Thursday, February 24, 2011

a pleasant surprise

After turning in an English exam, a sixth grade boy told me, "I've never written anything like that before in my life. It really came from deep down in here," pointing to his heart. I dug through the pile of exams when I got home and fished his out first. We had been doing a unit on civil rights and the students responded to a prompt where they were an African American activist in the 1960's who was asked to write a speech for Martin Luther King to read at a rally in Washington DC. His response really was lovely:

"Dear friends,

Today we're here to protest about our rights. We all know that white people think we're different, but do not ever think that too, my folks. We are all equal! Just because another person tells you to do something, or to feel something are you doing to do it!? If they tell you to act like a dog, like less than you are, are you doing to do it!? Of course not, and all stops here today, folks.

Let's change our topic a little. I know you have heard that we're about to convince the president to think differently about our rights, but some of you think that it won't work. It will! It must! He is thinking but you should continue with the protest, continue with our actions. White people will notice they need us, and that we won't help them until we have the same rights, the same treatment as them.

Folks, believe in it. Believe in hope, believe in god, pray he will surely hear you and help us with this. Folks believe with all your heart that we can, because if you believe it we really can do this!

(clap, clap, clap)."

Indeed. Clap, clap, clap!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011


There are so many things that I need to work on, yet often times I find myself drained and doing nothing. I have a sink full of dishes, a basket full of laundry, a stack of ungraded papers, an empty week in my plan book, Spanish homework, and a completely untouched 100% un-started giant paper to write for my university. Moments ago, I found myself on the couch, watching youtube videos in my pajamas. What happened to my plan of breakfast and dishes done by 9:30 and ready to work on planning from 10 - 12, then walk to the coffee shop to work on my UW paper? I guess it has become a (boring) blog post. Where do my energy and focus disappear to? Certainly I need more yoga and vegetables in my life... Advice?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

back to blogging

After a conversation with my mother (who swears she isn't just saying this because she's my mom) who was insisting (other days one might refer to this pattern of conversation as nagging) that I spend more time with my blog. And after finally remembering my blog title and URL, here I am. Reminded through past entries of my own thoughts and words that have captured some of the most interesting and challenging moments of my young life, I realize how quickly and how blurry those months have passed. The (sparse) past entries reminded me how much I needed reminding of these months I have spent so far in Mexico.

So, mom, you're right. I spend hours behind the screen of my computer writing exams and plans and homework, but not recording my own experiences in doing so. I am adapting to a new culture, learning another language, having the little adventures that seem to follow me no matter what continent I am on... in short, I am living the life I want for myself; the life I want for myself includes reflection and a meditation on these moments. To watch them pass more closely. To appreciate the beauty, the absurdity, the humor, the tragedy that I see unfolding outside my window. As I watch life and observe forms of day-to-day chaos from behind my coffee cup, I am going to do better to reflect and meditate upon them from behind my computer screen.