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Problems to Solve...Teaching to do...

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Today is the first day of Spring Break. Well, to clarify, at 3:10pm today, I was officially on spring break. This year I am trying to find some solace. I have some specific goals that I want to accomplish, some of which I have been trying to get done for a few years.

Two years when Javad had his seizure, I went into a deep depression, a hole that I struggled to dig myself out of. At work, I coped, barely getting through each day without crying. My room piled with piles and my life was a disaster. I have been trying to dig myself out for the last year. Then my Grama died this last May and that was a definite setback. I looked forward and continued because not continuing wasn't an option. One day at a time I have been healing, one breath at a time. I am better than I used to be, but still not better.

I don't cry every day. Sometimes days, even a week goes by without crying. I feel accomplished when these weeks happen. Somehow through all this, Imanaged to do my job, not well, bu…

Dear Javad....

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Dear Javad,

Today marks two years since the day that changed our lives forever. Two years ago, while I was at school at African Family Night, I got a call from your older brother saying that you were unresponsive. My heart sunk because in the background, I heard your dad's voice and the panic was clear...something was very wrong. I told your brother to call 911 and I gathered my things and began the long drive home. I called home as soon as I was in the car, after calling Grami to go to our house to be there for support. Grami, who arrived at our house amazingly quickly, answered at first and told me that the paramedics were doing CPR...your heart had stopped. My heart was pounding and for the longest time (four long minutes), I waited on the phone, wondering if this was it....wondering if you were going to slip away and I wouldn't be there. I could hear my heart in my heart and began taking deep breaths, almost panting in the car. My legs were on fire and numb...I couldn'…

Just Breathe...

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Every day we are now being assaulted with news...news that is frightening or untrue or crazy or worrisome...news that is overwhelming and disturbing. In the last four weeks, I have listened to more podcasts about politics, read more articles, listened to speeches. I am more politically active than I have ever been, but sometimes it is too much.

I have anxiety and there are often times when I am a ball of nerves inside. If you are looking at me, you may not even notice. I am, mostly, able to manage. The last four weeks, I have to admit, has rustled up more feeling of anxiety than I am used to dealing with. The issues at hand are hitting me from all sides making it, at times, more difficult to manage. I need to remember that this could be a long run.

In these times when there are so many mixed messages and so much information being thrown at me from all directions, I need to remember to breathe. I can't take it all on, I can't take it all in. If I do, my ability to manage will c…

Soccer Church...

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Tonight I went to a preseason Timbers Soccer game. It's interesting heading to the stadium and being around those who have been so supportive to me these last few years. I stood in Section 105 and looked across the pitch and felt myself breathe it in. For two hours I felt the stress melt away and just enjoyed the game.

Soccer has been a part of my life for years but after Javad's seizure it took on a different meaning. Soccer became the lifeline that kept me sane. Through Javad's healing, I have found solace in the people, most of who didn't know me before, coming to support me without question. Being a part of the community is a unique feeling, one that I can't really describe. All I can say is that it feels wonderful.

Most of my fellow Army friends refer to the stadium as "church." In many ways it is...it's a place to gather and celebrate something that is commonly loved. It's a place to feel uplifted and sometimes deal with sorrow. It is a plac…

Taking Shifts...

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Tonight on a Facebook thread, I was talking about how rough, on a personal level, the last few days have been. The confirmation of Betsy DeVos yesterday hit at a place that was unexpected. I (unfortunately) watched the  confirmation hearing yesterday and immediately began feeling such a sense of panic. I have spent twenty-five years in the field of Education. I am lifelong learner, having earned two Masters degrees and a variety of continuing education credits. At the end of the day, I came home and cried. I questioned whether the work I have done my entire adult life has been worth it.  Hard work just seems like it didn't matter. It was defeating.


Today, Congress confirmed Jeff Sessions, who had previously been denied a Federal Judgeship due to his history of racist remarks. Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, tried to read a letter aloud that had been written by Coretta Scott King and was quieted. Two male Senators, one from Oregon, picked up the letter and continued …

When you disagree...

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This morning I saw a post on Facebook by a friend who talked about a political opinion that varies greatly from my own. I found myself thinking how to handle this...do I unfriend? Do I unfollow? Do I do nothing? This is one of those times when I really needed to examine how I feel about our current political situation and this impacts my feelings about people I know and respect.

Our current president has written executive orders that directly affect me in so many ways.  I teach many students that are refugees. These students often came from camps where they spent their entire lives or were possibly born there. These camps are tent cities or make-shift houses that are dirt floors and essentially four walls. There may not be running water. Their entire day is spent waiting in line to get staple foods that they may then share with their neighbors. They also stand in line for water and other important items. School may or may not happen for these students. These families have waited for y…

Thoughts on Trump-land...

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I've been doing a lot of thinking about our current political situation, our president and the repercussions of decisions being made. As each day goes by, I realize more and more that those in Trump-land honestly are way over their head. A group of people with no experience are trying to run the country as if it was a business. There is no ultimate boss here, there is a series of checks and balances that were put into place by our founding fathers so that a dictatorship can't happen. Apparently those in Trump-land have not studied much history, nor have a real understanding of the constitution or the way that government works.

In the two weeks since Trump-land has been in charge, I have seen wrinkles form on the face of a man who values his image. He looks tired. I think this job, one he desired because he felt it gave him ultimate power, is more than he expected. A week ago he signed a ban on immigrants and refugees entering the country, which caused a worldwide uproar. A jud…