Thursday, June 30, 2011

All By Chance

"I get emotional about what these children can have. When you watch these parents at the protest, you want to grab them and say to them, 'Remember when you were a child. You wanted to be an astronaut, a scientist, or president of the United States.' And you couldn't because no one taught you which direction to go there. So, wanting to be an astronaut seemed as faraway as the moon, which it's really not that far but no one told you that. And you just don't want to see anyone else miss out because no one told them that they could have it."

- Karl Willingham, Harlem Success Parent



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dear Not-Yet-Made Soybeanito Letter #3

Dear Not-Yet-Made Soybeanito,

Your dad and I imagine what you will look like all the time. We hope that you will have my nose and healthy skin. From your dad, I hope that he will gift you his sweet smile and bright eyes. If the universe has its way, the color of your skin will fall somewhere between the caramel hue of my skin and toasted coconut like your dad's. Because of how the universe has shaped your features and painted your skin, people will inevitably ask you, "What are you?" Do not become annoyed. It is natural for people to want to try to place people into familiar categories. 

This is what I will tell you each night before you go to sleep to help you begin finding out who you are. You are a little person who is loved more than you will ever know. You are a little person who can be whatever your heart chooses to be because the color of your skin does not need to hinder the dreams that lie deep within you. Others may choose to tell you who you are, but you ultimately decide who you will become. 

Remember we loved you before you even existed.  

On Night


"Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brave Like Him

My hubster is wonderfully brave. He won't admit it. I'm not even sure if he realizes it. He jumps into each new adventure with such enthusiasm. When he's in the thick of it, anxiety will occasionally creep up behind him. I greatly admire his ability to hop into situations with very little hesitation. When I ask him how he does it, he simply replies, "It needs to get done." Oh, my very practical engineer.

Words often fail me when I try to express my fear to him. As my mind begins to shape my words they are overshadowed by "It needs to get done." When I look at him, I know that his eyes will not make me feel small. Even so, I know he does not truly understand the intensity that my fear surrounds me. In spite of my fear, my pride still has its ever present voice. My pride tells me, "There is no reason that you can't be as brave as he is." With great love and admiration, I would love to be as brave as he is.

Throwback Tuesday: Everytime - Tatyana Ali

Monday, June 27, 2011

Need to Get Back on the Bokeh Boat


Vegas Our Way

Oh, Oprah!

When Janah and I were in middle school together, we used to take those teen magazine quizzes together. She just took Oprah's "Who Am I Meant To Be?" quiz. Of course, I had to, too. Here are my top two striving styles.  Honestly, it was pretty spot on.


You are an intellectual: As a leader, you're often ahead of your time. As an employee, you try to surpass the competence level of peers, even managers. Incisive and curious, you're driven to deeply understand how things work. But that's things, not people. Oh, your family and friends are important; it's just that you don't need to spend hours engaging with them. Social validation isn't your goal—you're secure enough in your cerebral pursuits.

What to watch out for: When you can't find a way to be the expert, you may withdraw or simply withhold information, which can make you seem smug or arrogant. If you feel yourself retreating into your own world, seek a friend's help to pull you back. Also balance your cerebral tendencies through physical activities like jogging, hiking, or dance.

Looking ahead: You discover who you are meant to be through accumulating insight and knowledge. So follow your curiosity. Are you drawn to learning Mandarin? Join-ing a philosophy society? Studying and practicing Buddhist meditation? Delving into the complexities of computer programming? Writing a historical book? Pursuits that place you near the leading edge of technology, science, psychology, academia, or business are good bets. But any situation that allows you to work independently with freedom to investigate and innovate will fuel your drive.


You are a stabilizer: You are the rock in a storm, the one others lean on. Loyal and com-mitted in your relationships, you maintain a support system of like-minded people whom you look out for. (So what if you do it behind the scenes and don't get credit?) You're careful with money, cherish the familiar, and defend the traditions you care about.

What to watch out for: Rapidly changing environments (like a shaky economy) are very hard for you. As a result of such instability, you can spiral into a state where everything seems catastrophic and you're sure life will only get worse. You can also become overcontrolling, rejecting any suggestion that doesn't conform to your idea of the way things should be. To avoid being too rigid, each month try changing one habit. Exper-iment with clothes, drive a different way to work, initiate conversations about subjects you wouldn't normally discuss. And when the opportunity arises to do something new, avoid the impulse to immediately say no—this may be nerve-racking, but the more you practice, the less anxious you'll feel.

Looking ahead: You find meaning in pursuing safety and certainty. Focusing on family can give you great satisfaction. Also consider planting a vegetable garden, hosting class reunions, volunteering as a lifeguard, teaching at your church or temple. In the work arena, look for positions where you're responsible for others, and for making sure everyone is following the rules. You work well in any environment that is stable and consistent. Careers in government, finance, the military, law enforcement, and product manufacturing are strong options for you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Year of the Pencil

This year, I have to teach my kiddos how to write well enough to pass a statewide test. As an English major, you would think that I would be brimming with confidence. Quite the contrary. I'm petrified. My words flow from the tips of my finger without much thought or effort. I'm not fully aware of the act of writing when I act. I just know that I love to write and need to write. When an act is so natural, it is so easy to forget the process, especially the always terrifying beginning of the process. Time to think about how I write and from what depths my words comes from.

Summer Blues


Summer is bittersweet for me. I love the long days, warm breezes, flip flops, shorts, pockets filled with beach treasures and sandy toes. I dread the loneliness, slowness of time and the overwhelming amount of freedom to do whatever I want. Hopefully, I'll be able to embrace all the things I love rather than dwell on things that make me blue. One can always hope, no?  

Monday, June 20, 2011


"My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while."

- Fernando Pessoa

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Daddy,

Thank you for teaching me about the beauty of the ocean. Whenever my soul is restless, it is by the sea that I find the most comfort. Thank you for reminding me to stay positive. Most important, thank you for telling me, "You're going to make your kids so smart." I love you! 



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I Carry

"...she believes so much in me. It's like a rock in the center of my chest, her certainty that I'm special. That I'll make something beautiful and brilliant out of my life..."

from Sister of My Heart

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Last Last Day

Yesterday was the last last day of school for this year. I expected to be overcome with emotion, but I wasn't. They kids were busy as ever. We were running around wrapping things up as usual. They packed up, gave us hugs and walked out the door with a smile. It still feels surreal. Perhaps, that's why it hasn't completely registered yet. Maybe, I feel okay because my kiddos can visit me if they dare to cross the big kid yard. Maybe, it's the hope that I might have them again if I'm able to stay in fourth grade. Maybe, I feel fine because they look ready for their next adventures. Time to clean and make my to-do list for my very OWN room. Yay! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I learned a new vocab word yesterday. Glamping = glam camping. I loved glamping with the first graders and the first grade team. It was so magical watching the kids run around exploring and causing a bit of ruckus. They went hiking and strolling along the rocks by the beach. We listened to an archaeologist, marine biologist, biologist and storyteller share knowledge about the area around us. 

Once the sun went down, they roasted marshmallows for smores then got to take a peek at Saturn through telescopes with astronomers. We learned more information like earthshine. After they were done looking through the telescopes, I watched the rainbow of light from glowsticks and flashlights dance along the yard until all the wee ones made it to their cabins. Then, I awoke to the sounds of kids laughing and running around. So in love with first grade and those moments.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Scooter Route

Scooter season come soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh My


Camping with the Littles


When preparing to go camping overnight with 100+ first graders for one night, I will need to remember:

Change of clothes
Hiking shoes
Owl hat
Cell Phone
Sense of Humor

Chalk It Up

One of my favorite Memorial Day traditions is going to the I Madonnari festival. I love how the artists turn a piece of ordinary pavement into the most extraordinary canvas. The size and the details always take my breath away.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So Fortunate

Ever since I accepted my position for next year, I have had an overwhelming amount of love and support. So many friends and family want to help prepare my room during summer. Today, I received generous offers from two teachers who I co-taught with this year. They offered to do some art lessons, play the fiddle and help me sort out my paperwork. As my teacher friend, Jill, says, "You'll be the envy of all the teachers. You'll have all this help!" Oh my goodness! All this love is so humbling. 

I got another little note from the man upstairs with the best sense of humor.  Today it was in the form of a bumper sticker. It read, "Kindness is everything." Oh, how fitting for the day!

One of Two Last Days

I don't even know how to begin to tell you how much my heart aches when it's the last day of school. For nine months, I spend too much thinking about twenty five little ones, making sure they have a good balance of fun and stifling curriculum. Then, suddenly, it's June! They walk through the door one last time as a class. Then, they leave one last time as a class. As they leave, they take a tiny piece of my heart. Then, I do it all again in August. Good thing, my heart has time to mend over the summer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011