Sunday, November 30, 2008


Today my daughter and I went to a few open houses. I got an e-mail from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) housing office. There were two developers who are selling some of their properties at an auction. I am not financially prepared to make this purchase as of now, but I wanted to see what was available. There are a certain number of properties that the developer will sell regardless of price. Now, I know some of you may say that's great. I thought so also, but my concern is people who don't need the property may get it.

For those of you who don't know, people who work for the Chicago Board of Education and other City offices, are required to live in the city. Now, I know some people who scheme and lie about this, but I don't want to take that risk. Believe it or not, people have lost their jobs for living outside of the city. Nonetheless, I actually like living in the city and working for CPS. What I don't like is the price of "affordable" housing. I don't know about many people, but my salary does not allow me to afford this "affordable" housing. I think the City of Chicago and the Board of Education should work closely with these developers and management companies to offer better deals just for city employees. My sister lives in Virginia and her county offers educators (I think military as well) discounts on everything. Now, why can't/doesn't Chicago offer a program like this? I think certain apartment complexes in Virginia set aside a certain number of apartments for educators. I don't think the educators are required to put up a security deposit (if so, it's discounted).

Maybe I am asking too much, but I want to purchase a townhouse/home/condo for my daughter and I. I don't want to spend my entire paycheck on housing. I also want to live in a decent area. Am I asking too much?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How may times do I have to tell you to STOP calling me?!

Here's the deal: This guy I'll call Joe (he, he) keeps calling me. Now he and I dated (at least I thought so until he said differently)for about 3-4 years. He was always very evasive about some things. I have learned in my lifetime that sometimes it's better to sit back, shut up and watch how things unfold. Well, about four years ago, we stopped all communication with each other. Frankly, I was tired of him and his inability to show me how much of a priority I was to him. Well, just recently I saw him and his family at church (I guess it's his wife and son) and since then he's been calling me. Now, I had to ask him where did all this renewed interest come from because it wasn't like we were in a relationship or anything. Now when I reminded him of that he got all beasty (crazy) and was like what are you talking about. I don't think people realize that words can be very powerful and hurtful and sometimes we don't realize the foolish things that may have come out of our mouths because we have matured or been humbled. Anyway, he was upset that I reminded him of this comment. I mean come on, how can you go out with an individual for some years and spend time together, but not call it a relationship? What was it?

Anyway, I keep telling him that nothing is going to happen, there are no romantic feelings on my behalf and even if there were some, Joe made his decision a few years ago and I accepted it. He chose to be with someone else and I respected it because he could give me the things I desired. Why would I want to entangle myself in that kind of tomfoolery? I just don't get men sometimes. When they have a situation that may not be the perfect, they go elsewhere looking for something better. Then once the wool is removed from their eyes, they want to come crawling back. That's just plain ol' craziness. What is really comical to me is it seems like Joe had realized that he probably made a decision that wasn't the best and now he is regretting it.

To the fellas, when you have a woman who is into you and "you're just not that into her" don't come calling her years later thinking that you can have her back. For the most part when a woman is finished with a man, that's it. If that relationship is dead, she isn't going to resurrect it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beautiful Black

I purposely waited to blog about President-Elect Obama. I believe he is going to make some changes; however I want to caution many people to remember that he is a man. I think a lot of Black people are looking for him to be their savior.

In order for change to take place, we must be willing to work towards it. This means we must get up out of our comfort zone and make some things happen. It is my prayer that this change inspires many Black males to be a father and not just a sperm donor or a part-time/no-time fixture in their child's life. It is also my desire that the Black family becomes united again. There was a time when momma and daddy were at home rearing their children. Now it's momma or grandma going it alone.

I also hope that the Obama's will bring back the style that Blacks used to have. If you look at pictures from the 50's and 60's (maybe the 70's) when Black people went places they were so sharp they had to walk sideways so they wouldn't cut you. What happened to those days? I remember when people used to dress up for weddings, funerals, church, and other events. It is a rare thing to see people dressing for anything. I am wondering how we became so lax? Why do people go to work looking like they are going fishing? Why do young girls think it is acceptable to come outside with a rag tied around their head? Don't they realize they are perpetuating the stereotypes about Blacks when they continue to do these things?

I know First Lady in waiting Obama is going to bring that class back to the American women. I hope they aren't at the pond fishing and they miss it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Addendum to the stupid things men say and do

Yesterday I went to church. My sister and daughter was with me. I saw this guy I used to date there with his family. My sister didn't think the child was his but my daughter and I thought so. I had seen him a few weeks ago but he had come late and left early so I did have an opportunity to speak with him. Well, after I had seen him, I sent him a text message saying so but he didn't reply until Thursday of that week. He wanted to let me know how much of an influence I had on his life. During this conversation I told him I had seen him at church and he told me he was a member there. We got to talking and I explained to him how I had been visiting different churches. He told me if I wanted company give him a call the night before. Now, I am wondering how is he going to go to church with me and he has a family.

Well, I think he and this woman had on wedding rings. I couldn't really tell, but it looked like it. I was wondering if it was real. (He was the one who got me the cheesy gift for Christmas and cheapened it even more by trying to pass it off as something it was not.) Now that I think about it, this occurred about 4 years ago and shortly thereafter I stopped seeing him. This child looks like he is about that age. Hmm.... Maybe that is why he got the cheesy gift, to get rid of me to be with the other woman. Does he really think I'm that stupid?

I don't know why men can't or won't be honest with women. It tickles me when they say stupid stuff like "I didn't know how to tell you" or "I didn't want to hurt your feelings". Well, jackdonkey, when you don't say anything you make the situation worse. I also think men must understand that women don't have these fragile ego's like them. We might be hurt and disappointed, but we are resilient and we will bounce back. A lot of the times we are way too good for them and we have enhanced their lives more than they have enhanced ours.

Ladies, we should be thanking these guys when they relieve us of our headache. We should have an obituary, sympathy card and thank you note ready to send to them when it's over. We need the obituary to let them know that this relationship is dead and there is not possibility of it ever being restored. The sympathy card is to get him through his time of bereavement. The thank you note is to thank him for killing the relationship so the person God has for you can come into your life.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ethnic Notions is more than a notion.

I rented a movie from the library titled "Ethnic Notions" to use with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I didn't watch the video prior to showing my students. I had planned on doing it, but I went knitting on Wednesday evening.

Today we finished watching the video and it was very powerful for some of the students. The documentary traces the history of the stereotypes of Blacks in America. Many of my students did not understand how these images of mammy, sambo, uncle and others came about. They also did not know/understand why Blacks were portrayed with very dark skin (i.e. the minstrel shows), as aggressive brutes, and in a savage manner. We had an opportunity to discuss the video and some of the students got it while others seemed totally lost.

I had to explain to them how some of the stereotypes projected in this video are still perpetuated by Blacks and they think it is entertaining. I gave them a few examples of show that they could relate to that perpetuated some stereotypes about Blacks. One of the shows was "The Wayans Brothers" with the two youngest brothers, Shawn and Marlon. I believe Marlon is the youngest brother and he was portrayed as an aloof young man. A few of the students didn't understand how that perpetuated a stereotype and I had to let them know that it supports the theory that all Black men are stupid.

I also told them about "The Parkers" which portrayed Nikki Parker as this highly sexual being chasing after a man. I also explained that this stereotype is still projected when they watch music videos. I also told the students that when they come to school fighting, they confirm the stereotype that Blacks (especially men) have this strength and they don't know how to articulate themselves so they result to fighting.

The last thing I let them know was that the image/perception of children was that they were unkempt. Their hair wasn't combed and they didn't have on any clothes when they left the house. Now, most of the students wear clothes to school, but they don't always comb their hair. I also explained to them that if someone knows nothing about them or Blacks and have been exposed to the images on the televison, they will believe what the idiot box (i.e. television) has shown them. If the students continue to perpetuate these images, the perception will never change.

The last thing I am going to mention about stereotypes is in my freshman class, we were looking at this website about advertising. There was a quiz about tv and reality. One of the questions asked something about how many times does and actual police officer fire his gun in the line of duty. I think the options were once a week, month, year, or none of the above. The answer was none of the above. Police officers actually rarely use their guns in the line of duty. This new student says" That's not true, they must not go to Black neighborhoods, they use thier guns all the time if you run away." I had to explain to him that that is a stereotype that he has believed.

I am not sure if my sophomore students really understood "Ethnic Notions", but I hope it resonates with some of them. I think the reason many of them didn't really get it was they have been inundated with these stereotypes for so long, they don't know anything else.

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