Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letting Go

I sucked in my breath and closed my eyes as I tried to ignore him whispering soft
and sweet in my ear. Then I felt his lips brush against my neck lightly; chill
bumps popping up on my skin. Ignoring him wasn’t working because the nearness of him cocooned me. As he pulled me in close, I told myself, I shouldn't be doing this. I inhaled and closed my eyes thinking, Why can’t I say no to him? Why is it so hard? But I know my questions are more rhetorical than real. The truth is that I’ve been under his spell for so long that his seduction is part of my existence. I live it; I breathe it.
 I don’t even remember when our ill-fated love affair started. It’s like I looked up into his beautiful face and I’ve been captivated ever since. And while I know this illicit love affair isn't good for me, I don’t know how to pull away and end it. I can't imagine my life without him. If I leave him, What will I do?
I know our relationship is unhealthy because I allow him to cloud  my better judgment. He's controlling.  Possessive. Jealous. He wants to rule me; sometimes I fight; most times I surrender. I know I need to leave him, but I don't know if I can. I don’t know if I even want to. The one thing I can say about him is that he is a faithful lover. He shows up for me. Always. My lover's name: Fear

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Severing Ties

I had to sever ties with one of my best friends recently, and it's been hard not to just call her up and patch things up.  I never thought I'd miss her so much because we’ve been tight as a pair of too small Spanks. When I was down and I wanted somebody to pick me up, she did that for me. She was always there for me. But her absence has caused me to take a good look at myself and face My Truth.

As much as I appreciated her, I knew our relationship was built on lies and deceit. She told me what I wanted to know even when the truth was for my own good. When I was holding my breath to button my pants, and the waist band was slicing into my flesh, she turned her head and acted like she didn't see. She reassured me that I was just thick not fat. That I was sexy even as my Commodores Brickhouse expanded into condominium unit. And even though I knew our relationship was toxic, it didn’t stop us from being friends until The Truth came knocking so hard and loud that I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

So, when I took a long hard look at my life and the way things were going, I knew I had to end it; she never would. Severing ties with someone is never easy, but I knew it was best. I also knew that because of the kind of person that she was that she would make friends easily. It was just her way. There would be someone to take my place. A word to the wise: If you meet my friend, don’t get sucked into her web of deceit. She’ll seem cool at first, but once she gets real close, you’ll wish you’d never met her. My friend’s name: Denial.
Do we share the same friend or do you have a different friend that you need to let go of?

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Mayor, His Minions and CPS


The mayor has thrown a rock and hid his hand! When the new post-strike schedule was posted on the CPS website, CPS was bombarded with calls from angry parents about the change in the spring break schedule and the mayor had the audacity to blame it on teachers!

Don’t be fooled by the age-old divide and conquer strategy being used by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He is trying to pit parents against teachers  just as he did teachers against teachers when he offered schools money to extend their day before the extended school was approved.

It’s not teachers, but the mayor and his minion Board of Education members that are forcing a hardship on the children of CPS. This week the administrative teams in more than 200 schools on the Track E schedule will have to come up with contingency plans of their own when a large number of teachers will be out due to plans made prior to the Board of Education’s decision to make up strike days in October for Track E schools.

In a vengeful act against teachers, the Board of Education forced teachers to take personal and sick days for previously planned non-refundable vacation and scheduled appointments. Track E Schools are out for three weeks in December. Why not take one of those weeks? The Board took two days in December from the Regular Track schools, two holidays and added days at the end of the year. The strike dates have already been put back into the calendar. So, why change the spring break date at all? It seems like a power play and a total disregard for the teachers, parents and students of CPS.

When you look at all that has happened since the mayor took office, it’s hard to believe that he actually believes in the CPS motto of Children First. He was determined to extend the school day without input from parents and he forged ahead with his agenda despite opposition from sixteen parent groups who joined forces in the spring and lobbied against the longer school day. Wendy Katten of Raise your Hand Coalition, a CPS parent group said in an article in  Catalysis magazine that they have tried unsuccessfully to meet with the mayor about issues in CPS schools.  And yet, Bruce Rauner, an out of town venture capitalist has the mayor’s ear. In an interview on Chicago Tonight following the end of the teachers’ strike, he arrogantly stated that the parents who sided with teachers during the strike were misinformed. “Parents don’t really understand what’s really going on in their schools. As long as their child feels safe and the teacher is a pleasant person, they think things are alright.”

So, the mayor who sends his children to the University of Chicago Lab School and an out of town billionaire know better than the teachers who teach the children of Chicago and the parents who send their children to school every day? Let’s not be fooled by a publicity campaign designed to hide the dismantling of public education for the people who need it the most. Rauner was right when he said that there is a war in education in Chicago, but I don’t think he’s fighting on the side served by the CPS population.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Family: A Tribute

Fall. That time of the year when I’m mildly obsessed with mortality. My father passed in October, my sister in September, and we have had our share of health issues. My mother is a senior and I know that she is closer to the end of life’s song than the beginning. And though I know each of us will take our place on death’s dance floor, it doesn’t stop me from always wanting to request the next song. And so tonight, I pause to think about Family and what it means to me.
For me Family is. . .
 Familiar—no explanation needed.
Family is the Attributes we share.
It is the Multitude of ways that we show up for each other.
Family is knowing each others Idioscrynacies and loving each other anyway.
That family is Love is a given, but in my family Laughter is the glue that holds us
Family is taking each day as it comes--but also Yearning to turn back the clock to the
time when family simply meant Fun.