Happy Mother’s Day & Graduation to ME!

leilacover

Dear Readers,

Today, I have at least three great things going for me. First, I am a mother, and have been for over 23 years. My children range in age from 11-23. So, HAPPY, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to me!

Secondly, I walked across the stage today at LMU for my Master’s in Special Education and my Education Specialist teaching credential. YAY ME!!! It was a struggle, but it’s done. Next step is Ph.D when Phillise graduates from high school in 8 years!

Lastly, I’ve been blogging for 6 years now! I can’t believe it. The time has simply flown by. I sometimes look back on my posts and see how far I’ve come. Lately, I’ve been a little discouraged. I’ve gotten better though. I was only looking at the negative and not the positive. I’ve been meditating and reading Iyanla & keeping my thoughts positive. I just might make it. I’M GOING TO MAKE IT!!!

I am the little engine that could. I’ve progress from I think I can to I know I can and will!

Thank you for being there Dear Readers. Here’s some pictures of me on my special day today!

Self-portraits @ 42, almost 43 years old!

photo(16)      photo(13)

My husband and my four children relaxing after graduation!

photo(12)

I Just Exhaled!

Dear Readers,

When I say that I waited to the last minute, I mean that I waited until the last minute. I just submitted my literature review that was due by midnight. It was three years in the making. I’ll tell you all about it, but not now. I am exhausted! I have seriously been working all weekend. I started yesterday morning at 8:30 and finished at about 1:30 a.m. Today, I started at about 7 a.m. and just finished. But, that’s what happens when you wait ’til the last minute. I have seriously learned my lesson. Now, I have to bite my nails to wait and see if I pass. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

I Passed!

Dear Readers,

I’m not sure if I shared that I had to re-take the C.S.E.T. after passing it 5 years ago. I didn’t know the scores were only good for 5 years. You learn something new everyday! Anywho, CONGRATULATIONS TO ME!

Too Successful???

***Warning- This post is a little wordy!***

Dear Readers,

I find myself with quite an unusual situation of being too successful! Is there such a thing? Apparently there is. Let me explain.

Yesterday I was the representative of my school for Coaster’s initial I.E.P. It was relatively small. It consisted of the Assistant Principal (who’s in charge of Special Education-A.P.E.I.S. or A.P. for short), the school psychologist, the RSP teacher, Coaster’s mom, and I. It was held in the A.P.’s office; really small and cozy. Very nice, not intimidating at all. Not only that, but the school goes to the 6th grade, which would give Coaster an additional year in elementary school. The only thing I disagreed with was the psychologist’s use of jargon that was not explained to Coaster’s mom. Other than that the meeting went very smoothly.

The reason I say that I was too successful is because Coaster qualified for Specific Learning Disability (SLD) instead of Autism (Aut). I asked the school psychologist about it and she said that she wanted to observe him more because she didn’t see as many of the behaviors usually prevalent with children with autism.

I was thinking, “Boy, she should have seen him last year before I started working with him!”

Coaster’s mom told them that Coaster is a different person thanks to me. After I detailed the various behavior modification techniques I used with Coaster, the School Psychologist said she now understood why she didn’t see some of the behaviors she was expecting.

I was happy on one hand, but not so happy on the other. On one hand I am happy for Coaster that his behavior has improved so much, to the point of his behaviors upgrading from severe to moderately low; which means a better of quality for life for him. On the other hand I am unhappy because it was my hope that Coaster’s offer of a Free & Appropriate Public Education (F.A.P.E.) would be placement in a class specifically for students with Autism. However, his offer of F.A.P.E. was an hour of Resource class 1-2/week.

I then asked if the offer of a Special Day Class/Program (SDC/P) was even an option because the 6th grade class size is 30 students. There is no way that Coaster will be able to cope with 30 students. He would positively have a meltdown on the first day of school. The AP said that the F.A.P.E. offer would was his Least Restrictive Environment (L.R.E.) and that he needed to be placed in his L.R.E. first. She was correct, but I am still worried about his mental well-being should his mom choose to put him in that school next year.

FINAL OUTCOME: His mom, as I expected, rejected the F.A.P.E. offer because she didn’t want him to leave our school. I understand that. He does NOT adapt to change well. So, he will finish out the remainder of the school year at our school and hopefully be placed in his school of residence next year. Even though his mother rejected the F.A.P.E. offer that was offered to her, some services were offered. The services offered will be in the form of 12 hours of training for me to learn more strategies to deal with Coaster. It wasn’t the best case scenario but at least his mother now has a clearer picture of his disability.

Although I am really sad that he will be leaving at the end of the school year, it is for the best. It really makes me wonder how many students with disabilities drop out of high school because of the low chances for success. I know the number is high. Too high!

Although I can’t save them all, it is my desire to work on those students one at a time! Imagine if more and more people did that? Everyone can contribute just a little. Bye for now Dear Readers!

Half Full? or Half Empty? (or All About the Solutions!!!)

To quote Adrian Monk, “It’s a gift and a curse!”

Is the glass half full or is it half empty? It all depends on how you look at it. I’ve always had the ability to identify problems. This can be seen as a negative or a positive. In my life, it’s mostly been a negative. However, in the classroom, it’s definitely a positive. I can spend 5-10 minutes with a child and be able to tell you so much about them. People wonder how I’m able to do that! Well, it’s amazingly simple- Just listen! Children are amazingly self-aware. If you ask them, 9/10 times they will tell you what you want to know.

Since I’m tired, I will not write a long drawn out post. I will simply wind this up. Being able to identify problems is a good skill to have, but it’s only half the battle. Now, since I’m the Inclusion Specialist at my school, I’m the one responsible for finding solutions. Believe me when I say that I’ve been working overtime doing just that. I’m all about the solutions.

Now, in addition to finding problems, I’ve found that I also have the ability for finding solutions. It’s funny what you learn about yourself when you’re under pressure or you have to do what you have to do. One other problem I have the answer to is…Sleep! I’m on my way to bed! Goodnight!

Addressing Drama! Part 3

Dear Readers,

The girls, save one, have returned their permission slips and have begun seeing the Art Therapist. Since I got mad at them the week before last about all of their drama, they have been solving more of their own problems. Thank God for that because they were really stressing me out. Little girls can be sooooooooooooooooooooooooo catty. Whew! Here’s hoping for less girls and more boys next year!

A Genesis to Revelation Explanation!

That’s a funny title. You may even be curious as to what it is. Well, what is a Genesis to Revelation explanation? Glad you asked, now I can tell you. My brother-in-law, who’s a pastor, is (let’s say) very thorough. Don’t ask him a question if you don’t want to get an answer that’s at least 20 minutes long. Think I’m exaggerating? Well, you go ahead and ask him and you’ll see what I mean. If you ask him a question about the book of Revelations, he will tell you that, in order to fully understand his answer, he has to take you back to the book of Genesis. Just in case you don’t know what those books are, Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and Revelations is the last book.

I said all that to explain what a Genesis to Revelation explanation is. It’s when you ask someone a question, expecting a simple answer, and they want to give you a very long and complicated history lesson.

*WARNING!* DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THE BLOG HUB.COM

I was recently alerted that my blog appears, in its entirety, @ thebloghub.com. I couldn’t believe it. I checked it out & simply could not believe it. Not only did I never give them permission to use my post (and make money from it), but I contacted them to take the site down. Do you think they did it??? Well, do you??? The answer is a big fat resounding no. I would like to know if anyone knows of any way to sue them or at the very least, get them to take it down. This is very frustrating. I have never made one thin dime from this blog that I have worked tirelessly on for over 3 long years. This is my baby! How dare they STEAL my intellectual property!

Before writing this post, I visited the site & it has changed. It’s not an exact copy of my site like it was this morning, but it has the exact same content with my name. I am so mad I could just spit.

***AGAIN, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SIGN UP FOR BLOG HUB.COM. THEY WILL STEAL YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & MAKE MONEY FROM IT.***

IF ANYONE CAN HELP ME, PLEASE CONTACT ME @ specialedandme@gmail.com

Los Angeles Black Book Expo Will Be Here Soon!

Here’s the flyer for The Los Angeles Black Book Expo. If you have any questions, visit the website @ www.labbx.com

But God…

Taken directly from divazonemagazine.com
BUT GOD
If we were to ever be totally honest with ourselves, we would be quick to acknowledge that over the course of our lives, we have done some things, been some places and said some things that we wish we could take back and that if it weren’t for God, we’d wonder how we ever made it.  These are our, But God! experiences.

Then there are the times when you wonder how your bills will get paid when your money is already spent well before payday; But God!

Times when your children won’t listen or do right; But God!

Times when you walk into your job only to find a pink slip with your name on it; But God!

Times when you go for a simple check-up only to learn that cancer has invaded your body; But God!

Times when you do all you can to be the perfect spouse or partner, yet to them, the grass always seems greener on the other side; But God!

Times when you work your fingers to the bone for ministry’s sake, and all you ever hear are complaints; But God!

Times when family and friends scandalize your name and call you everything except a child of God; But God!

Times when you just want to throw up both hands, turn and walk away; times when life seems unbearable and too much to face; But God!

Times when our rent or house payment are due and eviction/foreclosure is around the corner; But God!

It is in all these times when it is no one But God!, who reaches down from Heaven, picks us up out of our messes and places us on a road called straight.

It is no one But God!, who wipes every tear away, heals our bodies, protects our children, balances our finances, covers our marriages and relationships, strengthens us in ministry and keeps shelter over our heads.

Whenever we begin to feel down in the dumps, simply say, But God!

Donna Tucker is an ordained minister of the gospel and the founder/visionary of Café Connection for Women & Girls.  Café Connection focuses on establishing divine connections, locally, regionally & internationally, among women and girls who believe in the power of open and honest dialogue within an intimate and comfortable setting, on a consistent basis, created to bring forth inner peace, emotional healing and spiritual growth.  Café Connection simply opens the door for conversation of inner beauty and self-appreciation to begin.  For more information, speaking engagements, workshops or to start a Café, visit www.cafeconnectionforwomen.com or call 804-516-4429.

My 500,000th Hit!

Well, dear readers, it took me a little over three years, but I have hit the 500,000 mark. Here’s looking forward to 1,000,000!

HERE’S TO 2010!

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Black Book Expo

Yesterday’s LABBX was fantastic. I made a couple of connections. I met author L.A. Banks, author of The Vampire Huntress Legends series.

Most notable was meeting E.P. McKnight, actress & author of Words ‘n’ Action- Inspiration for the Human Spirit for valley moments in life. Her book was so powerful. I was low on funds, so I had no intention on buying it. I’d just planned to browse. So, I picked it up, just to browse through it. I opened right to her poem entitled, The Examination. I read the first two lines and started tearing up.

“What is going on here?” I thought to myself. This is so unlike me. I don’t like crying in public. So, I laid the book down and wiped my tears away.

“Let’s try this again,” I said. So, I opened the book and started tearing up again.

“Are you serious,” asked the author.

Yes, I am. This poem is beautiful. I can’t believe it touched me so deeply. This is not like me to cry in public. I’m so embarrassed.

“It’s okay,” she said. Let me give you a hug. So, she came around to give me  hug. By this time, I’m tearing up so bad that I’m very nearly crying. I asked her how much the book was, I paid her and left.

She gave me her contact information and asked me if there was anything she could do for me. Even though it was a little embarrassing, it was a great experience. I am so happy to have met her and bought her book.

Getting Ready For My Party!

I am getting ready for my big Valentine’s Day/Anniversary party tomorrow. I rented the tables earlier. They will be delivered shortly. I have this little theme going on- my colors are red, black, or pink. So, there will be one red table, one pink table, and one black table, with the chairs and the chair covers with bows. To complement the tables, I got a dozen balloons- 4 red, 4 pink, and 4 black. I am so excited. I am decorating the house right now. I have red and pink bulbs that I am going to hang from the ceiling in my dining room, as well as various heart decorations.

I purchased decorated take-out containers from Michael’s that I’ve filled with various chocolates for the chocoholics. I have chocolate covered fortune cookies, love coupons, and love lotto lottery tickets.
I also purchased some candy in a cute little bottle labeled Love Potion that I will include with the various naughty gifts I’ve bought. I am so looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll post pictures on Sunday. Bye!

Boy, What A Long Day!

Have you ever answered the phone and wished that you wouldn’t have? Well, yesterday I had one of those phone calls. It’s a long story, so let me just begin now. Yesterday was a long day. Wednesdays always are. That’s the day I go straight from work to school until 9:45.

I’d had a good day at work and a great day at school. But, because it was such a long day, I was still tired when I got home. Usually when I come home, I get right into bed. Last night, for some reason, I just could not unwind and go to sleep no matter how much I tried. So, I just lay in the bed and tried to relax. I look at the clock and notice that it’s about 11:15. Suddenly my phone rings. An unknown number flashes on my cell phone screen.

I figure if someone is calling at 11:15 p.m. either it’s someone who needs my help or a wrong number. So I take a chance and answer it. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. Who should it be but my perpetually-in-need cousin, Shawn. She tells me that she needs a ride to the hospital because her daughter has had an asthma attack. Okay, I sound mean here, but it’s not like that. It was after 11 p.m., I’d been on my feet all day, and had been in school for over five hours. It’s not like I didn’t care. I was just tired. Not to mention that on top of that I still had to get up for work.

I grudgingly took her even though I didn’t want to. I’m almost to the hospital when I notice that my van is pulling to the right. I need a wheel alignment, but I know that something else is wrong, so I start positioning myself to get off the freeway. As I was doing that, I hear a pop. Yep, you guessed it, a flat tire. Thank God I was near an exit and there was light traffic or I don’t know what would have happened.

By the time I get off the freeway, I am rolling on nothing but rim. I immediately pull over, stop the car, and inspect the damage. The tire is shredded. The only thing that I’m thinking is how grateful I am that I wasn’t my usual leadfoot self, and that I was near an exit.

I am so glad that I had my oldest son Sam with me. He changed the tire as I thought about what could have happened. So many things ran through my head. I had to shut them off and just think about how blessed I was that nothing did happen.

With negative thoughts out of my head and sleep on my mind, I sleepily dropped of my cousin and her daughter and headed home. By the time my head hit the pillow it was 1:45 a.m.

Boy, what a long day!

I Nailed It!!!

I had a presentation yesterday in my second class @ B.N.U. I nailed it. My assignment was to analyze the California Department of Education website. I had to summarize the website, detail any relevant websites,  and lastly give my opinion of it.

I perused the website for hours, got the necessary information and took it from there. From the information that I gathered, I was able to do a 20-minute presentation without looking at my notes. I didn’t do it by myself though, I had two partners. One made the Powerpoint, the other one made a really nice, double-sided, tri-fold handout.

My professor thought the presentation was very thorough. I also got compliments from others in the class. I did a pretty good job. Another way that I know the presentation was good is because I overheard someone in my class say that we couldn’t have possibly organized that presentation in two weeks. I was pretty happy with it.

In the immortal words of Hannibal from the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.

What Language Do You speak? or (Can You Spare A Square?)

** WARNING- This post is kinda’ long**

Let me begin by saying that because of budget cuts, the district will no longer be paying for hotels for teachers’ training. Nor will they be providing lunch. They provide a continental breakfast (fruit, coffee, juice, croissants, and muffins) to get you there. After that, you are on your own. I know that we’re adults and we shouldn’t expect to be fed breakfast and lunch, but we have gotten accustomed to the star treatment. Now, it’s taken away? That’s why most of the teachers in the training were so uncomfortable. We were in a cafeteria on the benches that are reserved for elementary school students. Factor in no air conditioning and crowding, then you have the making of a bunch of grouchy, irritable people.

As I was thinking about how to put exactly what I was feeling into words, two of my favorite shows came to mind: Star Trek: The Next Generation & Seinfeld, because the situations were so similar. While these two don’t seem to have a lot in common, bear with me. As usual, I will bring it around.

In one of my favorite sci-fi shows, Star Trek:TNG, we viewers are allowed to hear a conversation between the Captain and his adviser regarding his upcoming meeting with an alien race. The adviser tells him to insult the aliens first, before beginning any type of negotiations.

Basically the conversation between the two goes like this: “Are you sure that’s the right thing to do?” asks Captain Picard.

“Of course,” replies his adviser. “That’s their culture, and in order to garner any type of respect from them, you have to open with an insult.”

“Okay,” replies the captain, “as you wish”.

My situation also reminded of an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is stuck in a restroom stall that has run out of tissue. She politely asks the woman next to her if she can spare some tissue.

“No,” comes the reply, “I sure can’t”.

“Not any? Can you just give me a couple squares? Can you spare a square?” asks Elaine.

“No. Sorry!”

Well, Elaine got her back, but good. A couple of days later, Continue reading

7 Things About Me

  1. I believe in keeping things short and sweet. Useless talk irritates me. I believe in getting straight to the point.
  2. I am in a state of flux.
  3. I want to know???.
  4. I am scared of starting teaching again.
  5. I sometimes seriously doubt myself.
  6. I am such a geek.
  7. I am learning how to draw.

The Fancy Nancy Thing Is Over…

Whew…it’s finally over; the Fancy Nancy party that is. I had been planning it for months. I still feel like there is more I could have done. I always feel like this, especially when I’m throwing a party. This wasn’t a birthday party though, it was a FANCY party.

This is what I did:

We decorated wands, cupcakes, and paper. Lastly, they played dress-up and took a ton of pictures. It was great. I was so tired I feel asleep in the chair while sitting up.

They had fun, but thank goodness it’s over!

Summer Reading w/Barnes & Noble

While on one of my trips to Barnes & Noble, I picked up some flyers for their Summer Reading with Andrew Clements. It’s called “Imagine If You Called It A Frindle.” It’s based on the best selling book, Frindle, by Andrew Clements.

For reading eight books of their own choosing, children are given a coupon and allowed to choose a FREE book from a special list. To get the coupon for the free book, children need only bring their signed, completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble bookstore between May 29th and September 2nd.

There is a limit of one for per school-age child (grades 1-6). If you would like to know more about this, go to: www.bn.com/summerreading.com

Tuesday’s Puppet Show

Tuesday was pretty nice. We went to the puppet show @ the local library, we checked out books, came home and did our Guys Read book club thing.

I was pleasantly pleased with one of my members. She went to the restroom and came back with an armload full of books. She presented me with a book that was actually a very good find. It’s called How To Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell.

It is an excellent book. I was thinking about writing about like this, but my book would not have been anywhere near as thorough as this one. Esme, the author, really knows her stuff. I would definitely call her an expert. Her knowledge on children’s book is astounding.

We had a good time. When I figure out how to put the pix on here, I will do so.

Bye for now!

Fear vs. FAITH!

Fear imprisons, faith liberates

fear paralyzes, faith empowers

fear disheartens, faith encourages

fear sickens, faith heals

fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

(from Diva Zone-www.divazonemagazine.com)

A Hectic Saturday!

I had such a hectic & crazy Saturday. It took me awhile to calm down. The day started off normally enough. However, by 4:00, I was in tears.

Why?

Well, my husband and I went to a hazardous waste disposal site. Our plans after that was to go to one of my sister’s house for a little scrapbooking. So, I put my miniature die-cutting machine in the trunk along with the hazardous waste we wanted to dispose of.

Why, oh why, didn’t I think to make sure the people didn’t take my die-cutting machine, I don’t know; but I didn’t. So, long story short, my die-cutting machine was taken out of the trunk and disposed of. And if you’re wondering if I cried, the answer would be yes. Of course I did. I am such a big fat crybaby!

I was so upset. I didn’t even want to go to my sister’s house. I still went, and surprisingly enjoyed myself. I still wish that I could have a do over though regarding my machine.

Oh, well!

Yep, Really Smart!

This is a guess how smart I am. Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Guess!

The punchline: I am so smart that I submitted the wrong lesson plan to Livetext (an online portfolio). As a result I ended up getting only half credit. So I got a B- instead of an A when I did the work.

What? Not laughing? No, I wasn’t either. I really felt like crying. However, there is a good side to this. I am able to see the silver lining, so here it goes: I passed with an 81%. Had it been 2% less, I would have had to take the class over. So, that’s definitely a good thing that I don’t have to take the class over.
Even though I know this, I still had to calm myself down because I was at work when I saw my grade. I will keep telling myself that there’s a reason.
Once I think about it, ya’ know what? In the grand scheme of things, I will survive. A grade of B- is still passing, so I will be okay.

I didn’t think I would make it through the semester. I thought I was going to have to withdraw, take an emergency leave of absence, and/or have a nervous breakdown. But I didn’t.

I made it through and so will you.

Happy 1st Year Anniversary! (My Acceptance Speech)

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I can’t believe I won. I don’t have anything prepared (I say as I whip out an acceptance speech). Okay, snap back to reality. Snap back to my 1year anniversary of blogging.

Happy Anniversary to me. It’s been a year. I am so glad that I started this blog. It has been such a fantastic outlet for me to vent my frustrations, and to share my success as well as my failures. I can see how I’ve grown over this past year. When I read back on my posts, I can’t believe that some of that stuff happened.

In the immortal words of Will Ferrell’s character Ricky Bobby from “Talladega Nights“, Can you believe that happened to you?

The answer is no I cannot. Some of the things that I’ve conquered and suffered through over this past year have been traumatic, eye-opening, humbling, jarring, you-name-it. I am so happy that I have a record of what I’ve been going through. I wish that I’d known about this thing called a blog sooner.

So, what am I going to do for this anniversary of mine? I think I’ll do what I do best- write about it like I’m doing now. I would also like to send some shout-outs to some people. Like to hear about it, here it goes:

First and foremost, I would like to thank my husband, Phillip, who, along with The Fashionista encouraged me to do what I loved doing- writing and talking. I would also like to thank all the people who have been loyal readers, as well as the those who have been fair weather readers. I want to thank those of you who stopped reading when I stopped having the passion that I had in the beginning. Thank you for opening my eyes. Last but not least, I would like to thank you for reading this right now.

Here’s to many more years of writing/running my big mouth, venting, expressing my feelings, connecting readers to useful information, and just rambling. Cheers!

Until next time people! Hasta la bye-bye!

Guess How Smart I Am?

I haven’t said this in a long time, so let me say it now. I am the Blogmeister. As with anything, I know that this should not warrant a post, but as I said, I am the Blogmeister. Well, here’s the story, me & my good friend Traci have this saying.
I’ll call her and say, “Girl, guess how smart I am?”
“How smart are you,” she’ll say.
I am so smart that…

Well, this is the latest “Guess how smart I am?”…

This happened two weeks ago. One of my students came to me and told me that one of my other students was about to pull the fire alarm because it was open. Me, being the smart person that I am, decided that I would fix it. So, I pushed it up, and what do you think happened?
If you guessed that the fire alarm went off, then you are correct!
I very smartly pulled the fire alarm.
The principal was miffed with me. I could definitely understand it. I mean, I shouldn’t have touched it, but I didn’t want one of my students to pull the alarm because every little thing they do is under scrutiny.
I don’t regret doing this because it saved one of my students from doing it. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would call the plant manager to come and fix it.
Anyway, that is my guess how smart I am for the week. I’m sure there will be many more.

Special Education Meeting

Taken directly from L.A.U.S.D. website

Special Education Initiative: An informational meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, December 3rd for those considering a career in the field of Special Education in the Beaudry Bldg (333 S. Beaudry Ave, L.A., CA 90007). Topics will include the employment process, special education credentialing opportunities, as well as teaching special education in the District. Individuals with related experiences and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of special education students are invited to register for the meeting by contacting Doreen Mendoza at doreen.mendoza@lausd.net or Sherry Uribe at sherry.uribe@lausd.net

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!

To all you shopping maniacs out there, Happy Black Friday!

Qualities Of A Marine!

These are some of the qualities that we came up with that Marines have. Here they are in no particular order:

  • They have good character.
  • They are strong (mentally).
  • They are disciplined.
  • They finish what they start.
  • They don’t leave anyone behind.They are part of a team and they love it.
  • They are the “best of the best”. They do their best.
  • They are winners.
  • They protect you. This is part of not making fun of others.

We just started all of this on Friday. I will talk to them on Monday about why these are important characteristics to have, not just for my class, but for life.

I spoke with a Marine who has been a Gunnery Sergeant for 12 years. I asked him to come and speak to my class since that is our class name. He agreed to do that when he has time.

We are the Room 33 Marines. Hu-Rah!

Thank you to Azusa Pacific University!

apu-logo.gifI have to say thank you to Azusa Pacific University! It is an excellent school with rigorous academic standards. I learned so much there. I just graduated from there (HD 92) with a degree in Human Development with an emphasis in English. It was a very intense program, but it was sooooo worth it. The one thing that I hated in the beginning, the group presentations,was what ended up helping me. The mastery of it actually help get my job for me.

The group presentations were a little stressful for me because I was worried about other people not pulling their own weight. As it turned out, I didn’t have to worry about it. It only happened once. But, for the presentations, we were given very little instructions (save creativity). We were just instructed to make a creative lesson that would engage the children with visual displays and handouts for everyone. They were so much work, but you know what, I learned so much.

For the last part of my job interview, I had to teach a lesson for my class. I drew on my experience from A.P.U. and hit the ball out the park.

If anyone is reading this and is considering going there. I would suggest that you do. You will not regret it!

Unwritten!

natasha2.jpgFeel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten


Unwritten, by Natasha Bedinfield has been stuck in my head all week. This song being stuck in my head said to me that there are so many things that have yet to be fulfilled; so many things that are yet up to me.

I fell in love with this song when I first heard it. The lyrics are fresh and challenging. They are a direct challenge to everyone listening to live life to its fullest.

I identify with this song so strongly because I believe that almost everything has a meaning and significance. To me, this song is telling me to get rid of my fear and my old and outdated beliefs.

I have a big job ahead of me. I know that no one else can do the job that I’m supposed to do. Here’s to living that impossible dream! The dream that only I can make come true.

My words, deeds, actions, thoughts and dreams are as yet still unwritten. I’m the determiner of my own destiny. I’ve got to write them and write them well.

Thirteen Things I Love About My Job!

Even though this job is not going to be easy, this is thirteen things that I know I will love about it.

  1. I will make a difference.
  2. I will get my own classroom.
  3. The kids.
  4. It’s never going to be a dull moment.
  5. I feel like a real adult now.
  6. Though it’s not much, I will get a regular paycheck.
  7. I can change just one kid and have a part in changing the world.
  8. I will be surrounded by people who will tell me if I’m not doing a good job.
  9. Consequently, they will bring out the best in me.
  10. I found something that I am passionate about.
  11. I found something that I am good at.
  12. I get Christmas break off to spend with my husband and my children.
  13. Even though it’s hectic, I can do it and be a better person for it.

What would Peter Parker do?

I am big fan of Stan Lee’s Spider Man. It’s full of tragic parts. The part that breaks my heart about Spiderman is when Peter’s Uncle Ben gets killed. Just in case you’ve been in a coma for like, forever, I am talking about Peter Parker, Spiderman’s real life self.

After getting bitten by a spider, Peter discovers that he has these fantastic powers. He thinks that he should be able to profit from having them. Wrestling, he decides, is the best way to do that. He wrestles and wins. On the way out of his match, as he’s counting his money, someone -a thief- runs by him.

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“Hey, stop that man!,” someone shouts out.

“That’s not my problem,” says Peter.

Or is it? Later on he finds out that it is indeed his problem. That same guy that he let get away murders his Uncle Ben. Peter blames himself. What would have happened if he would have stopped that thief?

Would his Uncle Ben have been murdered? From then on out, he decides that it is his problem and does something about it.

Okay, I already know what Peter Parker did then, but what would he do, knowing what he knows now? The reason I’m asking is because in the classroom that I’ve been observing all week, MY potential classroom, there’s this one kid… OMG, he is off the hook! He throws things, he hits and bullies other kids, and just generally has unruly behavior. Not only that, he’s leading the other kids astray.

My question is what should I do? Should I fight for him to stay and try to work on his behavior to the detriment of others? or should I be like Peter Parker and say that it’s not my problem.

I feel like Spiderman caught in the web above. I’m stuck! I can’t run away from this, nor can I continue with the class in its present mess either. I think I already know what to do, but am just scared of doing it. I’m writing this to talk myself into taking the job. Oh boy, the perils of teaching!

If Peter Parker’s history shows anything, it’s that not caring or trying to help others with their problems will come back to bite you in the a**!

I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to do what Peter Parker didn’t do! I’m going to help before it bites me in the a**!

I Just Sold Myself!

“Call me a prostitute because I just sold myself,” I told my husband when I came home from my job interview yesterday.

“Okay, that didn’t come out right,” I said.

What I meant to say is that I potentially talked myself into a job. I sold my skills and qualifications to the Assistant Principals like a pro. I was so proud of myself because I didn’t have to lie. I just answered the questions the best way that I knew how. There was no need to lie because if I did, I would be selling someone else, not myself. I can only be me and answer the way that I would answer. Can you imagine how duped the person who hired me would feel if I answered like someone else instead of myself? Who would they be hiring? Me or the person I’m impersonating?

First of all, I have way too much pride to try to act like someone else. I’m not in junior high school anymore. I tell myself that I’m a full grown woman. I even act like one sometimes. So why in the world would I want to sell someone else when I’m the best ME that I can be, and the right one for the job.

All that to say, just be you. No one else can do it better!

I’m Not Signing That!

“Nice try, but no dice,” I said to my 16 year old son Dakota as he tried to shove a paper in my face to sign as I was walking out the door.

My children know the rules. I don’t sign anything in the morning.Why?
Because I was a teen-ager before and I tried the same thing: trying to get my mother to sign something that I did not want to explain.

He had all weekend to give me said paper, yet he chose not to. Well, I’m thinking, there has to be a reason for this attempted deception.
What is it the reason, you ask?

He was trying to get said paper signed because he got a “D” in his history class.
This is unacceptable on so many levels.
First, because this boys’ scores on standardized tests are all Proficient to Advanced. Secondly, he did so well on his PSAT that an organization contacted me so that he could join them and see the world.
I could go on and on but I’m not. You get the picture!
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He already doesn’t get to watch t.v. or play video games during the week. Now, that privilege is going to be taken away on the weekends. Plus we are upping his daily study time.
So anytime any of my children ask me in the morning, “Can you sign this mom?”
My answer is always a resounding NOOOOOO! I’m not signing that!

Why I’m Not Bussing Anymore of My Children!

Since I don’t have that oh so elusive teaching contract in hand yet, I have been doing one of my favorite things, walking my daughter to school. It is one of greatest pleasures. So, while I have the time, I’m going to take complete advantage of it. I get a chance to talk to her. She’s so beautiful and full of questions. I love talking to her.

On the first day that we decided to walk, Phillise asked me if the car was broken.

“No, the car’s not broken,” I told her. I just want to walk you to school. I want to take advantage of this time that I have to spend with you.

“We’re always rushing,” I said. I want to slow down.

So I walked her to school and stayed with her while she ate breakfast. The school is nice and cozy. Plus, as an added bonus, I can walk to it. However, I thought about taking my daughter out because it’s a Program Improvement (PI) school. This means that they aren’t meeting state standards on some subjects (Language Arts). It’s just because there are a lot of English Language Learners (ELL) in the school. It doesn’t mean that they don’t understand anything. It just means that they don’t understand in English. So needless to say, the test scores are pretty low in Language Arts.

Even though I was thinking about it, I’m not going to. I want my child to be able to go to the school in the area where I pay property taxes. I want her to go to her home school. Since my sons were in Junior High School, they were always bussed to another school; a magnet school out of the area. Sam & Dakota’s bus stop was @ 6:15 a.m. After they finished at their Junior High School, I vowed that no more of my children would have to go to a school so far away from home that they needed to be at a bus stop @ 6:15 a.m.

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David is bussed to a magnet school, but it’s not that far. It takes me about 20 minutes to get him there when he misses the bus. But you know what, the bus (buck) stops here.

Another reason why I chose to keep her in her current school is because in Kindergarten-3rd grade there are supposed to be no more than 20 students. Well in Phillise’s class, there are 22 children. This is because two classes were closed because there were not enough students. The kids in the now closed classes were divided up and assigned to other teachers. Two teachers lost their jobs. So, even though the classes are supposed to have no more than 20 children, that’s not always the case. The closed classes were a casualty as a result of the people in the neighborhood abandoning the local school. What a shame.

You know what. I’m not bussing anymore of my children. I’m not contributing to anymore classes closing because there are not enough children to fill them. That’s what’s wrong with the inner city schools. People who can do better abandon them. Well, I’m not going to abandon this school. Not this time. In fact, I am actively seeking work in the inner city. That’s part of the reason why I want to become a teacher. I don’t want to teach in a very nice, high performing private school. My services aren’t needed there. My services are needed in the inner city. Therefore, I will go where my services are needed. I love the inner city. I live in the inner city by choice, South Central to be exact, and that’s where I want to teach.

No. My neighborhood isn’t the best neighborhood in the world, but it is a pretty decent neighborhood. It is filled with working class families who own their homes. There are few apartment buildings around, and the average income is around $62,000. Not a lot, but enough to keep us in the neighborhood and at the neighborhood schools.

Reluctant Readers! Part 3

Hello, fellow bloggers out there. I am starting on my service learning project for next year. I am looking for reluctant readers. I want to do this for two reasons:

  1. I feel that it’s my calling to help reluctant readers.
  2. I am doing it for my Service learning project for AmeriCorps.

Last year I phoned in my Service Learning and felt terrible about it. I felt that if I would have just put a little more energy into it that I would have done something that I was proud of. For those of you who don’t know what a service learning project is, check my older post.

Anyway, I am asking for help. I would like to interview as many reluctant readers as possible so that I can compile it all into a book that I will self-publish by May. So, I am asking for anyone who knows any reluctant readers to give them my email address, specialedandme@gmail.com so that I can interview them for my book that will help reluctant readers. At the very least, my compilation of reluctant reader friendly books will be a good starting point.

Be on the lookout for my book next year! Until next time!

Who’s Your Hero?

I had been wanting to see one of my favorite T.V. shows from the 80′s- The Greatest American Hero. Well, my husband found it for me. Do you remember that show? It was about aliens who gave this guy a super suit that gave him super powers. He had the power to fly and do other amazing things. I thought that William Katt was too cute.

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The bad thing about having the suit was not being able to use it correctly. He lost the instruction book. Even though he still managed to use the suit, it was not the same; not the same as it would have been with the instructions.

Anyway, in the show, he was a special education teacher. This was waaay back in 1981, when special education was relatively young. The classroom that he was given was crappy. There was nothing appealing about it. Most of the students were hard to deal with…well, not much has changed. That’s how special ed was back then. It was like having no instruction manual.

I was just thinking how different special education must have been back then. I’m sure there was not much support. There probably weren’t too many people even trained or qualified to deal with the students’ special needs. I am so sure that the training available now is leaps and bounds better than it was then. So much headway has been made since then.

Oh, how different things are. Now, there are so many supports and services available.

Imagine how much better things would have been for him if he would have had the instruction manual that teachers have today.

I am happy that I am entering the field now. Now is the best time to be entering the profession. My program at B.N.U. is wonderful. It is definitely preparing me for the classroom. I was already able to put to use some of what I’ve been learning in school.

The Greatest American Hero was the alien’s choice for saving the planet. He was their hero. Good special education teachers are the heroes for the special children.

Do you have a hero? Who’s your hero? Hopefully someone who’s doing great things! Hopefully they’re doing something for the children.

God Really Looks Out For Me!

Yes, God really does look out for me. I am truly a blessed woman. This is not to say that bad things don’t happen to me; it’s just that God is there for me.
Here, let me start at the beginning. I was so happy last week when B.N.U. gave me a “birthday” treat, a brand new MacBook. Well, that elation was shortlived. I was planning to play with the laptop the next morning, when to my shock and surprise, the power cord was not there. I had lost it before I even left the campus and didn’t even know it until the following morning. Once I realized that it was lost, I promptly called the Lost & Found at school to report it missing. Well, guess what? Some one turned it in. I am so happy because that little piece was $129 from the Mac store. While that’s not a lot of money, I just didn’t have it to spend. The security officer called me at 7:20 a.m. yesterday morning to tell me to come and pick it up. I actually cried tears of joy.

University Interns ARE Highly Qualified!

A couple weeks ago in bootcamp @ B.N.U., my advisor read the class a story from the L.A. Times about a parent trying to sue the state because her child’s school had too many teachers who weren’t qualified. Some of them were University interns, like me.

My advisor read it to us in response to my question regarding my introductory parent letter. Usually in the parent letter, the teacher introduces him/herself, their qualifications, expectations for the year and a host of other information.

The answer was up in the air. She told me to ask the principal, because some people get upset when they find out that the teacher is an intern.

Firstly, I understand that this parent wants her children to have the best possible education. Also, any parent has a right to know about the credentials of those in the classroom. It’s the law. That is not what I have a problem with. What I have a problem with are frivolous lawsuits. University interns are considered highly qualified.

To be considered for the position of intern, I had to have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Passage of the C.B.E.S.T.
  • Passage of all three parts of the C.S.E.T. (which isn’t easy by the way)
  • Course in U.S. Constitution or the appropriate waiver
  • Health clearance
  • Fingerprint clearance (F.B.I. background check)
  • Authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A letter from my credentialing program stating that they believe that I am capable of performing the job. (Believe me that letter from the university is not automatic. Candidates are placed under much scrutiny before that letter is delivered. If that letter is delivered, the candidate earned it.)

Okay, some say that calling an intern “highly qualified” is just a way to skirt the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. While this may be true, most of the interns are placed in areas that are hard to fill. If the interns aren’t placed in the class, then some classes will be without teachers. Is it better to have someone in there who wants to do the job, is enthusiastic about the job and willing to learn or have the class vacant because someone who already has their credential isn’t willing to teach there? Though interns may not technically be “highly qualified”, they soon will be. They have the passion and are raring to go. I can honestly say, that if given the choice of a teacher who’s been there for 100 years but is burnt out vs. a fresh teacher who is actively learning in school all the new laws and techniques, I would definitely prefer the fresh teacher.

What I’m saying is that before “people get their panties in a bunch“, they should make sure their information is correct. University interns are considered highly qualified. Not all are young, but they are enthusiastic and raring to go.

That my dear sir or madam is my rant for the day!

Yay Us!

Well, today is the first day of school. Today, all of my children will be at school after being at home with me alllllllll summer. Thank goodness because my food budget couldn’t take it anymore. The question is what am I going to do with myself? I don’t have a job yet. I thought that I would by now, but I don’t. So, I am just going to chill and do some reading. I think I’ll go to the library and talk to the librarian. Here’s to all the people who are kid free today after being tortured blessed with our children all day, everyday, during the summer. Yay us!

Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg

**Warning- This post is kinda’ long.**

Monster Mama (1997), written by Liz Rosenberg and illustrated by Stephen Gammell (one of my favorite illustrators), is a masterpiece. This book review is kinda’ of piggybacking off my older post about depression from a couple of weeks ago. It’s so funny (not a haha funny, but ironic kind of funny) that when I first read the book, I didn’t put two and two together that it was about depression.

Look hard, here is a picture of the mom and the boy↓.

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I bought the book because the title reminded me of myself when I used to have mood swings. Just look at the picture. That’s how I would feel when I was really depressed. Nothing made me happy. That’s pretty much how everything looked to me. I really connected with this book.

In the book, the author writes,”Her bad moods terrified the neighborhood. Still she had the sweetest touch in the world when Patrick Edward ran a fever.

When my older children were little and I went through my depressive states, they would seem to be scared of me. I screamed a lot, but I never hurt them. I would always tell them that. They believed me when they were sick and I would sleep at the foot of their bed, get up and get them water in the middle of the night and cook them the best tomato soup, chicken soup and grilled cheese ever. Just like the mom in the story, I had the sweetest touch in the world when Sam & Dakota were sick.

Some parts speak to me, some don’t. Although I never did this, this is the part that brought tears to my eyes: “On rainy days when she drove him to school, she hid herself in a big cloak and hood.”

Because the mother in the story didn’t want to meet people, little Patrick Edward learned how to handle situations on his own. As in the case of the bullies harassing him. Little Patrick Edward had to go to the market by himself because his mother didn’t want to scare people. Along the way, he is harassed by some bullies. They would have probably gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids…(Okay, okay, I digress, but I couldn’t resist. The joke was there. It handed itself to me.) Anyway, back to the subject at hand. They probably would have gotten away with throwing his hat over the mountain, tying him to a tree and eating up the delicious strawberries that he got for his mother, if they wouldn’t have said something about his mother. After they say something bad about his mother, he lets them have the old whatfor…

If you want to find out what happens after that, you’re just going to have to get the book.

Liz Rosenberg has a customer for life me if she ever writes another book about this. I truly empathized with this book. Some parts of it tell my own story. I would recommend that someone dealing with depression or if you know someone who is dealing with depression who has a young child(ren) purchase this book. The story is told in a simple child-like way that will communicate the message to the child without frightening them. Overall, the message is about a mother’s love. The underlying theme- depression.

I give this book *****/***** stars for dealing with such a sensitive subject with grace and finesse. Go out and get this book before I read it and cry again.

The Jena 6

Hey, people. I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the Jena 6 situation. I was just listening to Michael Baisden, and could not believe the stuff that I was hearing.

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He, along with many of his listeners, plan to march on the courthouse in Jena, Louisiana on September 20 for the sentencing of Mychal Bell. Baisden feels that it is his duty to bring national attention to this matter. He wants to make sure that this story doesn’t just die down and these young men get railroaded. Steve Harvey and a host of other big name celebrities have thrown their name behind it as well.

I am not one to think that just because someone is a celebrity they should get behind something, but this time, that is just what I am advocating. I even think that Oprah should throw her weight behind this. This kind of stuff just cannot be allowed to continue.

For those of you who don’t know, this is a case involving outright prejudice in this day and age. The young men are Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (17) and an unidentified minor. They are collectively known as The Jena 6. Everything centers on a town in Louisiana where there was still a “white” tree until a couple of months ago.

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This is how the story goes:

During an assembly at the high school, a young black male stood up and asked the principal if he could sit under the “whites only” tree, to which the principal replied that he could sit anywhere he wanted. The next day, a couple of black students proceeded to sit under the tree.The response: Three nooses hanging from the tree. Students in question were given an in-school suspension.

The principal dismissed this as a harmless prank. Afterwards, with racial tensions at the boiling point, fights began to break out all over the place. A couple of white kids attacked a black kid at a mostly white party.

Outcome: Nothing. No one arrested. One charged, given probation and told to apologize. (For real!)

The other part of the story involves three young men in a convenience store minding their own business when a white male comes along, an argument begins and escalates. At which point the white male pulls a gun. The black males end up with the gun.

Outcome: White male- nothing. Black males-charged with stealing a fire arm. Yes, this actually happened. No joke!

Next, a couple of black kids attacked a white kid for bragging that he was the one who attacked the black male at the mostly white party.

Outcome: All arrested. 1 convicted. 5 awaiting trial- facing up to 22 years in jail.

A tennis shoe is the lethal weapon that the young men are being charged with using to commit attempted murder. You heard me right- attempted murder- with a tennis shoe.

Another disturbing piece of information I heard while listening to Michael Baisden, came directly from Marcus Jones, the father of 17 year old Mychal Bell, involved a local minister going into the jail and chastising the young man for not accepting a plea bargain. He told him that he had the whole town in an uproar for nothing.

Is that right? Nothing, huh…

The boy’s father said that he was upset about it and rightly so. Who is this minister to tell him that? How did he get in to see the boy without the father or mother’s permission or without approval of the lawyer?

Another incident was phoned in by a reporter who called into the show and spoke about students wearing t-shirts saying “Free the Jena 6″. He also spoke about students wearing “Support the Jena 1″ in reference to the white male who was attacked. According to the caller, the students who were wearing the “Free the Jena 6″ t-shirts were under threat of suspension if they wore them again. However, at no time were the students who wore “Support the Jena 1″ under any such threat.

What is happening to those young men is a travesty. It would be a travesty no matter what race the boys are. It just so happens that they’re black because this type of thing happens to black males most often.

I know I said that I wanted to keep my blog lighthearted, but I broke that rule a long time ago. I had to write about this. It hits home to me because I have three young black men. Anytime something happens involving young black men, I always put myself in the mother’s position. I can’t even imagine what that mom is feeling knowing that her teenage son could face 22 years in prison for what amounts to a school yard fight.

What bothers me about this situation is that this is 2007. This shouldn’t be happening. I am happy that it’s getting national attention. First DWB and other injustices came under scrutiny and into the light. Now this has come to the light. I really do hope that justice is served. I really do.

I am not saying that either sets of boys were right. I’m just saying that the crime ought to fit the punishment. Give them a three day suspension, instead of 22 years in jail.

I’d say that’s a tad bit unfair!!!!!!!!! Don’t ya’ think!

No One Ever Believes Me!

“My family’s thinking, I knew it. She’s not having a hard time.” No one in my family ever believes that I am going through hard times. Well, maybe it’s the $80 haircut; or maybe it’s the $1, 500 brand new laptop that I’m sporting.

I didn’t buy it with my credit cards. That would require available credit on them. Even you may ask, “Well, how did you get all those things without any money?”

Well, I am glad you asked. Now I can tell you!

I really felt like it was my birthday last night, even though my birthday was last month. I feel that way because last night, I got treated to a brand new $1, 500 Mac Book laptop, courtesy of my program @ BNU. Here’s a picture of it, but I will post a picture of me with it later.

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As for the $80 do. My husband is making a website for my hairdresser. We’re bartering. She’s doing my hair in exchange for the website. So even though I don’t have a lot of money, I don’t look like a rag mop.

Things are bad right now, but they are on the upswing. I made my plan to take my children school shopping, but I didn’t have to. My mother-in-law took my three sons school shopping, so I only have to buy for Phillise. She’s going to wear uniforms, so that makes my school shopping that much easier.

I like the fact that even though I’m having a hard time, no one believes me. What is it about me and my husband that makes people think that? I don’t know, but I think that it has to do with favor.

Even though I hate to admit it (especially when I’m having hard times), I have favor with people. What I mean by favor is that people give me stuff. I’m never usually lacking. Sometimes just thinking about something that I want badly enough is enough to have someone come up to me, “out of the blue” and tell me where to get it, either for free or very cheaply. That’s why it’s so hard to believe that I have had a hard time all summer. My hard times never last this long. I can’t help but wonder what I’m missing. People keep going through trials for a reason.

“What lesson did I not learn?” I ask myself. Surely, it’s something that I did, or am not doing. I don’t know what it is, but I’m trying to find out because this sista’ girl is tiiiiiiiired of this trial that I’m going through. I am ready to come out. I know that if I can just hold on, my deliverance is at hand.

Well, until next time, people!

Today, She’s My Birthday!

Today, I have something to say about deceivers. They make me soooo mad. They are always trying some scheme or another to defraud someone. Another thing about that that makes me equally as mad is when they succeed.

Did you ever see that “I Love Lucy” episode when they were in Italy. It was little Ricky’s birthday and she missed him so much. One of the kids in the village heard her crying because she couldn’t be there for her baby’s birthday.

To make her feel better, he told her, “Today she’s my birthday.”

Lucy decided to give him something for it. Once he saw that she was giving gifts, little by little, he started bringing other kids from the village to get some too. She was so excited that she just decided to throw a big party for everyone.

Finally the original kid starts feeling bad that he had fooled her when she was only being nice that he decided to make all the kids give back their gifts that Lucy had given them. Well, one little girl did not want to give hers back. She started crying and crying. Finally she explained that today really was her birthday.

Lucy was so happy that she let all the children keep the gifts. Even though they’re little kids, they did get over. Even though they apologized, their original intent was to defraud.

Ya’ know what, the whole time Lucy knew. She just missed her baby so much that she didn’t care. She knew that the kids in the village didn’t have much; she just wanted to bring a little happiness to them. That’s how it is with real life. Sometimes someone may think that they’re pulling one over on someone when they’re not. Be careful of who you’re friends with, you just might learn a lesson.

There are certain people who don’t think so though. Why, oh why do people have to play games? They eventually get what’s coming to them in the end, but they hurt so many people in the process. It makes me so mad! I wrote/said all that to say that life is too short to play games.

That my dear sir or madam is my rant for the day!

Mission Impossible: Assignment #2 (Hold On & Believe)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hold on and believe that God is there and will pull you through. As usual, I don’t have a choice but to succeed. If I were given the choice of accepting or denying this assignment, I would have turned it down. Well…hold on…I’m not sure…I don’t know if I would have taken it or not because in the past when I have endured an especially hard trial, I have come out smelling like a rose. I learned a lot and was thankful afterwards. During the trial… well that was a different story. During the trial, I did my usual number of whining, bitching and moaning.

But, once I stopped all that silliness, I pulled out my arsenal of weapons- the Bible, friends, gospel songs, etc… Of all the songs that I listen to, there are three that I go to time and time again.They are: “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin. Secondly, “We’ve Come This Far By Faith,” and lastly, “I’m Looking for A Miracle”. These songs speak to me. With the message that all three of these songs send, it makes feel good. It gives me something to hold on to.donnie-mac.jpg
Things are pretty bad but I’m not that worried because I Have Come This Far By Faith. I know that God has not brought me this far to leave me. This song helps me feel better because I know that God has never failed me. I would be a fool to believe that he has now. There has been many times in my life where I have felt like I feel now; it was always when my trial was nearing its end.

I am reminded of my post from a couple of days ago when I wrote about reaching for my utility belt. I know that if I could just hold on until the end, that my breakthrough is right there. All I have to do is reach my utility belt- God. He is my utility belt. He has everything that I could possibly need and some other stuff that I may not even know that I need.
When I’m going through a tough time as I am now, my absolute favorite song is “Stand”. After listening to this song, I feel like I have the strength that I need to go on. I feel like I can stand. I feel determined to stand through the storm and through the rain. This song helps me dig deep down into my reserves and get it together enough to make it through the day. Because sometimes, y’all, it can get so bad that you’re living, not from day to day, but from hour to hour, minute to minute.

Whenever I’m looking for a miracle, I get myself ready. If I want new clothes, then I clean out my drawers and make a list of what I need and want. If I want more food, of course, I clean out my fridge and my cabinets. That’s why I’m cleaning out my drawers for new clothes and my fridge and cabinets for an abundant overflow of food. I am looking for my miracle. I know that something good is coming.

I don’t know what gets you through, I just know what gets me through. It’s these songs. They are my salvation. You have to have something that gets you through. If you don’t have something, now is the time to find it. Find that sacred place deep inside you that you can call upon in your time of need. That is what will make all the difference between completing that impossible assignment and making it through vs. failing that impossible assignment and suffering a terrible setback.

You can do it. Just hooooooooold on (Mississippi Mass, “Hold On Old Soldier”) and believe!

Now…Back To Reality!

Hey, here’s something you may not have expected: me to write about something involving special education. I know, I know…who would have thought that a website that’s supposed to be about special education would actually write something about special education…but yep, I finally have something to say about it. It’s been a long summer y’all and things are coming to an end. I have to go school shopping for my children, I have to go on job interviews for L.A.U.S.D., I’m starting back to school, etc…

There are so many things that I want to talk about so let me number them.

  1. Going back to school after a 4 month break.
  2. Finding a job.
  3. Not feeling like I’m good enough at first.
  4. Going school shopping on a budget (more later).

Well, the time has come, the time is now, so Marvin K. Mooney (me) is going now. I’m pretty sure that I mentioned that I’m starting work on my mild/moderate Special Education credentials, but just in case I didn’t, there it is!

School officially starts back for me on Wednesday, August 29th. This week, I have to go for a 20 hour pre-service boot camp. I am so happy, excited and honored to be going to Big Name University (BNU). I have a fabulous advisor who I get along great with. The program sounds wonderful. My advisor is going to be there every step of the way. She will go to my first I.E.P. meeting with me, help me with assessments, and be on campus with me at least six times a year. I am so pleased!

This leads me to my next thought about finding a job. It’s all dependent on passing the C.S.E.T. for which I will get the results today. Keep your fingers crossed! But whether I do or not, my advisor told me about another avenue that I could pursue- it’s called a Provisional Pre-intern contract. This is for those who have trouble passing the standardized tests.

Here’s the link: http://www.teachinla.com/contracts/glossary.html#ppic

This leads me directly into my thought about not feeling good enough. Before I was admitted, I was wondering about how I was going to feel. I began to feel like I’m not good enough. Do I have what it takes to make it @ BNU?

Yes. Yes I do. I have always had it. I felt this same way when I first started at Azusa where I was definitely out of my element. Even though BNU is a bigger and better known university, I don’t feel like I did @ Azusa. I was feeling that way initially, but I ‘m not now. Thank God that I got over that!

On to my next point. Snap back to reality! No more lazing around the house on vacation. I am returning to school and so are my children. That means school shopping when there is barely any money in the budget. Look out for my post on Mission Impossible: School shopping on a budget! tomorrow.

This post was kinda’ long so I’ll end it here. Until next time people, hasta la bye-bye!

Thirteen Things I Dislike About Myself

This is my Thursday’s thirteen. This is thirteen things that I dislike about myself.

  1. When upset, I can become extremely cold.
  2. Sometimes I will just look at someone and take an instant dislike to them. Even though I’m usually right, I feel like I’m judging people too harshly.
  3. If I don’t have a goal to work towards, I can be extremely unmotivated.
  4. I am inconsistent.
  5. Sometimes I gossip too much.
  6. Sometimes I give up on people.
  7. I have a hard time forgiving.
  8. I am stubborn.
  9. I’m not saying that I am, but I have been accused of being too sensitive. What, you think so too? What you tryna’ say?
  10. I have a hard time accepting criticism.
  11. I AM a drama queen.
  12. I have had this weight on me for 5 years.
  13. I talk too much.

A Peek Into The Mind Of A Crazed Post-A-Holic!

I was reading this author’s website with interviews from authors who have had books published this year and they were discussing their writing process. I was inspired by that to write about my writing muse and my writing process. I read the article because I wanted a peek inside their heads. How would you like a peek inside the head of a crazed post-a-holic?

ink-pen-in-head.jpg This is me. It could very well be my self portrait if it weren’t a man. I feel like writing is in me. It is what I do. It is who I am.

Let me just start by saying that everything inspires me. Everything is a potential post. Since I don’t have to limit myself, every thing’s fair game.

If I had my way, I would write all day long about whatever popped into my mind. I literally have to stop myself and redirect my mind to something else so that I won’t write. I like to post more than once a day. Nay, I say..I have to post more than once a day. Posting less seems like I’m slacking. When I do something I go all the way. No half-stepping here. That’s why I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 posts in only 3 months time. I am the only contributor here, so I’d say that that’s a lot. I’d say I was definitely a post-a-holic. Continue reading

Thirteen Things I’m Good At

  1. Opening cellophane quietly. My children used to beg for everything. I had to learn how, or I wouldn’t have been able to eat anything by myself.
  2. Being a drama queen (self-explanatory).
  3. Writing.
  4. Reading.
  5. Watching t.v.
  6. Reading between the lines.
  7. Getting mad at my husband (I think that I’m approaching legendary status. Over the years, I have become quite the expert).
  8. Throwing a tantrum (Nuff said).
  9. Eating potatoes (Hence the thunder thighs which I am working on getting rid of).
  10. Being emotional!
  11. Shopping (I can make a dollar holler).
  12. Vegging out (When I’m tired don’t bother me)!
  13. Being me!

Did PBS Hear Me?

Some of you may remember my post, entitled “Shame on you PBS,”where I blasted PBS for airing shows like Teletubbies, Boohbah & Barney. Well, it seems as if they heard me. (I know that they really didn’t). They have come out with a new show called “Word World.”

wordworld-pbs1.jpg

I wrote about an opportunity to preview it in another post entitled, “More reading lists,” in which I linked to another site, Momcentral.com. Well, this is that show.

I signed up back then and got the DVD the other day. It had been a while, so I had almost forgotten what it was. Phillise & I watched it. We were pleasantly pleased. I am so proud of PBS for going back to their old ways. Is there a new program director at PBS? I hope so. I also hope that this is the first of many great shows to come.

The characters in the show, Dog, Bear, Cat, Pig, Sheep, Duck, Ant & Frog are wonderful. They are made up of the letters in their name. Words are the stars of the show. They come alive. There is one such instance where kangaroo delivers a box. When she takes the b o x out of her pouch and sets it down, the letters turn into a box. I love this show. I am really looking forward to watching it with Phillise. I highly recommend this show.

It gets *****/***** stars.

Thank you PBS for bringing out a quality show!

Check it out at wordworld.com

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