You Don’t Have to Try

This has been floating around Facebook, so many of you have probably already seen it.  But it is definitely worth viewing.

As women, we are continually given messages–both spoken and tacit–that we need to be better.  More beautiful.  Thinner.  Perfect.  Our hair should shine, our smiles should be bright, our makeup flawless.  All while we have 2.5 perfect children, get a master’s degree, and run our own business.

Yep, no problem.  I can do that!

I know amazing, talented, bright women who refuse to leave the house unless they are made up perfectly, their hair done, and dressed for success.  This is to go to the grocery store.

I called my mother recently to see if she wanted to go workout at the gym.  Her comment was, “Well, I haven’t showered yet and I don’t have any makeup on.”  This is the gym, Mom…you will sweat.  You will shower AFTER.  It’s kind of the point.

Apparently, Colbie Caillat was tired of it and made this video.  It’s a great message.  We don’t have to try so hard.  We’re beautiful the way we are.  Please share this with all the women in your life–young and old.  And really listen to it yourself.  It is so important for us as survivors to internalize this message.  So much of what we went through reinforces the belief that we are not good enough.

Now I’m off to the grocery store.  I have no makeup on.  I ran a brush through my hair.  I’m wearing jeans and a tee shirt.  And I look beautiful!

Have a great day everyone :)

Healing

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Proud to Be a Failing Teacher

I beg your indulgence and forgiveness as I step away from my usual topics and post about my other life…my passion for teaching.

Teaching has not been a fun place to be in recent years.  Don’t get me wrong…I love it and truly cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.  But the public narrative has become one that vilifies all teachers and makes us out to be incompetent, greedy, lazy, and almost criminally negligent.  I hope that most of you know this cannot be farther from the truth.

In this video, Joshua Katz eloquently gives voice to the frustration that I hear every day in the teachers’ lounge.  Frustration that America has handed our public schools over to testing companies and for-profit charter schools while simultaneously attempting to completely sweep the far-reaching effects of poverty under the rug.  Poverty is too vast a problem, too fearsome to overcome. Blaming the teachers is all too easy.

I teach one block north of the border of one of the poorest cities in the nation. 100% of the students in my school receive free or reduced lunch.  Poverty is part of the daily routine of my life.  I am knee-deep in it every day and I see its realities, not the “welfare queen” myth of poverty that abounds among my suburban, middle class neighbors.

My school is a failing school.  By virtue of working there, I am a failing teacher. I must be incompetent, sayeth the pundits. More

Never Broken

Never Broken

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Time Heals All Wounds?

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Easter, Rape, and the Power of the Cross

Happy Easter everyone!  This is probably a post more appropriate to Good Friday, but I’ve been very busy, so here it is today.

Easter is the holiest day of the year for Christians.  It is a joyous day where we celebrate Christ’s resurrection and the fact that he died for our sins.  It is a day filled with hope and brimming with meaning.  I believe that the true meaning of this event is unique to each person. More

Bursting With Pride!

What an amazing end to a stressful week!

My week consisted of meeting after meeting, due dates for huge referral packets for school and term projects for the class I am taking, all topped off by my fun-filled jury duty experience.  It’s been longer than long.

But today I watched my son process into the auditorium where he last sat as an incoming freshman during the Opening Convocation at his college.  He sang his last song as part of his college choir.  And then he walked across the stage, shook hands with his college President, and received his Bachelor of Science degree.  Degrees…one just wasn’t enough for him!

Summa Cum Laude.

Phi Beta Kappa.

There were bagpipes, people!

His four years of college has taken him to France, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.  He has learned to speak a foreign language fluently, navigate a foreign country on his own, solve unbelievably challenging mathematical equations, and discuss string theory with brilliant phsyicists.  It’s been quite a ride.  I still cannot believe this is the tiny 6 pound boy that I brought gingerly home from the hospital 21 years ago.  I was afraid he would break, he was so small.  And now look at all that he has accomplished.

I love him dearly, and I have never been more proud of him!

My Civic Duty

I am one of the many rape survivors who chose not to report her rapist.  I never went through the process of going to the police, testifying at a trial, and (hopefully) watching my rapist go to jail for his crime.  There are times when I deeply regret that decision.

Yesterday was not one of them.

I was summoned to my local circuit court for jury duty.  Ugh…I know.  Never have I seen an unhappier lot of people parading across the busy streets of my city and marching up the stairs of the courthouse.  At 7:30 in the morning.  Apparently, “well-rested” is not a quality we want in our jurors.

But I didn’t mind this time.  It came at a good time in the school year.  I had no meetings scheduled.  It wasn’t the first/last week of school.  I have a good class that behaves well for substitutes.  It was a sunny day and I had a brand new Louise Penny mystery in tow to while away the hours while I sat trapped in a large room with 250 strangers listening for my name to be called. More

Marriage Equality in Michigan!

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For those who may not have noticed, I am quite a bleeding-heart liberal.  Contrary to what my conservative friends believe, I come by these liberal leanings because of my deep Christian faith.  I am continually surprised at the attitudes of my more fundamentalist friends.  I cannot believe that we take such differing views by reading the same scriptures.

Quite simply, my faith tells me to love my God and to love all people.  It’s just that simple.  Love all people.  Care for all people, especially those who are marginalized by society.  That’s it.

My home state has taken a drastically conservative turn and has given me little to be proud of lately.  Michigan is the home of More

Happy Pi Day Everyone!

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One of the joys of having a son who is a mathematician is that I know what Pi Day is and can actually recite many digits of Pi.  I do not need or desire to have this information in my head, but there it is!!  My son wished me happy Pi Day today.

So here is my post…no rape, no abuse, no trauma.

Just pie!

Go forth and eat some pie in honor of my brilliant mathematical child :)

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