* Cee’s Share Your World

Thanks to Cee for her wizardry in photography and her Share Your World weekly challenge!  

What is your earliest memory?  I remember events from well before I was two years old because traumatic events stick so much more strongly than pleasant ones.  That’s probably why it feels like I recall every day of my life until I left home at 19.  I am grateful that our son has a relatively blank slate for his early years!   Thankfully, he doesn’t remember when I zipped up a certain body part into his cuddly sleeper or when I closed the trunk on his flexible fingers.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?   I took some selfies last night to use with a student as visual cues.  For some kids, that’s much more effective than saying a word.

Have you ever danced in the rain?  Yes, and on stage as well.  I was working with psychotic adolescents and we staged “Singing In the Rain.”  Don’t ask me why.  It was a series of traumatic moments for both teachers and students, since we had to practice for a month.  Between kids tantruming, spacing out, and having seizures, the final performance made for an eventful evening!

What is the longest you have gone without sleep?  I had to take an sleeping EEG, which meant staying up all night and then somehow, falling asleep at a clinic.  The room I was “resting” in was next to the nurses’  lounge, full of laughter with a door that repeatedly banged shut.  I never fell asleep, so it was the following night before I finally got some shut eye.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?    I am soooooo grateful that my dearest teaching widower did not leave town last week!  We have been enjoying his Father’s Day gift of the BBC series on World War II.  Awesome.  I am also grateful for the family that forgave me this morning for oversleeping and missing a tutoring session.  My phone’s ringer had been accidentally turned off by the selfie stick, so my alarm was all for naught.  I am looking forward to eating the goodies that another family gave me today!  Yum!!  Thank you, Golio!

 

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Golio’s nut seed blend!

* Forgiveness and race

I was moved by an opinion column in today’s Chapel Hill News.  Anita Woodley‘s column focuses on forgiveness.  Forgiving those who have hurt her with racist remarks and forgiving herself for “feeling that [she] had to prove” that she belongs, that she’s “entitled to be somewhere.”  Woodley describes her experience at a workshop, “Race and Grace: Changing the Race Dance” where she was the only person of color in a group of about 20 folks.  She endured horrific stories, resorting to an emotional disconnect to protect herself.

The following day, Woodley started a two month self-esteem support group for women, where once again, she heard the N-word.  In this case, a woman actually tried to convince Woodley that the N-word is no big deal.  After all, that woman had been called “whitey.”  Woodley describes the emotional turmoil that eventually led her to forgive that woman, and in the process, to see herself as she is: courageous, loving, and strong.

I’ve been a part of these conversations for years.  It’s discouraging that whites still diminish the black experience in this country.  I see the legacy of slavery, I see undereducated black kids, I see a class system with widening chasms.  Woodley’s advice is sound.  Forgiveness is one place to start.  Playing an active role in changing hearts and minds is another.  We all lose when a single child’s potential is lost.

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