Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photos - Google+

Photos - Google+

I am loving the idea of making wreaths.  I love artsy-craftsy things and designing them.  Having fun learning about  how to make things for the home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

African American History and our Children

  
Our children are our responsibility and no one elses.  It is great that others reach out in love and concern for us, but love and care starts at home first and then it extends to the larger community.  I'm not talking about this subject as an expert.  I'm just a parent and former teacher with concerns.  I noticed that I did not expose my own two daughters enough to the rich and bountiful history that we have---I have failed them and myself, but it doesn't stop there.  Admitting guilt and shame is the first step, I now have to actively change it.  Thus, I have decided to do just that.....I've created a program called "History through Design," and wrote a folktale titled "How Colored People Got to be Black," which helps all children celebrate our unique physical features.

I also noticed during African American History month, which should be ALL year long, that we as African American parents and caregivers did not do such a great job of passing on our truth either--this is a community problem.  At least I did not see enough evidence of such.  Yes, major organizations did, as they always do, but few of us individually even broached the subject.  Could it be because we have fallen into the antiquated belief that we have "arrived" and we don't need to discuss the past anymore....well our past is what created our present and if we're smart will create our future.  Praising, encouraging and remembering our past is about more than arriving.  It is about celebrating how God has brought us a mighty long way and continues to do so today.  It is about not letting our children forget the cost paid for their freedoms, today, so they don't view life so cheaply in the future.

Still some of us think that any mention of African American History denotes racism and creates division....why are we literally the ONLY group of people who believe this?  Every other culture celebrates who they are....they revel in their uniqueness and their contributions.  How else would their children know who they are and what their responsibility is in the world.  God has given us a great platform....to continue to fight for justice for all people, including ourselves...and because JUSTICE has been oft denied to us, we the more should be shouting it in the streets.  Our children need a reason to exist as well as why they exist.  Their history helps to tell their story and helps them to understand this. As Christians, the bible demands this from us.

I often say that if African American children knew the rich history from whence they came, they would not behave the way they do or at the least, would begin to question their purpose in a world full of hate.  What are we afraid of?  Why do we feel a disconnect from who we are?  Why can't we embrace being both African and American?  One does not extinguish the other or at least it shouldn't.  In fact, the world is waiting for our unique contributions in a positive and caring way.....not the brash angry lashing out from our youth through some hip hop music.  Although I understand the reasons (they're not being heard), I don't excuse the behavior.  We have to be better---not for others but for ourselves.  This is not a white or black issue, this is a human issue--the way God sees us.

We are much more than slavery--our children should know that.  We are much more than entertainment--are children should know that.  We are about much more than acquiring wealth and fame--our children should know that.  We are or should be about community---lifting up each other, supporting each other, even the not so good, so that we can transform and create a place; create a presence; a respect in the larger community of good honest people in America.

Our history is who we are.  It is not a new outfit we can change at will or when we feel like it is okay to espouse.  People don't respect that--they respect commitment; loyalty; unselfishness; and love--all the qualities our children so desperately need today.

I will never stop shouting African American History no matter how circumspect I might appear to others because in my heart of hearts my reason is for the children......and as my beloved sister-in-law Cerita Evans used to say.....we are pushing and need to push a generation forward.  Love you Rita....rest in peace.

Help me to love our children, love you, love us and love me!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Doing the Design Thing

Just attended a seminar today about Design and how to make a beautiful bed. Since I am changing careers, these workshops become major strengths in helping me transition. I am learning a lot and have even been able to network with others who are doing the same thing.

I am so excited about this journey as I am bringing out more of my creativity--a lot which was hidden. Presently I am having my poetry placed in frames and made decorative, I am doing a line of specialty greeting cards, I am making bookmarks and I am attempting to create home decor products using African textiles and my own printing designs.

A new venture, a new journey.....come join me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teaching Students to Teach

Image via powerpointfan.blogspot.com
Been thinking about ways to get my students motivated. I came up with an idea I believed would help them to learn and to see how learning takes place. My students had to create a learning template using Powerpoint. They were instructed to teach others how to do something. We started off with a topic as simple as how to brush your teeth. They had to include videos they made themselves using Windows Movie maker as well as find a video online. Lastly, they had to link the PowerPoint to a website that would help give more instruction on the topic.

They began this assignment by choosing a topic and writing down three things they wanted the person to learn. They used these subtopics to create questions which they then answered by linking to the above media.

It was a great assignment. The students as well as myself learned something new about the topics and we even found information that we didn't know existed.

I love educational technology and online learning because they have so much possibility and potential to help students learn in a way which also helps them to become thinkers and producers. Click on the links and enjoy the presentations made for your convenience. Please feel free to comment and suggest improvements.

Those Days

Hard at work or hardly working?
You ever have those days when your body just doesn't want to move.....your mind is racing with all the things you need to do but your body is saying "no way Hosea, I'm not doing anything?"  Suffice it to say that I had one of those days today.....and they're beginning to get pretty frequent. I think I overwhelm myself.  I'm such a dreamer that I spend most of my time thinking up what I want to do and be but spend only a little time making that dream a reality.  I think that I want too much.  Maybe just simply enjoying each day as it comes is a better alternative and let the divine speak to you to show you what to do daily.

I'll admit this is a difficult task for me as I am a doer.  Nevermind the doing could just be busy work but at least I'm moving.  I'm learning to assess my situations a little more-------relaxing and letting it come to me instead of going through the chase.  Also, I'm learning to ask about what I should be doing and only doing those things that would reflect that.  All this change seems as if I'm a lazy woman and I feel guilty because I'm believing the lie, but I know God just wants to restore my enthusiasm for life while teaching me the importance of time and what is most important and essential daily.  I'm organizing myself from the inside out instead of letting things organize my day.  I'm finding it's a much better way to live.  It cuts down on stress and gets whats most important done without stressing about the rest.

It's still a work in progress because I'm having to deal with my guilt and whether or not I'm doing the right things, but I really want to live this way.....I find it helps me accomplish more.  In fact, when I've gone through my to do list, I realize I actually have done more but not necessarily all in one day.  I'm also putting on my calendar and planner days and times when I will work.  

I think this quote on Oprah's show today sums it up for me.  She was in Australia asking the Aussies about their life in comparison to Americans.  What caught my attention was their comment on working.  One of the Aussies said, "Americans live to work, but they work to live.  I believe I like their way better.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Teaching Writing Ideas

Here are some writing ideas to get you started on helping students write more effectively, clearly, creatively and concisely. The three C's. Using the "Dream Journals"©, have students journal these ideas daily. Here is a link to pics of my Dream Journals:


My Future Husband/Wife
Students write a paragraph on their future husband or wife, giving as much detail as possible using strong verbs and adjectives that modify.

Friendship Acrostic Poem
Write a word for each letter that describes a friend. Write a paragraph of a special day with your friend; write alliterative sentences using your friends name or characteristics; write a paragraph explaining why friendships are important; write what's special about your friend.

Contrast Comparison/Persuasive Argument
I believe in God/I don't believe in God. Write down five reasons why you believe and five why you don't believe. Write a persuasive paragraph that convinces me to believe or disbelieve.

Artistic Pictures
Draw a landscape, winter summer, spring or fall. What things remind you of this season? What animals are out during this season? Write a letter to the editor using a topic from your words about the things the season(s) reminds you of; create a fashion layout and describe the fashions for a particular season.

Nutrition at a Glance
List your favorite foods—number them in order of the least favorite and the most favorite. Choose either or and research; nutrient content and value; history and info about the food; recipes using the food; menu using the food adding other things…..;find a recipe and change it or alter it to create something unique;find and cut pictures that show the ingredients of that food; choose one of the ingredients and create an advertisement for it or a commercial using a comic strip.

Interview skills, observation and research
Interview three people about a series of questions you create on a topic. Write a paragraph about that person and their responses.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

God's Wonderful Creation


I have found a slice of heaven on earth at least for me that is. I decided that I needed to get closer to God so I started communing with him at the beach everyday--early in the morning. What was so great about this was when I finished reading, praying and praising God, I got so much clarity about my life and life in general. It was a great experience, one I wondered why it took me so long to figure out. Anyway, after going to the beach I decided to up the anty and try a well-known garden hide-away in Chicago called the Japanese gardens. I have been going there for about a week now and decided, since I'm a somewhat amateur photographer to document my time there in my journal and through pictures.
Here are a few pics I took--I could not possibly capture all the magic and wonder of this place, but I did my best. I hope you like them. And yes, the place is as surreal as it looks.
From this experience, all I can say is find a "special" place to meet with God daily. You'll be glad you did and pleasantly surprised. One little note, now everybody in Chicago, don't come and try to steal my place--I'll have to find another one.





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