— in the moments
i was reminded today of a very special moment that i experienced on last weekend’s midnight run…we were just leaving one of our stops, and we see some people walking on the street watching our van drive by…so we stopped. right there. boom, in the middle of the road, making the two lane road – one. why? cause we needed to get these men some clothes and food. as soon as the van stopped, i jumped out and started greeting the men and asked them what they would like – actually, i kinda just started handing them some food. haha, but this one man was very particular with what he wanted. as i was going through the stacks of clothes and going through the goods that we were to giveaway, he kept grabbing things, and asking me more questions, and really, he started getting on my nerves.
now, patience is not one of my fortes, by any means, and i have actually been working on this for the past few months now since i have realized how my impulsiveness and my need for quick-turn-around is becoming so apparent…but i remember praying, dear God, please give me the patience i need right now…now, as a happy and comfortable 8 (enneagram-speak), i impulsively just said, can someone help me out here? sadi (shaw-day: one of my faves), girl, can you come out here and help? so she came and just stood there, and when i was done helping the man and we were done in the street, i got back in the van, and told sadi – girl, thanks for coming out and helping….and i realized, what she did for me, was being present. she stood there, and what i needed at that time, was just for someone to be there, and serve as that support. with everyone still seated in the van, and with sadi in the street with me, for some reason, it provided me with the patience and the help that i needed, though i was still digging through the clothes stacks. she provided me with the peace that i needed as my patience started to wear thin. it was strengthened if you will.
today, our yearbook meeting ended around 6:30 tonight and i was starving (we thought it would end around 4pm…we were wrong!)…started to feel sick as soon as we approached the subway station, and sure enough…the sugar intake ran low…bent over, i thought i was gonna faint. thank the Lord i had michelle. thank the Lord she had some gum to share with me, and with her rubbing my back, by the time we got to 59th street, i started to feel my pores start to generate themselves again, and i was no longer numb. thank God michelle was with me. when we were dealing with our yearbook stuff today, i thought, thank God, i’m not doing yearbook alone. yes, even such a small thing like putting together a yearbook may be laughable and sound absurd, but still, it is something that must get done…and it is quite the process. it is these moments and these times that i realize what a grace it is that we [i] do not have to deal with anything on our [my] own. there’s always someone that i can lean on – sometimes literally, like tonight on the subway.
— in the classroom
i have been doing this thing with my lesson plans…it usually consists of asking myself, what would i want to learn? what did i wish i had the chance to do in high school? how can i make class fun and full of “teaching moments” with lessons that my students can actually take with them? since my subject of health truly relates to anything in life, i have the amazing opportunity to do with it what i want…and so, i do. here’s the latest…
so the other day we talked about personality theorists – more specifically freud, maslow, and erikson…we talked about the 5th stage of development according to e, and that would be identity and role confusion…which led me to ask the students to write down different questions that they have been faced with – what have they thought about? what are they being faced with today? here are some of their responses – of course they all had to do with race, religion, and sexuality (not really shocking):
…why do people take sex as a joke?….how are we so sure there is an existing God?…why did God create so many problems in my life?…why do boys always seem to think about sex?…am i loved? would i ever be loved? am i a good person?….what’s my official purpose in life?…what would life be if i died? what would my family do? what they care?…why do other races look at african americans different?
when i read these questions scribbled almost with so much emphasis on the scraps of notebook paper, my heart clenched a little bit and i thought to myself, wow, intense. these are real questions that adolescents are dealing with, and this [life] is a hard, hard time to deal with sometimes…i only hope to be able to provide them with courage, hope, strength, wisdom, and the esteem for them to know their value as beautiful women, created to do wonderful things with their lives…but wow. just so wow.
— in my room [ on my walls ]
something has been missing in my life and all around me. and really, i realized what it was! i didn’t have a place to express my thoughts on my wall! 🙂 you know my blog, it’s what i do…but since college, i have had my inspiration wall. it’s pretty much the place where i just write down my different thoughts/favorite quotes/moments/prayers write em on notecards and put em on my wall…using colors, using fonts, it’s my way of expression…so that was my spontaneous project last night. i can not even tell you how refreshing it was to start that up again…as a result, in class today we were talking about emotions, and well, here’s the outcome…the students had to write down different ways of dealing with/coping with/expressing the following emotions: anger, sadness, happiness, love, guilt…the pics are just a snipet of class today 🙂
vulnerability…it’s something that i stress in my class – it’s the way we are able to learn more about each other…it’s part of the motivation towards me hating class when we are set up in “lecture style” – all seats facing the chalkboard…let’s have class in a circle – let’s have class in groups…let’s facilitate discussion here. one of my most favorite moments is when students walk in to class with the most confused look on their face…where do we sit? 🙂 i’m that teacher…kinda unpredictable.
move away from self-preservation and learn to let go, be open, let love in, and let the heart do the talking…it’s time.