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Showing posts from February, 2017

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…

A political break...time to talk about giraffes

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This week there have been many things that have happened. I know that since yesterday much has happened in Trump-land...questioning a federal job and going on vacation. Tonight I decided to do something different...ignore the news. I am taking a break and focusing on something else...Javad, my little giraffe boy.

Many who read this blog know about my son, Javad. He is fifteen and is affected by a very rare musle disorder called Myotubular Myopathy. He is a gentle and wise soul, one who makes me a better person. It has been a long journey with him, spending a lot of time in the last fifteen years in the hospital, sometimes barely surviving. It has been a emotional challenge for all of us.

I am lucky that I have three other great children who, although the times were rough for them too, have loved their little brother unconditionally. It's hard to be a sibling of a chronically ill child...all the focus is on them much of the time. In many ways it is like living two lives, the "…

#DressLikeaWoman

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As I sit here ready to write, I have so many feelings bubbling up. For most women, the insult "Like a Girl" has been thrown at them in many different ways. Watch the video...it gives great insight on what it means to be told that you do something "like a girl." For each one of us that identifies as a female, we have no choice but to "act like a girl..." because we are girls! We have no option to do something in a different way. We wake up in this body, we have the feelings we have, we are what we are...Who said that doing things "manly" means better? The insult is thrown at men too. "Quit acting like a girl..." The ultimate insult from one boy to another or even worse, from a girl to a boy. Why is this? LGBQT youth are told they are "like a girl" in a way push them down and make them feel less. It is the ultimate slam insult. Why is that? Who decided?
It should be that being "like a girl" means that you are powerful…

Come together...

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I laugh each day when I think about writing my nightly blog..."Who knew I would write a political blog?" I often say. I never have really been deeply interested in politics until this election cycle. Don't get me wrong, where policies have affected Javad and his medical care, where policies are impacting immigrants and refugees, both due to my personal connection as well as my school connection, I have been interested, and of course, anything impacting education has been on my radar, but mostly I feel that I am fighting a battle in the trenches daily and don't have extra time to fight with battles that are happening across the country.

Sadly, those battles are now infringing on the areas that I am most passionate about, my job, my students, my family, my son's health. Now, they are poking the bear. Anyone who has ever dealt with me regarding these topics will tell you that my passion and willingness to fight is pretty strong. I am unwilling to back down from a fi…

Wearing the scarf....

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Today was World Hijab Day, an event that is celebrated yearly at my school. It is an amazing day. Many of our Muslim students bring their own scarves from home to share with other students and staff. Many women on the staff don the scarf before school to wear the entire day while students can get a scarf at lunch. About ten girls proudly attended to students, wrapping their heads and pinning the scarves in place. Staff and students wore the beautiful scarves proudly throughout the day.

I always find it interesting on Hijab day, especially the reactions of the Muslim students. The girls smile and often comment about the scarf and how beautiful I look, while the boys often enter the room and their face breaks into a large smile. I liken it to it being the first time they have truly "seen" me. "Miss, you look so beautiful."

Sometimes when I look at the scarf, a symbol of modesty, I see into the eyes of these beautiful girls. Some of my students wear the Hijab while ot…