Friday, July 31, 2020
Same Old Song
Thursday, July 30, 2020
The Journey in the Time of Covid
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Giving Thanks: Gabriel Zaldivar and Columbia Community Care
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
On My Mind
Monday, July 27, 2020
Rooting for the Home Team
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Guest Post: We Are Responsible - - James Cecil on Educational Issues in Howard County
Friday, July 24, 2020
Try to stay cool! You shouldn’t be out in this heat!
And he looked back at me, tired, and said,
Ma’am, I have to make a living.
With only a few changes, it remains excruciatingly true today:
Just a thought.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
A Tale of Treasures and Trash
Maybe you call it a junk drawer. It's in the kitchen and it holds any manner of one of a kind items, gadgets, coupons, missing pieces, and more. The mish mosh drawer pictured above could be a carefully constructed photograph for an I-Spy challenge. But it's not. This is our mish mosh drawer in its natural habitat, with no alterations.
I remembered this post yesterday as I went through the contents of our current mish mosh drawer, which is a good deal smaller. It turns out that the original was prime real estate and its contents were evicted to make way for new occupants. This is the size of the new one.
As my time in self isolation has lengthened, my willingness to tackle long-neglected household chores has increased. When this skinny little drawer stopped closing, I knew it was time.
First, a purely unscientific rendering of what was in the drawer.
Next, an artistic assemblage of what was left.
It contains many things you would expect:
Twist-ties, chip clips, straws, skewers, wooden ice cream spoons, a singing birthday candle, a flashlight.
Some you might not expect:
Emery boards, nail scissors, a Wegman’s gift card, a hot pink glitter crayon, a treasure/potion bottle, a tiny clothes pin, a tiny tube of white paint, a band-aid, a paint brush, and exactly twenty-six cents.
It also contains tiny clues of things that have been important to me through the years:
A postcard from Grandma and Grandpa from one of their many Ireland trips, the Arts Advocate pin I got at the Festival of the Arts moving sale, LGBTQ rainbow pin and ribbon, bright green wristbands from a Chrysalis event at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods, pins from the late Community blogger Dennis Lane's memorial service at MPP, a campaign button from when I ran for the CA Board from Oakland Mills.
Oh, and one fortune from Lucky’s China Inn that reads:
Your dearest dream is coming true.
Treasures. In a historical archivist’s world, ephemera.
If you have gotten this far and wonder if there is a point to all this, this answer is: maybe. When I look at all the things that have piled up in this little drawer I think about the things that make us who we are. Things we value and treasure. Things you wouldn’t expect. The utilitarian things that help us function in the day to day. And all the junk that gets in the way and keeps us from seeing who we are.
It’s a lot like the things I address when I write this blog. I ask a lot of questions. What do we value? What is just junk and needs to go in the trash? What makes us a better community? What holds us back?
Reading a blog post is just a beginning. Rather like going through a mish mosh drawer. The real story is told in what comes next. What choices do we make? What actions do we take? Are we ready to face what we have learned or will we just stuff it all away like junk in a drawer?
I’m not sure what I’ll do with my collection of personal treasures but I’m pretty sure I’ll put the fortune on my refrigerator where I’ll see it more often.
What’s in your mish mosh drawer?
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Building Better Schools
The Anti-Racist Education Alliance, Inc. Endorses Police-Free Schools
AREA says No to SROs (School Resource Officers)
Baltimore, MD- July 9, 2020- The Board of Directors of The Anti-Racist Education Alliance, Inc. (AREA) voted unanimously to endorse Police-Free school movements in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. In considering this endorsement, AREA considered the grim impact of police in schools on all students with careful attention paid to the disproportionate impact on Black and Brown students. According to NBI #01-2020, 56% of students arrested in Maryland schools were Black/African Americans. In light of this and their own 4-point agenda, AREA was compelled to take this stance against the fueling of the School to Prison Pipeline.
Of this bold stance, President Matthew Vaughn-Smith said “For an organization that is only two months old, this is a historic move. We have committed in a strong way to racial justice in our schools. Our Black and Brown children deserve to feel safe.” In addressing the method that AREA will employ in their endorsement, President Vaughn-Smith stated “We will work with area grassroots organizations to end the School to Prison Pipeline.”
As a part of their stance, AREA will be hosting a series of virtual teach-ins to liberate schools. The first will be on Monday, August 10th at 6 pm. The topic is Police-Free schools. You can RSVP for this and future events on AREA’s Facebook page, @AREAlliance. Press is welcome at this event, which is free and open to the public. Educators and community who are members of AREA will be available for questions.
About The Anti-Racist Education Alliance, Inc.: The Anti-Racist Education Alliance, Inc. is a pending 501(c)(3) organization that serves the Greater Baltimore Area. AREA’s mission and vision is to actively work to dismantle the racist systems and structures within education and the greater community, and to build structures that promote equity of access for Black, Indigenous and Students of Color. AREA commits itself to the following 4-Point Agenda which guides it’s work for FY 2021: Creating Space for Educators of Color, Centering Student & Community Voice, Decolonizing Curriculum, and Advocating for a Restorative Culture.
Despite whatever the official intentions may have been for instituting SRO’s, the data show that the results for Black and Brown children are abysmal. We have the numbers. What remains is our responsibility to change the system and make it bettter. As I wrote in a recent piece (I Was Wrong)
No matter how good, or kind, or devoted any one individual resource officer may be, the institution itself threatens the educational opportunities for Black and Brown students throughout the system. That’s what makes it an equity issue.
Want to learn more? AREA is hosting a teach-in at 6:30 pm on August 10th.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
For the Birds
Monday, July 20, 2020
Item Number Three
Are we nothing more than that? Are we not meant to stand up for what we believe is right?