. I believe in the freedoms, rights and responsibilities that belong to everyone in the United States. I believe in the gray areas, the messy areas, where life is not a dualistic either/ or, open/ shut, us/them. Together we can navigate the muddy waters of gray, together. Let us, then, rise above, come together to continue creating a welcoming, bountiful community where all are welcome and all is possible. Let this be a place where violence and discrimination are shunned in favor cooperation and courageous conversations.
For now, I will wait and see. I will never completely write off anyone. Because you asked, though, those are some of the reasons that I am worried about a Trump presidency.
P.S. A self-described single issue voter asked me about abortion and how I could support someone who is pro-abortion. To begin with, I do not know anyone who is pro-abortion (in the sense that a person believes everyone should go out and get one in the way someone might be pro-chocolate- I am pro-chocolate). I do know that in countries where abortions are/ were illegal they still happen in very dangerous conditions making a bad situation even worse. I also know that the number of abortions has been dropping since the early 1990’s and is down to numbers not seen since the early 1970’s. Perhaps we can continue to improve education and situations so the number of abortions continues to drop.
I pencil my schedule long-range
Knowing planners, the times, they’ll exchange
So I mix a new fix
Til’ the change gets the nix
Is the un-change of change still a change?
Arguing with the television,
turning it down, loudly,
eating fresh rosquitas and offering them
Wanting to share in the wine
But too methodical to do so.
Keeping life’s rhythms and rhymes.
Patterns that matched his shirt.
Setting his watch by casino,
Punching the clock at the café as if going to work,
Paying without comment.
Community wherever he was.
Welcoming you, as you are,
Who you are,
Supporting your dreams,
Take a nap if you want to, fix the world if you want to…
But how about a sandwich at 8:40,
And could the doctor’s appointment be after breakfast and before the café?
Is it unfair to learn?
As I teach my classes, four sections of the same grade level content, I become a better teacher- I notice the mistakes that the previous class made; I understand their misunderstandings; I see the gaps in my teaching. I learn. That being said, class #4 receives all of my learning from the previous three classes and produces higher quality work. They may even receive, on average, higher grades (I will check to see if this last item is true).
Is this unfair for class #1? Is it unfair that the teaching they receive, because they receive it first, will always be a little less complete and polished? Is this like asking if it is unfair for the first child in a family to have to train the parents?
Now, I return to weave the threads of learning for that first class, perhaps with colors not as bright but beautiful nonetheless.
Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years. Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America. Enjoy!
Son antologías que se usan en países de habla hispana de primer grado a 6to grado
After breakfast a
tall, clear glass
of snow-white milk
The hot summer sun
sizzles my skin and
cooks the milk.
Thirsty, I …
Blech! Yuck! Plephtshw!