Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Political Post

Well, folks, I've decided to share some potentially controversial thoughts. 

But first, a photo of my family: 

My wife and I got married last month. Our wedding included a diverse group of people from all over the United States. People with different religious affiliations, political views, cultural experiences, sexual orientations, economic privilege, and perceptions about social justice. 

The ceremony was beautiful; the guests were gracious and friendly; everybody got along. My wife and I wrote all the words spoken by us and our officiant. Some of the words from our ceremony are included below. 

Despite all of our differences,
love is what we all share.
It's the great unifier — our one universal truth.
That no matter who we are,
where we've come from,
what we believe,
we know this one thing:
love is what we're doing right.

Maybe love is not enough. 

I have read so much lately about hate and fear and intolerance. I have seen an increase in people's hostile behavior toward marginalized populations. I have heard and read about people fearing for their lives.

Because I am a person with lots of privilege, I feel less threatened by the divisive political rhetoric than other more marginalized people in this country. There is no chance that I will be deported; I will not have an article of clothing ripped from my body because someone finds it offensive; I will not have to register anywhere due to my religious affiliation. 

I am, however, a left-leaning feminist woman, married to another woman, raising a child, and wanting to feel safe in my community, state, country. I want others to feel safe as well.

Intolerant/aggressive behavior is not new to me. The truth is, I have been assaulted twice in my lifetime as a direct result of being gay. Once, I was punched in the face. Another time someone tried to set me on fire. I have had the outside of my classroom spray-painted with "Dyke." Some people have openly insisted that I should not be a teacher and that I should not talk about my family with my students. 

I could join with others who are terrified. I could be angry about injustices. I could protest and blame and rage on social media. I could rally others to do the same. Actually, in varying degrees, I have participated in all of these things.

Today though, I'm back to love, the great unifier. 

I am an educator. In my classrooms, I have students from so many different backgrounds-- kids whose families are liberal and whose families are conservative-- kids whose families don't vote because they think the system is corrupt-- kids whose families can't vote for various reasons. 

It is my obligation to teach them all to read and write and think and create and collaborate. I meet them where they are, and I move them forward to where they could be. I also teach them to be civil with one another. I model kindness and respect. I am patient and thoughtful. I share honesty and tolerance. I celebrate their differences. ALL of them. 

I love and honor all of my students.

Like at my wedding, I want to be able to meld all those differences into a celebration where everybody gets along and where each person honors the others. Idealistic? Maybe. But that is my activism.

I am going to continue to be a good human. I am going to hold my students to the standard of being good humans. I am going to talk about my family and demonstrate my humanity. I am going to give them space to talk about their families.

I will also join with marginalized populations to fight for what I think is right. I will protest injustices and rally others to do the same. I have been doing this most of my adult life.

I don't believe that any human is inherently bad. That may be the most controversial thing I have said yet! I think we are all doing the best we can, and we want what is best for our families and our communities. Not everyone agrees what is "best," but I hope we can agree that...

Love is what we are doing right.

Mom’s Vacation

My mom is a very curious person. The places that she would like to go see would be Italy, Australia, South America, Mexico, Hawaii,  Bahamas, Caribbean.  She would like to go to Australia because, my mom would like to see a different country. She would like to go study a different culture. My mom would also like to go to Australia to try the different types of food that they have. She would like to go to these countries after she finishes school. My mom will finish school on December 15, 2016. She is going to be a Registered Nurse. She would like to spend some of her money on going on a nice long vacation. We are all looking forward to go to  these nice places but we are going to have to wait a while until we go to these places.

I think that we will have a lot of fun when the time comes to go on a nice vacation. My mom is the best mom that I could ever ask for. My whole family is so proud of her and we cannot all wait until she finishes school to throw her a big party. She has inspired me to try even harder in school and I am so happy that she has pushed me this far.
Marcos B.

Two Truths, One Lie

  1. When I was little, I always loved to read. I started learning to read at the age of 2 by typing on the computer with my dad’s help.I also wrote and drew books in preschool. The teachers let me read them out loud to the preschool class. I filled up a whole shelf with my picture books.
  2. I have a great relationship with my grandparents from my dad’s side. My mom’s side, not so much. My Papa Rocky is my favorite grandpa. He gives me gifts a lot and sometimes candy. I see him every weekend. I love visiting him and I love how easy it is to talk to him. He’s like my second father.
  3. When I was in elementary school, I lived with a little dog named Copper. He was a Papillon mixed breed. He was brown, white, and black and fit perfectly in my arms. He belonged to a housemate who was living with us for awhile. I became very attached to him, however, and he seemed like he was my dog. I always walked him around my neighborhood and played with him constantly.   

Which is the lie?

Riley C.

Movie Review
My movie review is on the movie “Paper Towns.” It is about two kids, Margo and Quentin, who ended up becoming really good friends seeing as they are neighbors. Margo is the kind of girl who is on the more rebellious side. She loves adventures and a good mystery. Now Quentin is that one shy boy who tries to avoid trouble and hates getting in trouble. One night after Quentin regrets going on this huge mystery trip with Margo they stopped being friends. After a couple of years of growing up and not talking to each other, high school hit and they still weren’t friends. Margo became more of someone on the popular crowd and Quentin not so much. Quentin has had a big crush on Margo since the first day they met as kids, but he doesn’t have much of a chance now that she has a more popular boyfriend. Until one night, Margo and Quentin go out together doing the most daredevil things. They soon became friends again but then Margo goes missing. Everyone knew she ran away. Throughout the movie Quentin and his friends go on a trip to try to find Margo. I think this movie is a great movie to watch with your friends and a good romantic-comedy.
By: Katia S.

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. One day my friend and I went to his house, and we both went to a field that had lots and lots of cows in it. We brought airsoft guns just in case we got chased by an overly protective mother. So we crossed the creek, not a care in the world, and there was a mother cow with its baby calf. We were being dumb and we decided to run up on the cow and sure enough, it started to charge. And it chased us until we got back to the fence and left.
  2. One summer vacation we went camping on the ocean. In the middle of the night we heard a loud screech like the sound of when somebody scratches a chalk board. We woke up once we heard it and we wanted to take a peek outside. It was a walrus that was eating all of our food. After we saw it, my dad got out of the tent and he scared it off.
  3. One day me and my friend went to the creek and we drove his quad. Then his mom told us to come home. Once we started to head back, we wanted to eat first so we texted his mom. She said, “ok that's fine.” So we unpacked our lunch and sat on the quad. We were wondering what's gonna be for dinner. Once we finished eating, my friend stepped on a gopher snake that bit him on the foot. Luckily they aren't venomous.
Nicolas G.  

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful picture of your family! Your wedding ceremony was amazing. So much love! We all celebrated the love that you and Ange have for each other, but also the love that all of us have for the two of you. As educated, good people, we must celebrate our differences and honor each other. I'm proud of be your friend and your chosen family. Love is what we are doing right!


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