Thursday, February 28, 2013

We Got The Power!

It's the last day of February, and it has been a GLORIOUS month!

Tracy and I are so excited about exercising the power that God has given to us and honoring the people of the Montgomery Boycott. And, we are also happy that so many people joined us on this journey. (People need other people!)

Earlier this week, Tracy sent me a video of the song "Ain't no stopping us now," because ain't no stopping us now......

One of my co-workers has been on this journey, and she gave up potato chips. She has not had a chip all month, and she is planning to stay on this journey until at least after Easter. I am hoping that she stays on this journey of self discipline forever, but her journey is her journey!

I have not had any artificial sweeteners, I wrote twenty-eight blogs that I absolutely love this month, and No FACEBOOK. I feel extremely powerful.... Ain't No Stopping Us Now!

Sooooo, let's hear from Tracy and some others who decided to take this journey with us:


"The self discipline fast went very well for me. I gave up all processed foods which included sweets, chips, and all other man made junk food. (lol) I ate only fruits, vegetables, and boiled or baked seafood. I also fasted from any food from 7pm til 7am!! I also gave up facebook and replaced that time with more prayer, and I completed numerous books! I feel so great knowing that nothing (but God) has control over me.."Whom the son set free is free indeed," and, I got the power!! As for our kids, Tia, our 7 year old, was the only one who made it through the month without any slip ups! I remember a few nights ago we were out, and someone offered Tia some Hawaiian punch, and she boldly said "No, I'm fasting red juice." (lol) I have learned that self discipline is a muscle that must be developed in ALL of us, and I applaud all of our children for their courage to attempt this 28 day journey! As for me, this journey will not end here, but I will continue to practice self discipline as a part of my lifestyle, and I feel GREAT!!!"

Testimony #1

"I am so glad that you and your sister decided to fast for Black History Month. I decided to be intentional about my reactions to people and situations in honor of my ancestors who sacrificed their lives for my future,. We live in a fast paced, instant, selfish society and people often only think about themselves. We, excuse my French, I often react when I feel that someone has wronged me, or I am misunderstood, or even when people are rude. During this month, I took the time to not respond, not to be so easily offended, keep silent, or even speak life. I am part of an higher education community that is experiencing some racial tension. I received a message from a young white female who is concerned and fed up with some things that have been said by a young black male student. She said, "I like the way you explain things because I know it's from a place of passion and not out of bitterness." This is what happens when you attempt to live in the Imago Dei."  

Testimony #2

"When I began the "Discipline Fast" I chose to fast sweets from my daily meal plan. No chocolate, donuts, cookies, or Little Debbie snacks for the month of February. The first week was really hard, as I could feel my body craving just a little something sweet. The second week was easier, and the third week got even better! By the end of the fast, I felt like I had gained control over my body and beat "the sweet monster cravings!" Anything you don't give life to, will die! As a result of the "Discipline Fast" I shed 11lbs in 27 days!!!"

Testimony #3

"My testimony... All my life I have really loved dairy foods, and I have chewed gum like every day, even in my sleep. I know it sounds crazy. But being under Pastor Tracy, when I prayed and fasted, I have been delivered from those things. Since the fast started, I feel so much better! It works, Praise the Lord! I thank GOD for her; He puts people in our lives for change!"

Testimony #4

"In my quest to do something for the month of February, I decided to do something for others by giving blood and participating with a mission group. For myself, I gave up sweets, increased my veggie intake, and increased my workouts. There were a couple of weak days, but overall, I did something! I'm grateful that my friend Jack came up with this 'initiative!"

Testimony #5

"The fast went good; this is what my body needed due to the food poison that I had a week ago. I must practice fasting on a regular basis and this will give me a clearer vision on my goals and will be beneficial to energizing my brain and body health."

Testimony #6

"My fast was not to watch any secular television only Gospel/spiritual. This fast helped me to become more disciplined with my prayer times, reading the Word of God, as well as, other books. I accomplish more during my evenings now. Also, now I go to bed without my television on (this is something I never did in the past, my TV always put me to bed at night. (LOL!) When the fast is over, I will continue to limit my time watching secular TV."

Testimony #7

"I did cut back and cut down on my choices of what to drink and sweets. I was blessed, because I didn't realize how much time I spent unconsciously snacking. I replaced the snacking with reading or studying. I have enjoyed the journal and actually seeing how my time was spent. My new book should be here tomorrow, and I'm excited about reading it and continuing the mentoring. Have a blessed night."

Our Power Movement is a success, and "Ain't no stopping us now!"

I'm going to leave you with "Ain't No Stopping Us Now:"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Student's Response to Life of Pi!!!

I was extremely excited to start the discussion on Life of Pi with my students, but they did not seem to share my enthusiasm. I began to question if they had gotten anything from this novel.

So, I gave the students some quotes from the novel that I thought were thought provoking, and I asked them to write their thoughts about one of the quotes. I was nervous about this assignment, but I really needed to know if I should continue to teach this novel.

Here is an example of the kind of responses that I received:

"If Christ Played With Doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To chose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a mean of transportation."  (From Life of Pi.)

"This quote provoked a lot of different thoughts when I read it and other thoughts, Pi had on religion.  The only time I was consistently going to church was when I was very young. When my dad died and my mom married another man, I began to take on my step-dad’s atheist views.  Recently, realizing I had not studied religion that much, enough to decide what my label was, I decided I’d look into it at some point.  Being a teenager, living in the environment I do, it’s easy to be busy and join the majority of the student population in their belief that religion is silly and a waste of time. Hearing many bible stories, I denounced them as ridiculous, contradictory, and some cruel.  When I see all the hate that comes from religious people and learn about all the ancient wars that were started between people simply because of their different religion, it makes it easier to claim you will never be a part of it.  I know it’s most likely hard to believe, that a respectable character in a fictional novel could sway my opinions on something so universal and important, but reading this book changed my way of thinking. When Pi states that agnostic peoples’ way of thinking, doubting that there’s a higher power but never deciding one way or another, is foolish, it struck a realization in me.  Since my church-going years I decide that if you ever had a doubt God exists, you can never go back to fully believing in him, but this quote from “Life of Pi” simply made so much sense, especially with its reference to Jesus. In life you cannot have all the answers to everything, so some things you simply have to trust and have faith in. I was never big on believing in something even if you could never know for sure, until reading this book.  By the end, when Pi was telling the interviewers his second, more sensible story, I found that simply believing the first one was true, came much easier. With the help of the story of Pi’s life and his views on trusting things that are outside the realm of reality, I concluded that believing in things without doubt and with imagination about things would make for a much more enjoyably life.  Granted I do not think every philosophy in the bible should be applied today, because some of it has made this world a hateful place, but simply believing in a higher power, living your life as a good person (which I believe should be the main focus of religion), simply believing things will get better and everything happens for a reason would help any citizen live a more fulfilling life.' 

WOW! All of my doubt is gone, and I'll be teaching this novel for quite awhile.

Life of Pi helped me to do my job: Get Students to Think.....

Our Future is Bright! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Nowhere is it written that we should not be happy!"

Robin Roberts...Still Winning!

I am a HUGE fan of Robin Roberts....

One of my many joys of the summer is being able to watch Good Morning American where Robin Roberts warmly gives us the news.

She is such a display of a strong women who is caring and soft at the same time. (She has a great balance!)

I've been following her health journey, and I must say that her journey is one that makes me extremely happy; Robin is a winner!!!

Watching The Oscar's, I must admit that I was a little jealous of Robin's arms, and I called my trainer to tell him that I need to do more arm work.

Robin's story was told on 20/20, and she stated: "Nowhere is it written that we should not be happy."

Hearing that made me so happy, because I believe that we all should consider striving to be happy everyday; I do believe that it is possible.

Everyday, I find myself doing a lot of laughing, mainly because I absolutely love to laugh and laughing makes me feel youthful...

Being happy is contagious, and the joy that Robin brings to Good Morning America is definitely contagious.

I'm extremely happy that she is back and is spreading HAPPY!!

I can't wait until the summer so that I see Robin everyday....

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Well, sometimes we just don't make good decisions!

In the last two months I've read Sister Citizen, The Darkest Child, and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, and that was a BAD decision. NEVER, and I mean NEVER read these three books in such a short span of time. It's enough to make a person go over the deep end. Toooooo much to think about!

In Sister Citizen, Melissa Harris-Perry talks about the three African America women stereotype types: Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's outspoken anger. The Darkest Child and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie seem to perpetuate these images.

When the Negro national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, states, "felt in the days when hope unborn had died,"  that's how I felt about these novels: the characters' dreams were dead before they could even dream them.

In The Twelve of Hattie, one of the main characters, Hattie Shepard, has eleven children. Ayana does an incredible job of telling the eleven children's stories, one grandchild story, as well as, Hattie and her husband, August, stories. However, the stories are such gloomy stories, and they reminded me of The Darkest Child because of the hopeless tone.

All of Hattie's children and her marriage seemed to be effected by what was perceived as Hattie's anger, but I think that Hattie was not angry, but was just so busy cooking, cleaning, and trying to survive, until she forgot or didn't think to laugh or even smile. She showed her love through doing for her children and husband.

This novel, after reading Sister Citizen and The Darkest Child, forced me to think about Black women who appear to be Angry; how birth control is one of the best inventions ever; about the idea that today a woman does not have to settle for the first man who wants to marry her, or the fact that a woman never has to get married and can have a great life; about why are many African American books depressing with a lot of "unborn hope that has died;" is the strongblackwoman image killing us, our families, and communities etc.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is a great, quick read. But, I do not recommend reading it after reading novels like Sister Citizen and The Darkest Child.

My people, I NEED a book that is not depressing and is not the same story that continues to perpetuate the same negative African American women images over and over and over again.....

So, I am going to read Half A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Join Me.....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An 11 Minute Video that just may help you to see things differently!

My friend, T. Smith, did it again. I was talking to him this morning, and he told me to watch this video and call him back...I must share it with you:


Please, share your thoughts.

Happy Sunday!!!

If you get this post through email and the video does not show up, go to, and check it out.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our Future is Bright!

I know that we all watch the news, and it oftentimes gives us negative reports about our youth. But, working with high school students everyday, I know that they are not all in gangs, giving up on school, up to no good.....Many are out there working extremely hard to secure their future and ours.

When I teach Song of Solomon to my seniors, we talk about Emmet Till, because Toni Morrison mentions him in her novel. Well, here is a note that I received from one of my students about Emmett Till:

How are you? Did you read about this? I just remembered you telling us about Emmett Till!!! and I thought I should use it. I went to fashion week and I went to the Prabal Grung Target launch party!! It was so much fun!

Some of them are taking it all in.......

I'm a Happy Teacher Today!

Oh yea, I thought that I would add that during my run this morning, I saw The Presidential Motorcade. (MORE FAVOR!)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Eye Shadow Makes Me Happy.......

The young ladies who work in the beauty shop where I get my hair done, have really gotten me into eye shadows. I have bought this Urban Decay pallet that I really like...

Now, I notice EVERYONE's eye shadow, and I ask a lot of questions.

I've been talking to one of my co-workers about her eye shadow that always looks awesome, and she surprised me with the pallet that she uses.

My school is quite huge, big building with lots of people, and I have not seen her since she gave it to me, but I did send her an email to let her know that I absolutely love this pallet.

I'm happy today........

Enjoy the last Weekend of Black History Month!

Let's Do This People!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Danny Glover...

No big story to tell, but I was invited to a TransAfrica reception, and Danny Glover was the honored guest.

The reception was complete with a live band, awesome food, good people, and lots of wine......

Danny and I were laughing, because I reminded him that he was NAKED in the movie "Beloved."

Couldn't find the naked picture, but I did find this picture from "Beloved." (Yes, that is Oprah Winfrey!)

If you have not seen Danny in "Beloved," you must; He was awesome.....

Favor is still running me down, and I ain't complaining!

By the way, I love where I live.

Let's Do This People!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life of Pi.......AGAIN

Yann Martel: Author of Life of Pi!

So, I finished reading The Life of Pi.......Again, and this book never ceases to amaze me.

When I started the discussion on this book with my students, we talked about the narrator saying that "This book will make you believe in God." We talked about the faith spectrum with atheism at one end and very faithful at the other end.

The students asked "Don't you ever have days when you think the whole day was awful?" and I said "No." Then they asked me a whole lot of other questions, and they came to the conclusion that I am fanatically faithful. (Really!) But, most saw themselves in the middle between atheism and faithful.

Life of Pi is a book that WILL make a person think about his/her faith.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Life of Pi: 

"If Christ Played With Doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To chose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a mean of transportation.

"Things don't turn out the way they were supposed to, what can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it."

"As long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen. (Pi made the decision that he would survive, and he did.)

"I must say a word about fear. It is life's only opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clear, treacherous, adversary, how well do I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows nor mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling fine, calm, self-possessed, and happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy."

"I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway's worse mistake is to hope too much and do too little."

Quite awesome right? And, these are just a few of the many awesome quotes; I could go on forever....

People, if you want a good story about the "The Will to Live," "The Power of Religion," and "The Nature of Truth," read The Life of Pi!

It is at the top of my LONG list of favorite books!

Let's Do This People!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mid-Month Power Movement Check In.....

Well, we are over half way though the month of February, and time really does fly when you are having fun.

I have heard from quite a few people who decided that they would give up something to honor the power that God has given to us and the people of The Montgomery Boycott, and the stories are quite encouraging.....

Your journey is your journey, and as stated by William Shakespeare: "To Thine Own Self, Be True!"

However, if you started the process of giving something up, even if you stumbled a few times, you are still moving forward.

Rome was not built overnight, and we will not change ourselves overnight. But, with consistency, anything is possible, even changing laws on the books. (Just ask anyone involved in the Civil Rights Movement.)

So People, Keep on Keeping on....

Please, share more of your stories with me so that I may include them in the final post about our movement at the end of the month.

We have nine more days.......

Remember, it is never to late to start something new.

Let's Do This People.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I think about the idea of being perceived as strong quite often.

I saw the above quote, and it made me feel some kind of way.

Do people whom we perceive as strong EVER have permission to say: "Today, I need help, because I'm not okay?"


Let's Do This People!

Look for a post about our power movement.....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let's See......

(WARNING: I'm writing this post just because I feel like writing....Nothing really deep for sure!)

I'm super excited that tomorrow is President's Day, and I do not have to go to work. 

When I wake up, I'm going to cook breakfast and go and see the movie Les Miserables. I tried to see it today, but I went to the wrong movie theater. So, I will try it again tomorrow.

One of my students has been telling me about Les Miserables since it came out, and I told her that I would see it this weekend. She has been persistent, so it better be good.

Anyway, I am so happy that I attend a church that makes me feel free to cry, laugh, dance, shout, or do whatever I want to do. 

Today, we had a Black History Program that was put on by the youth of the church, and it was awesome. At one point during the play, the choir was singing this song that said "I've gone through the fire, and I've been through the flood....." and this child came out carrying this huge cross, and I went into the ugly cry. I was thinking about Jesus being put on the cross, and the tears started to flow. The lady sitting next to me gave me a piece of tissue, and she acted liked me crying really hard was normal. I loved that.....

After church, I made this soup that I love that has peanut butter, tomatoes, kale, chick peas, and some spices. I read Life of Pi, and took a quick nap while my soup simmered.

If you want a good, quick soup, then you must try this soup. Just put the ingredients in a pot, and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, and then add the peas, and let it simmer for about five more minute, and yum, yum, yum....

My friend Chee Chee called to catch up, and we decide that we would meet at the Native American museum in order to see this exhibit called "Indivisible" which is about people who have both African American and Native American ancestry.

Well, the exhibit is advertised on the website, but it's no longer at the museum. So, we checked out two other exhibits in the museum:"

Native Americans in the 1905 Inaugural Parade!

I dropped Chee Chee off at his car, and I went to the restaurant Busboy and Poet. The waiter and waitress looked like models so, I took a picture of them for fun; they loved that.

Between tonight and tomorrow I must finish reading Life of Pi, because I will be discussing it with my students on Tuesday, and I am extremely excited about that.

And, I'm so excited about tomorrow being a free day. Did I already say that?

Well, I think that I have filled my desire to write. 

Thanks for reading this post that is NOT about anything REALLY.....

Happy Sunday, and I hope that all of my readers have the day off tomorrow!

Ed and Jerry, two of my faithful readers, I'm not talking about you, because I know that you have EVERYDAY off.....Lucky, Lucky, Lucky neighbors!!!!

I'm gone.....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Favor, Awesome Friends, or Both!

Nancy and Me!

I am honored to have some awesome people in my life, and I truly appreciate that they think of me!

Because of Nancy, Berhane and his wife, three more of Nancy's friends, and I were given the really awesome opportunity to visit the grounds of The White House in order to see The President take off to do the very important work that he does.

I felt sooo honored to see the Commander in Chief off, and I felt like I was representing all of the Africans who were turned into slaves, all of the people of the Civil Rights era who are not here to see this, my mom who really wants to see this man in person, and my dad whom I know would be glued to the TV all day, everyday, following every one of President Obama's moves.

When President Obama walked out to board Marine One, his helicopter, I felt such pride.

He came out, waved at us, got on the helicopter, and took off......

Everyone, about seventy-five to a hundred people, were silent after he took off, but I said something like "This is awesome."

Eventually, people started to clap.

We took a few pictures after that and left.

I've been somewhere between disbelief, total joy, complete pride, and a whole bunch of other emotions,


it just happens to be Black History month, and We Are Doing It!

Long Live President Barack Hussein Obama.......

Was this God's favor, or do I just have awesome friends who always think of me, or both?

I'm going with the idea that I'm highly favored with some of the best friends.......

Favor is running me down!

Here are pictures from my White House visit:

Where people who work for The White House works!

My Soul is very pleased........

Friday, February 15, 2013

Please Don't Hate!

Yes, I was at The White House Today.....

With My Girl Nancy!

I'll be telling you the WHOLE story soon.

Look for that post!

Happy Friday People......

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oh, Yea......

My Valentine's Gift!

I didn't almost forget, because high school students will not let ANYONE forget Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is actually one of my favorite days at school, because the students get sooooo excited.

Soooooo HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY my people!!!!!!!!

Two post in one day; I guess I'm a productive girl today.......

Let's Do This!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ego Tripping...

I totally trust the greatest trainer in the world, Berhane. I follow and do everything that he tells me to do, and he has not led me astray yet!

Lately, he has been telling me that I need to cut back on my long distance runs; it's tough on the joints. (What?)

I love long distance running. I no longer get that runner's high from anything under five miles. When I run six to ten miles, I feel mentally good. But when I run ten or above, I feel invincible even though my knees may be a bit sore afterwards. I recover quickly!  (Ego Tripping!)

He has been telling me to get the ego out of it, and do what is good for my body. (What???)

He's recommending sprints where I run as fast as I can around the track, then do a slower run around the track and constantly try to improve my time. He says that because my heart rate will go up and down, I will see greater results. (I absolutely believe this, but.....)

That's not what I want to do; I want to meet my running group every Saturday and RUN! (Ego Tripping!)

I love getting up early on a Saturday morning to run; I'm not sure what I will do with my Saturday mornings if I do not run. (Ego Tripping!)

I do trust Berhane when it comes to my health, but I am not sure what I will do with this new information. (Ego Tripping!)

People, offer me some advice please, because I think that I may be ego tripping!

Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why) 
by Nikki Giovani

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built
the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that only glows every one hundred years falls
into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad

I sat on the throne
drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains
created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned
out the sahara desert
with a packet of goat's meat
and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
so swift you can't catch me

For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
He gave me rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on

My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
the filings from my fingernails are
semi-precious jewels
On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
the earth as I went
The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean...I...can fly
like a bird in the sky...

Ego Tripping..........

Let's Do This People!


Her: Don't you ever yell at me again!

Me: Did I yell at you in front of the class?

Her: Don't you do that again!

Me: When did this happen? (I'm completely confused!)

Her: When I asked you about a student's grade, you told me to look it up. You were right, but I did not like your tone. You were very angry. It was very unprofessional. (Her back is to me now, and she is walking out the door.)

Me: I'm sorry! (I finally remembered what she was talking about.)

I've thought about this incident a lot, but I'm not sure what I should do next..

Should I explain that I put a lot of effort into making sure that my students' grades are always current and online so that she and anyone else can view them? Should I explain that I was not angry but irritated, because she asked me this before, and I think that I gave her the same response? Should I explain that her saying "it was very unprofessional" really got under my skin, because how dare she tell me how she feels about my professionalism when I really don't care how she feels about it? Or, should I let it go.........

Happy Wednesday People!!!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Courage...We already have it!

(Random thoughts about courage. You've been warned!)

The Wizard of Oz

A few weeks ago, I was honored with the opportunity to hear Maya Angelou have a conversation with Johnnetta Cole. Maya talked about courage, and courage has been on my mind every since.

I have thought a lot about the Lion from The Wizard of Oz. The lion was going to the Wizard to ask for courage. The lion "attacks so quickly that the victim does not get any time to protect itself. It attacks the big animals like wild buffaloes and giraffe from behind and then tears them apart with the help of its paws and teeth. Due to this quickness and power, it is known as The King of the jungle."  (

So, why would a Lion, who is known as the King of the Jungle, need to ask for courage?

Did the Lion not know that he is The King of The Jungle? If he did not know, why did he not know?

A lion may not be born with courage, just like many of us, but once he kills a small animal, and then a medium animal, his courage should start to grow.

Whenever we take that first step, the courage may not be there, but as we take more and more steps, our courage should start to grow.

For instance, I have been teaching for about fifteen years and every time that I get up to teach a class, I always feel a bit of nervousness and have some doubt, but as the years progress, my courage continues to grow and grow and grow.......

Maya Angelou stated that people like her, some of our American icons, had to develop their courage; It was not always present...

It takes the first step and courage for a person to leave a relationship that is not working, for a young man or woman to leave their home to become a soldier, for a person to change their entire diet, to publicly confess love for a person when you do not know how that person feels about you, to not react, to run one mile, two miles, a half or full marathon, to give up coke, to give up fastfood, to have a courageous conversation, to finish a degree, to bury somebody whom you love with your whole heart etc.

We already have the courage; we just need to develop it by taking the first step.

It took one step and courage for Nelson Mandela to get out of prison and forgive the people who imprisoned him. It took one step and courage for Dr. King to leave his house when he knew that death was lurking everywhere. It took one step and courage for Southern me, who had never been in an inner city school before, to teach in inner city Detroit. It took one step and courage for my Dad to sue Alabama Power Company for Discrimination when he could have been fired, and he had ten mouths to feed. It took one step and courage for my mother, in her 70s, to decide that she would start a new life in a new town. It took one step and courage for many of you to decide that you would give up something this month when a whole lot may be working against you.

However, I have not heard one person, who made that first step, say that he/she regretted taking that first step......

I am thinking about the people of The Montgomery Boycott who had to be concerned with how they would get to work if they did not ride the bus. I know there were some Black people who rode that bus because of the fear of how they would get to work, to the grocery store, across town to shop. BUT, there were others who took that first step and a neighbor dropped by to walk to work with them, and the next day someone borrowed a car to pick them up, and the next day there was a private taxi service that came to pick them up, and their courage grew and grew.

To try and stop the boycott, Whites turned to violence, but by this time, the people's courage was so high until they "would not let nothing turn them around."

After a year of courageously not riding the buses, the buses were finally integrated. However, the trouble did not stop: buses were shot at, and homes were bombed. However, the scare tactics no longer had an effect, because the people's courage had grown.

This is no different than the small things, compared to segregating a bus system, that we are trying to give up. The first day may be difficult, but each day our courage will get stronger. If there are people in your home who are trying, consciously or unconsciously, to stop you; eventually, they will be no match for your courage, and they may even join you. My Dad use to say "If people can't beat you; they will join you."

Just like the Lion, we do not need to ask for courage, we already have it......

I'm developing my courage everyday by taking the first step.....

Let's Do This People!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

I have this student who has the calmest spirit. I can imagine her getting angry, but I can not imagine her having an outburst. She is the type of student who can email me on Wednesday to read a college essay that is due on Friday or ask me to write a college recommendation that is due the next day. She just has this way with people. Oh, what we will do for children!

The class was discussing the idea that all of the books that we read for school are sad or depressing. I thought about that idea. I do agree with them, but most of the sad stories are well written and show the full growth of most of the characters just like life. In life, we have sad and/or bad things happen, but we overcome them. They were not buying this idea at all.

So, I asked them to recommend a happy book that is worthy to be studied in school, and I would read the book and consider teaching it.

After class one day, the calm spirited student whom I mentioned earlier, told me that she had a happy book that she wanted me to read and consider teaching. I wrote the title down, and I read the book. The book is Peace Like A River by Leif Enger, and I hated every moment of reading this book, literally.

As I was reading it, I was emailing her saying "Are you sure that I am reading the right book?" "Do you think that this is a happy book?" And, I talked about her pretty badly in class... I told her and the class that this book made me want to jump out of a window. They got a heart felt laugh out of that.

Peace Like a River is told from the perspective of the main character, Reuben Land. Reuben is telling this story as a adult, but he is reflecting back on his childhood and all of the miraculous things that happened.

Reuben's brother, Davy, kills two guys who have been harassing their family, and he breaks out of prison and is on the run. Reuben, with his sister and father, leave their hometown after Davy escapes prison. The dad meets this lady and falls in love. The dad and Reuben were both shot by a crazy man. The dad dies, and Reuben survives. The brother Davy is never caught. And, they all live happily ever after. (Really!)

This book has a faith undertone and tries to convey a message about miracles. The Dad performs miracles through Christ and even gives up his life so that Reuben may live.

However, this book is written in a fashion that is very anti-climatic. There is NO beautiful language. It does not make the reader want to read on. There were some parts of this book that I thought could have been completely left out, because they did not add to the story at all. There were absolutely no high points to this story. It was like doing a long bike ride on a long, wooded trail with absolutely no change of scenery. (Boring....)

Needless to say, I like books that are thought provoking and that give me with something to think about, and this book did not do that at all...Sorry students, but we still have not found a happy school book yet!

Let's Do This People!

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