Sunday, September 28, 2014

Climbing: 30 seconds of letting go

Set the timer to 30 seconds and gave myself #30secondstospillthebeans . . .

John-Pio's been practicing w/the #realcam

tea not coffee
united nations 
funny people
deep thinking
emma watson
urban art
what's right
brad breakdancin'
people watching 

And climbing.

Here's what went down today on sandstone rock with the fam and Lisa and Tom ...

#savorit  #taketimetospillthebeans

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kicked My Ass

I'm not going to lie about the last two weeks.  My students . . .




For reasons only the public can't even imagine.  Can't even imagine.  Adolescents, in the period of storm and stress, just by the very nature of their beings and being around each other are high maintenance.  I won't go into detail - some of you live with them, some teach them, some hang out with them, some of you are still them - it's just good to know I'm not alone.  And while they kicked my ass, I'll also admit that they also . . .



They did.  We're in the midst of teaching an integrated Language Arts and Social Studies unit called "Warriors: Stories of Struggle and Triumph" and while I led discussions and lessons on Michael Brown and Ferguson, students also studied Ana Tijoux (check out her music, especially "1977" and thanks Ms. Jorgensen for the intro), a Chilean hip hop artist who represents everything warrior-like on the political and feminism spectrum.  They're answering essential questions like, In what ways do others stories and experiences help deepen your understanding of yourself and others? What makes a warrior?  It's no walk in the park - these kids are f'in deep. Which is what makes working late on a Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning okay - they challenge me to keep it goin' on.  At least that's what I think for now.  All I really wanted though - really, really - was to get outside on this beautiful fall weekend to climb. Thanks to Jamie and Tom, and Misa who wanted nothing more than to hang out with Jada, we made it to Governor Dodge.  And bonus was running into Katie and crew!

SO fun.  Here's what we did.

We bouldered on sandstone. 

Jamie so strong

Tom getting ready to dyno

Which he did really well :)

So many reasons to love climbing outside with this fam. 

She's got the boulder pad hang out thing down. 

These two . . . best friends.  

Jada exploring the forest. This is fall in WI.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to Basics

I'm feeling it - the responsibility of being a teacher.  And a parent. Yesterday after John-Pio and I had a little argument I said with finality: You're gonna get the second to the last word on this one.

#thatwasthat  #parentwin 

Misa and I also battled yesterday and when we finished our talk she hung out by the bookshelf that houses parenting and education books and pulled How to Parent So Kids Will Learn off the shelf. She reminded me that she'd spent a lot of time looking at the pictures in that book, cause the time-out space as a toddler and pre-schooler happened to be in front of that shelf.  She asked, "Do you really believe this stuff?" Cracked me up cause I really don't - I mean, I get why there are a host of parenting books out there, but if she were to reframe the question as,

"Do you really value this stuff, Mommy?"

Then that's a whole different conversation cause deep down, I don't value structural parenting based on prescriptive advice most especially because so many of those books fail to acknowledge culture and the narratives of cultural roots - the stuff my ethnic family and generations of cultural traditions were built on.  So many of those books teach discipline and parenting in ways that are not relevant - in ways that turn people (like me) off because they make me feel like I should be able to relate and do parenting and teaching like they say, but deep down it's discomforting and sometimes I don't know why.

#unabletoescape #whitepeoplevalues #complexities

Those two conflicts with John-Pio and Misa alone were enough to take me back to the basics.  The notion that I am responsible for everything I do, and everything I don't do and that my teaching and parenting must be rooted in my values and the historical traditions and narratives that shaped me, not the values of systems or privilege or entitled attitudes that outnumber me.  So in the spirit of school which starts in a few days - both for me as teacher and parent, no matter the pressures of Common Core State Standards or the upcoming standardized tests or lesson planning, or the stressors related to Brad traveling and having to problem solve child care, anticipate family food prep, listen to the kids' ordinary pains and joys that come from newness, I have to always - always

Remember where I am from, and

Remember where you are from.

#neverdismiss #thesethingsmatter

On a side note, here's a video and story of an administrator makin' it relevant for his students!